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Lake County personal injury attorneysA serious slip and fall accident, car crash, assault, or other frightening incident can leave emotional scars that last years if not a lifetime. Trauma can have profound short-term and long-term effects on a person’s mind and body. Events that are particularly shocking or disturbing are hard for our brains to process and understand so the negative emotions of the traumatic event can linger long after the actual danger has passed.

Many people who have been through a traumatic event develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological conditions. These mental health conditions can make it hard if not impossible to work and live a normal life. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit may allow a person suffering from the effects of trauma to receive financial compensation for their mental injuries.

When is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Possible?

A personal injury claim is a civil action used to pursue compensation when an individual has been harmed by the negligent or wrongful actions of another party. The other party may be a person, or it may be an entity such as an organization or business. Negligence is typically defined as the failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonably cautious person would exercise in a similar situation.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThe weather is finally starting to warm up in Illinois, and that means that more and more people will be out enjoying the sunshine on their bicycles. Riding a bike is a healthy, environment-friendly, and enjoyable mode of transportation, but it is not without its risks. More than 850 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2018 and cyclist accidents continue to happen. Ideally, every motorist that shares the road with a cyclist would be especially aware of the cyclist’s safety, but unfortunately this is not always the case. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident while riding a bike, read on to learn about your legal options.

Bike Accident Injuries Can Be Severe

A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle. Most cars, trucks, and SUVS on the roads today weigh several thousand pounds or more while an average bicycle typically weighs about 20 pounds. Specialty bicycles, such as those for racing, can weigh significantly less than average. A cyclist has virtually no protection in the event of an auto accident. Bicycle riders who collide with a motor vehicle may suffer road rash, broken bones, amputations, traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries, spine and neck injury, dental and facial injuries, and more. These injuries may leave the cyclist severely hurt or even permanently disabled. The injured cyclist may require extensive medical treatment and be unable to return to work or care for his or her children. Injuries such as these not only reduce the quality of the injured person’s life, they can also result in crushing debt and long-term financial harm. Fortunately, some people injured in bicycle accidents are able to receive compensation for their damages.

Recovering Compensation for Medical Bills and Property Damage

If a driver’s negligence led to a bicycle accident, the driver will most likely be liable for the damages caused in the accident. A driver may be considered negligent if he or she was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, distracted by an electronic device, violated traffic laws, or otherwise acted carelessly. One option for individuals who are hurt by a negligent driver while riding their bike is to file a claim with the driver’s car insurance. Unfortunately, many insurance companies only offer minimal compensation that does not fully reimburse the injured party for his or her damages. If an insurance claim fails to cover the injured rider’s losses, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way to pursue full compensation.

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Waukegan drunk driving accident attorneysDriving under the influence of alcohol is against the law in all 50 U.S. states, but, unfortunately, many people choose to drive while intoxicated anyway. Sadly, nearly 30 people die every day in the U.S. in alcohol-related traffic accidents and many more are seriously injured. If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your options for compensation.  

When is an Intoxicated Driver At-Fault for an Accident?

The majority of personal injury claims involve a party who was negligent or reckless in some way. It is typically up to the claimant and his or her attorney to prove that the responsible party’s negligence caused the claimant’s damages. However, in most drunk driving accidents, the intoxicated driver faces criminal DUI charges and could be presumed to have been negligent. If the person who hit you was arrested, charged with, and convicted of DUI, the presumption is created that the driver was acting negligently. You will only need to prove that he or she violated a public safety statute that is intended to protect you and that this violation caused your injuries. It is important to note that a successful personal injury claim is still possible even if the driver was not formally charged with driving under the influence.

What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

The term “damages” is used to describe the compensation awarded to injured people and their families in a personal injury case. If you were seriously hurt in a drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your emergency room/hospital bills, ongoing and future medical treatment, lost income, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, pain and suffering, as well as compensation for your own losses.

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Lake County accident liability attorneysConcerns about the coronavirus have caused many grocery store items to be much scarcer than they normally are. Items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and bleach are flying off shelves minutes after being stocked. Store parking lots across the country are packed with hurried customers stocking up on supplies, so the risk of parking lot car accidents is especially troubling. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in a parking lot, you may wonder who is legally responsible for the accident.

Liability in Parking Lot Car Accidents

Some people assume that parking lots are basically free-for-all zones which are outside the bounds of traffic laws. However, parking lots do have right-of-way rules that drivers are expected to follow. When drivers disregard these rules, serious vehicle or pedestrian collisions can occur. The two main types of parking lot lanes are feeder lanes and thoroughfare lanes. Feeder lanes are the smaller lanes between rows of parking spaces and thoroughfares are the wider lanes that typically exit to the main street. Drivers in thoroughfares usually have the right-of-way. However, regardless of the type of lane, all drivers must yield to approaching vehicles and pedestrians. Anyone entering or exiting a parking space is expected to yield to pedestrian and vehicle traffic around them and only move the vehicle if the coast is clear. If a driver causes an accident because he or she disregarded right-of-way rules, it is likely that this driver will be liable for the damages caused in the accident.

Common Issues That Lead to Parking Lot Accidents

Distracted driving is a major problem in parking lots. Children in the backseat, cell phones, GPS systems, the radio, or other distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road and can cause him or her to make dangerous mistakes. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and inexperienced drivers are also responsible for a large percentage of parking lot accidents. Most of the time, if a driver strikes another vehicle that is legally parked, the driver of the moving vehicle is at fault. If both cars were moving at the time of the accident, fault may lie with one or both drivers depending on the circumstances of the accident. It is important to note that in Illinois, a person who is injured or suffers property damage in a car accident may still be eligible for limited compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of U.S. adults are sleep-deprived on a regular basis. Experts suggest that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night, but many of us are getting far less than that. Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on concentration, reaction time, and coordination. Driving while sleep-deprived dramatically increases a person’s chances of being involved in an auto accident. According to research from AAA, missing just one or two hours of sleep doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a car crash.

Drowsy Driving Thought to Be a Factor in 20 Percent of Fatal Car Accidents

When a driver is too tired to drive safely, he or she does not only put his or her own life at risk, he or she also endangers the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. Sleep-deprived truck drivers are especially worrisome. Although federal law mandates that truck drivers get a certain amount of sleep and take regular rest breaks on the road, many drivers do not adhere to these standards. Drivers may be expected to meet tight deadlines and may therefore skip sleep in order to meet these deadlines. Some truck drivers and trucking companies even falsify log books in order to conceal the fact that truck drivers drive while dangerously sleep-deprived.

Lawsuits Involving Sleep-Deprived Drivers

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident involving a driver who fell asleep at the wheel or was too sleepy to drive safely, you may be considering bringing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. Proving that a driver was too sleepy to drive safely can be difficult, but a personal injury lawyer can help. A lawyer can examine evidence, collaborate with experts such as accident reconstructionists, interview witnesses, and take other steps to gather support for your claim. Though a personal injury lawsuit you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you experienced as a result of the accident including compensation for medical bills, lost income, future medical costs, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and more.

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