Personal injuries involve varying degrees of harm, from minor bumps and scratches to catastrophic injuries to the spinal cord, brain, or skull. The more severe injuries may require a lifetime of care and could leave the victim dealing with permanent disabilities, disfigurement, and other difficulties.
A Bloomington catastrophic injury lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve if you have suffered traumatic harm caused by another’s negligence. A skilled personal injury attorney with the experience and resources to pursue significant injury claims could fight zealously to help you hold the responsible party accountable.
Frequent Causes and Types of Catastrophic Injuries
Common types of catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Dismemberment or amputations
- Bone fractures
- Severe burn injuries
- Serious head trauma
- Spinal cord damage
Possible Damages for a Traumatic Injury
Money damages are intended to remedy the psychological, physical, and financial losses suffered by a plaintiff as a result of their injury. Generally, there are two types of damages a Bloomington lawyer may help a catastrophic injury victim recover — economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to compensation for specific monetary expenses, such as lost work and wages, medical bills, and future medical care. Non-economic damages compensate for emotional and physical losses, such as pain and suffering.
In some cases punitive damages can also be recovered, but punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted intentionally. These damages are levied against the at-fault party as punishment with an aim of discouraging others from similar acts of negligence.
Bloomington Negligence and Contributory Fault Rule
To prove a defendant’s negligence in a Bloomington catastrophic injury case, a lawyer representing the plaintiff must establish the following four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff to not cause undue harm
- The defendant breached that duty through a negligent act
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages
A court would compare a party’s actions in an accident to those of a responsible, law-abiding person in a similar situation. If a person failed to adhere to the duty of care a reasonable person would have followed in like circumstances, they could be liable for any harm caused by their negligence.
Bloomington courts also determine how much in damages a catastrophic injury victim may recover based on the doctrine of contributory fault. Under 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/2-1116, any damages awarded would be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. However, if a court finds a plaintiff to be more than 50 percent at fault, they may be barred from compensation.
Deadline to File an Injury Lawsuit in Bloomington
Illinois law establishes a strict deadline of two years to file a catastrophic injury lawsuit with the state’s civil courts. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, the deadline begins from the day the harm was done or noticed.
For injury claims against a county or city, the law provides one year to file a lawsuit. There is a two-year time limit to sue the state, but a formal claim must be filed within one year to commence a lawsuit. A Bloomington attorney would explain the applicable deadlines for a catastrophic injury suit and ensure all filing deadlines are met.
Call Now to Consult with a Bloomington Catastrophic Injury Attorney
Due to the potentially life-changing impact of a catastrophic injury, victims should not delay in pursuing legal recourse to help recover compensation for an injury. Call now to schedule a case consultation with a Bloomington catastrophic injury lawyer.