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Cook County Injury Lawyers

If you or someone in your family has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In the wake of a serious injury, your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family. Consulting with a lawyer may be the last thing on your mind, but obtaining legal advice quickly can prove critical, especially if you face medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and/or pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.

Police and Insurance Company Investigations

When a severe injury occurs in an accident, an investigation will begin immediately to determine exactly what happened. The police may be involved along with insurance company investigators, but they have different objectives. The police want to determine if a crime was committed, while the insurance company is focused on who was liable. You want to speak with an attorney before giving a statement to an insurance claims agent. If you mistakenly say the wrong thing, it could affect your ability to obtain full and fair compensation for your losses. 

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Vincent CorneliusThe attorneys of Schwartz Injury Law would like to congratulate Vincent F. Cornelius on his recent election as Circuit Court Judge in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Will County. With his extensive legal experience and dedication to protecting people’s rights, Vince will ensure that all who enter his courtroom are treated fairly and justly.

For the past several decades, Vince Cornelius has been a pillar of the community and the legal profession in Illinois. He has represented clients in hundreds of criminal and civil cases in Will, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Grundy, DeKalb, Kendall, and Winnebago Counties. Whether defending against criminal charges or working to reach settlements in personal injury cases, he has always provided the personal touch and aggressive advocacy to help his clients achieve positive results.

Vince is not only respected for his work inside the courtroom, but he has also demonstrated dedication to the legal community. He has been highly involved in the Illinois State Bar Association, serving as President and on the Board of Governors and as a member of the Judicial Evaluations Committee and the Special Committee on Capital Punishment. He has also served as the President and on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and as the Chancellor of the Illinois Academy of Lawyers. He is a founding board member of the Black Bar Association of Will County and a member of the Will County Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, and the National College for DUI Defense. He was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Law Reform and has served on the Northern Illinois University College of Law Board of Visitors.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysWhen most people are involved in a negligence lawsuit, they expect at the end to receive sufficient compensation to address the harm they have suffered, and indeed, that is the aim of most proceedings. However, what many do not know is that their award will often be reduced, because it is rare that either the plaintiff or the defendant is totally blameless in an accident. This doctrine is referred to as comparative fault.

Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Fault

In most accident cases, the first question that is asked is who is at fault. Historically, under common law, if it was determined that the plaintiff played any role in their own injuries, it acted as a complete bar to recovery. The rationale at the time was that everyone had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent themselves from sustaining injury, and if they failed in that duty, they might be barred from recovery.

Gradually, however, the states have begun to shy away from this rule, primarily on public policy grounds. Public policy is a concept that states that a law or decision should not shock the conscience of the public, and to completely deprive an injured plaintiff of recovery based on perhaps 5 percent contributory negligence was often seen as unjust. There are very few jurisdictions nowadays that retain the pure contributory negligence standard; almost all have shifted to the comparative fault standard (including Illinois), which holds that if a plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries, no recovery is possible.

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Orland Park medical malpractice attorneyWhen you are sick or injured, you trust doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to care for you. The responsibility that medical professionals have to their patients is like no other profession. When a hospital or medical professional makes a mistake, the results can be catastrophic. Tragically, medical mistakes and negligence are increasingly prevalent problems that leave thousands injured or killed every year.

Medical Errors Now Account for a Staggering Number of Deaths

The Latin phrase “Primum non noceere” which means, “First, do no harm,” is often recited by physicians as a promise to uphold their responsibility to keep patients safe from injury. Unfortunately, this promise is not always kept. Most people are aware that there are instances when medical professionals fail to do the job they have a sworn duty to do but have no idea how prevalent the problem really is. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that medical negligence—instances when health professionals cause injury to a patients—is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans than medical malpractice. Many of the victims of medical negligence seek financial compensation for their injuries. The issue is so pervasive that over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012 alone. This works out to an astounding one payout every 43 minutes.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysMost people have heard about the now-infamous McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit. It is a story which has been widely misrepresented by the media and is often misunderstood by the general public. The 79-year-old plaintiff was in the passenger seat of a car when she went through the McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered a coffee. As she was unfastening the lid of the coffee, it tipped and spilled on her. When she and her family brought a lawsuit against McDonald’s, many considered the suit to be ridiculous. After all, we have all accidentally spilled coffee or other drinks before. The public, in general, did not understand how the situation was the restaurant’s fault and assumed the plaintiff was merely greedy or looking for an easy payout.

Appalling Injuries

The actual story is much more gruesome. What many do not realize about the cup of coffee from McDonald’s was that it was served at a temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit—per corporate specifications. Liquid at this temperature is so scalding that it can cause third-degree burns in two to seven seconds. Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn a person can endure and result in skin being burned down to the muscle/fatty-tissue layer.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Will County personal injury attorneyWhile winter can be a beautiful time of year, it does come with some very unique risks. Every year, people are injured and killed in auto accidents caused by snow-covered and icy roads. We generally think of winter weather conditions being dangerous primarily for motorists, but there are risks for those who use snowmobiles during the snowy months.

Illinois Man Dies After Snowmobile Accident

Sadly, an Illinois man who was involved in a snowmobile accident on New Year’s Day has passed away due to the injuries he sustained in the accident. When the 33-year-old Coal Valley native failed to return home after going out to use his snowmobile on New Year’s Day, officers were called to the scene. When they arrived, they found the man lying underneath the machine. He was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Because a snowmobile involved, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be in charge of the investigation.

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Legal Options Following a Labor Day Weekend Injury

Orland Park personal injury attorneyLabor Day, the holiday recognizing America’s workers, is intended as a day of rest and relaxation and a chance to enjoy a rare three-day weekend. Barbeques, ballgames, lakeside fun in the sun – these are hallmarks of Labor Day, so it is both unexpected and tragic when the holiday is marred by an injury or death. 

Unfortunately, with so many Americans hitting the road to visit friends and family, and with alcohol often being a feature of social get-togethers, accidents are inevitable. Personal injuries may be suffered on one of the nation’s highways, parks, sporting grounds, lakes and other swimming areas, or even unlikely places where you least expect it. Cuts, bruises, broken bones, post-traumatic stress, and even loss of life are among the consequences. 

When harm is suffered by no fault of your own, the pain and suffering are only magnified. Besides a ruined holiday and unexpected medical care and bills, there lingers the need to hold a wrongdoer accountable for the physical, emotional, and financial losses you have suffered. Fortunately, in the civil courts of the state of Illinois, procedures are in place to allow victims to seek redress from those that have caused harm, whether intentionally or negligently.

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