What Kind of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?


    When you hear the term "personal injury lawyer," you might think of auto accidents or slip-and-fall incidents. However, personal injury law covers a vast range of cases, all of which involve an entity's negligence or intentional act causing harm to another person. As personal injury lawyers in Illinois, we specialize in representing clients who have suffered physical, emotional, or psychological harm due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party. This article delves into the variety of cases personal injury lawyers handle, highlighting the breadth and complexity of this legal field.

    What types of cases do personal injury lawyers handle?

    Auto Accidents

    One of the most common types of personal injury cases involves motor vehicle accidents. Personal injury lawyers represent victims of car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents, as well as other collisions involving various types of vehicles. These cases typically focus on establishing that another driver behaved negligently—whether through actions like driving under the influence, speeding, or disregarding traffic laws—resulting in the accident and subsequent injuries to the client.

    Medical Malpractice

    Medical malpractice claims occur when medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers, do not meet the required standard of care, leading to severe injuries or harm to the patient. Examples of such negligence include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, prescribing incorrect medications, and failures to diagnose serious conditions like cancer, which can result in disabilities or traumatic brain injuries. Additionally, these cases can encompass nursing home abuse and wrongful death cases, particularly when mishandled medical treatment leads to spinal cord injuries or other critical outcomes. These complex cases necessitate a lawyer skilled in navigating both the legal and medical landscapes to effectively advocate for the injured party.

    Workplace Accidents

    Personal injury lawyers also handle cases involving injuries that occur in the workplace. This can include accidents in factories, construction sites, or offices, leading to workplace injuries. The legal work involves navigating workers’ compensation claims and determining if there is a potential for additional lawsuits against third parties, such as equipment manufacturers or other negligent parties.

    Product Liability

    When defective or unsafe products cause injury, product liability suits can be filed. These cases may involve anything from small household appliances to large vehicles, or medical devices (although that can also fall under medical malpractice in some cases) and they can address issues like design flaws, manufacturing defects, and failures to provide adequate warnings or instructions. Personal injury lawyers working on product liability cases need to thoroughly understand aspects of consumer safety laws and regulations.

    Premises Liability

    Premises liability involves injuries that occur on someone else's property, typically due to the property owner’s negligence in maintaining a safe environment. Common incidents leading to these cases include slip and fall accidents (or other pedestrian accidents), dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and injuries from unsafe building conditions like broken staircases or poor lighting. Personal injury lawyers help prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to correct it.

    Wrongful Death

    In cases where negligence or an intentional act results in death, the victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. These deeply sensitive cases can stem from any of the types of incidents mentioned above, among others, such as fatal workplace accidents or violent actions. Wrongful death claims aim to secure compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and more.

    Assault, Battery, and Other Intentional Torts

    Unlike most personal injury claims which are based on negligence, intentional torts arise from actions taken with the intent to harm. Personal injury lawyers represent victims of assault, battery, and other intentional harms, seeking civil remedies to compensate the victim for their injuries and suffering.

    Defamation: Libel and Slander

    Personal injury law also covers cases of defamation, where false statements made by one party cause damage to another party’s reputation. Whether spoken (slander) or written (libel), these cases require proving that the untrue statements were made publicly, were false, and caused harm to the subject’s reputation.

    Privacy Invasion

    The invasion of privacy is an emerging area in personal injury law, encompassing issues such as the unauthorized release of personal information, intrusion into one's private life, or misrepresentation. Personal injury lawyers handle these cases by proving that there was an invasion of the legal right to privacy and that it resulted in harm.

    Emotional Distress

    Personal injury cases also include claims for emotional distress, where the plaintiff may not have suffered a physical injury but has endured significant psychological impact due to another’s negligence or intentional act. These cases can be challenging to prove and typically require detailed evidence of the psychological harm and its consequences.

    Personal injury lawyers play a crucial role in helping victims receive compensation and justice for injuries caused by others' negligence or intentional actions. The scope of personal injury law is broad, encompassing a wide range of case types that reflect the myriad ways in which individuals can be harmed by the actions or negligence of others. Whether dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident, a defective product, a breach of privacy, or a wrongful death, personal injury lawyers are dedicated to advocating for the rights of the injured and ensuring that they are compensated for their losses. If you find yourself injured and believe another party is at fault, consulting with a skilled personal injury lawyer is a critical step in protecting your rights and securing your recovery.

    Finding an Excellent Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer and Navigating Your Case

    Securing a competent and dedicated personal injury lawyer in Illinois is crucial to navigating the legal process effectively and maximizing your potential compensation. Below, I detail the process of finding a top-notch attorney, as well as the steps involved in handling a personal injury case from initiation to resolution in Illinois.

    Finding the Right Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

    1. Research and Referrals: Start by asking for referrals from friends, family, or colleagues who have had personal injury claims. Personal experiences can provide valuable insights into an attorney’s approach and effectiveness. Additionally, conducting online research can help identify well-regarded lawyers in your area. Websites, client reviews, and lawyer rating systems can offer further information about a lawyer’s reputation and specialties.
    2. Check Qualifications and Experience: Ensure the lawyer you consider has a strong track record with personal injury cases similar to yours and is licensed to practice in Illinois. Look for someone who has experience with the specific type of injury or accident involved in your case, as this can be critical to understanding the nuances that may affect the outcome.
    3. Schedule Consultations: Most personal injury lawyers offer a free case evaluation. Use this opportunity to discuss your case and get a feel for the lawyer’s personality and approach. Ask about their experience, their typical client, their case success rates, and how they communicate with clients.
    4. Evaluate Communication and Comfort: Choose a lawyer who communicates clearly and makes you feel comfortable. The ability to ask questions and receive understandable answers is crucial. Your attorney should be someone who shows genuine concern for your well-being and advocates passionately on your behalf.

    Handling Your Personal Injury Case: Step-by-Step

    1. Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation: During your first meeting, the lawyer will evaluate the details of your case, including the circumstances of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the impact on your life. This step determines the feasibility of your claims and the potential legal strategies.
    2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Your lawyer will collect all relevant evidence, including medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any available physical or digital evidence from the accident scene.
    3. Filing the Lawsuit: If your case proceeds to litigation, your lawyer will file a complaint in the appropriate Illinois court. This document outlines your legal claims, the facts of your case, and the damages you are seeking.
    4. Discovery Process: Both parties exchange information through the discovery process. This may involve written questions (interrogatories), document requests, and depositions (witness testimonies given under oath).
    5. Negotiation and Settlement: Many personal injury cases settle before going to trial. Your lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s attorney or insurance company to reach a settlement that adequately compensates for your losses. If a settlement is offered, your lawyer will help you decide whether to accept it based on its fairness and adequacy.
    6. Trial: If a settlement is not reached, your case will go to trial. At trial, both sides present their evidence and arguments, and a judge or jury makes a decision on liability and damages.
    7. Resolution and Recovery: If you win the case, the court will award damages for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer will assist in collecting the judgment and dealing with any necessary appeals or post-trial motions.

    Illinois-Specific Legal Considerations

    Statute of Limitations: In Illinois, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This deadline makes it imperative to seek legal counsel promptly after an injury.

    Comparative Negligence: Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence rule. If you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you cannot recover damages. If you are 50% or less at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

    Damage Caps: Illinois law does not currently impose caps on damages in most personal injury cases, which means there are no upper limits on the amount of compensation you can receive for damages like pain and suffering.

    Choosing the right personal injury lawyer and understanding the legal process are essential steps toward securing justice and compensation in Illinois. By selecting a lawyer who is experienced, communicative, and empathetic, and by understanding the journey your case will take from start to finish, you can navigate the complexities of personal injury law more effectively and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

    Real Life Examples of Personal Injury Cases Handled by Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys

    To illustrate the range of cases personal injury lawyers handle and the impact of their work, here are several examples from actual Illinois cases. These examples not only highlight the diversity of personal injury law but also the significant outcomes that can be achieved with skilled legal representation.

    Example 1: Chicago Car Accident Case

    In a notable Chicago case, a personal injury attorney represented a client who was severely injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver. The client suffered multiple fractures and required extensive medical treatment. The attorney was able to prove that the other driver was texting while driving, which significantly strengthened the case. The settlement negotiated was substantial, covering all medical expenses, lost wages, and compensating for pain and suffering. The case also contributed to heightened awareness and stricter enforcement of distracted driving laws in the area.

    Example 2: Medical Malpractice in Springfield

    An Illinois personal injury lawyer handled a complex medical malpractice case where a patient in Springfield was misdiagnosed with a benign condition while actually suffering from a malignant tumor. The delay in the correct diagnosis led to the cancer spreading, significantly affecting the patient’s survival chances. The attorney collaborated with medical experts to demonstrate the negligence of the healthcare provider. The lawsuit resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement that included compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of income, as well as punitive damages aimed at deterring similar negligence.

    Example 3: Workplace Accident in Peoria

    In Peoria, a factory worker lost a limb due to inadequately safeguarded machinery at his place of employment. A personal injury attorney specialized in workplace accidents took on the case, arguing that the employer had failed to follow the required safety protocols. The case was settled out of court, with the worker receiving compensation for his medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. This case also prompted changes in the company’s safety measures, potentially saving other employees from similar accidents.

    Example 4: Slip and Fall at a Retail Store in Naperville

    A personal injury attorney represented an elderly woman who slipped and fell in a Naperville retail store due to a wet floor that was not properly marked. The fall resulted in a hip fracture and significant medical expenses. Through negotiations, the attorney secured a settlement that covered all medical bills, provided compensation for pain and suffering, and included punitive damages due to the store’s negligence in failing to maintain safe premises.

    Example 5: Wrongful Death from a Construction Accident in Aurora

    In a tragic case in Aurora, a construction worker died after falling from scaffolding that was found to be improperly installed. The deceased’s family hired a personal injury lawyer who filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction company and the subcontractor responsible for the scaffolding. The lawyer proved negligence in the installation and maintenance of the construction equipment. The family received a significant settlement, including compensation for loss of financial support, emotional distress, and funeral expenses.

    These real-life examples demonstrate how personal injury lawyers in Illinois successfully advocate for their clients across a variety of cases. Each case not only brought significant compensation and justice to the affected individuals and their families but also led to safety improvements and increased awareness of personal injury risks. These outcomes underscore the essential role that personal injury attorneys play in upholding safety standards and protecting individual rights within the community.

    The Critical Role of Personal Injury Lawyers in Illinois

    The diverse array of personal injury cases illustrated above underscores the pivotal role that personal injury lawyers play in protecting the rights of individuals in Illinois. From car accidents in Chicago to medical malpractice in Springfield, workplace accidents in Peoria, slip and falls in Naperville, to tragic wrongful deaths in Aurora, these attorneys champion the cause of justice, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve.

    Advocacy and Compensation: Personal injury lawyers are more than just legal representatives; they are staunch advocates who navigate the complexities of the legal system to secure substantial settlements and verdicts for their clients. These outcomes not only provide financial relief to victims but also facilitate their physical and emotional recovery.

    Promoting Safety and Preventive Measures: Beyond individual cases, the work of personal injury lawyers often leads to safer environments for everyone. By holding negligent parties accountable, they drive changes in policies and practices that enhance safety standards across industries, medical institutions, public spaces, and private properties.

    Legal Expertise and Community Impact: The expertise of personal injury lawyers in handling the nuances of various types of injury claims is invaluable. They bring a deep understanding of Illinois laws, a strategic approach to litigation, and a compassionate understanding of the challenges faced by those who have been injured. Their efforts extend beyond the courtroom; they also educate the community and policymakers, leading to broader social impacts and legislative advancements that protect public health and safety.

    Empowerment Through Legal Support: For individuals facing the aftermath of an injury, partnering with an experienced personal injury lawyer is not just a legal step but a crucial aspect of their healing process. These legal experts empower their clients, giving them the voice and the means to confront those responsible for their injuries and to advocate for their rights.

    If you or someone you know has been injured due to someone else's negligence or wrongful actions, reaching out to a skilled personal injury lawyer in Illinois is essential. Not only can they offer you the best chance for a favorable legal outcome, but they also provide the support and guidance needed to navigate the challenging path from injury to recovery. Through their diligent work, personal injury lawyers ensure that justice is served, contributing to a safer, more just society.

    Working With Palermo Law Group

    Palermo Law Group stands as a seasoned personal injury law firm with a broad spectrum of experience in handling diverse cases for injury victims. Whether you or a loved one have been affected, our law office is ready to provide expert legal advice and support. We understand the complexities involved in personal injury cases and are committed to securing the justice and compensation you deserve. To start your journey towards recovery with a team that cares, contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help guide you through every step of the legal process.

    For a free consultation contact our law firm by calling (630) 684-2332 or visit our website at



    Mario Palermo is the Founder and Lead Attorney at Palermo Law Group in Oak Brook, Illinois. For the past 26 years, he has worked tirelessly to help injury victims and their families in their times of need. He is a seasoned authority on civil litigation, and also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious group of trial lawyers who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Mr. Palermo has been named a “Leading Lawyer” by his peers in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

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