Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Commercial and private boat accidents are on the rise nationwide, and recent high-profile accidents have raised concerns about vessel safety, operator competence, and ultimately, liability for injuries and fatalities in the worst-case scenarios.

If you’ve survived a boating accident, you might have sustained traumatic physical or emotional injuries. Or, if you’re the family member of a victim who didn’t survive an accident, you may wonder who is responsible for your loss and how you can hold them accountable.

Many “accidents” aren’t accidents at all. Often, they may be the result of poor judgment or negligence. The top three causes of boating accidents are operator incompetence, alcohol, and hazardous water. Equipment failure is also a major contributor to safe boating, especially when water and weather conditions intercede. Most of these factors are within the control of the boat captain (or “operator”) though other hazards can cause serious injury or death in spite of the operator’s skill and best efforts.

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All too often, accidents cause broken bones. Serious fractures can end up costing thousands of dollars in treatment and lost work opportunities and should not be dismissed as minor injuries.

Broken bones commonly occur in traffic accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Symptoms of a broken bone can include:

  • Severe pain
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No two personal injury cases are identical. While some personal injury cases may settle quickly, others take years before the parties reach an acceptable settlement agreement. At the very least, many personal injury cases require several rounds of tough negotiations before arriving at a satisfactory settlement.

Many complex factors determine how long it takes to reach a settlement agreement, including whether the at-fault party is disputing fault for the accident, the venue where the case is pending, the complexity of the case, the injuries involved, the medical treatment received, the permanency of the injuries suffered, and the need for further medical procedures.

While there is no such thing as a “perfect” settlement that fully restores an injured victim to their previous physical, emotional, and financial state, a “good” settlement is one that satisfactorily compensates the accident victim for his or her injuries. While this may be slightly less than the damages sought in a lawsuit, accepting a settlement eliminates the risk and uncertainty of going to trial and letting independent jurors decide the final outcome of the case.

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Catastrophic and permanent injuries can occur in car, truck, tractor-trailer, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents, to name a few. In many cases, these injuries require long periods of medical treatment and serious medical procedures in order to correct. In other cases, accident victims require a lifetime of care at a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Some catastrophic injury cases reach a settlement agreement, while others proceed all the way to trial. Litigating a catastrophic injury case requires a special skill set of both medical understanding of these severe injuries and legal knowledge. If you have sustained catastrophic injuries in an accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. can review your case and may be able to provide you with legal representation.

Characterizing Catastrophic Injuries

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Small children are not able to take care of themselves. For this reason, many parents drop their children off at daycare on the way to work—sometimes on a daily basis. Parents carefully select daycare facilities, and whether your child goes to a private home or a school environment, you should expect that your child will receive proper care. After all, children cannot protect themselves from harm during daycare.

Unfortunately, many parents receive the dreaded phone call that their child was injured while under the watch of their daycare. Sometimes, the injury is purely accidental—your child simply lost balance and fell down. However, in other cases, you may suspect that your child’s daycare could have prevented the injury—and the injury was actually due to the daycare’s carelessness. In this situation, you should always discuss your concerns with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate the situation.

Negligence at Daycare

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When you live in a place like Chicago, you are truly able to enjoy all four seasons. Our famous blustery and snowy winters, hot summers, and pleasant springs and falls provide Chicagoans and tourists ample opportunities to enjoy the weather they like most. It also exposes people to a wide variety of accident risks that change with the seasons.

Accidental injuries happen every day, no matter the season. These incidents can involve vehicles, defective consumer products, bicycles, or slippery floors, and at any time of the year. All, however, share one thing in common: When someone else’s negligence causes them, victims are typically entitled to compensation for their injuries.

The types of accidents that are most associated with specific seasons follow below. Of course, this information is meant to be general, and accidents of any type can occur at any time of year. For more information, or to discuss a particular accident with a Chicago personal injury attorney, call Abels & Annes, P.C., today at (312) 924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.

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Falls are consistently among the most common causes of injuries throughout the Chicagoland area. When serious, the injuries caused by falls can often require emergency medical treatment, and may even leave victims with long-term medical problems and life-altering disabilities. When injury-causing falls occur on dangerous stairs, however, victims may recover compensation for any losses they sustain as a result of their accidents.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we understand how profoundly a serious fall down the stairs can damage a person’s life, and we are committed to helping victims obtain the compensation to which Illinois law entitles them. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Chicago personal injury attorneys, contact us online or call our office at (312) 924-7575.

When Can People Recover Compensation for Falls on Stairs?

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Among the most difficult questions to answer when it comes to accidents resulting in personal injuries is how to place a monetary value on claims. Obviously, far more personal questions come first, such as whether you or your loved ones also involved in the accident will fully recover and whether the accident will have life-long impacts on you and your family.

But when those questions are put to rest, other, more practical considerations have direct financial impacts on your life. You have suffered damages to yourself and your vehicle, at least in the case of a traffic accident. Who will pay for your medical care, or to repair (or even replace) your vehicle? How much will they pay? Furthermore, how do you put a precise value on the pain and suffering you incurred because of this accident?

The short answer is, you can’t. There is no mathematical equation where you can plug in numbers at one end and get a total amount for your pain and suffering at the other end.

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We’ve all seen drivers do incredibly dangerous things on the roads and highways—zipping in and out of traffic, following just a couple of feet away from another car’s bumper, even passing on the shoulder. But what are the most common dangerous driving behaviors? Car and Driver developed a list (and Road and Track published a similar one):

Driving under the influence: Drunk driving is the cause of the majority of traffic-related deaths.

Speeding: Speeding is the number two cause of traffic fatalities.

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If you’ve ever been involved in a serious accident of any kind, you know that it can be—and often is—traumatic. While insurance companies seem to be in the business of disproving the traumatic nature of serious accidents, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore post-traumatic stress symptoms or that you should simply try to white-knuckle your way through. Your health and well-being are too important to leave to an insurance company’s discretion—you need an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to the Mayo Clinic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic reveals that, while most people—with time and adequate self-care—recover from the difficulties of experiencing trauma, such is not always the case. If symptoms continue to worsen, last for months or even longer, or interfere with day-to-day functioning, it could be PTSD.