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What is a personal injury lawsuit?
When an individual is injured by another person, group, or company, that individual can bring a legal action to seek compensation for the injury and punish wrongdoing. Personal injury lawyers refer to these legal actions as “torts.” While there are many types of torts, Illinois personal injury attorneys generally classify them into two broad categories: intentional torts and negligence.
Intentional torts include battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. All of these torts involve allegations of intentional wrongdoing, rather than careless or reckless behavior. One or more of these actions may be appropriate against a defendant who has physically attacked or threatened a victim, held someone against his or her will, or intentionally caused a victim to suffer severe emotional or psychological damage. While the wrongdoer may be punished with criminal sanctions by the state, only a civil tort action brought by an Illinois personal injury lawyer can recover compensation for the victim.
Negligence refers to an action, or failure to act, which violates a duty of care and causes injury to someone. A duty of care is violated when a reasonable person could have foreseen that the action or inaction could have injured someone. One of the most common examples of negligence is auto collisions. It is generally negligent to drive excessively fast, change lanes without looking for other cars or pedestrians, disobey traffic signals and stop signs, or drive while intoxicated. Another common example of negligence falls under premises liability or what is commonly known as ‘slip and falls’. Owners or occupiers of property have a duty to protect persons lawfully on their property from injuries caused by dangerous conditions that the owner or occupier knew or should have known existed. A few examples are trips over poorly aligned sidewalk edges, falls down stairs that are in poor condition, falls due to inadequate lighting or items not built to code, and slips on food and foreign substances in restaurants and supermarkets. Snowy, icy or wet sidewalks, walkways and stairs can be particularly dangerous. Businesses and residences may be liable for hazardous conditions due to a build-up of ice or snow if they do not take adequate precautions to clear them.
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