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IL accident lawyerIf you were hurt by the actions or negligent inaction of another party, you may be left with significant financial losses and painful, long-lasting injuries. Ideally, the responsible party and/or insurance company would reimburse you for these expenses, however, getting full compensation through these means is often next to impossible. Insurance companies typically try to settle for less than the injured person’s damages are actually worth and may disregard non-financial damages like pain and suffering. In many cases, bringing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party is the best way to recover compensation after a slip and fall accident, car accident, or other injury-causing incident. If you are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim, you may wonder exactly how a personal injury lawyer will benefit your case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Increases Your Chances of Success

There are many different reasons that retaining a skilled personal injury attorney will improve your chances of successfully recovering compensation. Your personal injury attorney will help you:

  • Determine the Liable Parties: In many cases, determining which party is liable for an accident is not as straightforward as you may assume. For example, the party legally responsible for a truck accident may be the truck driver, the trucking company, the company that manufactured a faulty truck part, or several other parties. The party liable for a medical mistake could be the doctor himself or herself, the hospital or medical facility, or the manufacturer of a defective medical device.
  • Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim: To win a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your injuries and that you suffered damages as a result. Your attorney will help you gather evidence such as photographs, surveillance camera footage, maintenance records, event data recorder files, and medical records and use this evidence to create a strong argument against the defendant. He or she will also gather testimony from those who were witnesses to the accident as well as expert testimony from medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and other professionals.
  • Reach a Settlement That Covers Your Full Damages: Without an attorney advocating on your behalf, you may settle for significantly less compensation than you are entitled to. For example, you may recover compensation for your past medical bills but not the expensive physical therapy and prescription medication you will continue to need long after the case is over. Your attorney will help you negotiate a settlement that gets you the full financial recovery you need and deserve.
  • Present Your Case During Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your case may go to trial. Your attorney will represent you and your best interests thought these legal proceedings. He or she will stand by your side so that you do not have to face this intimidating and confusing process on your own.

Contact a Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyer

The accomplished Lake County personal injury attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. have more than 85 years of collective legal experience. We have helped countless clients successfully recover compensation for a wide range of injuries. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you, call our office today at 847-662-3303.

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IL injury lawyerIf you or a loved one have been hurt due to the carelessness or misconduct of another party, you may have questions about what it takes to win a personal injury claim and collect compensation. A personal injury claim may allow an injured individual to recover compensation for medical bills related to the incident, ongoing medical costs, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, and more. Most personal injury lawsuits hinge upon whether or not a party acted negligently.

Understanding the Legal Definition of Negligence

Although the word “negligence” is often used as a synonym for inattention or recklessness, the legal concept of negligence is much more precise. In order to prove that a party acted negligently, you and your attorney will need to show that four main elements are present in your case:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant owed the plaintiff, or individual bringing the lawsuit, a “duty of care.” This means that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a certain way toward the defendant. For example, a doctor owes his or her patients a duty to provide reasonably skillful medical care. A landlord has a legal obligation to keep his or her property free of preventable hazards. A store owner has an obligation to maintain a reasonably safe premise for customers. Drivers have an obligation to drive in such a way that does not present a risk of death or injury to other motorists or pedestrians.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to uphold his or her duty of care.
  • Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries. There are two types of causation: cause-in-fact and proximate cause. Cause-in-fact is sometimes called “but-for” causation, meaning but for the defendant’s actions, the injury would not have occurred. Proximate cause means that an event was related to an injury in such a way that the court considers the event to be the cause of the injury
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered some type of injury or loss. If a person breached a duty of care but this did not result in any harm, the person may not be considered negligent. For example, if a pharmacist gave a patient the wrong medication but the patient realized the mistake before taking the medication, the patient would not have a valid personal injury claim. However, if the patient took the wrong medication and suffered serious medical complications requiring hospital treatment, the patient may have a valid injury claim.

Contact a Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt due to another party’s carelessness or recklessness, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to learn about your legal options. A personal injury claim may enable you to hold the at-fault party responsible for the wrongdoing as well as recover compensation. Call our office at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our passionate Waukegan injury attorneys.

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IL injury lawyerWhether it is from staying out in the sun too long, accidentally touching a hot pan, or picking up a smoldering sparkler, most people have experienced at least one minor burn injury. Mild to moderate burn injuries can still be painful, but they do not compare to the extreme pain and dangerous medical complications caused by a severe burn injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe burn, you may be wondering what your legal options are. In many cases, a personal injury claim can help a burn injury victim recover compensation while simultaneously holding the party responsible for the burn injury accountable for its negligence.

Consequences of a Severe Burn Injury

Perhaps the most famous personal injury case involving burns is the case involving a spilled cup of McDonald’s coffee. Although the media portrayed the case as an example of a “frivolous lawsuit,” the reality of the situation was quite the opposite. The coffee was outrageously hot – hot enough to cause full-thickness burns to a person’s skin in two to seven seconds. The elderly woman who accidentally spilled the scalding coffee on herself received third-degree burns that required skin grafting and caused extensive disfiguration and horrific pain. Even worse, McDonald’s had received more than 700 other complaints of burn injuries caused by their overly hot coffee before this particular claim. Because the court found McDonald’s actions to be especially egregious, the woman was awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are extra compensation designed to punish the wrongdoer.

Damages in a Burn Injury Case

If another party’s negligent or wrongful actions led to your burn injury, you may be entitled to compensation as well. Damages in a burn injury case typically include compensation for medical bills resulting from emergency room treatment, prescription medication, hospital stays, surgery, and ongoing medical care. Compensation for your physical pain and suffering and mental anguish may also be available. If your burn injury caused you to miss work, you could receive compensation for your lost income. If the injury was so severe that it reduced your ability to work in the future, you could also be compensated for your reduced future earning capacity.

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Wheaton personal injury lawyerFor many people, fireworks are one of the most enjoyable parts of summer. Whether you are visiting a public fireworks display or setting off small fireworks in your backyard, watching the lights streak across the sky is fun for all ages. Unfortunately, fireworks can also be very dangerous. There are many steps you can take to help prevent fireworks injuries. However, if you or a loved one is injured in a fireworks accident this summer, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation.

Preventing Common Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks can be fun, but they can also cause severe, sometimes disfiguring injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, in the weeks surrounding Independence Day, 180 people per day visit emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Over 44 percent of these ER visits are for burns. The hands, fingers, face, eyes, and legs are the areas of the body that are most likely to suffer from a fireworks injury. If you plan to enjoy fireworks this summer, make sure to immediately back away from fireworks after lighting them, never point or throw fireworks at another person, and douse used fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.

Fireworks Injury Lawsuits

Many fireworks injury lawsuits depend upon whether or not an individual or company acted negligently. When a company is hired to put on a public fireworks show, that company has a legal obligation to prevent foreseeable injuries to spectators. A pyrotechnic show company may be liable for fireworks injuries if they:

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Posted on in Premises Liability

Lake County personal injury attorneysAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), More than 4,000 young people pass away every year from complications caused by excessive drinking. It is against the law for people under age 21 to purchase alcohol, but it is estimated that 11 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed by underage individuals. Underage drinking can have horrific, life-altering consequences—not only for the drinker but for others as well. Young people who do not know how intoxicated they really are may get into catastrophic car accidents that result in serious injuries and death. For all of these reasons, Illinois passed a measure called the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. According to the act, adults who allow underage individuals to drink may be liable for injuries or deaths caused by drunk driving accidents or by the drinking itself.

Death of Young Girl Prompts Illinois Law

The Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act, or “social host liability act” was enacted in 2004 in response to the death of a young Illinois woman. The 16-year-old was at a friend’s house when she was encouraged by her friends and their father to drink an extreme amount of liquor. According to court documents, her friends, who were 18 and 21 years old at the time, offered her money if she could drink an entire bottle of liquor without losing consciousness or vomiting. The teenager drank the bottle and then became unresponsive.

Although the friends and their father were aware of the teenager’s condition, they did not immediately take her to the hospital for medical treatment. She eventually received medical care, but because treatment was so delayed, she passed away from alcohol poisoning.  The mother of the young girl killed by binge drinking brought a wrongful death claim against the family that encouraged her to drink to excess. However, the circuit court of Cook County dismissed the case. As a response, the Illinois state legislature passed the law now referred to as the social host law.

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