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IL injury lawyerDogs are one of the most popular animals that people keep as pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, an estimated 44 percent of American households have a dog. While dogs are clearly man’s best friend, they can also be pretty dangerous. It is estimated that nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with 800,000 of those people needing to seek medical attention for their bite wounds. Of those 800,000, around half of them are children. Dog bites can often be unprovoked, but dog owners are responsible for their dog’s behavior. In Illinois, if you are bitten by a dog, you may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips

There are a multitude of reasons why dogs sometimes bite people. Most of the time, when a dog bites someone, they are doing so because they feel threatened. This is the basis for most dog bite prevention tips. Here are a few tips for how you can prevent a dog bite:

  • Avoid Certain Situations: In some situations, dogs are more likely to bite people. These situations can include if a dog is sleeping, eating, sick, injured, with her puppies, playing with a toy or barking or growling at you.
  • Learn Canine Body Language: Knowing what to look for in a dog’s body language can help keep you and your children safe. Cowering, ears back, teeth bared and tail between the legs can mean that the dog is stressed, frightened or threatened.
  • Use Proper Etiquette: Never pet a dog or let your child pet a dog without first asking its owner. The owner may warn you not to because they know their dog is not too friendly. If you are allowed to pet the dog, make sure the dog sees you and smells you before you reach out.

What to Do if You Are Bitten

If you are bitten by a dog, be sure to apply first aid right away at home. Try to keep the bite area elevated, cover it with a clean towel and put light pressure on it to stop any bleeding. Wash the wound with soap and warm water, apply a layer of antibiotic ointment and place a sterile bandage on the wound. If you cannot get your wound to stop bleeding, the wound is very deep or your wound is red or has discharge, you should see a doctor immediately.

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IL injury lawyerIn 2016, there were nearly 12.5 million large trucks registered in the United States, accounting for billions of vehicle miles traveled. Unfortunately, accidents involving large trucks accounted for around 13 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the United States. What is even worse, is that even when truck drivers are at fault for accidents, 8 out of 10 people killed in crashes involving large trucks are people who were riding in the other vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is dedicated to understanding the causes of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles and putting measures into place to prevent them. The FMCSA, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has determined a few top causes of commercial truck accidents in the United States.

Critical Reasons and Critical Events of Truck Accidents

There are two different causation variables for truck accidents: critical reasons and critical events. Critical events are the actions or events that put the vehicle into a situation in which a collision is unavoidable. Critical reasons are the immediate reason which caused the critical event. There are three types of critical events that were assigned to trucks:

  • Running out of the travel lane;
  • Loss of control of the vehicle; and
  • Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle.

There are also three types of critical reasons that are assigned to truck accidents, which include driver errors, vehicle failures, and environmental conditions. Driver errors are by far the most commonly cited critical reason, accounting for 87 percent of truck crashes.

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IL injury lawyerIn every state, there are laws in place that state you must stop and stay at the scene of any car accident that you are involved in. Unfortunately, not everyone makes sure all is well after an accident. In the event that you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you will probably be feeling frustrated, angry and lost. Hit-and-run accidents must be handled differently than normal car accidents, mostly because the other party is not always known. Even though it will be more difficult to pursue compensation for damages and injuries, it is not impossible. Fortunately, there are things you can do to mitigate the negative consequences of a hit-and-run accident.

Gather as Much Information as Possible

Information is key to having a successful hit-and-run claim. Having as much information as possible will increase the chance that the police will catch the driver who fled the scene and it will also help your insurance company make a decision about your claim. If it is possible, you should get information such as:

  • The make, model and color of the vehicle that hit you;
  • The license plate number of the other driver;
  • A description of damage to the other vehicle; and
  • What direction the other vehicle left in.

Look for Any Possible Witnesses

Witnesses can help you file a report with the police and they can also give you information about the other driver that you might not have known. If you are able to find witnesses to the accident, make sure you write down information such as their name and contact information. They may be able to add some depth to your case.

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IL accident lawyerBeing safe or worrying about your safety is not something that often crosses our minds. Most of the time, we just assume we will be safe when we go to a store or stay in a hotel. There is an infamous saying about assuming -- mainly, that you should not do it. But by law, business has a responsibility to reasonably prevent accidents or crimes from occurring on their property. This is known as premises liability and is the responsibility of the owner or operator of an establishment. By law, we should be able to assume that we will be safe when we are walking through a parking lot or when we are shopping at a store. Premises liability cases can be complex, especially when dealing with negligent or inadequate security cases.

Examples of Negligent or Inadequate Security

When it comes to premises liability, the laws can be complex because there is so much that is left up to interpretation. The general consensus is that business owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for you. Examples of negligent or inadequate security include:

  • Insufficient lighting in hallways, parking garages, parking lots or stairways;
  • Lack of security cameras;
  • Broken locks or locking devices, such as key locks in a hotel;
  • Insufficient security guards or staff;
  • Insufficient visitor screening for establishments like hospitals or schools; and
  • Hiring or keeping employees with violent backgrounds.

Obviously, certain places will be more likely to experience crime or accidents when there is inadequate security. Typically places that are popular or that host a high volume of people are more likely to suffer from inadequate security claims. These types of establishments include:

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IL injury lawyerAs the snow begins to fall, everyone scrambles to get their snow tires on their vehicles, change their windshield wiper blades and dig out their snow brush -- but those steps typically only pertain to the four-wheeled variety of vehicle owners. Those who own motorcycles have a set of concerns that are specific to their vehicle and riding it in cold, snowy weather. According to the United States Department of Transportation, there are approximately 8,410,255 motorcycles registered for private ownership in the country and over 300,000 of those motorcycles are registered in Illinois alone. Riders who are inexperienced or unprepared for cold-weather driving can find themselves in serious motorcycle accidents if they are not careful. If you are planning to ride your motorcycle this winter, here are three things you should think about before heading out on the road:

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Just like any other vehicle, your motorcycle should be serviced and in great condition at the beginning and throughout the winter months. It is a good idea to look into getting snow tires for your motorcycle because snow tires can give you the best traction possible in snowy or rainy weather. Also, a large windshield or heated hand grips can work wonders for making driving in the cold weather more comfortable.

Wear the Proper Gear

Every motorcyclist knows that proper gear is a necessity when it comes to riding at any time of the year. In colder months, you should wear thick, warm clothing and multiple layers for maximum protection from the elements. Long sleeves and long pants are a must, as thick gloves and boots with a decent amount of tread. Protective wear is not only used to protect yourself in the event of an accident, but also to protect yourself from the cold.

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IL injury lawyerWith November coming to a close in a few short weeks, winter is well on its way and in Illinois, that typically means snow and other inclement weather is on its way too. With winter comes snow and with snow comes more accidents than most other times of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 17 percent of all car crashes occur when there are winter conditions on the roads, like snow and ice. While winter wonderlands can be a dream landscape for some people, they can easily turn into a nightmare for others who are involved in winter car crashes. Here are four ways you can help keep yourself and others safe during this winter season:

Winter Road Safety Actually Starts off the Road

Before you get on the road after that first snow of the season, you need to thoroughly check your car to make sure it is safe to drive. When it gets cold outside, the air pressure drops, so you should check your tire pressure to make sure your tires are at peak performance. You should also check your windshield wipers to make sure they are working and are not streaking your windshield. It is also a good idea to make sure that all of your headlights, tail lights and blinkers are working - sometimes these are the only things that other drivers can see in poor visibility.

Stock Up in Case of Emergencies

You never know what will happen on the road, so you should be prepared for anything. It is a good idea to keep items like a shovel and an ice scraper in your car just in case you get stuck. You should also keep some sort of material to help you gain traction if you are stuck in the snow, like sand or cat litter. Other items to keep in the car that can be helpful are jumper cables, a flashlight, blankets, and a cell phone charger.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

IL injury lawyerHalloween is a wickedly magical time of year for children to enjoy - but it is also a dangerous time of year. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition that is enjoyed by children of all ages, but with an increase of pedestrians on the road and a decrease in daylight, it can make for deadly circumstances resulting in slip-and-fall accidents or car accidents. Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your children safe during this spooky season. Here are four tips to have a safe Halloween.

Choose a Safe Costume

Halloween is all about the costumes, whether your child is a sweet and sparkly fairy or a dark and mysterious witch. Help your children stay safe by choosing light-colored costumes when possible. Also, make sure the costume fits your child to help prevent any trips or falls from baggy fabric and make sure masks fit correctly so their vision is not obstructed.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerFall is many people’s favorite time of year - you get a break from the sweltering heat of summer, leaves are changing into brilliant autumnal colors and you get to look forward to holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, in the midwest, fall also brings inclement weather, like rain and fog, which can make for dangerous driving situations. According to a study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in car crashes related to roadway and atmospheric conditions, around 75 percent were related to dangerous roadway conditions. Here are four tips to keep you safe during your autumn road trips.

  1. Watch Your Speed

Fall’s infamous rainy weather can make for slick and slippery roads. You should be sure to increase the following distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to stop suddenly. If you can see water on the roadways, you are also at a higher risk of hydroplaning, which happens when your tires lose traction on a wet road. Make sure you are not speeding and you are going a safe speed for the conditions you are driving in, even if it is lower than the speed limit.

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IL injury lawyerGetting into a car accident is a scary experience and can be traumatic for all those involved. When you are recovering from injuries you have sustained from a car accident, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with an insurance company that does not want to pay for your damages. Many times, insurance companies will do everything in their power to make sure that you are paid the absolute minimum amount that they can get away with. In order to receive a decent insurance payout, you should follow these five tips to help:

  1. Be Prepared

Before you call your insurance company, be sure to have all of the necessary information and paperwork on hand to answer the questions your insurance company is sure to have. You will need information and documents pertaining to the accident, including:

  • Photos from the accident, including any damage to your vehicle;
  • A list of repairs needed to the car and how much they cost;
  • Medical expenses for injuries caused by the accident;
  • A copy of the police report from the accident; and
  • Any medical records from doctors’ visits relating to injuries from the accident.
  1. Stick to the Facts

Do not try to retell the accident minute for minute. Instead, try to give simple facts about the accident and do not offer up any information that is not asked for.

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IL injury lawyerWhen you get into a car accident, the first thing on your mind is probably not collecting evidence and documenting what just happened - but it should be. The moments directly after a car crash are crucial because the crash is still fresh in your mind and the scene of the accident is untouched. Dealing with insurance companies after a car crash can be annoying at best and infuriating at worst, but if you have overwhelming evidence supporting your claim, you will probably have an easier time being compensated. Evidence toward your claim can also help you in court if you are seeking damages owed by another driver.

Police Report

One of the most important pieces of information you can have is a copy of the police report that was created about your accident. The report will contain information about the accident and will be filed by the officer that responds to your call. Give the police as much information about the accident as possible. Police reports are what the insurance company will look at when determining what to pay. Important elements to include in a police report are:

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IL injury lawyerUnfortunately, motorcyclists are one of the groups that experience the largest number of traffic fatalities in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, motorcycles accounted for only about three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, but 15 percent of traffic fatalities in 2016. Many people enjoy riding a motorcycle in the warmer months, but without proper safety precautions, this fun activity can turn deadly. Here are four tips to minimize the danger of experiencing a motorcycle accident:

Regularly Maintain Your Bike

The first step in making sure you are safe on the road is making sure that your bike is properly maintained. Check to make sure that oil levels are good, your oil is changed regularly, breaks are working properly and your tires are inflated. Having a broken-down bike can mean you will not be able to maneuver properly in the event of an emergency.

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Tagged in: accident fault

IL accident lawyerTechnology is a wonderful thing - we have the ability to do more online than ever before, such as ordering groceries and making appointments. Ridesharing is another service that is available to smartphone users, allowing them to request rides from independent drivers, rather than calling a taxi company or trying to hail a cab from the side of the street. With the emergence of companies such as Uber and Lyft, ridesharing has become more popular and more readily available to people, but they also bring about certain issues that lawmakers are still in the process of figuring out. Liability in ridesharing accidents is still a fuzzy area and can be difficult to determine, but an experienced attorney can help hash out the details.

What Constitutes a Ridesharing Company?

The Illinois Transportation Network Providers Act outlines the laws concerning the operation of companies. The Act states that a transportation network company (TNC) is any company that uses digital means to connect passengers with ride services provided by TNC drivers who own their own vehicles. Popular TNC’s include Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and Via. These apps work with passengers logging into the company’s app and inputting their location, alerting drivers who are nearby. Those drivers then utilize the app’s GPS technology and pick up the passenger to take them to their destination. These apps typically give users information such as estimated fares, the number of drivers nearby and driver ratings and feedback.

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IL injury lawyerMcDonald’s is known around the world for their golden arches, Ronald McDonald and their famous hamburgers and fries. Lately, McDonald’s has been in the news because of a suspicion that lettuce in their salads has caused over 100 people in the Midwest to become sick with an intestinal parasite. In response to the trend of people reporting they had eaten a salad at McDonald’s, the Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating the cases of food poisoning to determine if there is a link between the outbreak and the restaurant.

Investigations Are Underway

Over 100 people have reported cyclospora poisoning after they had eaten a salad from McDonald’s. The reports began in Illinois and soon were also reported in Iowa. The lettuce from the salads in Illinois and Iowa came from the same supplier, so McDonald’s, which is based in Chicago, has stopped serving salads at 3,000 restaurants in 14 states across the Midwest as a precautionary measure.

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IL injury lawyerAlmost every state in the country requires drivers to have some sort of car insurance. It is illegal for you to drive without insurance or to have financial responsibility for any damages that may occur while you are driving. Though the laws on the amount of insurance and the type of coverage that you are required to have vary from state to state, many states require that you at least have bodily injury and property damage coverage. Though it is illegal to drive without insurance, many people do--according to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015, an estimated 13 percent of drivers were uninsured. In Illinois, the number was estimated to be slightly over the national percentage at 13.7 percent. It is important to understand what type of insurance you are required to have in the state of Illinois and what it means if you are in an accident that involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Illinois Insurance Laws

Illinois has established a statewide law on the amount and type of insurance coverage that all drivers must have. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, the minimum requirements for car insurance are:

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IL injury attorneyWhen the average person gets into an argument with someone, it does not often end in physical blows to one another. When alcohol is involved in these arguments, disagreements can become physical quickly and these damages from a bar fight can be detrimental to your well-being. If an alcohol-fueled brawl takes place at the location where the alcohol was purchased, such as a bar or club, the establishment may be liable for damages that occur there. In addition to charges that you may file against the establishment, you can also file assault and battery charges against the other person who was involved in the fight if injuries from the fight caused you undue hardship.

Illinois Dram Shop Act

The Illinois Dram Shop Act, also known as the Liquor Control Act of 1934, states that businesses that sell alcohol can be held liable for the actions of those that they sell alcohol to. A couple of key pieces of information must be proved in order to hold an establishment liable. You must prove that:

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IL accident lawyerCar accidents can be scary and traumatic, and the last thing you want to think about is insurance claims, but that should be one of the first things on your mind. You have to begin your claims process almost immediately after a car accident, or you might cause yourself more trouble than the actual accident. Dealing with insurance companies and claims can be stressful, but if you have someone who is well-versed in car accident claims, such as an attorney, you can save yourself some of the anxiety.

Report Your Accident to the Police

The first thing you should do after an accident is report it to police. You should also take note of details of the accident, such as:

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Illinois injury lawyerDogs are commonly called man’s best friend--and for good reason. More than 36 percent of American households own at least one dog. Dogs have even been proven to decrease stress, get us moving more often and are great playmates for children--but they can also be dangerous. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each day, with nearly 800,000 people needing medical attention. Children are most susceptible to dog bites--nearly half of all dog bites that occur happen to children, especially children under the age of 14.

Injuries caused by dog bites can range from mild to severe and may leave lasting damage if the injury was bad enough. It is important to understand that any dog can bite--it does not matter what breed or how big the dog is, there is always a risk of being bitten. Understanding the injuries they cause can help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe around these lovable companions.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

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IL car accident lawyerDistracted driving has become a problem in recent years, with the number of crashes involving distracted drivers steadily increasing year after year, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 3,477 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver and another 391,000 injured in 2015.

What Is Distracted Driving?

When people talk about distracted driving, oftentimes the conversation revolves around texting and driving, but that’s not the only distraction that could take your mind off the road. The NHTSA has identified three main types of distractions:

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Illinois injury lawyerJust because a company is in the business of insurance does not mean that it has noble motives. A car insurance company is a company just like any other, meaning that its reason for existence is to generate profits for itself and its shareholders. This plain truth should not shock the conscience, as it simply speaks to the nature of doing business in a capitalistic economy such as that of the United States. Rather, this information should function as a “reality check” for car accident victims.

A car insurance company protects profits by working to minimize payouts for car accidents claims. The purpose of this article is to shed light on the payout minimization tactics utilized by car insurers. When they are deployed overly aggressively in the interest of an inadequate payout, the services of an experienced car accident attorney are an asset.

Car Insurance Companies Time Settlement Offers Strategically

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Illinois injury lawyerTraffic in the O’Hare Airport area is an intense nexus of departing and arriving travelers, taxis, ride-sharing services, and individuals who simply traverse I-90 or I-190 on a daily basis as part of their work commute. With so much activity, often governed by time-sensitive schedules, car accidents are an unfortunately daily inevitability. Whether around the perimeter of O’Hare or in nearby Rosemont or Park Ridge, when you meet the misfortune of a car accident, it is important to navigate the subsequent healthcare, insurance, law enforcement, and if necessary, legal interactions with as much preparedness and assertiveness as needed to cover your accident expenses, medical bills, and other losses.

Receiving the Full Compensation You Are Entitled to under Your Insurance Policy

It is in an insurer’s interest with regard to profit margins to pay out the minimum compensation required when a valid claim is filed. As such, knowledge and assertiveness are essential in obtaining the full extent of compensation you are entitled to receive from car accident claim. So know your insurance policy and do not settle for less than you deserve. Consider relying on an experienced car accident attorney – especially one who has dealt with insurance companies countless times and knows full well the internal procedures they utilize in an effort to pay out less than full compensation to claimants.

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