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Lake County car accident lawyersWhen we think about negligent drivers, drunk driving or drugged driving often comes to mind. However, those under the influence of alcohol and drugs are not the only drivers who can cause serious and even deadly car accidents. In our busy world, about half of U.S. adults report not getting enough sleep at night. When a sleep-deprived driver gets behind the wheel of a car, the results can be catastrophic. In one survey, a shocking 40 percent of drivers admitted to actually falling asleep while driving at least once in their lifetime. Fatigued drivers who cause car accidents can be held legally responsible for the damages caused by the accident.

How Does Sleepiness Affect Driving?

If you are like most adults, you probably sleep fewer hours than you would like to. While it is extremely common, being sleep deprived can significantly harm your brain’s ability to properly function. Not getting adequate sleep can negatively affect cognition, alertness, decision-making, attention, and memory. 

One of the most common side effects of sleep deprivation is a slowed response speed which is especially dangerous for drivers. Being sleepy and being under the influence of alcohol can have a very similar effect on driving ability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that about one out of every six fatal car accidents is caused by a fatigued driver. About 72,000 car crashes were caused by sleepy drivers in 2013 alone.

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Lake County wrongful death lawyersLosing a loved one in an unexpected accident can take a massive toll on surviving loved ones. Not only does a death in the family cause heartbreak, it can also be create a tremendous financial burden to those left behind. When another party’s negligence causes a death, the deceased person’s loved ones may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. Through a wrongful death claim, the victim’s family can pursue compensation for medical expenses, loss of companionship, and more.

When is a Wrongful Death Claim Appropriate?

Tragic accidents happen every day, but not every unexpected death warrants a wrongful death claim. According to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, when an individual’s death is caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or default” and the deceased person would have been eligible to recover damages if he or she survived, the personal representatives of the deceased person may pursue compensation for the benefit of the surviving spouse and next of kin. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate in the following situations:

  • A drunk driver causes a deadly car accident.
  • An employer fails to maintain a safe work environment and an employee dies in an accident as a result.
  • Medical negligence or medical malpractice causes the death of a patient.
  • Someone texting and driving veers off the road and kills a pedestrian.
  • An individual dies after using a defective product created by a negligent manufacturing company. 

These are only a few examples of the many circumstances which can lead to a wrongful death claim. To learn more about whether or not your loved one’s passing constitutes a wrongful death, contact a qualified personal injury attorney. 

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Lake County personal injury attorneySuffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can absolutely devastate a person’s life. When someone’s brain is damaged in an accident, he or she may never be the same again. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when a violent impact to the head causes the brain to strike the skull or when an object such as a shard of glass penetrates the skull and damages the brain. Someone who suffers a TBI may require ongoing, expensive medical treatment and be left unable to work for months or even years. Fortunately, a personal injury lawsuit may be able to help TBI victims recover compensation for their damages.

How Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Occur?

In 2014 alone, nearly 3 million people visited an emergency room for traumatic brain injury treatment. Over 800,000 of these victims were children. Some traumatic brain injuries are relatively minor, while others can cause permanent disability or even death. There are almost countless ways that an individual can suffer a traumatic brain injury. Two of the most common causes of TBI include car accidents and slip and fall accidents. TBIs can also occur during sports, workplace accidents, and gun-related incidents. A child who falls from playground equipment can sustain a TBI if the child’s head strikes a hard object or the ground.

Pursuing Financial Relief After a TBI

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries through an injury lawsuit. Negligence often occurs when a person or entity fails to uphold a duty of care and a serious accident results. For example, a shop owner has a duty to keep the store safe for the patrons shopping there. If the owner ignores an unsafe condition or hazard and that negligence leads to a customer’s injury, that customer may have a valid personal injury claim. Similarly, daycare workers have a duty to ensure the safety of the children in their care. If daycare staff do not properly supervise children and a serious accident results, the daycare company could be held liable.  

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysYou may be shocked to learn that medical mistakes are the third-most leading cause of death in the United States. One Johns Hopkins study estimates that as many as 400,000 people pass away every year due to medical mistakes in the U.S. alone. When you or a loved one has an unexpected medical emergency, you may drive to the emergency room to get the medical care you need. Although the majority of hospital emergency rooms safely provide the life-saving care that patients need without error, emergency room mistakes do happen.

ER Mistakes Can Be Devastating to the Victim

When someone experiences a drastic change in their health, they usually go to the emergency room. Because emergency room doctors and other medical staff are often dealing with high-stakes, time-sensitive medical emergencies, they must use extreme caution and focus when attending to patients. Unfortunately, studies show that as much as 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve mistakes. Some of these mistakes will not make a notable difference in the patient’s condition, but others can be the difference between whether the patient lives or dies. Some of the most common emergency room mistakes include:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis including inappropriate response to signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes
  • Medication errors including overmedicating, under-medicating, or giving patients the wrong medication or dosage
  • Failure to obtain proper patient medical history
  • Misuse of a medical device
  • Misinterpretation of laboratory test results
  • Unhygienic conditions which lead to an infection
  • Failure to provide appropriate medical treatment
  • Administrative mistakes including confused patient files and mislabeled test results

Pursuing Compensation for Medical Mistakes

Victims of medical malpractice may be left with significant economic and noneconomic damage, including enormous medical bills, a worsened medical condition, and significant pain and suffering. A mistake made in the emergency room could be the difference between recovering from a major health issue and not improving at all. 

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Lake County Personal Injury AttorneyAlmost every personal injury claim hinges on the concept of negligence. In order for an injured person to collect compensation for damages related to an accident, they will most likely need to provide evidence that shows that the accident was caused by another party’s negligence. 

It can often be hard to know exactly what type of behavior constitutes negligence. Sometimes, experts like doctors, accident reconstructionists, civil engineers, or law enforcement officers will need to weigh in on a personal injury case to help prove negligence. Eyewitnesses to the accident may also provide valuable insight when it comes to showing how negligence contributed to the claimant’s injuries.

Defining Negligence

A person acts negligently if he or she behaves in such a way that a reasonably cautious person would not. This can include negligent acts as well as negligent failure to act. In most personal injury claims, the negligent party owed some type of duty to the injured person. For example, anyone driving on public roadways has a “duty of care” to drive safely and obey traffic laws. Typically, there are four elements which must be demonstrated in order to prove that a party acted negligently:

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