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Barrington personal injury attorneysIt is just straightforward common sense that a person is more fragile than a vehicle. While being inside a car certainly offers some protection, it is entirely possible for a car to be relatively unharmed while the people inside are hurt. People who have been injured in what appears at first glance to be a minor accident sometimes make the mistake of not taking their own injuries seriously. They may know that they feel pain somewhere, but they brush it off as probably nothing. This can be a mistake.

Underestimating your own injuries can lead to you losing out on the compensation you were entitled to. If you are in pain at all after a car accident, or even just feel that something is not right, it is a good idea to let a medical professional make that call. The next step is to call a car accident attorney for further help pursuing compensation. 

3 Reasons to Avoid Underestimating Your Injuries After a Fender-Bender

It may be tempting to simply exchange insurance information and then go about your day, ignoring what you might perceive as minor soreness or pain. Quite a few people look at the damage to their car to determine how serious the accident was when they should be looking at the damage to themselves. Reasons you should avoid this pitfall include: 

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Barrington pedestrian accident attorneyIt should come as no surprise that a lot of pedestrian accidents happen in busy downtown areas. In places like downtown Chicago, there are about as many people walking around the streets as there are people driving. Parking downtown can be difficult to find - not to mention expensive. While we have fairly good public transit, it can take a long time to get where you are going and you may still have to walk. It is no wonder that a lot of people prefer to just walk when possible. During our harsh winters, there are not as many pedestrians out and about. Now that spring is coming and bringing more pleasant weather, we can expect to see more people walking around downtown. Sadly, we are also likely to see an increase in pedestrian accidents. 

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible. Quick action can increase the odds of recovering compensation.

What Types of Driver Misconduct Cause Pedestrian Accidents?

Drivers have a duty to keep an eye out for pedestrians in order to share the streets with them safely. However, some drivers are so focused on other cars that pedestrians are not even on their radar. Common careless driver behaviors that can cause them to strike a pedestrian include:

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Barrington lost wages injury attorneyAfter a serious car crash or other major accident, you may be left unable to work. This inability to perform your job duties could be temporary or permanent. In other cases, you may still be able to work in some capacity but can no longer earn as much as you used to. If any of these situations apply to you, you may be able to recover your lost wages as part of your compensation in a personal injury claim. If another person or group negligently injured you and took you away from your job, that party may be liable for your missing income. 

If an accident or injury rendered you unable to work, even in the short term, you will want to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as you can. A skilled lawyer can help fight for you to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. 

How Are Lost Wages Calculated? 

In general, there are three types of lost wages that can be recovered in a personal injury suit. They are: 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_738738490.jpgThe moments right after a car accident can be confusing and frightening. Many people need several minutes to process what has just happened before they are able to begin reacting. When a secondary car crash happens just after the first, the situation can become even more complicated and difficult to manage. This type of situation may seem unlikely, or that it would require an extraordinary stroke of bad luck, but this is not the case at all. Secondary car accidents are probably more common than you might think, and are often a direct result of the first accident. If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision involving multiple vehicles, it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as you are able.  

How Do Secondary Car Accidents Happen?

Secondary car accidents most commonly happen when another driver strikes an already crashed vehicle that remained in or near the roadway, although anyone outside a vehicle may also be at particular risk. Common reasons these secondary wrecks take place include: 

  • Poor visibility - Especially when the initial crash happened because of fog, snow, heavy rain, or other conditions affecting visibility, there is a risk of a second collision. Drivers approaching the accident scene may not be able to see that there are damaged vehicles stopped up ahead until it is too late. Additionally, the lights or emergency flashers may not work after a crash, making accident vehicles hard to spot. 

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barrington car accident lawyerGetting into a car accident can be doubly frightening if you are a passenger. You have no control over either vehicle, and no opportunity to avoid or mitigate the crash. When you are hurt as a passenger, you may be unsure about what your legal options are. The good news is that you can recover compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. However, the process may look slightly different, and you will probably want an attorney to guide you through your claim. 

Who Can I Recover Compensation From for My Passenger Injuries?

Who you can seek compensation from depends on who caused your injuries. If the driver of the car you were riding in caused the accident, then your claim is against him (or his insurance company). However, if a third party caused the wreck, then that driver is liable to you regardless of whether you were driving or riding in the not-at-fault vehicle. In this case, you and the driver of the car you were in may be able to work together on your claims in some ways. The body of evidence you will need is going to overlap significantly.

If your claim is against the driver of the car you were in, however, you may be reluctant to call a lawyer and bring a claim. You probably do not often get into a car with people you do not know - odds are, the driver is someone you have a relationship with. Keep in mind that assuming your friend has insurance, it will be their auto insurance company on the hook for your damages, and not your friend personally. 

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Cook County personal injury lawyerAfter a car crash, your instinct may be to focus on the people who were directly involved in the crash. This makes sense - certainly, the first thing you need to do is to check whether anyone is hurt and call an ambulance if it is needed. It is also important to speak with the other driver to exchange information. However, the people who could become most important in your car accident claim may not be in either crashed vehicle. Third-party witnesses can be extremely important, especially in the event that your case goes to trial. If you have been hurt in a car accident, you should contact an experienced attorney who can help you with collecting evidence. 

Why Are Uninvolved Witnesses so Important in Car Accident Claims?

Physical evidence alone does not always show who was at fault in a car accident. If two vehicles collided in an intersection and both drivers claim it was their turn at the stop sign, the case may turn into a “he-said, she-said” dispute. However, if someone who was not involved in the crash saw what happened, courts and insurance companies may be inclined to take their word for it. 

A witness who was not involved in the accident has no stake in the outcome of your claim, and therefore has no reason or motivation to lie. Bystanders make very credible witnesses, especially when the drivers give differing accounts. Neutral witnesses are typically believed.

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Barrington, IL personal injury lawyerRiding a bicycle is an eco-friendly, enjoyable means of transportation and leisure for many Cook County residents. Unfortunately, riding a bicycle can also be quite dangerous. Bicycle accidents resulting in significant injuries and deaths are not uncommon – especially on the busy streets of Chicago.

If you or a loved one were harmed in a bicycle accident, you should know that you may have the right to compensation. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages during your recovery period, and more.

Legal Options After a Bicycle Collision

Bicycle accidents often leave victims with painful injuries and steep costs. Many bicycle accident victims require emergency room treatment, stitches, and other medical care. Some require a greater degree of medical intervention, including surgery and ongoing physical therapy. Sadly, some bicycle accident victims never recover from their injuries.

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Barrington Hills personal injury lawyerIllinois personal injury law, or tort law, deals with injuries against people and property. Personal injury lawsuits are often based on the legal theory of “negligence.” In the context of a lawsuit, negligence means the failure to uphold a legal duty. For example, the owner of a restaurant has a legal duty to ensure that the property is in reasonably safe condition and does not pose a risk of injury to restaurant guests. Similarly, the owner or possessor of a newly constructed building has a duty to ensure that the structure meets the relevant building codes. Negligence also applies to car accident and truck accident cases. A driver may act negligently by driving too fast for the weather conditions. A trucking company may act negligently by failing to maintain the trucks.

If you were hurt because of another party’s negligence, you may wonder, “What if the accident was partially my fault?”

Comparative Negligence in Illinois Accident Cases

States each handle personal injury cases involving shared fault differently. Most states follow some form of “comparative negligence.” The standard used for Illinois personal injury cases is “modified comparative negligence.” Under this standard, an injured person may still be entitled to financial compensation for damages as long as he or she is less than 50 percent at fault for his or her injury.

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Lake County personal injury lawyer

For many, one of the most enjoyable parts of summer is going for a dip in a swimming pool. Unfortunately, swimming pools can also be dangerous, and in some cases, even deadly. If you were injured or a loved one died while visiting a public swimming pool, waterpark, resort, hotel, or other establishment, you may have grounds for a legal claim against the liable party. You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, funeral costs, lost income or financial support, and more.

Injuries from Swimming Pool Accidents

When a party’s negligence leads to an injury, the injured person may be able to file a personal injury claim and recover financial compensation for damages like emergency room and hospital bills, medication, and lost wages from missed work. The injured person may also be entitled to compensation for non-financial losses such as his or her lost quality of life, physical pain, and disfigurement.

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Barrington pedestrian accident lawyerUnfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a daily occurrence in the United States. In fact, in 2019, 6,590 pedestrians were killed in accidents. If you were recently injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer promptly. Your lawyer can help you determine all the liable parties and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Responsible Parties for Pedestrian Accidents

If you were hit by a vehicle and suffered injuries, it is important to consider all the liable parties. Here are several parties that may be to blame for your injuries.

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Lake County personal injury lawyerBeing injured is not something that anyone expects to happen, but when it does, it can significantly affect your life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 3.5 million workplace injuries that occurred in both private and governmental organizations in 2019. Most of the time when you are injured at work, you will be covered under workers’ compensation, which will typically pay for your medical bills and lost wages. In most cases, you will not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for being injured at work. However, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover your full work wages, and this can leave you with expenses that you cannot afford to pay. In some rare cases, you might be able to sue your employer to help compensate for your injury.

Potential Reasons You Can Sue Your Employer

In most cases, you will not be able to sue your employer for a work injury because of protections given to them by the Workers’ Compensation Act. When an employee is hurt at work, workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to step in to protect the employer from a lawsuit. However, if an employer does not have the workers’ compensation insurance required by Illinois law, you can file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. You may also be able to sue your employer if they intentionally caused your injury.

Suing Third Parties

Although situations in which you can file a lawsuit against your employer are uncommon, there are many cases in which you can pursue compensation from third parties who are responsible for your work injuries. Anyone who is not considered to be your employer but who was involved in your incident may be liable for your injuries. Some common parties named in work injury claims include:

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Barrington personal injury lawyerWhen you are injured because of someone else’s carelessness, you have the right under the law to be able to claim compensation for your injuries and losses related to them. However, not everyone will be willing to compensate you, even if they know the injury was their fault. In those cases, you can benefit from filing a personal injury lawsuit to attempt to legally force them to compensate you. Before your case can be successful, however, you will need to prove that the other person involved is at fault for the accident. In most cases, this is done by proving that the other person was negligent in their actions.

What is Negligence?

In the context of a personal injury claim, Illinois defines negligence as a person doing something that a “reasonably careful” person would not do, or failing to do something that a “reasonably careful” person would do. Negligence is often left to the judge or jury to interpret, taking into consideration the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Proving Negligence

In order to recover compensation for a person’s negligent actions, you must do more than simply demonstrate that the person did not act reasonably carefully. There is a specific set of criteria that must be met in order to claim negligence. Typically, this includes the following four points:

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Barrington personal injury lawyerspersonal injury claim is a claim used to seek restitution after an injury caused by wrongdoing or negligence. Car crashestruck accidentsslip and fall accidentsdog bites, and many other situations can lead to a personal injury claim. The party responsible for the injury may be a property owner, business, trucking company, drunk driver, or another party. Personal injury claims not only hold the liable party answerable for the harm caused by their actions, they may also provide financial relief. The amount of compensation you can get in a personal injury case varies depending on the severity of the injuries and other factors.

Economic Damages You May Recover in a Personal Injury Case

Economic damages or financial damages are those that result in measurable financial hardship. You could be compensated for:

  • Medical expenses - Being hurt in an accident may require significant medical care. Medical bills from doctor’s appointments, hospitalization, surgery, and other medical needs may be recoverable through a personal injury case. You may also be compensated for medical devices or assistive technology you require because of your injuries.

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Barrington brain injury lawyerOf the different types of injuries that a person may experience, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most serious. Unfortunately, injuries affecting the brain are not always recognized or understood. Following an incident such as a car accident or a slip and fall, a person will likely focus on forms of bodily harm that are immediately evident, such as broken bones. They may not even realize that they suffered a brain injury until several days or weeks later, and they may not associate their symptoms with the accident where the injury occurred. For those who have been injured, it is important to understand the effects that a brain injury can have, and by doing so, they can pursue compensation for the ways the injury has impacted their life.

Health Concerns Related to Traumatic Brain Injuries

Immediately following a concussion or other type of brain injury, a person may experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, or confusion. In mild cases, these symptoms may improve or go away after a few days or weeks. In moderate or severe cases, symptoms may persist or get worse, and a person may also experience long-term or permanent health issues, including:

  • Cognitive impairment - In addition to memory loss, damage to the brain may lead to a variety of other issues that affect a person’s ability to think, reason, and perform daily activities. They may struggle with problem-solving, paying attention to people or tasks, following directions, or managing daily activities such as household chores, driving or operating equipment, preparing food, or maintaining proper hygiene. A person may also experience language deficits that affect their ability to speak, read, write, or understand what others are saying.

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Lake County car accident attorneyMost people greatly underestimate the effect that being sleepy has on their ability to drive. According to the National Safety Council, being awake for 20 or more hours straight has the same effect on driving as being intoxicated. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was too fatigued to drive safely, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the driver accountable and recover compensation through a personal injury claim.  

Negligent Driving Caused by Sleep Deprivation

Most adults have felt the effects of sleep deprivation at least once in their lives. Reduced attention span, increased reaction time, and difficulty making decisions are all common consequences of getting too little sleep. If a driver is too fatigued to pay attention to the road and drive cautiously, he or she should pull off at a rest stop or other safe location. Fatigued drivers may:

  • Drift between lanes
  • Run red lights or stop signs
  • React too slowly to avoid a collision
  • Fall asleep at the wheel

Truck Driver Fatigue Due to Falsified Logbooks

The drivers of commercial trucks are often especially at risk of fatigued driving. To reduce the incidence of truck accidents caused by sleepiness, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has instituted certain restrictions on how long truckers can drive. Truck drivers must keep track of the hours that they drive and when they take rest breaks in a logbook. However, some truck drivers lie about how many hours they have driven. If your accident was caused by a sleepy truck driver, the driver’s logbook and data from the truck’s electronic control module (ECM) may be used as evidence in your case.

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Barrington personal injury lawyerIn a split second, a slip and fall accident can cause agonizing injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, you may be interested in seeking compensation for your damages. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages may be recoverable through a premises liability claim. To receive compensation, however, you will need to prove that your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence.

Property Owner Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and fall accidents can lead to painful injuries that incur a massive amount of medical debt. Many slip and fall accident victims are also left unable to work or complete daily responsibilities because of their injuries. Financial compensation for these physical injuries and other losses may be available through a premises liability claim. However, the burden of proof in a slip and fall case is on the person seeking damages. This means that you and your attorney will need to demonstrate that the property owner or property occupier’s negligence caused the accident.

A property owner may be considered negligent if he or she allowed lawful visitors to the property to be exposed to unreasonable dangers. Some unsafe conditions that may lead to slip and fall accidents include:

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Barrington car accident lawyerBeing the victim of any type of car accident is stressful. However, when your accident is caused by an uninsured driver, the situation becomes even more complicated. If you or a loved one were in a car accident involving an uninsured motorist, you may be unsure of what to do next. You are likely concerned about how you will pay for vehicle repair costs, medical fees, and other costs incurred by the accident, and whether or not you are fully responsible for the costs. With the help of a reputable accident attorney, you will be informed of your options as an Illinois driver.

Car Accident Liability in Illinois

Typically, the insurer of the driver who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying the damages resulting from the accident. Car insurance is mandatory in Illinois, however, some people choose to drive without auto insurance and in violation of the law. Others forget to renew their policy or fall behind on payments and lose coverage. If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident, the people who sustained injuries and vehicle damage may assume that they are on the hook for the accident costs. However, there are options available to car accident victims that they may be unaware of.

Options for Pursuing Reimbursement for Accident-Related Costs

One option you have after an uninsured driver accident is to sue the at-fault driver. However, if the driver does not have car insurance, it is unlikely that he or she has the funds to pay a personal injury claim settlement or award. Another option is to file a third-party claim with your own insurer under the uninsured motorist policy. Illinois auto insurance policies automatically include uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist coverage. Unless you have specifically opted out of UM coverage, your policy should cover injuries resulting from an uninsured driver accident. Unfortunately, compensation from the insurance company may not be enough to cover the full extent of your past, present, and future damages. This is especially true if you sustained severe injuries that require considerable medical care and time off work. Furthermore, liability coverage may not include compensation for vehicle repair and replacement costs.

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Cook County personal injury lawyerDogs can be loving, loyal companions. However, dogs are also animals with sharp teeth and claws that are capable of causing severe injuries. If you or a loved one were bitten or otherwise injured by a dog, you may have questions about your legal rights. You may wonder, “Is the dog’s owner liable for my injuries?” or “Who will pay my medical bills?”. The laws regarding liability for dog attacks vary from state to state. In Illinois, there are many cases in which a dog owner is liable for damages caused in a dog attack.

Illinois is a Strict Liability State

State laws regarding injuries from dog attacks typically fall into two categories: laws based on strict liability and laws based on negligence. Some states do not hold a dog owner responsible for injuries caused in an attack if the owner did not know that the dog was dangerous. Dog owners in these so called “one-free-bite” states may avoid liability for injuries caused by their dog if their dog has never bitten someone before. However, Illinois is a strict liability state with regard to dog bites. An owner may be liable for injuries caused in a dog attack even if the dog has never bitten anyone or showed previous signs of aggression.   

Seeking Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Dog

If you were bitten by a dog, you may have sustained deep lacerations, bruising, fractures, and other painful injuries. You may have needed emergency room care, stitches, antibiotic medication, and even surgery. Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Illinois law states that a dog owner is liable for damages caused by a dog bite or dog attack if:

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Barrington wrongful death attorneyRoughly 90 individuals tragically lose their lives in auto accidents every day in the U.S. If you have recently lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be interested in learning about your legal options. If your loved one’s death was caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or violating other Illinois laws, the at-fault driver may face criminal charges. You also have the option of bringing a civil claim against the at-fault driver. Before proceeding with your case, it is important to have a good understanding of what is considered a wrongful death and what the legal claim process involves.

Understanding The Term “Wrongful Death”

According to Illinois law, a wrongful death is one that is caused by the wrongful, malicious, negligent, or reckless actions of another party. Wrongful death claims often accompany criminal charges for DUI or reckless driving, but criminal charges are not a prerequisite for a wrongful death claim. Many wrongful death claims involve:

  • Speeding

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Cook County personal injury lawyerWhile most trucks are loaded properly and driven responsibly, sometimes, truck cargo is improperly secured. Loose or falling truck cargo creates a deadly hazard for other motorists, with the possibility that the debris may strike another vehicle and cause catastrophic damage. Motorists may also get into an accident while swerving out of the way of the fallen truck freight. Cargo that is loose can shift within a trailer causing a truck to become dangerously off-balance and out of the truck driver’s control. If you or a loved one were harmed in a truck accident caused by shifting or loose cargo, you may be entitled to compensation.  

Determining Who is Liable For Your Truck Accident

Liability for your accident may fall on several different parties. It is also possible that more than one party’s actions contributed to the severity of the accident. The party legally responsible for your injuries may be:

  • The truck driver;

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Barrington Injury Attorneys

224 West Main Street, Suite 100, Barrington, IL 60010

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