Negligence is defined under the law as the failure to act in a reasonably careful way considering the circumstances. General negligence can be intentional or accidental. But regardless of whether or not it was intended, when someone fails to use reasonable care and causes injury to you or your family, you have the right to be fairly compensated. Cases involving a negligent party can be difficult to prove, and require the guidance of an experienced Chicago general negligence attorney with the resources and expertise to thoroughly investigate the circumstances and hold all responsible parties accountable so you can be fully compensated for your injuries.
Damages Available in General Negligence Cases
In a case where one party is found negligent, the injured party has the right to seek damages within four general categories:
- Medical Expenses: Medical bills for any physical injuries sustained by the victim should be paid by the negligent party.
- Property Damage: Negligence cases often involve damage to the victim’s property, such as their home, automobile, or other valuable possessions. The negligent party is required to pay restitution for all property damage.
- Lost Wages: Serious injuries often cause the victim to be out of work for a short period of time or sometimes indefinitely. The negligent party must compensate the victim for current and future lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: Negligent acts often exact untold emotional damage on the victim. For example, a child that loses his/her parent will never be able to fully repair the emotional hole left by their parent’s absence. And although no amount of money can bring back a lost parent, financial compensation can at least make it easier for the victim to adjust to life without their lost loved one.
Negligence can occur in a variety of situations. Landlords, property owners, business owners, bus drivers, cab drivers, truck drivers, doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and others can all be guilty of negligence. In fact, almost everyone in society can be guilty of negligence. In determining whether someone has acted negligently, one of the first steps is to ask whether the other person acted unreasonably. If they acted unreasonably and injured you or your family, you may have a legal case against them for money damages.
When one or more parties are guilty of negligence against you or a family member, trying to recover damages on your own can result in a settlement that is not sufficient to compensate for all your injuries. The negligent parties will do all they can to minimize the amount they must pay, and without an experienced Chicago general negligence lawyer by your side, you may not receive all that you are entitled to. At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we have been successfully litigating cases involving one or more negligent parties for over 20 years. We know how the other side operates, and we know what it takes to secure just compensation for our clients. If you are seeking legal advice because you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to negligence, contact HM&M for a free consultation to help determine your rights.