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IL accident lawyerAccidents on the highway can happen very quickly. Highway crashes often involve multiple vehicles due to traffic. All it takes is for one careless driver to make a mistake and suddenly, I-294 is at a standstill after a pile-up. If one person loses control of their vehicle after getting hit, they may swerve into another lane, causing repeat impacts. These accidents can be very dangerous or even deadly. Most highway accidents are the direct result of someone’s negligence. Drivers always have a duty to use reasonable care to prevent a car accident and avoid hurting others. Yet, many drivers do make common and completely avoidable errors while driving out of carelessness. If you have been injured in a highway accident, an attorney may be able to help you identify the liable party and recover compensation.

Forms of Driver Negligence on the Interstate

Safely driving at highway speeds requires care and attention. A lot of mistakes that drivers make have to do with being overly comfortable on the highway, particularly for those who commute into Chicago for work. Common causes of highway accidents include:

  • Cell phone use - Even sending a quick text or checking a work email while en route to the office can take a driver’s attention off the road long enough for them to cause an accident. A driver only needs to look down for a few seconds to miss the fact that traffic ahead is slowing down.
  • Road rage - Sitting in traffic can be very frustrating, especially when someone is already running late. Common occurrences, like briefly being stuck behind two semi-trucks slowly passing each other while going under the speed limit, can send an impatient driver into road rage mode. Drivers with road rage tend to unpredictably speed up and change lanes with no warning, sometimes intentionally cutting others off or even deliberately running others off the road.
  • Being lost - Missing an exit or split can be frustrating. It means that you will need to double back, which can take some time. Some drivers will panic when they realize that they are in the wrong lane and attempt to cut across several lanes of traffic to get where they need to be. This endangers everyone and often leads to sideswipe accidents.
  • Excessive speeding - There are two major problems with excessive speed on the interstate. The first is that the speeding driver will have to dodge others who are going at a more reasonable speed and may make a mistake. The other is that people who are driving at wild speeds can easily lose control, particularly around tight turns.

The aftermath of a highway accident can be confusing. In pile-ups, it can be tricky to figure out who started the crash, and how. An attorney can help investigate.

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IL injury lawyerYou have probably mostly heard the words “assault” and “battery” used in the context of criminal law. Both terms can apply to criminal offenses or civil causes of action. You may be less familiar with the concepts of civil assault and civil battery. The term “civil” here refers to the type of court overseeing a given legal action. It does not mean that anything about an assault or battery was what you would normally describe as “civil.” You should also know that after an assault and/or battery, the perpetrator may be criminally prosecuted and also sued in civil court by the victim. Assaults and batteries very commonly take place in bars and clubs, where people have been drinking and a minor dispute is more likely to escalate into violence. If you were injured after being intentionally attacked, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation from the person who hurt you.

What is a Civil Assault?

Assault means causing another person to believe that they are about to be physically harmed. Even if the assailant never makes physical contact with the victim and no physical harm occurs, an assault may still have taken place. For example, if you are in a verbal dispute at a bar and the other person dramatically breaks a beer bottle, then aims the sharp end at you as if preparing to stab you, that is typically an assault. It remains an assault even if the other individual then puts the broken bottle down and walks away without actually hurting you.

What is a Civil Battery?

A battery takes place when the attacker actually makes contact and causes physical harm. If, in the above example, the assailant actually does go on to strike you with the broken beer bottle, that would be a battery. You do not need to suffer serious bodily harm, but you will likely have a much easier time proving your case if your injury required medical attention.

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IL injury lawyerDrunk drivers put everyone on the road in danger. Their movements can be completely unpredictable, making it impossible for responsible drivers to avoid them. Drivers who are intoxicated are inclined to run red lights, change lanes or turn without signaling, lose control of their vehicles, veer out of their lane, or even drive the wrong way down a one-way street or highway. Multi-vehicle accidents and head-on collisions are common. If you suspect that the driver who caused your accident was intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs, it is very important that you call the police immediately and have them respond to the scene. Your next call should be to an attorney. You may have multiple options for pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident.

Who Might be Liable for My Injuries After a Drunk Driving Accident?

Drunk and drugged drivers can cause a lot of harm very quickly. You may be eligible to receive compensation for everything from your medical bills to your lost wages. Depending on the situation, you may have a valid legal claim against:

  • The intoxicated driver - The drunk driver themself is decidedly liable for the harm they caused you. They are the ones who chose to drive while intoxicated, so they are responsible for the resulting accident. If the driver was uninsured or underinsured, you may want to pursue a claim against them personally. The concern here is whether the drunk driver has sufficient financial resources to compensate you.
  • Insurance company - Filing an insurance claim is the most common way to seek compensation after a drunk driver causes a crash. Your attorney is likely to start by trying to negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. If they were uninsured, you may be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company.
  • The bar - Under Illinois’ Dram Shop Act, the drinking establishment that overserved the drunk driver may be liable. This is only an option if the driver had been drinking in a bar or restaurant rather than at home or at a friend’s house.

As the injured party, you can pursue a claim against one, two, or all three of these potentially liable parties. The good news is that you have multiple options, which can greatly increase the odds that you will be fully compensated for all the harm done to you.

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IL injury lawyerAs a parent, you may already be nervous about putting your child in daycare. Many new parents find the first time they drop their children off nerve-wracking even if they have thoroughly researched the facility. Most of the time, daycare centers are perfectly safe places for children. The vast majority of daycare centers are very careful about the safety of the children in their care. Unfortunately, not all of them are as cautious as they should be, which can lead to children suffering injuries. It is important for you as a parent to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols a child care facility should be using. If you suspect that there is something not right about the daycare your child attends, it is important that you take prompt action to protect your child. If your child has already been harmed due to a lack of safety protocols in a daycare, an attorney may be able to help you recover damages on their behalf.

Steps a Day Care Center Should be Taking to Keep Children Safe

There are certain measures every daycare must take in order to protect the children in their care. These steps include:

  • Background checks - Every employee or volunteer in a daycare center should have submitted to a complete background check that includes their criminal history. Bad actors who would prey on children may attempt to find employment that gives them access to their desired victims. A solid background check should weed out the vast majority of those with bad intentions.
  • Proper ratios - The Department of Children and Family Services determines what ratio of caregivers to children of varying ages is safe and appropriate. If a daycare center fails to adequately staff its facility, there may not be enough adults around to keep your children safely supervised.
  • Security cameras - Cameras in the care areas are an absolute must. If a child is injured, these cameras will show everyone exactly what happened. Daycare centers that have nothing to hide and are not interested in covering anything up will have no problem with cameras, as they can equally protect the daycare center.
  • Cleaning protocol - While in some cases, infections like pink eye or strep throat will spread among young children no matter what, proper cleaning protocols can minimize or limit the spread. Staff should refuse to allow sick children to be dropped off.

Parental instincts are one of your best tools when it comes to keeping your children safe. If something does not seem right or safe, it probably is not.

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IL injury lawyerWhether you are the type of person who loves shopping or the type who gets in and out of stores as quickly as possible, you at least do not expect a simple trip to the store to injure you. You should generally expect retail stores open to the public to be safe. When there is a danger to shoppers, it quite frequently has to do with a hazard that causes people to slip, trip, or fall. Even in young healthy people, a simple fall can be surprisingly injurious. Injuries as simple as a sprained wrist can take someone out of work for a week or more. More serious injuries like concussions can also result. If you fell in a retail store and sustained an injury, consulting an attorney to find out what type of compensation you may be entitled to is a good idea.

How Does Negligence in a Retail Setting Cause Falls?

The person charged with managing or controlling a retail store has a duty to take reasonable care to keep any areas open to the public safe for shoppers. This is why “wet floor” signs are a common sight - they are necessary to alert shoppers to take care to not slip. Not all stores are concerned enough about customer safety to take steps like this, however. Negligent retail stores may make mistakes like:

  • No “wet floor” sign - When customers are at least aware that the floor is slippery, they can take precautions like walking slowly or avoiding the area. Hitting an unexpected slick patch of floor can cause someone to slip.
  • Unattended equipment - When employees are using equipment like stepladders, tools, or even boxes on the floor, there should be a staff member present. Otherwise, people may not expect there to be objects sitting in the aisle and could trip.
  • Cords - Anything that needs to be plugged in can become a serious tripping hazard if the cord is not properly concealed behind the appliance or taped to the floor.
  • Plumbing - Public restrooms require a bit of attention and care. When sinks or toilets back up and overflow, the floor can become wet and slippery. If the overflow is not addressed promptly, quite a large pool of water can form on the floor, leading to slips.
  • Unaddressed spills - As soon as a store employee becomes aware of a spill, it should be addressed immediately. When staff fails to respond promptly to a spill, the odds that someone is going to slip go up. This is particularly common in grocery stores.

If you slip, trip, or fall due to a hazard in a retail store, you should get prompt medical attention and then call an attorney.

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