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personal injury compensation, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneyCar accidents and other incidents leading to injuries are not always a clear cut case of one person's fault. Sometimes the injured person may have taken some action, no matter how slight, that might have contributed to the incident. Regardless of this, an injured person may still seek compensation for injuries sustained. Whether the injured party can recover for those injuries ultimately depends, in part, on to what degree his or her actions can be said to have contributed to the accident.

Illinois is a “fault state” that follows what is called modified comparative negligence when it comes to recovery in personal injury lawsuits. Following modified comparative negligence, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit cannot recover damages if he or she is found to be 51 percent at fault in the incident that resulted in his or her injuries or property damage. Therefore, if a plaintiff is found to be more than 51 percent at fault, he or she is likely to be responsible for all medical bills and other related costs.

If the plaintiff is found to be below 51 percent at fault, he or she can recover damages, although these are likely to be paid in accordance with the defendant's determined percentage of fault. Therefore, if the defendant is found to have been 90 percent at fault, the plaintiff can recover 90 percent of his or her costs.

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compensation for personal injuries, Illinois Personal Injury LawyerMost people's lives can get turned upside down by an injury that results from the negligent or intentional actions of another. When this happens, people may struggle to come to terms with their new lives, and even though they need help with the bills that may come with the injuries, they may feel like there is no time to pursue a civil suit for compensation. Unfortunately, leaving the decision to pursue compensation for a future date can lead to losing the right to sue.

A person may lose his or her right to sue another person or entity if the statute of limitation on their injury passes. The statute of limitations is a legal time limit beyond which a person cannot seek compensation for injuries caused. For example, in cases involving local public entities or their employees, a person cannot bring a lawsuit alleging injuries more than one year after the injuries are sustained.

For most negligence claims in Illinois, the injured party has two years in which to bring a lawsuit seeking to recover damages. The two years is generally calculated from the time of the injury, although in some situations, the time can be calculated from the time of a person's discovery of the injury. This is especially true in cases involving medical injuries that may not be discovered for some time. For example, if a doctor leaves a surgical tool inside a patient's body cavity during surgery, the patient may not discover his or her injury for a while. Therefore, the statute of limitations in a case such as this would accrue from the moment the patient finds out or should reasonably have found out about the tool.

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truck drivers' fatigue, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerA driver staying up for long periods of time while driving, or otherwise being distracted when driving, is a recipe for disaster in a small passenger vehicle. This can be compounded if the distracted or fatigued driver is in a semi-truck.

Due to the size of semi-trucks and other commercial trucks, an accident involving one or more such truck can have devastating results.

Under federal rules, truck drivers are not supposed to work more than 70 hours a week to ensure that they do not drive when fatigued. There are also limitations on the number of hours drivers of commercial vehicles transporting passengers can drive. Illinois has adopted these federal regulations. Unfortunately, these rules are not always followed and with more demands to meet consumer needs faster, a trucking company may expect their drivers to drive more hours than is safe. When these drivers have been on the road longer than they can physically handle, accidents happen and other people can get injured or killed.

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personal injury judgment, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerWith the New Year, most people are concerned about filing their taxes. However, for an individual who has suffered an injury and received a settlement, there may be a concern about paying a large amount in taxes based on the settlement.

Generally speaking in Illinois, money received as a result of a judgment or settlement in Illinois is not taxable as gross income. This is because these funds are considered to be received by the injured person as compensation. Therefore, sums received to pay for medical care and other associated costs which directly address the underlying loss are not taxed. However, funds awarded as a punishment to the defendant, that is, punitive damages, are taxable because they do not directly affect the injured party's loss. Another notable exception is for funds received for lost income or wages because the injured party's regular income or wages would have been taxed.

Under federal law, whether or not you pay taxes on compensation received depends on the kind of injury sustained and on what the compensation is based. Compensation that stems from physical injuries or sickness is generally not taxable depending on whether or not the taxpayer previously deducted his or her medical expenses. If a person receives compensation for emotional distress as a result of a physical injury or sickness, the funds are not considered taxable income either.

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reversing jury verdicts, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysThe feeling of relief, jubilation, or shock that a plaintiff in a personal injury case may experience upon being awarded a large verdict by a jury can quickly diminish if the verdict is reduced by a judge shortly after. The plaintiff may be surprised to learn that this is within the court's power, especially when he or she was relying on the jury to make the right decision.

In some cases, the reduction of an awarded jury verdict may be because there is a finding that the plaintiff was at fault in the incident that led to an injury. This is because Illinois is a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction. In Illinois, if a jury finds a plaintiff partially at fault, then it can reduce a verdict by the percentage of the fault attributable to the plaintiff. A plaintiff who is more than 50 percent at fault cannot recover damages at all.

In other cases, a plaintiff's jury award may be reduced where an appeals court determines that an award is excessive for one reason or another, including an improper award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded by a judge or jury to essentially send a message to the defendant and the public at large that the defendant's behavior was unacceptable. There are some cases in which punitive damages cannot be awarded. For example, punitive damages cannot be awarded in cases against a governmental entity. Awards of punitive damages in cases where a court finds that as a matter of law or policy they should not be awarded, it is likely that the award will be reversed.

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