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Lake County premises liability lawyersIllinois is known for its harsh winter weather, and homeowners are constantly battling the accumulation of snow and ice on driveways and walkways. Serious slip-and-fall injuries can occur when a person slips on an icy area, but a homeowner is only legally responsible for these injuries under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more about homeowner liability in slip and fall cases involving winter weather and what you should do if you have been injured because of a property owner’s negligence.

Illinois Law Regarding Injuries Caused by Icy Conditions on a Residential Property

Not every slip and fall accident caused by ice is the fault of the property owner. In order to bring a successful premises liability case against a homeowner, your injuries must have been caused by the property owner’s negligence. Property owners and property managers have a legal obligation to keep their property reasonably safe and free of dangerous conditions. This includes clearing driveways and walkways clear of snow and ice. However, if the icy condition is not caused by negligence but is simply a product of Mother Nature, the homeowner may not be liable for injuries caused by the icy condition.

The Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act states that homeowners are not liable for injuries ensuing from a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk unless "the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton." However, the homeowner may be legally responsible for a fall injury if the icy area was an "unnatural accumulation.” For example, if the homeowner knew that a leaky pipe was leading to an accumulation of ice, and he or she did nothing to fix the problem, he or she may be considered negligent and therefore liable for injuries.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a serious car accident or other injury-causing incident can leave both physical and mental scars. Experiencing the chaos and destruction caused by a major auto accident firsthand can be extremely shocking. Some car accident victims are even witness to the death or catastrophic injury of other individuals involved in the accident such as passengers or pedestrians. Needless to say, these mental images can haunt a person for years. Mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, phobias, and depression can be caused or worsened by a major accident. These injuries may not be observable in the way that a broken arm is evident, but they are just as real.

Signs of Psychological Distress After an Accident

While we often think about physical injuries when we think of the damage caused by major auto accidents, the psychological damage caused can often be just as distressing or even worse than the physical injuries. One mental condition that is especially common in accident victims is PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD may only become apparent weeks or months after the traumatizing event. They include but are not limited to:

  • Nightmares
  • Distressing flashbacks
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Shaking
  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings and
  • Difficulties completing daily living tasks or work-related tasks

If you have experienced these issues after a traumatizing event, speak with a mental health professional immediately.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysWhen someone is involved in a car accident, slip and fall, or other injury-causing accident, they may suffer a mild traumatic brain injury called a concussion. Most of the time, the symptoms caused by a concussion are short-term. However, some people who suffer a concussion develop post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome can dramatically affect a person’s ability to do his or her job, participate in hobbies, care for children, and enjoy life the way he or she could before the concussion occurred.

Common Causes of Concussions

A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when the brain strikes the inside of the skull or is otherwise injured. A violent blow to the head, such as a person hitting his or her head on the dashboard during a car accident, can cause a concussion. Sports, falling, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, and physical abuse can also cause someone to suffer a concussion. It is not always easy to know if you have a concussion. Symptoms such as headache, nausea, and confusion may not appear for days or even weeks after the injury. This is one reason that it is so important for anyone involved in an auto accident or other serious accident to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

Some people who experience a concussion develop post-concussion syndrome. This is especially common in people who have previously experienced head trauma. Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include headache, difficulties with sleeping, dizziness, depression, anxiety, irritability, reduced concentration, memory problems, sensitivity to noise and light, ringing in the ears, and blurred vision. These symptoms can radically affect a victim’s life. Through a personal injury lawsuit, a person suffering from post-concussion syndrome may be able to receive compensation for their medical bills, missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a severe car accident can impact the rest of your life. Not only can a car crash leave you with enormous medical bills, but it can also stop you from enjoying life the way you did before being involved in the accident. Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to get compensation for your hospital bills, prescription medication costs, and other expenses. You may also be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering as well as any disability or disfigurement caused by the accident. These are only some of the damages available to injured plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. However, in order for a person seriously injured in a car accident to win a personal injury claim, he or she must prove that the other driver was in some way responsible for the accident. Along with a qualified attorney, an accident reconstruction specialist may help you prove fault in a car accident claim.  

Proving Negligence or Fault in a Car Accident

Some car accidents are straightforward. For example, when someone is driving under the influence and hits a pedestrian on the sidewalk, there is little question as to who is at fault for the pedestrian’s injuries. However, some accidents can be highly complex and involve a variety of factors. Multi-car pile ups can be especially hard to sort out. In situations where fault is not obvious, an accident reconstruction specialist may be able to help. 

In Lake County, Illinois, the Technical Crash Investigations Team may assist in determining what happened during a serious car wreck. The team may be able to reconstruct the scene of the accident in order to understand whether or not a criminal offense has been committed. 

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Lake County personal injury attorneysSevere burn injuries are some of the most painful and debilitating injuries a person can possibly experience. Burns can leave a person with horrible scars—both physically and mentally. A major burn injury can also leave a person unable to enjoy the activities they once could, work in their chosen profession, and keep their independence. When a person is severely burned due to the negligence of another party, they deserve justice. Through a personal injury lawsuit, a burn victim may be able to recover compensation for the damages the negligence caused them and their family.

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

There are a variety of ways that a person can sustain a severe burn injury. In some serious auto accidents, a vehicle’s gasoline ignites and causes the car to burst into flames. This can result in severe burns as well as severe psychological trauma. Burn injuries can also be the result of gas explosions, electrocutions, chemical accidents, and fires at worksites. Apartment and hotel fires can be especially disastrous. When a person is trapped inside of a large building during a fire, they may not be able to get out in time to avoid severe burns and smoke inhalation damage. Defective products such as items with faulty wiring, defective appliances, malfunctioning batteries, and defective fuel tanks can also cause burn injuries.  

Addressing Myths About Burn Injuries

One of the most complicated parts of a personal injury lawsuit involving a burn injury is that burns can vary significantly in severity. Most people have experienced a first-degree burn from getting sunburned. First-degree burns heal quickly and almost never cause long-lasting damage. Second-degree burns can cause blisters and significant pain. Third degree burns can cause catastrophic damage including permanent disability or disfigurement and even death.

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