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b2ap3_thumbnail_lawyer-law-firm-attorney-choosing.jpgA personal injury claim is a legal action that allows someone who was injured by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing to seek compensation for damages. Injury claims are often used to pursue damages after a car accident but they may also follow slip and fall accidents, injuries caused by defective products, and other types of injury-causing incidents. An experienced personal injury lawyer is a valuable asset when bringing a personal injury claim.  

Demonstrating the Elements Needed to Prove Your Entitlement to Damages

To receive financial compensation for damages after an injury, you must establish four main points. First, the defendant, meaning the party against whom you are brining a claim, owed you a duty of care. This may the duty of a driver to drive a reasonable speed, the duty of a company to design a safe consumer product, the duty of a property owner to maintain a safe premises, or another type of duty. Next, you will need to show that the defendant failed to uphold this duty of care. Proving fault for an injury is often the most pivotal part of winning an injury claim. You will also need to show that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. Finally, you must demonstrate that you sustained damages as a result of your injuries. Damages are losses you suffered because of your injury such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Your attorney can help you demonstrate each of these elements. Your attorney may consult with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, or other professionals, gather evidence such as surveillance camera footage, review police reports, and find other sources of evidence to prove the required elements.

Advocating For Your Best Interests

Bringing an injury claim is a difficult legal undertaking. Your attorney can help you understand the legal options you have in front of you and choose the legal avenue that is the most likely to be successful. He or she can also ensure that your rights are protected throughout your case. Whether it is negotiating a settlement with the insurance company, communicating with the defendant’s legal team, or representing you in court, your lawyer’s job is to advocate for your best interests. When you retain a qualified personal injury attorney, you can rest assured that you have a strong support system who will see you though the entirety of your case.

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Joliet personal injury attorneys Personal injury claims are used to pursue compensation for injuries caused by another party’s wrongful, reckless, or negligent actions. There are four main components to a successful personal injury claim. You and your attorney will need to show that you were owed a duty of care by the defendant, the defendant breached the duty, your injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty, and you sustained damages. To prove each of these elements, you and your attorney may use a variety of techniques and resources. One of these resources is testimony from witnesses. Read on to learn about the different types of witnesses that may be involved in your personal injury claim and how they may help you demonstrate the elements needed to win your case.

Eyewitnesses to the Accident

Incident witnesses or lay witnesses are people who witness your accident happen. They may be used to confirm the series of events that took place and explain what happened from their perspective. Whether your injuries were caused in a car accident, slip and fall accident, dog attack, or another type of accident, eyewitness statements may be used to corroborate your testimony. Your lawyer can help you locate and obtain testimony from eyewitnesses.  

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses are individuals who are authorities in a particular field that offer insight and professional opinions about the facts of a case. Testimony from an expert witness can significantly strengthen your claim. Expert witnesses may provide testimony in court or they may serve as consulting experts who help clarify complex issues in your case. Some of the most common types of expert witnesses in Illinois personal injury claims include:

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Will County personal injury attorneysIntense winter weather is just around the corner in Illinois and that means that the potential for snow and ice-related injuries will be increasing significantly. If you or a loved one are injured in a slip and fall accident caused by snow or ice, you may wonder what the laws are regarding liability for snow and ice injuries. Are property owners legally required to remove snow and ice from their walkways and parking lots? Can residential property owners be held liable for failure to remove snow and ice? Understanding Illinois laws regarding liability for snow and ice injuries is key to knowing your rights after an injury caused by ice or snow.

Unnatural Accumulation of Snow and Ice

Illinois property owners cannot be expected to keep their properties completely free of snow and ice. It is simply impossible to keep up with harsh Illinois winters in this way. However, property owners are responsible for preventing avoidable injuries caused by “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice. Put another way, property owners are not automatically liable for every injury caused by the accumulation of snow or ice. If a person’s injury is caused by snow or ice that naturally accumulated in an area because of the weather, the property may avoid liability. However, if the snow or ice accumulates unnaturally, the property owner may be liable for injuries caused by the unnatural accumulation. For example, a property owner may be liable for injuries caused by:

  • Snow that was moved by snow shovels, snow plows, or snow blowers
  • Melted snow that causes icy patches in places that ice would not naturally accumulate
  • Ice created by water from roof edges, downspouts, or drainage systems
  • Accumulation of ice in potholes or other parking lot defects

There is a fair amount of confusion and controversy about the duty of property owners to prevent injuries caused by snow and ice removal. Classifying snow and ice as either unnatural or natural accumulation and determining whether or not an injury was the result of the property owner’s negligence is challenging. This is one reason that it is crucial to work with a personal injury lawyer who is familiar with Illinois laws regarding snow and ice removal and property owner liability for snow and ice injuries.

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Will County nursing home abuse attorneysNursing homes should be places of refuge for elderly and disabled individuals. Residents deserve to receive appropriate medical care and be treated with respect and dignity. Sadly, many nursing home residents are victims of abuse and neglect. The abuse may come from staff, visitors to the facility, or even other residents. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted care facility, it is important to learn about the signs of nursing home abuse.

Psychological Abuse

Some studies consider psychological abuse or emotional abuse to be the most common form of elder abuse in nursing homes. In one sad example, a 91-year-old Chicago nursing home resident was teased and taunted by staff. The staff filmed a video of themselves bullying the vulnerable woman and uploaded it to a social media app. Psychological abuse may take the form of threats, intimidation, bullying, or humiliation.

Physical Abuse

It is hard to believe anyone would intentionally injure a vulnerable nursing home resident, but physical abuse does happen in Illinois nursing homes and in nursing homes across the country. This abuse may be at the hands of staff or other residents. Hitting, pinching, grabbing, and kicking are all forms of physical abuse. Physical abuse can not only lead to physical injuries it can also leave lasting mental scars. Some signs that a resident is being physically abused include unexplained bruising and cuts as well changes in behavior or signs of fearfulness.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysWhen a person is injured because of the reckless, negligent, or malicious actions of another party, the injured person has a right to bring a legal action against the at-fault party. Through a personal injury claim, the injured person may be awarded financial compensation or “damages” for their losses. Catastrophic injuries are injuries that dramatically impact a person’s life or result in permanent disability. Cases involving catastrophic injuries often result in much higher settlements and awards than cases involving injuries that are less severe.  

Catastrophic Injuries Significantly Affect a Victim’s Life

Traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, severe burns, vital organ injuries, amputation injuries, and other catastrophic injuries have a profound impact on the victim’s life. If you or a loved one suffered a life-changing injury in a car accident, slip and fall accident, work accident, or other incident, you may be curious about your legal options. The injuries may have created an overwhelming financial burden on you and your family. Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages sustained in the accident.

Financial Compensation You May Be Entitled to After a Catastrophic Injury

There are many factors that will influence the amount of compensation you or a loved one receive after a severe injury including the type of injuries sustained, how long it will take to recover from the injuries, and how the injuries affect the victim’s life. Damages in a catastrophic injury claim may include:

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