How To Avoid Spring Cleaning Injuries

Spring cleaning

We may want to do spring cleaning as the weather warms and the sun comes out in Illinois. This is a fantastic way to get your home in order, but you could be injured if you are not careful.

It is estimated that 21 million people visit ERs in the US annually related to spring cleaning and home improvements, but you can avoid being one of them if you take precautions. Follow the tips below to prevent spring cleaning injuries, and contact our personal injury lawyers in Schaumburg at SJ Injury Law if you have questions about a case.

Types Of Spring-Cleaning Injuries

It is essential to use care when doing spring cleaning. That way, you will do a good job and avoid the following common injuries:

Back Injuries

Cleaning is repetitive. Moving furniture, sweeping, dusting, and moving boxes in and out of storage use the same groups of muscles and joints over and over. Consider slowing down and stretching the first 10 times you are not used to heavy spring cleaning.

Shoulder Injuries

Yanking out weeks and other tasks that require pulling can make your shoulders burn and strain. If that happens, your body is telling you to slow down and take it easy. Take a rest and try it again later, or ask for someone to help you.


Spring cleaning involves a risk of falling. Having someone hold the ladder or watch you do not fall. If the task involves being high on a ladder for a long time, consider having a professional do it.


Before you start cleaning, bending, and going up and down the ladder, stretch and warm up your arms, legs, shoulders, and back. This only takes a few minutes and can ward off injuries, especially neck and back injuries. Hold your stretches slowly for 20 to 30 seconds for each exercise.

Don’t Rush

It is easy to become overwhelmed when cleaning your house in the spring. There are gutters to clean, closets to clear out, floors to scrub, and so much more. However, the most common reason people are hurt during spring cleaning is they rush. Spring cleaning properly takes time, so take a breath and go to work methodically.

Instead of pushing through when your back is tired from cleaning for two hours, take a break and sit down. It is better to get the work done without being injured! Also, consider enlisting your partner or children to help you.

Use Care When Moving Furniture

Back strains and sprains are common during spring cleaning. This injury often happens when we move furniture. Use the correct lifting technique, which means bending at the knees and not the back when moving large pieces.

If the piece feels as if it is too heavy and you need someone to help, just wait. Then, you can simply clean around that piece of furniture until someone can assist you. You will be able to work longer if you do not injure yourself lifting a heavy piece of furniture without assistance.

Check For Ventilation

Spring cleaning often means using chemical cleaners for spotless floors, counters, and cabinets. But open windows and doors to let in the fresh air.

It is essential to be careful when you clean with bleach and ammonia. This mixture creates chloramine gas and is dangerous to the respiratory system, nose, and eyes. Getting too much of it at once can lead to severe injury or death. If you are sensitive to chemicals, always wear goggles and rubber gloves.

Also, some cleaning authorities recommend avoiding cleaning products without harsh chemicals. Instead, consider using natural cleaning products such as white vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. These are better for your health and the environment. They also can usually do just as good of a job as harsher cleaners.


Making good spring cleaning progress is hard when your home is cluttered. So, take a few minutes to declutter the room you want to clean. This allows you to throw out things you no longer want or need. You also will feel better about your home when it is cleared of clutter and things you no longer need.

Use Care With Large Buckets

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, if you have small children in the house, be aware that large buckets holding five gallons or more are a serious drowning risk. Small children are always curious when they come upon the water. It is easy for a toddler to fall over into the bucket headfirst and be unable to get out. There are cases where a small child has drowned in a bucket with just a few inches of water.

So, never leave large buckets with water unattended when toddlers are in the home. Empty them as soon as you are finished cleaning. Moving them out of the way when finished cleaning also prevents people from tripping on them.

Wear Protective Gear

Ensure you have the appropriate protective gear to stay safe during spring cleaning. This may include sunscreen, gloves, eye protection, long pants, and tough shoes. These measures are even more important when using chemicals and fertilizers in the yard.

It also is recommended to avoid using harsh chemicals and to water things down as much as possible. Using mild soap and water is usually best.

Reduce Tripping Risks

Decluttering is a natural part of spring cleaning. Packing up various items that must be moved or thrown away may be convenient. However, putting piles of things on the floor increases the risk of trips and falls. Keep landing areas and stairs free of clutter.

Do Not Carry Too Much At Once

A busy spring-cleaning day may mean going up and down steps often. Ensure you have one hand free to grab the railing if you fall. Also, be sure you can see the path in front of you when carrying a large load. Getting the job done may take another trip or two, but you will avoid a nasty fall.

Use A Mop

When you need to clean the floor, it may be tempting to get on your hands and knees to get things clean. But you can seriously sprain or strain your back. So instead, invest in a good mop for cleaning floors; a mop is also the best choice for cleaning the bathtub.

Rent A Dumpster

If you have a lot of unwanted items in the house, consider purchasing a rental dumpster to get rid of them. One of these dumpsters will easily fit in your driveway, so you have easy access to the container during your whole spring cleaning day.

Use Ladders Carefully

You may need to use a ladder to clean windows or the tops of cabinets. But be careful! Stay within a reasonable distance when you are on the ladder to avoid a serious fall. Experts say a good rule of thumb is your lower belly should not extend beyond either side of the ladder. It also is safer if there is someone to hold the base of the ladder. Also, ensure none of the ladder rungs or wet and that you have on rubber-soled shoes.

Do Not Forget The Chimney

If you have a fireplace, it is essential to have the chimney inspected by a professional every year. If too much soot builds up in the chimney, it is a fire hazard. There also is a severe risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This work is usually done in the fall before fire season but can also be done in the spring.

Watch Out For Wet Surfaces

This is an essential tip for every time you clean in the house. We all know slipping on a wet tile or wood floor is accessible. Make sure to stay away from wet floors until they are completely dry.

Also, it is common for other family members to slip on the floor because they did not know it was wet. So, alert other people that spring cleaning is underway. If you have small children, you may need to block access to that room until the floor is dry.

Listen To Your Body

You do not do a thorough spring cleaning every day. So, take a break if you notice something in your arm, shoulder, or back starts to hurt as you clean. It will probably be quite sore later if you feel it during work. It is better to listen to what your body says and take a break as needed. If it prevents injury, there is nothing wrong with making your spring cleaning a multi-day affair.

Contact Personal Injury Lawyers In Schaumburg Today

Spring cleaning is always a busy time and having the house clean feels fantastic. If you follow these tips, you can usually avoid injuries that can happen with spring cleaning, However, if you were injured recently, you could be entitled to compensation if another party’s negligence caused your injuries. The most common personal injuries are in the workplace, car, or in a retail establishment. If that happened to you, our Schaumburg personal injury lawyers at SJ Injury Law can help, so contact our attorneys near Chicago now at (847) 434-3555.

How to Help Your Personal Injury Lawyer Win Your Case

personal injury

When you have a personal injury case, you should be looking for an attorney who can help you in every way possible. That is a good idea, and yes, some attorneys can help you more than others can. Claim Your Justice has the attorneys you are looking for. There are things that you can do to help your personal injury attorney.

What Can You Do To Help Your Personal Injury Case?

You may not be an attorney, and you may have no legal training or knowledge. That’s OK; nobody expects you to walk into court and conduct your own personal injury trial. But there are some common sense things that you can do to help your personal injury attorney win your case or get the result that you want.

Take Pictures and Gather Evidence

Your personal injury attorney (or any experts they may hire) will do most of the necessary investigation for your case, and collect most of the evidence that you will need to win your case. But there are also things you can do, especially at the time of the accident, that can help.

Taking pictures and videos of the accident scene can be a huge help in winning your case. If possible, and if you physically can, take pictures and videos of everything related to the accident, and the scene surrounding the accident, no matter what kind of accident it is.

For example, if you are in a car accident, do not just take a picture of the cars—take a picture of skid marks on the road, or parts of the car that may have fallen off and are lying on the roadway, and pictures of the inside of your car, as well.

These pictures not only tell the story of what happened to you, but if there is a dispute about what happened, these photos may have clues to help your attorney or an expert win your case.

Collecting evidence includes contact information for potential witnesses if you can gather this information. Giving your attorneys the names and contact information of witnesses who have seen your accident, observed your pain or your disability, and can testify as to what you have gone through can go a long way to winning your personal injury case and maximizing your recovery.

Save Evidence – We know what you are thinking, you are the victim-what evidence do you have? But often, accident victims do have crucial evidence, evidence that is often, accidentally, thrown away or destroyed.

Examples of evidence that an injury victim may accidentally destroy include:

  • Shoes and clothes from the day of your accident, which could have debris, blood, tears, or other information that may be evidence in your case
  • Electronic data, like emails, videos, or pictures from the accident, or which detail your injuries of the accident itself
  • Damage to cars by repairing your car before the insurance company or your injury lawyers have the chance to investigate it
  • Products that may have caused you injury

Saving these items, and anything related to your accident or injuries, and giving them to your attorneys can go a long way toward helping your injury attorney win your case.

Additionally, throwing away this kind of evidence can have negative consequences for your case—the court can sanction you, and the last thing you want is to be accused of destroying valuable evidence by the defendant. Sometimes this is referred to as spoilation of evidence.

Get Medical Treatment – Many people do not seek out the medical treatment that they need or follow their prescribed course of treatment. Getting medical treatment does not just help you, it helps your attorney and helps your case.

Why don’t victims get the medical treatment that they may need? Some may feel like they cannot afford medical treatment. Maybe they are “too busy,” or in denial about the severity of injuries. Some may be afraid of taking medicine or undergoing recommended procedures.

Failing to get medical treatment is one of the biggest mistakes a victim can make. Aside from the consequences to your own health, your attorney has no way to tell a jury, a defendant, or the insurance company what you have gone through, and the severity of your injuries, when you have not gone to the doctors you were supposed to or when you are not following your doctors’ recommendations.

Update Your Lawyer About Your Treatment

During the course of your treatment and depending on the severity and type of your injury, you may visit many different doctors. Even if you do not visit multiple doctors, you may go to immediate care facilities, therapists, or diagnostic centers to take scans or X-rays.

You would be surprised how many victims go to multiple doctors, but they never tell their lawyers. Every time you go for therapy, for a scan, or a test, you should let your injury attorney know, so your attorney knows where to get those records.

Keep a Log or Journal of Your Experiences

During the course of recovering from your injuries, you may have good days and bad days. You may find that you have so many painful events and feelings, both physical and mental, that it may be hard to recall them all later on. This is especially true if you recover or heal a bit more as time goes on—it can be easy to forget or just minimize or overlook effects, feelings, or things that happen in your life, which will really paint a picture to the jury or to the defendant, of just how badly your injuries affected you.

Do not leave these important details about your case to your memory; you can help your injury attorney (and yourself) tell your story later on if you keep a journal or a log of all of your pain, difficulties, frustrations, sadness, and disabilities and give it to your attorneys. We sometimes refer to these as “day in the life” journals.

Communicate With Your Lawyer

Yes, many injury victims who choose the wrong personal injury attorney complain that their attorney never calls them or communicates with them. But a good personal injury attorney wants to hear from you and get updates about how you are doing.

You should update your lawyers on your progress periodically. Often, lawyers do not have needed information because the only way they can get that information is from you, the client, and clients may not be diligent in calling every now and then to give their attorney updates on their lives.

Let your lawyers know things like hearing something from a witness, if you are in an especially great amount of pain, or if there is a medical bill collector calling you.

If you have a question, like whether to sell the car that was involved in your accident, whether you should post something on social media, or what your upcoming deposition will be like, you should reach out and speak to your lawyers.

Get Requested Documents

During the course of what is known as discovery, the other side (the defendant) is entitled to ask you to produce documents.

These may be documents that show your injuries, your medical expenses, your lost wages, or any other part of your case or injury. Your lawyer will let you know what the other side wants you to produce, and what you legally need to produce.

Some of the documents your lawyer will already have and will produce for you, but for some, your attorney will need you to produce the necessary records or documents.

There are time limits to produce these documents and you can be a huge help to your attorney by getting documents to him or her as quickly as possible. Remember that some documents you may need to request from others, like bank statements, or medical bills, so as soon as your attorney asks you for a document, it is good to begin working on getting it.

Avoid Social Media Posting

No, you do not need advanced approval from your personal injury attorney before you post anything on social media. But you can help your attorney incredibly, by being mindful of what you post online.

Just a single picture or video can portray the wrong image for you, and the defendant and its insurance company will see those images and what you write with them. If you have any doubt as to whether it is a good idea to post something, ask your attorney.

Be Honest

This sounds obvious, but you should never lie or stretch the truth to your attorney. Your attorney cannot help you overcome the “negative” parts of your case or anticipate defenses the other side may bring up if you are not honest about what those negative things are.

Your attorney cannot win your case if they are surprised at something the other side says, which you knew to be true, but did not say it to your lawyer.

There is likely nothing you will say to your injury attorney that they have not heard of or dealt with in prior cases. Be honest with your attorney about everything, including the facts of the case, your pain, and your medical treatment, so that your attorney knows exactly how to manage your case and what to expect in trial.

Contact Our Schaumburg Personal Injury Lawyers

Call our Schaumburg personal injury attorney at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 847-434-3555 to see how you and your attorney can help each other get the best result possible in your personal injury case.

What are the Most Common Personal Injury Cases in Kentucky?

personal injury case

The terms or phrases “personal injury” or “personal injury case” get used often in the legal world. However, a personal injury case is a broad term and a phrase that includes various situations. The basis of a personal injury case comes when there is negligence involved, meaning that one or more parties behaved carelessly, which causes an accident that results in harm to others.

What is a Personal Injury Case? 

A personal injury case is any case where someone else’s actions or a business’ actions or inaction injures someone. Those actions can be affirmative acts—such as when someone runs a red light. Or, they can be an omission, where someone doesn’t do something that they should have—such as when someone fails to clean a floor. They can also occur when a doctor fails to prescribe a prescription or a medical procedure. 

Saying a personal injury case is any case where you get injured is very broad. But there are many different kinds of personal injury cases, and certain types tend to happen or occur more often than others.

Car Accidents

A typical personal injury case is a car accident. However, saying that every case involving a car is the same is certainly not true. Even within the vast category of car accident cases, different car accidents happen very commonly.

For example, a car or motorcycle accident case can include:

  • A rear-end accident.
  • An accident in an intersection caused by the other person running a red light or a stop sign. 
  • A lane change accident, where someone doesn’t look to see that the lane they are going into is empty.
  • Hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist.
  • Hit and run accidents, also known as “phantom” or unknown drivers.
  • Commercial truck accidents.

Because there are so many cars on the road and so many ways that people can get in accidents while driving cars or motorcycles, this is hardly an all-inclusive list. Additionally, anybody in a car can be a car accident victim, including passengers. 

However the accident happens, car accidents remain one of the most common personal injury cases.  Call your Louisville car accident attorney with any questions.   

Slip and Falls

A slip and fall is a case where someone falls while on or on someone else’s property, usually because a foreign object or substance was on the floor. It may be accidental, such as when something spills, or purposeful, such as when a worker is actively cleaning the floor, but if the store just doesn’t put markers or cones around the dangerous area to alert people that the floor is dangerous.

Slip and falls also can include situations where there is no foreign object on the floor. Perhaps there is a condition on the floor that is dangerous. Examples may be when someone leaves an object on a walkway or a crack or a brick on the floor that creates an uneven walking surface that causes someone to fall.

Slip and fall cases don’t just happen in stores or businesses-they can also occur in people’s homes. Homeowners have the same obligation to keep their property safe as business owners do.  Call your Louisville personal injury attorney with any questions.

Negligent Security

Businesses must keep their property safe. That includes keeping the actual physical premises safe by minimizing, lowering, or eliminating the risk of criminal activity that could end up causing someone an injury.

A negligent security case involves three “actors”: You (the victim), the store or property owner, and the perpetrator or criminal. Although it seems like criminals act independently, and a store owner has no responsibility for your being a victim of violent crime, that is not the case. Stores located in high crime areas must take proper security measures to lower the chance of crime happening on the premises.

Standard safety measures are employing security guards, using gates or fences, proper lighting in parking lots, and using video cameras to deter criminal activity.  

Products Liability

Often, products do not work the way they are supposed to, and people get injured. Many product liability cases make national news when things like cars, airbags, drugs, or other products don’t function properly.

Product liability cases can involve an item that is just a “defect,” such as where a single product comes off the assembly line differently from other similar products. Product liability cases can also involve a product that works as it is supposed to. It’s just that the product was made or designed dangerously.

In a product liability case, you or your Louisville personal injury lawyer must do the following: hire experts who will look at a product, analyze what went wrong, how the product was made or designed, and render an opinion on whether the product was made or designed dangerous.

All parties responsible for the sale of a defective product are liable for the injuries the product causes. In other words, not only the manufacturer or maker of the product is liable for your injuries, but also distributors or retailers.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is an action or omission taken by a medical provider that falls below the accepted standard of care. It is where a medical provider does something different than what most other medical providers in the same field or specialty would do.

Any medical provider can get sued for medical malpractice—not just doctors or doctors who treat you. Nurses, acupuncturists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and other medical specialties can all commit medical malpractice.

Not every bad medical outcome means that there was medical malpractice—medicine is, after all, still an inexact science. Your Louisville personal injury lawyer will need to retain and hire an expert to evaluate your medical records and what your medical providers did or didn’t do to see if you have been a victim of medical malpractice.  

Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing homes get charged with safeguarding the most vulnerable members of the population, a population that is generally not able to care for themselves-the elderly and infirm. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, have untrained employees, or the team doesn’t know how to deal with difficult patients or patients with complex medical needs.

Nursing home personal injury cases can include a broad range of situations. For example, a resident may be mobile and walking and then fall because it was not medically advisable for the person to be walking about. Someone can be walking about and fall on items on the floor.

Even the things supposed to protect nursing home residents, like bed rails, can cause injury.

Many residents are injured when the staff ignores their needs, such as not being moved in bed or in pain, and staff may be non-responsive in coming to their aid.

Because many nursing home residents have medical needs and get treated by doctors inside the home, a nursing home resident can also be the victim of medical malpractice while in a nursing home.

Some residents may even find themselves victims of physical or sexual abuse, either from fellow residents or the home staff.  

Dog or Animal Bites or Injuries

The owner of an animal is liable for the injuries caused by that animal. The animal owner doesn’t have to have known, in advance, that the dog could bite or cause injury. The fact that an owner is “surprised” that their dog injured someone is not a defense either.

Many animals can injure other people not out of anger or aggression but just accidentally. For example, an exuberant dog may jump on someone and cause them to fall or scratch them. Even if the dog injures someone else just being playful, the owner can be liable. 

Speak To A Louisville Personal Injury Attorney

These examples are hardly an exhaustive list of all the kinds of personal injury cases. Many other personal injury cases can be pretty standard. Examples include injuries at amusement parks, gun shops negligently selling weapons to unauthorized individuals, or where a daycare or school fails to supervise children, resulting in personal injuries. 

The law doesn’t require that you categorize your personal injury case, and where it does, your Louisville personal injury lawyer can help you. You don’t need to worry about what kind of personal injury case you have. So long as you are injured and believe that someone or a business may have been responsible, you have a right to sue for your injuries.

Call our Louisville personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 847-434-3555 to help you with your personal injury case.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Compensation From a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

personal injury

If you are in a car accident in Illinois, you may be out of work for an extended period of time, as you try to heal from your injuries. You may have bills mounting up. You may be in serious pain. All this may add up to one feeling how long will my case take to settle or otherwise resolve.

If you file an Illinois personal injury case, there are certain questions that may arise such as how long will the case take? Or, how long will it take you to receive compensation?

The answer to these questions is complex and varies from case to case. It will help to understand the stages of a personal injury case, and approximately how long the stages last. This blog will can give you an idea of how long it will take to receive compensation. It is advisable when you have questions about the personal injury claim process that you speak with an Illinois personal injury attorney at Claim Your Justice to get the answers you need to your questions.

Insurance Money

In the time after your accident, you may have access to some insurance proceeds. if you are injured in a car accident. Your car insurance will pay damages to your car under the comprehensive coverage portion of your policy, and your medical bills under the medical payments coverage portion of your policy.

This is not the compensation that personal injury victims are looking for.

Quick Settlement Offers

Before discussing the time frame to receive compensation, it is worth mentioning that in some cases, the responsible party’s insurance company (or the other side itself, if the Defendant is a larger company), may try to prey on your financial desperation. They may entice you with a quick settlement offer. Although they may seem like good or fair offers, these offers are almost always way less money than you are entitled to.

The other side’s goal in making these offers is for you to take what they are offering in desperation. As a result, you would sign a release that would forever bar you from ever suing them for more money. Always talk to a personal injury attorney at Claim Your Justice before signing any of these documents, and for that matter, before even speaking to the insurance company for the other side.

The Initial Investigation

At the outset, your Claim Your Justice attorney will need to evaluate the facts of your accident, to see if there is a claim. In most cases, this is immediate. If you were stopped at a red light and hit from behind, there may not be any investigation needed at all. However, in a wrongful death case or medical malpractice case, your Claim Your Justice attorney may need to get medical records and have them evaluated by a doctor before determining whether there is a viable claim or not.

By doing this investigation, your attorney isn’t guaranteeing your case will win. He or she is just verifying that there is a strong likelihood of a case and a strong argument that you can make to win compensation. Your Claim Your Justice attorney may also speak with witnesses, or get photos or video of where you were injured.

The initial investigation period can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of case.

Treating for Injuries

When the investigation is done, or while it is going on, if you are injured you will be treated by doctors for your injuries. Your attorney will want to wait to see how well or how fully you heal. Some people heal almost completely, while others may get better initially, and then plateau, never getting back to their pre-accident self. Your Claim Your Justice attorney won’t know what a fair amount is to settle your case, until it is clear how disabled, injured, or limited you are, because of your personal injuries.

How long it takes to see how injured you are or how much your body will heal, depends on several factors, such as the type of injury you sustained and how often you visit your treating doctors. If you are still making improvements and feeling better, your attorney may want to wait to present your claim, to see how much you improve before that improvement stops.

Your doctor may recommend further medical procedures, like surgery. Your doctor may refer you to another medical specialist. You may also need to undergo a course of physical therapy. All of these things take time.

There are some instances, where your injury is so obvious, that its value is clear from early on. Then, there may be no need to wait until your entire course of treatment is complete.

For example, if someone is paralyzed, that is often clear from the initial stages. There may be some improvement as time goes on, but we generally know what the lifetime consequences are of paralysis. In the case of amputation, it is clear from early on that there has been an amputation, and what the costs and associated lifetime medical needs will be.

This waiting period isn’t just about your current medical treatment. Your treating doctors may recommend future medical procedures. Your attorney also needs to know whether your job, income or future earning potential at work, will be affected. If so, the wage losses need to be included in your claim.

The time period for you to treat, heal, and have your injuries and physical or mental improvement measured, can be anywhere from a few months, to a year or more.

Making the Money Demand to the Insurance Company

Once it is clear what the extent of your injuries is, your Claim Your Justice personal injury attorney will make a money demand to the insurance company. The demand will detail the accident, why the other side is liable for your injuries, and what the value of your personal injuries and expenses are.

There will be a “back and forth” negotiation between your Claim Your Justice personal injury attorney and the insurance company, in an effort to resolve the case. This “back and forth” will usually last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The length of time will depend on how much information the other side requests and whether your attorney thinks it is best to settle, keep negotiating, or file a lawsuit. Your attorney will relay to you the demands made, offers by the insurance company, so you can evaluate whether to accept an offer made.

Filing a Lawsuit and Going to Trial

If the case cannot be settled, you will have to file a lawsuit. The time it will take to get your case to trial after you file the lawsuit, will depend on the Illinois court’s docket. Busier courts may make the wait a year or more to get a trial date, while other courts and judges will move your case along much faster.

Your personal injury case may need time before it goes to trial for your Claim Your Justice attorney to conduct pre-trial discovery, and a lot of delays may be out of your attorney’s hands. For example, you may need to take the depositions of corporate representatives of the defendant, and witnesses.

Even if you are on a longer schedule, you can still settle your case at any time. The negotiations often continue between your attorney and the other side, even after a lawsuit is filed. You may go to, to mediation, where you could settle your case relatively quickly.

In some situations, your trial won’t be the end of your case, even if you win. The defendant may file an appeal. That is rare, but if it happens. An appeal can delay payment for another year or more. However, in most cases, after a successful trial, the Defendant would rather just pay the verdict, instead of filing an appeal.

After The Case Ends

Even after you agree to a fair settlement or win a jury verdict, there still may be a delay in receiving your award. That’s because your personal injury attorney may need to negotiate with your medical providers, to try to lower your medical bills. Remember the less money your bills are, the more money you will receive. So, although this can seem frustrating, the time spent is in your best interest.

Depending on how many medical bills there are, and who is owed (government entities can take longer to negotiate with than private medical providers, like doctor’s offices), you can anticipate a few weeks to a few months to allow your expenses to be negotiated.

As you can see, the time to get paid or to receive compensation in a personal injury case can vary from case to case.

Many of the variables that may increase or decrease the time are not in your or your attorney’s control. However, a good, diligent personal injury attorney can stay on top of your case, get the information that’s available, and make the settlement demand as quickly as possible, to help you get the compensation you need and deserve on a faster time scale.

Call our personal injury attorneys in Schaumburg at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 847-434-3555 to help you understand the process of receiving compensation for your injuries.

How Do I Protect Myself From a Lawsuit For An Injury On My Property?

personal injury

Anytime you have people into your home or business, you risk the chance that you could get sued for negligence if one of those people is injured. Negligence, by definition, means an accident. That means that you can have the best intentions, and still, someone can get injured. Under Illinois premise liability statutes, you could be liable for injuries, and thus, have to pay for the damages that a person suffered on your property.

Although you can’t plan for every contingency and event, there are things that you can do, as a homeowner or as a business owner, to keep your property safer, and minimize the risk of accidents. The goal is to make those accidents that cause injury, less likely to happen.

Warning of Dangerous Conditions

Not every part of your property can be safe, all the time. For example, in private homes, there may be cracked pavement that juts out, causing an obstruction to someone who walks in the area. You may have an object, like a vacuum cleaner, that may protrude into a walkway.

Businesses may need to clean the floors, which entails having part of the floor slippery for a short period of time. Also, with customers coming in and out, a dangerous condition, like mud or water being tracked through the store, can be expected and result in a negligence claim.

You should try, if possible, to warn other people of potential dangers that you know exist, even if they are out in the open. This can be done verbally, of course, which is an okay strategy for private homes. But, it may also be better just to block areas off, or rope areas off, temporarily, if it seems that they may present a danger. Businesses should invest in ropes, cones or signage to be used for this reason.

Signage should also be used to warn people where they should not go. For example, a sign can avoid a curious customer from going into a store’s stock area to look for an item or from going into a car repair garage area. All areas that could be potentially dangerous.

Although it is not always a guarantee, having clear, obvious warnings can go a long way to protecting you from liability. To learn more about premise liability in Illinois, please reach out to the Illinois premise liability lawyers at Claim Your Justice.

Keep Clean

Businesses don’t always have to keep their property safe every single minute, but they do have to take actions and measures to show that they are diligently and properly monitoring their area.

Businesses should keep employees who monitor cleanliness on a set cleaning schedule and have a cleaning schedule that allows for an employee to scan for dangerous conditions regularly. Employees should have a log or some way to document when each area of the store was observed or cleaned.

There is no bright-line time limit that says that you need to observe or clean your home or business every 3, 5, or 10 minutes. How often is enough to protect you from liability, depends on the circumstance. Sweeping or mopping every hour may be fine on the average Tuesday, but on a Saturday or the day before Christmas, it may be too little. For private homes, if you have a party with 20 people, you may need to clean more often than you would if you just had 1 or 2 close friends over.

Pay Attention When Watching Others

This may be more applicable to private homes. In homes with children, you may find your home ends up as the meeting grounds for play dates with your child’s friends. Too many times, homeowners see playdates as temporary babysitters or the adult’s time to rest. As a result, the kids “play on their own.”

However, this is irresponsible and dangerous, especially for younger kids. Younger kids should never be left alone, unattended. You, as the supervising adult, may be held liable for failure to supervise young kids who are injured on your watch.

This becomes especially dangerous when kids are unsupervised while doing dangerous (or potentially dangerous) activities. For example, swimming, motorbiking, or playing physical games, all require your constant supervision as an adult. This is aside from the fact that young children can often be friends one minute, and physically fight the next. In this case, it takes you, as an adult, to stop this from happening.

A business doesn’t have a general duty to watch over or supervise its patrons. This is unless it is in a business where it is foreseeable that danger, harm, or violence could occur. Bartenders and other associated workers may need to watch over bar patrons to avoid violence and overserving of alcohol, for instance. Another situation could be if your business handles vulnerable populations, like younger kids or the elderly.

Keep Walking Areas Clear

This may sound like common sense, but it is often very easy that a business-owned ladder, forklift, box, or another item, large or small, ends up obstructing somewhere people will walk. Do not rely on the belief that someone will surely see the item, and thus, could not fall on it. Although something being out in the open is a valid legal defense, it is not foolproof, and should not be relied upon.

Businesses should have written policies, and employees should be trained. Often, accidents happen when untrained employees leave obstructions in walkways for just seconds. Think about someone stocking a shelf. Should they walk away from the stocking cart for a few minutes, it becomes a hazard in the walkway. That could lead to an unsuspecting patron being harmed by tripping over the cart.

Homes should also make sure that there aren’t items on the floor or walkways. This can be more difficult with homes that have children. A small toy in a doorway or jutting out from under a cabinet can end up being a dangerous item that causes someone else to fall.

Use Security

Certainly, crime is random, and a business cannot always ensure that visitors don’t end up as crime victims. However, there are things a business can do, to ensure that the people who visit the business are free from crime.

Consider your property and whether you need human security guards. This could be either inside the premises or around it. Additionally, think about how many you need, and whether that security needs to be trained as security. Potentially, it may be necessary to hire professional guards from an actual security company. In other situations, maybe security can be taken care of using one of your employees equipped with a phone or walkie-talkie to communicate with authorities if needed.

Even if you decide that you don’t need human security, other things can be done, to make it harder for you to be sued if someone is the victim of crime on your premises. For example, lighting in parking lots and video cameras on the premises can go a long way to minimizing the risk of a crime event happening on your property.

Fix What’s Broken

The physical items around us break down and need repair or replacement over time. You should be aware of the things on your property that may need repair and handle them accordingly. If something needs repair and can’t be repaired for some reason in a reasonable amount of time, you should take measures to warn other people of the dangerous condition.

Some things that tend to break down, which we may or may not notice include:

  • Stairway handrails can get shaky or unhinged from whatever they are affixed to.
  • Parking lot bumpers, where the cement can deteriorate, or where the paint can fade.
  • Any painting on your floor that is there for safety, such as stripes on the edges of stairs.
  • Shelving that may hold up items that, if the shelving were to collapse could land on your customers.
  • Walkways or pathways that may buckle or crack, or tiles on a floor that may start to lift.
  • Carpet or floormats that get worn down, and which may roll up or stick up on the edges.
  • Shopping carts that may have sharp edges on them.

Consider the Elements

You can’t control if it rains or snows, or if a customer tracks mud from outside, inside your property. But there are things you can do to address and minimize the danger.

For example, some types of flooring are more slippery when exposed to ice, snow, or rain, than other flooring may be. Some types of flooring are just naturally slick.

Often, your flooring can be coated or treated in ways that give it more friction.

If it is raining or snowing, businesses may want to assign an employee to regularly monitor the area around the doorway to keep it clean and dry. Of course, a mat or carpet at the doorway can also help ensure that snow or ice doesn’t get tracked inside the property.

Use Common Sense – and Maybe an Expert

No matter what kind of problem you are trying to avoid, some of these problems require common sense application of policies and procedures, while others may require some kind of consultation with an expert in a safety or security field.

The good news is that you may be able to lower the cost of your insurance or get other tax benefits, from the money that you spend on these security measures or improvements to your store. That’s not to mention the peace of mind that you will have knowing that if something were to happen on your property, you will have a solid defense to any claim that may be brought against you.

Call our Schaumberg personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation if you are injured on someone else’s property at 847-434-3555.

What are the Most Common Personal Injury Claims in Illinois?

Personal Injury

Personal injury cases are everywhere. They are reported in the news, in movies, and certainly, in advertisements that you see and hear every day. But what is a personal injury case, and what are some of the more common personal injury claims in Illinois?

What is a Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury law is a type of civil law. In a personal injury claim, a jury or judge will award money damages. Unlike criminal cases, there are no criminal penalties, jail, or state prosecutor involvement in a personal injury case.

At its core, a personal injury lawsuit says that somebody did something careless, negligent, or in a way that other people, acting diligently, would not do. To see if someone was negligent and caused your injury, the attorneys at Claim Your Justice look to see if the other person, or company, or worker acted the way other reasonable people would act.

Carelessness that can lead to negligence in a personal injury claim can be the act necessary to make a successful claim. For example, if a product is stacked improperly in a store and then that causes an item to fall on a customer’s head, it can injure them. Driving a car too fast that  causes an injury or deadly accident. Injuries can also result from an omission. If there is a failure to warn of a slippery floor and then someone can slip and sustain injuries or failure to install handrails along a stairwell can also cause a fall.

What are Common Personal Injury Claims in Illinois?

Any situation where someone suffers an injury, mental or physical, can possibly lead to a personal injury lawsuit. That means that personal injury lawsuits can happen in more ways than can be listed in any one place. But despite the wide variety of personal injury cases, there are some types of claims or cases that tend to occur more often than others.

Here is a short description of the most common types of personal injury claims that tend to happen in Illinois.

Cars and Car Accidents

Almost any kind of car accident can lead to a personal injury case. Given the number of cars on the road, it’s no wonder that car accidents account for a large percentage of personal injury claims.

Car accidents tend to increase from year to year. From 2017 to 2018, there were over 7,000 more car accidents, for a total of 319,146 car accidents in Illinois.

The most common types of car accidents include things like:

  • Rear-end accidents.
  • Lane change accidents.
  • Intersection accidents.
  • Distracted driving.
  • DUI-related accidents.
  • Car accidents where a car collides with a pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist.

Car accidents can be caused by individual drivers, but also corporate drivers, such as when commercial trucks or business delivery cars cause accidents.

Remember that car accident victims are not just the drivers of the vehicles. Passengers can also have personal injury claims after a car accident. So can spouses of injured victims when the victim is injured so badly it affects their ability to take care of their spouse or otherwise affects their marriages.

On-Premises Accidents

Accidents often happen on business premises, which is why these cases are often called “premises liability” cases. The most common of these types of cases are called slip and fall accidents. Although this category can also include objects falling on people’s heads or any other type of accident that happens while you are a customer or visitor on someone else’s property.

Businesses must keep their premises safe. Although substances on the floor that cause people to fall are quite common, there are also other kinds of injuries that can happen on a business’ premises. These include:

  • Objects left in customer walkways that cause people to fall.
  • Poorly stacked objects on shelves that fall on people, injuring them
  • Attacks or assaults by business employees
  • Failure to provide warnings of conditions on the property that may be dangerous.
  • Failure to maintain safe stairways, escalators, and elevators

One common form of premises liability cases is negligent security. This is where a criminal injures you while you are on someone else’s property. Although the property owner didn’t directly attack or injure you, the business owner may have created conditions that made it easier for you to become a crime victim.

This often happens when landlords or shopping mall owners don’t provide human or video security monitoring, gates, proper lighting, or other elements that tend to deter crime.

Note that in most cases, you will have to be an invited guest, or a customer of the business to sue for your injuries. Trespassers often will have a difficult time suing for damages that happen on others’ property.

Nursing Home Abuse

The population or elderly people living in our nursing homes is amongst the most vulnerable in our society. Not only are they often sick, infirm, and unable to care for themselves, but their family is not there to look after them and to make sure they are being taken care of.

Many nursing homes are understaffed or use staff that is untrained to do their jobs. Many don’t have proper practices and procedures, to ensure the safety of their residents. They may allow abuse to happen to residents, whether at the hands of staff, or other residents. They may allow residents to roam and wander into areas that they should not be, leading to injury.

As many nursing home residents also need medical attention, often negligence claims include basic personal injury claims, as well as medical malpractice claims, if a patient is injured while getting medical attention

Because of residents’ advanced age, and often frail health, even the slightest failure to exercise caution and diligence, can lead to catastrophic injury, and even death.

Supervision of Kids

When kids get injured, we often dismiss the injuries as being “horseplay,” or as “kids being kids.” But there are a lot of scenarios where kids are supposed to be supervised by adults, but are not, such as in schools, after-school care, or daycare.

Even if the supervision is not  being provided by an institution, another adult who was supposed to monitor a child, but did not, can be sued for negligence. For example, a parent who allows young kids to play in a pool, without watching the kids, can be liable for a personal injury claim. This is true if one of the children gets injured while the adult is not monitoring them

Dangerous Products

Whenever a product injures someone, the manufacturer and retailer can be liable for the injuries that you sustain.

Often, products are just manufactured poorly, and inconsistently. Potentially, 100 of the same product can be fine, but the 101st can be dangerous. This is because the 101 product was not manufactured like the first 100 were.

Other times, even a product that is perfectly manufactured is dangerous, simply because of the way it is designed. For example, medical device manufacturer 3M was recently sued for selling defective earplugs to the military, causing injuries to servicemembers. The earplugs worked exactly as they were designed to work. The problem was that the way they were designed, made them ineffective in protecting against hearing loss.

Often, experts need to be employed by your personal injury attorney to evaluate a product or its design. Then it can be better determined whether or not a product was defective or designed in a dangerous manner

Medical Malpractice

Not every bad medical outcome is a result of medical malpractice. However, sometimes doctors do something or fail to do something that should be done in the process of our medical care. When that medical error causes an injury, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

According to the national practitioner data bank, medical malpractice claims, and payments went up significantly around 2019-2019. There was a decline in 2020, likely due to COVID reasons. Just from 2015-2019 in Illinois, there were close to 2,000 medical malpractice claims yearly.

However, this is an accounting of reported claims and errors but not actual lawsuits, which are likely much higher than those numbers. These numbers also don’t include settlements that may have happened, before any lawsuit was filed.

Any medical provider can be liable for malpractice, including nurses, therapists, radiologists, or acupuncturists, virtually any profession that renders expert and professional medical skill, aid, and treatment can be held accountable for errors.

Malpractice claims can include failure to diagnose injuries or symptoms, or diagnosing the wrong illness or disease. Doctors can prescribe the wrong medicine, ineffective medicine, or may fail to recognize your symptoms as needing treatment at all.

Damages for Your Personal Injury Claim

With all of these personal injury claims and lawsuits, you can get damages for out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, or the cost of necessary medical devices. These costs can be awarded for current expenses, but also for expenses that you may incur in the future, for longer-term or more catastrophic injuries.

You can also get damages for your emotional or mental injuries. The law recognizes that many types of injuries can cause depression, loss of the enjoyment of life, or cause fear or anxiety. That’s in addition to the pain that you may have suffered because of the accident, your injuries, or the procedures that you had to undergo, in treating your injuries.

Whether your injury is common or not, we can help with your personal injury claim. To see if you may be entitled to compensation or payments for your accident or injuries, call our Schaumburg personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 847-434-3555.

Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Personal Injury Cases

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Claim Your Justice Live Session

Welcome to the Claim Your Justice Facebook Live Stream, I’m attorney Keith Shindler. I look forward to providing you with valuable and useful information regarding personal injury cases, and personal injury topics. Throughout future live stream sessions, I’ll discuss some information that you may consider basic.

However, I’m also going to discuss information that is a bit more complex. I welcome your positive feedback and questions, and I can be reached at 888-88-Keith, or you can email us here and message us on Facebook.

Who pays for the costs associated with a personal injury case?

There are two components of these costs. One is the attorney fee that would be paid to our firm for achieving a recovery for your injury case. The second component is the costs related to developing and winning your case. Let’s talk for a second about the attorneys’ fees.

With personal injury cases, the attorney fee is based on a contingency fee arrangement. What does that mean? It means that my fee is contingent upon winning your case, I only recover my fee after we win your case. That’s the contingency component of it. I don’t view that as a cost. It pays to have an attorney, it doesn’t cost to have an attorney.

The next piece of developing and winning a personal injury case is the cost involved in gathering your medical records. That’s somewhat of a basic cost, but sometimes it adds up. It can be thousands of dollars, depending on how much treatment a person had, how many doctors they went to see, how many surgeries they may have had, etc. So that cost generally adds up into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Cost of Litigation

You also have a cost if we’re going to have to litigate a case. Litigation can get very expensive. Our firm advances those costs. They include such costs as filing a lawsuit, well, that’s obvious. Then there are other costs involved in taking a deposition, getting a deposition transcribed, hiring someone to go out and take photographs of a scene, hiring an expert witness, and so on. These are costs that sometimes aren’t considered. They add up quickly and are advanced by our firm for the pure goal of winning your case.

Medical Evaluation

There is also a cost involved in perhaps getting our clients evaluated by a medical specialist. For instance, let’s say a client has PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If that were the case I would want to send them to an expert who can evaluate them, test them, and then write a report. That’s a cost as well.

Or, my client could have an orthopedic injury and I want to understand what the permanent nature of that injury is, so I send them to an orthopedic specialist to have their medical records reviewed, get them examined, and then have a report written. That’s an additional cost. We work as a team here, together with our clients.

At Claim Your Justice, we care about our clients and we look to maximize the recovery the client can secure. The court costs are something every client worries about, and my goal is to help the client understand every step of the process as I work on their case. The goal is always to win for the client, and to recover the max amount of money for the client.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys

This is just our introductory Facebook live stream so I don’t want to get too complex, or talk for too long (hopefully I didn’t put anyone to sleep out there). Please remember, for any personal injury case, for your friend, for your family, for yourself, or your coworker, call the attorneys at Claim Your Justice at 847-434-3555. Thank you and I’ll see you in two weeks with another live session.

What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in Illinois?

personal injury

You probably hear a lot about personal injury cases and personal injury attorneys in Arlington Heights. But what is a personal injury case? You probably know it involves someone getting injured, but how do you know when there is a possible personal injury claim to make, or if you have a case?

What is a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury case is a civil lawsuit that asks the responsible person or corporation’s insurance company, court, or jury, to award money damages for injuries that you sustained because someone else did something wrong. Although money cannot heal us or bring back a loved one in the event of wrongful death, the law does recognize that money is intended to compensate victims.

Financial compensation can help ease the mental, emotional, pain and suffering, and physical burdens that an injury can cause to both the victim and the family of the victim. It can also be used to pay the medical expenses and lost wages that an injury victim may incur.

In a personal injury case, the victim is saying that someone else did something either purposefully or accidentally (negligently), to cause an accident that injured and harmed the victim. Almost any event that happens in our daily lives can cause accidents that result in injuries.

To see if someone owes you compensation for injuries in a personal injury case, you ask whether the Defendant, the party that you think was careless or negligent, failed to act in a way that a reasonable and safe person would act.

The victim who suffers the personal injuries does not have to prove that Defendant broke any written law, or that Defendant committed a crime of any kind. For example, there is no law that explicitly tells a store how to stack boxes on its shelves. But if a store were to stack boxes carelessly, and they fell on your head injuring you, the store could be found negligent. This is true even though there was no actual violation of a written law.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

Here are the more common types of personal injury cases that allow victims to recover money damages for their injuries. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights can help you analyze what kind of case that you may have and the potential value of that case.

Car Accidents

Any time a car collides with another car, it is likely because one driver was careless or negligent. However, “car accidents” is a broad term. There are many kinds of car accidents, including:

  1. Rear-end accidents.
  2. Lane change accidents.
  3. Running stop signs or traffic lights.
  4. Intersection accidents, including left-turn accidents, or failure to yield.
  5. “Wrong-way” accidents, where someone goes the wrong way down a one-way road.
  6. Any kind of accident where alcohol (a DUI) is involved.

Additionally, although the word “car” is in this category, “car accidents” also include accidents that involve motorcycles, trucks, and any accident where a vehicle hits or strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist.

Car accidents also include accidents that are caused by an unknown driver. For example, where someone hits a pedestrian and drives away, or where a large objects falls out of the car or truck on the road, causing an accident, but it isn’t known what car dropped the item.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Anytime someone falls on someone else’s property, there is possibly a personal injury claim because people and businesses have an obligation to keep their premises safe and free from objects, defective conditions, or debris that could cause someone to fall.

Sometimes, the condition of the floor or property itself can make property dangerous, such as when there is an uneven floor or a stairwell with no handrail. Other times, a substance may have spilled, or inclement weather may bring in water, snow, or other elements that make floors dangerous and slippery.

Many stores will clean their floors, but fail to put up cones or other objects, warning visitors that the floor is being cleaned. As a result, there is no indication that the floor is slick and dangerous.

Negligent (inadequate) Security

When you are a victim of criminal activity on someone else’s property, the property owner may be liable to you. Yes, the criminal bears responsibility for your attack, or for the injuries that you suffered during the commission of the crime. But the business may also have responsibility.

A business may know that their premises are dangerous, or there is a crime in their parking lot or inside their property. Many businesses, including landlords, ignore these warning signs and don’t provide basic security measures, like cameras, security guards, lighting, and other measures that can prevent, or at least deter criminals. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights can analyze whether a business took proper precautions to avoid crime on their property.

Anytime there are:

  • Crowds.
  • Alcohol.
  • Increased chance of fights or violence.
  • Potential for chaos.

Then, a business should have adequate security. For example, a bar, concert arena, or another crowded venue, may not have sufficient bouncers of off-duty police security for the masses.

Failure to Supervise

Generally, we have no obligation to look after our fellow man or woman. But sometimes, when we are charged with the special duty, we do.

For example, schools, daycares, any business that cares for the disabled, or nursing homes may have an obligation to have enough staff to look after its residents or students and make sure that they don’t get hurt. Also, that they aren’t hurting each other.

Even inside private homes, adults have an obligation to supervise kids who may be engaging in potentially dangerous activities, like playing around a pool, skateboarding, or playing sports. Certainly, adults can’t prevent all the injuries that kids may sustain.

However, adults do have to make an effort to supervise any kids that they are charged with watching over. When they don’t do this, and a child or adult is hurt, the person or business supervising can be held liable.

Medical Malpractice

Malpractice happens when a medical professional doesn’t act the way that other professionals, in the same situation would have acted or treated you. Any medical professional can commit malpractice—not just treating doctors. For example, nurses, therapists, counselors, radiologists, or acupuncturists, can all commit malpractice.

There are different kinds of malpractice cases, including:

  1. Performing a procedure incorrectly, such as severing a nerve during surgery, leaving an object inside of a body during surgery, or accidentally damaging other parts of the body while performing a procedure.
  2. Failure to diagnose, ignoring an important symptom, or diagnosing something incorrectly.
  3. Prescribing the wrong medicine or failing to see that someone may have an allergy or pre-existing condition that could interact with prescribed medicine.

Products Liability

Most of the products we buy or use are perfectly safe. But sometimes, these products are not safe. A product can be safe, but one of those products comes off the manufacturing line wrong, making it defective, and thus dangerous.

A good example is an airbag. Almost every airbag works as it is supposed to, but sometimes, a single airbag in a single car fails to deploy because of a defect in just that car.

Other times, the product is working just the way it was supposed to. Then there is no “defect,” but the way the product is made, manufactured or designed, is inherently dangerous. Think of a dangerous drug. The drug is made exactly as it is supposed to be, but the drug itself is dangerous.

Almost every business that handles a dangerous product can be held responsible for product liability. This includes the company that first made the product, all the way to the retailer that you bought the product from.

Dog Bites

In Illinois, a dog owner can be liable for bites caused by a dog, even if the dog had no prior history of biting anyone. It also doesn’t matter what the owner is doing. In other words, the fact that the dog’s owner may have been acting “reasonably,” won’t protect the owner.

It doesn’t matter if the dog was previously aggressive, and it doesn’t matter what breed the dog is. If you are bitten by a dog, you could be entitled to sue the owner for your injuries.

Other Accidents

There is no such thing as a comprehensive complete list of all the types of personal injury cases. This is so because any means by which someone can get injured can potentially lead to a personal injury case. This is true as long as someone else caused or contributed to the accident.

Other areas where personal injury cases are common include:

  • People falling into or stepping into, holes in the ground.
  • Food poisoning cases.
  • Having objects fall on them from above.
  • Boating accidents.
  • Plane accidents.
  • Accidents on all-terrain vehicles.

A business may be liable to you for selling something dangerous, to people who shouldn’t have what was sold to them. For example, a store that sells a gun to someone underage. Another example would be a bar that serves someone who has clearly had too much to drink, who then gets behind the wheel of a car and injuries someone.

These categories also are not exclusive; there can be multiple kinds of personal injury cases in a single accident. For instance, if someone hits you in an intersection, and your airbag doesn’t deploy, you could have a personal injury lawsuit against more than one party. Potentially, you could make a claim against the other driver and pursue a product liability claim against your car maker, for the defective airbag.

The good news is that you don’t have to figure out what kind of personal injury case you have. A personal injury attorney in Arlington Heights will look at the facts of your case, and your injuries, and determine what the right path is in your case. Don’t go it alone. Get help after any kind of accident that you may be in. Call our Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys at Claim Your Justice to schedule a free consultation at 847-434-3555.

How Are Illinois Personal Injury Claims Calculated?

personal injury

Illinois Personal Injury Compensation

You need an experienced attorney when filing personal injury claims. It’s hard to imagine being involved in an accident that happens suddenly and unexpectedly, and that changes the course of your life because of serious personal injuries.  Yet for many personal injury victims in Schaumburg and the surrounding areas of Illinois, this is exactly what happens. When another person’s negligence causes a crash, a slip and fall, a workplace accident, or another type of severe accident and someone is seriously injured, the injured party has the right to seek damages. In these cases, damages means monetary compensation for their injuries and related losses. 

At the office of Claim Your Justice, our Schaumburg personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the claims process, proving fault, and understanding how a personal injury settlement is calculated. Consider the following about damages in a personal injury claim and the role of a Schaumburg personal injury lawyer, and then call Claim Your Justice directly for a free consultation and the support and legal guidance you need. 

Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

When a person is injured and someone else is to blame, they may have a cause of action to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages. There are multiple types of personal injury claims, all of which our Schaumburg personal injury lawyers have experience handling. Common types of personal injury claims include: 

  • Motor vehicle accident claims
  • Slip and fall claims
  • Commercial vehicle claims
  • Premises liability claims
  • Negligent security claims
  • Dog bite claims
  • Workplace accident claims 
  • Bicycle accident claims
  • Pedestrian accident claims
  • Medical malpractice claims
  • Defective products claims 

Four Elements Of Personal Injury Claims

Unfortunately, a person cannot file a personal injury claim merely because they have been involved in an accident and suffered harm, or merely because another party has done something negligent. Instead, in order to bring forth a personal injury claim that’s successful, a plaintiff must be able to produce evidence to satisfy the four elements: 1) Duty; 2) Breach of the Duty; 3) Causation; and 4) Damages.  Below is a more detailed explanation of  these four elements:

  • Duty. The first element of a personal injury claim is duty or duty of care. This means that before the case can proceed, the claimant/plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant (at-fault party) owed them some duty of care. In many cases, duty of care is implied. For example, all drivers on the road have a basic duty to operate their vehicles in accordance with the law and in a reasonably safe manner. In other situations, duty must be established. For example, in a premises liability case, the plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant (property owner) owed them a duty because the plaintiff was lawfully on the property and was not trespassing. 
  • Breach of duty. The second element that must be established in a personal injury case is breach of duty. Usually, a breach of duty occurs when the defendant acts negligently. Negligence is the failure to exercise the proper degree of care for a given situation—the same degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise. Breach of duty could include anything from speeding to driving while distracted, failing to remedy a known hazard, or failing to adhere to leash laws. 
  • Causation. Causation means being able to prove that the defendant’s negligence or breach of duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s accident and injuries. You cannot just prove that the defendant acted negligently and that you were injured; you must show evidence of a link between the two. 
  • Damages. Finally, in order to make a successful claim or file a personal injury lawsuit, you must have suffered actual damages or losses. More on this below. 

Injuries and Damages In An Illinois Personal Injury Claim

When a person is involved in an accident, regardless of the accident type, there is the potential to suffer serious injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries and damages in a personal injury claim include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury can lead to cognitive, emotional, and sensory disabilities, sometimes short-term, sometimes permanently. This is one of the most serious types of injuries. 
  • Spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury is devastating. When a person’s spinal cord is injured, the victim may suffer partial or complete paralysis from the area of the spinal injury downwards which is permanent
  • Internal injuries. Internal injuries occur when a person’s body is hit with force or punctured with an object. Internal bleeding and organ failure are possible complications. 
  • Bone fractures. Fortunately, most bone fractures will heal with time and proper medical care. In some cases, a bone fracture could lead to long-term complications for the affected person. 
  • Amputation injuries. Losing a limb or losing the use of a limb is devastating. An amputation injury causes permanent physical disability, as well as psychological trauma. 
  • Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are very common and can include sprains and strains—and sometimes tears—of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 
  • Psychological injuries. In addition to physical injuries, a person can suffer psychological injuries as a result of an accident as well. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most common psychological injury victims develop after a serious accident. Depression and anxiety are possible, too. 

It’s not just physical or psychological injuries that a person suffers after an accident. The above injuries can result in high medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, strains on romantic and social relationships, the need to remodel a home for disability accommodations, and more. 

Types of Damages Recoverable in a Personal Injury Claim In Illinois

There are three types of damages that are commonly recoverable in a personal injury claim: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. 

  • Economic damages. Economic damages are the actual financial losses that a person sustains as a result of an accident. Common types of economic damages in a personal injury claim include medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses, and lost wages, and property damage expenses. 
  • Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate because they’re not based on actual financial losses; instead, noneconomic damages are based on the value of a person’s pain, suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and diminished quality of life. 
  • Punitive damages. In addition to compensatory damages (economic damages and non-economic damages), it may be possible to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim; they are designed to punish the defendant for their egregious conduct. Under Illinois law, punitive damages are only available when there is proof that the defendant acted fraudulently, willfully, or wantonly in causing harm to the plaintiff. 

How Are Damages Calculated?

Economic damages are based on total economic losses. It is much more difficult, however, to calculate non-economic and punitive damages. It is the non-economic damage component of your personal injury claim the Claim Your Justice attorneys focus on and excel in.  

Factors that impact non-economic damages and pain and suffering include the severity of injuries, victim’s age, income level, earning capacity and earning potential, any special talents or opportunities that the victim may have enjoyed but for the injury, whether or not the victim has a spouse or any children, and any other special circumstances. Typically, those who are younger and who have families are awarded larger settlements for pain and suffering, particularly when injuries are especially severe. 

Punitive damages are also difficult to calculate. Jury instructions state that when considering the amount of punitive damages to award a plaintiff, jurors should consider how reprehensible the defendant’s conduct was, the actual and potential harm the defendant’s conduct caused to the plaintiff, and the amount of money that’s necessary to punish the defendant and discourage others from engaging in future wrongful acts. It’s also noted that the amount of punitive damages awarded must be reasonable and proportional to the actual and potential harm suffered by the plaintiff. 

How a Claim Your Justice Schaumburg Personal Injury Lawyer Can Improve Your Chances of Recovering Your Maximum Settlement Award

If you have been involved in a serious accident, you need a Schaumburg personal injury lawyer on your side. A personal injury attorney will not only work hard to prove fault but also to prove the extent of damages you’ve suffered and advocate for a maximum settlement. To learn more about how a Claim Your Justice Schaumburg personal injury attorney from the office of Claim Your Justice can help you, call us directly at 847-434-3555 or send us a message online at your convenience. We are here to fight for you. 

The Most Dangerous Industries for Workplace Accidents In Illinois

Workplace Accidents

Doing work is incredibly fulfilling. Most people enjoy the sense of accomplishment and purpose that comes from a job well done. However, while work can be important for philosophical and financial reasons–as well as essential for the greater economy–the workplace can also be dangerous, too. In Illinois, there are a few industries that stand out as being particularly dangerous, including construction. Consider the following overview of the most dangerous industries for workplace accidents in Illinois, and call our construction accident lawyer at the office of Claim Your Justice if you or a loved one has been injured on the job.

The Most Dangerous Industries for Workplace Accidents in Illinois

In 2019 (the most recent year for which data is available) there were a total of 158 fatal work injuries reported in Illinois; there were 104,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of the workplace fatalities that occurred in Illinois were the result of transportation incidents, violence and other injuries by animals or persons, slip and fall accidents, and contact with objects and equipment. It may come as no surprise then, based on these common causes of death, that the construction industry is most of the most dangerous industries for workplace accidents in the state. In fact, the private construction industry had the highest number of workplace fatalities in the state in 2019 with 30 deaths or over 18 percent of total workplace deaths. Other industries that had high rates of fatal accidents include the private transportation and warehouse industries.

Additional highlights based on the data

The data reveals that construction, transportation, and warehousing are amongst the most dangerous industries for workplace accidents in the state; we also know that transportation accidents, slip and fall accidents, contact with objects and equipment, and violence are common causes of injuries–fatal and otherwise.

Data also tells us that men are much more likely to be involved in fatal accidents in the workplace than women, most likely because these industries are traditionally dominated by male employees.

Common Workplace Injuries

When an accident occurs within the construction industry, transportation industry, warehouse injury, or another injury in Illinois, the injuries and damages can be significant. Especially in injuries that involve working with heavy equipment and machinery, power tools, or working at heights, injuries can be catastrophic. Common workplace injuries in construction include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can impact a person’s memory, learning, language, cognition, emotion, and sensations for years.
  • Spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are tragic because they are permanent; once the spinal cord is injured, it cannot be repaired. Spinal cord injuries often lead to permanent or partial paralysis from the site of the injury downwards.
  • Amputation injury. One of the most severe injuries that a construction industry worker can suffer is that of an amputation injury. These types of injuries lead to permanent disability.
  • Crush injuries. Being caught in or hit by heavy equipment can mean a crush injury that results in the loss of use of a limb, internal bleeding, and death in the most serious cases.
  • Psychological injuries. Some injuries aren’t physical, but psychological. Being involved in a severe accident can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.

Common Causes of Workplace Injuries 

Workplace injuries often happen as a result of negligence. Transportation incidents, being caught in/between machinery or being struck by an object, electrocution, falls from heights, slip and falls, and violence by another person or animal are common causes of injuries in the workplace. Unfortunately, most of these accidents are often avoidable and would not occur but for:

  • Improper worker safety training. All employees, particularly those who work in industries where the risk of accident and injury is high, need to receive proper training on best practices and workplace safety. Failure to ensure that workers go through an adequate safety training program, as well as the failure to ensure that workers have the information and training that they need for a specific job, can lead to tragic accidents.
  • Improper supervision/worker management. Another cause of accidents in the workplace is a lack of proper supervision or worker management. At a construction site, a site manager should always be available to answer questions and ensure that safety protocols are being followed to a T. Improper supervision and management can lead to serious harm.
  • Lack of safety equipment. Federal and state laws set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) require that workers in dangerous industries, including construction, have access to basic and specialized safety equipment depending on the job site and the work being performed. For example, hard hats and safety harnesses when working at heights, proper safety boots, safety goggles, and gloves are all standard. If a worker is not given the correct safety equipment for a job, they may be at an increased risk of injury.
  • Defective machinery. Sometimes, even when workers are properly trained, given the right safety gear, and follow safety protocols, accidents still happen. In some cases, an accident or injury may be the result of defective machinery or equipment. If defective machinery or equipment causes an injury, the manufacturer could be held liable.

Things like roughhousing, failing to double-check all safety steps, and worker negligence can cause accidents and injuries in some cases, too.

Who’s Liable for a Workplace Injury?

When a worker is harmed on the job and suffers severe and costly injuries, there is a question of liability that must be answered. Consider the two following sources of compensation and liability in a workplace accident claim–

  • Workers’ compensation insurance. The vast majority of employees in most industries, including the private construction industry, are considered employees and are covered under their employers’ workers’ compensation policies as such. When a workplace accident occurs, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation, without having to prove fault, so long as they can prove that the injury happened at work while they were acting within the scope of their employment.
  • Third-party liability claims. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that an injured worker does not need to prove the fault of their employer in order to recover compensation; it also means that by virtue of the no-fault benefits, their employer is immune from liability. In other words, an injured worker cannot file a lawsuit for damages against their employer.

While an employee cannot sue their employer after an accident, they may have grounds to bring forth a third-party liability claim. A third-party liability claim is a type of civil action that alleges that a third party (someone other than the employer) did something negligent, and the negligence was the proximate cause of the employee’s harm. For example, filing a lawsuit against a product manufacturer if a defective product causes a workplace injury is a type of third-party liability claim. Sometimes, both workers’ compensation benefits and a third-party liability claim can be pursued.

Types of Damages Recoverable in a Workplace Accident Claim

When you hire our personal injury attorney in Schaumburg or a construction accident lawyer from our office, we can promise that we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve. However, it’s important to note that how much you can recover, as well as the types of damages that you can recover, will depend on whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a third-party liability claim.

A workers’ compensation claim provides benefits for the full value of a workers’ necessary and reasonable medical expenses. Workers’ compensation benefits can also cover a portion of an employee’s lost wages. However, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover 100 percent of an employee’s lost wages, nor do they include compensation for pain, suffering, or emotional distress.

A third-party liability claim, on the other hand, is not capped. A worker can file a suit seeking damages for the full value of their losses, including compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. There is no limit to how much a worker can recover.

While this type of claim may therefore seem superior to a workers’ compensation claim, remember that a third-party liability claim requires being able to prove the fault of a third party, whereas workers’ compensation benefits are offered anytime a worker is injured during the course of their employment with no requirement to prove fault. 

How Our Construction Accident Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney in Schaumburg Can Help

If you work in one of the most dangerous industries in Illinois and have been involved in an accident at work, such as a transportation accident, construction accident, or warehouse accident, you deserve to be compensated.  You also deserve to be supported and represented by a legal professional throughout the process. At the office of Claim Your Justice, our lawyers have years of experience, a reputation for excellence, a track record of winning large settlements for our clients, and a commitment to you.

We always offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, please call our construction accident lawyer or personal injury attorney in Schaumburg directly today to schedule your free consultation and the support you need.