How to Settle or File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Illinois

Published on March 16th, 2023

Personal Injury Lawsuits can be difficult to navigate for many people. There is a lot going on between the personal, professional, and legal parties involved. What is the insurance situation? What type of injury was incurred? Where do you start?

Before looking at the process of personal injury lawsuits in Illinois, let’s take a look at common types of personal injury lawsuits.

Common Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits span almost every imaginable injury and situation. This list is an example of personal injury incidents that most commonly go to court (either as a lawsuit or a settlement). The most common types of personal injury lawsuits include:

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury lawsuits. These cases typically involve a driver who is negligent or reckless and causes an accident that results in injuries to another person.

Slip & Fall

Slip and fall accidents occur when a property owner or business fails to maintain safe conditions on their premises, leading to an injury.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to the patient.

Product Liability

Product liability cases involve defective or dangerous products that cause injury or harm to the consumer.

Dog Bites

Dog bites are a common type of personal injury case that can occur when a dog owner fails to properly control their animal, resulting in an attack that causes injury.

Workplace Accidents

Workplace accidents can result in serious injuries or fatalities and may involve unsafe working conditions, faulty equipment, or negligent behavior by an employer or coworker.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect cases involve the mistreatment or neglect of elderly residents in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

Other Types of Injuries

It’s important to note that personal injury cases can involve a wide range of injuries and circumstances, and each case is unique. It’s important for individuals who have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence.

This is why consulting and appointing the best lawyer possible is so important (more on this in the next section).

How Personal Injury Lawsuits Work in Illinois

Personal injury lawsuits in Illinois typically work as follows:

Attorney Consultation

The injured party (plaintiff) consults with a personal injury attorney to discuss their case and determine whether they have a valid claim. Be sure to consult with attorneys who specialize in the area of personal injury law your case is in.

There are countless types of personal injury lawsuits, so finding an attorney who can best represent your case is imperative. Important things to consider include:

  • What is the type of injury? (health condition, maimed limb, permanent disability, etc)
  • Who is the defendant? (Neighbor, employer, contractor, city/county, etc)
  • Is your case about medical malpractice? (many different types of specialty attorneys)
  • Are insurance companies involved?
  • Was the injury caused by a product or tool malfunction?
  • Was the injury caused on property not owned by an employer or contractor?

Attorneys may ask you questions like these during a consultation but it is important to know for clients as well.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the plaintiff decides to pursue legal action, their attorney will file a lawsuit in the circuit court of the county where the accident occurred. The lawsuit will typically name the at-fault party (defendant) and may also name their insurance company.


Once a lawsuit is filed, both parties will engage in a process called discovery. This involves exchanging information, documents, and evidence related to the accident.

Pre-trial Motions

Either party may file pre-trial motions, such as a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment, to try to resolve the case before trial.


If the case goes to trial, a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and determine whether the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and what damages, if any, the plaintiff is entitled to.


Either party may appeal the decision if they believe there were errors made during the trial that affected the outcome.

It’s worth noting that Illinois has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits, which is typically two years from the date of the accident. 

Additionally, Illinois follows a modified comparative fault rule, meaning that if the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault for the accident, their compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them. It’s important for plaintiffs to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the legal process and ensure that they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

How Personal Injury Settlements Work in Illinois

Personal injury settlements in Illinois start off just like a lawsuit but diverge when an attorney deems a lawsuit necessary.

Attorney Consultation

The injured party (plaintiff) consults with a personal injury attorney to discuss their case and determine whether they have a valid claim. Oftentimes an acceptable settlement can be reached without having to file a lawsuit.

Claim Filing

The plaintiff or their attorney files a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, requesting compensation for damages resulting from the accident.

Claim Investigation

Any insurance companies involved will conduct an investigation into the accident to determine who was at fault and the extent of the damages.

Settlement Negotiations

Once the investigation is complete, the insurance company may offer a settlement to the plaintiff. This may involve negotiations between the plaintiff’s attorney and the insurance company to reach an acceptable settlement amount.

Release of Liability

If the plaintiff accepts the settlement offer, they will typically be required to sign a release of liability form, which waives their right to pursue any further legal action related to the accident in exchange for the agreed-upon settlement amount.

Settlement Payment

Once the release of liability is signed, the insurance company will issue a check to the plaintiff for the settlement amount. The settlement amount may cover various types of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

It’s worth noting that settlement amounts can vary widely depending on the extent of the damages, the severity of the injuries, and other factors. 

Additionally, if the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the plaintiff may choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, which can involve a more lengthy and costly legal process. It’s important for plaintiffs to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that they receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Contact an Illinois Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle-related accident due to the negligence of another person, our experienced attorneys can help you receive compensation for the damages you have suffered. There is no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.

Get a free case review by calling 866-699-3339 ‌or‌ ‌complete‌ ‌the‌‌ ‌case‌ ‌request‌ ‌form‌.‌

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