1. How do I know if I have a personal injury case?
The following three elements must be shown to prove a case involving personal injuries:
- First, you or your family member has suffered an injury or death.
- Second, the responsible person, such as another driver, a doctor, or the manufacturer of a product was negligent.
- Third, the other party's negligence caused your injury.
2. What is negligence?
Simply put, negligence involves doing something a reasonably prudent person would not do – or the failure to do something a reasonably prudent person would do under the same or similar circumstances. Lawyers prove negligence through careful investigation and evaluation of all the evidence.
It general, negligence involves careless behavior toward the safety of others. For example, a careful driver would obey the traffic lights at an intersection while a negligent driver would not. Or a negligent driver would drive above the speed limit while a careful driver would not.
3. Are there different forms of negligence?
Yes, carelessness that causes injury can occur in a number of settings. A doctor may be negligent because he or she did not remove all of the instruments from the patient during surgery. A product manufacturer can be held responsible for manufacturing defective tires that explode when used. A construction firm can be negligent for not providing safeguards to prevent injuries at the work site. The owner of a building or store can be negligent by failing to repair hazards in the store such as a hole in the floor or defective stairs.
4. Who caused the injury?
A serious injury or death does not mean that you have a case. We must still prove that another party's negligence caused your injury. If the other party is not negligent or if his negligence was not the cause of your injury then he is not responsible. The kind of proof necessary depends on the kind of negligence involved. We have listed below various cases of negligence to give you an idea of what proof is needed in different cases.
5. How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
In Illinois, an injured patient is not permitted to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit until he or she obtains a report from a licensed physician stating that the treating doctor committed medical negligence. It is often difficult to find doctors who are willing to “point the finger” at another physician. Nemeroff Law Offices, Ltd. has vast experience in medical malpractice and has the resources to evaluate whether or not you have a malpractice case.
6. What damages can I recover?
If you are injured and your case is proved you may recover damages for lost earnings, medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical impairment, and inability to work. These damages can include past losses and any losses that you will incur in the future. In the case of the death of a loved one the law recognizes a family's right to recover for the loss of the “society” of a spouse, child or parent.
7. How will I be charged for legal services?
If we take your case, we will charge you on a contingency basis. This means that if you do not recover money damages we do not charge you for our services. Our recovery is contingent upon you recovering damages. All cases involve litigation costs, which are different than attorneys' fees. Costs include things such as filing fees, expert fees, and expenses involved in obtaining records and the testimony of witnesses. Many times we will pay these expenses and will be reimbursed out of the recovery that is obtained. We will discuss with you the amount of anticipated costs in your case.
8. How should I decide what kind of lawyer I need?
You should make sure that the lawyer you hire specializes in cases like yours. Some lawyers only handle bankruptcies or divorce, while some lawyers are general practitioners who claim to be “jacks of all trades” but have never entered a courtroom.
We are experienced trial lawyers who specialize in representing victims of negligence and corporate misconduct. We have successfully tried hundreds of cases over the past 30 years.
9. Can I change lawyers?
A client always has the legal right to terminate an attorney-client relationship at any time for any reason. Many of our clients come to us for help after they discover that their previous attorneys do not have the skill, expertise or experience to handle their case.
10. How long do I have to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim?
In Illinois, all legal claims for personal injury or wrongful death are governed by a statute of limitation. The statute of limitations, the time a person has to file a lawsuit on a particular case, may vary depending upon the circumstances. It is important that you discuss your circumstances with an experienced Chicago injury lawyer from Nemeroff Law Offices. A high quality injury lawyer can discuss the facts of your case and determine if you are still within the applicable statute of limitations. For example, in an automobile accident involving an injury to an adult, that injured adult usually has two years from the date of accident to file a lawsuit. However, if the responsible defendant is a municipality like the City of Chicago, the same injured person may only have one year to file a lawsuit. If the defendant is a server of alcohol and the Illinois Dram Shop Act applies, the statute of limitation may be as short as one year. If the same person who was injured was a minor, the statute of limitations may toll until the minor turns eighteen years old.
Lawsuits in medical malpractice cases involving adults must be filed within two years from when you knew or should have known the malpractice occurred. This is often a complicated issue to determine and generally requires an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer like you will find at Nemeroff Law Offices. Medical malpractices cases in Illinois are also governed by a statute of repose. A statute of repose is an absolute date no matter when the malpractice is discovered that sets an outer time limit to filing a medical malpractice case. Generally, the statute of repose in Illinois for adults is four years from the date the medical malpractice occurred and eight years from when the medical malpractice occurred to a minor.
As you can tell, the calculation of a statute of limitations is often a complicated legal issue best discussed with an experienced Chicago injury attorney.
11. How much do I have to pay to consult with an attorney about a case I think I may have?
There is absolutely NO COST involved in consulting with an attorney at Nemeroff Law Offices, Ltd. about a potential case you may have. If you believe that you or a loved one may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim, we strongly encourage you to submit your case to us for a FREE, no-obligation review as soon as possible. We will gladly review the details of your situation, answer your questions, and help you determine the best possible course of action.
Contact an Chicago personal injury lawyer at Nemeroff Law Offices today at (312) 629-8800. The initial consultation is free. If we take your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. That means we will only get paid an attorney fee if we win your case.