Many of us live according to routines and take for granted our ability to conduct the daily business of our lives. Unfortunately, an accident can throw everything off balance. Whether it is a car accident, a truck crash, a slip and fall, or an injury on the job, accidents can make it challenging to do even the smallest tasks. Sometimes injuries are catastrophic or even fatal. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes have helped hundreds of accident victims recover compensation after suffering injuries due to the negligence or misconduct of other people or entities.Personal Injury
Most personal injury lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. You will need to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant failed to act safely in the situation, avoiding unnecessary risks of harm. This duty of care depends on the circumstances. If you can establish liability, you can obtain damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. While it is most common that accidents are caused by negligence, it may be possible to recover damages under theories of intentional misconduct or recklessness under certain circumstances. You must bring a claim within a certain time period, known as the statute of limitations.
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Drivers can breach the duty to use reasonable care while operating their cars in many different ways, including speeding, texting, drunk driving, fatigued driving, and tailgating. In Illinois, drivers only need to carry $25,000 in liability insurance for the injury or death of an individual, and medical bills are often far higher. Sometimes drivers are operating their cars on the road without the required insurance. When an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident, you can turn to your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Our personal injury attorneys can guide Chicago residents through either type of claim.Truck Accidents
Due to the weight and size of commercial trucks, truck accidents can result in devastating injuries to multiple drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. It is not uncommon for a truck accident to happen because an interstate truck driver violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. However, it is important to look at all of the contributing causes of the accident when determining whom to pursue for compensation. A trucking company may bear either vicarious or direct liability, or both. It can be held directly responsible for negligent hiring, training, or supervision.Motorcycle Accidents
There is no buffer between a motorcyclist and a larger vehicle should they come into collision. Tragically, motorcyclists may suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Even when liability for a motorcycle accident seems clear, the driver of a larger vehicle may point at the motorcyclist as being partially or fully to blame. Illinois follows a modified version of comparative negligence. This means that your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault, and you will be barred from recovering at all if you were 50% or more at fault for your injuries. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys are experienced in fighting back against these arguments.Bicycle Accidents
In Illinois, bicyclists have the same right to be on the road as cars and trucks do. Bicyclists often are subject to collisions because of distracted or careless drivers. Also, there are many situations in which somebody in a car opens their car door into a bicyclist's path. Under Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-1407, nobody is supposed to open a vehicle door on a side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the other traffic. Failing to abide by the Vehicle Code can be strong evidence of negligence. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver.Pedestrian Accidents
In Illinois, pedestrians have the right of way over cars or trucks stopped at a red light or signal at an intersection with a crosswalk. The driver of a car is supposed to yield to a pedestrian who has the right of way in the crosswalk. At an intersection, it is unlawful for a pedestrian to cross the road somewhere other than the crosswalk. Even so, drivers owe a duty of reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. Pedestrian accidents unfortunately prove fatal on many occasions. The family members of a deceased victim can recover damages through a wrongful death claim when this happens. Our personal injury lawyers can represent Chicago families in these challenging situations.Premises Liability
When you go to the store or the mall or another place outside your home, you probably trust that it is kept in a safe condition and good repair. In Illinois, property owners owe a duty to use ordinary care to keep the property reasonably safe for lawful visitors. A property owner or occupier that does not take appropriate measures to keep the property safe can be held liable through a premises liability claim for failing to adequately protect people from dangerous conditions on the property. Dangerous conditions can include spills, cracks, broken steps, broken rails, pavers, and black ice.Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider's conduct in diagnosing, treating, or otherwise handling a patient's care falls below the professional duty of care, such that it causes injuries. There are numerous ways in which this may happen. Examples include diagnostic errors, misdiagnoses, operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong procedure, or failing to provide appropriate post-operative care. Health care providers whose actions may fall below the professional standard of care include surgeons, doctors, nurses, dentists, and therapists. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer probably will need to retain an expert to testify about what the professional duty of care was and how it was breached.Nursing Home Abuse
When you put a loved one in a nursing home, you trust that they will be given care and attention. In Illinois, nursing home residents are protected by both federal and state laws. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, residents have rights such as the right to complain, the right to choose their doctor, the right to be informed of possible consequences of medical treatment, the right to be free of physical restraints, and the right of freedom of communication, among others. If a nursing home fails to uphold its residents' rights, it can be liable civilly and criminally. Some warning signs of nursing home abuse or neglect include bedsores, personality changes, withdrawal, unexplained fractures, and bruises.Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can have significant effects, particularly on a child. Sometimes these effects are permanent. It is important to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer in the Chicago area to pursue compensation after suffering sexual abuse by an authority figure, whether that authority figure is a clergy member, teacher, staff member, caregiver, coach, or even a family member. It may be appropriate to pursue compensation not only from the actual abuser but also from an institution whose negligence or intentional misconduct (such as negligent hiring practices or deficient safety practices) made the abuse possible.Workers' Compensation
In Illinois, workers' compensation is a system that covers most employees in the state. If you suffer a job-related injury in Illinois, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. This system may pay for the medical costs of the job-related injury or illness. It also may pay some replacement wages in the form of disability pay. The government agency that handles workers' compensation claims is the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.Consult a Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago or Surrounding Cities
It is understandable to feel uncertain, isolated, and anxious after suffering serious injuries in an accident caused by someone else. Often, just the process of being confronted with insurers, employers, and other companies trying to limit their exposure to liability can be overwhelming. If you work with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C., we will explain your legal rights. We will take steps to protect your interests and serve as loyal representatives in negotiating with others involved in the accident. Call us at (855) 529-2442 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.