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Illinois Lawmakers Pass New Personal Injury Lawsuit Bill

 Posted on April 09, 2021 in Personal Injury

Joliet, IL personal injury lawsuit lawyerSenate Bill 72 is on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature after recently passing both the Illinois House and Senate. The new law will allow for plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits to collect interest on the amount awarded in a jury verdict. The goal of the law is to encourage the parties involved in these lawsuits – especially the defendants – to negotiate a fair settlement and avoid bringing the case to trial.

In the majority of personal injury lawsuits, the defendant (at-fault party) is represented by an insurance company that covers the expenses of defending the lawsuit. For example, the at-fault driver in a car accident is usually represented by their auto insurance company. Another example is a doctor or hospital in a medical malpractice lawsuit that is legally represented by the company that issued their malpractice insurance policy.

The victims in these lawsuits may not have the same advantage, and they often face financial hardships while they wait for their case to reach a conclusion.

Incentive to Settle

If signed by the governor, the new law would award the victim 6 percent interest of the total amount awarded by the court. The interest would begin on the day the victim filed their lawsuit. If an insurance company knows they will be required to pay an additional 6 percent on top of any jury award if the victim wins their case, they will likely be more inclined to sit down and negotiate in good faith to determine a settlement amount that is fair and just for the victim. There is no interest paid on any cases that reach a settlement.

The new law would not apply to personal injury lawsuits filed against any government entity, including the state of Illinois, a municipality, school district, or community college. If Governor J.B. Pritzker signs the bill into law, it will go into effect on June 21, 2021.

While the bill has been endorsed and lobbied by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, it is not surprising that there are a number of insurance and hospital groups that oppose the passage of the bill, including the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Illinois Defense Counsel, and the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians, as well as a number of business organizations.

Let a Will County Personal Injury Lawyer Help

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, Illinois law allows you to pursue damages against that party for the losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries. The legal team at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC can help. Each of our Joliet personal injury attorneys has a reputation for aggressively advocating for our clients and helping them get the best possible financial outcome based on the circumstances of their case. Call our office today at 815-727-0100 to schedule a free consultation and find out more about your legal options.



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