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IL accident lawyerThis summer, jet ski accidents have been brought to public attention in Illinois after a couple of tragic incidents. In June, a man died in the Illinois River near Peoria when his jet ski became submerged. Then, in July, another man lost his life in a collision between his jet ski and another in Lake Michigan near Chicago. There is clearly a risk of serious injury for anyone who rides a jet ski, but you may wonder just how prevalent these accidents are, and what you can do if you or a loved one is injured.

Illinois Jet Ski Injury Statistics

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) publishes an annual recreational boating report, which includes statistics regarding accidents, injuries, and fatalities throughout the year. According to the most recently published report, between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, there were 36 recreational boating injuries and 21 fatalities throughout Illinois. Twelve of those injuries were due to accidents involving personal watercraft, including jet skis. Fortunately, there were no personal watercraft fatalities during that time frame, but recent accidents demonstrate that the risk is there.

According to the United States Coast Guard, jet skis and other personal watercraft are responsible for hundreds of injuries and dozens of deaths throughout the U.S. each year. These vessels account for about 20 percent of all recreational boating injuries, and about 8 percent of all recreational boating fatalities.

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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue financial compensation for losses caused by an injury. Nearly any type of injury may be the basis of a personal injury claim, but severe injuries typically result in higher settlements and awards. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury that resulted in a permanent disability, you may be able to seek monetary damages through a personal injury claim.

Understanding When a Successful Personal Injury Claim is Possible

A personal injury claim is a civil claim that may be based on either “negligence” or recklessness or intentional wrongdoing. There are four main components in any personal injury claim based on negligence:

  • Duty – The defendant, meaning the person or entity from whom you are seeking compensation, owed a duty of care. This could be a driver’s duty to drive cautiously, a manufacturing company’s duty to prevent dangerous product defects, a property owner’s duty to maintain a safe property, or another type of duty.
  • Breach of duty – The defendant breached the duty by failing to act as a reasonably cautious person would act.
  • Injuries – The plaintiff suffered injuries because of the plaintiff’s actions.
  • Damages – The plaintiff suffered damages. Damages include the direct financial consequences of the action such as lost wages and medical expenses as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

A personal injury lawyer can help you determine if each of these elements is present in your case.

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IL pedestrian accident lawyerThere were over 5,000 pedestrian collisions in Illinois in 2018. Many of these accidents resulted in severe and fatal injuries. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, it is important to know your legal rights. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the driver may be facing criminal consequences for striking you or your loved one. However, criminal penalties do not offer any financial restitution to the victim or the victim’s surviving loved ones. A personal injury case may allow a pedestrian accident victim to recover monetary compensation for the harm caused by the accident and hold the driver answerable for the crash.

Holding At-Fault Drivers Accountable for the Harm They Caused

Many pedestrian accidents are the result of a driver acting carelessly or negligently. The driver responsible for your accident may have been texting and driving, changing the radio station, looking down at a GPS screen, or otherwise not paying attention to the road at the time of the accident. The driver may have been intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Whatever the reason, drivers who act negligently and strike a pedestrian should be held responsible for their actions. A personal injury claim may be brought in addition to criminal charges, or it may be brought in the absence of criminal charges. The standard of proof for civil claims including personal injury claims is much lower than the standard of proof required for criminal cases. Therefore, it is possible to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit even if the driver avoids criminal culpability for the accident.

Recovering Financial Compensation for Damages

Damages are the losses that a victim suffers because of an accident. If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident, you likely needed emergency medical treatment immediately after the collision. You may also require ongoing medical care in the form of rehabilitative treatment, surgery, and mental health care. The medical bills resulting from a pedestrian accident can be massive. Through a personal injury claim, you may be compensated for the costs of your medical treatments. You may also get compensation for your lost income and any damage to your earning capacity caused by a permanent injury. Compensation for non-financial losses including your pain and suffering may be recoverable as well. If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s lost income, medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and other damages caused by the untimely death.

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IL injury lawyerAll-terrain vehicles (ATVs), quads, or four-wheelers can be useful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also cause severe and often fatal injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in an ATV accident or you were hurt by someone riding an ATV, you may have questions about your legal rights. Are ATV accidents treated the same as car accidents? Do ATV riders have to carry insurance? Will I be compensated for my medical bills after an ATV collision? The answers to these questions will depend on many different factors, so it is important to speak with a skilled injury attorney for individualized guidance.

16-Year-Old in Lake County Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury in ATV Incident

In January of this year, a 16-year-old Lake County girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after being ejected from an inner tube being pulled by an ATV. She was unresponsive for several days following the accident but is now awake and relearning how to function. Although this ATV incident was atypical in that it involved a person being towed behind the vehicle, ATV accidents causing injury or death are not uncommon. In 2018 alone, there were over 81,000 ATV accidents in the U.S. Over a quarter of these accidents involved children.

Liability for an ATV Accident

In Illinois, ATV drivers are required to have liability insurance. This insurance, like typical auto insurance, is intended to compensate an injured person in the event of an accident. However, many ATV owners do not carry enough insurance to adequately compensate someone for injury-related losses. In cases such as these, a personal injury case may be filed against the at-fault party. The party who is liable for ATV injuries may be an ATV driver, the owner of the property on which the accident occurred, the manufacturer or designer of a defective ATV part, or another party. Fault may also be shared between the injured person and another party. Fortunately, in Illinois, individuals who are partly responsible for their own injuries may still be entitled to partial compensation for damages if they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

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IL injury lawyerMost parents vividly remember the first day that their child went to school. Placing your child in the hands of teachers and other school staff and trusting them to keep your child safe is no easy task. Unfortunately, serious injuries and even deaths do occur in school. In some cases, a child’s injury is directly caused by the school’s negligence or even the intentional acts of a teacher or other staff member. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, playground accident, or another incident at school, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the school or other at-fault party answerable for your child’s injury and recover damages via a personal injury claim.

Determining Liability in Personal Injury Lawsuits for School Injuries

Children are often rambunctious, energetic, and prone to injuries. However, when a child’s preventable injury is caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of another party, that party should be held accountable. A personal injury lawsuit may be used to hold a school liable for intentional abuse or injuries caused by the school’s negligence or carelessness.

However, determining whether the school or another party is liable is often one of the most challenging parts of a personal injury case. For example, a school bus accident may be caused by negligent driving, poor bus maintenance, or another driver. The school may have acted negligently by hiring a bus driver who was unqualified for the position or was not trained properly. A playground accident may be caused by inadequate staff supervision or it may be the fault of the party who incorrectly manufactured or assembled the playground equipment. A personal injury attorney with experience handling cases involving child injuries at school can help you determine what party or parties are liable for your child’s injury.

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