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IL injury lawyerWhether it is from staying out in the sun too long, accidentally touching a hot pan, or picking up a smoldering sparkler, most people have experienced at least one minor burn injury. Mild to moderate burn injuries can still be painful, but they do not compare to the extreme pain and dangerous medical complications caused by a severe burn injury. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe burn, you may be wondering what your legal options are. In many cases, a personal injury claim can help a burn injury victim recover compensation while simultaneously holding the party responsible for the burn injury accountable for its negligence.

Consequences of a Severe Burn Injury

Perhaps the most famous personal injury case involving burns is the case involving a spilled cup of McDonald’s coffee. Although the media portrayed the case as an example of a “frivolous lawsuit,” the reality of the situation was quite the opposite. The coffee was outrageously hot – hot enough to cause full-thickness burns to a person’s skin in two to seven seconds. The elderly woman who accidentally spilled the scalding coffee on herself received third-degree burns that required skin grafting and caused extensive disfiguration and horrific pain. Even worse, McDonald’s had received more than 700 other complaints of burn injuries caused by their overly hot coffee before this particular claim. Because the court found McDonald’s actions to be especially egregious, the woman was awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are extra compensation designed to punish the wrongdoer.

Damages in a Burn Injury Case

If another party’s negligent or wrongful actions led to your burn injury, you may be entitled to compensation as well. Damages in a burn injury case typically include compensation for medical bills resulting from emergency room treatment, prescription medication, hospital stays, surgery, and ongoing medical care. Compensation for your physical pain and suffering and mental anguish may also be available. If your burn injury caused you to miss work, you could receive compensation for your lost income. If the injury was so severe that it reduced your ability to work in the future, you could also be compensated for your reduced future earning capacity.

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IL accident lawyerMany drivers feel uneasy when they are behind a tractor-trailer or flatbed truck transporting cargo. While most truck freight is transported without incident in the U.S., accidents caused by improperly secured cargo do happen. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident involving improperly secured freight on an 18-wheeler or other large truck, you may wonder who is to blame for the accident. The answer to this question is often difficult to determine and fault may lie with more than one party.

Determining Blame for Improperly Secured Truck Cargo

There are undoubtedly instances in which a truck driver is at fault for an auto accident. If the accident was caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, the truck driver may be liable for the damages caused. The driver may also be an at-fault party if he or she failed to complete a required inspection to ensure that the cargo was properly loaded and ready to haul. However, there are also many truck accidents that are not the fault of the driver. If the party who secured the truck cargo took shortcuts or failed to meet the securement standards required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the company that loaded the truck may be at fault. The trucking company may also be liable for damages caused by improperly secured cargo – especially if the company knew about or encouraged the shipping shortcuts that led to the accident. In other cases, the fault may lie with the company that designed or manufactured the equipment used to secure the cargo. For example, if defective tie-downs, straps, ropes, chains, cables, synthetic webbing, or other items used for securement were the cause of the cargo becoming loose or falling out of the truck, the manufacturer or designer of the items may be liable.

Seeking Compensation for a Truck Accident Through a Personal Injury Claim

Truck accidents involving loose cargo can cause catastrophic auto accidents. If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, a personal injury claim may help you recover damages. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, ongoing medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, a wrongful death claim may help you recover compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses and funeral and burial costs as well as the loss of the deceased person’s financial support and more.

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IL accident lawyerIf you are like most people, you have probably used more hand sanitizer in the last few months than you ever did previously. When reports about COVID-19 first started making headlines, stores quickly ran out of bleach, soap, hand sanitizer, and other sanitizing products. Now, most people have the supplies they need but there is a new concern that some hand sanitizers contain toxic ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration has released a list of recalled hand sanitizer products that should not be used. It is very possible that concerns about these defective products will lead to product liability claims.

Product Manufacturers May Have Substituted Methanol for Ethanol

Most hand sanitizers contain ethanol or ethyl alcohol which is the active ingredient that kills bacteria and viruses. However, some hand sanitizers are labeled as containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol but actually contain methanol as well. Methanol, also called wood alcohol, can be very dangerous – especially to children. The substance can have significant harmful effects if it is absorbed through the skin and is often fatal if swallowed. Exposure to methanol can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, and damage to the nervous system. In extreme cases, the substance can cause seizures, blindness, and coma. The FDA is worried that these products may be accidentally ingested by children or consumed by adults with addiction problems who are using the product as a substitute for alcohol. If you experience any of the above symptoms after using a product containing methanol, the FDA recommends seeking immediate medical treatment for methanol poisoning.

FDA Warns Consumers to Be Wary of Hand Sanitizers Advertising Unproven Claims

The FDA is also concerned that some hand sanitizer manufacturing companies are making false claims about the effectiveness of their products. The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. If soap and water is not available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol. However, many hand sanitizers do not meet this standard. Consumers should also be suspicious of products that claim to offer extended protection from viruses and bacteria or those that are marketed as “FDA-approved.” The company that manufactures Purell hand sanitizer has already been served with a class-action lawsuit due to allegations that the company exaggerated the effectiveness of its products.

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Waukegan car accident lawyerIn Illinois, it is unlawful to drive without auto insurance. Motorists are expected to carry their insurance cards at all times and may be asked by police officers to show proof of insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident. Unfortunately, some people do not take this requirement seriously and choose to drive without insurance. If you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, you may be worried about how you will recover compensation for your losses. Fortunately, there may be a way to recover compensation for medical bills, property damage, and other expenses even if the other driver does not have insurance.

Car Accidents Involving Uninsured Motorists

An uninsured motorist claim arises when a driver without insurance causes an accident thorough negligence or wrongdoing. Uninsured motorist claims often involve an at-fault driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving recklessly, or was too preoccupied with a cell phone or other distraction to drive safely. Bicyclist and pedestrian accidents may also involve an uninsured motorist. In many cases, an uninsured motorist claim results from a hit and run. The uninsured driver is likely fearful of the consequences of driving and injuring someone without insurance, which is why he or she fled the scene of the accident. If the at-fault driver in a hit and run cannot be identified, there is no way to seek compensation from his or her insurance company. Underinsured motorist accidents involve an at-fault driver who has auto insurance that does not cover the damages caused in the accident.

Bringing a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company

Car insurance companies in Illinois are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UMI). If you have purchased “full coverage” auto insurance, you also receive UMI. An uninsured or underinsured driver claim is brought against your own auto insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for offering payouts that do not even come close to compensating an injured person for his or her losses. If you have been hurt in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, do not settle for partial compensation. Speak to a personal injury attorney who can advocate on your behalf and get you the full compensation you need and deserve in order to properly recover.

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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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