7 Jul, 2023

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Bloomington

Author Todd A. Strong

Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois, can make all the difference in winning an accident injury case and recovering the maximum compensation. As a result of car accidents, slips-and-falls, dog bites, exposure to hazardous conditions, and other incidents caused by the negligence of others, people suffer serious injuries. They may be entitled to recover damages for their resulting losses through a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or through a civil lawsuit.

A personal injury lawyer can carefully evaluate your situation and determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer can assess the facts of your case and available evidence to identify all potentially at-fault parties. The lawyer can initiate settlement negotiations with the at-fault party or at-fault party’s insurance provider, and represent you in court if necessary.

When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

One of the main factors to consider when deciding when to hire a personal injury lawyer is the severity of your injuries. You may need extensive medical care and rehabilitation if you have suffered severe injuries in an accident. The cost of these services can be high. You will need significant financial resources to pay for these services. A personal injury attorney will help file an injury claim for damages and get compensation for the costs of your associated hospital stays, doctor appointments, surgical procedures, medications, adaptive devices, and other such expenses.

Insurance companies often hesitate to pay out claims and may try to downplay your case's value, offering you a much lower amount than your expenses and losses. A personal injury lawyer will determine the true value of your claim. The lawyer will then submit convincing evidence and arguments to compel the insurer to settle.

For a case involving complex legal issues, such as medical malpractice or product liability, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Complex legal issues require advanced legal knowledge and experience. If you do not have this expertise, hiring a lawyer will increase your chances at securing fair recovery.

Every state has a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit, referred to as the statute of limitations. If you miss the deadline, you may be locked out from recovering any compensation for your injuries. So, speak to a lawyer immediately after an accident to ensure you file before the deadline.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims/Suits in Illinois

The statute of limitations for personal injury suits or claims in Illinois is two years. As such, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your injury to recover damages. You may lose your right to recover compensation through an injury lawsuit if you miss the filing deadline.

There are a few exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. You may be eligible for extension of the statute of limitations if you were a minor or legally incompetent at the time of the injury. Your lawyer can tell you if exceptions to the filing deadline apply to your case.

To comply with the statute of limitations, keep track of the date of your injury (the date that the statute of limitations will begin to run). Document losses arising from your injuries by keeping track of your medical bills, lost wages or earnings, and any other expenses you have incurred due to your injury.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois

A personal injury lawyer in Bloomington, IL represents parties injured in accidents or other incidents due to the negligence of another party. The lawyer's practice focuses on tort law, which covers civil wrongs, including intentional torts and negligence. There are many benefits to hiring an injury lawyer, including:


Personal injury attorneys have a deeper knowledge of the law and experience handling personal injury cases. They can help you fully understand your legal rights and represent your best interests in negotiations with the insurance company.

Injury lawyers are familiar with personal injury cases, such as car accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, and medical malpractice. They know the laws applicable to these cases and how to gather evidence to support a claim. They also know how to communicate with insurance companies without making mistakes that can get the claim denied or its value reduced.

Better Negotiations

Attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies and know how much to ask for in a personal injury settlement. They have a more advanced understanding of the law and the insurance industry, and are skilled at presenting evidence and negotiating on behalf of their clients.

Lawyers are also familiar with tactics insurance companies use to try to minimize claims, and they can help you avoid falling victim to these tactics. You can count on them to gather evidence, such as medical records, photographs of the accident scene, and witness statements to support your claim. They can use the assembled evidence to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.

If negotiations with the insurance company are not fruitful, personal injury lawyers help their clients mediate or arbitrate their cases. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps the two sides reach an agreement. On the other hand, arbitration is a process where the two sides agree to have the court decide their case.

Time Commitment

Filing a personal injury lawsuit and getting the compensation that covers the full scope of your losses can be time-consuming. The time it takes will vary with the specifics of your case, the willingness of the insurance company to settle, and whether your case goes to trial.

A skilled injury attorney will handle the paperwork and legal procedures on your behalf, allowing you time to focus on what matters most – your recovery. An attorney can walk you through all the steps in a personal injury case, ranging from gathering evidence and keeping track of all paperwork and deadlines to responding promptly to requests or queries from the insurance company.

Peace of Mind

You may feel overwhelmed and stressed after a personal injury. You may not know what to do or how to protect your rights.

Hiring a personal injury attorney gives you peace of mind knowing that you have someone knowledgeable aggressively pushing for your best interests. You can rest assured that your case will get handled well, and that you will get the quality legal representation you need.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

A personal injury lawyer can help you in the following ways:

Investigating Your Case

A personal injury lawyer will investigate your case to determine who was at fault for the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. He or she will interview witnesses, review medical records, and inspect the accident report.

The lawyer will want your account of the accident, including what happened, who was involved, and what injuries you sustained. The lawyer will want to see your medical files to understand the extent of your injuries and treatment.

Expect your lawyer to interview witnesses to the accident to get their accounts of what happened. If possible, he or she will visit the accident scene to gather additional information. In some cases, the lawyer may need to consult with professionals, such as medical practitioners or accident reconstructionists, to help understand the case further.

Pushing for Maximum Compensation

Insurance companies are often reluctant to pay out claims in full. A personal injury lawyer can oversee negotiations with the company for maximum compensation.

Negotiations with insurance companies following an injury case can involve several factors. In particular, the more severe your injuries, the more likely you will receive a higher settlement offer. If you incurred significant medical expenses, your lawyer will mention it and submit the necessary documentation during settlement talks.

Filing a Lawsuit

Your lawyer may file a lawsuit if you fail to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company. Filing a personal injury lawsuit involves gathering evidence and determining the appropriate court. The lawsuit must be filed in the court with jurisdiction over the case. In particular, it should be the court in the county where the accident occurred.

Drafting a complaint is also part of the lawsuit process. A complaint is a legal document outlining your claims against the defendant – the person or entity you are suing. It must include the real names of the parties involved, a description of the accident, your injuries, the defendant's negligence, and the damages you are pursuing.

Once the complaint is drafted and filed, it must be served on the defendant. The defendant must receive a copy of the complaint and a summons, a document that tells the defendant to respond to the complaint within a certain amount of time. Afterward, the lawsuit goes to the discovery stage, which entails exchanging information between all the parties involved.

In most cases, personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court if the parties agree to a settlement amount without going to trial. If the injury case does not settle, it will go to trial, where the parties will present their evidence to a judge or jury.

Representing You in Court

If your injury case goes to trial, your lawyer will fully represent you in court and fight for your legal rights. The lawyer will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf.

While you may have the right to represent yourself in court, chances of getting a desirable outcome without a lawyer are low. So, having an experienced lawyer on your side can give you peace of mind knowing that your case is in good hands.

The court process for personal injury cases in Illinois can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. It typically involves filing a lawsuit, service of process, discovery, pretrial motions, trial, and appeal. Your lawyer can guide you through this long and often confusing process.

Interviewing a Potential Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

You are interviewing the lawyer as much as he or she is interviewing you. So, you should feel comfortable with the lawyer and confident that he or she is the right person to represent you before making a hiring decision.

The questions to ask your prospective lawyer should touch on the following areas:

Legal Fees and Other Case-Related Expenses

Find how much the lawyer will charge for handling your case. Generally, most personal injury lawyers offer their services on a contingency fee basis. In other words, they get paid only if they win your case, or you reach a settlement. Their payment would consist of a percentage of your settlement award.

Ask about other case-related expenses like filing fees, expert witnesses, and deposition. Some injury lawyers deduct these expenses from the compensation recovered. Others require the client to pay for these expenses upfront. So, be sure to ask about these expenses before agreeing to work with a lawyer.


Ask the lawyer how long they have been practicing personal injury law and how many cases they have handled. You should also ask about the specific types of personal injury cases they have handled.

Success Rate

Find out about the lawyer’s success rate in personal injury cases. Go for a lawyer with an excellent record of successfully negotiating with insurance companies and winning at trial.


Find out how quickly the lawyer can respond to your calls and emails and how long it will take to file your case. Ask the lawyer how they plan to handle your case and if you will be working with the same lawyer throughout your case.

Be sure to check out reviews and testimonials from previous clients. You can learn more about the lawyer’s communication style and accessibility from previous clients, and friends or family may offer advice on their experiences with when to hire a personal injury lawyer in Bloomington.

About The Author

Photo of Todd A. Strong
Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.