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How Teen Parties Can Result in Parent Liability for Personal Injuries

Web Admin - Thursday, October 11, 2018
Schaumburg personal injury attorney parent liabilityYou may have heard of parents saying, “I would rather have my kids host a party at our house or get them a hotel room than have them out driving who-knows-where and drinking.” Or perhaps you have heard of 17- to 20-year-olds using fake IDs or an older sibling’s ID to buy alcohol. If, as a parent, these tales do not set off warning lights in your mind, you may want to pay heed to this quick tutorial on Illinois law. Not only are there criminal penalties to consider, but also the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.

Do Not Use a Fake or Borrowed ID for Underage Alcohol Purchase 


It is illegal in Illinois for a person under age 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages using a fraudulent ID or using the driver’s license of another person. Both the lender and the borrower of an ID card used to illegally purchase alcohol can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. 

Do Not Allow Underage Alcohol Consumption on Your Property 


Parents may allow their children under age 21 to consume alcohol under a parent’s direct supervision and approval in the privacy of their home. However, it is against Illinois law for parents to allow “invitees” under age 21 to consume alcoholic beverages on any property under their control or on any vehicle or watercraft under their control (235 ILCS 5/6-16, a-1). The property owner is legally responsible, whether they knowingly allowed the alcoholic beverage consumption or simply failed to control access to the alcohol. 

The offense of providing alcohol to a person under age 21 is a Class A misdemeanor. If a death or personal injury results, the property owner could face severe criminal penalties. 

In addition, parents should be aware of the laws governing social host civil liability. The applicable Illinois law is the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act (740 ILCS 58). Social host liability means that an adult host can be held liable for injuries resulting from a minor’s impairment by alcohol or drugs obtained from that adult host. 

For example, suppose an adult hosts a party where alcohol or illegal drugs are available, and minors under age 21 are present. If one of those minors becomes impaired, gets behind the wheel or a car, and is involved in a collision, anyone injured in that accident can sue the adult host for damages.

Do Not Rent a Hotel Room for Prom Night, Graduation Night, Etc.


If a person over age 21 pays for a hotel room in which underage alcohol consumption is anticipated, and one of those minors becomes intoxicated and causes property damage or injury to another person, the person who paid for the hotel room can be held liable such damages and injuries (235 ILCS 5/6-21). 

For example, if an underage drinking party gets out of control, the hotel could sue the adult renter in civil court to force payment for damage to walls, ceilings, windows, or furnishings. The adult renter could also be found negligent in a personal injury lawsuit if one of those minors gets drunk in that hotel room and is injured in a fall down the hotel stairs or off a balcony. 

Consult an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Attorney 


If you host or contribute to an underage drinking event, and someone is injured as a result, you could be sued for damages in civil court in addition to facing criminal charges. If you or your child have been injured because a parent or other adult gave minors access to alcohol or illegal drugs, it is imperative to consult an experienced Palatine personal injury lawyer. The attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC will carefully review your case and recommend the best course of action to mitigate the damage to your life. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to arrange a 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=023500050K6-20
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-16
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2493&ChapterID=57
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-21
https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

Recovering Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Web Admin - Thursday, August 23, 2018
Schaumburg dog bite injury lawyerPets are an important part of many people’s lives, and dogs, cats, and other animals are often considered to be full-fledged members of their families. However, as much as we love and bond with our pets, it is important to remember that they are animals, and situations can arise when they harm someone. Dog bites are unfortunately common, and those who are injured in these and other types of animal attacks should understand how Illinois law applies to their situation as they determine how to recover compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Liability and Compensation for Dog Bites in Illinois

The Illinois Animal Control Act states that when a dog or other animal bites or attacks someone, the animal’s owner is liable for the damages that were caused. Unlike some states, Illinois uses a “strict liability” standard when it comes to dog bites, meaning that an owner is liable for the injuries caused by their dog, regardless of whether they were aware that the dog was dangerous or had aggressive tendencies.

There are two exceptions to this liability standard. A dog’s owner may be free from liability if:

A person was injured after provoking the dog.
A person was trespassing or was not legally allowed to be in the location where the attack occurred.

Types of Dog Bite Damages

Those injured by dog bites should understand the extent of the damages they may be able to recover. These include:

Medical bills - Dog bites can result in a wide variety of serious injuries, including lacerations, broken bones, puncture wounds, injuries to the eyes or face, or severe scarring and disfigurement. An injured party should be able to recover the full costs of medical care, including any ongoing rehabilitation.
Lost income - If a person was unable to work while recovering from their injuries, or if the injury resulted in disability that affected their ability to earn an income, they may be able to recover these losses.
Pain and suffering - An injured person and their family may experience a great deal of physical and emotional pain as they make their recovery, and financial compensation can help them overcome these difficulties.
Property damage - If an animal attack resulted in torn clothing or damage to jewelry or other belongings, the victim should be compensated for these losses.

Due to the strict liability standard, Illinois has one of the highest rates of animal attack claims in the United States, second only to California. State Farm reported that it paid more than $14 million in dog bite claims in 2016, with an average of $43,000 per claim.

Contact an Arlington Heights Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you have been the victim of a dog bite or other animal attack, you should work with an attorney to determine your best options for pursuing the financial compensation that will help you recover from your injuries. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our Crystal Lake personal injury attorneys will help you recover the full and fair compensation that you deserve. Contact us at 847-934-6000 to schedule a 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=051000050K16
https://www.isba.org/ibj/2017/06/lawpulse/illinoisleadsthepackindogbiteclaims

Pursuing Compensation in Car Accidents Involving Self-Driving Vehicles

Web Admin - Monday, August 20, 2018
Crystal Lake autonomous vehicle accident attorneyNew technologies seem to appear on a daily basis, promising to improve our lives in a variety of ways. However, we must often weigh the benefits of these new developments with the risks they bring. Self-driving cars are one notable example of this type of technology. While autonomous vehicles may provide their owners a great deal of convenience, many people are concerned about whether they improve safety on the road or present risks to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. In addition, when a self-driving vehicle is involved in a car accident, people who are injured may have difficulty determining how to recover compensation.

Legal Issues in Self-Driving Car Accidents

People who are injured in car accidents have the right to pursue financial compensation from the party or parties who were liable for their damages (which may include the costs of medical care, lost income due to missed work, property damage, and pain and suffering). Typically, a person must show that their injuries occured because of someone else’s negligence. In most cases, the liable party is a driver who was not following the rules of the road or operating their vehicle safely.

Self-driving cars are likely to make the identification of liable parties more complicated. In some cases, an injured person may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the vehicle manufacturer or the developer of the software used to control the vehicle. However, a variety of factors can affect liability, such as whether a human driver was partially in control of a self-driving vehicle or whether a company that operates autonomous vehicles for hire can be considered a liable party. 

Contact a Schaumburg Car Accident Lawyer

94% of car accidents are caused by driver error, and proponents of self-driving cars believe that these vehicles can significantly reduce the number of accidents that occur. However, it is impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of accidents, and since self-driving cars are a new technology, the laws regarding how accidents involving these vehicles should be handled have not been fully defined. This means that those injured in an accident with an autonomous vehicle are likely to face some legal obstacles when they attempt to recover damages.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a self-driving car, whether as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you determine your best options for pursuing compensation. The Barrington personal injury lawyers of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand the legal issues involved in your accident and help you receive the compensation you deserve from any and all liable parties. Call our office at 847-934-6000 to arrange a 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://fortune.com/2018/04/25/self-driving-car-accident-fault/
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/can-you-sue-a-robocar/556007/

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

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

Premises Liability

Web Admin - Friday, November 13, 2015

premises liability, Crystal Lake Personal Injury Attorney Premises liability allows a person who lives on or visits another person’s property to recover for injuries sustained while on the property, if the owner was negligent. A property owner has a duty to keep the premises or property in a reasonably safe condition. A property owner may be negligent in several ways, including allowing a sidewalk to become icy or a liquid spill to be left in the aisle of a store. 

Hurt on Another Person’s Property 

Traditionally, an invitee was owed the highest level of care. An invitee is a person invited to enter or remain for the commercial benefit of the property owner. This includes a person entering a store to shop or a tenant renting an apartment or house. 

As opposed to an invitee, a licensee is someone who has permission to be on the property, but who is there for his or her own personal purposes and not for business purposes. Guests at a party or family members with an open invitation to visit are considered invitees. Under common law, a lesser standard of care was provided for licensees than was provided for invitees. 

Under Illinois law, the common law distinction between invitees and licensees, in regard to the duty owed, is no longer recognized. Instead, an owner of property owes all entrants a duty of “reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them.” In order to impose liability on an owner or possessor of property, a person injured while on the property of another must establish that the owner: 

1. Knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known of the dangerous condition and should have realized that it involved an unreasonable risk of harm;

2. Should have anticipated that the entrant would not have discovered or been aware of the danger, or would not have taken precaution against it; and

3. Failed to exercise reasonable care in providing protection against the danger. 

Importantly, trespassers are not provided the same protections as entrants who have express or implied consent to be on the property. Generally, owners or possessors of property only need to avoid willfully or wantonly injuring trespassers. Willful conduct involves an actor having actual knowledge of the danger of the act being performed in conjunction with a conscious failure to avoid the injury. A wanton act is one that is performed with a reckless indifference to the potential for harmful consequences. 

Helping Victims 

If you have been injured while you were on the property of another person, it may be possible for you to recover damages from the owner. For more information, contact a skilled Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our firm represents individuals throughout the northwest suburbs, in communities such as Crystal Lake, Palatine, Schaumburg, 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/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2048&ChapterID=57

Truck Accidents in Illinois: Understanding the Types of Collisions

Web Admin - Tuesday, May 06, 2014

illinois truck accident lawyerAccidents involving commercial trucks are a special type of traffic accident that differ from normal car wrecks in both practical and legal matters. From a practical standpoint, accidents that include a commercial truck can be especially dangerous. Even though truck accidents only account for three percent of all accidents in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports that they make up nine percent of all accidents involving a fatality. Furthermore, nationwide statistics reveal the 83 percent of people killed in truck collisions are either pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles. Given the abnormally severe consequences of truck accidents, it can be important to understand the general law surrounding them, as well as the specific concerns that arise in truck accidents as opposed to other types of crashes.

The Law of Truck Accidents

Truck collisions are governed by the same law that governs most traffic accidents. This means that the lawsuit will most likely proceed under a theory of negligence. In order for the victim to succeed in showing that the defendant acted negligently, they will need to prove four things:

  • - That the defendant had the responsibility to use “reasonable care” to prevent harm from coming to the plaintiff (motorists almost always have this responsibility towards each other);
  • - That the defendant acted carelessly;
  • - That the defendant’s careless act caused the accident; and
  • - That the plaintiff suffered harm in the accident.

While these four things, often called the elements of negligence, arise in most traffic accident lawsuits, the fact that a commercial truck was involved creates unique considerations, especially because the truck driver may be an employee of a company.

Distinct Considerations for Trucks

Commercial trucking accidents differ from normal automobile crashes in a variety of ways. One of the most common changes is the fact that commercial truck drivers are often employees of a company. This means that the person whom the truck driver injured may be able to hold the corporation responsible for the acts of its employee. This could happen through two different methods.

First, the plaintiff could try to show that the trucking company was in some way negligent. Examples of negligent behavior on the part of companies might include improper maintenance of the trucks, insufficient training of the employees, or a failure to properly supervise employees. This last issue of improper supervision can be important since there are particular regulations related to the trucking industry that govern things like the amount of time that a driver may spend on the road consecutively. Failing to abide by these regulations could increase the chance of a serious accident.

Even if a corporation is not negligent in its own actions, the court may still hold it responsible for its driver’s actions under a doctrine known as “vicarious liability.” This doctrine states that employers may be held liable for their employees’ actions in situations where an employee is acting on behalf of the employer.

If you have recently been the victim of a truck collision, reach out to a skilled Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our experienced team helps clients in towns all over the northwest suburban area, including in Palatine, Arlington Heights, 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-Bicycle Collisions in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, March 06, 2014

illinois pedestrian bicycle accident attorneyPedestrians walking down the sidewalk or crossing the street know to watch out for cars, but many are unaware of just how dangerous a passing bicycle can be and what to do in the event that they end up in an accident with a bike. Collisions between bikes and pedestrians are surprisingly dangerous and more common than many people expect. While exact numbers are difficult to find, since many bike accidents go unreported, a study from Hunter College estimates that over 1,000 pedestrians are hospitalized each year for injuries resulting from bike collisions in New York State alone.

Part of the reason for this is a lack of understanding on by both cyclists and pedestrians about what rules of the road bikes must obey. This leads to confusion on the part of the pedestrian about what the cyclists will to do in any given situation. The Illinois Secretary of State maintains a good guide regarding how traffic laws apply to bikes, but the rule of thumb is that a bicycle in the street must obey all laws that any other vehicle would, and a bicyclist on the sidewalk must obey the laws and signals used by pedestrians.

Harm from Bicycle Accidents

While bicycles lack the mass and speed of a car, they can still do serious harm to unprotected pedestrians in an accident. Some of the most common severe injuries that result from these sorts of accidents are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Pedestrians can develop these types of injuries if they suffer a hard blow to the head after a bike knocks them down. The most common symptom of a TBI is a concussion, but they can also result in nausea, vomiting, headaches, seizures, and even coma in more serious cases. Bike accidents can also frequently cause broken bones, depending on the speed at which they happen and the way the pedestrian falls.

What to Do after a Bicycle Accident

The steps to take after a bicycle accident are similar to those that follow a car crash: make sure everyone is ok, call for medical attention if necessary, alert the police, and exchange information with the other party. The major difference is that bike accidents are more prone to turning into hit-and-runs. While bicyclists are obliged to stay at the scene of an accident just like drivers, many do not realize that they have that duty, and some who do know choose to flee the scene anyway. The best course of action here is to get as much identifying information about the fleeing cyclist as possible, and then make a report to the police.

If you have been the victim of a pedestrian versus bicycle accident, reach out to an Illinois personal injury attorney today. They can help you seek the full and fair compensation that you deserve. Our firm lends its experience and knowledge to clients across the northwest suburbs, in places such as Inverness, Deer Park, and Crystal Lake.

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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