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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe spinal cord’s main functions are to transmit nerve signals and coordinate the body’s reflexes. When the spinal cord is damaged, the results can be devastating. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that over 17,000 individuals suffer from a spinal cord injury every year in the United States. There are nearly 300,000 Americans currently living with the negative health effects of a spinal injury. If you have suffered a spinal injury due to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Reimbursement for Medical Expenses After a Spinal Injury

No amount of money could ever fully compensate someone for a catastrophic injury such as a severe spinal cord injury. However, financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can help an injured person and their family manage the enormous expenses incurred by a serious spine injury. A personal injury lawsuit may help you receive reimbursement for your current and future medical expenses including:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Surgery costs
  • Prescription medication costs
  • Expenses for x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests
  • Expenses related to physical therapy and other ongoing medical treatments

Compensation for Other Considerations

Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. However, when a person experiences a major spinal injury, they incur many more damages than just these. 

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe death of a loved one is difficult no matter what the circumstances are. However, losing a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence can be absolutely devastating. We trust doctors, dentists, nurses, nurses’ aides, surgeons, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to be competent in performing their duties. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, research conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine suggests that medical mistakes are the third-most leading cause of death in the United States. If you have lost a loved one because of a medical professional’s negligence, carelessness, or intentional wrongdoing, a wrongful death lawsuit may help you hold the negligent party accountable.

When Is a Medical Professional Considered Negligent?  

As hard as doctors and other healthcare professionals try, sometimes, a loved one simply cannot be saved, and not every patient’s death is the result of a medical mistake. Knowing when a medical professional is liable for death is not always easy. A medical professional is considered negligent when the following conditions are present:

  • The professional owed a “duty of care” to the patient, meaning he or she had an obligation to provide competent treatment that meets the prevailing standard of care. The prevailing standard of care is typically defined as the care that a reasonable medical professional with a similar background and training would have provided under the same circumstances.
  • The professional breached his or her duty of care meaning the professional did not provide reasonably competent medical care.
  • The patient’s injury or death was directly caused by the medical professional’s failure to uphold his or her duty of care.
  • Quantifiable damages resulted from the patient’s injury or death. 

Damages can include medical expenses like hospital bills, nursing home bills, prescription medication costs, laboratory fees, and costs related to surgery. Through a wrongful death claim, you may also be able to get compensation for funeral and burial expenses, the loss of your loved one’s current income and future earnings, and your loved one’s pain and suffering before his or her death. If you have lost your spouse or child’s parent, you may also be eligible for compensation for the loss of consortium and the loss of parental guidance for your children.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysAs you enjoy your holiday parties this season, it is important to note how seriously Illinois law takes underage drinking. You probably already know that it is against the law for anyone under age 21 to consume alcohol, but you may not know about the laws regarding adults who supply alcohol or drugs to minors. In 2004, Illinois passed the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. The Act established a law that holds adults liable for injuries or deaths resulting from underage drinking when the underaged drinking was allowed or encouraged by the adults. It is important for all Illinois residents to be aware of the “social host liability law” and the consequences of allowing a minor to drink alcohol or use drugs.

Wakulich v. Mraz Provoked a Change in Illinois Law

The Illinois law regarding the duty of adults to prevent children from drinking alcoholic beverages was passed in response to a case involving the death of a 16-year-old girl. The young girl was at the home of two brothers, aged 18 and 21, and their father. At the home, the brothers offered the 16-year-old money if she could drink an entire bottle of Goldshlager without vomiting or losing consciousness. The girl consumed the bottle but quickly became unresponsive. Although the young girl was showing obvious signs of alcohol poisoning, the brothers did not seek medical help. The girl was eventually taken to the hospital but the damage to her body was too extensive, and she died due to the extreme binge drinking. 

The girl’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the family who allowed her daughter to drink so excessively, but the case was dismissed by the circuit court of Cook County. The dismissal was upheld both by an appellate court and the Illinois Supreme Court because the law in Illinois at the did not support a finding in the mother’s favor. In response to this case, the Illinois legislature created a cause of action that holds adults liable for supplying minors with alcohol or drugs if the minors are injured or killed as a result.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may be completely unsure of what to do next. The first step in any car accident is to address any injuries and move the vehicles out of harm’s way (if possible). If the accident appears minor, many people choose to exchange insurance and contact information with the other driver without involving the police. It may seem easier and less stressful to avoid police involvement after a car crash. Doing so, however, can be very risky.

You Cannot Be Certain as to the Extent of the Damage to Your Vehicle

How certain are you of your knowledge of motor vehicles? After an accident, a cursory glance at the vehicles involved may lead you to believe that the damage is minimal. However, even minor fender-benders can cause damage which is not immediately apparent. A jolt to your car or truck may have caused the frame to shift, damaged electronic sensors, or caused other internal damage. These issues can significantly increase the cost of repairing the vehicle. Without a formal police report, it may be difficult to prove that these issues were caused by the accident.

You May Be More Injured Than You Realize

Adrenaline is a hormone released into the bloodstream during a stressful or scary event such as a traffic accident. This hormone results in an increased heart rate and dilated pupils, but it also can reduce the pain that an injured person feels. Many people do not realize how injured they actually are until hours or even days after being involved in a crash. If you do not contact the police after an accident, it might be nearly impossible to prove that any injuries you sustained were a result of the accident. A full police report can dramatically strengthen your claim to cover the costs caused by the accident.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysPedestrians deserve to be safe walking down public sidewalk and walkways. Unfortunately, fatal car accidents involving pedestrians happen every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a pedestrian is struck and killed by a motor vehicle every 1.5 hours in the in the United States. If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be considering bringing a wrongful death claim against the driver. It is important to know the elements of a wrongful death case involving a pedestrian accident in Illinois.

Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident

If you are deciding whether or not to bring a wrongful death claim after a loved one was hit by a car, you should consider several factors. Successful wrongful death lawsuits generally involve proving negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing on behalf of the defendant. If a driver in a fatal car accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she will likely be presumed to be responsible for the accident. Drivers have a duty to drive with caution and attention. A driver who was distracted or simply not paying attention may also be considered negligent and therefore liable for damages caused by the accident.

If the person killed in the accident was partially at fault for the accident, it may still be possible to collect compensation. Illinois comparative negligence law states that if an injured party is less than 51 percent responsible for an accident, the injured party or the party’s estate can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if your loved one was “jaywalking” or crossing the street not at the designated crosswalk, he or she could be considered partially at fault for the accident. However, if the driver of the vehicle is found to be at least half at fault for the accident, you can still bring a wrongful death claim against the driver.

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