Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer
When you have suffered a personal injury it is essential to focus on recovery, and the last thing you need is stress about medical bills, insurance paperwork and financial worries. Unfortunately, you may be pressured to make decisions or take actions without adequate time to research your options.
You need help from someone with experience. A Lake County personal injury lawyer can evaluate your situation and provide advice regarding answering questions, accepting insurance settlements, and the options for pursuing a legal claim.
A knowledgeable attorney could serve as your advocate throughout the process, working to help you receive the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled.
Defining a Personal Injury
At the most basic level, personal injury refers to the harm suffered to an individual’s personal body as opposed to damage to property or reputation. When the injury is caused by the action or lack of action by another person or organization, a lawsuit can be filed to obtain compensation.
Although a lawsuit may be settled without going to trial, the evidence gathered in preparation for a trial is used in negotiating a settlement, so it is often wise to proceed as if preparing for a full lawsuit.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
While almost any injury suffered due to the negligence or improper behavior of others can be considered for a personal injury lawsuit, some incidents and injuries are more frequent than others. Some of the most common cases stem from:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Boat accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Nursing home negligence
- Product liability
- Accidents involving trucks, buses or motorcycles
- Birth injuries
- Slip and fall incidents
- Dog bites
Limitations to be Aware Of
When considering whether to file a claim for a personal injury, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. The first is the statute of limitations. In Lake County, the maximum time that can elapse between the incident that caused the injury and the filing of a lawsuit is generally two years.
Another factor that will affect a lawsuit is the jurisdiction of the courts. Lawsuits may be filed only in courts that have proper authority to hear a particular case. In a personal injury lawsuit, courts with jurisdiction usually include those close to the site of the incident and those where the defendant is located.
If there is a choice of jurisdictions available, an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate the rules of evidence applicable in each to determine whether one is more advantageous than the other.
Comparative Fault Rule
Accidents and other incidents that result in injury are rarely caused by a single factor. Rather, it is usually a combination of factors that contribute to an injury.
If some of these factors are the fault of the individual who is injured, the court may reduce the amount of compensation to account for this liability. This is referred to as the comparative fault or contributory negligence rule.
As an example, if a pedestrian is hit by a car while crossing the street, a court may find that the driver of the car is 90 percent at fault and the pedestrian is 10 percent at fault for stepping outside the crosswalk. In that case, if the pedestrian is awarded $100,000 for injuries suffered in the accident, the award would be reduced by 10 percent to $90,000 to account for the contributory fault.
Consulting a Lake County Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured through the fault of another, you may be dealing with substantial medical bills, lost income, property damage, endless trips to the doctor, and ongoing pain and suffering. You may be entitled to receive substantial compensation from the party at fault.
To learn about your options, contact an experienced Lake County personal injury lawyer. An attorney could work with you every step of the way to help ensure a full and fair recovery.