7210 East State Street, Suite 102A, Rockford, Illinois 61108

Call Us815-215-7561

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in personal injury

Winnebago County store injury attorneyThe last thing you probably expect when you visit a grocery store, big-box store, mall, or other retailer is to be injured. Whether you were hurt because of a slip and fall accident, parking lot accident, or another type of incident, you may be left with painful injuries and expensive injury-related costs. You may wonder if you can sue the store for failing to prevent your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances of your injury and other factors.

Bringing a Premises Liability Claim for an Injury Sustained at a Retail Store

Premises liability is the area of law that deals with the expectations of property owners. In Illinois, store owners are responsible for keeping their properties reasonably hazard-free. A store owner or property owner is not responsible for every injury that occurs on the premises, but they are responsible for injuries caused by negligence. If a store allows a dangerous condition to exist on the property, the store may be liable for injuries caused by that condition.

A store may be liable for injuries caused by:

...

Winnebago personal injury lawyersIllinois law allows individuals who are hurt by another party’s negligent or illegal conduct to file a personal injury claim and seek monetary damages. The injured person may be able to collect compensation for the financial and non-financial harm caused by his or her injuries including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is not a requirement for seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. However, successfully recovering damages through an injury claim is a very complicated and legally demanding process. An experienced personal injury attorney is an invaluable resource.  

Investigating Your Accident and Gathering Evidence

There are four basic elements in an injury claim. Proving each of these elements using persuasive arguments and evidence is key to getting the compensation you deserve. The elements include:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Injuries
  • Damages

A skilled personal injury attorney who has secured favorable settlements and awards for previous clients will know what is needed to successfully demonstrate each of these elements. Personal injury lawyers are adept at finding evidence and using this evidence to strengthen the case against the defendant. An experienced personal injury attorney will also have access to various experts including accident reconstruction specialists and vocational rehabilitation professionals who can provide compelling testimony to further improve your case. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the more likely you are to successfully recover compensation.  

...

Rockford dangerous airbag injury attorneysAirbags represent an extremely important advancement in the field of automotive safety. During an accident, the airbag deploys in less than a second to cushion the passengers and prevent them from hitting their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. While these devices are estimated to prevent vehicle occupant death by approximately 30 percent, airbags can also cause serious injuries during a crash. If you or a loved one suffered an airbag-related injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages.

Injuries Caused by Airbag Deployment

Airbags often prevent much more serious and even life-threatening injuries from occurring during a crash, however, these devices do not prevent injuries entirely. An airbag works by using an ignitor to fill the bag with gas such as argon or nitrogen during a crash. The chemicals contained in an airbag can cause lung problems or burns. The bag may also cause injuries including to the eyes, face, torso, and arms including abrasions, lacerations, and fractures. If you suffered injuries in a car accident because of a functioning airbag, the party responsible for the accident is likely liable for your injuries. The liable party may be another driver, the employer of the driver, a commercial business like a trucking company, or even a government entity.

Injuries Caused by Defective Airbags

Airbags do not always work as intended. The most infamous example of airbag malfunctions is a defect that caused some Takata airbags to explode or underinflate during a collision. Over 400 injuries and 26 deaths have been linked to Takata airbags installed in dozens of different makes and models of passenger vehicles. Airbag defects that can cause injuries include:

...

Rockland personal injury attorneysWhile the basic concepts of personal injury law are generally the same, the details vary from state to state. However, these variances can make a significant impact on an injured person’s potential recovery. The amount of compensation you may receive through a personal injury lawsuit can be affected by many different factors, including the injured person’s own negligence at the time of their injury. If a plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries in Illinois, the legal doctrine of comparative fault will apply.

Comparative Negligence for Accidents Caused by Shared Fault

Blame for any type of accident is rarely black and white. A car accident may occur because of a combination of factors. Weather conditions, road conditions, the speed at which the vehicles were traveling, distracted driving, and many other issues may affect the severity of an accident victim’s injuries. Illinois follows a legal doctrine called modified comparative negligence in personal injury claims involving shared fault. An injured person who is partially at fault for his or her own injuries may still be entitled to damages as long as he or she is not more at fault than the defendant. If an injured plaintiff is 50 percent or less at fault, he or she may still be able to recover damages. However, the amount of compensation he or she may recover is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, a plaintiff who is found to be 10 percent at fault for an accident which causes $100,000 in damages may be able to recover $90,000.

Comparative negligence or comparative fault does not only apply to car accident cases. It may also influence other types of personal injury cases. For example, in a slip and fall accident claim, an injured person may act in a way that increased the chances of being hurt in a slip and fall accident. For example, if the injured person was looking down at their cell phone at the time of the slip and fall accident, the defense may argue that the plaintiff’s injuries would not have been as severe if he or she was paying closer attention.

...

Winnebago County personal injury attorneysPersonal injury claims enable individuals hurt by the negligent or unlawful actions of another party to recover damages, or compensation, for the losses they have sustained because of their injuries. These claims are often associated with medical malpractice, car accidents, premises liability including slip and fall accidents, and defective products. If you have decided to file a personal injury claim and pursue compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, or other losses, you may have questions about how the amount of compensation you may receive will be calculated.  

Calculating the Monetary Value of Economic Damages

Medical costs are often a top motivator for personal injury claims. The amount of reimbursement you will receive for medical expenses will depend on:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • The cost of the medical treatment you have already received
  • The estimated cost of the medical treatment you will need in the future
  • The amount of time you will likely need to recover from your injuries
  • Whether there are any permanent or ongoing consequences of your injuries

You may also receive compensation for your lost wages caused by missed work. Loss of income is calculated by adding together the money you would have earned or would have likely earned if you were able to work. Lost income typically includes wages and any commissions, bonuses, or tips you would have likely received as well as compensation for the loss of your work benefits. 

...

Rockford personal injury attorneysThe vast majority of personal injury lawsuits involve the concept of negligence. When a negligent party’s carelessness causes another person to be injured or killed, the negligent party is liable for the damages caused by the injury or death. Proving that the defendant acted negligently is often the most complicated and challenging part of a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, however, a defendant in a personal injury case is automatically presumed to have been negligent. Read on to learn about the legal concept of “negligence per se” and how it can help if you or a loved one were injured by another person’s recklessness.

Main Elements of a Negligence Claim

Typically, there are four elements to establishing negligence in a personal injury case. First, you and your lawyer must prove that the defendant owed you a “duty of care.” Duty of care simply means that the defendant had an obligation to act in a way that does not put the plaintiff at an unreasonable risk of harm. For example, a property owner who invites guests onto his property has a duty to maintain a reasonably safe premises that does not include environmental hazards like broken stairs. Next, you will need to prove that the defendant did not uphold his or her duty of care. For example, if the property owner knew that the stairs were broken and did not warn guests about this danger, he did not uphold his duty of care. The third element in a personal injury case is that the plaintiff was injured. Lastly, you need to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the injuries.

Negligence Per Se Can Be a Shortcut to Proving Negligence

If the defendant violated the law, and this violation resulted in injury or death, the defendant may be considered negligent per se. In order for a defendant to be considered negligent per se, the following conditions must be present:

...

Winnebago County personal injury attorneyMost personal injury lawsuits are brought against an individual whose negligent or intentional wrongdoing caused another person injury or death. For example, if a driver who is too busy texting and driving to watch the road causes an accident, a person injured in the accident may sue the driver. Many personal injury lawsuits involve drunk drivers. An individual who is driving under the influence of alcohol and gets in a car crash may be held liable for damages caused by the accident.  However, you may be surprised to learn that a personal injury claim can also be brought against a vendor who sold alcohol to an individual who causes you injury. These claims are called “dram shop liability” claims.

Illinois Law Regarding Dram Shop Liability

Illinois statute allows a person injured by someone under the influence of alcohol to bring a claim against the vendor who supplied the intoxicated person alcohol. The claim may be in response to personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage. 

Consider the following example: A man visits a bar where he consumes several alcoholic drinks. His blood alcohol is over the legal limit but he decides to drive home anyway. On the way home, he crashes into another vehicle causing the other driver to suffer several major injuries as well as substantial vehicle damage. The driver injured in the crash may sue the drunk driver himself or the bar that supplied the man with alcohol. A bar, restaurant, or other establishment that serves alcohol does not have to continue to serve a patron past the point of intoxication in order to be potentially liable under Illinois dram shop liability laws. For a dram shop claim to be successful, the following conditions must be present:

...

Rockford falling cargo accident lawyerGetting into a car accident can obviously cause significant personal injury. Such an accident can also result in significant financial losses, as well. Even automobile accidents which are not your fault can end up costing you and your family thousands of dollars. Imagine this scenario: You are driving down the highway when a flatbed truck pulls in front of you. Suddenly, cargo from the bed of the truck comes loose, falls, and strikes your windshield. You veer out of control and crash your vehicle, resulting in significant vehicular damage and several broken bones. Who is responsible for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle? Often, the answer to the question of liability in loose-cargo accidents is not clear-cut.

Falling Cargo Can Cause Fatal Car Accidents

A 2016 study conducted by AAA found that falling cargo was a factor in over 200,000 crashes between 2011 and 2014. Improperly secured cargo was the most common cause of these accidents. Road debris resulted in roughly 39,000 injuries and over 500 fatalities during the same time period. Loose cargo and road debris can cause serious neck and spine injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and worse. Even more devastating, some people injured by loose cargo are left in thousands of dollars of medical debt and are unable to work.

Is A Truck Driver Automatically Responsible for Falling Cargo?

Many people who are injured in a cargo-related truck accident assume that the truck driver is at fault. While this is sometimes true, there are many other factors that one must consider when assigning blame in a loose cargo traffic accident. For example, say a motorist’s vehicle is struck with items falling from a flatbed truck carrying farm equipment. The loose cargo may be due to driver error, improper loading, faulty restraints, or issues with the farm equipment itself.

...

Rockford personal injury attorneysIf you have been injured in a car crash or any other accident caused by another party’s actions or negligence, you might be able to pursue compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Compensation is generally available to cover medical expenses, time away from work, and damage to property, as well as more subjective losses such as pain, suffering, and permanent scarring. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to collect compensation after an accident, especially if a lawsuit is necessary.

Filing Your Claim

In most situations, the first step toward recovering compensation after an accident is filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Depending on the situation, you might do so by going through your own insurance company first or you could file directly with the other party’s carrier. Your claim will almost certainly include the police report and any other evidence that might help prove that the other party was to blame for your injuries.

At this stage, the insurance company might offer a settlement that seems like it will cover all of your losses. Keep in mind that initial offers often do not take long-term considerations into account. For example, the first offer might come before you have even received a prognosis for making a full physical recovery from your doctor. If you accept a settlement offer, you will waive your right to taking legal action in the future, so you should discuss the matter with a qualified personal injury lawyer before making a decision.

...

Rockford personal injury attorneysHead injuries are tricky. Sometimes a person falls and bumps their head and all they are left with is a small bruise or mild headache. However, sometimes life-threatening brain injuries can be caused by just a simple accident. Slipping on a wet floor can cause someone to fall backwards and hit the back of their head which causes a brain bleed. A fall from an electric scooter onto concrete could also cause a serious brain injury.

Brain injuries can happen for almost any reason. When these injuries are caused by negligence, the injured person or his or her loved ones may be able to receive compensation for their damages.

When Are Damages Awarded?

If an injury-causing accident was the result of another party’s reckless or negligent behavior, the injured person may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. In order to bring a successful civil suit, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove several things. Firstly, they must show that the negligent party had a duty to the person harmed and that this duty was not upheld. For example, anyone driving a motor vehicle has a duty to obey traffic laws. A drunk driver who causes an accident is not fulfilling this duty. Next, they must prove that the negligent party’s action was the cause of the harm. Lastly, they must prove that the victim suffered calculable damages.

...

Rockford personal injury attorneyPerhaps more so than any other legal action, personal injury lawsuits are shrouded in misunderstanding. People hear television commercials about getting compensation for an injury and incorrectly assume that personal injury lawsuits are designed to “cheat” the system and make an easy buck. The purpose of personal injury lawsuits is to compensate a person for injuries sustained due to another party’s negligence.

If you are ever hurt by a drunk driver, defective product, unsafe environment, dog bite, incompetent medical professional, or another act of negligence, you may be out thousands of dollars. Medical bills and ongoing physical therapy can easily bankrupt a person, and insurance companies are notorious for only covering a minimum of costs. Missed work can result in even more financial hardship. Injury suits provide an avenue for injured people to recover some of these costs as well as be compensated for pain and suffering. Read on to learn about how personal injury cases are often misunderstood and how you can pursue compensation for your injuries.

Falsehoods Regarding McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case Damaged Public Perception of Personal Injury Suits

Back in 1992, a 79-year-old woman bought coffee at the McDonald’s drive-thru and spilled it on her lap. She sued McDonald’s and was awarded millions. If this story sounds familiar, it is because the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit unfairly became the poster child of frivolous lawsuits in the 1990s. However, the real story of this lawsuit was nearly completely unknown to the public thanks to biases and irresponsible journalism. The liquid which the elderly woman spilled was not simply “hot coffee,” It was coffee heated to the outrageously high temperature of 190 degrees – a temperature hot enough to cause third-degree burns in three to seven seconds. When the woman spilled her coffee, it soaked into her pants and continued burning her. She suffered third degree burns on her legs and genitals which were so horrific, she went into shock. The woman’s burns were so severe, she required multiple skin grafts and extensive medical care. 

...

Winnebago County wrongful death lawyersA wrongful death suit is a beneficial legal tool which family members of a deceased person can use to collect compensation. Illinois law explains, "Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages." If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, read on to learn about wrongful death claims in Illinois.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Illinois, only the personal representative a deceased person can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative represents the deceased person’s estate. He or she can be a close relative of the individual who passed away such as a spouse, parent, or adult child. If the deceased person, or decedent, did not appoint a personal representative before he or she passed away, the court is authorized to make this decision.

Is a Wrongful Death Claim a Criminal Matter?

Many people misunderstand the difference between a criminal case and a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death suits are civil claims, meaning they do not take place in criminal court. Wrongful death lawsuits only address liability in terms of financial damages. Criminal cases are brought by the state or federal government, not by a personal representative. Often, wrongful death cases occur along with criminal cases, but a criminal prosecution is not necessary in order to pursue a wrongful death claim in civil court.

...

Posted on in Car Accidents

Rockford car accident attorneyOf all the car accident injuries, whiplash is, by far, the most commonly reported in the United States. In fact, recent statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that some 66 percent of all claimants file an injury related to the neck, and over 800,000 whiplash injuries have been reported over the last 12 years. What can accident victims with whiplash expect after a crash, and what kind of compensation might they be entitled to receive? It is important to understand the dangers of this condition and what can be done about it.

What is Whiplash?

A soft tissue injury that involves the tendons, ligaments, and surrounding tissues of the neck, whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly and violently thrust backward, and then forward. It might sound as though it takes a high-speed crash to create this type of motion. However, whiplash is often seen in even low-speed crashes (perhaps as little as six miles per hour, if going by the cut-off limits in the UK). There is also a common misconception that whiplash occurs only in rear-end crashes, but front-on collision victims are also at risk.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Though the pain of whiplash may not show up immediately after the accident, victims are likely to notice symptoms in the coming hours, days, or weeks after an accident. Often hard to ignore, and typically far more painful than just a simple ache, these symptoms can include:

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_gavel-justice-personal-injury-courtroom.jpgWhen you or someone you love is injured in a car crash, or any other situation caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. This compensation is meant to reimburse you for medical expenses, lost wages, damage to your property, and other types of losses that can be measured financially. Your recovery may also include damages for non-economic considerations like pain, suffering, scarring, and disfigurement. Unfortunately, collecting the compensation you deserve is not always easy, and it is important for you the steps that could be necessary.

Filing Your Claim

In most personal injury matters, the first step is file a claim for damages with the insurance company of the person or entity you believe was at fault for the accident. This process usually includes an exchange of relevant information, in addition to reports filed by the police and witness statements. At this stage of the game, you will probably need to have some type of proof to show the insurance company that their client is responsible for your actions. Most insurance companies are not likely to admit responsibility without convincing evidence.

Depending on the details of your case, the insurer might offer a settlement. It is critically important to remember that accepting a settlement almost always limits your ability to take legal action in the future. You should never agree to a settlement offer without first consulting with your lawyer.

...

Rockford medical malpractice attorneyWhen you place yourself under the care of a hospital and a team of medical professionals, you expect everyone involved to do their best to meet your needs. Doctors and medical staff members, however, are human, and they sometimes make mistakes. In some cases, medical professionals can be blatantly negligent, and when this happens, the patients who suffer harm as a result may be entitled to collect compensation for their injuries.

The amount compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive depends on a large number of factors, including the seriousness of the injury and how it will affect the rest of their lives. A recent appeals court ruling in Illinois indicates that if the circumstances of a case change during trial, the verdict can be directly affected.

A Quick Recap

The case in question involved a 42-year-old Illinois woman who sought treatment at a Cook County hospital in 2005 for a soft tissue infection in her neck. Due to swelling in her throat, doctors installed a tracheostomy tube but failed to properly account for the effects of a blood-thinning medication that the woman was already taking. The combination of the medication and the trach tube led to several incidents of bleeding, including a serious event where the patient went into respiratory arrest. Before proper action was taken, the patient suffered serious brain damage and partial paralysis.

...
AV Rating Leading Lawyers Elite Lawyer Super Lawyers Top 10 National trial Lawyers
Back to Top