The last thing you need after suffering an injury at the hands of a negligent party is to face expensive legal fees during your pursuit of compensation. Nobody should be prevented from having access to a personal injury attorney due to the inability to pay. For this reason, many personal injury attorneys choose to operate on a "contingency fee" arrangement. Under this type of agreement, instead of requiring upfront fees, your attorney will receive a set percentage of your final settlement or case award. In other words, your attorney will only be paid if they are successful in securing compensation on your behalf.
Serving Injured Individuals Throughout Illinois and Missouri, Including Peoria & Tazewell Counties
If you or a loved one suffered serious, life-altering injuries as a result of another person, company, manufacturer, or other entity’s negligence, you may be able to take legal action to hold the negligent party responsible. While financial compensation cannot undo the ordeal you have been through, it can help with the associated costs, including medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced earning ability. Compensation can also ease the burden of pain and suffering and help to ensure that similar accidents do not occur in the future.
At Joel E. Brown, Attorney at Law, we handle all types of severe, complex personal injury claims, including:
- Car accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Defective drugs
- Product liability
- Construction/workplace injuries
- And more
Our Peoria personal injury attorney has more than 30 years of experience. He uses this experience, along with the knowledge he gained from his background in the sciences to skillfully advocate for his clients. If you were injured or your loved one was killed and you believe someone else is at fault, contact our firm to find out how we may be able to help you.
What Is a "Personal Injury?"
A personal injury case is a civil case that arises when a person suffers physical harm due to the negligence, carelessness, or intentional act of another person or business. Unlike criminal cases which are initiated by the government to punish a defendant in the form of criminal penalties, personal injury cases are meant to make the injured party whole again in the form of monetary damages.
Personal injury claims can arise in relation to a wide range of accidents and injuries, including but not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Dangerous products
- Medical malpractice
While various legal principles may apply to personal injury cases depending on the specific circumstances, many personal injury cases revolve around the plaintiff's ability to prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The defendant's breach of duty caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury
- The plaintiff suffered real damages as a result
Yes, as soon as possible. Your first priority after suffering an injury should be to seek medical care. Letting an injury go untreated can not only be dangerous for your health, but it can also give insurance companies reason to doubt the cause of your injuries and potentially deny your claim. Seeing a doctor will help to provide an accurate assessment of the true extent of your injuries and create a written record of treatment that can be crucial to your claim.
It is possible, but unlikely. The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled through out-of-court negotiations between the involved parties' legal representation and their insurance companies. With that being said, your case may go to court if you and the insurance company cannot agree to settle your claim. This may happen if the insurance company does not offer you a fair settlement or if a disagreement arises regarding who is to blame for the accident that caused your injuries. Whatever the case may be, our firm will perform the thorough evidence gathering and careful case presentation needed to prepare your case for settlement negotiations and, if necessary, trial.
In a perfect world, your insurance company would pay for all of your medical bills after an injury up to the limits of your policy. Unfortunately, we all know that this is rarely the case. Insurance companies are, at their core, businesses. As such, like any other business, an insurance company's primary goal is to look out for its own interests and make money. Insurance companies cannot survive if they pay out every claim they receive. For this reason, they will do everything within their power to limit, delay, or deny you the full value of your claim. Having an attorney on your side who understands these tactics can help to level the playing field and maximize your chances of securing every dollar you are owed under your insurance policy.
Yes. Under Illinois' comparative negligence laws, you may still recover compensation for an injury you were partially responsible for causing as long as you are not found to be more responsible than the other party, though your eligible financial recovery will be reduced according to your level of fault. For example, if you were injured and suffered $10,000 worth of total damages but are found by a court to be 25% responsible, you would only be eligible to receive $7,500 (or $10,000 less 25%).
Illinois' statute of limitations imposes a two-year time limit for personal injuries and a five-year time limit for property damage claims. This time "clock" so to speak begins on the day of your injury or the day that the cause of your injury reasonably should have been discovered, though this time limit may sometimes be extended in rare situations. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations period expires, you will essentially lose your ability to sue and will be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries. Since some cases can potentially take months or even years just to be investigated, it is critical to get an attorney involved as early as possible in your case to ensure your compliance with all legal deadlines.
Like case values, personal injury case timelines vary widely and can be nearly impossible to predict. While the temptation may be to settle as quickly as possible, it is important to understand that it is not a matter of simply filing a claim and receiving a lump sum if you want to receive fair compensation. While small claims can sometimes be settled quickly, cases involving more severe injuries can last anywhere from several months to a few years depending on factors such as the length of your medical treatment, the cooperation of the insurance companies, and if your case needs to go to trial. Your attorney can review the details of your case and help you get a better understanding of what to expect.
Every case is different, therefore it is impossible to determine the value of your case without discussing your situation in detail with an attorney. Generally speaking, however, cases that involve more severe injuries such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations/limb loss, or other life-changing injuries tend to have a much higher value than those involving comparatively minor injuries such as whiplash. Likewise, the value of your case will be influenced by the level of available insurance coverage, the amount of evidence proving the opposing party's fault, and the quality of your legal representation.
Determining Fault & Establishing Negligence
While truly blameless accidents rarely occur, most accidents and injuries are the direct or indirect result of negligence. Negligence is a crucial element to any personal injury case. In order to secure recovery for your damages, you must first determine if someone else was at fault for the accident and that the other party acted careless, recklessly, or otherwise negligently. You must also show that this negligence led to your injuries.
Every situation is unique. Variables to take into account in a legal case against a negligent party include:
- How did the accident happen?
- Who was negligent and in what way(s)?
- What were the injuries?
- What is the injured person's prognosis?
- What are his or her actual losses, including losses to his or her immediate family?
- What will it take—in recovery time, in medical care and in dollars and cents—to make that injured person as whole again as possible?
- What resources are available to cover those losses?
- What legal strategies will most effectively bring maximum available compensation to the injured person?
Our Peoria personal injury lawyer digs deeply into questions such as these when investigating our clients’ cases. Our goal is to obtain full and fair compensation for people who have been injured by someone else’s negligent actions.
Compensation for Accident Victims in Peoria, IL
If you have reason to suspect that your injuries were caused by another party's negligence, contact our firm today to discuss your legal options.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have a claim to compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and other income
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Firm for a Free Consultation
At Joel E. Brown, Attorney at Law, we focus our personal injury practice on severe cases. With this focus, we strive to provide each and every client with personalized, attentive representation from start to finish. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns, offering open, honest, and consistent communication throughout the process.
One of the most knowledgeable and well prepared lawyers I have ever been around.
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Every Case is Prepared as if it's Going to Trial
A Personalized and Strategic Approach to Your Case
Over 30 Years of Experience