Chicago Injury Resource: Navigating Claims in the Windy City | Staver

Chicago has many wonders for visitors. Whether you’re coming to try our famous pizza or checking out historical architecture at the Chicago Architecture Center, the sights in the Second City can be wondrous.

Although it shouldn’t put a damper on your trip, you should know that injury-causing accidents are not uncommon for Chicago visitors. Recognizing potential hazards around popular destinations can help you protect yourself and keep your visit from traumatic memories.

Knowing is half the battle. This guide is designed to help visitors understand their available options and recourses after a personal injury accident in Chicago, especially if you’re from out of state.

Download the full Tourist Guide Here

Illinois Personal Injury Laws

Illinois has several personal liability laws. This brief overview can give you an idea of what affects a potential insurance claim, and what you should ask a personal injury lawyer when you pursue a claim.

Illinois is an At Fault State

Illinois follows at-fault insurance, meaning people hurt in accidents can pursue claims against those responsible for their damages. There could be more than one party responsible for your damages, and by working with a personal injury attorney, you can maximize your claim.

The Elements of Negligence in Illinois

Personal injury law is based on the idea that someone’s negligence caused you to suffer. There are conditions that must be met to qualify someone’s negligence. People have a duty of care to create safe environments or situations. If they fail that duty, and you get hurt, they should be held responsible.

These elements of personal injury can be nuanced, but they largely function the same.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Illinois

In Illinois, you have two years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury claim. That deadline starts on the day of the accident. It may seem like a long period, but some factors may make it a tight window to fit.

Comparative Negligence Can Limit Your Claim

If you’re partly responsible for an accident that resulted in your injury, it can reduce the compensation you’re entitled to. Illinois uses “modified comparative negligence” in its personal injury laws. You can pursue compensation for a claim if you’re less than 51% responsible for your damages. Any settlement awarded will be adjusted proportionally.

Let’s say you were hurt as you crossed West North Avenue near Wicker Park: you were looking at your phone, but the driver didn’t yield the right of way. Your claim would be lower than the full amount if you weren’t on your phone.

Accidents Happen. Recognize Where You Could Get Hurt

infographic where accidents in Chicago are common

Personal injury is a broad term describing accidents and damages that happen to people. Like other cities, Chicago can be a place where a variety of accidents can happen. Let’s explore these injuries and how to recover compensation after an injury.

Municipal Liability in Chicago

Accident injuries can happen on city property, like parks, city hall, or even the L Train. You might have a case against municipal bodies, but you should work with a Chicago personal injury lawyer because of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.

Your chances of filing a claim could be significantly limited. Some agencies are completely immune to lawsuits. Finding an attorney with experience tackling these claims is essential, especially if the body in question was especially negligent.

Accidents on the Road

If you’re driving through Chicago, you should be exercising caution as you’re taking in the sights. Accidents can happen at any time, but they are common on the highways (mostly the I-90), intersections, in parking lots, or in construction zones. You could easily be rear-ended, in a T-bone impact, or hurt in a head-on incident.

If you’re walking the Windy City, you should be mindful of pedestrian laws. Chicago has many intersections with more than two roads, like West Diversey Avenue, North Elston Avenue, and North Western Avenue. You’ll need to pay attention to crosswalk signals and watch for cars as you cross the street.

These are all cases where you have the right to file a personal injury claim, even if you live out of state.

Premises Liability Around Chicago

Whether it’s Wrigley Field, the Art Institute of Chicago, or the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicagoland has so much to see. But these are bustling areas with a lot going on. Even if you aren’t doing anything overly physical, you could still get hurt while on another person’s property. Accidents happen on stairs, sidewalks, at sporting events, on escalators or elevators, or because of a building’s condition.

A property owner or employees are responsible for taking care of their premises. If something is identified as a hazard and shown to a manager or owner, they are obligated to fix it. Hazards range from minor to severe and can be identified as conditions that can threaten visitors’ health. Tripping hazards, wet floors, or, in dire situations, collapsing sections of the building. If there are dangers to visitors, a property owner must fix them.

What to Do If You’re Injured in Chicago, IL

If you’ve been hurt while visiting Chicago, you could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. There are different steps to consider if you’ve been hurt in a car accident or if you slipped and fell, but the process remains largely the same.

Seek Medical Attention

No matter how you are hurt, you should seek treatment from a medical provider. Not only will this help you recover physically, but they can also help support your personal injury claim. You may just need to be evaluated at the scene of the accident, or you may have to go to a hospital, like the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Collect Evidence

Personal injury claims rest on the strength of evidence and proof that can show who was responsible and how much the victim suffered. If you’re hurt in Chicago, you should gather details of your circumstances to support your case. The evidence will vary depending on your situation, but the basics include your injuries, the area where the accident happened, any eyewitness and their contact information, and any video or photographic evidence from the area.

You should write down the details of your accident, laying out the events that hurt you, and record your injuries. This can help your local attorney build your case.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’re visiting Chicago, you can hire a local attorney to handle your personal injury claim for you. The law states your claim will most likely need to be filed in the county court where your injury happened. If you’re hurt in Chicago, you’ll need to file in Cook County.

A personal injury lawyer will serve as your local representative, especially if you need to go home to another state. They’ll investigate your accident even after you left, talking to witnesses, investigators, and the liable party’s representatives. Finding a capable attorney you can trust is essential to your claim’s success.

The Claims Process

Your lawyer will send a demand letter to anyone they identify as a liable party. The letter explains why you’re accusing them of liability, and what you’re expecting in compensation. If they don’t agree to a settlement, your attorney may need to negotiate or pursue a lawsuit. If your case goes to court, you need a lawyer ready to fight for your compensation.

Local Health Resources in Chicago

If you’re hurt in Chicago, you may not have a choice of where you seek treatment. Your injuries may be severe enough that you get taken from the accident straight to a hospital. These hospitals offer emergency medicine services if you can take yourself for treatment.

Travel Guide for Visitors in the Windy City

infographic tips for visiting chicago

You could be traveling to Chicago as a routine business trip or it might be your first big trip with friends. Your safety is essential, and these tips can help you navigate the city and avoid potential hazards.

Utilize Mass Transit When Possible

If you aren’t comfortable with driving through the “big city,” you should check out the CTA’s website to find more information about the stops, routes, and options for mass transit. The L Train and the city’s buses can provide you with reliable transportation for your trip’s duration.

Find a Way to Track Traffic

If you do decide to drive through the city, make sure you have a way to keep an eye on congested areas and crashes. Local news stations, like NBC, provide updates of traffic that can help you pick a route or avoid crowded streets.

Learn to Love the Grid

Chicago’s streets are laid upon a grid. The grid’s zero point is at the intersection of State and Madison streets. If you’re staying in the Loop, staying on the grid becomes easier as you navigate. If you’re headed towards the lake, you’re most likely going east.

Call a Chicago Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Needs

If you’ve been hurt during your visit to Chicago, you’re probably reeling in the aftermath. You might be stuck recovering in the hospital, or already home, hoping to recover compensation. A local attorney is your best chance at recovering the most compensation possible. Local attorneys understand the intricacies of Illinois insurance laws. They can coordinate better with local law enforcement and other authorities than an attorney back home could.

You stand a better chance working with a local attorney like the team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We offer remote consultations, and we’ll let you know when you need to be in-person for court appearances.

We’ve helped countless clients recover millions. We understand how upsetting an injury can be, and we want you to have the best chance at recovering, physically and financially, after an accident. Call (312) 236-2900 or use our online form to get started.

Free Consultation
(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
Skip to content