With a population of just under 60,000 people, Orland Park offers the charm and slow pace of village living with easy access to the greater Chicago area. Orland Park residents work in several fields, from finance and retail to healthcare and education.
Orland Park’s streets are filled with people traveling for work, school, errands, or fun each day – both residents of the area and visitors. Orland Park’s large Recreation and Parks Department oversees over 60 parks of various types, and its shopping and other recreational opportunities draw in crowds regularly.
All of this activity makes up the lives of our friends and neighbors. Yet it also poses risks that another person’s negligence will cause serious harm.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Orland Park, don’t wait: Talk to an experienced Orland Park personal injury attorney today. The team at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg can help.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury lawsuit may arise after one person’s negligence causes harm to another. Negligence occurs when one person or entity (like a business) has a legal duty to use due care to avoid harming others – but they fail in this duty, and injuries result.
Common types of personal injury cases in Illinois include:
- Auto accidents, including bicycle and pedestrian accidents,
- Medical, hospital, or dental malpractice,
- Workers’ compensation claims after an on-the-job injury,
- Slip and fall accidents and injuries,
- Dog bite or other animal attack claims, and
- Wrongful death, if injuries prove fatal.
Some personal injury cases follow slightly different rules than others. In most claims, however, an injured person must answer four questions for the court:
- Was there a duty to use due care to avoid causing harm to others?
- Did a breach of that duty occur?
- Was the breach of duty an actual and foreseeable cause of the injury?
- What losses did the injury cause for the injured person?
Answering these questions in the context of each case requires knowledge and skill. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced Orland Park injury lawyer.
Common Injuries Suffered in Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases cover a wide range of situations. They also address a wide range of injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common unintentional injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2020 included:
Injuries suffered in falls were the most common accidental injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2020. Fall injuries included traumatic brain injuries, neck and spinal cord damage, broken bones, and injuries to muscles, nerves, and other tissues.
Unintentional poisoning sent over 1.7 million US residents to emergency rooms in 2020. Many of these cases involved people who were exposed to toxic substances due to the negligence of another person or company. For example, when a company fails to take due care to label its goods properly or to follow applicable regulations, those who use the items may be injured by chemicals in the product.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents were another common cause of unintentional injuries in 2020. Vehicle accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and other serious or even fatal harm. They can also cause lifelong scarring, disfigurement, and mental and emotional trauma.
Cuts and Piercing Injuries
Defective products, flying glass and debris, improperly labeled sharp objects, and other hazards can cause cuts or piercing injuries. In 2020, over 1.5 million people seen in US emergency rooms needed treatment for a cut or a piercing injury that occurred unintentionally. When due care isn’t taken to warn people about these risks or to reduce the risks, serious harm can result.
Dog bite injuries were one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits in 2020 among US residents from one to 24 years old. While deaths from dog bites are rare, injuries from these incidents can be long-lasting and traumatic for those who experience one.
What to Expect During an Illinois Personal Injury Case
Every personal injury case is different – yet all Illinois personal injury claims must follow the same basic rules and procedures. These include time limits for filing a claim. Personal injury cases also focus on proving various types of damages, which are the focus of compensation.
Time Limits for Personal Injury in Illinois
Illinois law includes a “statute of limitations.” This law sets time limits on filing personal injury claims.
Illinois’ statute of limitations states that “Actions for damages for an injury to the person…shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of action accrued.” In other words, an injured person has two years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in an Illinois court.
Several exceptions apply to this general two-year rule, however. These exceptions include:
- Legal capacity. If the injured person lacked the legal capacity to file their own claim when they were injured, the two years start to run on the date they regain their legal capacity.
- Minors. If the injured person was younger than 18 years of age when the injury occurred, the two years begin to run on their 18th birthday.
Certain events can interrupt or pause the running of the two-year “clock” as well. These include:
- Interruptions in legal capacity. If the injured person had the capacity to file a lawsuit when they were injured, but they lose that capacity, the time they spend legally unable to file their claim may not be counted in the two-year limit.
- Absent defendant. If the person believed to have caused the injury leaves Illinois during the two-year period but before the lawsuit is filed, their absence may not count during the two-year period.
Some types of personal injury claims have their own time limit rules as well. Time limits for workers’ compensation claims, for instance, are included in Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws. Medical malpractice claims also have special time limit rules, plus requirements that must be met before the claim is filed. An experienced Orland Park personal injury lawyer can help you understand how these time limits apply in your case.
Damages in Orland Park Personal Injury Claims
Damages compensate an injured person for the losses they have suffered as a result of their injuries. Illinois courts typically sort personal injury damages into two categories: Economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate an injured person for losses that are easily calculated from evidence like bank statements, invoices, receipts, or pay stubs. Common types of economic damages that appear in personal injury claims include:
- Medical expenses for treatment, medications, medical equipment, and rehabilitation required to treat the injury and help the injured person reach maximum medical improvement.
- Lost wages if the injury results in the injured person being unable to work. If the injury permanently prevents the injured person from working, this amount may include the wages the person would otherwise reasonably have earned.
- Mileage reimbursement for trips to doctors’ appointments, therapists, and other places the injured person wouldn’t have had to go if they had not been injured.
- Other costs and losses, such as the cost of hiring someone to perform chores or home tasks that the injured person could have done if they weren’t injured.
Keeping all your paperwork together in a single file can help you and your attorney determine exactly how much you’ve lost in economic damages. Save receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other information that shows what you’ve spent as a result of your injury.
Non-economic losses typically don’t come with paperwork showing the exact amount of money you lost. Rather, non-economic damages focus on losses that are real, even if you didn’t pay them from a bank account.
Common types of non-economic damages that appear in Illinois personal injury cases include:
- Pain and suffering. The pain and suffering caused by the injury is a non-economic loss that can be compensated in a personal injury case.
- Scarring or disfigurement. If you have unsightly scars, lost a limb or other body part, or have disfigurement as a result of the injury, these losses may be included in non-economic damages.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. Being unable to participate in work, hobbies, or other events you used to enjoy is a loss that falls under this category.
Illinois currently does not limit non-economic damages in most personal injury cases. Work with an experienced lawyer to determine exactly how to calculate your non-economic losses.
Talk to an Experienced Orland Park Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in Orland Park, you’ve probably become an expert on your own injuries. You’re all too familiar with the process of getting medical care, meeting your daily needs, and worrying about your future. Yet you may have little experience with the legal system. You may wonder how you can secure the compensation you deserve after your injury.
At Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg, our experienced Orland Park accident lawyers provide the skilled representation our clients need. We’re dedicated to representing our clients with compassion and service. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us at 1.877.595.4878 for a free, confidential consultation.