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Joliet personal injury attorneysWhen most people think about a car crash, work accident, assault, or another injury-causing incident, the most obvious concern is the physical injury itself. However, the psychological implications of a serious injury are often just as significant as the physical consequences of the injury. This is especially true when an accident causes disfigurement or considerable scarring. If you or a loved one suffered a disfiguring injury, it is important to know how the disfigurement may be addressed in a personal injury lawsuit.

Disfiguring Injuries Can Have a Profound Impact on the Injured Person’s Life

In a catastrophic accident, the physical and emotional scars suffered by the accident victim may last a lifetime. When an injury changes the way a person looks, the injured person may feel as though his or her very identity has changed. Scarring and disfigurement is often especially consequential when an accident causes:

  • Facial trauma – Deep lacerations to the face, injuries to the eyes, and injuries that cause disfigurement to the teeth and mouth can all have profound psychological consequences. In one study, up to 70 percent of people with acquired facial trauma suffered from depression and anxiety after the injury. Many patients suffered from social withdrawal and reduced occupational functioning.
  • Amputation – Losing a limb is a life-changing experience to go through. The injured person must deal with the physical limitations resulting from the amputation as well as the psychological toll created by the loss.  The majority of those who suffer a traumatic limb amputation or dismemberment suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, phantom limb phenomenon, and other psychological effects.
  • Scarring – Although advances in surgery and wound care techniques have reduced the severity of scarring after a serious injury, some scars are unavoidable. If your injury caused significant scarring, this is likely to affect your life long after the physical pain of your injury has dissipated.
  • Burns – Chemical burns, as well as burns suffered in a fire or other accident, can also lead to profound disfigurement. Often, a burn victim suffers changes in skin color and texture that last years.

Financial Compensation for Scarring and Other Disfigurement

Illinois personal injury law allows for the recovery of financial damages as well as non-financial damages. There is no amount of money that someone would trade for the loss of a limb or another disfiguring injury. However, financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit may address the psychological toll that disfigurement has on an accident victim. It may also provide reimbursement for counseling or other psychological treatments.

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Joliet medical malpractice attorneyAccording to a recent Gallup poll, approximately 33 million adults in the United States have visited a chiropractor in the last 12 months. Chiropractic treatments seek to relieve joint pain and stiffness through manual manipulation of the spine and other joints. However, chiropractic adjustments have also been associated with adverse consequences including herniated disk, nerve compression, and even stroke. If a chiropractor’s negligence leads to a patient’s injury or death, the chiropractor may be subject to a medical malpractice claim.

Chiropractic Treatments and Vertebral Artery Dissection

The majority of adults will experience mild to moderate back pain at some point in their lives. For many, pain and stiffness in the neck or back becomes unbearable. Some sufferers turn to chiropractors in pursuit of relief. The majority of chiropractic adjustments do not result in serious patient harm. However, chiropractic manipulation of the spine has been linked with serious medical complications, including occlusion or dissection of the vertebral artery which often leads to stroke.

In a study published by the American Heart Association, individuals who suffered vertebrobasilar accidents were five times more likely than the control group to have visited a chiropractor in the week preceding the vertebrobasilar accident. Another study found that stroke victims under the age of 60 who suffered tears in the vertebral artery were six times more likely to have had chiropractic adjustments in the preceding 30 days than stroke victims that did not suffer tears in the vertebral artery.

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Joliet personal injury attorneysOur senses enable us to interact with the world around us. Everything from working to communicating with our loved ones involves our senses. When an injurious incident leaves a person with reduced hearing or vision, the consequences are often life-changing. If you or a loved one have suffered vision or hearing loss because of another party’s negligent or malicious actions, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and recover damages.

Incidents Resulting in Vision or Hearing Loss

Accidents causing vision or hearing loss can happen almost anywhere. A workplace accident may expose a worker to toxic chemicals that harm his or her eyes. Explosions or working around loud machinery can cause hearing loss as well. Car accidents resulting in lacerations to the face or traumatic brain injury may also lead to hearing or vision problems. The cause of an individual’s hearing or vision impairment may be intentional physical violence as well. Being the victim of a robbery, assault, or another violent attack can leave a person with temporary or permanent vision loss.

A personal injury claim may help a victim of negligence or intentional wrongdoing hold the at-fault party accountable for their disability. The at-fault party may be an individual or it may be a company, property owner, government entity, or another party.

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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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When you think of someone being injured in a semi-truck accident, you probably think of the truck colliding with a car or motorcycle. However, not all trucking accidents and injuries involve vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Trucks can also seriously injure people as a result of improperly loaded cargo that spills onto a roadway.

Toxic Chemical Exposure from Truck Accident

In April 2019 in a northern suburb of Chicago, a farm tractor pulling two 1,000-gallon tanks of fertilizer leaked significant amounts of anhydrous ammonia into the air. The tanker leak created a suffocating cloud of ammonia gas that looked like fog. Anyone who drove through it instantly felt their lungs burning. Exposure to the toxic gas sent about 40 people to the hospital, seven of whom required treatment in the intensive care unit. Injuries included chemical burns to the lungs, which could leave permanent damage, as well as vision and speech impairments. 

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Joliet Motor Vehicle Accident AttorneyIn the latest statistics released April 2019, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that the statewide number of auto accident fatalities rose 8 percent for the second year in a row, while miles driven rose less than 2 percent. The nationwide rise in fatal crashes has been linked to higher highway speed limits, and this is somewhat borne out by Illinois statistics. Controlled-access, interstate-type highways saw a 16% jump in fatalities from 2015 to 2016, while state routes saw a 32% leap.

However, the rise in fatalities was offset by a significant reduction in A-injury accidents, defined as an incapacitating injury such as severe cuts, broken bones, head injuries, and internal injuries. While the total number of fatalities rose from 998 to 1,078, an increase of 8 percent, the total number of A-injuries dropped from 10,078 to 9.060, a decline of 10 percent.

In Cook County alone, there were 255 fatal accidents and 3,170 A-injury accidents. Will County saw 42 fatal crashes and 427 A-injury crashes in 2016.

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Joliet Whiplash Injury AttorneyWhiplash is a common car crash injury that not only causes severe pain in the days immediately following a crash but can also cause disorders that persist for years. If you suffered whiplash in a rear-end collision, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. However, because this type of soft-tissue injury is rarely visible on X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, you can expect the auto insurance company to argue the reality and severity of your injury. You may need the help of an experienced car accident injury lawyer to prove the full extent of your injuries and demand all due compensation. If your damages exceed the other driver’s liability coverage, your attorney may also recommend suing that driver personally.

Allow Time to Evaluate the Full Extent of Injuries

While it is important to file an insurance claim immediately after any car accident, you should not rush to settle a claim involving a whiplash injury. It may take months for the full effects of a whiplash injury to become evident. You may need expensive surgeries and other therapies to relieve your pain and address other symptoms. You could be unable to work, care for your family, and generally enjoy life for months or years. You deserve compensation for all of your losses, both financial and emotional, that stem from a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence or carelessness.

Gather Evidence Needed to Prove Whiplash Injury

Research has shown that the pain of whiplash is caused by tiny breaks and tears in the soft tissue that connects and protects the bones of the neck, aka the cervical spine. Specifically, the damage tends to be concentrated in the facet joints that connect the vertebrae together and allow the head to bend and rotate. In addition to neck pain, other disorders caused by a severe whiplash injury include: loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, dizziness, and pain that spreads to the arms. Because none of these problems can be easily proven by X-rays or other medical tests, other sources of proof will be needed to support a personal injury claim.

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Cook County Semi Truck Accident AttorneyIf you have been seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck or semi-trailer, proving that the crash was primarily the truck’s fault will be crucial to obtain compensation for your injuries. Three things you can do to improve your chances of winning your case are: document, watch what you say, and consult an experienced truck accident lawyer.

1.  Document As Much As You Can About a Truck Accident

The quality of witness testimony about an accident can play a crucial role in the determination of fault and the amount of compensation that will be paid. The more you can document about the accident and its aftermath, the better. Start a journal or computer file, and write down everything you remember, feel, and do. Also, take pictures of your injuries, your vehicle, the crash site, any medications or medical devices (e.g., casts or braces) prescribed, and anything else that could later serve as evidence.

2. Watch What You Say and Where You Say It

When you are involved in a personal injury case, heed the warning given to criminal suspects: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

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Joliet semi-truck accident lawyerNational statistics on large truck and bus crashes are alarming. In 2016, 180,000 people were injured and over 4,500 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks and buses. Compared to 2011, these figures increased by over 20 percent, while the number of large trucks and buses on our roadways increased by 14 percent over the same time period. Because of the weight of these vehicles (30,000 to 80,000 pounds) relative to the weight of an average person (175 pounds) or passenger vehicle (3,000 to 6,000 pounds), a truck accident often leads to a catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death.

Negligence in Large Truck Accidents in Will County

There are many ways in which a person can be killed or injured as a result of negligence on the part of a truck owner or operator. In one 2018 incident on I-80 near Joliet, a wheel hub became detached from the rear axle of a semi-trailer and went flying through the windshield of a passenger car. The car’s driver and her unborn son were both killed in the ensuing crash. The truck driver was cited for an “unsafe equipment” violation by the Illinois State Police. If the driver and/or his employer are found to have been negligent in maintaining the vehicle properly, one or both could be held liable for significant damages for the woman’s wrongful death

A particularly dramatic crash on I-80 near Joliet in 2017 involved three tractor-trailer trucks. One FedEx truck was broken down on the shoulder, and a second FedEx truck had also parked on the shoulder to offer assistance. A third semi-truck, driving out of control, veered out of its traffic lane and onto the shoulder, striking both FedEx trucks and causing all three trucks to burst into flames. Both FedEx drivers were killed. The Illinois State Police charged the driver of the third truck with improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

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