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Rockford car accident injury attorneysAlthough we rarely think about it, getting into a car is one of the most dangerous things we do on a regular basis. It is estimated that approximately 6 million car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, resulting in 3 million injuries. Car accident victims may be other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, or passengers. If you have been injured in a car accident and you were not the driver, you may have questions about your legal options. You may be left with expensive medical bills and other financial losses caused by your injuries. In many cases, a personal injury claim can help injured passengers obtain financial compensation for losses such as these.

Determining Fault for Your Car Accident

Before you can recover compensation for a car accident, the liable or at-fault party must be determined. In many car accidents, there is more than one party who is considered to be at fault. For example, one driver may have been speeding while the other driver was texting and driving or otherwise distracted. However, a passenger cannot be held liable for a car accident because he or she was not in control of a vehicle. If more than one party is liable for a car accident, you may need to file multiple claims in order to recover enough compensation to cover the full extent of your damages.

Personal Injury Claims When a Friend or Loved One Is At Fault

Many injured passengers find themselves in tricky situation because the liable party is someone that they are close to. If you were involved in a car accident and the at-fault party was your family member, friend, co-worker, or someone else with whom you have a relationship, you may be hesitant to bring an injury claim and pursue compensation. However, it is important to note that when you bring a personal injury claim for injuries suffered in a car accident, you are not usually expecting the driver to pay for your losses personally. The payments will most likely be made by his or her car insurance company.

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Rockford medical malpractice lawyersAbout a third of all babies are delivered via cesarean section or “c-section.” In some cases, a mother chooses to have a c-section birth instead of a vaginal birth. Other times, an emergency c-section is needed to prevent the baby from suffering asphyxia or other harm. If you or your baby were injured and you suspect that medical negligence contributed to the injury, contact a medical malpractice attorney for help investigating the medical staff’s actions. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages.

Delayed C-Sections Put Babies Lives at Risk  

When a woman goes into labor, doctors and nurses must be vigilant for signs that labor is not progressing normally. Abnormalities with the infant’s heart rate is often the first sign that he or she is in distress. An emergency c-section may be needed if the baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis, placental abruption or uterine rupture occurs, there is a prolapsed umbilical cord, or there are other problems that make vaginal birth too risky.

If there are indications that an emergency c-section is the safer option, doctors must quickly make the decision to perform a c-section and begin the procedure. The time between the decision to deliver a baby via c-section and the actual delivery is called the “decision delivery interval” (DDI). If a medical professional waits too long to decide to perform a c-section or the DDI is too great, the infant can suffer severe, life-threatening medical complications.

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Winnebago County defective medical device attorneysMedical advances in the last several decades have enabled people to live longer, healthier lives. Surgical tools and other medical devices have made it possible for many medical procedures to become less invasive, less risky, and require less recovery time. Unfortunately, defects in the way medical devices are designed or manufactured can make the products dangerous or even life-threatening to patients. If you were harmed by a faulty medical device, the fault may not lie with the medical facility or doctor who used the device. The fault may instead lie with the device designer, manufacturer, or seller.

Understanding the Difference Between Product Liability and Medical Malpractice

If a medical procedure or medical device caused you injury, you might assume that the injury falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice. However, a medical malpractice claim is appropriate when a medical professional or medical facility makes errors that cause injury to a patient. If a defect or flaw with the medical device itself was the cause of your injury, the issue may fall under product liability laws. 

Defective medical devices may cause pain, discomfort, or infection. Implanted devices may migrate from their original location, disintegrate, or stop working as intended. Often, product liability claims involve medical devices that have been recalled by the Federal Drug Administration because they have been found to present an unreasonable risk of harm to patients.

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Rockford negligent security lawyersWhen a person is harmed during a robbery or attack, criminal charges are often brought against the aggressor. While this may bring the perpetrator to justice, it does little to  address the injuries caused to the victim. A person hurt in an act of physical violence may suffer lacerations, broken bones, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injury, and other serious physical injuries. He or she may also experience deep emotional pain and psychological scarring. In some cases, a civil lawsuit brought against the owner of the property on which the attack occurred may enable a victim to recover compensation.

What is Considered Negligent Security?

Property owners cannot be expected to prevent every injury on their property, but they are required to keep their property free of foreseeable dangers. This includes equipping the property with adequate lighting, locks, cameras, and other security measures. The level of security that a property should have is largely determined by the property’s location and the frequency of crime in the area. For example, If a store owner knows that two customers have already been mugged in the dark parking lot outside of his store, he should have lights installed and take other steps to help prevent future muggings. If he fails to take these steps and another customer is injured as a result, the customer may have a valid personal injury claim. 

Lawsuits for negligent security may be brought against a store, restaurant, bar, hotel, apartment complex, or other facilities. Such suits may be filed in addition to any civil claims made against the perpetrator, as permitted by law. It is possible to have more than one party share liability for your injuries. 

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Rockford surgical malpractice attorneysWhether it is an appendectomy, bypass surgery, cesarean section, carotid endarterectomy, or another surgical procedure, going in for surgery can be a scary experience. While most surgeries are successful and do not involve unexpected complications, not every surgery goes according to plan. Sometimes surgical procedures result in a patient’s injury or death, and there is nothing that the surgeons could have done to prevent it. Other times, it is the surgeon’s carelessness that is directly responsible for the negative outcome. One especially alarming example of medical negligence during surgery occurs when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside the patient’s body.

Foreign Objects Left Behind During Surgery

Surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical staff involved in surgical procedures must complete years of rigorous classes and training before being permitted to perform surgery. Unfortunately, these medical professionals may still make mistakes that endanger the lives of their patients. Equipment such as scalpels, scissors, forceps, clamps, and sponges, are often used during surgical procedures. Surgeons and nurses are expected to keep track of these objects and ensure that no object is still inside the patient’s body when the surgery is complete. Unfortunately, misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to equipment being forgotten. It is estimated that surgical equipment and other objects are left inside of patients’ bodies an average of 4,500–6,000 times each year in the United States.

Consequences of Major Surgical Mistakes Are Often Catastrophic

The problem of retained foreign objects is one that is entirely preventable. Medical staff should be fully aware of the number and types of equipment used during surgery and should account for these objects before closing the patient’s incision and completing the surgery. Leaving a foreign object inside of a person’s body can cause them to suffer extreme and unnecessary pain. It can also lead to life-threatening infections, punctures and perforations of tissues and internal organs, reduced blood flow, and even death. If he or she survives, a patient may require additional surgeries and other medical treatment to mitigate the damage caused by the careless error. 

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Winnebago County wrongful death lawyersLosing a spouse, parent, child, or sibling is tragic regardless of the circumstances. However, when a person’s death is caused by the reckless or malicious actions of another party, the loss is even more heartbreaking. If you have lost a loved one in an incident involving drunk driving, medical malpractice, a defective product, nursing home neglect, or another situation involving negligence or wrongdoing, you may wonder what your legal options are. In many cases, a wrongful death claim can help hold the at-fault party accountable for the death while also recovering compensation for the losses incurred by the death.

Understanding Illinois Wrongful Death Laws

In Illinois, a wrongful death is one that is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default. A wrongful death claim is a civil claim filed by the personal representative of the deceased person. This is often the deceased person’s spouse, parent, or adult child. Wrongful death claims can help families collect compensation for a death which was caused by intentional acts or acts of negligence. Damages are paid to the surviving spouse and next of kin. The statute of limitations for Illinois wrongful death claims is typically two years from the date of the death. However, this limit may be extended in some situations.

Types of Damages Available for a Wrongful Death

There is no amount of money that could ever truly compensation someone for the loss of his or her loved one. However, a wrongful death claim can help a grieving family reduce the financial burden caused by the death. Depending on your particular situation, you may be entitled to compensation for:

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Winnebago County personal injury attorney car accident

Living without health insurance can be a large risk to take on, but you may feel as if you have no other option. It is no secret that the United States has some of the highest medical costs in the world, with many Americans uninsured. Luckily, many companies offer health insurance to their employees so that they are not financially destitute just for going to the doctor. The level of coverage varies based on the plan offered, meaning that some medical treatments will be covered by your insurance while others may require additional out-of-pocket fees. For those without health insurance, going to the doctor may be a last resort when injuries or illnesses begin to surface. While this may be acceptable for the common cold or flu, anyone who has been involved in a vehicle collision or workplace accident should seek immediate medical attention. Such accidents can lead to serious, and potentially fatal, injuries if left untreated. The fear of ongoing medical bills may have people thinking otherwise, but luckily, there are options for those without insurance who have been injured in an accident.

Will Doctors Still Treat Me?

Uninsured Americans may not realize that they are still eligible for medical treatments even if they do not have proper healthcare coverage. Hospitals are legally required to provide all patients with the necessary treatment, even if they do not have health insurance. After receiving any required medical treatments, you should speak with the hospital’s administrators to discuss your payment options. Oftentimes, these professionals will work with you to set up a payment plan so that you can pay off the bills over time.

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Winnebago County nursing home abuse and neglect attorney

Making the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult, but necessary, conclusion that many children will come to as their parents advance in age. Maybe you do not have space to house your elderly parents or perhaps their conditions require medical attention around the clock. Regardless of the reasons behind the action, you are entrusting your loved one’s well-being in the hands of someone else. The staff at nursing homes are trained professionals and should be well-equipped to handle any circumstances that may arise. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse are common occurrences behind nursing home doors. Without adequate attention, your elderly parent could see his or her future taking a quick turn for the worse as a result of life-threatening conditions, including sepsis.

What Is Sepsis?

This condition is caused by the body’s response to an infection and is potentially life-threatening if it is left untreated. Normally, your body releases chemicals as soon as infections begin to manifest. When these chemicals get out of balance, damage can occur to the body’s organ systems causing them to improperly function. This condition is known as sepsis. If left untreated, sepsis can quickly escalate to septic shock, causing blood pressure to dramatically drop to fatal levels. Although sepsis can occur to anyone who has an infection, elderly people are common targets for sepsis and have a more difficult time recovering from its impact.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorney drunk driver

Have you ever been to a bar or a party and witnessed someone having too much alcohol to drink? It is a common occurrence for individuals who are underage or who have just recently turned 21 to drink a few too many. When alcohol is involved, accidents with injuries can occur. When you are the injured party, you may be able to hold multiple parties responsible. Illinois has two laws that address the danger that overconsumption can place on others. If you have been injured on account of someone’s level of alcohol consumption, you may be able to prove that the serving party is liable.

Dram Shop Laws

Illinois law provides legal protection to those who have been injured by an intoxicated party. For instance, someone who gets pushed and injured by an intoxicated person at a bar or someone who is hit by a drunk driver may wish to press charges against the intoxicated individual and the bar itself. The person who causes the injury, aka the drunk individual, cannot use Illinois’ dram shop law to his or her benefit. This law is solely for the purpose of providing compensation to the sober, injured individual to make up for any medical costs, time away from work, and emotional distress that the accident may have caused.

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Winnebago County medical negligence attorney misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, a high number of patients each year suffer from unexplained symptoms and inaccurate diagnoses. Patients often forget that despite the responsibility that medical professionals are given, they do make unintentional mistakes from time to time. While this may be acceptable in other professional fields, a seemingly minor mixup from a nurse, doctor, or other medical professionals can be deadly. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, it is pertinent that you seek legal help immediately. This timeliness will allow you to make an accurate claim and receive deserved compensation to cover any impending medical bills, time lost at work, or other financial obligations.

Which Claim Can I Pursue?

All lawsuits concerning healthcare discrepancies fall under the large legal umbrella of medical malpractice. However, you and your attorney will need to pinpoint which type of issue you are dealing with. Two common cases that legal professionals handle are victims of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Although the terms are similar, the details of your case will dictate which one to pursue.

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IL crash lawyerAfter a car crash in Rockland or elsewhere in Winnebago County, it can be difficult to think about filing a claim for compensation when you are contending with the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries. Yet you may also know how important it is to file a claim in order to obtain the compensation you need. When another party was at fault for the crash, you also may be considering whether to file a lawsuit against that at-fault driver. For most people injured in car accidents, the first step is to file an auto insurance claim. But when an auto insurance claim does not result in an adequate amount of compensation, it may be time to file a lawsuit.

Many people who have been injured in car accidents caused by another driver’s negligence want to know if they should file a claim even if they might bear some responsibility for the collision. In most cases, the answer is yes. We will explain more.

Illinois Uses a Modified Comparative Fault Law

Every state has its own laws pertaining to comparative fault or contributory negligence, which are the terms used to describe a scenario in which a plaintiff files an injury claim but the defendant says the plaintiff is also at fault. Some states use a “pure” comparative fault system that allows a plaintiff to recover damages regardless of his or her percentage of fault (presuming, of course, that the plaintiff is not 100 percent at fault). In pure comparative fault systems, a plaintiff’s damages award is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Other states use a modified comparative fault system in which a plaintiff can recover as long as the plaintiff is not 50 percent or 51 percent or more at fault. Then, as with a pure comparative fault system, the plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by his or her portion of fault. In pure contributory negligence systems, a plaintiff will be barred from recovery if that plaintiff is even 1 percent at fault.

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IL malpractice attorneyIf you recently sought medical advice or treatment and your condition worsened, or if you underwent a surgical procedure and suffered an injury, you may be wondering whether you are eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and how much your claim could be worth. Most issues pertaining to medical malpractice lawsuits, also known as medical negligence claims, are governed by  Illinois statutes. While it can be difficult to say with certainty whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim and how much it could be worth until you speak with an experienced Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyer, the following are some questions you can ask yourself to help you determine whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and how much compensation you could be entitled to receive.

Was Your Injury the Result of a Healthcare Provider’s Negligence?

The first question you will need to ask yourself when you are trying to determine how much your claim is worth is whether you have a legitimate medical negligence lawsuit. It is extremely important to understand that not all injuries from medical procedures are the result of negligence. To be clear, some types of procedures and surgeries come with inherent risks, and a healthcare provider must make sure that a patient understands and agrees to those risks ahead of time.

However, when a healthcare provider makes a mistake or is otherwise negligent, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. In general, negligence means that your healthcare provider did not provide the same level of care that another provider in the same medical field and geographic region would believe was reasonable.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysIt is estimated that about 1.5 million people currently live in nursing home facilities in the United States. Nursing home staff are responsible for helping residents with medical needs as well as everyday needs such as showering, going to the bathroom, and eating meals. Most importantly, it is the nursing home staff’s responsibility to keep the residents safe. It is hard to believe that anyone would intentionally harm an elderly or disabled individual. However, nursing home resident abuse is tragically not that uncommon. When a nursing home staff member abuses a resident physically, mentally, sexually, financially, or otherwise, the facility may be liable for damages.  

Types of Resident Abuse

When we hear the word “abuse” physical violence such as hitting, pinching, or kicking may come to mind. However, this is just one of several forms of abuse to which residents may be subjected. Mental or psychological abuse involves a nursing home worker intentionally upsetting or frightening a resident. 

Working in a nursing home facility can be a stressful and frustrating occupation. Sadly, some nursing home staff use work stress as an excuse to belittle, intimidate, or mock residents. Increasingly, social media is being used to violate residents’ privacy. Workers have been caught taking and distributing humiliating photographs of residents using applications like Snapchat. This is not only an unacceptable invasion of resident privacy; it is often also a direct violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Sexual abuse is also a serious problem in U.S. nursing homes. In one horrific case, a female resident in a vegetative state became pregnant after being the victim of rape. A nurse working at the facility has been arrested and charged with sexual assault and is currently awaiting trial.  

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Winnebago County dram shop liability attorneysWhen a person considers the health risks of excessive alcohol consumption, he or she may think about problems like liver disease or high blood pressure. However, diseases like these are only some of the many ways in which alcohol use can cause injury or death. Alcohol-related injuries, including those caused by falls, car accidents, drowning, or violence, are extremely common. It is estimated that 3.2 percent of worldwide deaths are caused by alcohol.

When a person is injured in an alcohol-related accident, he or she may choose to bring a personal injury claim against the person whose intoxication caused the accident. In some cases, it is also possible to bring a personal injury claim against the establishment that served the intoxicated person alcohol. Injury claims brought against alcohol vendors fall under the umbrella of dram shop liability.

Illinois Dram Shop Laws

In certain situations, Illinois law permits an injured person or the representative of a deceased person to bring a personal injury claim against an alcohol vendor such as a restaurant or bar. In order to bring a successful personal injury claim under the state’s dram shop liability laws, you and you attorney will need to prove that:

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Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyersMany people form close, trusting relationships with their primary care doctors. They assume that their doctor is someone that they can depend upon to give them the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, some primary care doctors make mistakes that result in significant harm to their patients. Whether it is failure to accurately diagnose and treat a condition, prescribing the wrong medication, or another medical error, these mistakes can lead to preventable patient injuries and suffering. If you or a loved one have been harmed by the actions of your primary care physician, a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Mistakes Made by Primary Care Physicians

In order to become a physician, doctors must attend many year of post-high school education. Most have also undergone extensive on-the-job training. Nevertheless, doctors are not perfect and they sometimes make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are virtually harmless while others result in permanent patient injury or even death. When a physician’s mistake causes the patient to suffer new or worsened medical concerns, this may be considered medical negligence.

Typically, a doctor is considered negligent when he or she fails to meet the “medical standard of care.” This standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonably competent physician of similar education and experience would have provided under similar circumstances.

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Rockford workplace injury attorneysFew would argue that construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs. When a construction worker is hurt on the job, they may be entitled to reimbursement for their medical expenses and missed work through worker’s compensation or insurance. In some cases, a personal injury claim against a responsible third party may also help a worker collect compensation for his or her injuries.

Laws regulating workplace injuries and worker’s compensation are often complex. It can be difficult to know exactly what you are entitled to collect after an injury. This is why it is essential for injured construction workers to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney

Common Construction Site Accidents

There are many different ways in which a worker, manager, or visitor to a construction site may be injured. Some of the most common include:

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Rockford wrongful death lawyersDriving under the influence of alcohol is a major problem in the U.S., as well as throughout the world. More than 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States in 2018 alone. It is estimated that alcohol impairment is a contributing factor in nearly a third of all U.S. fatal auto accidents. Despite strict laws regulating alcohol use behind the wheel and numerous public campaigns educating drivers about the risks of driving while intoxicated, drunk driving accidents continue to occur. If you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you may be left in complete financial ruin. Although no amount of money could make up for your loss, you may be able to receive financial relief through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Illinois Laws Regarding Wrongful Death   

According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, a wrongful death is defined as a death caused by “a wrongful act, neglect or default.” When someone is killed in a wrongful death accident, a representative of the deceased person, often a spouse or other relative, may bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Through this claim, the surviving loved ones of the deceased person may be able to receive compensation for their losses.

Many wrongful death and personal injury claims are based upon the defendant’s alleged negligence. This means that in order for a claimant to receive compensation, the claimant and his or her attorney must prove that the defendant’s negligent actions caused the injury or death. However, when a claim involves a crime such as driving under the influence or reckless driving, the criteria for proving the defendant’s fault is different. Individuals who cause others to be harmed or killed as a result of unlawful activities may be considered “negligent per se,” which means that a presumption of negligence is created.

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Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyersWhether it is a minor surgical procedure or a major operation, going “under the knife” can be a frightening prospect. Most surgeries performed in the United States are completed without mistakes or complications, but this is not always the case. In fact, Medical errors are so common that they are considered to be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Preventable mistakes during surgery make up a large portion of these errors. It is estimated that over 4,000 surgical mistakes occur every year and that these mistakes result in more than $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a surgical error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Why Do Surgical Errors Occur?

Surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals often have extremely busy, stressful days. Few would dispute that working in the healthcare industry is one of the most challenging jobs there is. Sometimes, however, the stress and long hours can create serious problems, as some surgical mistakes are a result of oversight caused by fatigue. Others are due to lack of proper education or training, inadequate preoperative planning, or poor communication between medical staff. In rare cases, a surgical mistake may even be the result of a healthcare worker’s drug or alcohol use. Whatever the reason, medical workers who make negligent mistakes during surgery should be held responsible for their actions.

Common Mistakes During Surgery

It is estimated that every week in the U.S, there are 39 instances of medical staff leaving objects such as sponges and medical instruments inside of a patients’ bodies. Approximately 20 times a week, surgeons perform surgery on the wrong body part. Other surgical errors that are disturbingly common include anesthesia errors, prescription medication errors, inadequate sterilization, use of defective surgical equipment, and the use of incorrect surgical techniques. Doctors and surgeons have a legal duty to provide medical care that is reasonably competent, and mistakes like these are generally inexcusable. When a medical professional breaches this duty, the medical facility or the professional himself  may be found liable for the damages that result.

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Winnebago County car accident lawyersOn average, about 90 individuals lose their lives in car accidents every day in the United States. Even a non-fatal car accident has the potential to completely alter your life. You may be severely injured and require extensive medical care or face permanent disability. Medical bills and financial hardship caused by lost income can make recovering from a traffic accident even more difficult. Fortunately, some car accident victims are eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In order to preserve your ability to file a claim for damages after a serious car accident, always take these steps.

Step #1: Call the Police

If you are involved in a serious car accident that causes significant property damage or injuries, you need to contact police right away. Even if you do not file an injury claim, a formal police report that describes the accident is essential. This step creates an official record that the accident took place and gives insurance companies a starting point.

Step #2: Go to the Hospital

Car accidents can be extremely traumatic. When you are hurt in an accident, you may be tempted to simply go home after the exhausting experience and put off seeking medical treatment. However, it is crucial to be evaluated by a medical professional immediately. You may be much more injured than you realize. Furthermore, proving that an accident caused a person’s injuries is very hard without documentation of the injuries that was obtained soon after the accident.

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Winnebago County product liability attorneysGuardrails are barriers that are placed along the edge of highways and other high-traffic roads. The purpose of guardrail is to minimize the damage caused by a vehicle leaving the driving lane. They may be used to divide lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions, prevent vehicles from crashing into man-made structures such as buildings, and stop vehicles from rolling down steep hills. Although guardrails may look simple, their design and construction is the result of extensive research and innovation.

An important element of guardrails is that theys must be designed in such a way that they minimize the damage done to vehicles during a collision. Unfortunately, some guardrails actually do more harm than good. When a defective guardrail causes a person to be injured or killed, a lawsuit may help the injured person or the deceased person’s family to recover compensation.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Defective Guardrails

A guardrail should be designed and manufactured in a way that prevents additional vehicle damage or personal injury during a collision. If a guardrail does not accomplish this goal, the guardrail may be considered defective.

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