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IL injury lawyerWhen an individual is injured because of another party’s actions, the injured person may have a right to pursue financial compensation for their damages through a personal injury case. Many personal injury claims are brought against the at-fault party’s insurance company. While personal injury cases vary substantially from case to case, most personal injury cases involve the same basic steps. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall, or another injury-causing incident, speak to a personal injury attorney to learn more about what may be involved in pursuing compensation for your damages.

Retaining Legal Counsel and Investigating the Cause of Your Injury

Once you decide on a personal injury lawyer, the first steps that he or she will likely take will be investigative in nature. Your lawyer will need to know how you were injured, the severity of your injuries, and whether another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing may have caused the injuries. Your lawyer will then begin to gather evidence to support your claim such as police reports, videos and photographs, and witness statements.

Demanding a Settlement

Many people assume that all personal injury cases involve filing a lawsuit. However, some injury victims are able to receive a settlement without needing to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will send a letter demanding compensation for your injuries to the insurance company or other opposing party. Typically, the opposing party responds with a counteroffer. Your lawyer and the opposing party may negotiate back and forth until a satisfactory settlement is reached. If the opposing party refuses to offer a reasonable payout, your lawyer may file a personal injury lawsuit.

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IL injury lawyerIf you are like most people, you probably get lost in your thoughts from time to time. Whether you are thinking about a work obligation, family issue, or simply your grocery shopping list, getting lost in thought or “daydreaming” happens to everyone. However, when a motorist daydreams while driving, the consequences can be deadly. Inattention is consistently associated with an increased chance of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, some studies suggest that daydreaming behind the wheel is an even greater issue than cell phone use behind the wheel.

Study Shows that One in Ten Fatal Collisions Were Caused by Daydreaming

By the time a motorist has been driving for a few years, driving becomes second nature. Most drivers do not have to consciously think about applying the brake when they see brake lights ahead or flipping the turn signal when changing lanes – they simply do it automatically. Unfortunately, this automation can lead drivers to become disengaged from the driving process.

Drivers who are lost in through or dreaming are more likely to make driving mistakes that cause an accident. One study conducted by Erie Insurance Group found that over 60 percent of fatal accidents were attributed to daydreaming. Other forms of distracted driving including using an electronic device or reaching for items in the vehicle also lead to a high percentage of injury-causing and deadly auto accidents.

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IL injury lawyerThe weather is finally starting to warm up in the Waukegan area. Some individuals are taking their motorcycles out for the first time this year. While enjoyable, riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous hobby. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle collision, it is important to know your rights. You could be entitled to financial compensation for damages. However, the amount of compensation that you may recover may be influenced by a legal theory called “comparative negligence.”

Damages in a Motorcycle Collision Case

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, you could potentially recover compensation for damages through a personal injury claim. Compensation for the damage to your motorcycle and other personal property, medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, and pain and suffering may be recoverable. Damages in a fatal motorcycle accident may include the loss of your loved one’s income and services, the loss of companionship or guidance provided by your loved one, medical and funeral expenses, and more. However, in motorcycle accident cases, the legal concept of comparative negligence can reduce the compensation you are entitled to.

Contributory Fault on the Part of the Motorcyclist

If you or your loved one’s actions contributed to the motorcycle accident or to the severity of the injuries, this will reduce your potential recovery proportionally. For example, if you were speeding or ran a red light, you could be considered partially at fault for the incident. Another common complicating factor in a motorcycle accident case is not wearing a helmet. Although Illinois law does not mandate motorcycle helmets, it is generally accepted that wearing a helmet can mitigate head and neck injuries in an accident. If you were not wearing a helmet or other safety gear at the time of the accident, it may be argued that this decision worsened your injuries.

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IL injury lawyerWhile injuries like broken bones, lacerations, and contusions are almost always immediately apparent, injuries to the brain are often harder to recognize. In fact, a person may sustain a severe brain injury and have little to no sign of damage on the outside of his or her head. Brain injuries range from mild to severe. Many traumatic brain injuries (TBI) begin subtly but eventually lead to severe symptoms. TBI symptoms can prevent an individual from working, fulfilling their responsibilities, and even enjoying life. If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages.

Medical Expenses and Lost Income

Traumatic brain injuries may be caused by a car accident, act of physical violence, slip and fall accident, or other situation in which the head is forcefully struck. To diagnose TBI, a doctor may order CT scans, x-rays, and other tests. Some TBI suffers even require an emergency craniectomy to surgically relieve pressure from swelling. Between ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery, testing, and other medical costs, treating a TBI can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. The financial burden created by medical expenses may be exacerbated by the fact that the injured person cannot work while he or she is recovering. Through a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost income from missed work, and any impairment to your income-earning ability.

Mental Suffering and Other General Damages

The consequences of a traumatic brain injury are not only financial. A moderate or severe TBI can dramatically reduce a person’s quality of life. Non-economic damages or “general damages” are those costs that cannot be represented by a number on a bill or receipt. General damages in a traumatic brain injury case often include physical pain, mental or emotional anguish, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life. The value of non-economic damages is often calculated by multiplying the value of medical bills and other economic damages by a multiplier between 1.5 and 5. The amount of compensation that a person may be entitled to for non-economic damages after a traumatic brain injury will likely be based on the severity of the TBI, the degree to which the TBI affects your ability to work and complete everyday tasks, and whether your own actions contributed to the TBI.

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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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