Personal Injury Law in Illinois
Who can be held responsible when a person is injured in Illinois?
The law of personal injury is concerned with determining who may be liable for your injuries and how much they should be required to pay for your damages. Personal injury is part of the law of torts, the legal term that includes all types of injuries to people and their property. There are a number of principles that apply to the law of torts and personal injury. These principles recognize degrees of fault on the part of the person who causes the injury. In general, the degrees of fault can be described as negligence, intentional fault, and strict liability.
Negligence is a term that is essential to tort law. People are expected to act reasonably and take ordinary care to ensure that their actions or the actions of others under their control, do not cause harm. If they fall below that standard, and someone is injured or their property damaged as a result, then they become negligent. Negligence does not mean that the person deliberately intended to cause harm; it simply means that they did not take reasonable care or act as a reasonable person would have. The degree of care varies with the circumstances of each case. Likewise, a plaintiff has a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances on his own behalf.
Strict liability states that one does not have to prove negligence to recover damages. In the case of product liability, the law now holds that you do not have to prove the manufacturer was negligent if someone is injured while using a product. They only have to prove the product was defective when it left the hands of the particular seller and that it was the proximate cause of the injuries. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, including the manufacturer, designer, or the retail store.
An intentional tort refers to a personal injury caused by a person who has the intent to cause harm. It may also refer to injury caused by willful or reckless conduct. Intentional torts include assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, libel and slander, etc.
Under Illinois law, can I include medical bills in my injury claim?
Yes. Your medical bills are a significant factor when assessing how much you are awarded if your claim is successful. Your medical bills are a reflection of your “pain and suffering” which is directly related to how much compensation you should be owed. (Please refer to “What is my personal injury worth in Illinois?” for details regarding what your case may be worth)
Under Illinois law a plaintiff may recover for past, present, and future injury medical expenses in a personal injury claim but only if those expenses are or were directly related to the injury the claim is being brought forth for. Illinois also maintains that compensation and money awarded must be reasonable. More specifically it must be proven that the injuries were caused by the cause of action you are claiming and any other injuries or health related matters must be separated when presenting evidence and seeking compensation for injury. Medical expenses would include but may not be limited to hospital bills, medications, at home nursing or private care, medical tests and prescriptions. Care provided by a family member or spouse usually does not account as a medical expense. After you have been injured and are considering bringing forth a claim it is important that you keep record of all medical bills you have paid or that you owe in order to be justly compensated.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Personal Injury Articles
- I was injured in Illinois. Can I file a lawsuit against the party that caused my injury?
- Injured in Illinois: FAQ
- Personal Injury in Illinois: Basic Concepts
- How long do I have to hire an attorney for a personal injury claim in Illinois?
- My child was injured in Illinois, can I bring a personal injury claim on their behalf?
- What to expect in a personal injury trial in Illinois.