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FAQs

What is negligence?

It is the failure to do something the reasonably careful person would do or the doing of something the reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances.

What is medical malpractice?

It is negligence by a healthcare professional. In most cases the claim must be proven by expert testimony. The expert must establish that the standard of care was not met, meaning that the defendant did not do what the reasonably competent healthcare professional would have done under the same or...
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Is negligence required to sustain a claim?

Yes. Generally, persons or corporations are only liable for an injury or death if they are negligent. They are also liable if they have higher degree of fault called willful and wanton conduct, such as drunk driving or other high risk behavior. Sellers of dangerous products can be strictly liable...
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What is “proximate cause”?

Generally it is that cause which in natural or probable sequence produce the injury complained of. It need not be the only cause or last or nearest cause. An experienced lawyer can determine whether negligence proximately caused an injury. Causation is often an issue in cases of medical malpractice, including...
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What is a personal injury lawsuit?

It is a formal legal document filed with a court, setting forth the reasons whoever is sued owes money damages. The language has to meet all the requirements of law or the lawsuit will be dismissed. It must be formally served on the defendant, who then must answer, admitting or...
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What is the statute of limitations?

It is a legal deadline to file a lawsuit. It must be met or the injury claim is barred. Generally, in Illinois, in a personal injury case, the statute of limitations is two years for adults. It is only one year for claims against a government agency or a tavern....
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What is the burden of proof?

The injured person, known as the plaintiff, has the burden of proving his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. It must be shown that the elements of a case are more probably true than not true. This is sometimes referred to as the 51% rule, i.e., there’s...
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I was injured on the job. Can I sue my employer?

No. Work injuries are covered exclusively under workman’s compensation laws and generally cover work related injuries regardless of who is at fault. There’s a limit on the amount that can be awarded. A jury trial is not allowed. Awards are made by arbitrators who apply predetermined legal formulas to decide...
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Are there caps on damage awards?

There are none in Illinois. Insurance companies and other corporate groups have tried to limit damage awards, but such laws have been repeatedly declared unconstitutional.

Who can sue for wrongful death?

The next-of-kin can sue for wrongful death. In Illinois, the next-of-kin are the surviving spouse and any children. If there are none, then the parents and any siblings are the next-of-kin. In addition to any economic loss, the next-of-kin can sue for grief and/or the loss of society, love and...
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Can I claim my medical bills?

Lawsuits can seek to recover the reasonable cost of medical care even if some or all of the bills are covered by health insurance, but there is usually an obligation to reimburse some or all of the amounts paid by insurance companies and/or Medicare.  Generally, insurance companies are not entitled...
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