Peoria Personal Injury Lawyers
When people are injured in accidents that are caused by the actions or failures to act of others, they may be able to recover damages through personal injury claims. In Illinois, Peoria personal injury law covers a broad range of different types of claims, all of which are torts. If you have suffered serious injuries because of the negligence of others, the experienced Peoria lawyers at the Zayed Law Offices may help you to recover compensation for your losses.
Types of personal injury claims
While there are many different types of personal injury claims, they generally proceed under theories of negligence. Some of the most common types of personal injury cases include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Dog bites
- Nursing home negligence
- Defective products
- Wrongful death
In order to prove a personal injury claim, the victims will need to be able to prove all of the elements that make up the torts.
Proving liability in personal injury cases
Nearly all personal injury cases proceed under a theory of negligence. In order to succeed, the victim will need to be able to prove the individual elements, including:
- Duty owed by the defendant
- Breach or violation of the duty
The duty will vary depending on the type of claim. For example, the duty that is owed by motorists to others is to drive their vehicles with the same type of caution and care that drivers who are reasonably prudent would in similar circumstances. In premises liability cases, the property owners or possessors must keep their premises in a condition that is reasonably safe and free from hazards or warn people who are legally present of the existence of hazards. Once the victim presents evidence showing that a duty was owed, he or she will next have to prove that the defendant violated the duty of care.
A breach may be shown by offering evidence of negligent acts or failures to act. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, a plaintiff might offer proof that the defendant was violating a traffic law, using his or her cell phone, was driving while drowsy or other similarly careless actions to prove a breach. After proving that the duty was violated, the plaintiff must then present evidence of a causal link between the breach and the accident that resulted. Causation may be direct or proximate. If there is an intervening cause that happened between the breach and the accident, then the claim may fail. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she was injured and was financially harmed because of the accident.
In some cases such as trucking accidents, a legal principle called vicarious liability may come into play. Under this principle, employers may be held to be liable for the negligent acts of their employees who are working within the course and scope of their employment. This allows plaintiffs to name negligent truck drivers and the companies for whom they are working as defendants in personal injury lawsuits.
Recovering compensation in personal injury claims
Personal injury cases may involve substantial losses. Some of these losses are economic damages while others are losses that are more intangible. In order to recover compensation for a personal injury claim, your attorney may consult with medical experts and others to determine the worth of your claim. He or she may then send a demand letter to the responsible insurance company requesting an amount that falls within a range of reasonable values. If the insurance company refuses the offer or makes a counteroffer, the attorney may then negotiate with the company in an effort to secure a reasonable and fair amount. Finally, the attorney may file a formal civil complaint if the insurance company tries to dispute liability or makes an offer that is unreasonably low.
If a lawsuit is filed, the defendant will be able to respond to the complaint. Once the response is filed, the case will then go through a period of time that is called discovery. This involves exchanging evidence, answering interrogatories and going through depositions. The discovery phase may result in a settlement. If it does not, the case may go to jury trial and verdict before it is resolved.
Contact the experienced Peoria Personal Injury Lawyers at the Zayed Law Offices
When you have been seriously injured because of the actions of another person or entity, it may be important for you to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney may analyze what happened and offer you an evaluation of your potential claim. If your lawyer agrees to accept your case, he or she may handle all of the negotiations for you so that you can concentrate on getting better. Contact the Zayed Law Offices today to learn more about your rights in your Peoria personal injury case.