What Is The Time Limit To File A Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury AttorneyIf you have been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other incident due to someone else’s reckless or careless behavior, you should be thinking about filing a personal injury case in Illinois’s civil courts.

However, it is essential that you know, understand, and comply with the statute of limitations in such a case. The statute of limitations is essentially a deadline before which a personal injury claim has to be filed.

Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Case

Illinois law has set a deadline of two years on filing a personal injury case in the state’s civil court. This two-year time limit usually starts from the date on which an accident takes place.

In certain cases, the two-year time limit might start from the date on which you found out about your injury, rather than the date on which you were actually injured.

Why Is There a Deadline to File a Personal Injury Case?

One reason why there’s a deadline to file a personal injury case is that as time moves on, it gets more and more challenging, or even impossible, to prove an injury in court. This is because there’s a high risk of the evidence getting lost or corrupted. Moreover, the people involved may start also start forgetting important details related to the incident.

What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?

If more than two years have passed since the time you got injured, but you still try to file a personal injury claim, the defendant will certainly take up this point in court and file a motion to dismiss. If the court dismisses your case, you will lose the entitlement to receive damages for your injuries, regardless of how serious they might be.

If you have any questions regarding Illinois’s statute of limitations and how it applies to your personal injury case, particularly if the deadline is near or has passed, you need to consult with experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens. We have more than twenty years of experience in safeguarding the rights of personal injury victims in McHenry & Lake Counties and are always ready to fight for your right to receive compensation.

Personal Injury Attorney

You can visit any of our offices located in Barrington, Woodstock, Grayslake, Waukegan, and Antioch or simply dial (847) 395-2200 to get in touch with our team.

What Is Meant by Deposition in a Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury AttorneyIn any litigation case, expert and witness depositions are critical to the discovery phase. They have a high influence on the final outcome of wrongful death, workers’ compensation, and personal injury cases. It is essential that you work with a personal injury attorney to ensure that depositions are taken and presented in the most effective way to get favorable results of your case.

What is a Deposition?

In a deposition, a person, usually a witness or expert, is required to give a sworn testimony under oath during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Typically, it is given in the presence of a court reporter so that a record of it is made to be used further in the case. The person is made to attend the deposition with the help of a subpoena. Just like a trial, an attorney asks questions related to the case to the deponent, but in the absence of a judge or jury. The deposition may also be admissible in court in certain situations.

How Depositions help an Attorney?

A deposition allows an opposing party to learn factual information pertaining to the case. The questions asked during the process are most important to an attorney as they serve multiple purposes. They allow the attorney:

  • To obtain specific information about the case at hand
  • The kind of impression the deponent will likely to make in front of a jury
  • To determine the weaknesses and strengths of the case
  • To evaluate how the statements can be used in court to help in questioning a witness during the trial phase
  • To find out when and how the injury may have occurred

What Happens in a Deposition of a Personal Injury Case?

Before a deposition, you or your attorney is required to give a notice to the deponent about holding a deposition. There are no rules and regulations regarding the location of a deposition, and it can take place almost anywhere suitable for both parties. In a majority of the cases, depositions are held at a court reporter’s office or the law firm office of the questioning attorney. A court reporter must be present during the entire deposition so that everything can be recorded. The costs of the court reporter are paid by the party holding the deposition.

During the deposition, one attorney is allowed to ask questions, but there can be another attorney for cross-examination. At the time of questioning, the other attorney has the right to object, but since there is no judge present to rule on the objections, they are noted by the court reporter and the deposition continues. The deponent is required to answer all questions. However, there are very limited circumstances where the deponent may choose not to answer the examining attorney.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you have received a subpoena to be a deponent in a deposition, you should ask a personal injury attorney to walk you through the process and the general provisions to avoid any legal implications. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

Obtaining Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury AttorneyIf you are going through a personal injury case, at some point, you will have to obtain copies of your medical records to present as evidence to support your claim. It is one of the determining factors for the amount of compensation you may receive to recover damages. Insurance companies heavily rely on medical records to get an accurate picture of the personal injury. Insurance adjusters use these records to examine the extent and nature of your injury and the costs you incurred in receiving medical treatment. Without proper, authentic medical documentation that can account for your injuries and medical treatment, it will be very difficult for your attorney to negotiate a settlement.

Why Medical Records Are Important In A Personal Injury Case

There are several ways medical records play an important role in a personal injury case:

  • They serve as a proof of physical injuries
  • They are used for determining the viability of a personal injury case
  • They can be used for calculating the damages sustained by the plaintiff
  • They save the responsible party from paying for preexisting injuries
  • They enable a medical professional to scrutinize the records for evaluating the causes of the physical injuries, or in case of medical malpractice, to determine whether reasonable care was exercised

What Medical Records Can You Get?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) grants access to patients for acquiring copies of their medical records. They have the right to review their original medical records at the medical provider’s office as well.

According to HIPAA, patients can view all their medical records, except the following:

  • Notes related to psychotherapy
  • Information that the medical provider deems could endanger your physical safety, your life, or another person’s safety
  • Information the medical provider has been collecting for a lawsuit. For example, the court has requested the provider to compile medical information during the discovery process.

If the medical provider turns down your request, they must give you a denial letter. You may be able to appeal against the denial in some cases.

The Process of Getting The Medical Records

While each healthcare provider may have distinct rules and processes for people to place a request for their medical records, the most common way is to:

  • Contact your healthcare provider to get information about where to send a request for your medical records
  • Make the request in writing
  • Important elements to be included are your name, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, and medical record number. Some healthcare providers may ask for your social security number as well.
  • Complete a release form
  • Specify whether you want to view the original records, get copies, or both

Personal Injury Attorney

Medical records play a critical role in determining the amount of compensation for your personal injury case. If you are having difficulty in obtaining the records or have been denied access to them, you should let your personal injury attorney handle this matter. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation and evaluate your legal options.

Personal Injury from E-Cigarette Explosions

In the past decade, e-cigarettes have steadily gained ground as a “safer” alternative to traditional cigarettes. This modern form of cigarette doesn’t burn tobacco, resulting in fewer amounts of carbon monoxide and tar inhalation as compared to nicotine cigarettes. E-cigarettes vaporize a flavored liquid with the help of a lithium ion battery embedded inside a handheld electronic device. The term used for smoking an e-cigarette is vaping, and has become widely popular across the United States. While these electronic cigarettes do have their fair share of health implications, they are relatively safer, and has been said to be of great help to chain smokers in quitting smoking for good.

Unfortunately, many cases of exploding e-cigarettes have been reported over the past few years leading to burn injuries. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 25 individuals sustained injuries from exploding e-cigarettes between 2009 and 2014. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported 92 such incidents, out of which 47 involved serious injuries. These statistics indicate that e-cigarettes may not cause harm to the internal health, but are capable of resulting in severe burn injuries.

FDA Regulations for E-Cigarettes

Being a relatively newer industry, e-cigarettes are largely unregulated with respect to product safety standards. There is a lack of FDA regulations, due to which certain components are not being manufactured properly. Currently, only those products are being regulated by the FDA that are sold in the market for therapeutic purposes.

The Science behind Exploding E-Cigarettes

The problem lies in the power source of e-cigarettes, i.e. the lithium-ion batteries, and improper ventilation of vaporizers, resulting in pressure build up. It has been found that these batteries are being cheaply manufactured, and chemical reactions taking place during charging are causing the vaporizers to explode. Lithium ion batteries are used in a wide range of electronic devices such as electric cars, laptops, and several others. The charging cycles are carefully monitored in high-value consumer electronics with the help of cutting-edge software programs, ensuring their high quality and safety. Conversely, same cannot be said for batteries used in vaporizers.

When they are under- or over-charged, they become susceptible to exploding because of irregular charging cycles. They may also short-circuit and catch fire under extreme temperatures.

E-Cigarette Personal Injury Lawsuits

The survivors of e-cigarette explosions are filing personal injury and product liability lawsuits against suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, and other third parties involved. This is because these parties failed to warn consumers about the potential risks associated with using vaporizers, and can be held accountable for their negligence.

Experienced vapors, as well as beginners, are advised to go through the potential dangers of using these sensitive products, and purchase them from only authentic retailers selling high-quality products.

the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

If you have sustained injuries because of an exploding e-cigarette, you may be able to receive compensation to recover the damages from the retailer or the manufacturer of the defective batteries or vaporizer. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation and evaluate your legal options.

Who’s at fault? Agency and Ownership issues

In the moments following a car accident it is often difficult to think clearly.  Accident victims are immediately concerned with whether they or their loved ones are injured.  Determinations of who was at fault for the accident are not often made until hours or even days after an accident has occurred.  In some situations the first police officer on the scene may make a determination as to fault by issuing a citation.  However, in more complicated situations, even if an officer issues a citation it does not encompass the full picture of who is at fault.  Situations such as this often involve someone who was driving a car that did not belong to them, such as a work vehicle.  What happens if the driver who caused the accident was a professional driver in a company vehicle, or if the at fault driver was negligently allowed to drive someone else’s vehicle?

What is Agency?

These questions involve the legal idea of agency, which is defined by Illinois law as when one person is performing an act on behalf of another.  In a car accident scenario, it is possible that the at fault driver was running an errand for a friend or family member, or performing a task for his or her employer at the time of the accident.


Recovering damages from the driver of the vehicle may not be possible for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes, an individual does not have the proper insurance to cover the accident.  This leaves the victim, and the victim’s insurance carrier, on the hook to pay for medical expenses, property damage and any other costs stemming from the accident.  Many people may not realize that when a driver is in an agency relationship with another person at the time of an accident, the other party (also called the ‘principal’) may be liable for some or all of the damages from the accident.

In order for an employer to be liable for its employee driver, it must be shown that an employee-employer relationship existed at the time of the accident and that the employee was acting in furtherance of employment.  The first part of the inquiry is fairly simple, but the latter part is often where parties turn to the court system for liability decisions.  What “in furtherance of” typically means is that the at fault driver was actually performing some duties of his or her employment at the time of the accident.  If it is found that the driver was running a personal errand, but happened to use the company’s truck, the company may not be liable.

Family and friends negligently allowing someone use of their personal car is a bit different.  In this scenario, a common case involves a parent negligently allowing an uninsured child to drive their car to run an errand on their behalf.  If the child is involved in an accident, the injured person may seek to recover damages from the parents’ insurance company.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, Injury Law Firm

Agency determinations are not always the most natural considerations by someone who has been injured in a car accident.  They are, however, very important to consider in order to avoid being the one left holding the bill for an accident you had no fault in causing.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Waukegan, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today.  Our skilled attorneys can speak to you about your case and help you determine who may be liable to pay for your injuries.


Recovery After Death: Illinois’ Survival Act

If someone dies and the cause of their death can be linked to the negligence of another person, the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death action against the wrongdoer.  These types of lawsuits are designed to help those who depended on the victim for support while he or she was alive.  Therefore, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit lies with the living family members of the deceased person. In Illinois, there is another way to make sure the victim’s rights to recover are not lost after death.  This right was created by the Illinois’ Survival Act and preserves the victim’s rights by instilling these rights in their estate. Knowing the difference can have a significant effect on recovery after a loved one’s death, and ensuring that the responsible party is held accountable.

Illinois Survival Act Basics

The Act allows the deceased’s representative to bring an action against the alleged wrongdoer in order to recover damages in place of the victim.  The law was created to ensure that the rights of the decedent were protected, as they are separate from the rights of his or her relatives in a wrongful death lawsuit.  It also allows for the estate of the deceased to receive compensation that otherwise would have been owed to the victim by the negligent actor, but for his or her death.  These damages include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering attributable to the negligence.


Since the interested plaintiff in a survival action is the estate of the deceased (stepping in for the decedent), any damages that are recovered pursuant to the lawsuit are paid directly to the estate.  The funds are then distributed according to the decedent’s will and/or probate rules.  This differs from a wrongful death action in that any damages from this type of action are distributed directly to the deceased’s next of kin.  While it may seem that there is little difference between the decedent’s will and the next of kin, it is possible for these to be completely different as the court will decide who is considered ‘next of kin’ under Illinois probate rules.  After all, it is not too difficult to imagine that the person or persons who are listed in a decedent’s will may not be the exact same individuals who are considered next in line under Illinois’ probate rules.  By bringing a separate survivor action, the representative in charge of the decedent’s estate can ensure that the individuals who receive money after his or her death are those that were intended.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

Need Help?
If your loved one has passed due to another person’s negligent behavior, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today and speak to one of our knowledgeable Buffalo Grove attorneys.  Pursuing a wrongful death action and/or a survivor action is something that you do not have to do alone.  Let our experienced staff help you ensure that your family is taken care of following the loss of a loved one to someone’s negligent behavior.



Legal Considerations for the Return of Happy Hour in Illinois

With one swift flourish of a pen, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner ushered in more happiness to after-work bar scenes than the state has seen since happy hours were banned in 1989.  As any traveler to the state knows, walking into a bar in any town and asking about the “specials” was often met with a shake of the head and a full-price bar menu.  It is important for anyone living in or visiting Illinois to know how this law may affect them, and what legal consequences may follow its implementation.

Lifting of the Ban

Illinois banned bars and restaurants from having designated ‘happy hours’ by legislation in 1989.  The law was passed in an attempt to curb drunk driving and other alcohol-related issues.  Not only did this law prohibit the designation of happy hours, it also prohibited alcohol-food pairings, such as a “burger/beer dinner special.”  The thought behind a total ban on happy hours and other types of alcohol specials is that such promotions encourage bar patrons to drink more in a shorter period of time so that they get the most “bang for their buck.”

Proponents of the previous ban on happy hours and other drink specials cited to increases in alcohol-related problems such as increased rowdy behavior, property damage, and drunk driving incidents in their attempts to defeat the new legislation.  Studies, however, did not necessarily show any significant decrease in these types of behaviors with the removal of drink specials around the time Illinois implemented the ban.  One such study, conducted in Ontario, Canada, found that there were no significant pre-ban versus post-ban differences in alcohol consumption by its bar patrons, and no significant differences in aggregate alcohol sales.  Whether this will ring true in Illinois now that the ban is lifting is the question on many people’s minds as the effects of the law begin to be seen.

Legal Issues

As the new law takes hold and more establishments begin to roll out drink specials to entice customers to open their wallets, patrons and bar owners alike should be cautious to avoid any related legal troubles.  Bar owners and employees should be sure that they are aware of Illinois’ dram shop law, which can be used by someone injured by a drunk patron to recover damages suffered as a result of the sale of alcohol to that person.  Along those same lines, patrons who are eager to take advantage of the new alcohol specials should use caution and drink responsibly so as to avoid the potential losses associated with drinking and driving.  Anyone who has been injured by an individual who took advantage of a newly created happy hour should be aware of their right to monetary damages that can help them on their path to recovery.  Illinois’ personal injury statutes were designed to protect citizens who are injured due to no fault of their own, regardless of whether the fault lies with a bar owner, irresponsible patron, or both.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens


If you or someone you know has been injured by someone who took advantage of their local bar’s new happy hour or specials, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. in Antioch today.  We can discuss the legal issues surrounding your injury and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.



Anatomy of the Legal Field: Personal Injury

Personal injury cases make the news fairly regularly and often have headlines touting big dollar amounts that were awarded by a jury.  If asked, there are likely many people outside the legal field who could not actually say what personal injury law is and what types of injuries it covers.  Personal injury law is not as simple as “you’re injured so you can sue” but it doesn’t have to be as complicated as a medical malpractice lawsuit either.  Understanding the breadth of cases that fall within the “personal injury” umbrella is an important first step to knowing how and if you have a case.

A.K.A. Torts

To many first year law students, the word “torts” brings with it visions of lecture halls and massive textbooks.  To many others, however, it may not conjure any images at all.  Personal injury law is also known as tort law and a tort can be described as an injury caused negligently or intentionally by another who is liable for the harm.  Personal injury law covers car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall cases, defamation cases (i.e. libel and slander), dog bites, assault, battery, and a group of charges known as “intentional torts.”  This last category is what makes the field of tort law unique, as it covers injuries that are caused with intent, and not by accident, as is part of many of the other areas.

Intentional vs. Negligent

Personal injury law covers such a wide variety of injuries because it deals with both intentional harm and negligent harm.  Take, for instance, a car accident in which Car A hits Car B.  A standard car accident in which Car A runs a stop sign and hits Car B, who had the right of way, would deal with negligence.  On the other hand, it may be an intentional tort if it is found that the driver of Car A used the vehicle as a weapon and deliberately rammed Car B, with the intent of harming someone in Car B.  It may not always be obvious which type of harm is at issue in a case, and so many attorneys spend time and money on investigators who can help find evidence of either negligence or intent.


The field of personal injury law was designed to help make a victim of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional infliction of harm, whole.  It is for this reason that personal injury damages awards are so often splashed across the front page of newspapers.  What many people do not realize as they read these headlines, however, is that the dollar amounts awarded to a tort victim are directly related to the amount of injury they suffered at the hands of another.  As much as criminal law is designed to act as a deterrent to criminal wrongdoers, tort law is intended to act as a deterrent to civil wrongdoers by providing a true representation of harm in the form of monetary compensation for a victim.  It was not the victim’s fault that he or she was injured, yet the consequences of the actions of another likely have changed their lives forever.

Robert T. Edens | Waukegan Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured and have questions about whether you have a potential case, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today to speak to one of our Vernon Hills legal professionals.  Our lawyers can provide you with answers, or represent you if needed to help you on your path to recovery.