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Winnebago personal injury lawyersIllinois law allows individuals who are hurt by another party’s negligent or illegal conduct to file a personal injury claim and seek monetary damages. The injured person may be able to collect compensation for the financial and non-financial harm caused by his or her injuries including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is not a requirement for seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. However, successfully recovering damages through an injury claim is a very complicated and legally demanding process. An experienced personal injury attorney is an invaluable resource.  

Investigating Your Accident and Gathering Evidence

There are four basic elements in an injury claim. Proving each of these elements using persuasive arguments and evidence is key to getting the compensation you deserve. The elements include:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Injuries
  • Damages

A skilled personal injury attorney who has secured favorable settlements and awards for previous clients will know what is needed to successfully demonstrate each of these elements. Personal injury lawyers are adept at finding evidence and using this evidence to strengthen the case against the defendant. An experienced personal injury attorney will also have access to various experts including accident reconstruction specialists and vocational rehabilitation professionals who can provide compelling testimony to further improve your case. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the more likely you are to successfully recover compensation.  

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Winnebago County wrongful death lawyersA wrongful death suit is a beneficial legal tool which family members of a deceased person can use to collect compensation. Illinois law explains, "Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages." If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, read on to learn about wrongful death claims in Illinois.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Illinois, only the personal representative a deceased person can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative represents the deceased person’s estate. He or she can be a close relative of the individual who passed away such as a spouse, parent, or adult child. If the deceased person, or decedent, did not appoint a personal representative before he or she passed away, the court is authorized to make this decision.

Is a Wrongful Death Claim a Criminal Matter?

Many people misunderstand the difference between a criminal case and a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death suits are civil claims, meaning they do not take place in criminal court. Wrongful death lawsuits only address liability in terms of financial damages. Criminal cases are brought by the state or federal government, not by a personal representative. Often, wrongful death cases occur along with criminal cases, but a criminal prosecution is not necessary in order to pursue a wrongful death claim in civil court.

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