The State of Illinois has enacted a variety of laws regarding personal injury cases, including a Statute of Limitations, which restricts the amount of time within which you can legally pursue damages for personal injuries sustained through the negligence or carelessness of another.
The Illinois Statutes of Limitation vary in different kinds of cases, as follows:
General personal injury cases: two years.
Medical malpractice injury cases: two years from discovery of injury.
Products liability cases: two up to a max of eight years from discovery.
The State of Illinois is a “fault” state, using the doctrine of 51% negligence, which means that an injured party cannot recover any damages if he or she is more than 51% at fault in the incident that caused their own injuries.
The State of Illinois imposes no “serious injury” threshold, which means that an injured party can seek damages for minor injuries and is not required to prove injuries of a “serious” nature.
The State of Illinois has determined “theories” under which legal liability can be imposed in a variety of cases in which personal injuries occur, as follows:
Auto Accidents – A person’s acceptance of a driver’s license in the State of Illinois implies that he or she will operate a vehicle in a negligence-free manner, which means that they will not speed, participate in text messaging or drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. If a driver licensed by the State of Illinois is found to have failed to exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle, he or she will be liable for any personal injuries that occur to anyone as a result of such lack of care.
Medical Malpractice – Any hospital, clinic or other provider of medical care in the State of Illinois will be responsible for damages caused to an injured patient when the provider fails to meet the standard of care expected in the community.
Product Liability – Since products must endure years of testing from the point of designing to distributing them, it is assumed that they are safe for use and/or consumption by Illinois consumers who use them. When they prove to be unsafe, everyone in the chain of production from designing to distribution can be held strictly liable for personal injuries that arise from such use or consumption.
Slip and Fall Accidents – These incidents occur all the time and, to avoid excessive and unnecessary claims and lawsuits for injuries sustained due to slip and fall accidents, the State of Illinois requires that the parties must inspect a situation for dangerous or unsafe conditions. This results in no liability being found in the case of a trespasser who is injured. Also, damages are usually not awarded in situations that involve unsafe or dangerous conditions that could not have been detected by reasonable inspection.
Workplace Accidents – All employers in the State of Illinois are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance on behalf of each of their employees. If an employee sustains personal injuries while at work or in the course of employment, the workers’ compensation insurance will cover all medical treatment and examinations, as well as vocational rehabilitation, if necessary, and monetary settlements in cases involving personal injuries of a permanent nature.
Wrongful Death Accidents – When a person dies in the State of Illinois as the result of the carelessness or negligence of another, the negligent party will be held responsible for damages to the decedent’s estate, including parents, spouse or children. Age of the victim at the time of death, along with potential lifetime income are factors that are used to determine the amount of damages and the awarded damages will be adjusted for inflation.