Illinois is no stranger to negligence cases and liability because it is home to Chicago, the city that Frank Sinatra memorialized in song. A place so popular means a ton of visitors, though, and a ton of visitors means a lot of car accidents. Perhaps it was a friend or family member who was hurt, or maybe it was you. Whatever the case, if you need guidance for your personal injury suit, Enjuris has the answers.
Illinois Personal Injury Cases & Accident Info
Illinois statutes online
This is where you’ll find Illinois' laws. The website has details about how long you have to bring a case, damage caps on personal injury cases, and other important information that you will need.
In Illinois, you have two years to bring a personal injury claim and five years to bring a property damage claim. That doesn't mean the whole lawsuit has to be completed in that time period; it just needs to be filed with the court before that time is up.
Your first meeting with a personal injury attorney should be free of charge. (Note that other legal specialties, such as intellectual property law or tax law, are different.) After that, lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that they will receive a third of the eventual settlement or reward, plus office expenses.
If your case ends up going to trial, the percentage could rise to 40% of the eventual reward or judgment. These numbers aren't set by law, so don't be surprised if your lawyer suggests something else.
These are some cases of legal significance that came out of Illinois:
Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1872): Myra Bradwell applied to the bar so that she could practice law in the state of Illinois. She argued that under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment, she had the right to do so, even though she was a woman; under a separate state law, as long as she had a good and moral character, she fulfilled the necessary requirements. "Not so!" said the Supreme Court, 8-1 (the lone dissenter was out for health reasons). They denied her, saying that was a very narrow interpretation and that the Privileges and Immunities Clause did not include the right to practice a profession. This ruling remained for almost 100 years.
Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113 (1876): Here, the Supreme Court upheld the power of the government to regulate private industries. In 1871, the Illinois Legislature responded to increasing rumblings from the National Grange, a farmers' association, by setting maximum rates for what they could charge for products. A Chicago company, Munn and Scott, was found guilty of violating this law, but appealed their conviction because they said it was the deprivation of property without due process. The Supreme Court said the state power extends to regulating private industry, and even though Congress alone has power over interstate commerce, states can regulate these industries without infringing upon that power.
Pope v. Illinois, 481 U.S. 497 (1987): An adult bookstore employee sold some magazines to an undercover cop. He was charged under an Illinois obscenity law. The proper test for determining obscenity can be found in Miller v. California, which asks, 1) Would the average person think that the work, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest? 2) Does the work describe, in a patently offensive way, overt sexual conduct in a way defined by state law? 3) Does the work, taken as a whole, lack serious artistic, political, scientific or literary value? This case was significant because it established the Miller test on an objective, nationwide level.
There are lots of issues you can solve without the help of an attorney. If you don't know where to start, a law librarian can help you. They are usually legally trained, and they can help you both with texts or online research engines like Westlaw or LexisNexis.