The Law Offices of Evan A. Hughes represents people who have been seriously injured through the wrongful conduct of others (personal injury), as well as the families of those who were killed through the wrongful conduct of others (wrongful death). Other pages of this website discuss specific types of personal injury and wrongful death cases that we handle, such as Construction Negligence and Product Liability.
Of course we also handle cases involving personal injuries and death caused by all types of motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, train and common carrier accidents. We also represent people who are injured in slip, trip and fall accidents, when the accident was caused by the negligence of the persons or entitles responsible for a dangerous condition or activity on the premises. Through long standing associations with trusted colleagues, we also handle cases involving medical malpractice and nursing home abuse and neglect.
The purpose of litigation arising out of personal injury and wrongful death is to ensure that those who suffer harms and losses receive monetary compensation for their injuries. The reason the law provides monetary compensation for injuries and wrongful death is multi-fold, but the primary underlying reason for such awards is to ensure that the person or entity responsible for causing the injury or death bears the economic burden for the loss. If the responsible person is not made to bear the economic burden of the loss, that burden is born by the injured person and his/her family, the family of the decedent or by society as a whole through funding of social welfare and disability compensation programs.
Therefore, in Illinois and virtually every other state, the law provides that persons who are injured by the wrongful conduct of others are entitled to recover their past and future medical expenses associated with their injury. They are entitled to recover their past and future lost income associated with their injury as well as other direct out-of-pocket losses.
In addition, an injured person is entitled to recover for his or her physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the injury, his or her disfigurement from an injury and for his or her disability or lost enjoyment of a normal life caused by an injury. These damages are not tangible like those for medical expenses and lost income, but juries are instructed to award an injured person money for pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability/lost enjoyment because there simply is no other way to make a person whole for the ongoing disruption of life caused by an injury.
Civil society long ago abandoned the concept of an eye for an eye as a means of addressing wrongs that cause injury. Conversely, we have not advanced to the point where we can go back in time and prevent the wrong and resulting injury from ever happening, thereby eliminating the pain, the disfigurement and the disability. Therefore, the law mandates that the wrongdoer compensate the injured person by paying money damages.
In wrongful death cases, the decedent’s next of kin are entitled to compensation for their lost means of support, which means the stream of monetary support that the decedent was likely to have provided to his/her spouse, children or in some instances parents during his/her life. In addition, the decedent’s spouse and children are entitled to be compensated for their lost society and companionship. In cases where the decedent is not survived by a spouse or children, the decedent’s parents may be compensated for lost society and companionship. In Illinois, the decedent’s survivors may also recover money damages for grief and sorrow.
In most personal injury and wrongful death cases the entity on the other side of the case is an insurance company. In some cases, the defendant is a self-insured entity, which by law is required to act as though it is an insurance company. Often such a company will hire an insurance company to “adjust” claims made against it. Insurance companies are in the business of handling claims for injury or death that are brought against their insureds. They are very experienced at doing so, and they have systems in place designed to minimize the amount that they will be required to pay to an injured person or the family of a decedent.
In most cases people, who have suffered an injury or who have lost a loved one through the negligence or wrongful acts of another, would be best served to hire an attorney who specializes in representing the victims of negligence. Only dedicated personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and skills necessary to take on the insurance companies and ensure that they are required to pay fair compensation for the damage and loss that their insured caused. If the insurance company takes an unreasonable position and refuses to pay fair compensation, they only thing to do is to take the case to trial and let the jury decide what compensation is fair.
Evan Hughes has over 20 years of experience in the field of personal injury, wrongful death and workers’ compensation. He has recovered millions of dollars for his clients. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered loss as a result of the negligence or wrongful conduct of another, call the Law Offices of Evan A. Hughes for a free consultation.