Across the nation, personal injury cases are filed every day. Personal injury lawsuits are legal disputes arising from the harm of one or more individuals as a result of an accident or injury where some other party or parties may be responsible for this harm. These types of cases may be formalized through a civil court proceeding – in other words, filing a lawsuit in court – that seeks to find the other party legally at fault through a judgement. On the other hand, a personal injury case may be resolved through informal settlement even before a case is filed in the appropriate court.
Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law is perhaps one of the most misunderstood areas of the legal field by the public. Common myths include:
- It is simply ambulance chasing – the stereotypical view of a personal injury attorney is an “ambulance chaser”. On the contrary, most (if not all) state bar associations have very express and restrictive rules as to when and how an attorney may contact an unrepresented, injured party. Moreover, the more established and often larger firms seek out and capture clients through advertisements and referrals.
- Settle fast, before medical care – it is not uncommon for individuals to believe that a settlement for money damages will not only happen quickly, but will occur even before all of the medically necessary treatment is administered. This is simply not true. Prior to a settlement being reached, the injured party must achieve “maximum medical improvement”. The logic behind this is the values are calculated based on medical expenses incurred for treatment and/or rehabilitation as well as any future required care.
- Legal representation costs too much – while many attorneys in other areas of the law charge per hour – and up front expenses can add up quickly – personal injury attorneys do not get paid fees nor is reimbursed costs until the case is either settled in negotiations or won in the courtroom. Simply stated, there are no upfront out-of-pocket expenses when hiring a personal injury attorney.
- A long court battle is unavoidable – a majority of lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom because they settle. While there are exceptions to this general trend when it comes to obtaining justice, many injured victims are able to obtain compensation with minimal stress and within a short time period.
It is important to know that an individual seeking damages from a personal injury – referred to as the plaintiff – has a limited time during which he or she may file a lawsuit in the appropriate court. This period is called a statute of limitations. Generally, this time period is dictated by state law and typically begins either when the plaintiff is injured or when he or she discovers the injury. It is not uncommon for the statute of limitations to vary by type of injury suffered.
Find a Rockford Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact a Rockford personal injury attorney today to learn about your rights under Illinois state law. While personal injury cases can be complicated and stressful, they do not have to be with the right legal counsel. The attorneys at the Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd. will protect your interests every step of the way and aggressively advocate for you. Click here or call (815) 398-9700 today to schedule your initial free consultation.