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Wheaton personal injury lawyerThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that over 32,000 people are killed in auto accidents each year in the United States and approximately 2 million are injured. Although we rarely think about it, getting into a car is statistically one of the most dangerous things most people do on a daily basis. Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, much of the country has been ordered to stay at home during the last few months. While many states saw a decrease in serious motor vehicle accidents during quarantine, Illinois surprisingly had more fatal auto accidents in March than in the months preceding the quarantine.  

Increases in Speeding and Reckless Driving 

For much of the beginning of 2020, most nonessential employees were furloughed and asked not to come into work. A large percentage of workers were also required to work from home. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses closed their doors to customers in an attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic. Since so many people were staying home due to the quarantine, most would expect the frequency of fatal auto accidents to decrease. Indeed, some states did see a major decrease in roadway deaths. For example, fatal auto accidents were down 32 percent in Hawaii and down 28 percent in Iowa. However, Illinois experienced an 11 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents in March of this year. The National Safety Council has speculated that although the roads are emptier, they are more deadly. This may be due to an increase in speeding, reckless driving, and violation of other traffic laws as a response to fewer cars on the road.

What To Do If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Car Accident

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, you are likely unsure of what to do next. You may be burdened not only by your personal loss but also by significant financial stress. Your loved one may have required expensive emergency room treatment and hospitalization between the accident and his or her death. You may also be struggling without the financial support your loved one provided. If your loved one’s death was the result of a negligent driver, a wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your losses. You could be compensated for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost income, and more.

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Waukegan car accident lawyerAmericans overwhelmingly do not get as much sleep as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours a night. However, busy work schedules, child care tasks, and other responsibilities often take precedence over sleep. The CDC estimates that 38 – 44 percent of Illinois adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, their brain is not functioning at an optimal level. This is why fatigue is such a large contributor to injury-causing car accidents.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Sleep deprivation can cause memory issues, difficulties with concentration and problem-solving, and slowed reaction times. Some sleep-deprived individuals even experience episodes of “microsleep” where they fall asleep for a few seconds without even realizing it. This makes drowsy driving extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drug use can significantly exacerbate the dangers of sleepiness behind the wheel. Shockingly, one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Drowsy Driving

Although driving while fatigued is not against the law like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, a fatigued driver may still be at fault for a car accident if his or her sleepiness contributed to the accident. Through a personal injury claim, an individual injured in a drowsy driving accident could be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. An accident victim may receive compensation for his or her medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and much more. However, in order to collect compensation, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove that the sleepy driver’s actions caused the accident. Proving fault in a car accident is often a very difficult task. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Demonstrating that a drowsy driver’s actions led to an accident may involve analysis of physical evidence as well as testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, engineers, and doctors.

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Waukegan wrongful death lawyerDoctors and other healthcare staff have both an ethical and legal obligation to provide competent care to patients. Doctors cannot always prevent the deaths of their patients. However, there are some situations in which a medical error or negligent act results in an avoidable patient death. If a patient’s death is caused by medical malpractice, a surviving family member may choose to bring a wrongful death claim against the doctor or the medical facility. A wrongful death claim may help the family recover compensation for their loss while holding the responsible party accountable for the tragic loss.

Defining Medical Negligence

A wrongful death occurs when the wrongful, reckless, or negligent action or inaction of a party results in the death of an individual. The terms medical malpractice and medical negligence are sometimes used synonymously, however, medical negligence is only one component of a medical malpractice claim. Four elements must be present to establish that medical negligence has occurred:

  • Duty: If a patient had established a confidential doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional, the professional has a duty to provide capable medical care.

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Wheaton personal injury lawyerFor many people, fireworks are one of the most enjoyable parts of summer. Whether you are visiting a public fireworks display or setting off small fireworks in your backyard, watching the lights streak across the sky is fun for all ages. Unfortunately, fireworks can also be very dangerous. There are many steps you can take to help prevent fireworks injuries. However, if you or a loved one is injured in a fireworks accident this summer, you should know that you may be entitled to compensation.

Preventing Common Fireworks Injuries

Fireworks can be fun, but they can also cause severe, sometimes disfiguring injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, in the weeks surrounding Independence Day, 180 people per day visit emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Over 44 percent of these ER visits are for burns. The hands, fingers, face, eyes, and legs are the areas of the body that are most likely to suffer from a fireworks injury. If you plan to enjoy fireworks this summer, make sure to immediately back away from fireworks after lighting them, never point or throw fireworks at another person, and douse used fireworks in water before throwing them in the trash.

Fireworks Injury Lawsuits

Many fireworks injury lawsuits depend upon whether or not an individual or company acted negligently. When a company is hired to put on a public fireworks show, that company has a legal obligation to prevent foreseeable injuries to spectators. A pyrotechnic show company may be liable for fireworks injuries if they:

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Lake County boat accident attorneysSummer weather has finally arrived in Illinois which means that many people will be enjoying the sunshine out on the water. Boat accidents are less common than car accidents, but the results are often just as disastrous. Over 600 individuals lost their lives in boating accidents in 2018, and thousands more were injured. 

There are many different reasons that a boat accident can occur, but many boat accidents resulting in death or serious injury are the result of operator negligence. If someone else’s recklessness caused a boat injury in which you or a loved one were seriously hurt, you may have a valid personal injury claim. You or your loved one could potentially be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Some people do not take the responsibility of operating a boat nearly as seriously as they take the responsibility of driving a car. While roads are often congested with vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, lakes and other bodies of water may appear nearly empty. A boat operator may feel a false sense of confidence based on this perceived emptiness and make reckless decisions as a result. For example, people who would never think to drive under the influence of alcohol may justify operating a boat drunk. Alcohol use is the top known contributor to fatal boat accidents. Boaters may also operate the boat at excessive speeds or in an erratic manner. This combined with improper lookout and operator inattention can lead to catastrophic collisions and other boat-related injuries.

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