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Will County Personal Injury Attorney
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Will County slip and fall injury attorneyWith the holiday season in full swing, thousands of people throughout the greater Chicago area are shopping and enjoying activities around the town. However, with the winter holidays comes winter weather conditions, and walking in and around establishments and other properties during this time of year can be a dangerous proposition. From broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, falls can result in expensive hospital trips, costly physical therapy, and chronic pain. If you suffer a fall injury, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. 

Understanding Illinois Slip and Fall Laws

According to the Snow and Ice Removal Act, written within the Illinois Compiled Statutes, property owners are encouraged to remove natural accumulations of snow or ice from their property, but they are typically not responsible for injuries that occur when someone slips and falls on snow or ice. While some municipal ordinances may require a premises owner to clear walkways of snow or ice in certain situations, this does not establish legal liability. That said, if a premises owner elects to remove the snow or ice and does so in a negligent manner, they may be liable for injuries suffered. 

While property owners are not liable for natural accumulations, they may be liable for falls caused by unnatural accumulations of snow or ice. These cases may involve factors such as sloping surfaces, improper entryway design, and negligent maintenance, resulting in snow or ice accumulating in an unexpected manner and creating an increased risk for people who enter the property.

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Will County wrongful death claim attorneyThe pain of losing a loved one can be incredibly traumatic. The tragic loss of a spouse or a family member can be especially difficult when the loss was caused by someone else’s negligence. While finances are often far away from the forefront of one’s thought process after a tragedy in the family, losing a family member, especially a spouse or parent, can have a monumental impact on one’s financial security. If you believe your loved one was fatally injured by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you should understand your options for pursuing compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

The Wrongful Death Act

Here in the state of Illinois, a death in which a party is liable is defined by the state’s Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180). According to Illinois law, wrongful death occurs when the death of a person is caused by neglect or a wrongful act that would normally constitute a personal injury suit if the injuries suffered were not fatal. Common situations involving wrongful death include fatal injury suffered in a car accident, death in a workplace accident, or the negligence of a nursing home employee ultimately leading to the death of a resident.

The Survival Act

While the Wrongful Death Act addresses the damages caused to a victim’s family members, another law, the Survival Act, allows for a victim’s estate to pursue compensation from the person responsible for their death. A lawsuit filed under the Survival Act can seek to recover damages caused by the negligent party to the victim, such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Any compensation recovered will be paid to the deceased person’s estate, and it will then be distributed to their next of kin according to the terms of their last will and testament.

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Plainfield dog bite lawyerIn the state of Illinois, one in every three households owns a dog. While dogs are known as our loyal friends, they actually can be quite dangerous. In 2016 alone, 31 Americans were killed by dog bites. While the amount of fatal dog attacks remains fairly low, dog bite injuries are quite common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 Americans are hospitalized for dog bites each year. If you or are a family member are bitten by a dog, it is important to contact medical personnel as quickly as possible. 

The True Impact of a Dog Bite

While the vast majority of dog bite wounds heal within a matter of weeks, some injuries can be incredibly severe and even fatal.

Injuries to Children: Due to their small stature and inability to recognize behavioral cues, small children face increased risk of severe injury in dog attacks. Approximately 42% of all Americans killed by dog bites in 2016 were children nine years of age or younger. Additionally, infants between the ages of three and six days old made up 31% of all fatal dog bite victims. If your young children are in the presence of a dog, it is crucial to keep a watchful eye. 

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Will County slip and fall injury lawyerEvery eleven seconds, an elderly American is hospitalized due to a fall injury, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Fall injuries are now the sole leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among Americans over the age of sixty five. Throughout American hospitals, an average of 2.8 million people are treated after suffering severe injuries due to falls on an annual basis. Equally concerning is the fact that fall injuries alone account for an average of more than 27,000 deaths each year. 

While fall injuries are concerning for all Americans, elderly men and women are among those who face a higher risk of suffering severe injuries due to falling. Recent studies concluded that falls account for roughly 87% of all bone fractures among those over the age of sixty five. If you or a loved one suffer a fall injury, contacting a competent personal injury attorney can be critical in receiving the help and legal guidance you deserve. 

Most Common Fall Injuries 

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Plainfield elder abuse attorneyWhen families elect to place their elderly loved ones in the care of medical professionals at a nursing home facility, they are putting their trust in the hands of the caretakers, doctors, and staff at the facility. Unfortunately, elder abuse is far more common nationwide than most Americans would like to assume. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as five million elderly Americans face some form of abuse each year. 

The NCOA defines elder abuse as any form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse inflicted upon an older adult. Elder abuse continues to be a problem throughout the United States, in large part due to the fact that many of the cases go unnoticed by family members and are never taken to the proper authorities. In fact, one study estimated that less than 10% of all nursing home abuse cases are reported to police. If a member of your family has been abused by medical personnel, contacting a knowledgeable elderly abuse attorney can help your family find the answers and justice you deserve. 

Is the Problem Poised to Get Worse? 

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Will County dog bite attorneyThis May, a North Chicago woman suffered a traumatic and violent injury when she was bitten by a neighbor’s dog. The attack happened rapidly according to the victim, who was quickly rushed to the emergency room in the aftermath of the incident. The injuries were severe, as the dog jumped up to bite the woman’s face. The victim suffered serious injuries to her face and mouth requiring stitches and emergency medical attention, and she lost a substantial amount of her lip in the incident. 

The victim is now stable and healthy, but the ramifications of her injury could be lifelong. She now faces medical bills, loss of work hours, and emotional trauma, which is all too common in the aftermath of dog bite injuries

Dog Bites Throughout the United States 

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Plainfield nursing home neglect attorneyAccording to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 Americans over the age of 65 are hospitalized due to a severe hip injury each year. As one reaches an advanced age, the severity of a hip injury increases exponentially. Even a standard hip fracture can bring on serious and even life-threatening complications to those over the age of 65. In almost all cases, hip fractures require surgery and months of laborious physical therapy. 

For senior citizens, hip fractures can occur anywhere, but they are almost always brought on by a fall. The CDC estimates that more than 95% of all hip fracture injuries to those above the age of 65 occur due to falling. In many cases, these falls can occur because of negligence, such as icy or wet sidewalks outside an establishment or neglect by a nursing home staff member

Symptoms and Complications of a Hip Fracture 

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Will County truck accident lawyerPlainfield, IL is home to a convergence of traffic thoroughfares. Highway 59 runs through the city to the north and south, Highway 126 to the west and northeast, and Highway 30 to the northwest and southwest. Each of these three local highways crosses paths with Interstate 55, the mighty freeway that carries commerce and commuters between the Chicago area and St. Louis. If you venture on or near I-55 during morning or evening rush hour, you will doubtlessly see vehicles of every type, including throngs of semi-trucks. 

With so much activity, and so much of it ridden with intensity by the time deadlines and the expectations of drivers, accidents involving tractor-trailer trucks are an unfortunate reality in and around the Plainfield area. Fortunately, Illinois state law allows for truck accident victims to seek financial recourse for the harms and losses suffered in a collision. 

Personal Injuries Sustained in a Collision With a Large Truck May Be Severe 

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Will County bicycle accident attorneyCycling in the Chicago area gives one cause to feel both free and vulnerable. On the one hand, outdoor exercise provides a sense of well-being and allows for enjoyment of breathtaking sights of area life. On the other, the frenetic whir of traffic and daily life presents a sense of ever-present danger. A safety helmet is an unquestionable must-have item for cyclists of all ages and skill levels, but it can only protect the head and brain, leaving other areas exposed. 

When a bike accident occurs, whether with another cyclist or a motor vehicle, the injuries suffered can be severe. The trauma suffered in a bicycle collision can result in substantial medical bills, as well as adverse effects on work responsibilities, educational pursuits, domestic life, and the ability to enjoy recreation and exercise. Fortunately, Illinois state law allows for personal injury victims to recover monetary damages for the harms inflicted by a negligent individual, business, or institution.

The Nature of Injuries Suffered in a Bike Accident

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Will County car accident injury attorneyWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may receive serious injuries which require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, even if you were in a car accident and did not immediately experience any pain or other medical issues, you should be aware of possible side effects that may not make themselves known until months after the accident.

Potential Long-Term Side Effects of a Car Accident

Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of a vehicle collision. The experience is terrifying for everyone involved, and it can cause physical and mental stress in the days that follow. Individuals involved in a car accident may experience the following side effects long after a car accident occurs:

  • Headaches - This type of pain can often develop several days after a car accident, and it can indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood clot in the brain.
  • Whiplash - Rear-end collisions which occur when cars are traveling at less than 14 miles per hour can result in shoulder or neck pain or stiffness. These types of injuries often require extensive physical therapy, and they can cause serious complications if not addressed immediately.
  • Back pain - This type of pain can develop at any time after a car accident and could indicate muscle, nerve, and ligament injury, or even damage to the vertebrae.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling - These symptoms, along with deep purple bruises, dizziness, nausea, and fainting, could indicate internal bleeding, which is a medical emergency that must be quickly treated.
  • Numbness - Loss of feeling in your arms or hands could indicate damage to the neck or spinal column.
  • Changes in personality, thought processes, or physical functions - These symptoms can include impaired memory, movement, problems with vision or hearing, or overall personality changes, and they may indicate that a brain injury has occurred.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Flashbacks and disturbing memories of the car accident can affect people well after an accident has occurred, and children are especially susceptible to these symptoms.

Contact a Plainfield IL Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you should seek medical help immediately, even if you were not hurt at the time of the accident. If you delay medical assistance, then you may develop side effects that can negatively impact your overall quality of life. At Flaherty Law, we understand the medical issues which can result from a car accident, and we are ready to provide effective legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free initial consultation, please call a Will County personal injury attorney at 815-577-7500.

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Daniel R. FlahertyWill County attorney Daniel R. Flaherty marked the second anniversary of his firm, Flaherty Law, on July 31. Each anniversary is important to Daniel Flaherty, as it represents another year of growth, both professionally and personally.

Plainfield, Illinois, attorney Daniel R. Flaherty has practiced law for 10 years. He started his career as an insurance defense litigator in personal injury and property damage cases. In 2010, he decided to focus on representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. He gained experience in the field while helping clients recover millions of dollars in damages, which was crucial in his choice to start his own practice.

Flaherty Law represents clients who have suffered injuries due to varied causes. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents are a large part of the practice because of their prevalence. However, the firm can also help clients who have been injured as a result of: 

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Preventing Accidents Between Bicycles and Motor VehiclesWhen it comes to bicycles and motor vehicles on streets, Illinois calls itself a “Share the Road” state. Bicyclists have the same right to be on the road as drivers and must be treated with respect. A driver who injuries a bicyclist in an accident can be charged with a class 3 felony. A driver involved in an accident with a bicyclist may be at fault if the driver:

  • Does not give the bicyclist at least three feet of space when passing;
  • Recklessly drives towards a bicyclist;
  • Attempts to intimidate a bicyclist; or
  • Violates a driving law.

Shared Responsibility

A bicyclist can suffer catastrophic injuries if struck by a car and may be able to receive financial compensation if the driver is liable. However, the bicyclist’s personal injury case can be weakened if he or she was acting recklessly. Bicyclists must follow the same laws as drivers, but some break common road rules because bicycles are more maneuverable than cars and can squeeze through tighter spaces. A responsible driver may not be able to avoid an accident if the bicyclist is acting unpredictably. There are laws and safety guidelines you must follow to protect yourself when riding your bicycle alongside motor vehicles:

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Driverless Cars May Change Nature of Personal Injury CasesIf you are injured in a car accident, you can seek compensation from another driver if he or she is at fault. What if the driver at fault is not a person but a computer? Accidents involving self-driving cars may be a problem of the future, but that future is near. Companies are already testing driverless vehicles in some states, and the Illinois legislature is considering a bill that would allow such vehicles here. Researchers are considering the legal ramifications of when accidents involving self-driving cars become more common.

Perfect Drivers?

A national study claims that 90 percent of all vehicle accidents are caused by human error. Scientists are developing self-driving cars because computers will not commit those errors. A computer cannot drive drunk or experience road rage. Developers can program the car to not drive at unsafe speeds. However, computer-controlled vehicles are not flawless drivers:

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Pedestrian Safety Tips for Avoid InjuryDrivers are required by law to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and may face criminal charges and civil liabilities if they hit a pedestrian. For pedestrians, the consequences of being struck by a vehicle are more serious than who was in the wrong. Knowing you are not at fault may be little consolation to you if you are injured in the incident. Pedestrians share an equal responsibility with drivers in preventing accidents from happening.

The Rules

There are laws detailing whether a pedestrian or a vehicle has the right-of-way. In some cases, the pedestrian must yield to a driver, though the driver must attempt to alert or avoid any pedestrian violating the law. Illinois law states that:

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drowsy driving, Plainfield car accident lawyerDid you know that 24 hours of sustained wakefulness has the same impairment on your driving skills as having a 0.10 percent blood alcohol content? While there are not the same laws in place for drowsy driving as there are for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, both are risky actions that can cause accidents with serious injuries.

Statistics

Studies show drowsy driving accidents most frequently:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_truck-accidents.jpgWhen you get into a truck accident, your first instinct may be to accuse the driver as the party at fault. This is a logical thought, and often the driver is all or partially at fault.

Drivers may have been driving fatigued or otherwise not adhering to state and federal trucking regulations. However, drivers are not the only party that can be at fault. For example, if the truck accident was caused by defective brakes the company who manufactured the brakes or the business that inspected the brakes during a maintenance check may also be responsible.

There are many types of entities that may be responsible for your truck accident including:

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When a Car Accident Victim Can Get Punitive DamagesPeople who have been injured in car accidents usually want to know how much an insurance company will pay them or how big of an award a jury is likely to give. This is a natural question and one that a skilled auto accident attorney can give after the facts of your case a reviewed.

When people are thinking about damages, many wonder if punitive damages can be awarded. Accident victims are typically aware that punitive damages are often large sums that can greatly increase the amount of a damage award or settlement.

What Are Punitive Damages?

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