847-437-1246 847-437-1246

What To Do If You Have Been a Victim of Personal Injury

What To Do If You have Been the Victim of a Personal Injury
Personal injuries are typically the result of the negligence of another person or business. A personal injury is also called a “tort.” Tort cases can include slip and falls, auto accident injuries, product defects, medical malpractice, dog bites, truck accidents and fires/explosions, just to name a few. The statute of limitations in the state of Illinois is two years for personal injury claims, so you must move fast if you want to be compensated for your injury.

  1. Seek immediate medical attention. Be sure to keep all written and signed copies of all your doctor reports, medical expenses, tests ordered, prescriptions filled and diagnoses given by medical professionals that are provided to you.
  2. Make a list of eyewitnesses and obtain their phone numbers and addresses. The statements of eyewitnesses can help strengthen your case against an insurance company representing the negligent party.
  3. Keep a detailed record of your injury, treatment and recovery process. It is helpful to take daily notes about your pain level, medication taken and time off from work. Also note rehabilitation sessions, doctor’s visits and any contact you have with your employer during this process.

The Law of Negligence

Automobile accidents are generally decided using the law of negligence. A person who negligently operates a motor vehicle may be required to pay any damages caused by their negligence, either to person or property. Generally, people who operate automobiles must exercise what’s called “reasonable care under the circumstances.” Failure to use reasonable care is the basis in most lawsuits for damages caused by a car accident.

Courts look to a number of factors in car accidents, in determining whether a driver has been negligent, such as:

  • Driving too fast or too slowly
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to signal while turning
  • Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Failing to drive on the right side of the road
  • Driving fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel

Other factors, such as the roles of alcohol and drunk driving, improperly serviced vehicles, poorly designed or maintained roads, and malfunctioning traffic control signals can contribute to the causes of automobile crashes whose victims we represent at DeWald Law Group. Also, if you have been involved in an auto accident with an uninsured driver, you should contact our offices immediately in order to preserve your valuable legal rights.

Dog Bites and Other Types of Animal Injuries in Illinois Many people do not understand that they need insurance when they own an animal that could hurt someone.  Owners of dogs as well as cats and other types of animals should make sure that either their renters insurance or homeowners insurance covers injuries caused by a pet or animal in their control.  It is not unusual for dogs of all sizes to bite or scar adults and children. Cat scratches and bites as well can cause permanent disfigurement and infection. We have  represented people who have been severely injured from dogs jumping and pushing people down and breaking bones as well as those that have had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, infection, permanent disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of normal life, large medical bills, and many other medical conditions.

The law is clear that the liability of animals is also not limited to cats and dogs.  The law extends to virtually to any animal owned and the liability is called strict liability. Strict liability makes it very difficult for the owner or someone in control of the animal to avoid paying compensation to someone injured.

DeWald Law Group has been successful at recovering financial compensation for those that have been injured by dogs or other animals. There are legal theories at common law as well as statutory law to get people compensated.  The Illinois state legislature passed the animal control act, Section 510 ILCS 5/2.16.

Section 16 of the animal control act states as follows:

“If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself  in any place where he may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in damages to such person for the full amount of injuries sustained.  Therefore the owner of a dog or other animal that attacks or injures someone is responsible for damages to the injured party.”

Owner is defined as follows pursuant to the statute:

“Any person having a right of property in a dog or other animal, or who keeps  or harbors a dog or other animal, or who has it in his care, or who acts as its custodian, or who normally permits a dog or other domestic animal to remain on or about  any premise occupied by him.”

In consequence to have an action available under the animal control act it is necessary to have the following elements:

  1. An injury
  2. The animal cannot be provoked by the party that was injured.
  3. There must be an owner as defined in the statute.

Please see our case results to learn how our attorneys put their skills, experience, and determination to get the job done for our personal injury clients at DeWald Law Group.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Illinois Defend Your Rights

Arlington Heights firm helping victims recover for their losses
The personal injury attorneys at the DeWald Law Group have more than 35 years of combined experience successfully helping injured clients recover just compensation for losses resulting from auto accidents, medical malpractice, unsafe products, dangerous drugs, slips and falls, and unsafe work conditions. We also represent people with workers compensation and Social Security disability claims.

Seeking just compensation for injuries
Personal injury claims are brought by victims who suffer physical or psychological injury directly due to another person’s negligence. At the DeWald Law Group, our attorneys employ a practical, professional approach to ensure that our clients obtain full and fair recovery for their injuries, including damages for their past and future medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. We use our extensive civil litigation experience, our knowledge about insurance company tactics, and our skills at settlement negotiation to obtain the best possible recovery for our clients.

Personalized legal guidance
At the DeWald Law Group, the client’s interests are our priority. We provide personalized legal guidance at every step of your case, updating you on progress and fully informing you about the legal strategy and recovery options available.

Our attorneys consult with knowledgeable and respected experts to assist with case preparation. With the assistance of physicians, trauma doctors, pharmacists, chiropractors, forensics engineers, mechanics and accident reconstruction analysts, we are skilled at negotiating the best possible settlements. At trial, these experts are available to deliver clear, professional testimony.

Protecting your claim
Illinois law sets limits on the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible so your claim is filed within crucial statutory deadlines. By investigating your claim immediately, we help ensure that valuable evidence remains available and witnesses’ memories remain fresh.

Contact the knowledgeable Illinois personal injury law firm.
The DeWald Law Group is conveniently located in Arlington Heights. In some cases, our attorneys can arrange to visit your home or hospital to ensure timely investigation and filing of your claim. If you or a loved one has been injured, call 847-437-1246 for a free phone consultation or contact us online.

Illinois Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury law, or “tort” law, allows for just and fair compensation to the injured party when the carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another results in injuries to you or damage to your personal belongings.Car accidents are classic examples of the myriad types of potentially life-changing events covered by tort law. If someone hits the back of your car while you are stopped at a red light, that person is said to have committed a tort. A tort is not necessarily a crime, but those who are hurt are entitled to compensation for personal injuries caused the negligence.

State vs. Federal
State law usually governs personal injury lawsuits, but federal law may apply in certain circumstances. An injury suffered on federal property may be covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act, for example, or liability for injuries suffered in an airplane crash might be governed by international treaties. A claim for personal injury must be accompanied by an injury that can be compensated. Translated, you must prove an injury in order to seek monetary damages. If you were to slip and fall due to someone else’s fault or negligence, you could not recover damages if you were not injured in some way.

At DeWald Law Group, we can pursue your injury claim in both state and federal courts. Whether the harm was caused by a distracted driver who side swiped your car, a nursing home who failed to properly care for a resident, or a doctor who made a surgical error, we can help. Our attorneys have worked long, hard, and successfully for a growing list of Chicago-area clients in these types of injury cases. Let us help you too.

Determining Injuries and Liability
Personal injury law generally seeks to determine the party or parties responsible, or liable, for causing an injury, and the amount of damages the responsible party should be required to pay. It comes classified in three broad categories, or degrees of fault: negligence, intentional torts and strict liability torts. Each of these categories speaks to different types of legal wrongs, or causes of action, and indicates a different “standard of care” that may apply to a given incident.

Our personal injury attorneys know all of these terms all too well, and have seen their share of legitimate injury claims during their many years of helping people in Northern Illinois. You would be wise to put their proven seasoning, skills, and strategies to work for you in your personal injury case.

For examples of what we have done for past clients, please see our list of case results.

Medical Malpractice and Defective Medical Products
Our personal injury practice extends to quality representation of clients with serious and catastrophic injuries stemming from medical malpractice.

Patients can be hurt and even killed when doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals make mistakes.