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IL injury lawyerThis Fourth of July weekend will be a time of celebration for many people, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted holiday plans in 2020. In the midst of this celebration, however, it is important to keep your safety in mind. Unfortunately, the Fourth of July also tends to come with a spike in certain types of accidents that can result in serious injuries. You should do your best to prevent and avoid these accidents, but know that a personal injury attorney can help if you do suffer injuries.

Common Causes of Injuries on the 4th of July

Many popular Fourth of July traditions contribute to the increased risk of injuries on and around the holiday. Some of the most common causes of injuries include:

  • Fireworks accidents - According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), over 15,000 people required emergency treatment for injuries related to fireworks in 2020, primarily for burns, eye injuries, and hand injuries. If you choose to light fireworks yourself, the CPSC recommends safety precautions like keeping a bucket of water nearby, lighting only one item at a time, and avoiding picking up fireworks that do not fully ignite.
  • Drunk driving accidents - Many Fourth of July celebrations include alcoholic beverages, and unfortunately, some people choose to drive under the influence. The National Safety Council reports that hundreds of people die in fatal car accidents on Fourth of July weekend each year. If you can avoid driving, especially late at night, you have a better chance of avoiding a serious crash.
  • Boating accidents - Illinois residents often take advantage of the long weekend and warm weather to boat on Lake Michigan, Fox

What to Do If You Are Injured on the Fourth of July

If you are injured due to one of the above causes, or any other reason, this Fourth of July weekend, you should be sure to get the medical care you need. If someone else is responsible for your injuries, like a drunk driver or boat operator or a person lighting fireworks irresponsibly, you may have a case for compensation through a personal injury claim. An experienced attorney can help you take the necessary steps to recover financially for your damages.

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IL accident lawyerIf you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. However, a successful claim typically requires substantial evidence of the negligence at hand and the damages you have suffered. Depending on the situation, this can include physical evidence, photos and videos, documented reports, and more. Various types of witness testimony can also be invaluable when it comes to supporting your claim.

Witnesses to the Incident

Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, a dog attack, or some other situation, chances are that someone saw it happen. Eyewitnesses can help you establish the circumstances surrounding your injuries to determine whether they were caused by a negligent act or some other incident that would entitle you to damages. Eyewitnesses can include many different people, such as:

  • Friends, family, and acquaintances who were with you at the time of your injuries
  • People who were with the negligent party at the time of your injuries, as a passenger in the other vehicle
  • Bystanders in the surrounding area
  • Law enforcement officers who saw the incident happen or responded to the scene

Other types of witnesses can also help you establish the negligence of another party. For example, a person familiar with the other party could speak to a pattern of dangerous behavior similar to the act that caused your injuries. Expert witnesses like car accident reconstruction specialists can also speak to the likely causes and effects of a collision.

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IL accident lawyerPersonal injury law deals with injuries and deaths caused by another party's illegal, reckless, or negligent actions. The party liable for an injury may be an individual, a commercial business, the owner or occupier of the property on which the injury occurred, or even a government entity. Personal injury lawsuits can be an effective way to hold a party accountable for the harm caused by negligence or wrongdoing. It may also serve as a means of financial recovery for the claimant. Personal injury claims are also subject to critical deadlines and rules – many of which are often overlooked.

Key Considerations if You Wish to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Many misunderstandings and myths are surrounding personal injury law. If another party harmed you or a loved one and you are interested in seeking compensation for damages, it is essential to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • You only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are subject to time restrictions called statutes of limitations. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for wrongful death and personal injury cases is two years. Once two years have passed, you lose your option to sue.
  • Key evidence may be lost or destroyed if you do not act quickly. It is also essential to get started on your case as soon as possible because many forms of evidence are time-sensitive. Evidence may be lost – intentionally or unintentionally – soon after an injury or death. Your attorney can send an anti-spoliation letter that prohibits the defendant from destroying or "losing" evidence relevant to your case.
  • Most cases are settled before trial. Some people assume that filing a lawsuit is the same thing as going to trial. On the contrary, most personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations before trial. This is why it is important to hire an attorney with solid negotiation skills and a history of getting high-dollar settlements for clients.
  • You might be entitled to compensation even if you contributed to the injury. Illinois follows a legal doctrine called "modified comparative negligence." You might be entitled to monetary damages even if you contributed to your injury. For example, if you were speeding when a drunk driver struck you, you may still recoup a significant portion of your losses.
  • Most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. Many people assume that they cannot afford to retain a quality attorney. Fortunately, most personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means that legal fees are taken from the settlement or award that the claimant receives at the end of the case.

Contact a Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, pedestrian accident, or another incident caused by the negligent actions of another party, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. for a free consultation. Our Waukegan personal injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation. Call 847-662-3303 today.

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IL accident lawyerA personal injury claim may be used to seek compensation for damages, or financial losses, resulting from an injury. In order to be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim in Illinois, you and your attorney may need to show proof of the defendant’s negligence. If you were injured in a car accident, this may mean proving that another driver was at fault for your accident. Personal injury claims often become cases of “he said, she said” so proving that the other driver was to blame for your accident may be quite difficult. Accident reconstruction is one way that you may be able to demonstrate liability in a car accident injury claim.

Proving the Elements Needed to Win Your Case

Most personal injury claims are founded on an allegation of another party’s negligence. To win a claim based on negligence, you will need to demonstrate four main points. First, you must show that the defendant owed a duty of care. In the case of car accident claims, this is typically the easiest issue to prove because all drivers have a duty to drive in a lawful and safe manner. Secondly, you must prove that the driver breached or violated the duty of care. A driver may breach his or her duty by texting and driving, driving too fast for the conditions, or otherwise driving in a way that could endanger others. Thirdly, you will need to show that the driver’s negligence caused your injuries. Lastly, you must show that you sustained damages such as medical bills or lost income because of your injuries.

Reconstructing an Accident

Accident reconstruction is one tool that may be used to demonstrate how a driver’s negligent actions caused an accident. Accident reconstruction experts are usually highly-skilled in fields such as forensic engineering, physics, and mathematics. They may use evidence such as the location and severity of vehicle damage, skid marks, vehicle information from event data recorders, weather data, traffic patterns, and road conditions to determine what happened during an accident. This information may be used along with computer programs to “reconstruct” or reproduce the events that occurred during the accident in an easy-to-understand format. An accident reconstruction expert may offer assistance during the development of your claim or he or she may be called as an expert witness in court.

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IL injury lawyerBeing seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, car accident, fire, or another type of accident can lead to painful, debilitating injuries. Even if these injuries heal, the accident victim may be left with disfiguring scars for the rest of his or her life. If you or a loved one were recently involved in an accident that led to disfiguring injuries, you may have questions about your legal options. If your accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for scarring and disfigurement.

Accidents That Lead to Disfigurement

There are many different types of accidents that can lead to disfiguring injuries. A serious car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident can lead to deep lacerations that leave lasting scars. Cuts to the face, arms, and hands are especially common in car accidents. Fires, explosions, fireworks accidents, workplace accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals, and electrical accidents may cause burn injuries that lead to lasting scars. Amputation of a limb may result from a construction accident or another incident in which body parts are crushed or severed. Disfigurement can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to work, perform daily living tasks, and enjoy life.

The Role of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim Involving Disfigurement

A personal injury claim is a legal claim that is used to pursue compensation for injuries caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. To recover compensation for disfigurement after an accident, you and your attorney will need to show that the defendant acted negligently or broke the law and that this negligence or wrongdoing led to your injuries. Negligence is typically defined as the failure to exercise a level of care and concern a reasonable person would have exercised in a similar situation.

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