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b2ap3_thumbnail_st-patricks-day-drunk-driving-dangers.jpgIn just over two weeks, thousands of Illinois residents will flock to pubs and bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, some of these revelers will inevitably choose to drive home under the influence of alcohol. Because St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking days of the year in many communities, it is also one of the most dangerous days to be on the road. Sadly, it is estimated that a person loses his or her life in an alcohol-related car accident every 37 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day and countless more are injured. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds St. Patrick’s Day partiers to arrange for a designated driver, taxi, rideshare, or other safe means of transportation if they plan on drinking.

Personal Injury Claims Against a Drunk Driver

People involved in drunk driving accidents may suffer broken bones, spine and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and more. These injuries can leave a person with enormous hospital bills and ongoing medical costs. The injured person may even be permanently disabled and never regain the quality of life he or she had before the accident. When a drunk driver causes an accident and someone is hurt or killed, a personal injury claim may help the injured person or surviving loved ones collect compensation for their damages. Civil claims for damages can be brought in concurrence with criminal DUI charges.

Dram Shop Liability Laws in Illinois

Illinois law also allows a person hurt in a drunk driving accident to pursue a claim against the bar or other establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol. Successful dram shop liability claims can be difficult to achieve, but they are possible. Four main conditions must be present in order for an injured person to receive compensation through a dram shop claim:

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Lake County personal injury attorneysMarijuana has several substantial effects on a user’s body and mind. Depending on the amount of cannabis smoked or otherwise consumed, the drug may cause impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slowed reflexes. These effects can significantly impair a person’s ability to safely drive. On January 1, 2020, Illinois legalized the recreational consumption and use of cannabis. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of marijuana, you may wonder what your options for compensation are now that cannabis is legal.

Drugged Driving Laws in Illinois

When most people think of driving under the influence (DUI), they assume the intoxicating substance is alcohol. However, driving drunk is not the only way a person can be charged with a DUI in Illinois. It is also against Illinois law to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle if:

  • There is a controlled substance in the driver's body.
  • A driver's blood contains a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of five nanograms per milliliter or more. THC is the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
  • Another bodily substance (such as saliva) contains a THC concentration of ten nanograms per milliliter or more.
  • A driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to an extent that leaves him or her unable to drive safely.

The legalization of recreational marijuana does not negate the laws prohibiting drugged driving. Even though it is now legal to purchase and use cannabis in Illinois, a person can still be guilty of a criminal offense for driving under the influence of cannabis.

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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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