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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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IL injury lawyerParking lots can be chaotic – especially when drivers are not following proper parking lot protocol. Drivers may cut across parking spaces, travel the wrong way, fail to yield to pedestrians and make other risky maneuvers. Although vehicles moving through parking lots are typically traveling at low speeds, there is still a potential for car accidents involving serious injuries or even fatalities. If you or a loved one were involved in a parking lot car accident, you may have questions about how liability is determined and whether you or your loved one are entitled to compensation.

Right of Way Rules in Parking Lots

Before you can recover compensation through a personal injury claim, you and your lawyer will need to determine the party or parties responsible for the accident. Liability for a parking lot accident is largely dependent on right of way rules. Drivers in “feeder lanes” or side lanes are expected to yield to drivers in the main thoroughfares. Drivers exiting a parking space must yield to all other vehicles. Every driver should be attentive to their surroundings and watchful for pedestrians. Children are especially vulnerable to injury in parking lots. Not only do children often run and dart between vehicles, they are also smaller and less visible to drivers.

Distracted Drivers and Unlawful Drivers

Despite countless public service announcements and programs designed to curb distracted driving, texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving continue to be a problem. If a driver was looking at his or her phone, GPS, or radio dial instead of looking at the road at the time of the accident, he or she may be considered negligent. If the other driver was intoxicated, he or she will almost certainly be considered at-fault for the accident. However, proving that a driver was distracted, inebriated, or otherwise not following the law is not always easy. Your lawyer may use police reports, surveillance footage, photographs of the accident, and other types of evidence to prove fault.

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IL injury attorneyWhile some surgeries are riskier than others, there are risks associated with every surgical procedure. Even a routine, minimally-invasive surgery may result in a patient’s serious injury or death. In some cases, a patient’s operating room death is unavoidable. He or she may have had an adverse reaction to anesthesia or suffered from an unknown medical problem that leads to a fatal complication during surgery. However, some deaths are directly linked to the negligent or misinformed actions of the surgeon or surgical staff. If your loved one passed away during surgery, you may question the true cause of your loved one’s death.

How Do I Know If the Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice claims are personal injury claims that are brought against negligent medical professionals or medical facilities. The standard that is typically used to determine if a medical professional’s conduct was negligent is the “medical standard of care.” The medical standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonable medical professional with similar qualifications would have performed under similar circumstances. Examples of surgical errors that may cause or contribute to a patient’s wrongful death include:

  • Administering an inappropriate amount of anesthesia medication
  • Cutting or severing an artery or vein
  • Performing a surgical procedure that was unnecessary
  • Using surgical techniques or procedures that are unreasonably risky
  • Using incorrect surgical methods

How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Benefit Surviving Loved Ones

If your loved one has passed away and you suspect that a surgical mistake contributed to his or her death, you may wonder how a lawsuit will benefit you and your family. Money cannot bring back your loved one, but it can provide important financial relief and hold the negligent party responsible for the mistake. Though a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and your own losses resulting from the untimely death. You may receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s income and employment benefits as well as the loss of his or her companionship, guidance, or affection.

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Posted on in Brain Injuries

IL injury lawyerThe brain is responsible for everything from problem-solving to motor functions. When the brain is damaged in an accident, the injured person may deal with significant cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms. Concussions are the mildest form of traumatic brain injury, but a concussion can still cause considerable suffering. The symptoms associated with a concussion may be especially debilitating if the sufferer develops post-concussion syndrome.

How Do Concussions Occur?

Concussions can be caused by slip and fall accidents, car accidents, construction accidents, physical violence, and other situations in which the brain is damaged. Often, a concussion occurs when an individual’s brain strikes the inside of his or her skull because of a sudden acceleration or deceleration. Many people who suffer a concussion do not even realize it at the time of their accident. It is only after they begin developing symptoms that they realize something is seriously wrong. A concussion can cause symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Blurry vision

Cognitive symptoms such as memory loss, inability to concentrate, and even personality changes can also be caused by a concussion.

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IL injury lawyerDriving a truck can be a grueling occupation. Truck drivers must spend long periods of time behind the wheel and away from their loved ones. Sleep deprivation and drowsy driving are major concerns in the trucking industry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drivers who do not get enough rest are less attentive to their surroundings, slower to react, and have greater difficulty making decisions.

In order to reduce the frequency of truck accidents and bus accidents caused by fatigued drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers and bus drivers can drive consecutively. Modifications to these regulations go into effect on September 29, 2020.

Changes to Rules Regulating Commercial Driver Rest Breaks

The FMCSA states the changes to the Hours of Service rules are intended to provide drivers with greater flexibility without sacrificing safety. Modifications to the Hours of Service Rules include:

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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue compensation for a person who has been injured due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another party. The other party may be an individual or it may be an organization such as a manufacturing company or business. The term “damages” is used to describe the harm for which a personal injury plaintiff receives compensation. In some cases, additional compensation called “punitive damages” is awarded.

Reckless Indifference to a Risk of Harm

Typical damages in a personal injury claim include medical expenses, lost income, reduced future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are above and beyond compensatory damages and are intended to punish the at-fault party for behavior that is especially reprehensible. Illinois law states that a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if he or she can prove that the defendant’s actions were with “evil motive” or reckless disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are referred to as “exemplary” damages because they are designed to “make an example” out of the defendant and discourage other parties from acting similarly.

Obtaining Punitive Damages in an Injury Claim

Punitive damages are not recoverable under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act or in medical malpractice cases. However, punitive damages may be available in cases involving product liability, car accidents, premises liability such as “slip and fall” injuries, and other types of injuries. In order to obtain punitive damages, your attorney will need to show “clear and convincing” evidence that proves the egregiousness of the defendant’s actions. The court will consider factors including the duration and frequency of the plaintiff’s misconduct, the type of harm suffered by the plaintiff, whether the defendant attempted to conceal the reckless or dangerous behavior, and the overall facts of the case. In Illinois, the amount of money that may be awarded in the form of punitive damages cannot exceed three times the amount of compensation awarded for economic damages.

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