Decatur injury lawyer discusses 10 Things to Keep in Mind about Illinois Personal Injury Law
Injured individuals often want to jump right away into filing a lawsuit against the party or parties that they believe are responsible for their harm. However, the following list contains 10 things that injured persons need to stay mindful of before making the final decision to sue.
Employing a Decatur injury lawyer will ultimately pay for itself.
For many, the thought of having to pay huge attorney fees steer people away from wanting to hire an attorney; however, you should be aware that there’s no reason to fear fees because you will only pay them if you win, and the amounts typically come from whatever award you receive.
Hire a Decatur injury lawyer who has handled a similar case.
At the very least, you should hire an attorney with extensive experience in personal injury, but you can often take that a step further by finding an attorney who has handled cases that involve your specific injury and have a similar fact pattern.
Having pertinent documents will be crucial.
If possible, jot down everything that took place when you were hurt, and add to the list as you begin to recover. Doing so will be a good way to provide your attorney with an introduction to your case, and if you maintain a diary, it will also help you recall the details as time passes.
You will likely be dealing with an insurance company.
You should know that if your injury stems from a slip and fall at a grocery store, or if you get hit by someone’s vehicle, the other party will likely have insurance that will cover such occurrences. That said, you will likely be seeking damages from the insurance company, not directly from the responsible party’s personal pockets.
Be prepared for a long fight.
Personal injury lawsuits can take a year or more. That is why it is important to speak with a Decatur injury lawyer so that you will know what to expect and avoid some of the frustration that goes along with not having any idea of how the process works.
The bulk of personal injury cases actually settle.
You might be surprised to learn that the majority of personal injury cases are actually settled before making it to the courtroom. Settlements generally keep both sides from having to pay more legal costs, and it helps them avoid the possibility that they might wind up being worse off after trial.
Negligence will have to be proven.
The mere fact that you sustained an injury isn’t sufficient to have a successful case. What will be key here is that you are able to demonstrate that the harm you suffered was the fault of someone else and that he or she was not being as careful as they should’ve been when they caused your harm.
A contingency fee will have to be paid if you win.
Most, if not all, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they get paid only if you win. You will be required to pay your attorney a percentage (typically about 1/3) of the award granted at trial or agreed to during settlement.
There’s no certainty when it comes to determining the value of your case.
It’s no surprise that most injured individuals want to know right away how much they can expect to recover from the wrongdoer; but realistically, it will be virtually impossible for any Decatur injury lawyer to know the answer to that, especially at the beginning. As the case goes along and discovery is completed, a dollar amount might become more evident, but still bear in mind that it will be just a “guesstimate.”
There is a time limit to file a lawsuit.
The deadline for filing most personal injury lawsuits in Illinois is two years from the date of the injury; however, speak to an attorney to find out if your case falls under one of the possible exceptions.
If you need a personal injury attorney, please call John Cannon at 1-800-373-6050 for a free consultation today.