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What Are Punitive Damages? 

 Posted on December 01, 2021 in Personal Injury

shutterstock_368589437-min.jpgWhen car accidents or truck accidents are caused by ordinary carelessness, it is usually seen as enough for the at-fault party to compensate the victim for any harm done. This usually includes paying for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs directly related to the accident. However, sometimes an at-fault party’s conduct goes above and beyond mere negligence. In specific cases where a driver’s behavior was more egregious, punitive damages may be awarded for the purpose of punishing the defendant. This area of the law can be complicated, so you will need an attorney to assess the facts and circumstances of your accident to determine whether punitive damages may be appropriate. 

What is the Difference Between Punitive and Compensatory Damages? 

Compensatory damages are meant to compensate injured plaintiffs for the damage done to them in the accident. Even if it was simply a careless mistake, compensatory damages are awarded so that the defendant, rather than the plaintiff, will cover the costs associated with the crash. Punitive damages are used to punish the defendant for hurting someone through a complete disregard for others’ safety. 

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?

 Posted on November 10, 2021 in Wrongful Death

shutterstock_1251541837-min.jpgLosing a loved one because of another person’s negligence is devastating. A fatal accident can bring both emotional and financial stress to an entire family that can be long-lasting. If your family member was killed due to negligence, you may be rightfully seeking to recover damages. The first step to put your family on the path to receiving compensation is determining who has standing to file the claim. If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim, it is important that you consult with a qualified wrongful death lawyer. Your family deserves compensation for their loss - an experienced attorney can advocate for you to receive everything you are entitled to.

Who Has Standing to Bring a Wrongful Death Action in Illinois?

In Illinois, wrongful death actions must be brought by the “personal representative” of the deceased. The personal representative is the estate administrator or executor of the person who passed away. If your deceased family member had a will or other estate planning documents, they probably appointed a personal representative.

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What Happens if a Bicyclist Strikes a Pedestrian?

 Posted on October 26, 2021 in Cook County personal injury lawyer

cook county personal injury lawyerWalking and riding a bicycle can both be great ways to get around in a metropolitan area. These methods of transportation offer fresh air and great exercise - but they come with dangers. You may think of pedestrian accidents as strictly motor vehicle accidents that involve a pedestrian. However, serious injuries can occur when a pedestrian is struck by a bicycle. If you were injured while walking after being hit by a cyclist, contact an experienced attorney to help you recover compensation.

What Challenges Come With Pursuing Compensation from a Bicyclist?

Unlike in a motor vehicle accident, where your attorney would most likely be filing a claim against a car insurance company, pursuing compensation after being struck by a bicycle generally involves going after the cyclist himself. In some cases, this can streamline the process. An individual cyclist lacks the legal team that most insurance companies have. However, pursuing compensation from an individual can also present challenges, as they are generally not as responsive and organized as an insurance company.

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Is a Drunk Driver Always Responsible for a Crash?

 Posted on October 11, 2021 in Car Accidents

orland park car accident lawyerPractically speaking, when a drunk driver is involved in a car accident, they are almost always at fault. It is rare - but not impossible - for a drunk driver to get into a crash they did not cause. In Illinois, drunk drivers are presumed to be negligent under a legal principle known as “negligence per se.” If you were hurt in a car accident involving a drunk driver, it is best to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later, and always before you give a statement to an insurance company. Even if it is abundantly clear that the drunk driver was at fault, a lawyer can represent you during settlement negotiations and ensure your rights are protected.

What is Negligence Per Se?

Negligence per se is a legal principle used to prove that a person was acting negligently simply by breaking a law that was put in place for safety reasons. The injured victim must also demonstrate that they were hurt because the negligent person broke that law. In drunk driving cases, this tends to be a straightforward analysis. Laws against drunk driving were put in place because drunk drivers risk hurting other people by crashing into them. A person who drives drunk is breaking the law. If a drunk driver injured you, you were hurt because the drunk driver broke that law, and you likely would not have been hurt if the other driver were sober or took a cab instead of driving.

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Have I Been Harmed by Medical Malpractice? 

 Posted on September 15, 2021 in Medical Malpractice

orland park medical malpractice lawyerMedical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Sometimes it is clear that medical malpractice has occurred, such as when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside the patient’s body during an operation. Other times, it is not so clear. Some patients may not even realize that they have been the victim of medical malpractice until years later. This article will cover some common types of medical malpractice. If you suspect that you have suffered worksened health as a result of medical malpractice, it is important to get in contact with a qualified attorney as soon as you realize that something is amiss.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

This type of medical malpractice can be quite insidious. People tend to trust their doctors and often accept their diagnoses - or lack thereof - without question. Healthcare providers may sometimes miss the signs of a serious illness such as cancer, resulting in delayed treatment. Or, a doctor may incorrectly diagnose a condition, resulting in unnecessary treatment or the wrong treatment. A patient may not discover this type of medical malpractice until years later after they have already suffered substantial harm as a result.

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Hidden Car Accident Injuries 

 Posted on August 06, 2021 in Car Accidents

orland park injury lawyerApproximately 6 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S. and many of them result in injuries. Some vehicle accident injuries, like broken bones and lacerations, are immediately apparent. Other injuries, on the other hand, are not so obvious. That is why it is important to get medical attention promptly if you are involved in a car crash.

Car Accident Injuries That Are Not Always Apparent

Certain car accident injuries do not always present symptoms in the beginning. In fact, some injuries may not show symptoms until days or weeks after. Here are several hidden injuries to look out for.

  • Whiplash - Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries and can occur when your head moves backward and then forward suddenly. Symptoms of this injury include neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, and shoulder pain. If whiplash is not addressed promptly, it can lead to complications in the near future, like severe neck pain and limited range of motion.

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What Evidence May Be Used in a Truck Accident Injury Claim?

 Posted on July 28, 2021 in Truck Accidents

IL accident lawyerWhether they are caused by spilled truck cargo, unsafe lane changes, speeding, or another reason, truck accidents often result in severe consequences. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a car crash involving a commercial truck, you may be able to hold the liable party accountable and recover financial compensation through a personal injury claim. You may be entitled to reimbursement for past and future medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, and even your pain and suffering. However, to do so, you will need to build a persuasive claim with compelling evidence.

Proving Liability and Damages in a Truck Crash Claim

Bringing a successful injury claim against a trucking company can be especially challenging because commercial trucking companies often have significant resources at their disposal. The trucking company may deny liability for the crash or push for an unreasonably low settlement. A skilled personal injury lawyer experienced in truck accident cases can help you build a strong claim against the trucking company or other liable party. The stronger the evidence supporting your claim, the better your chances are of securing a favorable settlement or award.

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What Rights Do Motorcyclists Have in a Hit and Run Crash?

 Posted on July 02, 2021 in Motorcycle Accident

IL accident lawyerIn May of this year, a 27-year-old motorcyclist tragically lost his life after colliding with a passenger vehicle on the Kennedy Expressway. Illinois State Police report that the other vehicle did not stop after the collision and instead fled the scene of the accident.

Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident can be devastating. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle accident and the other driver sped off before insurance information could be exchanged, you may be unsure of your rights. Can you recover compensation for your medical bills and vehicle damage? What if the at-fault driver is never discovered?

Hit-and-Run Accidents Involving Motorcyclists

Riding a motorcycle puts a driver in an especially vulnerable position. Even if the driver is wearing a helmet and other protective gear, the motorcycle offers virtually no protection in the event of a collision. Consequently, fatal and catastrophic injuries are particularly common in motorcycle accidents. The economic consequences of a motorcycle accident can create a tremendous financial burden on an injured person and his or her family. Fortunately, injured motorcyclists may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income from missed work, and other damages.

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Understanding Common Risk Factors for Pedestrian Accidents in Illinois

 Posted on June 25, 2021 in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerAt some point throughout the day, we are all considered pedestrians. We are all at risk of being injured in a motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian, which happens more often than you may think. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 79,000 motor vehicle accidents that occurred involving a pedestrian in 2019. When a pedestrian is involved in an accident with a vehicle, the results can be devastating and can inflict damage and trauma onto the pedestrian because of the sheer size and weight comparison. If you have been in a traffic accident as a pedestrian, you should get in touch with an Illinois pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your options for compensation.

Risk Factors for Accidents Involving Pedestrians

When you are walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting on a bench, or stretching out in the grass, you are a pedestrian. According to the NHTSA, pedestrian fatalities decreased between 2018 and 2019, but only slightly with a small 2.7 percent decrease. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, recovering compensation may be possible if you can determine who is at fault for the accident. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving pedestrians include:

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What You Need to Know About Dog Bites and “Dangerous Dogs”

 Posted on June 09, 2021 in Dog Bites

Il dog bite lawyerWhen you think of a dog, you likely think of a happy, tail-wagging companion that is a common addition to families across the world. However, it is very easy to forget that while dogs can be part of the family, they are still living creatures that can sometimes act unpredictably and lash out if they feel the need. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Insurance Information Institute (III), there are an estimated 85 million dogs in the U.S., however, insurance companies paid out around $854 million in claims relating to dog bites in 2020 alone. If you have been bitten by a dog in Illinois, you are likely eligible for claiming compensation for your injuries.

Illinois’ Animal Control Act and Liability

In the state of Illinois, owners are responsible for the actions of their animals in nearly all situations. If a person is bitten by a dog, the owner of that dog is liable for the injuries that the dog causes. Specifically, the Illinois Animal Control Act states that a person is responsible for civil remedies for injuries caused by their dog biting a person if the person was in a place that they were legally allowed to be and the dog was not provoked.

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