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Personal injury cases are everywhere. They are reported in the news, in movies, and certainly, in advertisements that you see and hear every day. But what is a personal injury case, and what are some of the more common personal injury claims in Illinois?

What is a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law is a type of civil law. In a personal injury claim, a jury or judge will award money damages. Unlike criminal cases, there are no criminal penalties, jail, or state prosecutor involvement in a personal injury case.

At its core, a personal injury lawsuit says that somebody did something careless, negligent, or in a way that other people, acting diligently, would not do. To see if someone was negligent and caused your injury, the attorneys at Claim Your Justice look to see if the other person, or company, or worker acted the way other reasonable people would act.

Carelessness that can lead to negligence in a personal injury claim can be the act necessary to make a successful claim. For example, if a product is stacked improperly in a store and then that causes an item to fall on a customer’s head, it can injure them. Driving a car too fast that  causes an injury or deadly accident. Injuries can also result from an omission. If there is a failure to warn of a slippery floor and then someone can slip and sustain injuries or failure to install handrails along a stairwell can also cause a fall.

What are Common Personal Injury Claims in Illinois?

Any situation where someone suffers an injury, mental or physical, can possibly lead to a personal injury lawsuit. That means that personal injury lawsuits can happen in more ways than can be listed in any one place. But despite the wide variety of personal injury cases, there are some types of claims or cases that tend to occur more often than others.

Here is a short description of the most common types of personal injury claims that tend to happen in Illinois.

Cars and Car Accidents

Almost any kind of car accident can lead to a personal injury case. Given the number of cars on the road, it’s no wonder that car accidents account for a large percentage of personal injury claims.

Car accidents tend to increase from year to year. From 2017 to 2018, there were over 7,000 more car accidents, for a total of 319,146 car accidents in Illinois.

The most common types of car accidents include things like:

  • Rear-end accidents.
  • Lane change accidents.
  • Intersection accidents.
  • Distracted driving.
  • DUI-related accidents.
  • Car accidents where a car collides with a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist.

Car accidents can be caused by individual drivers, but also corporate drivers, such as when commercial trucks or business delivery cars cause accidents.

Remember that car accident victims are not just the drivers of the vehicles. Passengers can also have personal injury claims after a car accident. So can spouses of injured victims when the victim is injured so badly it affects their ability to take care of their spouse or otherwise affects their marriages.

On-Premises Accidents

Accidents often happen on business premises, which is why these cases are often called “premises liability” cases. The most common of these types of cases are called slip and fall accidents. Although this category can also include objects falling on people’s heads or any other type of accident that happens while you are a customer or visitor on someone else’s property.

Businesses must keep their premises safe. Although substances on the floor that cause people to fall are quite common, there are also other kinds of injuries that can happen on a business’ premises. These include:

  • Objects left in customer walkways that cause people to fall.
  • Poorly stacked objects on shelves that fall on people, injuring them
  • Attacks or assaults by business employees
  • Failure to provide warnings of conditions on the property that may be dangerous.
  • Failure to maintain safe stairways, escalators, and elevators

One common form of premises liability cases is negligent security. This is where a criminal injures you while you are on someone else’s property. Although the property owner didn’t directly attack or injure you, the business owner may have created conditions that made it easier for you to become a crime victim.

This often happens when landlords or shopping mall owners don’t provide human or video security monitoring, gates, proper lighting, or other elements that tend to deter crime.

Note that in most cases, you will have to be an invited guest, or a customer of the business to sue for your injuries. Trespassers often will have a difficult time suing for damages that happen on others’ property.

Nursing Home Abuse

The population or elderly people living in our nursing homes is amongst the most vulnerable in our society. Not only are they often sick, infirm, and unable to care for themselves, but their family is not there to look after them and to make sure they are being taken care of.

Many nursing homes are understaffed or use staff that is untrained to do their jobs. Many don’t have proper practices and procedures, to ensure the safety of their residents. They may allow abuse to happen to residents, whether at the hands of staff, or other residents. They may allow residents to roam and wander into areas that they should not be, leading to injury.

As many nursing home residents also need medical attention, often negligence claims include basic personal injury claims, as well as medical malpractice claims, if a patient is injured while getting medical attention

Because of residents’ advanced age, and often frail health, even the slightest failure to exercise caution and diligence, can lead to catastrophic injury, and even death.

Supervision of Kids

When kids get injured, we often dismiss the injuries as being “horseplay,” or as “kids being kids.” But there are a lot of scenarios where kids are supposed to be supervised by adults, but are not, such as in schools, after-school care, or daycare.

Even if the supervision is not  being provided by an institution, another adult who was supposed to monitor a child, but did not, can be sued for negligence. For example, a parent who allows young kids to play in a pool, without watching the kids, can be liable for a personal injury claim. This is true if one of the children gets injured while the adult is not monitoring them

Dangerous Products

Whenever a product injures someone, the manufacturer and retailer can be liable for the injuries that you sustain.

Often, products are just manufactured poorly, and inconsistently. Potentially, 100 of the same product can be fine, but the 101st can be dangerous. This is because the 101 product was not manufactured like the first 100 were.

Other times, even a product that is perfectly manufactured is dangerous, simply because of the way it is designed. For example, medical device manufacturer 3M was recently sued for selling defective earplugs to the military, causing injuries to servicemembers. The earplugs worked exactly as they were designed to work. The problem was that the way they were designed, made them ineffective in protecting against hearing loss.

Often, experts need to be employed by your personal injury attorney to evaluate a product or its design. Then it can be better determined whether or not a product was defective or designed in a dangerous manner

Medical Malpractice

Not every bad medical outcome is a result of medical malpractice. However, sometimes doctors do something or fail to do something that should be done in the process of our medical care. When that medical error causes an injury, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

According to the national practitioner data bank, medical malpractice claims, and payments went up significantly around 2019-2019. There was a decline in 2020, likely due to COVID reasons. Just from 2015-2019 in Illinois, there were close to 2,000 medical malpractice claims yearly.

However, this is an accounting of reported claims and errors but not actual lawsuits, which are likely much higher than those numbers. These numbers also don’t include settlements that may have happened, before any lawsuit was filed.

Any medical provider can be liable for malpractice, including nurses, therapists, radiologists, or acupuncturists, virtually any profession that renders expert and professional medical skill, aid, and treatment can be held accountable for errors.

Malpractice claims can include failure to diagnose injuries or symptoms, or diagnosing the wrong illness or disease. Doctors can prescribe the wrong medicine, ineffective medicine, or may fail to recognize your symptoms as needing treatment at all.

Damages for Your Personal Injury Claim

With all of these personal injury claims and lawsuits, you can get damages for out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, or the cost of necessary medical devices. These costs can be awarded for current expenses, but also for expenses that you may incur in the future, for longer-term or more catastrophic injuries.

You can also get damages for your emotional or mental injuries. The law recognizes that many types of injuries can cause depression, loss of the enjoyment of life, or cause fear or anxiety. That’s in addition to the pain that you may have suffered because of the accident, your injuries, or the procedures that you had to undergo, in treating your injuries.

Whether your injury is common or not, we can help with your personal injury claim. To see if you may be entitled to compensation or payments for your accident or injuries, call our Schaumburg personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 1-888-885-3484.

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