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IL injury lawyerIn most cases involving injuries that happened at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Almost all Illinois employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, but that does not always mean that the employer will comply or pay out benefits when they are needed. Sometimes, an employer can deny a workers’ compensation claim, which can be stressful for any household, especially when you are unable to work because of your injury. If you are unable to work for three or more days, your employer must either begin paying benefits, inform you of what information they need to make a determination or provide a denial for your claim. Work injuries can be financially taxing and can take a toll on your entire family’s well being, especially if your claim is denied.

Reasons for a Denied Claim

Being denied benefits from workers’ compensation can be frustrating. If your claim is denied, your employer is required to state the reason for the denial in writing. After receiving notice that their claim has been denied, many people’s first question is, “Why?” Here are some of the most common reasons that your employer may deny your claim:

  • Your injury did not happen in your workplace. In general, injuries are only covered under workers’ compensation if you sustained that injury at work. An employer may try to deny a claim if you reported that you were injured elsewhere. However, if you were performing work for your employer at the time, your injury should be covered, no matter the physical location.
  • Your injury was not reported in time. Like many other actions, there is a statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims. Technically, you are supposed to report your injury to your employer as soon as you can, but you have up to 45 days after the injury to report it to your employer.
  • Your employer believes you were at fault for the injury. Your employer has the right to deny your workers’ compensation claim if they believe that your injury does not meet the requirements. In general, workers’ compensation benefits are paid whether or not you are liable for the accident. However, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you were injured, your claim can be rightfully denied.
  • You had a preexisting condition. If your employer tries to claim that your injury is a preexisting condition, they may deny your claim. However, it is important to note that even preexisting conditions that are aggravated by your employment and result in an injury are covered under workers’ compensation.

Our Bloomingdale, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer is Here to Help

If you have been injured at work, the first thing you should do is report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. The sooner you report your injury and your claim is approved, the sooner you can begin to receive benefits. In the event that your employer denies your claim, speaking with a DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney can be beneficial. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. to discuss your denied workers’ compensation claim today. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-665-5678.

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IL injury lawyerEvery day, people are injured for a variety of reasons. According to the National Safety Council, there were 48.3 million people who sought medical attention for unintentional injuries that they sustained. The majority of people who are injured from some sort of accident suffer things like broken bones or lacerations -- injuries that will eventually heal and go away. However, in some cases, injuries from an accident can be much more serious and can result in long-term or chronic effects. In many cases, these injuries are considered “catastrophic injuries” and can have devastating effects on a person and their entire family.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

There is no statewide definition for a catastrophic injury in Illinois. However, according to the U.S. Code, a catastrophic injury is an injury that permanently prevents a person from performing any gainful work. This definition would mean that any injury that prevents a person from working enough or doing work that would financially support themselves and their family would be considered a catastrophic injury.

Examples of Catastrophic Injuries

Catastrophic injuries are severe and usually result in more than losing the ability to work. If an individual is so severely injured that they are unable to work, they are also likely unable to do other things, perhaps such as walking or taking care of themselves. Some of the most common types of injuries that can become catastrophic include:

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IL job injury lawyerWhen you are injured due to your line of work, it can be devastating. Not only do you suffer from the physical effects of your injury or illness, but you can also begin to struggle financially from time missed at work and unexpected medical bills. Fortunately, if you are injured while you are at work, chances are you are covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Unfortunately, not all workers, injuries or employers are covered under workers’ compensation, which is where an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover much-needed benefits.

Understanding the Different Types of Benefits

If you are found to have suffered an injury at work, you will have access to certain benefits that can help you get back on your feet after an injury, or that can provide you with assistance if you are determined to be disabled. These benefits include:

  • Medical care costs: If you are injured at work, your employer will be responsible for paying all of the associated medical care that is needed to fully heal or recover a person’s injury. These costs could include emergency care, doctor’s visits, surgery, prescription costs, physical therapy, chiropractic care and more.
  • Temporary disability: During the time you are healing, you may not be able to return to work. If you are only temporarily unable to work because of your injury, you may be able to claim temporary total disability (TTD) or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: If you are unable to return to your same job that you were working when you were injured, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. This benefit pays for costs relating to vocational retraining and counseling for job searching.
  • Permanent disability: Permanent partial disability (PPD) payments are paid when a worker completely or partially loses a body part or the use of a body part. In severe cases, permanent total disability (PTD) payments may be made if the worker sustains a disability that prevents them from doing any kind of work.
  • Death benefits: If a worker is killed because of a work injury, the family may be able to recover death benefits. These benefits include the cost of the funeral or burial and monthly payments based off of the deceased’s wages.

Our Wheaton, IL Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Receiving payment for a work injury is not always as easy as filing your claim and waiting for money to be deposited into your account, requiring the need for a skilled DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer. If you are experiencing issues with your workers’ compensation claim or you have received a denial, you should speak with the team at the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury. To schedule a free consultation with Attorney David W. Clark, call our office today at 630-665-5678.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_crash_20210425-230718_1.jpgEven though the number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents have decreased for the third year in a row, the number of injuries that are sustained by victims is astronomical. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 4.5 million people who sought medical care for injuries sustained in car accidents in 2019 at an estimated cost of $463 billion. Many people who suffer from car accident injuries suffer the effects of these costs, which include medical expenses, wage loss, motor vehicle damage and more. Many times, car accidents are caused by the negligence of another driver and are entirely preventable. If another driver was acting negligently, you may be able to hold them accountable for the costs related to your injuries.

What is Negligence?

According to Illinois law, negligence occurs when a person fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do, or does something that a reasonably careful person would not do. In addition to proving negligence, you must also be able to prove that the driver’s negligence was the cause of your injuries and that you would not have been injured if they had not acted in a negligent manner.

Negligent Driving Behaviors

There are many different types of behaviors that can pose a danger when drivers take part in them on the road. Here are some of the most common types of negligent driving behaviors:

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IL injury lawyerEach year, hundreds of millions of people travel to and from the United States through air travel. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were more than one billion passengers who passed through TSA checkpoints in airports across the country in 2019. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still more than an estimated 398 million people who traveled by plane in 2020. With all of those passengers comes all of their luggage and all of the strenuous work that comes along with taking care of it. We do not usually see or speak to baggage handlers face-to-face like we do with flight attendants, making it easy to overlook the potentially dangerous work they do. Getting injured on the job as a baggage handler is not uncommon, but you can file for workers’ compensation benefits to help recuperate some of your losses.

Common Situations Causing Injuries to Airline Baggage Handlers

Airline baggage handlers have some of the most physically demanding jobs in the airline industry. Baggage handlers are responsible for handling passengers’ luggage at multiple points throughout the airport, with the main goal of getting the luggage to its destination at the same time as its owner. There are many situations that create the potential for injury for baggage handlers, including:

  • Overexertion or overextension: The main task of the job is to lift, load and carry luggage that is often heavy and awkwardly shaped. Not only that, but they are also required to move heavy machinery and other heavy objects such as cargo bins and cargo. This can often lead to overexertion or overextension of body parts, resulting in injuries, commonly to the back and neck.
  • Excessive noise: Working around any type of machinery means you are going to be working in a louder-than-normal environment. However, working around airplanes means your work environment will likely be louder than most. If you do not have proper ear protection, you could suffer from ear-related injuries or hearing loss.
  • Getting caught in machinery: Another common situation that baggage handlers are put into is working with machinery. There are many conveyor belts that are used to transport luggage from place to place throughout the airport, in addition to machines that can sort luggage and vehicles to transport luggage. All of these machines have the potential to injure you if you get caught in them. Anything loose or hanging, such as ties, hair, clothing, etc, can get caught and potentially cause an injury.

Contact Our Bloomingdale, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

If you sustain an injury while working as an airline baggage handler, you have rights. You should immediately speak with a skilled DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney to get the process started as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., we can help you understand the steps necessary to file your workers’ compensation claim, as well as assist you in any appeals, if necessary. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-665-5678.

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IL injury lawyerInjuries that affect the back can cause a great deal of difficulty in a person’s life. Back injuries can restrict a person’s movement, affect their ability to perform work-related activities, or even result in permanent disabilities. When these injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, such as in a car accident or slip and fall, a victim can pursue compensation from the person or company who was responsible. If back injuries occur in the workplace, employees will usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Those who have suffered these types of injuries will want to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatments, as well as their legal options for addressing the damages they have suffered.

Types of Back Injuries

Back injuries may affect the vertebrae in the spine, the nerves in the spinal cord, or different muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The most serious injuries often involve damage to the spinal cord, which can result in partial or total paralysis in the parts of the body below the level of the spine where the injury occurred. Some common back injuries include:

  • Fractured vertebrae - The bones in the spine protect the spinal cord, and they also allow a person to support their weight while walking upright. Vertebrae may be broken in a serious impact, such as a fall or a car crash, and this may damage the nerves in the spinal cord. If the spinal cord is severed, a person may suffer complete paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia. While damage to the spinal cord is often irreparable, surgical procedures may be able to restore some function and repair the damaged vertebrae.
  • Bulging, compressed, or ruptured discs - The discs in the spine serve as cushions between the vertebrae, and damage to these discs can cause pain when bones grind against each other. Stress on the spine can cause discs to rupture or bulge into unnatural positions, putting pressure on the spinal cord or other nerves and leading to chronic pain and loss of sensation. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair damaged discs, or a person may receive treatments such as medications or physical therapy.
  • Sprains and strains - Damage to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the back can occur due to a work-related accident, such as attempting to lift an item that is too heavy, or these injuries can build up over time due to repeated motion. While rest and anti-inflammatory medications may allow a person to recover from these injuries over a few days or weeks, in more serious cases, a person may require additional treatment, such as physical therapy.

Contact a Bloomingdale Back Injury Lawyer

Whether you have suffered a back injury because of someone else’s negligence or while you were at work, the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. can provide the legal help you need. We will work with you to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or file a workers’ compensation claim, ensuring that you will have the financial resources to make a full recovery. Contact our Bloomingdale, IL spine injury attorney today at 630-665-5678 to set up a free consultation.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_injury_20210331-023330_1.jpgNow that spring has sprung and a COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed, many people are looking forward to traveling again after a year of staying close to home. For students and adults, spring break is a popular time to take a trip to a warmer climate or perhaps visit family members or friends. Whether you are going across state lines or across the ocean, it is important to be aware of certain risks when taking that much-needed vacation form school and work. Time away from your normal routine can be refreshing, but it can also lead to serious injuries due to another party’s negligence.

Common Ways You Can Sustain Injuries While on Vacation

Although a change of scenery can be good for everyone, it can also lead to unexpected trauma. Here are a few types of incidents that can cause a traveler to be harmed or injured:

  • Vehicle Accident - When taking a road trip, it is crucial to pay attention to your surroundings and obey all traffic laws. However, other drivers may be engaging in reckless behavior, which can include drunk or distracted driving, speeding, or failure to yield or stop. Actions like these can directly lead to a car crash with severe to life-threatening injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, or paralysis.
  • Pedestrian Accident - While on vacation in a tropical or hot environment, there are likely to be many people walking outdoors. As a pedestrian in a new area, it may be difficult navigating your way around. Intoxicated or impaired drivers may not see you in a crosswalk and strike you, causing significant damage, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Bicycle Accident - A popular way to get around as a tourist in a new city may involve renting a bicycle or electric scooter. In some cases, faulty or defective equipment can cause a user to lose control or collide with another person or vehicle.
  • Slip and Fall - Uneven or slippery pavement and loose railings are dangerous, and they can cause an individual to fall, hitting their head on concrete or other hard surfaces. This type of accident can cause a concussion, dislocated shoulder, or other types of fractures.
  • Assault - Violent crimes such as assault, battery, and rape can all cause severe physical and psychological damage to a victim. In some cases, a theft crime can lead to a physical altercation if the victim tries to fight back. Scrapes, bruises, or lacerations are all common injuries that can occur from attempting to defend yourself.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

Seeking compensation for injuries suffered on a trip may alleviate the financial hardship due to medical bills, including ambulatory care, surgery, and time spent in the hospital. It can also help recover lost income if you are off work for an extended period of time. To prove liability in a personal injury lawsuit, you can often use security camera footage or eyewitness testimony. Intruders who are on hotel property may be captured on video trying to steal from innocent party-goers, which then leads to a scuffle. Similarly, if property owners or manufacturing companies do not maintain their grounds or fix damaged or worn parts, they can be help responsible if a guest is injured. In some situations, pedestrians or motorists may witness a car swerving or driving erratically before a crash.

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IL car accident lawyerWith a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed across the country, many people are looking forward to venturing out more now after staying at home this past year. Illinois roadways may soon see more traffic, especially with the warmer weather upon us. In addition, travelers may not be ready to fly on airplanes just yet and instead opt for taking road trips in their cars. Whether you are driving to another state or just a different Chicago suburb, anytime you get behind the wheel you run the risk of getting into a car accident. Rear end crashes are common on local streets as well as highways, and they can cause serious damage to a vehicle and its passengers.

Whiplash and Other Injuries

The injuries suffered in any car accident can range from minor bumps and bruises to severe and life-threatening conditions. One of the most common types of injuries in a rear end collision is whiplash. When the head suddenly moves backward and then forward, whiplash affects an individual’s neck and can have lingering effects. Depending on the speed at which vehicles are traveling, occupants may hit their head on the car’s dashboard or windshield when struck from behind. This can result in deep cuts or lacerations, in addition to fractured or broken bones.

The Role of Negligence in Car Accidents

There are various reasons why vehicle crashes occur, including bad weather, poor road conditions, and driver error. In many cases, reckless or negligent behavior or actions are the main cause of a collision. Typically, the motorist in the back is the at-fault driver, but this may not always be the case. According to Illinois law, a person can pursue compensation for damages sustained in a car accident as long as their comparative negligence is less than 50 percent.

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IL injury lawyerCOVID-19 has impacted people all over the world, physically and economically. Although a vaccine is being distributed nationwide, the coronavirus will likely impact the way we live going forward. Studies show that COVID-19 “long-haulers” are individuals who tested positive for the virus and recovered but who have ongoing or long-lasting effects from it. These symptoms can include hair loss, fatigue, chronic cough, brain fog, to name a few. In response to the widespread impact of coronavirus, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented a set of guidelines for employers to follow in the fight against COVID-related illnesses. It is crucial for Illinois employers and employees alike to understand how these rules may affect workers’ compensation claims in the future.

Workplace Exposures to COVID-19

The General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to provide each employee with work and a place of employment that is free from hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or significant physical harm. According to OSHA record-keeping mandates, eligible employers must record certain work-related illnesses and injuries on their OSHA log. COVID-19 can count as one of those illnesses if an employee contracts the virus as a result of performing their work-related tasks. It is important to note that employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following factors are met regarding an employee:

  • There is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • The case is work-related.
  • The case involves one or more of the recording criteria (medical treatment above and beyond first aid, days absent from work).

OSHA requirements are aimed at preventing occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. A few of the main standards involve personal protective equipment (PPE), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection when certain occupational duties or hazards warrant it. If the line of work necessitates that respirators be worn to protect workers, employers must implement a thorough respiratory protection program that adheres to the Respiratory Protection standard.

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IL brain injury lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. The severity of brain injuries vary depending on the type of accident that caused it. Incidents can range from someone colliding with another athlete while playing sports to falling off a ladder at work and hitting their head to being involved in a car accident. Victims should seek immediate medical attention as the injury may require surgery, a lengthy hospital stay, and/or extensive therapy. In many cases, another party may have caused the injury, such as a drunk or distracted driver or negligent manufacturer. A personal injury attorney can assist those who are suffering and pursue compensation on their behalf to alleviate the expense associated with medical bills and lost wages.

Prompt Care and Rehabilitation Can Restore Brain Function

The treatment for brain injuries might be different depending on the type of damage to the brain. For example, the way a concussion is treated is different than a skull fracture. The first step in treating a brain injury involves imaging tests. A computerized tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays for a comprehensive view of the brain and is typically performed when a victim comes to the emergency room. A CT scan can reveal fractures as well as hemorrhages, hematomas, contusions, or swelling. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets and radio waves for a detailed view of the brain. This test may be conducted once a patient’s condition stabilizes.

Generally, mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) require rest and over-the-counter pain medication to relieve symptoms such as a headache. However, even individuals with less serious brain injuries should be monitored closely for any worsening or new symptoms. Limiting physical or thinking (cognitive) activities is typically recommended by physicians.

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IL injury lawyerWinter rolls around every year in the Midwest, and with it comes snow and ice, especially this year. Inclement weather may seem like an inconvenience when flights are delayed or cancelled, but it can also cause serious issues on public roads and walkways. In some cases, large accumulations of snow and icicles can create ice dams, leading to significant water damage in homes and buildings once the precipitation starts to melt. In addition, when ice coats a sidewalk or stairs, it increases the likelihood of a person slipping and falling on the slick surface if it is not cleared or salted. Falling icicles can also impale an unsuspecting individual who is standing below them. A personal injury claim may help someone pursue compensation for winter injuries if a property owner acted negligently and ignored the hazard.

Dangerous Weather Conditions Can Lead to Serious Injuries

Many people know that shoveling wet, heavy snow can put a strain on an individual’s heart, so doctors warn about older people trying to clear snow on their driveways. However, venturing out in the winter can also lead to serious and even life-threatening injuries. Not only does driving pose a hazard but simply just walking can put some at risk.

Below are a few of the most common types of injuries that people sustain from falling on snow-covered ice:

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IL injury lawyerThe difference between driving on a clear, sunny day compared to a rainy, snowy, cold day is striking. Inclement weather conditions can cause all sorts of problems on Illinois roadways. Any precipitation can make it difficult to see clearly when behind the wheel. In addition, wind only adds to the visibility problems. When the temperature drops below a certain level, water turns to ice. Black ice is a transparent coating of ice, found on a road or other paved surface. It can form after precipitation develops and then temperatures fall below freezing. This condition can be extremely dangerous for drivers because it often is not detected until it is too late. Car accidents involving black ice can be catastrophic. Drivers should take extra precautions during winter weather to avoid causing or being involved in a crash with severe injuries.

The Hidden Dangers of Black Ice

What makes black ice so hazardous is the fact that it is nearly impossible to see. Because it is transparent, motorists have a hard time detecting black ice at any time, but particularly at dusk or nighttime. In addition, it is more likely to develop on bridges and overpasses.

Below are a few key facts about how black ice forms and why it can be so treacherous:

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IL injury lawyerCertain occupations may involve more risk than others. For example, police officers and firefighters can face dangers on a daily basis due to the nature of their work, whether it be a combative criminal suspect or a three-alarm blaze in a high-rise building. However, employees in other jobs can also be exposed to hazardous substances or explosions that can directly impact their health and safety. Exposure to toxic chemicals or electrical currents can cause a worker to be burned. In some cases, a burn injury can be life-threatening depending on the severity of it. Besides the physical effects, these types of injuries can also cause emotional scars. The majority of Illinois employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event employees are injured at work. It is important to understand your legal options for pursuing damages if you are hurt in a work accident.

Damage Can Go Beyond Skin Deep

Significant burns can affect a person’s quality of life if they are not properly treated. Any burn victim should seek medical assistance immediately to avoid the risk of infection. Burnt areas may be removed through surgery and replaced with skin grafts from other areas of the body to aid in the healing process until new skin can grow or regenerate. Burn victims typically face a long and difficult recovery period, particularly with third- and fourth-degree burns (partial and full thickness). They may have to spend weeks or months in the hospital depending on the degree of the burn, the percentage of the body that is burned, and whether the lungs were damaged from inhaling smoke or harmful chemicals.

A few of the long-term effects of a burn injury can include but are not limited to the following:

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IL injury lawyerOften referred to as “man’s best friend,” dogs are a common family pet. They can be a person’s constant companions and provide a great sense of security. However, they are known to attack in certain circumstances or if provoked. In some cases, canines may attack when they are sick or trying to protect their pups. Unfortunately, a dog bite can result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. Research has shown that certain breeds of dogs are more prone to attack or inflict injuries on humans. If you or your loved one was hurt by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit brought against the dog’s owner. A skilled attorney can help you pursue damages for medical bills as well as pain and suffering.

Aggressive Dog Liability

Although Pitbulls and Rottweilers have a reputation for being aggressive, there are other dogs that can attack and cause harm. Some other breeds associated with attacks are German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Bull Mastiffs, and Doberman Pinschers. According to Illinois liability law, if a pet owner knows of previous aggressive behavior by his or her dog and fails to take action, this can be considered negligence. As long as the individual who was harmed in the attack was not trespassing, the dog’s owner may be found liable in a personal injury claim for punitive damages.

Injuries Sustained

When a dog lunges at an adult or a child, it can be a frightening and traumatic experience. Because it occurs suddenly, it can be difficult to escape from the attack unscathed. Bigger dogs can overpower a child or smaller adult, often knocking them to the ground. A canine’s teeth are extremely sharp and can easily tear through skin. In addition, dogs can scratch with their nails and use their bodies as blunt force. Many dog bites can result in significant blood loss and other debilitating injuries.

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IL accident lawyerThere are many factors that can cause a car accident, such as drunk or distracted driving, weather or road conditions, and speeding. In some cases, a vehicle crash could be caused by a combination of those things, which can lead to confusion when recognizing the at-fault party. However, determining liability is important if anyone got hurt. Victims of automobile collisions can suffer injuries that impact them for days, months, or even years. That is why it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible about the accident, including how it happened as well as how it has impacted you. The more proof there is to support a claim for injuries or damages/losses, the better chance you have of receiving a fair settlement.

Documentation Is Key to Proving Negligence

The immediate aftermath of a crash can be chaotic and disorienting, filled with adrenaline and emotions. Drivers and passengers alike may be frightened, angry, and in pain. The first thing to do is call 911 if paramedics are needed and then call the police so they can fill out an official report of the accident.

Although Illinois drivers are required to carry auto insurance policies in the event of an accident, insurance companies typically only pay for vehicle damage and rental car fees if a car is totaled. A civil lawsuit or claim can alleviate the financial burden caused by physical and emotional injuries. However, as a plaintiff, you are responsible for proving another party’s negligence caused the accident and your subsequent damages, including lost wages if you are unable to return to work. In some cases, the other party involved may be driving for work, so it is important to get the name of his or her employer.

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IL accident lawyerThe Midwest is known for having four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and winter. The winters can be especially harsh, with blizzard-like weather conditions and temperatures plummeting to single digits and even below freezing. For outdoor sports enthusiasts, heavy snowfall means skiing and snowboarding. Although Illinois does not have mountains like other states such as Colorado or Utah, they do have big hills that are still ideal for winter activities. After all the restrictions put in place this past in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may be clamoring to get outside, even in the cold. However, as with any sport, there is an element of risk involved in snow sports. If you or your family member was hurt in a skiing or snowboarding accident, it is important to understand your legal options for pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim. In some cases, a negligent party may be held accountable for any damages you incurred.

Common Injuries from Snow Skiing

Skiing can be a great form of exercise, whether downhill or cross-country. Snowboarding has gained popularity in recent years, especially among the younger generation. Still, skiers and snowboarders can range in age from 5 to 80 years old. In some cases, the participant’s age can play a role in the severity of his or her injury, as an older person’s bones might be more brittle than an adolescent. Regardless, injuries sustained in this kind of accident or mishap can range from minor to serious and even fatal, often due to the fast speeds at which an individual is traveling downhill with little protection if he or she loses control. Recreational downhill skiers may average a speed of 20-40 miles per hour. If a skier or snowboarder cannot stop, he or she could crash into a building, a tree, or even strike another person. The force of the impact can cause catastrophic and debilitating injuries.

Here are a few of the typical types of injuries that people can suffer while skiing or snowboarding in the winter:

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IL injury lawyerCertain occupations are inherently more dangerous than other jobs. For example, an office worker who sits at a desk and performs the majority of his or her duties on the computer does not face the same risks as construction, warehouse, or assembly line workers. Each year, heavy equipment operators are injured or killed by heavy mobile equipment used in construction. Many of these accidents occur as a result of rollovers or by employees getting struck or crushed by equipment. Depending on the circumstances, victims may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim as a way of recovering damages, which can include lost wages, medical bills, and therapy.

Work-Related Injuries

Heavy equipment operators may control or drive equipment in the construction industry. These machines can include forklifts, tractors, bulldozers, dump trucks, hydraulic cranes, and more. They operate these types of vehicles when constructing roads or structures such as bridges and buildings. However, similar to car crashes, when an accident involves this heavy machinery, the injuries can be catastrophic. The sheer size and weight of them can crush anything in their paths. A few of the most common injuries a heavy equipment operator can sustain include:

  • Severed limbs
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord damage/paralysis

Factors that Increase the Likelihood of an Accident

There can be many contributing factors to accidents involving heavy equipment operators. One of the main reasons is when a machine malfunctions, typically due to faulty or defective parts. In some cases, collisions can occur because of improper or inadequate maintenance by the employer. Still other causes could be inclement weather conditions or driver error. Even though operators must go through training to learn how these machines work, it can prove difficult to maneuver them in high winds, pounding rain, or snow. That is why construction companies should take steps to ensure everything is in proper working order.

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IL accident lawyerWintertime is an opportunity for engaging in snow sports, such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowmobiling. The snowmobile was originally used to transport people and supplies when traditional vehicles could not get through heavy snow. Snowmobiling has evolved to become a popular winter sport enjoyed by millions of people of all different ages. For those who do not mind the cold, it is an ideal way to get outside and enjoy the winery landscape. It is important to note, however, that modern snowmobiles can weigh in excess of 600 pounds and travel at speeds of 90 miles per hour or higher. Studies show that snowmobile accidents cause approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries each year in the United States. Many factors can cause a snowmobile crash, including the negligent actions of other drivers or manufacturers of the vehicle.

Common Snowmobile Injuries

Many people take their snowmobiles out for rides in wooded areas due to the breathtaking landscape with snow-covered trees. However, this can also prove dangerous and put riders at great risk. The high speeds combined with the terrain can result in deadly consequences if a person crashes while snowmobiling. If an operator loses control of the snowmobile, he or she can strike a tree, rock, or snowbank.

In addition, a rider can collide head-on with another rider if one of them cannot turn out of the way in time. Helmets and other protective gear such as goggles, gloves, jackets, and snow pants can help protect a driver and any passengers by alleviating some of the injuries in a collision, but they cannot prevent them altogether. In some situations, a snowmobile may flip over and land on top of a rider and his or her passenger, crushing them. Not only can they suffer significant injury from the sheer weight of the vehicle landing on them, but if they lose consciousness, they could be exposed to the frigid temperatures for a period of time until help arrives. That is why it is always a good idea to travel in pairs or alert others when and where you are going.

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IL accident lawyerMost Illinois companies are required to carry insurance in the event an employee is injured at work. Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim and collecting compensation related to a work injury while traveling can be a bit more complicated than if an employee suffered an injury on site or his or her normal workplace. Although many businesses have reduced employee travel this year due to COVID-19, some essential workers may still be required to travel in order to perform their job effectively. Regardless if you travel once a week or once a year for your job, if you are injured during a business trip, you may be able to file a claim to help cover expenses and lost wages related to the injury. Employers should have clear guidelines of what is expected of your time on the road, and it is also important to understand how workers’ compensation can benefit you in these types of situations.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws

Under Illinois employment law, workers’ compensation benefits cover medical care needed to cure or relieve the effects of a work injury. It can also provide employees with temporary or permanent disability benefits; partial or total disability benefits; vocational training or rehabilitation; and death benefits. In case of a dispute, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) can enforce the state’s laws related to workers’ comp and protect workers’ rights. It is also important to note that workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.

Hazards Encountered While on the Road

For those workers who are in sales or manage a group of employees, travel is often part of the job. Depending on where the satellite offices or stores are located, a worker may have to travel a few miles or a thousand miles. In some situations, he or she may be able to drive a company car or may have to take an airplane to the destination. Getting to and from these off-site locations can present risks, including distracted, reckless, or drunk drivers. However, there may be dangers upon arriving, too. Property owners at hotels or office buildings have a duty to provide a safe environment for patrons and employees. This includes maintaining both the inside and outside of any facilities. For example, making sure uneven pavement or floorboards do not cause a tripping hazard. Likewise, replacing burnt-out lightbulbs in outdoor areas to ensure safe walkways or even hiring security guards to patrol the grounds.

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IL injury lawyerResearch shows that there are many reasons why a car accident may occur. Some of the factors that increase the likelihood of a collision include weather conditions and driver error, which can include operating a vehicle while distracted, drunk, or drowsy. In many cases, a motorist believes he or she is sober or awake enough to drive when in reality, he or she should not be behind the wheel. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately half of motorists in the United States admit to driving while feeling tired. Shockingly, more than 40 percent of American drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in their driving careers. Despite less traffic on Illinois roadways due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there has been an increase in vehicle fatalities, partly due to fatigued drivers. If you are suffering as a car accident victim, it is important to explore your legal options with a skilled personal injury attorney.

The Impact of Drowsy Driving

Micro-sleep refers to short, involuntary periods of inattention. Although these can last as little as four or five seconds, when a driver experiences micro-sleep while traveling at a high rate of speed, the vehicle can travel the distance of a football field. This translates to not being able to stop in time if the car ahead suddenly stops. A rear-end collision at fast speeds can cause life-altering and even fatal injuries. Simply losing control of a vehicle for a few seconds can be catastrophic, with significant head trauma, internal bleeding, and spinal cord damage.

Drowsy driving is similar to driving under influence (DUI) of alcohol in the following ways:

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