Latest from Rhatigan Law Blog - Page 2

Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior is so outrageous that it warrants punishment. While not every state permits the award of punitive damages, Illinois does under certain circumstances.
Punitive damages are typically awarded in Illinois civil lawsuits where defendants are shown to have acted with an evil motive or with outrageously reckless indifference for the safety of others. Ordinary negligence is not enough to warrant punitive damages, and they are rarely awarded. In Illinois, only the injured person is eligible to claim punitive damages. However, lawmakers have recently pushed for punitive damages to be available to
Continue Reading Does Illinois Allow You to Sue for Punitive Damages?

In personal injury claims, plaintiffs typically claim some form of compensatory damages, including non-economic damages. Non-economic injuries are not based on money, making them somewhat difficult to measure and compensate.
Non-economic damages represent deeply painful experiences and account for how the accident negatively affected your life. Measuring these damages is inherently subjective, and juries might use your economic damages to assess non-economic compensation. For example, your total non-economic damages might be calculated by multiplying your economic damages or assigning a monetary value to each day of suffering. Non-economic damages must be claimed in your initial complaint, or you risk losing
Continue Reading What Are Non-Economic Damages in Illinois?

Personal injury claims are all about making injured plaintiffs whole again after being hurt by the defendant. Injuries and losses are assessed as damages, and many are measured economically.
Common economic damages include hospital bills, the value of lost or destroyed property, lost earnings, and various other monetary expenses. We need to thoroughly review your losses and expenses from your accident and injuries to evaluate your economic damages. Depending on your case, this might involve a deep dive into your financial records. It is crucial that your economic damages are accurately calculated before we file your case. If damages are
Continue Reading What Are Economic Damages in Illinois?

The phrase “burden of proof” often comes up in TV shows and movies, but many still do not fully understand what it means or how it applies to personal injury claims. In short, the burden of proof is the legal standard you must meet to win your case.
In civil lawsuits, including personal injury claims, the burden of proof is referred to as a” preponderance of the evidence.” This is not the same burden of proof as criminal cases, which are decided beyond a reasonable doubt. A preponderance of the evidence is a much lower burden. The plaintiff has the
Continue Reading What is the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case in Illinois?

In personal injury lawsuits, the defendant’s negligence is often the focal point of the entire case. The ordinary sense of the word might be broad and hard to pin down, but negligence is clearly defined under the law.
Negligence is defined by four distinct legal elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. To prove negligence and win your personal injury case, you must sufficiently establish each of these elements. Doing so requires evidence of each element and how these elements work together. Not only must you produce evidence for a jury, but you must provide arguments and explanations to convince them
Continue Reading What is Considered “Negligence” in a Personal Injury Case in Illinois?

After being injured in a car accident in Illinois, it is important to obtain the police report for your collision. Victims can typically do this by going online and downloading a copy of their report.
If the Illinois State Police completed your recent car accident report, you can get a copy by visiting its website. You’ll have to provide information about yourself and your accident and pay a fee of $5. Digital reports from the Illinois State Police are sent about ten days after a request has been made. If another law enforcement agency in Illinois completed your report, you
Continue Reading How to Get Your Crash Report on Illinois.Gov

The cost of a personal injury can be devastating. Victims can incur a wide range of economic and non-economic losses. Still, in many cases, some of the most significant damages stem from the cost of injured parties’ medical expenses.
If you were hurt as the result of someone else’s negligence in Chicago, then the person responsible for your injury can be held accountable for your medical bills. However, obtaining a fair settlement from the at-fault party can take a long time. You may need to have your own health insurance providers cover your medical expenses and then seek reimbursement after
Continue Reading Who Pays Your Medical Bills After an Injury in Chicago?

The implementation of various traffic cameras in Chicago, like speed, red-light, and live cameras, have impacted the frequency of car accidents in the area. Furthermore, images from these cameras can help victims strengthen a case for compensation if injured in a crash.
Traffic cameras can impact car accidents in Chicago in several ways. These devices might film or photograph images that provide insight into an accident’s sequence of events or identify a negligent driver. Traffic cameras in Chicago have also lowered the number of certain collisions, most notably intersection car accidents. This is largely because of the city’s Red-Light Camera
Continue Reading How Do Traffic Cameras Impact Chicago Car Accidents?

Accidents and injuries often come with considerable monetary expenses, but the personal cost to plaintiffs may be deeper than bills. Pain and suffering may be extensive, and injured plaintiffs deserve fair compensation.
Damages for pain and suffering may be claimed as non-economic damages as part of your overall compensatory damages. Pain and suffering are sometimes difficult to prove but may be inferred from the nature of your injuries. Damages for pain and suffering may be worth quite a lot of compensation, and how these damages are calculated is important. Courts and attorneys often calculate these damages through the per diem
Continue Reading How to Recover Damages for Pain and Suffering in Illinois

Every case has multitudes of unique pieces of evidence, including witnesses. Witness statements can sometimes make or break a case, and certain kinds of witnesses can be very beneficial.
Depending on how and where your car accident occurred, there might be various possible witnesses, including eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, and others. Not all witnesses need to have watched your accident happen to have valuable first-hand knowledge pertaining to your case. Getting witness statements might be difficult. Tracking down these witnesses is already going to be a challenge. Once tracked down, some witnesses are reluctant to get involved. You should exchange contact
Continue Reading What Witness Statements Do You Need for Your Car Accident Claim in Illinois?

There are multiple types of damages you may pursue after suffering a personal injury in Chicago. First, you may obtain compensatory damages that reimburse you for the harm and loss you experienced as the result of the defendant’s negligence. Furthermore, you may also acquire punitive damages if certain conditions are met.
Punitive damages seek to punish a defendant for their especially reckless behavior and discourage others from exhibiting similar conduct in the future. Someone who causes an accident by acting somewhat carelessly will not be obligated to pay punitive damages. Rather, they may only be awarded in cases where the
Continue Reading What Are Punitive Damages in a Chicago Personal Injury Case?

Car accidents involve damage to your vehicle, which can be very costly, and bodily injuries that require expensive medical treatment. As such, we need your medical records to support your legal claims for compensation.
Generally, it is wise to get copies of all medical records related to your accident. You have a right to your own medical records, so getting copies of them is often not a problem. However, we should formally request copies of your records sooner rather than later since it might take a bit of time before you have the copies in your hands. Your medical records
Continue Reading What Medical Records Do You Need to Support a Car Accident Claim in Illinois?

Car accident claims are typically resolved through insurance since all drivers are legally required to be insured. However, negligent drivers sometimes fail to carry insurance, and suing them might be a good way to get compensation.
If the negligent driver who hit you is uninsured, you can sue them for damages instead of taking the usual route through insurance. Depending on your insurance situation, you might have insurance policies you can rely on for help while your case against the driver is pending. Since the negligent driver cannot rely on their insurance to cover your damages, they might have to
Continue Reading Can I Sue an Uninsured Driver After a Car Accident in Chicago?

Getting fair compensation after a car accident can be like pulling teeth in some cases. Defendants and their insurance companies often open with insultingly low settlement offers, but a lawyer can help you get what you rightly deserve.
If the defendant or their insurance company has made a very low settlement offer after a car accident, do not accept it. Instead, you should return with a much higher counteroffer that covers your damages and expenses. You should contact an attorney to help you with settlement negotiations. Without an experienced lawyer, you might be taken advantage of without realizing it. Before
Continue Reading How to Handle a Low Settlement Offer After a Chicago Car Accident

After an injury, many people file insurance claims to recoup financial losses such as medical bills. While settling with an insurance company is fairly common, it should not be done without some legal guidance.
After an accident or an injury in Illinois, you will likely file a third-party claim with the other person’s insurance company. Alternatively, you might have your own insurance policy that covers your injuries. In either scenario, you may need to prove how your injuries occurred before the insurance company awards any compensation. While a lawyer is not required by law, speaking with one before talking to
Continue Reading Settling a Personal Injury Claim with an Insurance Company in Chicago

A wrongful death claim might arise when someone is killed because of another person’s negligence or intentional conduct. Whether or not the defendant is criminally charged, they can be held accountable for your grievous loss.
Wrongful death claims can be emotionally difficult for plaintiffs to handle, and it is not unusual for people to need some time to grieve before taking legal action. While taking time to process such a tragic loss is understandable, you must submit your claims before the statutory deadline lapses. In Illinois, most wrongful death claims have to be filed within 2 years of the deceased
Continue Reading What is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims in Illinois