We’ve discussed many different ways of receiving satisfaction after you have been injured in an auto accident, several of which actually step outside the traditional court system and into alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation.

Another interesting remedy applies when you have been injured in an accident with a State of Illinois employee — the Illinois Court of Claims.

It is the law in Illinois that the State cannot be made a defendant in a civil lawsuit unless it consents. It should be well noted, however, that this doesn’t apply to agents of the State (such as State Troopers), where the acts you are suing over are “ordinary” negligence, as opposed to something related to the course of their employment. When, however, you have been injured by a State employee and you wish to hold the agency or the State itself accountable, the proper place to do so is the Court of Claims.

The Court of Claims is a court that, procedurally and make-up wise, looks like something of a hybrid between the traditional court system and an administrative proceeding, such as a building code enforcement or traffic court, for instance. This type of court is created, and governed, by Illinois statute (see 705 ILCS 505/8(d)). From a procedural standpoint, these special proceedings are set up to look a lot like a civil lawsuit — the basic Illinois rules of discovery apply, parties take depositions as they would in a normal civil case, and parties are even permitted to seek subpoenas as they would in a normal civil lawsuit. What makes these proceedings different is that (in addition to a few minor procedural technicalities), these cases are heard by commissioners, not actual sitting judges, who do nothing but hear these cases against the State.

The purpose in this is to streamline cases against the State and, instead of putting them in to the regular court system, where decisions relating to one particular individual won’t have the far-reaching affect that they generally would in a court of law, where a judge’s decision can have far reaching precedent over future matters.

You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you in the unfortunate event of an accident that caused you or your family or friends injuries – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.

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