Personal Injury

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Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyer

Attorney at law Richard Kopsick is passionate about serving Waukegan, Illinois clients who have suffered a major personal injury due to someone else’s carelessness. Our personal injury lawyers have helped injured clients receive appropriate justice and compensation for injuries caused by car accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and so much more. For more information on how a Waukegan personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Richard S. Kopsick can help you while you heal from your accident, call 847-623-8700 today.

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What is Personal Injury?

Personal injury law, also called tort law, protects people who have suffered catastrophic injuries to their body or mind due to someone else’s negligence. Those who suffer personal injury or wrongful death can receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. The most common examples of personal injury cases in the U.S. are those caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, and more. Personal injury lawyers at our Waukegan, IL law office have extensive experience in helping injured individuals receive the compensation they deserve so they can get back to their normal lives as quickly as possible.

Modified Comparative Fault in Illinois

When it comes to a major car accident, for example, 12 states follow no-fault statutes, while 38 states follow at-fault statutes. In no fault states, drivers must file a claim with their insurance carriers to receive compensation for things like medical bills and car damages. Meanwhile, in at-fault states, a driver’s insurance company is required to provide compensation for everyone involved in the auto accident. Illinois is one of the 38 states that follows the at-fault statutes.

Additionally, Illinois follows a tort law called modified comparative fault (also called modified comparative negligence). This means that if two or more drivers are partially responsible for an accident, the law will ensure that compensation is given to the driver who is less than 51% at fault.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to data from the National Safety Council, 42,060 Americans died and 4.8 million Americans suffered serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents in 2020. A motor vehicle accident can include things like a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a semi-truck accident, all of which can cause serious injuries and even permanent disability. Pedestrian accidents in which a pedestrian is struck by a moving vehicle may also be included in these types of claims. 

The most common injuries that people sustain from auto accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries and back injuries
  • Total or partial paralysis 
  • Burns
  • Internal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Limb loss
  • Whiplash and other neck injuries
  • Knee, foot, ankle, wrist, and hand injuries
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Severe bruising

Personal injury lawyer Richard Kopsick in Waukegan, Illinois is passionate about advocating for his clients in the courtroom while they focus on healing from injuries like these.

Premises Liability

Premises liability cases occur when someone suffers a physical injury on another person’s or a company’s property. Listed below are some of the most common premises liability claims that may lead to a lawsuit.

  • Slipping and falling in grocery stores, government property, sidewalks, hotels, restaurants, etc.
  • Falls caused by broken or missing handrails in staircases
  • Dog bites, which may occur in parks or neighborhoods
  • Inadequate security in public spaces
  • Injuries that are caused by noncompliance with fire codes or building safety
  • Accidents and injuries that happen at construction sites

Many premises liability cases are based on the legal theory of negligence. In order to have a strong case and a successful lawsuit, injured clients must prove that the property owner created the hazardous situation, failed to keep the premises safe, or didn’t warn people of potential dangers. A Lake County, IL personal injury attorney can help you gather enough evidence to prove that these negligent acts occurred.

Product Liability

Dangerous or defective products are also a common cause of personal injury lawsuits. Generally, there are four types of product liability claims. These include defective manufacturing, defective design, defective marketing, and failure to warn people of product dangers.

  • Defective Manufacturing: Most product liability lawsuits involve defective manufacturing. Basically, this means that a product is inherently dangerous due to the way it was made.
  • Defective Design: In cases like this, the injured party will argue that a product’s design is dangerous even if created as instructed by the manufacturer.
  • Defective Marketing: If a manufacturer fails to provide specific guidelines on how to use the product safely, then injured parties can certainly sue.
  • Failure to Warn: Similarly to defective marketing, injured people will sue a manufacturer if they fail to provide warnings about a product that can be dangerous if used improperly.

All products can pose a threat to humans’ health and safety if used improperly. But certain products are inherently more dangerous than others. Dangerous medications, medical devices, children’s toys, lawn equipment, and auto parts are common causes of product liability lawsuits.

Medical Negligence

Medical malpractice happens when a nurse, doctor, or surgeon causes medical injuries or death due to carelessness or misconduct. Common medical malpractice cases include:

  • Birth injuries
  • Medication errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to treat a patient

It’s often incredibly difficult to prove medical malpractice. Doctors, medical facilities, and their insurance companies generally write off medical injuries and deaths as unavoidable. If the injury or death was, in fact, unavoidable, then the doctor, medical facility, and the insurance company can’t be held responsible. But this doesn’t mean that winning a medical malpractice lawsuit is impossible. With enough evidence and the right legal resources, you could be successful in receiving justice and compensation from your medical malpractice lawsuit.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is another common legal issue that personal injury attorneys argue about in the courtroom. These types of civil action cases generally occur when someone dies as a result of someone else’s carelessness or misconduct. For example, family or friends of a wrongfully killed person may file a lawsuit due to:

  • Medical negligence
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Dangerous or defective products

It’s important to note that wrongful death cases are different from criminal defense cases in which someone was purposely murdered. Additionally, the Illinois justice system will apply the 51% modified comparative fault rule in wrongful death cases. If the wrongfully killed person shares at least 51% of the blame for the accident, then a judge will likely dismiss their case.

Possible Damages from a Personal Injury Case

Depending on the details of your personal injury claim, you may be eligible for fair compensation. More specifically, you could receive economic or non-economic damages for your accident.

Economic Damages

Victims in personal injury cases may receive economic damages in order to pay for the monetary losses from their accident. Common types of economic damages include:

  • All past, present, and future medical bills
  • Future physical therapy and rehabilitation bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity

Non-Economic Damages

Meanwhile, non-economic damages can pay for losses that don’t have a set monetary value. Common examples include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability

IL Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case

In Illinois, people who suffer catastrophic injuries have exactly two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit with a personal injury attorney. If you decide to file past the Illinois statute of limitations, a judge will likely dismiss your case. So it’s best to act quickly to receive the best possible case outcome.

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Call the Waukegan Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard S. Kopsick Today

Regardless of how incriminating the case is against you or how dire your situation seems to be, Richard S. Kopsick and his team of skilled Waukegan criminal defense lawyers will work tirelessly to preserve your rights. Kopsick employ’s his vast knowledge and legal resources to lessen your charges or otherwise achieve the best possible result at all times. To get in touch with our top Lake County criminal attorney at The Law Offices of Richard S. Kopsick, call 847-623-8700 today.