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Schwartz Injury Law


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Recent blog posts

orland park motorcycle accident lawyerAs Illinois weather begins to slowly warm, many motorcyclists are waiting for the day when the streets are safe and dry and the weather is conducive for taking the first ride of the season. While the research on the benefits of using a helmet during motorcycle use is clear, the feeling of the sun on your face and the wind in your hair can tempt even the most experienced riders to leave home without head protection. 

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common, perhaps more so in the spring when cars are not used to seeing motorcycles on the road and are not as watchful. Motorcycle riders can be seriously injured and killed in accidents and this is especially true if the rider is not wearing a helmet. If a helmetless rider got into an accident because of the actions of another driver, but was more seriously injured because of the failure to wear a helmet, he or she may wonder whether this will impact their ability to pursue fair compensation for their injuries. While an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer is the best person to answer questions about your unique case, this blog provides a brief overview of how helmet use may or may not affect your case. 

Motorcycle Accidents without Helmets

Helmet use can affect not only the outcome of a motorcycle driver or passenger’s injuries, but the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit as well. In Illinois, a personal injury lawsuit can still be possible, even when the actions of the driver who was not directly responsible for the accident made the situation worse. This includes speeding, failing to use turn signals, or not wearing a helmet. If the injured motorcyclist was not more than 50 percent responsible for his or her injuries, a claim for partial compensation may still be possible. 


chicago burn injury lawyerThe last thing you expect when you visit a restaurant with family or friends is to suffer a serious burn injury. Yet for many Illinois diners, catastrophic burns happen suddenly and have the potential to change their lives for years to come. A waiter may accidentally tip hot coffee or soup into a patron’s lap, hot grease can melt right through to-go bags, or oil from a teppanyaki-style grill can splash out onto a visitor. Whatever the reason, burn injury lawsuits are more common than you might think and victims can often pursue compensation from the responsible party. 

What is a Restaurant’s Duty of Care? 

Under Illinois’ Premises Liability Act, restaurants have a responsibility to provide their patrons with a duty of care, including preventing burns through reasonable means. Burns are a legitimate risk in restaurants, and steps must be taken to ensure customers do not suffer painful injuries because of poorly trained staff, uneven floors that cause a slipping hazard around hot grills, or flimsy containers. 

Perhaps the most famous restaurant burn injury case was that of an elderly woman who suffered severe third-degree burns from extremely hot coffee that spilled on her lap. Although the victim was often the target of scorn in media coverage of the case, she received a large settlement, in part due to the fact that previous incidents had occurred at the same restaurant chain. When a restaurant knows there is a danger of burns and does not take action to prevent them, this is when a personal injury lawsuit may be most likely to succeed. 


elmhurst personal injury lawyerOur ears are complex organs that help us hear and keep our balance. Made up of many parts, the middle and inner ear are especially fragile and susceptible to damage that can impact our hearing and balance permanently. Auto accidents, in particular, are often the cause of major, long-term hearing loss. 

The consequences of full or partial hearing loss can catastrophically impact your day-to-day life and make everyday activities like working, exercising, and even walking difficult or impossible. If you have recently been involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident in Illinois and you are experiencing ringing ears or hearing loss, meeting with a personal injury attorney may be a good idea. 

Ear Trauma is Linked to Air Bag Deployment

When high-intensity sounds suddenly occur, our ears protect themselves by briefly contracting tiny muscles using something called the “stapedius reflex.” This reflex lowers the amount of sound that can access the middle ear, especially against loud noises at lower decibels. 


joliet wrongful death lawyerEvery year in the United States, around 5,000 lives are tragically lost in motorcycle accidents and around 80,000 more motorcycle drivers are injured. More than ten times as many men die in motorcycle accidents as women, and drivers under age 35 cause are involved in a significant majority of motorcycle accidents. 

Regardless of the age or family status of the victim, when a loved one is suddenly lost in a motorcycle accident, it is a shock and tragedy for the ones left behind. When the victim is a parent and breadwinner, the family he or she leaves behind can be left reeling, uncertain of what the future holds. If someone you love has suffered a wrongful death in a motorcycle accident in Illinois because of the negligent actions of another person, you may be able to pursue justice in the form of financial compensation. While a lawsuit can never bring back your loved one, it has the potential to provide much-needed financial security and some stability for the future. 

When Is a Fatal Motorcycle Accident a Wrongful Death? 

When another driver’s reckless behavior causes a fatal accident, the victim’s family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. If a crash was caused by an issue other than a driver’s behavior, such as an improperly loaded vehicle or a defective motorcycle product, the person responsible may be held liable as well. The most common causes of wrongful motorcycle fatal accidents include: 


Cook County Animal Attack Injury LawyerDog attacks are frightening for anyone, but for children, they can be particularly scary. Not only are many dogs stronger and bigger than most children, but the effects of a dog attack in a child’s youth can have a life-long impact on their relationship with dogs and other animals. 

In addition to the psychological harm of dog attacks, the injuries sustained in dog bites can be extremely painful, require extensive medical treatment, and be serious enough to permanently disfigure a child. If your child has suffered from a disfiguring dog bite injury, you may want to speak with an experienced Illinois dog bite attorney to explore your legal options. 

What are the Effects of Dog Bite Scarring? 

Most children acquire scars as a normal part of the rough-and-tumble nature of childhood, but dog bites can leave scars that are disfiguring. Dog bites on a child’s face and neck can leave particularly noticeable scars.  A child with facial scarring is not only constantly reminded of the trauma she experienced but is likely to struggle with social connections and job prospects. In addition to the impact this can have on a child's daily life, studies suggest that individuals with facial disfigurement and other disabilities may face discrimination in hiring practices. 


Glen Ellyn Truck Accident LawyerSemi-trucks and 18-wheelers are essential for transporting necessary goods all over the country. Food, clothing, vehicles, and even prefabricated homes travel safely to their destinations every day, thanks to the effort of cautious trucking companies and their drivers. 

But trucks can also pose serious risks, especially to other drivers on the road in smaller vehicles. Trucks that are improperly loaded, negligently maintained, or driven by exhausted or inebriated drivers can cause crashes that lead to serious and even fatal injuries. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, it may be possible to recover financial damages with the help of an experienced Illinois truck accident attorney. Here are three common causes of fatal truck accidents. 

Shifting or Loose Loads

Truck drivers are required to abide by rigorous safety measures that regulate the way cargo must be loaded and secured before driving. Cargo must be evenly distributed and properly secured so it does not shift or come loose during transportation. Sometimes, employees fail to abide by these standards. When cargo is not correctly secured, it can make a truck unsteady, causing it to swerve, tip over, or roll. Cargo can also fall out of a truck and into the road, hitting some vehicles and causing other vehicles to swerve to try to avoid a collision. 


Glen Ellyn Catastrophic Injury LawyerCar accidents in Cook County are serious matters. While most major car accidents are not fatal, they nearly always result in some kind of injury. And most of those injuries, like cuts, lacerations, and bruises, may be painful, however, they will eventually heal. Some injuries, however, never heal and can change the victim’s life forever. 

One particularly serious type of injury is amputation. The loss of a leg, foot, arm, or hand is a catastrophic injury that can permanently impact a victim’s ability to work, move around, and live a normal life. When an amputation occurs after a car accident in which another driver’s negligence is to blame, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help the amputee obtain just compensation for their loss and suffering. 

What Kinds of Vehicle Accidents Can Cause Amputation? 

Limb and digit amputations are only done after it is clear that the physical damage to the victim is so extensive that reconstructive surgery is not an option. Unfortunately, this means the type of car accidents that result in amputation are usually very serious. Truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, rollover crashes, and lost cargo that has fallen into the road can all cause serious car crashes. 


Glen Ellyn Car Accident LawyerEven when you are driving defensively, the behavior of other motorists can cause serious car accidents. Although it is true that motorcyclists are at much more risk of being injured in car accidents than the occupants of a car or truck, it is also true that many motorcyclists cause or are involved in accidents because of reckless driving. Many motorcycle drivers are young men who, without thinking carefully about the consequences, often drive far above the speed limit on highways and other thoroughfares, putting the other drivers around them in serious danger. 

Reckless driving by speeding motorcyclists can cause the drivers of nearby vehicles to swerve in an effort to avoid an impending collision, causing a serious car crash. Sometimes, the rider will pull over and help. Other times, by the time the car crash has happened, the motorcyclist is long gone. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident that you caused only because you tried to avoid another collision, you may be able to prove the accident would never have happened if not for the other driver’s actions. 

Can I Hold a Driver Responsible for a Car Accident Even if They Did Not Hit Me? 

When one driver’s actions cause another driver to swerve and crash into another car, this is called a no-contact accident and the initial driver is called a “phantom vehicle.” If the driver of the phantom vehicle remains on the scene, you may be able to benefit from their testimony about what happened and it may be easier to hold them liable for damages.


Glen Ellyn Pedestrian Accident LawyerEvery year, dozens of pedestrians in Illinois are seriously injured or killed when they are struck by a vehicle. Drivers may be distracted by traffic or cell phones, or might have their vision impaired by bad weather or nighttime driving; whatever the cause, the consequences for victims of these accidents are often life-altering. 

One of the most common types of injuries suffered by pedestrians hit by motor vehicles is back injuries. Damage can be localized or distributed throughout the spine and is nearly always found in combination with associated injuries like soft tissue or organ damage. Spinal cord injuries are particularly challenging because they can cause paralysis, permanent numbness and tingling, and debilitating pain. These injuries can be expensive and prevent a victim from working their normal job for the rest of their lives. If you or someone you love has been hit by a car, you may be able to hold the person responsible for damages and compensation. 

Common Types of Back Injuries From Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents

While many different injuries are present after pedestrian-vehicle accidents, back injuries in particular pose substantial risks to the victim. Common back injuries include, but are not limited to: 


Glen Ellyn Car Accident LawyerAlthough car crashes that result in serious injuries or fatalities are always tragic, these accidents leave victims and loved ones especially grief-stricken when they occur during the holiday season. The loss suffered in a serious car crash can be made even worse when it could have been prevented by something as simple as sober driving or using a designated driver. 

Unfortunately, the holiday season in Illinois often sees an increase in drunk driving accidents, and poor driving conditions resulting from inclement weather can make bad accidents worse. If you have been a victim of a car crash because somebody broke the law and drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs, consider working with a personal injury attorney who will work to hold them accountable. 

Why Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help After a Car Crash? 

Although some victims of car accidents consider representing themselves, having a skilled attorney with experience in litigating against major insurance companies can make the difference between a successful outcome and a lost case. Although there is never a 100 percent guarantee that any case will result in a specific outcome, personal injury attorneys are often able to recognize the extent of a client’s injuries and the way they have affected the client and their family. Insurance companies are often more willing to negotiate substantial settlements with attorneys because they know they mean business. 


Orland Park Animal Bite Injury LawyerAlthough cats are notorious for not being as friendly as dogs, people often do not take the idea of cat bites as seriously as they take dog bites. Because cats are usually so much smaller than people and their bites are rarely as superficially damaging as dog bites, people may be surprised to learn just how dangerous cat bite injuries can be.

The Illinois Animal Contract Act provides that a guest in someone else’s home who is bitten or scratched unprovoked by a cat may be able to recover damages from the cat’s owner for their injuries. As long as the guest was conducting themselves peacefully and had a legal right to be on the premises, the cat’s owner may be held responsible for a bite. 

One in Three Cat Bites Requires Hospitalization 

Even the most friendly cats can suddenly bite or scratch someone. Cat teeth and claws are extremely sharp and they can hurt someone who is only trying to play with the cat. However, even injuries sustained during play can be serious. 


Cook County Catastrophic Accident AttorneyMost of us go through life without ever having to think about the extent to which we completely rely on our vision. However, for some victims of serious accidents, catastrophic eye injuries can get in the way of everything they do. Expensive medical bills can pile up, and a person may never be able to find employment in their former line of work again. In this blog post, we will explore some of the common types of eye damage, how they happen, and what victims may be able to do about it. 

Common Types of Traumatic Eye Injuries

Eye injuries can be complex and severe. Some of the most common types of traumatic eye injuries include: 

  • Corneal abrasions like cuts and scrapes


Cook County Personal Injury LawyerCar crashes are one of the leading causes of death for Americans under age 55, and the frightening truth is that they can happen to anyone, at any time. For many victims of car accidents, injuries are instant and obvious; for others, however, symptoms of injuries may not appear for hours, days, or even weeks. In stressful situations, the human body releases adrenaline that can mask pain, leading to a failure to diagnose and treat issues right away. If you have recently been in a car accident and are now experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to take legal action. 

Common Delayed Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries

Everyone’s body is different, and we all respond to trauma in different ways. However, certain symptoms are more common than others. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Headaches - Headaches are one of the most common complaints after a car accident. Although headaches are frequently suffered by people who have never been in a car accident, if you have recently experienced a car crash, do not second guess whether you should seek treatment for severe headaches. Many headaches will go away on their own, but they could also be a sign of a more serious problem such as a concussion, blood clots, or head and neck trauma. 


Joliet Personal Injury LawyerWhen victims of serious personal injury are eligible to receive damages from a responsible individual or company, there are two main kinds of damages that are recoverable: Compensatory damages and punitive damages. These two categories may be split into further categories, but for most purposes, understanding the difference between compensatory and punitive damages is sufficient. 

Not everybody will be able to sue for both kinds of damages, and although compensatory damages are the most common form of damages, there are cases where punitive damages are available as well. If you have been injured in a personal injury case, a qualified Illinois attorney can help you determine whether a lawsuit is appropriate. 

What Are Compensatory Damages? 

Compensatory damages are awarded to the victim of negligence or other unlawful behavior and are intended to cover the expenses associated with the victim’s pain, suffering, and losses. Among the costs compensatory damages can cover include: 


Joliet Personal Injury LawyerSometimes car accidents are simply tragic affairs and it is impossible to blame a party who acted wrongly. Other times, however, serious personal injury or death resulting from a car accident is the consequence of negligent or wrongful behavior on the part of an individual or company. When someone is in a car accident and dies before a full legal recovery can take place, survivors often have the right to file a lawsuit. 

There are two main parts of a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois - survival action and wrongful death action. These are related but distinct, and it is important to have an understanding of the difference between the two. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can help you explore your options and help you bring the lawsuit that is appropriate for your case.  

Survival Action vs. Wrongful Death Action

The wrongful death action segment of a wrongful death lawsuit addresses the suffering of the victims who survived the deceased. Survivors may be entitled to damages compensating them for the loss of financial support, companionship, and consortium, as well as for the grief they endure. If a victim dies from the accident right away, then the majority of the damages in the lawsuit will result from the wrongful death action. 


Joliet Personal Injury LawyerLipitor, or atorvastatin, is a drug that is often prescribed to patients whose “bad” cholesterol levels are too high. Like any FDA-approved drug, Lipitor can be helpful to those for whom its use is appropriate, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease. But studies suggest Lipitor has serious side effects, including causing users to develop type 2 diabetes. 

A recently published study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that users of Lipitor and other statin medications are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or, if patients already suffered from type 2 diabetes, developing more severe symptoms. Serious symptoms of type 2 diabetes include breakdown of muscle tissue, kidney damage, seizures, insulin resistance, unconsciousness, and even death. These can present serious and even fatal threats to Lipitor users, causing many patients to wonder whether they have grounds for a personal injury case against the manufacturer of the medicine or against a doctor for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Physician’s Failure Explain Known Potential Side Effects

Doctors have a responsibility to ensure that they understand the side effects of a drug before diagnosing it. This includes any possible interactions with other drugs or foods. For example, with Lipitor and other statin medications, eating grapefruit can enhance the amount of the drug in the user’s body and increase side effects. Furthermore, a doctor must ensure that the benefits of the medicine outweigh the potential risks. For patients who already struggle with serious symptoms of type 2 diabetes, Lipitor may make things worse. Doctors who improperly prescribe drugs may be responsible for medical malpractice. 


 Joliet Truck Accident Lawyer

When you get behind the wheel of a car and drive, you may find yourself surrounded by trucks transporting large loads of goods. Drivers usually assume that these loads are securely fastened and will not come loose. Federal regulations and professional conduct in the trucking industry are meant to prevent disastrous accidents from happening because of items that fall from trucks or liquids spilled in the road. Unfortunately, truck drivers and trucking companies do not always follow the proper regulations or practices, and unsecured loads can lead to deadly truck accidents.  

Commercial Trucks Can Cause Accidents Due to Improperly Secured Loads

According to AAA, tens of thousands of crashes occur every year due to debris in the road. Trying to avoid debris can cause a car to careen out of control, which can inadvertently lead to disastrous injuries and deaths. Accidents can also occur when vehicles collide with obstacles, and cargo that falls onto freeways or other major expressways may lead to multi-vehicle pileups that cause injuries to large numbers of people. Drivers and passengers can also be seriously injured if a truck’s load falls on top of a vehicle. Since these items can be very large and heavy, they can cause a vehicle to be crushed, leading to injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries.


 Glen Ellyn Auto Accident Lawyer

If a driver in Illinois hits another car, a pedestrian, or another object with their car, the law prohibits them from leaving the scene of the accident under threat of felony charges. Unfortunately, this law does not keep people from leaving accidents they caused or were involved in. Leaving the scene of an accident can enhance the chances of severe injury or death to the victim of a hit and run who is in need of medical assistance. 

If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, or someone you love has died in such an accident, you may be entitled to financial damages from the perpetrator. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney may be able to help you act quickly and seek justice. 


 Glen Ellyn Personal Injury LawyerAlthough commercial airlines very rarely experience aviation disasters, smaller private planes crash much more often. Around 300 people die every year in private plane crashes, and there are well over 1,000 non-fatal accidents every year in America alone. While the chances of being injured or killed in a plane crash are still very small, the impact of such a catastrophic accident can change the course of many people’s lives forever. Victims of plane crashes or their families may even have cause to sue for personal injury

What Causes Private Plane Crashes? 

Private plane crashes pose additional challenges to investigators, victims, and the families of victims who are waiting to hear what caused such a tragedy. Small private aircrafts do not usually have the “black box” that tracks speed, altitude, and other flight information on commercial aircraft, making details about crashes difficult to determine. 

However, over many years, data has been collected about common causes of private plane crashes. These include, but are not limited to: 


Punitive Damages for Injuries Chicago LawyerIf you have been injured due to the actions of another person or party, it is understandable that you would want to hold that party accountable, not only for the purposes of recovering financial compensation, but also for achieving a sense of justice. You may even feel that the other party should be punished for their actions. In Illinois, it is sometimes possible to pursue such a punishment in the form of punitive damages. However, the situations in which punitive damages may be included in a personal injury claim are limited, and it is important to understand whether and how they may apply to your case.

When Are Punitive Damages Available?

In most Illinois personal injury cases, the damages recovered by the injury victim fall entirely within the category of compensatory damages. These are damages that are intended to compensate the victim directly for some sort of loss—whether a financial loss like medical expenses or lost wages, or a personal loss like pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of companionship.

Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not connected to any specific loss on the part of the victim. Instead, they are meant as punishment for the liable party. As such, they are not available when a person was injured due to an act of simple negligence; they are only available when the liable party acted with “evil motive” or “reckless and outrageous” and “conscious indifference.” When deciding whether to award punitive damages, the court will look for clear and convincing evidence of these factors.

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