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From helping you after a dog attack or truck accident in Wisconsin to defending your rights as a rider, the personal injury trial attorneys at Hupy & Abraham will be fierce advocates in your time of need.
With offices across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, and representing clients hurt by slip and fall incidents, car accidents, wrongful deaths, drug and medical device injuries, dog bites, nursing home abuse and motorcycle crashes, we are available where you need us and when you need us.
Contact our professional team of Midwest injury attorneys by calling 800-800-5678 today for your free consultation.
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Is it possible to settle a truck accident case?
Yes, it is possible to reach a fair settlement in a truck crash case. However, coming to such a settlement requires skilled negotiations and requires the injured party to understand the consequences of a settlement before agreeing to anything.
What You Should Know Before Settling Your Case
Before you begin settlement negotiations, it is important to understand what happens at the end of settlement negotiations. Once a settlement is reached, the amount of money that you will receive is your final recovery for your truck accident injuries. The terms of the settlement will not allow you to pursue a further recovery even if your future damages are more than you expected. Thus, it is important that your settlement fully compensate you for your past, current and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain, suffering, and other damages.
While your goal is to make a full recovery through a settlement, the insurance company with which you are negotiating has another goal. It is the insurance company’s goal to get you to accept the lowest possible settlement. In this way, the insurance company works toward its ultimate goal of maximizing its profits.
Don’t Negotiate Your Own Settlement
The insurance company has professional and skilled negotiators working to get you to accept a smaller recovery than you may truly deserve. You deserve the same advantage. You can work with an experienced truck accident lawyer who is a skilled negotiator and who will work hard on your behalf.
In many cases, your attorney will take control of settlement negotiations by sending a demand letter to the insurance company explaining the value of your damages and what the insurance company needs to pay to settle your claim. The insurance company will then answer the demand letter with a counter-offer, and negotiations will proceed. If a fair offer is made, then your attorney will explain to you the benefits and potential costs of accepting it. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, then your attorney will advise you of the benefits and potential costs of resolving your case in court.
To learn more about your own potential truck accident settlement you need to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer before you talk to an insurance adjuster. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678. We would be pleased to provide you with a free consultation, to describe how a truck accident case works, and to help you get the settlement that you deserve.
Are punitive damages possible in an Iowa personal injury case?
Chapter 668A of the Iowa Code allows punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages) to be awarded in some personal injury cases. Punitive damages are awarded far less frequently than compensatory damages, and they serve a different purpose.
Punitive Damages Are Meant to Punish the Defendant
While compensatory damages are meant to compensate the person who was hurt for things such as medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other losses, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. The law only allows this type of punishment in certain situations.
The law requires that special questions be answered by a jury (or by the court, if there is no jury) in order for punitive damages to be awarded. Specifically, the jury or judge must determine:
- Whether the defendant’s conduct that caused the injury was done with “willful and wanton disregard for the rights or safety of another.” This must be proven “by a preponderance of clear, convincing, and satisfactory evidence”—a standard that is much higher than is required to prove compensatory damages in an Iowa personal injury case. Punitive damages may only be awarded if this standard is met.
- Whether the defendant’s conduct was directed at the person who was hurt. If the defendant’s conduct was directed at the person who was hurt, then the full amount of punitive damages may be awarded. If, however, the defendant’s conduct was not directed at the person who was hurt, but an injury happened anyway, then the plaintiff may recover up to 25% of the punitive damages awarded, with the rest going into a state trust fund.
Punitive damages can serve two important public policies. First, they can punish the defendant for extreme wrongdoing. Second, they can deter others from acting in a similar way and from hurting other people in the future.
For these reasons, it is important to speak with an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer as soon as possible about protecting your rights and getting all of the damages you deserve after an Iowa accident. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free, confidential consultation today.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Iowa?
According to Iowa Code §614.1(2), you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in an Iowa court. While the Iowa statutes are clear on this timeframe, there are some factors that could make lengthen or shorten the statute of limitations for you.
Regardless of when your personal statute of limitations will end, it is important to take action quickly. There is no need to wait until the statute of limitations is about to expire to contact a personal injury lawyer. Instead, you can begin preserving evidence and getting the recovery that you deserve as soon as you know that you are hurt by contacting us today for a free consultation.
Exceptions to the Iowa Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
The two-year statute of limitations may be extended if the person who is hurt:
- Has a mental illness at the time of the injury.
- Is a minor at the time of the injury.
In these circumstances, Iowa Code §614.1(8) provides that a lawsuit may be filed by the person who was hurt within one year from the time the mental illness ends or the time the minor becomes an adult. Of course, this assumes that a parent or legal guardian did not file a case on the injured person’s behalf earlier.
Similarly, the time for filing a personal injury case against a government entity may be shorter than two years because of special rules about suing government employees and agencies.
Don’t Miss the Deadline
You need to know when your personal injury statute of limitations will expire so that you don’t miss it. If you do not file your case before the statute of limitations expires and you file it after the legal deadline then you should expect that the defendant will file a motion to dismiss your case which will be quickly granted by the court. You won’t be able to recover any damages.
How do I file a personal injury lawsuit in Iowa?
You’ve done your research. You understand how a personal injury case works in Iowa, you believe that you have a case, and you expect that the court will award you damages for your injuries. Now, however, you have to take action and file your case correctly so that you can begin the process of getting the compensation that you deserve.
Take the Right Steps to Protect Your Rights
Your case officially begins when you file a petition in an Iowa district court. Your petition must include:
- The names of all parties involved. This includes you and anyone that you are naming as a defendant in your lawsuit.
- Your theory of recovery. You must provide your legal grounds for filing a lawsuit. Many personal injury plaintiffs allege that the defendant was negligent, for example.
- The relief that you are seeking. This is where you tell the court about the injury and damages that you suffered because of the defendant and about the specific compensation that you are seeking.
In addition to filing this petition (also known as a complaint) in an Iowa district court, you will need to make sure that the petition is served (or properly delivered) to each defendant in the case.
You Don’t Have to File Your Case Alone
The rules explained above may seem easy to follow, but they can be complicated. The information that you provide in your petition is going to set the stage for your lawsuit and eventual recovery.
You need to get it right and we can help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will make sure that your rights to all potential compensation will be protected. For more information about filing a personal injury case in Iowa or about your possible recovery, we encourage you to contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678. We would be happy to set up a free consultation and to help you take the legal steps that you need to take before the statute of limitations expires and you no longer have time to file your claim.
Do I have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Iowa?
You have the legal right—or standing—to sue after an Iowa personal injury accident if you were the one who suffered an actual injury or if you have a certain legal relationship to someone who suffered an actual injury. The threat of an injury or being scared that an injury will occur because of someone else’s wrongdoing will not allow you to recover damages in court.
But an Injury Will Give You Standing to File a Case
Iowa law will allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit if:
- You were the one who was hurt. If you suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, you are 18 or older, and you are of sound mind, then you have standing to file a lawsuit.
- You are the parent of a minor child who was hurt. A minor child cannot file a lawsuit independently. However, as the child’s parent you have the right to file a personal injury case on behalf of your child. The recovery would be for the benefit of your child.
- You are the legal guardian of someone who was hurt. The rules here are similar to those of a parent and child. If you have been named by the court as the legal guardian of someone else and that person is injured, then you may have the right to file a case for the benefit of the person who was hurt.
- You are the personal representative of the estate of someone who died. If you are the personal representative of someone’s estate and that person died in a personal injury accident then you have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate. Any recovery that is made will belong to the estate.
It is important to determine whether or not you have standing before you file a lawsuit. If you do not have standing to sue, then the defendant will raise that issue quickly and your case will be dismissed without your recovering any damages. That is not worth your time and effort.
Instead, you want to be sure that you have the standing that you need and that you know how a personal injury case works in Iowa so you can minimize any surprises and protect your fair and just recovery. Please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678.
Can I still recover damages if I was partly at fault for my personal injury accident?
The answer to your question depends on two things. First, you must have suffered an injury in a personal injury incident. Second, you must not have been the one who was primarily responsible for the incident that resulted in your injuries. In other words, someone else (or a group of people) must bear the primary responsibility for the accident and your resulting injuries.
Iowa Law Is Clear
Iowa Code 668.3 explains when you may recover damages even if you bear some of the legal responsibility for your injury. According to the statute:
- Your personal injury case may proceed—and you may recover damages—unless you bear a greater percentage of fault then the defendant(s).
- Any damages that you recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to you. This percentage may be decided during settlement negotiations with the insurance company or it may be decided by the court. For example, if you are found to be 15% at fault for the incident that led to your injury, then your recovery will be reduced by 15%.
The law seeks to make your recovery fair for you and for the defendant who should not have to pay for your own negligence.
Evidence and Advocacy Are the Keys to Your Fair Recovery
You can expect that the percentage of fault will be hotly contested during settlement negotiations or in court. The defendants will want to maximize the percentage of fault attributable to you so that their own liability is minimized and so that they have to pay you less in a settlement or court verdict.
A thorough investigation, reliable evidence, and strong advocacy skills can result in a fairly negotiated settlement or an accurate court verdict. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you with all of these things. To learn more about how a personal injury case works in Iowa, please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your own free, no-obligation consultation with us.
Can I recover punitive damages if I’ve been hurt in an Illinois personal injury accident?
Whether you’ve been injured in a car crash, motorcycle wreck, by a dog bite, by a prescription medication, or in another type of accident you may be angry. You may want the person or company that hurt you to be punished.
In some cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages—or damages that are designed to punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to the compensatory damages that you recover for the harm that you have suffered. However, punitive damages are not available in all cases and they can be difficult to get. An experienced personal injury lawyer can put forth the necessary evidence and advocate for your recovery of punitive damages, when appropriate.
When Punitive Damages Are Awarded in Illinois Personal Injury Cases
One of the Illinois state statutes, 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.05, explains when punitive damages may be awarded, what a plaintiff needs to prove to get punitive damages, and what those damages may include.
A judge or jury may award punitive damages in an Illinois personal injury case if the plaintiff can show by clear and convincing evidence that the “defendant's conduct was with evil motive or with a reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and with a conscious indifference to the rights and safety of others.”
Clear and convincing evidence is a higher standard than the preponderance of the evidence standard that you use to prove other types of personal injury damages. The clear and convincing evidence standard means that you must prove with a high degree of certainty that you are legally entitled to personal injury damages.
How Much Can You Recover in Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are only allowed if you were hurt and you can recover personal injury damages for things such as medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, pain and suffering. The amount of punitive damages that can be recovered is limited by Illinois law to three times your economic damages.
Punitive damages can be hard to prove and difficult to recover, but they may be important to you personally and for public policy reasons. Accordingly, if you believe that you have a case that could include punitive damages then we encourage you to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule a free consultation about your rights and for more information about protecting your full and fair recovery.
How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois?
Every state, including Illinois, limits the amount of time that you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. These laws, known as the statute of limitations, benefit both the person who was hurt and the person who is being sued. The person who was hurt (the plaintiff) benefits from the statute of limitations by having to take action when evidence is still attainable and by getting a fair recovery sooner. The person who is being sued (the defendant) benefits from having a time certain by which the plaintiff must take action so that the threat of litigation is not present indefinitely.
In Illinois You Usually Have Two Years to File a Personal Injury Case
In most cases, the Illinois statute of limitations provides you with two years to file your lawsuit in court. The two-year clock begins running on the date that you were injured or the date that you should have known that you were injured.
There are some exceptions to this general rule. The statute of limitations may be extended, for example, if the person who was injured was a minor or was mentally incompetent at the time of the injury.
Don’t Miss the Deadline
If you miss the statute of limitations deadline then you will likely lose your right to make a recovery. The defendant will bring a motion to dismiss any lawsuit that you file in court after the statute of limitations has expired, and you should expect the court to grant that motion to dismiss. This will leave you without a recovery.
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to make sure that you don’t miss the statute of limitations, to make sure that all of your rights are protected and to learn more about how an Illinois personal injury case works. Contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678.
I was hurt by someone else’s negligence. How do I file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois?
Your lawsuit will begin when you file the necessary paperwork with the court. This must be done before the statute of limitations expires. Any negotiations that you have with a potential defendant, a defendant’s attorney, or an insurance company prior to filing the correct paperwork with the court will not begin your claim.
Accordingly, it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible who can make sure that your case is filed correctly and on time so that you can protect your recovery.
How to Start Your Case
If you are seeking $10,000 or more in damages then your case should be filed with one of the 24 circuit courts in the state of Illinois. You will need to file the following forms and pleadings:
- A complaint. The complaint should explain why you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, what happened that caused your injury, the injury that you suffered, and the remedy that you seek from the court. You will need to file at least two copies of your complaint with the court. One copy will be kept by the court and one copy will be served on the defendant.
- A civil lawsuit cover sheet. This sheet provides basic information that helps the court staff. Names, addresses, and contact information, for example, should be included on this sheet.
- An appearance form. Your appearance form should name your personal injury attorney.
- A summons. The summons informs the defendant of the lawsuit.
These forms are available from the court. In order to be accepted for filing by the court, they must meet the specific requirements set forth by the court and be accompanied by the required filing fee.
Get Help Before You File a Case
The complaint that you file with the court is important. It is the basis of your personal injury lawsuit. You can protect your rights and learn more about how a personal injury lawsuit works in Illinois before you file anything with the court that could impact your recovery. Simply contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Do I have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois?
You do not have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois every time you get hurt. Instead, you must have legal standing to file a case. An experienced lawyer will talk to you about your claim and make sure that you have standing before you begin pursuing a personal injury claim.
Four Ways You May Have Standing
You could have the legal right to bring a lawsuit in Illinois if:
- You are an adult who was hurt by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. If you were suffered a direct and actual injury, then you may have standing to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
- You are the parent of a child under the age of 18 who was hurt by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. If your minor child suffered a direct and actual injury, then you may have the right to file a lawsuit on your child’s behalf. Any recovery would be for your child’s benefit.
- You are the legal guardian of someone who was hurt by someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. As with a minor child, if you are the guardian for a child or an adult who was suffered an actual and direct injury, then you have the right to file a lawsuit for the benefit of that person.
- You are the administrator of an estate of someone who died because of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. You may have the right to file a wrongful death case on behalf of the estate. Any damages that are recovered would go to the estate and its beneficiaries.
According to these requirements, you must have been the one who was directly hurt or you must have the legal authority to act on behalf of someone who was directly hurt. This prevents witnesses from accidents, people who are worried about a potential injury, and others from filing unnecessary litigation and it protects the rights of those who have been truly injured by someone else’s actions.
Knowing whether you have standing is an important first step in pursuing an Illinois personal injury recovery, but it is only one piece of how a personal injury case works. For more information about protecting your rights, please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free consultation.