DGAA bLAWg

How Does Illinois Law Address Wrongful Death?

Web Admin - Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Barrington wrongful death attorneyThe death of a loved one can be very difficult, and it can affect an entire family. In addition to causing a great deal of emotional pain, the death can have a large financial impact as well, and family members may struggle to pay for medical care that was needed for their loved one, address funeral and burial expenses, and meet their own ongoing needs after the loss of an income provider. These issues can be hard to overcome in any circumstances, but they can be even more challenging if the death could have been avoided. A wrongful death may occur because of improper acts or negligence by others, and in these cases, family members may choose to seek financial damages from the party who was responsible. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in 2017, nearly 170,000 people died from unintentional injuries. The most common types of injuries are accidental poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, and falls. While not all of these cases may have been considered wrongful death, a large portion of them could have been prevented, and negligent parties such as drivers, product manufacturers, or property owners may have been responsible. In addition, a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine concluded that more than 250,000 people die each year because of medical malpractice. In these cases, family members may be able to pursue compensation for a death that occurred because of the negligence of medical professionals.

How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?


The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows surviving family members of a wrongfully killed individual (typically a spouse or next of kin) to pursue monetary compensation from the person or company that was responsible for the death. A civil lawsuit may be filed, and if the defendant is found liable for the death of the victim, damages may be awarded to the surviving family members.

The compensation provided to the family members may include multiple types of damages. In addition to paying for the actual costs surrounding the death, such as any medical treatment received and expenses for the victim’s funeral or burial, the defendant may also be required to repay the family for the income lost because of the death, the loss of companionship, and the grief, sorrow, and mental suffering they have experienced. If compensation is awarded by the court, or if the parties reach a settlement agreement, the amount recovered will be distributed by the court to the surviving spouse and next of kin. 

Contact a Deer Park Wrongful Death Lawyer


If you are coping with the loss of a loved one that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you should be sure to understand your options for pursuing financial compensation. The compassionate attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can provide you with the legal help you need during these difficult times. Our experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorneys will work to ensure that you receive the compensation that addresses the emotional and financial harm your family has suffered. Contact our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free initial consultation. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&ChapterID=57
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us

How Can My Kids Be Injured By Defective Children’s Products?

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Inverness defective products lawyer child injuryAs parents, we go to extraordinary lengths to keep our children safe, and we expect others to do so as well. The manufacturers of children’s products should take care to ensure that these items are safe for children and parents to use, and there are a multitude of laws in regulations in place that are meant to keep dangerous products from entering the market. Unfortunately, some companies fail to follow these regulations, or they commit oversights when rushing a product to market, and as a result, defective or dangerous products are sold to consumers.

Since children are especially vulnerable to harm, they can suffer serious injuries because of defective toys, clothes, baby care products, child safety products, and much more. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates most children’s products in the United States, and when dangerous products are discovered, the CPSC may require the company to recall the product.

Some recent recalls of children’s products include:

- Rocking infant sleepers - Two manufacturers have recalled all models of their infant rocking sleeper beds. Multiple babies died of suffocation after rolling onto their stomachs because they were not properly restrained while in these sleepers.
- Child bed canopies - A light-up canopy for children’s beds was recalled because the lights could overheat and cause the canopy to catch on fire, leading to serious burn injuries.
- Wooden toys - Multiple types of toys made of wood were recalled, because they contained small parts that could come loose and present a choking hazard for children.
- Clothing - Clothing manufacturers have recalled children’s sleepwear and bathrobes because they did not meet standards for flammability, causing the risk of serious burn injuries for children. Other types of clothing, such as jackets, snowsuits, and shoes, were recalled because of choking hazards from zippers or other components that could become detached.
- Bed rails - One company recalled portable rails for children’s beds because they could cause entrapment and suffocation for children.
- High chairs - One manufacturer recalled convertible high chairs because the legs could become detached, causing fall injuries that could result in brain injuries, broken bones, or dislocated joints for children.
- Baby carriers - A child carrier was recalled because of a defective clip that could cause dangerous fall injuries for babies.
- Bath seats - A support seat to use while bathing infants was recalled because it did not meet the standards for stability. The seats presented a drowning hazard because they could tip over, or a child could slip out of the supports.
- Playground equipment - Some playground parts have been recalled because gaps in railings or handholds are too large, presenting a risk of entrapment and strangulation for children.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Product Liability Lawyer


If your child has been injured while using a defective or dangerous product, the attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation from a negligent product manufacturer. We will fully investigate the circumstances of the injury and determine whether can recover damages because the product had a design defect or manufacturing defect or because the proper instructions or warnings were not provided. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Barrington personal injury attorneys at 847-934-6000.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
https://www.fatherly.com/gear/product-recalls-what-parents-should-know/
https://www.safekids.org/product-recalls
https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls

What Does Comparative Negligence Mean in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Web Admin - Monday, March 11, 2019
Barrington car accident attorney comparative faultThe question of comparative negligence--sometimes referred to as contributory fault--often arises in an Illinois personal injury lawsuit. If you are seriously injured as the result of another party’s negligence and awarded damages of $100,000, you would expect to receive $100,000. However, under Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law (735 ILCS 5/2-1116), the total amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you, up to 50 percent. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found to be 25% at fault for the events which caused your injuries, your award will be reduced to $75,000. If you are assigned more than 50 percent of the blame, you are barred from receiving any compensation.

How Comparative Fault Is Determined Under Illinois Law


Fault is determined based on the evidence and the law. For example, if you are properly stopped at a red light and are rear-ended by a speeding driver, you did not do anything wrong. The driver behind you failed to obey the speed limit and to slow or stop to avoid a collision, so they would be assigned 100 percent of the fault. 

If, however, you were in the process of changing lanes when you collided with a speeding driver, each of you might be assigned part of the fault. You had a duty to make sure the lane was clear before moving into it. The other driver had a duty to obey the speed limit and to slow down to avoid a collision if possible. 

When fault must be apportioned, your attorney will thoroughly study the events leading to your injury. This effort may include reviewing physical evidence, interviewing witnesses, studying police reports, gathering medical records, and consulting with experts. Most commonly, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will discuss the evidence and come to an agreement about the amount of damages and the division of fault. If no agreement can be reached through negotiation, you will have to go to court.

In a court trial, your attorney will argue that the defendant’s negligence was the primary or sole cause of the events that led to your injuries. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/2-613(d)), the burden is on the defendant to show how your own negligence contributed to your injuries and to argue what percent of the fault should be assigned to you. The jury--or, in the case of a bench trial, the judge--will then decide how the fault should be apportioned.

Consult an Experienced Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer


If you have been severely injured in a car accident or other incident resulting from another person or company’s carelessness, consult a knowledgeable Schaumburg civil litigation attorney for advice. Call the law offices of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000. There is no fee for your initial consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K2-1116
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073500050k2-613.htm
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/circuitcourt/civiljuryinstructions/10.00.pdf

How to Obtain Compensation for a Head Injury Caused By Negligence

Web Admin - Thursday, February 14, 2019
Schaumburg brain injury attorneyAs recently as 20 years ago, if someone was struck on the head hard enough to become confused or unconscious, they might not even visit a hospital emergency room. A concussion was considered a relatively minor injury with only mild, short-term effects, such as a headache for a few days. Today, a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the potentially severe and long-term consequences of these injuries are much better understood. 

These consequences can include severe headaches, balance problems, cognitive difficulties, seizures, sleep disorders, and an increased risk of developing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and related forms of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). As a result, if you have suffered a head injury as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Incidence and Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a government agency charged with studying and making recommendations about serious health issues such as TBI. The CDC is still working on the development and implementation of a system to accurately measure the incidence of TBIs in the U.S., so the data available is currently rather limited.

During the years 2001 to 2010, the rate of emergency department (ED) visits for TBIs jumped substantially from 421 ED visits per 100,000 people in 2001 to 716 visits per 100,000 people in 2010. ED visits rose most dramatically after 2007, presumably due to increased media attention given to the long-term effects of concussions suffered by pro football players and members of the military. 

An estimated 1.7 million people suffer a TBI in the U.S. each year, while 5.3 million Americans currently live with a disability caused by a TBI. The leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes, falls, and blows to the head involving an object or another person. Many falls and blows to the head result from sporting activities, and some are due to criminal assaults. Falls are most serious among people age 60 and older.

Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injury Caused by Negligence


In order to obtain compensation for a TBI, you must be able to show that you suffered serious injury as the result of an accident or event that can be directly attributed to someone else’s negligence. You generally must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident (735 ILCS 5/13/202).

Here are a few examples of situations in which you might have a valid claim for damages resulting from a head injury:

- You sustained a concussion in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, and you have suffered lasting effects, such as severe headaches and memory issues.

- You suffered a TBI in a fall in a store, and the main reason you fell is that the store was negligent in maintaining safe conditions for their customers.

- You suffered a blow to the head during a fight in a bar in which the person who struck you behaved recklessly and intentionally.


Consult an Arlington Heights Head Injury Attorney  


If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a fall, collision, or other event caused by someone else’s negligence, it is important that you seek immediate treatment and diagnosis, as well as long-term care to document the full extent of your injuries. In order to file a claim for compensation from the negligent party, you will need evidence of their negligence as well as documentation of the specific injuries you sustained. 

To determine if you have a valid claim, consult with a knowledgeable Palatine personal injury lawyer. The law firm of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. Call 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Traumatic-Brain-Injury

Bars May Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused By Drunk Drivers

Web Admin - Friday, June 01, 2018
Palatine personal injury lawyer dram shop liabilityCar accidents can be devastating, especially when they are caused by a drunk driver. These drivers’ carelessness and lack of concern for people’s safety can lead to serious, debilitating injuries or even death. When a person is injured or killed because of a driver’s negligence, they may be able to seek compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to the negligent driver, other parties may be liable for the injuries caused, including the establishment that sold a driver the alcohol that led to their drunk driving.

Illinois Dram Shop Laws

Under Illinois law, victims who have been injured by a drunk driver may pursue damages from a bar, restaurant, nightclub, or liquor store that sold alcohol to the driver. Typically, the injured party must show that alcohol was provided to the driver by the establishment, this alcohol directly led to the driver’s intoxication, and the injuries suffered by the victim were caused as a result of this intoxication.

Illinois law provides limits for the damages which can be recovered in a dram shop lawsuit, and these limits are updated each year. As of January 20, 2018, these limits are:

- Personal injuries and property damage: $68,777.44 - This covers the costs of medical treatment and other expenses related to a person’s injuries, as well as any damage to their vehicle or other property which occurred in the accident.

- Loss of support or loss of society: $84,061.32 - Loss of support refers to the loss a family suffers because a victim is unable to provide financial support after being injured or killed in an accident. Loss of society refers to impairment to family relationships that occur when a person is injured or killed, including the love, affection, and companionship that the person would have provided to their family. Victims may seek compensation for either loss of support or loss of society, but not both.


Dram shop lawsuits have a statute of limitations of one year, which means that a lawsuit must be brought within one year after the accident or injury occurred.

Contact an Arlington Heights Dram Shop Liability Attorney

Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs have a responsibility to make sure that their patrons are acting safely, and if they do not take steps to prevent drunk driving, they may be held liable for the injuries that occur as a result. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, the attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation from the drunk driver and anyone else who was responsible. Contact a Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer at 847-934-6000 to schedule your personalized consultation today.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-21
https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/agencies/resource-library/statutorily-required/dram-shop-liability-limits-2005-2018/
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/150.00.pdf

Strict Product Liability Claims

Web Admin - Monday, September 21, 2015

When an individual is injured by a product, recovery of damages may be possible through a products liability claim. Under this type of claim, manufacturers, sellers, or other suppliers of products are held liable to consumers who are harmed by those products. And in some cases, product liability claims may fall under the theory of strict liability.

Defective Products

In order to recover under a products liability claim, the plaintiff must show that the product was dangerous or defective. Generally, the law requires that products meet the ordinary expectations of consumers. When a product defect exists, those expectations are not met. A defective product is one that, at the time of its sale or distribution, contains a manufacturing defect, is defective in its design, or that has a marketing defect.

A manufacturing defect occurs when a product is not made according to its intended design. A design defect occurs when the foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product could have been reduced or eliminated by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design. A product contains a marketing defect when it has inadequate instructions or warnings and the foreseeable risk of harm could be reduced by the inclusion of reasonable instructions or warnings. Additionally, the omission of such instructions or warnings must cause the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

Strict Liability

Pursuant to Illinois law, product liability claims are any action based on strict liability brought against the seller, manufacturer, or distributor of a product that causes personal injury. Under this type of claim, a defendant pays for harm caused by a product even though the defendant did not act intentionally or negligently. In other words, the defendant’s actions or behavior is not relevant to the determination of liability. Rather, for a strict liability claim, the plaintiff must show the following:

  1. 1. The injury resulted from a condition or defect of the product manufactured or sold by the defendant;
  2. 2. The condition or defect of the product was unreasonably dangerous; and
  3. 3. The condition or defect existed at the time that the product left the control of the manufacturer.

Product liability claims are commonly brought against the manufacturer of a product, but they may also be brought against:

  • - Manufacturers of component parts that go into a product;
  • - Parties that assemble or install a product;
  • - Wholesalers;
  • - Retail stores that sell a defective product to a consumer; or
  • - Under Illinois law, anyone involved in the placement of a product into the stream of commerce.

Under the statute of limitations, product liability claims must be brought within two years of the date on which the plaintiff knew, or should have known through the use of reasonable diligence, of the personal injury.

Product liability claims can provide compensation for victims, while also holding those involved in the production and sale of defective products accountable. For more information about product liability claims, contact a dedicated Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our firm provides representation throughout the northwest suburbs, in the communities of Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073500050K13-213.htm

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Web Admin - Thursday, June 04, 2015

illinois car accidents, Arlington Heights car accident lawyerIn the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, there are several things you should do to help protect any future claims for personal injury you may have against the person at fault (or their insurance company). While it is not pleasant to think about being involved in a car accident, it can be beneficial to have an idea of what steps you should take in case an accident occurs.

Protecting Future Personal Injury Claims

After you have been in an accident, it is important to check to make sure everyone involved is uninjured. If someone is injured, you should contact emergency personnel to obtain proper medical treatment. It is important to remember that there are several requirements under Illinois law in regards to stopping at the accident, rendering aid, and reporting the accident. There are significant penalties for failing to perform any of these duties.

Quite often after an accident, it is part of natural reflex to want to apologize. However, this should be avoided, as it may indicate potential fault. Along similar lines, it is critical to not admit fault to anyone at the scene, such as the other driver or any passengers. Instead, when the police arrive and begin forming the report of the accident, you should provide the officer with an honest description of what happened.

Additionally, it may prove beneficial to take notes of the scene. Pay attention to things like the weather conditions, any stop lights or signs, and traffic conditions. All of this can end up being important while negotiating with the insurance company or during litigation. Utilize the camera on your phone and take photographs. These often provide much better evidence than people’s statements.

If you have even slight pain, as soon as possible after the accident you should be evaluated by a physician or other health care professional. While immediately after the accident you may have only minimal pain, it is possible that increased adrenaline is contributing to masking your pain. Additionally, minor pain may still be the result of a more serious condition.

Aside from obtaining needed treatment, seeking immediate medical attention will strengthen any personal injury claim you may end up making. If medical treatment is not immediately sought, it can be argued that the injury is not serious or nonexistent completely. Alternatively, assuming an injury is not contested, a gap between the accident and medical treatment can make it more difficult to prove the injury was caused by the accident.

During the period in which you are receiving treatment, it is critical that you keep track of the diagnosed injuries and the specific treatment administered. This includes keeping receipts for prescriptions and any medical bills you receive. Additionally, take note of any correspondence you have with doctors or other health care professionals. If any injuries are physically visible, you should take photographs of them, which will help demonstrate the extent and seriousness of those injuries.

Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been involved in a car accident and believe you have suffered injuries as a result, you should reach out to a passionate Illinois personal injury lawyer in your area. Our skilled professionals proudly represent individuals from Crystal Lake, Buffalo Grove, and Arlington Heights, among many other areas. Contact us today to discuss your legal options. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Cases

Web Admin - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

pain and suffering, Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyWhile advances in technology have greatly improved vehicle safety, severe injuries still occur in automobile accidents. When an individual’s injuries are the result of the fault of another person, it is possible for that individual to file a personal injury lawsuit. A difficult, but important, part of a personal injury damage award to determine is an individual’s pain and suffering.

What is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damage, which means, unlike a person’s medical bills, for example, it is not readily quantifiable. Pain and suffering may be requested as part of a personal injury claim, in addition to other claims, such as medical expenses. Critically, an individual has two years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit, which is known as the statute of limitations. There are two forms of pain and suffering: physical and mental. Physical pain and suffering involves a person’s actual physical injuries, like pain or discomfort.

Mental pain and suffering involves the negative emotions that are connected with physical pain or the trauma associated with the accident and the injuries that result. These emotions may include, but are not limited to, mental anguish, emotional distress, fear, anger, humiliation, or anxiety. If the mental pain and suffering is severe enough, it may result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Because pain and suffering is subjective, it can be difficult to value. Different individuals will respond differently to injuries and trauma they experience. As a result of the subjective nature of valuing pain and suffering, it is common that the judge will not have specific guidelines to give to the jury. In Snover v. McGraw, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that, “an award for pain and suffering is not as readily calculable…and jurors must draw on their real-life experiences in making an award.” As a result, it is critical to present as much evidence as possible to best convey to the jury the pain and suffering endured.

One way to determine the value of pain and suffering is to multiply the total medical bills and lost earnings (known as actual or special damages) by some factor, usually between 1.5 and four. For example, if an individual’s actual damages are $50,000 and the multiplier is two, the pain and suffering award would be $100,000. The multiplier is usually determined after considering various factors, such as the severity and long-term health consequences of injuries sustained.

There are some other factors that can affect a plaintiff’s pain and suffering award, including:

  • - Whether the plaintiff is credible and likeable;
  • - Whether the plaintiff’s testimony relating to his or her injuries remains consistent; and
  • - Whether the opinion of the plaintiff’s physician supports the plaintiff’s claims of pain and suffering.

An accident can be a frightening ordeal, even if no injuries result. If you have been involved in an accident caused by another person that resulted in harm to you, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney today. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC provides representation to individuals located in the northwest suburbs, including Rolling Meadows, Palatine, and Barrington.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Automated Cars, Legal Liability, and Trolley Problems

Web Admin - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

driverless car liability, Rolling Meadows car acciddent lawyerAlthough driverless cars were squarely in the realm of science fiction until recently, Google and other companies are moving towards making them a reality at a surprisingly rapid pace. As beneficial as these cars may prove to be, there are also concerns about them from a legal standpoint. One of the major issues is the question of who the law should hold responsible in the event of a traffic accident. There are also separate concerns about legal liability and ethics when driverless cars face difficult decisions, such as in the famous Trolley Problem.

General Liability Issues

One of the biggest legal issues related to driverless cars is the question of liability for accidents. With ordinary cars, liability is usually limited to one of the drivers, but that system would not work with driverless cars for obvious reasons. Many people's first instinct is to place liability on the company that makes the car. However, there are a variety of issues with that. First, it is possible that the accident with a driverless car was not the result of error by the manufacturer, but a problem with upkeep on the part of the owner. If the car's owner did not keep it properly maintained and that resulted in an accident, it would be unusual to put liability on the car's manufacturer. Beyond that, placing that much possible liability on the company could potentially cripple the development of the driverless cars.

The other competing theory is to treat driverless cars much like we treat cars now, and require people to insure them. This would remove liability from the possibly innocent owners, but it would come at the cost of increasing how expensive driverless cars are.

The Trolley Problem

A related issue is the question of how driverless cars would deal with the Trolley Problem. The Trolley Problem is an ethical dilemma in which a person is standing at a railroad switch, and they see a train coming. They know the train is going to hit five people on its current track, but the person at the switch has the option to throw the switch, sending it down a different track and only killing one person. Although it is an ethical dilemma, it may have important legal ramifications.

For instance, suppose a child darts out in front of a driverless car, and the car’s only option to avoid the child is to crash into something else, likely injuring the passengers. The car would need to make that decision, and definitely injure either the child or the passengers. The law would then need to determine whether the victim of the car's decision would have a claim against the manufacturer.

Although driverless car accidents are still a few years off, ordinary car accidents can still cause serious injuries. If you have recently been hurt in a car crash, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney today. Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC serves clients in many northwest suburban towns, such as Rolling Meadows, Palatine, and Des Plaines. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Natural Gas Explosion Prevention and Liability

Web Admin - Friday, December 26, 2014

Illinois natural gas liability, Buffalo Grove personal injury attorneyNatural gas explosions can be some of the most devastating types of home accidents. Flammable mixtures of air and gas can severely injure and even kill unsuspecting homeowners. In fact, natural gas explosions can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage every year, according to government statistics. Natural gas fires are often difficult to prevent, and may require the intervention of skilled professionals. Still, there are some steps that people can take to help keep themselves safe. In the unfortunate event that a natural gas explosion does occur, people should also understand their legal rights as far as pursuing recovery is concerned.

Preventing Gas Explosions

Natural gas explosions are notoriously difficult to prevent because gas is so difficult for people to detect. One of the key ways to prevent gas explosions is by smell. Although the gas is naturally odorless, gas companies add a special molecule to the gas known as an odorant. It is this extra odorant that provides gas with its distinctive smell of rotten eggs. If a person does detect that smell, it is important to leave the house immediately. People should not risk doing anything that would create a spark, which includes using a telephone or turning on a light. Instead, people should call emergency services from a neighbor's home.

People can also take preventative measures to avoid gas leaks in the first place. These include installation of gas appliances by qualified professionals, and the use of gas appliances that meet recognized safety standards. Additionally, people should consider installing natural gas detectors in their homes, especially in places where the gas is likely to build up, such as in a basement.

Gas Explosion Liability

Natural gas is a complex utility that requires a lot of different people to install properly, so many different people may be liable for a natural gas explosion. For instance, a gas leak could occur as a result of a faulty appliance. If that happened, then the homeowners could pursue a product liability action against the appliance's manufacturer. However, natural gas explosions can also occur with properly manufactured equipment. This could be the result of a faulty installation of the appliance or improper maintenance by repair professionals. It is important to conduct a thorough examination after a natural gas explosion in order to determine who was really at fault. That will make it easier to make sure that they cover the costs of the damage that they were responsible for.

Natural gas explosions are complex legal issues that can have serious effects on people's lives. If you have recently been the victim of a gas fire or gas explosion, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our team of dedicated lawyers helps people across northwest suburban Illinois, in towns like Buffalo Grove, Deer Park, and Des Plaines.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Recent Posts


Tags

trustee Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Des Plaines criminal attorney compensatory time subcontractor estate plan Des Plaines Deer Park employment law attorney owner responsibility Palatine estate planning lawyer BUI operating agreements LLCs Illinois insurance attorney Inverness traffic law firm Arlington Heights tax lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer fatal car accidents denial of life insurance installment contracts insurance claim dispute Illinois personal injury lawyer Illinois Smoke Detector Act caregiver employment attorney Illinois estate planning law firm Rolling Meadows traffic law firm comp time foreclosure Schaumburg wrongful death attorney boating under the influence real estate closing Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents wrongful termination bicycle accidents Des Plaines accident attorney Barrington civil litigation attorney Illinois probate lawyer life insurance lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney license deadly crashes Mt Prospect Attorney employment lawyer PTSD Arlington Heights TBI attorney workers compensation car accident lawyers Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Inverness elder law lawyer Palatine employment attorney Palatine Attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer commercial leases Schaumburg corporate attorney Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Illinois employment law firm college kids Barrington estate planning attorney consent to a search Illinois employment law disability benefits insurance dispute attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Rolling Meadows probate lawyer cell phone tower data denied insurance claim criminal defense rest breaks Deer Park real estate law firm Palatine law firm Illinois estate planning attorney estate planning mortgage loss of consortium pregnant women Barrington injury attorney product liability federal regulations for LLCs problem employees wrongful death commercial real estate gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys BAC Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer attorney fees car crash meal breaks Illinois car accident attorney Deer Park DUI lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer traffic crimes wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Illinois real estate lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney probate lawyer Rolling Meadows real estate attorney pedestrian accidents Crystal Lake will lawyer natural gas personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys bicycle dooring accidents Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer car collision Chicago will attorney insurance claim delay distracted driving accident victims Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Barrington real estate lawyer liability Schaumburg traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic attorney irrevocable trust Illinois insurance claim attorney digital assets traffic tickets insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Illinois small business Crystal Lake tax lawyer Fair Labor Standards Act in terrorem provision Barrington employment law attorney DUI penalities Transfer on Death Instrument Barrington medical malpractice lawyers personal injury rollover accidents back injuries blended families uninsured motorist insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys jet ski Whistleblower Claims brain injury Schaumburg elder law lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Schaumburg digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Barrington estate planning lawyer Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Illinois boating accident lawyer Illinois attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney insurance denials Illinois criminal defense attorney Rolling Meadows Attorney criminal record hit and run accident murder defense School Visitation Rights Act estate planning lawyer medication errors Illinois speeding lawyer condo association privacy laws anesthesia errors IRA benefits sexual harassment Illinois registered agent social media after death Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers elder law healthcare claims boating DUI Policy Cancellation Rolling Meadows healthcare Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights employment law attorneys medical marijuana Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Deer Park accident attorney condo Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer taxes Chicago insurance law firm employment law drug possession Deer Park traffic lawyer Palatine elder law attorney DGAA severance agreements landlord tenant law Inverness accident lawyer Employment Discrimination Law nursing home negligence Retaliatory Discharge Illinois workplace lawyer insurance adjusters Des Plaines real estate attorney traffic accidents liability claims Deer Park criminal attorney marijuana crimes attorney comparative negligence crossover accidents income distribution deducation suspended license Illinois estate planning Palatine traffic accidents small business rollover car crashes foreclosed rental property Illinois trucking safety Illinois Inverness probate lawyer Illinois real estate Palatine drug lawyer power of attorney Long Grove real estate attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance unpaid overtime Illinois business law atorneys Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers living trust benefits gift taxes Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Palatine trusts lawyer Illinois employee rights attorney. eluding a police officer Long Grove estate planning attorneys icy parking lots Do Not Resuscitate preventable medical errors Schaumburg criminal attorney Crystal Lake employment lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney FMLA Home Sale Contingencies privacy Des Plaines personal injury lawyers underinsured motorist estate attorney health insurance dispute Buffalo Grove employment lawyer caretaker rights mass shooting speeding work unions wills and trusts Illinois insurance disputes insurance denial appeals digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, investment property Chicago corporate attorney Chicago lawyer construction accidents Illinois employment law attorney Illinois personal injury lawyers Arlington Heights insurance attorney Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Illinois wills and trusts Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney medical research spinal cord injury changes to mortgage law residential real estate Palatine probate lawyer traffic violations Inverness injury lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Joliet general practice lawyers Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer personal injury accidents life insurance policy Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers minimum wage Legal Info Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer digital information Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers civil rights violation products liability employee misclassification personal injury lawyer Illinois civil litigation lawyer Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers criminal law insurance claim dispute attorney Illinois medical malpractice case Rolling Meadows employment attorney underfunded trust preventing accidents estate planning for college students dram shop law Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer spinal cord injuries Crystal Lake traffic lawyer slip and fall Buffalo Grove traffic attorney personal injury claim accidental death benefits Chicago traffic lawyer blood alcohol content personal injury attorney underage DUI employment contract Des Plaines real estate lawyer Long Grove estate planning Inverness real estate lawyer insurance disputes independent contractor drug crimes Palatine civil attorney Illinois driving without license Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys appealing an insurance claim Barrington boating accident attorney Palatine traffic lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer first degree murder senior citizens manufacturing llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Kenilworth estate planning lawyer living trust vs will Illinois workers compensation attorney Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Schaumburg real estate lawyer Illinois pet lawyer GM ignition switches Inverness insurance attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer Chicago estate planning Crystal Lake injury attorney Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer Illinois job attorney slip and fall accidents Palatine construction attorney personal injury law firm ObamaCare Illinois medical malpractice lawyers trucking accident lawyers Exclusions real estate attorneys Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Illinois corporate lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney fiduciary rule delay right to work Des Plaines DUI attorney Long Grove real estate lawyer real estate contract Palatine employment lawyer Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer employee rights estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Schaumburg estate planning attorney Self-Directed IRA Accounts agent Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Palatine personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal attorney car accident lawyer Illinois red light cameras Chicago car accident lawyer rumble strips Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney workers compensation benefits child safety Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys drunk driving Inverness real estate attorney special needs trust home inspection lawyer Illinois Human Rights Act insurance agents Barrington personal injury lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument pain and suffering pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Palatine corporate law attorneys POA living wills Illinois injury lawyer Crystal Lake pet attorney pet bites Chicago trucking accident attorney cell phone new real estate form overtime violations federal crimes Arlington Heights injury attorney internet Schaumburg employment law attorneys real estate homestead rights Illinois construction accident attorney wage theft vacation home fines Crystal Lake car accident lawyer workplace sexual harassment Schaumburg Attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer trench injuries Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act dealing with problem employees pizza emoji medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers employment law, Illinois employment laws Kenilworth estate planning attorneys drug crimes lawyer reckless homicide Schaumburg personal injury attorney Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Palatine business attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers license reinstatement traffic deaths IRA trust transfer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer contracts real estate lawyer FSLA insurance agent negligence Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer pedestrian accident bike accident ACA construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Illinois workers compensation lawyer motorcycle accident swimming pools Deer Park workers compensation lawyer jet ski accidents boating accidents estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers no contest clauses trauma after an accident probate process Schaumburg car accident attorney Mount Prospect elder law attorney car accidents Family Medical Leave Act Crystal Lake personal injury attorney probate claims process head on collisions automated cars Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Des Plaines collections attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney job lawyers unpaid assessment fiduciary rule traumatic brain injury Chicago attorney involuntary manslaughter Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Fourth of July Inverness DUI lawyer Palatine employment law lawyer overtime pay creditors real estate leasing probate Inverness personal injury attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer car crash injuries drunk driving statistics Barrington personal injury attorney pet law insurance claims deed transfer filing a medical malpractice claim Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Illinois elder law attorney Forcible Entry Illinois insurance lawyer sexual images Barrington drug crime attorney Schaumburg criminal law attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney insurance claim Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney DUI defense IRELA fault based insurance civil litigation attorney landlord Illinois employment lawyer criminal Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers probate claims surgical mistakes Des Plaines personal injury attorney TBI insurance negligence Arlington Heights lawyer Illinois DUI attorney medical malpractice claims Des Plaines civil attorney rent to own real estate contracts Rolling Meadows accident lawyer financial advisors Illinois defective products attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Chicago employment attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer Colin Gilbert Illinois Sales Representative Act Illinois rollover accident lawyers forming a corporation in Illinois guardianship attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer hands free device Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer clemency Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Arlington Heights trucking lawyer loopholes DNR Schaumburg estate attorney Chicago employment lawyer driving premises liability Crystal Lake car accident attorney insurance claim denials workers comp traffic violations defense Schaumburg probate attorney Palatine injury attorney sole proprietorship Barrington criminal lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney Illinois personal injury ken apicella Illinois Probate Act of 1975 license revocation Class A misdemeanor estate planning attorney trust payments Illinois will lawyer pay when paid contract drug crime Illinois medical malpractice attorney holiday statistics natural gas explosion Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act IRS Buffalo Grove corporate attorney murder charges Attorney Ken Apicella Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Super Mario Crystal Lake traffic attorney Thanksgiving murder DMV auto accidents Inverness estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Affordable Care Act insurance claim denial Barrington Traffic Lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Palatine corporate attorney real estate zoning Inverness corporate attorney vacation home Barrington criminal defense lawyer Illinois LLC creation Illinois employment laws Arlington Heights accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney distracted driving accidents insurance dispute Des Plaines claims law firm paid sick leave commercial leasing Palatine insurance lawyer medical malpractice compensation marijuana Illinois insurance claims lawyers Deer Park personal injury lawyer Palatine workers compensation lawyer Illinois traffic attorney medical malpractice Illinois lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys Detainer Actions field sobriety test Crystal Lake law firm Illinois tax attorney Chicago biking tips Barrington employment attorney Palatine criminal defense lawyer Palatine punch death food poisoning Barrington attorney Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois medical malpractice claim Barrington employment law firm Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Illinois living will Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer personal injury claims Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act institutional trustee Palatine real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Home Remodeling Repair Act revenge porn defective products lawyer estate tax Colin H. Gilbert Illinois law Des Plaines pet law attorney Arlington Heights Attorney expungement corporate law employees Rolling Meadows business lawyer car accident texting while driving tax attorney Des Plaines tax law firm Illinois traffic attorneys Crystal Lake business law attorneys Arlington Heights criminal lawyer liens motorcycle accident lawyer traffic laws Buffalo Grove real estate attorney digital evidence Illinois trusts attorney power of attorney for healthcare breach of contract capital gains tax Illinois home inspection unfunded trust Des Plaines injury law firm Barrington business law firm Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Inverness civil lawyer dynasty trusts modern family estate planning Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Barrington litigation attorney trucking accidents elder abuse whistleblower protections car crashes Arlington Heights real estate lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Des Plaines insurance attorney dog bites truck collisions CAM living trust DUI attorney Illinois personal injury attorney traffic offenses traumatic brain injuries low-ball insurance settlement drugs South Barrington real estate lawyer Illinois collections attorney estate planning trusts license suspension Illinois employment attorneys Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Illinois mortgages Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers golf accidents hiring employees DUI Liquor Control Act life insurance business litigation cell phone accidents civil litigation defective products Deer Park traffic accident attorney texting and driving Chicago estate planning lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer probate fees Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Des Plaines drug lawyer bad faith insurance claims Rolling Meadows tax attorney BAIID unauthorized overtime Buffalo Grove law firm Chicago insurance claim attorneys Schaumburg employment attorney trusts wills controlled substance real estate attorney Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois workplace discrimination attorney denied insurance claims life insurance claims Illinois business lawyer employee discrimination Illinois traffic laws Jay Andrew Crystal Lake employment law attorney insurance attorney breathalyzer test construction contracts advance healthcare directive Crystal Lake accident attorney startup company

Archive