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Lake County personal injury attorneysPublic transportation is a convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly form of transportation for many Americans. Commuters riding a city bus to work, children aboard school buses, and other bus riders often assume that riding a bus is a safer alternative than other forms of transportation. While the vast majority of bus rides are completed without issue, major bus accidents do happen. Passengers involved in a bus accident can suffer devastating, sometimes fatal, personal injuries.

Determining Fault for Injuries Sustained in a Bus Accident

Just recently, three women were killed and 17 others were injured when the charter bus they were riding on rolled down an interstate embankment in California. The official cause of the crash has not yet been established, but it is likely that rainy conditions contributed to the bus driver losing control of the vehicle.

Determining liability in a bus crash is often very challenging—especially when multiple vehicles are involved in the accident. Bus drivers are held to a high standard of care and are expected to do everything in their power to prevent foreseeable passenger injuries. A bus driver may be liable for damages caused in a bus accident if he or she was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using a cell phone while driving, or otherwise acting negligently. It is also possible that liability lies with the company the bus driver works for or the party responsible for bus maintenance. If the cause of a bus accident is a malfunctioning piece of equipment, the manufacturer of the bus or equipment may be legally responsible for damages caused in the accident. The liable party in a bus accident could also be the driver of another vehicle.

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysAbout 55 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication on a regular basis. Many more take prescription medication occasionally for temporary illnesses and injuries. We trust that the medications we are prescribed are safe, effective, and dosed accurately. Unfortunately, prescription medication errors occur every day. Some of these errors are minor and do not result in any significant harm to the patient while other medication mistakes result in serious injury or death. If you have been the victim of a major medication error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Medication Errors Can Result in Painful, Lingering Consequences

Last October, an Illinois man rushed to the emergency room after realizing he was the victim of a major medication mistake. The man had been prescribed Tobramycin-Dexamethasone eye drops by his doctor after developing a minor eye infection. However, when the man went to Walgreens to have the prescription filled, the pharmacy worker gave him ear drops. The man trusted that the medication he received was correct and used the drops in his eyes for five days before realizing that he had received the wrong medication. He experienced painful burning and swelling of his eyes that lasted for months.

Medication errors that lead to medical malpractice claims often involve mislabeled medication, inaccurate dosing, prescription or administration of a medication the patient is allergic to, drug interactions, and medication mix ups. Depending on the circumstances, the fault for medication errors may lie with the doctor who prescribed the medication, the nurse or other healthcare worker who administered the medication, or the pharmacist who filled the prescription. Liability may also be shared by the hospital, pharmacy, nursing home, or other medical facility at which the error occurred.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_winter-shoveling-work-injury-snow-ice.jpgThere is no doubt about it: Illinois winters can be harsh. Snow and ice accumulation can make something as simple as going to the grocery store or walking through a parking lot a treacherous excursion. Icy walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots are especially dangerous because of the potential they have to cause slip and fall injuries. Slipping on ice and falling can cause broken bones, serious back injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. If you or a loved one have slipped on ice and fallen on a commercial property, you may be wondering whether or not you can sue the property owner for damages. Illinois personal injury cases involving snow or ice-related injuries are especially tricky due to a special law regarding snow and ice accumulation.

Natural vs. Unnatural Accumulation of Snow and Ice

Unlike other types of property maintenance, most property owners are not obligated to remove “natural accumulations” of ice, snow, or melt water. One exception to this rule is if a lease or contract obligates a property owner to remove natural accumulations. This means that a property owner is typically not liable for injuries caused by the accumulation of snow or ice caused by the weather. However, if an individual slips and falls on an “unnatural accumulation” of ice or snow, the property owner may be liable.

Consider the following scenario: In order to clear his parking lot of snow, a business owner arranges for the snow to be plowed and piled in the corner of the parking lot. As the weather changes over the next few days, the snow from the pile melts and refreezes creating a very icy patch near the entrance to the business. A patron entering the business slips on the ice and suffers a major head injury. In this situation, the property owner may be liable for the patron’s injury because the icy patch on which the patron slipped was an unnatural accumulation of ice caused by the property owner’s actions. Differentiating between natural and unnatural ice accumulation can be extremely challenging and will require guidance from an experienced attorney.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysIn order to reach the emergency as soon as possible, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles may run red lights and drive in ways typically not permitted by law. Loud sirens and flashing lights alert the surrounding motorists to move over and make way for the emergency vehicle. While most motorists see the warning signs and safely move out of the way of  approaching emergency vehicles, others are not able to avoid the emergency vehicle and a collision occurs. A motorist may also hit something else while attempting to avoid an emergency vehicle.

Illinois Laws Regarding First Response Vehicles

Moving out of the way of first response vehicles is not only common sense, it is also mandated by law. Drivers are required to yield to any authorized emergency vehicle that is signaling an emergency. The driver is expected to pull over to the right side of the road and remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes or the police directs the motorists to proceed.

Another law mandating motorists’ behavior with regard to first response vehicles is the “Move Over” law. The Move Over Law requires motorists to reduce speed, change lanes, and proceed with due caution when they approach an emergency vehicle stopped along the road. The law is also called “Scott’s Law” in memory of the death of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. Lieutenant Gillen was struck and killed by a drunk driver while providing aid at an accident site.

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Illinois snowmobile accident lawyersIllinois offers a great number of outdoor recreation opportunities. During the winter months, many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy climbing aboard a snowmobile and cruising off into the wintery landscape. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as snowmobiling is, it can often be equally as dangerous. Snowmobile accidents are relatively common, and many of these accidents result in severe injuries or even death. If you or a loved one have been injured in a snowmobile accident, you may have incurred significant medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. If the injury was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for these and other expenses related to the accident.   

Top Causes of Snowmobile Accidents

It is estimated that about 2 million people ride snowmobiles each year in the United States. Of these snowmobile drivers, about 14,000 will suffer an injury in a snowmobile crash. Snowmobile accidents often result in broken bones, back injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Sadly, it is estimated that about 200 people die in snowmobile accidents every year. Some of these accidents are caused by a snowmobile driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not skilled enough to safely maneuver the vehicle, or traveling at unsafe speeds for the terrain conditions. However, many snowmobile injuries are not the fault of the driver. In some cases, another party’s negligent actions or inaction are to blame for the driver’s injuries.

Determining Fault in a Snowmobile Crash

When another party’s negligence causes someone to be significantly injured, the responsible party may be held liable for the economic and noneconomic damages that result from the injury. Negligence occurs when a party’s recklessness, carelessness, or other wrongdoing causes another party harm. If your loved one was injured in a snowmobile collision and the other driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the other driver may be legally responsible for the damages caused. If a malfunctioning snowmobile or snowmobile part caused the accident, the manufacturer of the snowmobile or defective part may be to blame. Determining fault in a personal injury case can be challenging, so it is essential that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer if you think your accident could have been caused by another party’s negligence.

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