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IL injury lawyerApril is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. National campaigns aimed at reducing the number of distracted driving incidents have recognized the seriousness of the issue. Distracted driving is defined as engaging in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road. This type of behavior behind the wheel has been shown to compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, pedestrians, as well as other motorists. According to the Illinois State Police, driver inattention is a factor in over one million car accidents in the United States each year.

Types of Distraction

There are three main types of distraction when it comes to driving:

  • Visual: Driver takes his or her eyes off the road
  • Manual: Driver takes his or her hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Driver takes his or her mind off of driving

Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that when traveling at 55 mph, reading or sending a text message takes your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds, which is long enough for a car to cover the length of a football field. In these situations, it greatly reduces the driver’s stopping distance in the event the driver in front suddenly slows down or comes to a complete stop.

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IL injury lawyerDogs are often referred to as “man’s best friend,” but as with any animal, they can be unpredictable and act aggressively in certain situations. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, with 800,000 of those bites requiring medical treatment. Depending on the circumstances, such as the size or breed of dog, a dog bite can be minor, but in other instances, the injuries can be serious to life-threatening. According to the Illinois Animal Control Act, a dog owner is liable for civil damages if the dog attacks an individual when that person is acting peacefully in a location where he or she is lawfully allowed to be. In other words, as long as a person is not trespassing or provoking a dog, the dog’s owner may be held responsible for injuries that the dog causes. In some scenarios, this may include physical and mental damage to a victim.

Physical Ailments

It is important to note that dogs typically bite due to several factors, such as if they are startled, sick, or provoked. In some instances, they may also be acting in self-defense in an attempt to protect their puppies if they feel they are in danger. Regardless of the reason for the attack, it can inflict severe damage to a victim depending on the size and breed of the dog. For instance, studies show that Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are typically involved in a large number of dog bite attacks. The saliva of dogs is also found to have high levels of bacteria, which can lead to an infection such as rabies if a dog is not vaccinated.

The following are examples of the typical injuries sustained in a dog attack:

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IL injury lawyerWhen people visit a store or even their workplace or apartment building, they expect to be safe and free from dangers or hazards. In Illinois, the Premises Liability Act provides stipulations for business and property owners. The law states that owners are obligated to offer a safe and secure environment for their patrons who visit their establishments. When this responsibility is not taken seriously, accidents can occur. Injuries that occur as a result of negligent actions or poor maintenance may be grounds for a premises liability claim.

Examples of Improper Security Issues

There are various ways someone can get hurt on premises that are not properly maintained. Uneven pavement or slippery surfaces can cause a visitor to slip and fall. This type of accident can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, and even paralysis if a person lands wrong and damages his or her spinal cord. In other instances, defective electrical or plumbing systems can electrocute an unsuspecting guest.

For many types of business owners, a combination of policy and training procedures, security systems, alarms, and guards are necessary to prevent criminal behavior that can cause injury. This can include assault, rape, and theft. In some situations, video surveillance and patrols might be better at addressing the dangers.

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IL injury lawyerAlthough the terms “assault” and “battery” typically go hand in hand, they are actually two separate crimes under Illinois law. Assault is when someone knowingly engages in conduct that places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. Battery is when a person knowingly causes bodily harm to an individual or makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. In other words, assault is the threat of harm, while battery involves actual physical contact. These offenses are different from other personal injuries that result from a negligent party since they are intentional. Therefore, in addition to the criminal case, a victim of assault and/or battery can pursue a civil case against his or her alleged perpetrator.

Damages for Assault and Battery

It is important to note that it is not necessary for a defendant to be convicted in a criminal trial for a victim to file a civil claim against him or her. As long as the plaintiff suffered damages because of the defendant’s wrongful actions, he or she can file a civil lawsuit. According to the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act, victims of violent crimes such as assault and battery can receive up to $27,000 for certain out-of-pocket expenses. Proof of some of these costs can include receipts for doctor visits or copies of medical records.

Below are a few examples of the damages a victim can seek for pain and suffering after an assault and battery:

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Il accident lawyerAn employee who works in an office every day experiences a different work environment than a construction worker. Erecting or renovating buildings or homes requires physical labor and many hours outside in all kinds of weather conditions. It can also involve heavy and large machinery such as tractors or forklifts. This can pose significant risks to workers, even if proper safety precautions are taken. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), in 2018, one out of five worker deaths were in the construction industry. Even if a construction accident does not result in a fatality, it can cause serious injuries.

Safety Hazards

Due to the nature of the work, construction companies and contractors have a certain set of safety standards to follow. If an employer is negligent in following these rules, accidents can and do take place. There are four main incidents that are the leading cause of fatal construction worker injuries. These are referred to as the “Fatal Four.”

Falls: Many construction workers perform their job on scaffolding or ladders. Falling from elevated heights can result in broken bones and head trauma. Construction companies must inspect their equipment and tools to make sure they are in proper working order. In addition, liquid spills that are not cleaned up can cause an employee to slip and fall. Regulating protective gear such as safety harnesses and hard hats is the responsibility of the employer.

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