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IL injury lawyerGiven the prevalence of dogs as pets in Illinois and throughout the U.S., along with their reputation as friendly and loyal companions, it can be easy to forget that they are also capable of causing serious injuries. You may be fortunate to have nothing but positive interactions with dogs throughout your life, but all it takes is one attack to threaten your immediate health and even your long-term well-being. If you suffer from ongoing complications related to a dog bite injury, you may be entitled to substantial compensation from the dog’s owner.

Possible Long-Term Effects of Dog Bites

Many dog bite injury victims are able to make a full recovery after receiving treatment. However, severe injuries may cause harm that lasts for months, years, or indefinitely. Some possible long-lasting complications include:

  • Infection - Many people associate rabies with animal bites, but bite wounds can also become infected with other diseases, including tetanus and staph. When an infection spreads throughout the bloodstream, it can become difficult to control, and an injury victim may need significant ongoing treatment.
  • Scarring and disfigurement - Even after healing, deep bite wounds can leave visible scarring that permanently alters the victim’s appearance. Dog attacks can also cause facial disfigurement or result in the amputation of fingers or limbs.
  • Impaired mobility and bodily functions - Many different complications from dog bite injuries can result in limited mobility, including excessive scar tissue, muscle damage, nerve damage, broken bones, and loss of digits or limbs. Head and facial injuries can also affect a person’s ability to see, speak, eat, breathe, and perform many regular brain functions.
  • Mental injuries - Some dog bite injury victims suffer from anxiety and depression related to the effects of their injuries. Others suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder that may trigger panic attacks and other adverse effects when they encounter dogs in the future.

Recovering Damages

In Illinois, a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog without provocation, meaning that they can be held responsible for all of the victim’s damages. For a dog bite victim suffering from long-term complications, these damages may far exceed the costs of their immediate medical care. When filing a personal injury claim, victims should consider future costs of surgeries, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation, as well as impairments to their earning ability. They should also consider the effects of the physical and mental pain and suffering caused by their injuries.

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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 seriously injured in an accident, you understand how much it can affect all areas of your life. Your most immediate concern is likely your health, or even your very survival, as well as your ability to cover the costs of your care. However, over time, your concern may shift to the ways in which your injuries continue to affect your daily life, happiness, and well-being. You should know that if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you are not only entitled to compensation for the financial costs, but also these ongoing effects, which are often referred to as pain and suffering.

Examples of Pain and Suffering

In a personal injury claim, pain and suffering damages cover a variety of negative effects that do not necessarily have a tangible financial cost, but nonetheless impair your quality of life. Some examples include:

  • Physical pain - The costs of medical treatment for pain management will be included in the economic damages you can pursue, but you may be entitled to additional compensation for the non-financial impact of your chronic pain.
  • Mental anguish - Your mental health can also suffer due to the effects of your injuries, especially if you are in constant pain, or if your injuries have limited your physical abilities or altered your appearance.
  • Interference with daily tasks - Severe injuries can make it difficult or impossible for you to perform even simple tasks, like caring for yourself and your home on your own.
  • Loss of enjoyment - Your injuries may prevent you from doing many things that you used to enjoy, including exercising, traveling, and engaging in other recreational activities.
  • Loss of companionship or consortium - Many injury victims have supportive family members and friends, but unfortunately, the physical and mental effects of an injury can often make it difficult to maintain quality relationships in the way that you used to.

Securing Compensation for Pain and Suffering

Because pain and suffering damages do not have an easily defined monetary value, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the compensation you may be entitled to based on your personal situation and other similar cases. Your lawyer can work with you to prepare evidence and testimony that demonstrates the full extent of your pain and suffering, including statements from your doctors, in-home care providers, friends, and family. Compelling evidence of this nature can help you secure greater compensation in a settlement or trial.

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IL injury lawyerMopeds and motorized or electric scooters are a common form of transportation and recreation for many people throughout Illinois, and they are increasing in popularity with the rise of e-scooter rental companies like Lime, Bird, and Spin. In fact, the City of Chicago has recently run e-scooter pilot programs, with signs pointing to a possible full-time adoption. However, traveling by e-scooter is not without its dangers, and it is important to know what you should do if you are injured while riding.

Requirements for Different Kinds of Scooters in Illinois

In general, vehicles that are considered to be mopeds or scooters are subject to the same Illinois traffic laws as bicycles. This means that if they are traveling on a public road, they should follow traffic signs and signals, stay to the right side of the road, travel in the same direction as other vehicle traffic, and yield the right of way when appropriate. They also must be equipped with a visible headlight and taillight at night, and they are only permitted to carry two people if the passenger has a seat and footrest. Motorized scooters with gas-powered engines must also be titled and registered.

In addition to these laws, there are different legal requirements for different types of scooters. Some motorized scooters are classified as motorcycles or motor-driven cycles based on the power of their engines, and drivers of these vehicles must have a valid Class L or Class M motorcycle license. Drivers of lower-powered mopeds, on the other hand, are only required to have a regular driver’s license.

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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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