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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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IL injury lawyerBy now, everyone has heard about the dangers of distracted driving. Many states, including Illinois, have instituted laws prohibiting the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. April has been identified as national Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Unfortunately, knowledge does not always equate to action. Many drivers still engage in activities other than driving behind the wheel. Distracted driving leads to thousands of car crashes a year. If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Study Suggests Distracted Driving Collisions Are Much More Frequent Than Previously Estimated

According to a recent study analyzing over 85,000 auto collisions, 57 percent of crashes involved cell phone use. About 17 percent of the crashes studied involved cell phone use less than five seconds before the impact. Of the 25 most populous cities in the U.S., Chicago ranks second in terms of phone use while driving. Distracted driving collisions involving other vehicles as well as crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians led to nearly half a million injuries and thousands of deaths in 2018 alone. Many experts believe that the problem is only getting worse.

Holding Distracted Drivers Responsible for Their Actions

If you were involved in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to hold the driver responsible through civil legal action. You may also be entitled to financial recovery. You could receive monetary compensation for your:

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IL injury lawyerPersonal injury claims are used to pursue financial compensation for losses caused by an injury. Nearly any type of injury may be the basis of a personal injury claim, but severe injuries typically result in higher settlements and awards. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury that resulted in a permanent disability, you may be able to seek monetary damages through a personal injury claim.

Understanding When a Successful Personal Injury Claim is Possible

A personal injury claim is a civil claim that may be based on either “negligence” or recklessness or intentional wrongdoing. There are four main components in any personal injury claim based on negligence:

  • Duty – The defendant, meaning the person or entity from whom you are seeking compensation, owed a duty of care. This could be a driver’s duty to drive cautiously, a manufacturing company’s duty to prevent dangerous product defects, a property owner’s duty to maintain a safe property, or another type of duty.
  • Breach of duty – The defendant breached the duty by failing to act as a reasonably cautious person would act.
  • Injuries – The plaintiff suffered injuries because of the plaintiff’s actions.
  • Damages – The plaintiff suffered damages. Damages include the direct financial consequences of the action such as lost wages and medical expenses as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

A personal injury lawyer can help you determine if each of these elements is present in your case.

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IL injury lawyerIf you are like most people who get a prescription medication, you probably do not think to confirm the type and dosage of the drug. You simply trust that the prescribing doctor and pharmacy have done their jobs accurately. However, prescription medication errors can and do occur. Sometimes, the consequences are mild or even unnoticeable. Other times, the medication mistake results in significant patient harm or even death.

Why Do Prescription Drug Mistakes Occur?

The medical advances our society has experienced in the last hundred years are nothing short of miraculous. Diseases that used to kill a person are now curable with a simple injection or pill. Unfortunately, mistakes made in the prescription and administration of medications often lead to avoidable patient suffering and worsened medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 million people are injured by medication errors every year in the U.S.

A study published in BMC Clinical Pharmacology analyzed prescription medication errors at 41 different inpatient units. Of the over 400 prescription medications evaluated, approximately 24 percent of the prescriptions contained illegible information about drug names, doses, or instructions. Just under 30 percent of the prescriptions were incomplete. Issues with legibility and communication are two of the main causes of medication errors. Another study evaluated the causes of medication administration mistakes in hospitals. The study found that inaccurate administration was caused by:

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IL pedestrian accident lawyerThere were over 5,000 pedestrian collisions in Illinois in 2018. Many of these accidents resulted in severe and fatal injuries. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, it is important to know your legal rights. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the driver may be facing criminal consequences for striking you or your loved one. However, criminal penalties do not offer any financial restitution to the victim or the victim’s surviving loved ones. A personal injury case may allow a pedestrian accident victim to recover monetary compensation for the harm caused by the accident and hold the driver answerable for the crash.

Holding At-Fault Drivers Accountable for the Harm They Caused

Many pedestrian accidents are the result of a driver acting carelessly or negligently. The driver responsible for your accident may have been texting and driving, changing the radio station, looking down at a GPS screen, or otherwise not paying attention to the road at the time of the accident. The driver may have been intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Whatever the reason, drivers who act negligently and strike a pedestrian should be held responsible for their actions. A personal injury claim may be brought in addition to criminal charges, or it may be brought in the absence of criminal charges. The standard of proof for civil claims including personal injury claims is much lower than the standard of proof required for criminal cases. Therefore, it is possible to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit even if the driver avoids criminal culpability for the accident.

Recovering Financial Compensation for Damages

Damages are the losses that a victim suffers because of an accident. If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident, you likely needed emergency medical treatment immediately after the collision. You may also require ongoing medical care in the form of rehabilitative treatment, surgery, and mental health care. The medical bills resulting from a pedestrian accident can be massive. Through a personal injury claim, you may be compensated for the costs of your medical treatments. You may also get compensation for your lost income and any damage to your earning capacity caused by a permanent injury. Compensation for non-financial losses including your pain and suffering may be recoverable as well. If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s lost income, medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and other damages caused by the untimely death.

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IL injury lawyerAll-terrain vehicles (ATVs), quads, or four-wheelers can be useful and enjoyable. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also cause severe and often fatal injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in an ATV accident or you were hurt by someone riding an ATV, you may have questions about your legal rights. Are ATV accidents treated the same as car accidents? Do ATV riders have to carry insurance? Will I be compensated for my medical bills after an ATV collision? The answers to these questions will depend on many different factors, so it is important to speak with a skilled injury attorney for individualized guidance.

16-Year-Old in Lake County Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury in ATV Incident

In January of this year, a 16-year-old Lake County girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after being ejected from an inner tube being pulled by an ATV. She was unresponsive for several days following the accident but is now awake and relearning how to function. Although this ATV incident was atypical in that it involved a person being towed behind the vehicle, ATV accidents causing injury or death are not uncommon. In 2018 alone, there were over 81,000 ATV accidents in the U.S. Over a quarter of these accidents involved children.

Liability for an ATV Accident

In Illinois, ATV drivers are required to have liability insurance. This insurance, like typical auto insurance, is intended to compensate an injured person in the event of an accident. However, many ATV owners do not carry enough insurance to adequately compensate someone for injury-related losses. In cases such as these, a personal injury case may be filed against the at-fault party. The party who is liable for ATV injuries may be an ATV driver, the owner of the property on which the accident occurred, the manufacturer or designer of a defective ATV part, or another party. Fault may also be shared between the injured person and another party. Fortunately, in Illinois, individuals who are partly responsible for their own injuries may still be entitled to partial compensation for damages if they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

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