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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 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 injury lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer, parents and child care providers will likely be spending more time outside with children, including on the many playgrounds throughout Illinois. Playground equipment can be a great way to keep children active and entertained, but unfortunately, it can also lead to injuries, some of which are serious. If your child is injured on a piece of playground equipment, it may be possible to recover compensation if there is evidence of negligence that contributed to their injuries.

Common Cause of Playground Injuries Among Children

Children can be injured on playground equipment in many different ways. Some common causes and contributing factors in playground injuries include:

  • Lack of proper supervision - Without a responsible adult keeping watch, children can easily injure themselves even on reasonably safe equipment.
  • Falls - Children using swings, slides, jungle gyms, and other equipment are often high off the ground, and if they fall, they can suffer broken bones, concussions, and other injuries.
  • Sharp edges - Especially with playground equipment made from wood or metal, sharp points, edges, or protruding parts can cause puncture and laceration wounds if children step on them or run into them.
  • Loose or rusted parts - Unsecured or weakened parts can cause equipment to break while in use and create an immediate injury risk.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

Some playground injuries are truly accidents, but in many cases, one or more parties are liable due to their failure to ensure the equipment is safe. Depending on the circumstances, negligent parties could include:

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IL accident lawyerIt is an unfortunate reality that many people choose to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, putting themselves and others at risk of serious injury or death. While this problem is more prevalent among drivers of passenger vehicles on their personal time, some commercial truck drivers also operate under the influence while they are on the job. Accidents involving drunk truck drivers can have especially dire consequences, as their large vehicles are capable of causing extensive damage. If you or a loved one was injured by an intoxicated truck driver, it is important to ensure that you are compensated fairly.

Gathering Evidence of a Truck Driver’s Negligence

Truck driver intoxication can happen due to alcohol consumption, the use of illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription medication. In many cases, it is possible for accident victims to access evidence establishing these various forms of intoxication in order to bolster their claim for compensation. However, it is important to act quickly.

You should call the police immediately after a crash so that they can create an accident report. If law enforcement suspects that the truck driver is intoxicated, they may also ask the driver to submit to a preliminary breath test at the scene of the accident, which can detect the presence of alcohol in their bloodstream. An officer may also arrest a truck driver on DUI charges, after which the driver is required to submit to chemical testing which can detect other controlled substances. An experienced attorney can help you work with law enforcement to access police reports and test results to use as evidence to demonstrate negligence in your personal injury case.

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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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