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IL brain injury lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. It is important to recognize the common causes of brain injuries in an effort to treat and prevent these types of injuries from occurring in the first place. Although hitting your head can happen anywhere, there are certain factors that may increase the likelihood of this happening. For example, reckless driving can cause vehicle collisions or pedestrian accidents that result in severe head trauma. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically is caused by a sudden or violent blow or jolt to the head or neck. Mild traumatic brain injury can impact brain cells temporarily. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, bleeding, and tissue damage to the brain. These injuries can lead to long-term complications and even death.

The Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Studies show that falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs, followed by being struck by an object and being involved in a car accident. When an individual slips or trips and falls, they often hit their head on pavement or other hard surfaces. A slip and fall can occur because of unsafe conditions, such as debris, clutter, or uneven walkways. Property owners may be held liable for injuries if they knew about the hazards and did nothing to address or fix them.

Similarly, reckless actions or behavior by another motorist can cause an auto accident with injuries. From the sheer force of the impact, occupants in a vehicle can hit their heads on the car’s doors, dashboard, or windshield, directly causing a TBI. Drunk or distracted driving are leading causes of crashes. Drivers who speed or disobey traffic laws may be found negligent through a personal injury claim brought against them by an injured party.

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IL injury lawyerPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is typically triggered as a victim or a witness of a devastating event. Symptoms can range from flashbacks to nightmares, and even debilitating anxiety. Although many people who suffer from PTSD have been involved in vehicle accidents or are victims of violent crimes, long-term care or assisted living residents can also develop PTSD over time. Nursing home abuse and neglect can leave a lasting effect on a patient, even leading to suicidal thoughts in some cases. A personal injury attorney can determine liability and hold negligent parties accountable for mental injuries such as PTSD.

Holding Liable Parties Accountable for Mental Injuries

When your relative reaches a point where they cannot live on their own, you entrust medical professionals and staff members to take care of them. Sadly, this is not always the case. A few of the ways that staff members can cause a patient to suffer from PTSD include performing the following acts:

  • Hitting, striking, slapping
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Berating, demeaning, criticizing
  • Neglecting to provide adequate nutrition by withholding food or water
  • Failure to assist with basic hygiene care
  • Stealing money from a resident

Elder abuse is often underreported in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. In some cases, abuse and neglect occur because workers are understaffed and overworked. In other instances, nursing homes may fail to properly vet staff members and hire someone without doing a criminal background check, resulting in employing someone who has a history of abuse charges or convictions against them.

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IL injury lawyerYou may have heard that raising children “takes a village.” That saying often refers to the fact that parenting is hard work and parents sometimes rely on the help of others in caring for their family. If both parents work, they typically need to find childcare. This can come in the form of relatives, neighborhood friends, private caregivers, or daycare centers. Workers at a daycare center typically must go through a background check before being hired. This process reveals important information by verifying that an individual is who they claim to be, level of education, employment history, and if they have a criminal record. A background check helps ensure that an employee is not only qualified but trustworthy as well, which can protect children who are in their care. Sadly, accidents or abuse may still occur, but a personal injury attorney can help parents pursue compensation if their child was harmed at a daycare center.

History Can Repeat Itself

A comprehensive background check must include a fingerprint check of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database to ensure that the daycare provider does not have a history of convictions that could potentially put a child’s health and safety at risk. As an example, a person who has anger management issues with a previous arrest for assault may be likely to repeat that behavior again. In some situations, if an unstable worker becomes frustrated, he or she may take it out on the children under his or her care. Similarly, an individual who has a substance abuse problem may come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, negatively affecting his or her reaction time or judgment, causing a child to suffer an injury under his or her watch.

Certain background checks for employment can reveal criminal offenses at the county, state, and federal levels. A few of the types of crimes that may be uncovered include:

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IL injury lawyerThere comes a point in some people’s lives where they can no longer care for themselves. In these situations, many elderly individuals move to a nursing home or assisted living facility. In order to provide high-quality care, these long-term care centers must adhere to certain safety standards. However, not all of them may follow the required regulations, and these violations can lead to accidents and injuries among patients. According to ProPublica and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, hazardous conditions are the most common violation in nursing homes across the country. Other violations can also result in negligent care and endanger residents.

Common Hazards That Cause Harm

Any type of medical facility has a duty of care to keep patients safe and secure while under their care. This includes maintaining clean and sanitary conditions, but it also involves building maintenance to make sure it is a safe environment regardless if a resident is mobile, confined to a wheelchair, or bedridden.

Some of the most common dangerous conditions found in nursing homes, rehabilitation, or assisted-living homes may cause an individual to slip, trip, and fall. In other instances, building code violations can result in severe burns or electrocution due to exposed electrical currents. They may include but are not limited to the following:

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IL injury lawyerThere are many different ways that someone can get hurt. Accidents can occur in various environments, including the home, public places such as parks, restaurants, or stores. Injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to serious and even life-threatening conditions. In some cases, they can affect the rest of someone’s life. Slip-and-fall accidents might not sound like they would be that severe, but they can cause significant injuries to people of all ages. Although they are fairly common in inclement weather, especially in snowy or icy conditions, slip-and-falls can also occur in warm weather. Property owners have a responsibility to properly maintain their buildings and grounds; otherwise, visitors may suffer injuries.

Premises Liability Act

According to the Illinois Premises Liability Act, business and property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe and secure in order to prevent guests from any harm. If owners or managers fail to take reasonable care to maintain the property, they may be held accountable for damages that occur as a result. However, this law does not apply to individuals who are trespassing and get hurt on the property.

Injuries that are a result of the negligence of a property owner can be due to damaged sidewalks, staircases, hand railings, faulty elevators, or poorly maintained swimming pools. We all know that slipping on ice in the winter can be a common occurrence. However, swimming pool surfaces can be extremely slick due to all the water that splashes from the pool. In addition, restaurant floors or patios can be slippery if drinks or food spills and they are not cleaned up by staff members in a timely manner. In other cases, rotted wood can break apart, causing patrons or visitors to lose their footing or balance and fall.

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