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How to Get Fair Compensation for Truck Accident Injuries

Web Admin - Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Barrington truck crash attorneyHow many people do you think are injured or killed in car and truck crashes in the U.S. every year? In 2017, motor vehicle collisions injured over 2.7 million people and killed more than 37,000. 

The number of people killed in collisions involving large commercial trucks or semi-trailers rose 16% from 2016 to 2017, and the number of people injured rose 9%. In addition, the total number of large trucks involved in crashes rose 4% in 2017, while the total number of every other type of vehicle, from cars to motorcycles, declined.

Why Are Large Truck Crashes on the Rise?


Some experts blame the same government department that collects these statistics, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency, for not taking tougher regulatory actions that could prevent more of these semi-truck crashes. In particular, the agency has been faulted for not requiring commercial trucks to have forward collision avoidance systems, which can help prevent trucks from rear-ending other vehicles on crowded highways.

Increasing highway congestion contributes to traffic slow-downs that make rear-end collisions and other accidents involving large trucks more likely. Some causes cited for this increased congestion include insufficient investment in the nation’s highway infrastructure over the past few decades and increased truck traffic related to online shopping. 

Chicago area highways are among some of the most overcrowded in the nation. The intersection of I-290 at I-90/I-94 near downtown Chicago is rated third among the 100 most congested truck bottlenecks in America. Other Chicago area locations making the Top 100 list are the spots where I-90 and I-94 split on both the north and south sides of Chicago.

What to Do if You Are Severely Injured in Crash With a Semi-Truck


It is entirely possible to be in a crash involving a tractor-trailer truck and not be injured, if the truck was braking and almost a stop when you are hit. If a driver of a fully loaded truck gets distracted, however, the consequences can be catastrophic. 

If you or a loved one has been badly injured or killed in a semi-truck crash, here are a few things you need to know. First, remember that many of these trucks are owned by huge companies that can afford the best lawyers, in addition to having the backing of a huge insurance company. Second, you may be pressured by a representative of the company to make a quick settlement when you are at your most vulnerable. 

Before you make any decisions, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you about what your case may be worth. Do not make any decisions for at least a few weeks, until you know the full extent of your damages. Vehicle crash injuries can take years to recover from, and many people never fully recover. While a check for tens of thousands of dollars may sound great in the moment, your medical and lost-income expenses could far exceed that. 

However, do not wait too long; you have just two years from the date of the accident to file a legal claim for compensation.

Consult a Successful Arlington Heights Truck Crash Lawyer


To speak to a knowledgeable Palatine truck crash attorney, call the law offices of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000. There is no charge for your initial case review.

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://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812696
https://atri-online.org/2018/01/25/2018-top-truck-bottleneck-list/

Considering a Personal Injury Lawsuit? Follow These Helpful Tips

Web Admin - Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneyIf someone in your family has suffered severe injuries and financial hardship as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are probably wondering if you should file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. 

Yet, like many people, you may hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer about your situation for reasons such as:

- You believe the insurance company should handle everything.

- You feel intimidated by the legal system.

- You can see yourself in the other person’s shoes, and you do not want to cause problems for them.

- You do not have the energy to deal with a lawsuit while you are in the midst of dealing with serious medical and financial issues. 

If you find yourself in this situation, here are some helpful things to know: 

1. You Have to Act Quickly to Protect Your Family for the Long-Term


In the aftermath of a serious injury, you may feel like you have more important things to do than find a lawyer. However, there are two reasons why you might need to put a personal injury lawsuit at the top of your priority list right now. First, while insurance may cover your immediate medical costs, you have to consider both the long-term costs of caring for the injured person and the loss of income that will be suffered by both the injured person and any caregivers. 

Second, each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Your lawsuit usually must be filed in the state where the injury occurred, not the state where you live. For most personal injury cases in Illinois, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the incident that caused the injury (735 ILCS 5/13-202).

2. It Will Be Easier If You Prepare Before You Call 


Before you contact an attorney, write down a summary of your case, including:

- The cause of injury, such as a car crash or dog bite. Be prepared to provide additional details that demonstrate the other person’s negligence, such as police reports indicating the other person was drunk driving or that the dog had bitten people before.

- The date and location of the incident. 

- The type of injuries, such as cuts, broken bones, paralysis, brain damage, etc. 

- Whether full recovery is expected, or whether there is some type of permanent damage such as loss of mobility, mental or psychological damage, or chronic pain.

- How long the injured person was unable to work as a result of the incident, and whether they will have long-term income loss and/or incremental healthcare expenses as a result of their injuries.

Once you have these basic facts on paper, you will feel more confident and ready to make that first call to an attorney.
 

Consult a Rolling Meadows Personal Injury Attorney 


If you are wondering whether you should file a personal injury lawsuit, consult an experienced Palatine personal injury lawyer. The attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC will determine the best legal strategy for your case and fight aggressively to see that you are compensated for your loss. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to schedule a no-cost, no obligation 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/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=99900000&SeqEnd=103300000

Safety Tips to Reduce the Chances of Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Web Admin - Monday, June 04, 2018
Rolling Meadows motorcycle accident lawyerAs summer approaches in Illinois, more and more motorcyclists are enjoying the warm weather and spending time on the road. However, the increased number of motorcycles on the road means that motorcycle accidents are more likely. 

Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are much more likely to be injured in a collision than those who are driving or riding in vehicles. In fact, the National Safety Council has reported that while only 3% of registered vehicles in the United States are motorcycles, motorcyclists make up 13% of all traffic fatalities. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that motorcyclist fatalities occur 27 times more often than fatalities in other motor vehicles.

Since motorcyclists do not have the safety features and protections provided by a car or truck, they should take extra care to protect themselves and take precautions to avoid accidents. Here are some safety tips that all cyclists should follow:

- Wear a helmet - Helmets are not required for adult motorcyclists in Illinois, but wearing one is strongly recommended, since it can greatly reduce the chances of head injuries. In fact, cyclists who wear helmets are three times more likely to survive head injuries experienced in a collision. Helmets should be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and they should be securely fastened while riding.

- Use proper eye protection - Goggles can protect cyclists’ eyes while riding, but a full face shield offers more protection from insects, dirt, rain, or other elements that can cause pain and distraction. Goggles or face shields should be shatter-resistant and free of scratches while providing a clear field of vision, and they should be fastened securely so they do not come off while riding.

- Wear proper clothing - Cyclists should wear clothes that fully cover their arms and legs. This provides protection from weather and the moving parts of a motorcycle, and it can also provide protection in a crash. Wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing can help ensure that a cyclist will be seen by other drivers on the road.

- Drive defensively - Many motorcycle accidents occur because drivers do not see motorcycles around their vehicles. Cyclists should take extra care to ensure that they do not drive in other cars’ blind spots or follow vehicles too closely, and they should always follow the rules of the road.

- Never drink and drive - Alcohol impairment makes it unsafe for a driver to operate any vehicle, but the loss of coordination and reaction time can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Even if a cyclist is not above the legal blood alcohol limit of .08%, it is best to avoid operating a motorcycle after drinking any amount of alcohol or using drugs that can impair one’s driving ability.


Contact a Palatine Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in a collision than other drivers, and when an accident is caused by a person’s negligence, a cyclist may be able to pursue compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can work with you to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact a Schaumburg personal injury lawyer today at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized 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.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/motorcycle-safety
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety
https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x140.pdf

Pursuing Compensation in Cases of Wrongful Death

Web Admin - Friday, May 11, 2018
Mount Prospect wrongful death lawyerThe death of a loved one is devastating for a family. In addition to the grief that family members experience, they will often struggle with financial difficulties, especially when the deceased person is a family’s primary income earner. These issues become even more difficult when the death could have been prevented or occurred because of someone’s negligent or careless actions. When family members are working to put their lives back together after a tragic loss, they should be sure to understand their options for pursuing compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Illinois Wrongful Death Laws

According to Illinois law, wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by someone’s wrongful or negligent acts. Acts are considered negligent if the victim could have pursued a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party or parties had they not died. A liable party may be an individual person or a company or corporation.

A personal representative of the deceased person may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person’s surviving family members, and damages recovered are for the “exclusive benefit” of those survivors. Wrongful death cases have a two year statute of limitations in Illinois (that is, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death), although this statute of limitations is extended to five years (or one year after the final disposition of a criminal case) if the death was caused by “violent intentional conduct” such as murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, or reckless homicide.

Wrongful Death Damages

A wrongful death lawsuit can seek to recover damages from the party responsible for the death, and these damages may be economic or non-economic. Types of damages include:

  • - Medical expenses - A family may be compensated for the costs of hospitalization, surgery, or any other medical treatment the deceased person received before their death.
  • - Burial expenses - Compensation may include funeral costs and any expenses related to the disposition of the deceased person’s remains.
  • - Lost income - One of the primary types of economic damages families experience is the loss of the income earned by the deceased person, as well as any benefits they received. Wrongful death compensation can address these damages, providing a family with the financial means to meet their ongoing needs.
  • - Emotional damages - A family may be able to receive compensation for the grief and sorrow they experience because of the loss of their loved one.
  • - Loss of society - In addition to economic damages and emotional harm, a family will be deprived of their relationship with their deceased loved one, and they may be compensated for the loss of love and companionship, as well as the education, instruction, or services which the deceased person would have provided for their family.

Contact a Barrington Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your family member has died because of someone’s actions or negligence, the attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We will work to help you receive the compensation you need to address your financial difficulties and emotional suffering. Contact an Inverness personal injury attorney at 847-934-6000 to arrange a personalized 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
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/31.00.pdf

Most Frequent Causes of Traffic Accidents

Web Admin - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

causes of traffic accidents, Illinois Personal Injury AttorneyAnyone can find themselves involved in an automobile accident. Even a safe and courteous driver can can quickly become the victim of someone else’s negligence on the road. When an accident occurs, injured victims can suffer from any number of personal injuries or property damages. Therefore, these individuals deserve to be compensated for medical expenses, treatment, lost wages and lost property. 

Why Do Traffic Accidents Occur? 

There are several reasons why drivers are negligent behind the wheel. The most commonly cited causes for traffic accidents include the following: 

1. Distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in Illinois. While it is illegal to text and drive in Illinois, many drivers still do it and end up causing accidents. However, fiddling with a cellphone is not the only way that a driver could be distracted while behind the wheel. 

Drivers can be distracted by passengers (e.g., unruly pets, distracting children, talking passengers, etc.), eating or drinking while driving, or searching for items that are on the floor, in the glovebox, or are in a purse or backpack. Drivers who do not stay focused on the task at hand—driving safely—are negligent and are responsible for any accidents and injuries that they may cause. 

2. Driving while tired. All too common in large truck accidents, drivers may get behind the wheel and operate a vehicle while they are too tired to drive safely. A driver may accidentally doze off at the wheel or lose focus on the road. Droopy eyelids and inattentiveness make overly tired drivers unsafe drivers. Moreover, dozing off at the wheel is negligent driving. 

3. Speeding. Most people speed as some point when they are driving; sometimes it is to pass another vehicle and sometimes it is on accident. However, there are drivers who frequently make it a habit to drive at unsafe speeds. Additionally, speeding is commonly cited as a cause of many accidents in Illinois. 

4. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a driver decides to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, then he or she is exercising bad judgement and is placing himself or herself, a well as other drivers, at risk of injury or death. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is clearly negligent, and drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence should be held accountable for their poor judgement and negligent actions when others are hurt.

Speak with a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in traffic accident, then it is important that you speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer immediately. We will work to help you obtain the maximum possible recovery to which you are entitled by thoroughly examining the scope and extent of your injuries, identifying all of the potentially liable parties, and diligently investigating your claim. 

With offices located in Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness and Deer Park, our experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys are here to help ensure your best interests are met. Please call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team today.

    Ken Apicella

    About 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://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K12-610.2

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501





Three Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Friday, May 13, 2016

forms of medical malpractice, Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer One very unsettling aspect of going in for any sort of medical or dental care is the fear that in addition to being a patient, you might also become the victim of medical malpractice. 

The doctor, dentist, or other medical professional providing your care could be reckless and act negligently, which can end up causing you serious personal injuries. Any individual who has suffered injuries at the hands of a doctor, other medical professional, or hospital should consult with a medical malpractice attorney about his or her claim. 

Common Medical Malpractice Claims 

Medical malpractice can take a number of different forms, and can cause a variety of different harms to patients. The most common causes of medical malpractice claims arise from errors made during a procedure or negligence on the part of a doctor or care provider. Below are three common forms of medical malpractice of which patients should be aware. 

1. Incorrect, missed, or delayed diagnosis. It is critically important that patients’ conditions are identified early on so that the appropriate treatment can begin straight away. When a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, misses a diagnosis, or makes a diagnosis months or years later than he or she should have, the patient is the one who suffers. The condition could progress significantly because the doctor failed to make a timely or accurate diagnosis.  When it comes to incorrect, missed, or delayed diagnosis, a doctor’s negligence can be a basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

2.  Anesthesia errors. One of the most important parts of any sort of operation or procedure is to ensure that a patient is properly anesthetized. Errors in the administration of anesthesia can result in a patient being given too much or too little anesthesia. Either scenario can create serious complications for the patient. The patient could be “out” but still able to feel pain. Or, the patient could be so anesthetized that his or her body spasms and has fits during a procedure, which can cause accidental injuries due to sharp surgical instruments. 

3. Surgical and operational errors. Errors that occur during a procedure can seriously impact a patient. The wrong procedure could be performed on the patient, or could be performed on the incorrect body part (e.g., left knee when the procedure should be conducted on the right). A cut could be too deep, a puncture could impact unintended organs or nerves, or instruments could be left inside a patient at the conclusion of the operation. Errors during surgery are usually the result of negligence on the part of the doctor, dentist, or support staff. 

No patient should ever have to suffer harm at the hands of those that he or she trusts to provide with medical care. Additionally, if patients are injured by their care providers, they are entitled to damages through a medical malpractice claim. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, please feel free to contact one of our experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorneys today. Our firm helps patients in Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Buffalo Grove, Inverness, and Deer Park. Please call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team.

    Ken Apicella

    About 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://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/30/diagnostic-errors.aspx

Medication Errors Are a Form of Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Monday, March 07, 2016

medication errors, medical malpractice, Illinois Medical Malpractice AttorneyWhen a person is injured as the result of being prescribed an incorrect drug, an incorrect dosage of a drug, or is given incorrect instructions for taking a medication by a doctor, health professional or pharmacist, this may constitute medical malpractice. Moreover, when a person is injured due to a medication error, the victim may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the parties that are responsible for causing the medication error. 

Medication errors occur all too frequently and in a various settings. For instance:

- While at the hospital, a nurse may make a mistake and administer the wrong medication to a patient, or may administer a medication via an improper route (i.e., administering a drug intravenously when the drug should only be taken orally);

- A doctor may make a mistake on an individual’s prescription and prescribe a wrong drug with a name similar to the correct drug, or prescribe an incorrect dosage;

- A pharmacist may misread a prescription or may make a mistake when filling the prescription;

- In a nursing home, staff may mix up the medications prescribed to one nursing home resident with the medication prescribed to another nursing home resident; or

- In a nursing home, staff could mistakenly, or purposely, give a resident medication to control the elderly resident’s behavior. 

Several individuals are in a position to cause harm to a victim by mishandling medication. Pharmaceutical malpractice claims can be filed against doctors, medical staff, hospitals and pharmacies.

What Could Go Wrong?

When a doctor or medical professional makes a mistake concerning someone’s medication, the health consequences to the victim could be severe, or even life threatening. 

- Drug interactions: An individual might be prescribed a medication that can react poorly when mixed with certain other drugs. 

- Contraindications: Some drugs can exacerbate medical conditions or can cause serious health problems, leaving a victim injured, disabled, or even dead. 

- Side effects: A victim who is prescribed the wrong drug could suffer unpleasant or injurious side effects from taking a drug that he or she does not need.

- Too much or too little medication: Being prescribed too much or too little of a drug can have serious consequences on a person’s health. With too little medication, the individual may not receive the benefits of the drug that he or she needs. However, too much medication may result in the individual being harmed. Organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and heart can suffer when an individual is given too much of a powerful drug.

Medication Errors Are Often Preventable

Medication errors are often preventable and are typically the result of negligence. Studies conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have determined that most medication errors are the result of:

- Improper communication;

- Misinterpreted handwriting;

- Confusion about the name of a drug;

- Confusion over drug labeling, packaging or directions; and

- Lack of health care provider knowledge about the drug or its proper administration.

If you have suffered harm after being prescribed or administered the wrong drug, please speak with an experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorney today. Our firm serves the communities of the northwest suburbs, including Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Barrington, Long Grove, Arlington Heights, South Barrington, Riverwoods, 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.

Source:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143553.htm

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.

Recovering in a Hit and Run Accident

Web Admin - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

illinois hit and run lawyerAfter a car accident, people have a variety of duties that the law requires them to fulfill. Among these duties is the requirement that the drivers stop and exchange insurance information. This allows the parties the opportunity to recover from the insurance companies for the damages once fault has been decided. However, some drivers ignore this duty and instead flee the scene of an accident. In fact, these hit and run drivers are responsible for over 1,000 deaths every year, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This trend of hit and run accidents is a particular problem because victims of these sorts of accidents can find it difficult to receive compensation from the driver who caused their injuries. Yet, such victims are not without recourse. People injured in hit and run accidents may be able to use a variety of resources to discover the identity of the other driver. Further, even if the other driver cannot be identified, the injured person may be able to file a claim with their own insurance company to help handle their medical costs and repairs.

Identifying the Driver

Hit and run accidents can be a chaotic experience, which makes it difficult for the victim to get any identifying information about the fleeing car. However, injured drivers do have some tools at their disposal. Oftentimes, there will be eyewitnesses on the scene who can help provide descriptions of the car or license plate numbers. Additionally, there may be video evidence of the accident from nearby traffic cameras that can help police determine the identity of the fleeing driver. Finally, some hit and run drivers experience remorse for leaving the scene. Drivers who flee the scene out of fear, especially those under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, have been known to turn themselves in to the police at a later date. All of these methods can help tie a person to the accident, and allow victims to receive full and fair compensation for their injuries.

Without an Identified Driver

In the event that the driver who perpetrated the hit and run cannot be identified, injured motorists may still have the ability to file a claim using their own insurance to receive help with their medical and repair bills. Many insurance policies include insurance for collisions with uninsured or underinsured motorists. These policies are mostly intended to come into use when the policyholder gets into an accident with someone without insurance or someone whose insurance will not cover all the damages. However, many of these policies count unidentified drivers as uninsured drivers, so it is possible that they would cover hit and run accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, contact a Palatine personal injury lawyer. Our team of experienced attorneys serves clients in towns like Deer Park, Inverness, and Des Plaines.

About 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.

Pedestrian Traffic Accidents in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, March 13, 2014

illinois pedestrian accident attorneyWhile many traffic accidents can cause the victims serious injuries, accidents involving a car and a pedestrian can be particularly devastating. The pedestrian’s complete lack of protection can leave them especially vulnerable to injury. In fact, of the hundreds of pedestrian-vehicle accidents that happen each year in suburban Cook County, almost 25 percent of them result in fatal or incapacitating injuries, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s crash summary report. Pedestrians should be aware of the common causes and consequences of traffic accidents, as well as the legal ramifications of one, in order to keep themselves safe.

Causes and Consequences of Pedestrian Traffic Accidents

Traffic accidents involving pedestrians have a wide variety of different causes. One of the most common causes is simple carelessness on the part of the driver. Failing to stay alert for pedestrians at crosswalks and in the street can lead to serious accidents. Evening and night driving can also exacerbate these problems because the low light makes people more difficult to see. 

This is especially true for elderly drivers whose increased risk for vision problems already makes them more likely to be involved in car accidents. Violations of traffic laws are also common causes of pedestrian injury, especially driving under the influence and speeding. Accidents resulting from speeding can be particularly problematic because the higher speeds can cause more severe injuries to the unprotected pedestrian.

When these accidents do happen, the injuries that arise can be quite serious. Pedestrians can experience a range of injuries, including:

  • - Broken bones;

  • - Head trauma;

  • - Brain injuries;

  • - Paraplegia;

  • - Quadriplegia;

  • - Amputations;

  • - Disfigurements; and

  • - Injuries to the neck, back, and spinal cord.

The Legal Side of Pedestrian Traffic Accidents

These sorts of accidents can give rise to personal injury claims on the part of the pedestrian if they suffer a serious enough injury. The personal injury case will hinge on the legal concept of “negligence.” This means that the driver, or their insurance, will likely have to compensate the pedestrian for their injuries if the court finds that the driver acted negligently, meaning that they acted without reasonable care for the other people around them. This concept is also important when judging the pedestrian’s actions, because the pedestrian may have been negligent as well.

For instances in which both the pedestrian and the driver were negligent, Illinois judges fault based on “comparative negligence.” The doctrine of comparative negligence means that a person’s ability to recover for their injuries is reduced if they were also acting carelessly. For example, if a pedestrian is 20 percent responsible for their injuries, they would only be able to recover 80 percent of their costs. Furthermore, if a pedestrian is more than 50 percent responsible for their own injuries, they cannot recover at all.

If you have recently been involved in a pedestrian-automobile accident, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney in your area. We represent clients in matters like this in many northwest suburban towns, such as Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, and Arlington Heights.

About 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.


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