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Rockford personal injury attorneysBurns are often terribly painful and can lead to lifelong, disfiguring scars. If you or a loved one suffered a burn injury because of another party’s negligent or irresponsible actions, you may be interested in bringing a lawsuit against the negligent party. A personal injury claim is a legal action that you can take to both hold the negligent party accountable and pursue compensation for your damages. You could be entitled to compensation for economic damages like medical bills and lost income as well as the non-economic damages incurred by your burn injury.

Bringing a Successful Burn Injury Claim

If you are like many people, you may not be sure what it takes to win a personal injury claim and successfully recover compensation for your damages. Most personal injury claims are founded upon an allegation of negligence. There are four major elements in a burn injury claim based on negligence.

  • The defendant, or the person or organization against who you are bringing the claim, owed you a legal duty. For example, product manufacturers have a legal duty to meet certain standards when it comes to flammability and overall product safety. Motorists have a legal duty to drive lawfully and responsibly. Landlords have a legal duty to ensure their properties are equipped with smoke detectors and fire escapes.
  • The defendant breached the duty. This breach of duty may have involved negligent or careless actions as well as negligent inaction.
  • Your burn injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. Establishing the causal connection between your injuries and the defendant’s actions is crucial to winning your claim.
  • You suffered damages, or financial harm, as a result of your burn injuries.

Types of Damages You May Be Entitled to Collect

Burns are not only some of the most painful injuries a person may sustain but they are also often one of the most costly injuries. Your burn injuries may have required extensive medical treatment including wound care, surgery, skin grafts, and more. The costs associated with these treatments may be considerable. Through your injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses caused by your burns. You may also be entitled to compensation for your lost wages caused by missed work and any impairment to your earning capacity. Recoverable non-economic damages may include physical pain, mental suffering, reduced enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and more.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_comparative-fault-balance-negligence.jpgImagine this scenario: You are cruising down the highway at about 10 miles over the speed limit when you are hit by a drunk driver. You suffer significant injuries to your back and neck that leave you unable to work and drowning in medical bills. The drunk driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement which does not even come close to compensating you for your damages. Is there a way that you can sue to recover compensation? The answer in Illinois is “yes.”

Illinois’ comparative fault law allows those injured by another’s negligence to sue even if they were partially responsible for the injury or accident. In this example, the original driver may have contributed to the accident by speeding, but if the other driver was more to blame, a personal injury suit is still possible.

Defining Negligence Under Illinois Law

The word “negligence” is used to describe a situation when a person or entity owes a duty of care, or responsibility, to another person and fails to uphold that duty. For example, doctors have a duty to their patients to maintain the prevailing standard of care within their area of practice. A doctor who significantly deviates from this standard of care and causes injury to his or her patient may be considered negligent. Similarly, drivers using public roadways have a duty to the other motorists on the road to drive with care and attention. Driving drunk is certainly not upholding this duty. Therefore, many drunk drivers are held liable when an accident they cause results in injuries.

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