Car Accident Checklist: Know What To Do

No one plans on being involved in a traffic collision when they leave their home, which is why any car accident can be a frightening experience, especially when they result in injuries. Because what you do or say following a wreck can impact your health, communication with insurance companies, and your right to recover compensation for property damage or personal injury, planning for the unexpected or taking immediate action after a crash has already happened is crucial. However, when you are stressed, it can be hard to remember what to do after a car wreck. If you’re wondering what to do after a car accident, the checklists below will help you protect yourself and your interests in the aftermath of an accident.

However, when you are stressed, it can be hard to remember the correct way to handle the aftermath of a car accident. If you are wondering what to do, below is a checklist of things you need to do and information you need to obtain to bolster your claim for damages in the event of an auto accident. Using this list will assist you in gathering and organizing information that will be essential when discussing your claim with an insurance adjuster or a prospective warrior personal injury lawyer.

Car Accident Checklist

Be Prepared

  • Download and print an accident report form for the state of Illinois. Keep it in your vehicle to help you gather all the necessary information.
  • Print a copy of this checklist and keep a copy in your car.

Immediately After the Accident

Stay Safe

Assess the situation for your immediate safety. Determine if there are any injuries. Stay in your car if there is a risk of injury or if moving might put you at risk of further injury. If possible, move to a safe location if your car is creating a safety hazard or obstructing traffic. Do not leave the scene of the accident!

Call the Police/ 911

Not everyone enjoys contact with law enforcement, but calling authorities following a car accident is one of the wisest decisions you can make. Not only will this ensure that emergency medical services will respond to the scene if needed, it can also help with the collection of information and evidence. A law enforcement officer can speak to all involved parties, including witnesses, and collect their statements and information. This information will be part of a police report that provides an objective account of what happened during a crash. Unless it’s for the police, do not sign any papers. Also, do not admit fault or discuss the incident with anyone other than the police.

Call Your Insurance Company

Call and notify your auto insurance company of the accident and set up a property damage claim. Follow any instructions given to you by your agent. Do not tell your insurance company that you are not hurt, you may not realize your injuries for a few days after the accident. Request a tow through your insurance company, if possible. Remember to note the name of the tow company and location to which your vehicle is towed.

Collect Information

Even if a law enforcement officer is present or there doesn’t appear to be any damage or injuries to anyone involved, you should always collect as much information as you can, if you are able to do so. This includes exchanging contact and insurance information with all parties involved. You can also get statements and contact information from witnesses. Be sure to record in your notes the vehicles involved, the other drivers’ name, address, phone number, email address and insurance information, and where the accident took place. You can also take photos of vehicle damage, the scene of the accident, and any visible injuries. However, do not allow your license or registration to be photographed by others.

After the Accident: Next Steps

Seek a Medical Evaluation

Seeking a medical evaluation, or following up with a doctor if you received medical attention after the crash, is critical to your health. Often, victims of car accidents don’t experience pain or symptoms right away or may think that their injuries are not serious enough to warrant medical attention. This can be dangerous, as there are certain injuries which can quickly become life-threatening if left unaddressed, such as brain injuries. By seeking a medical evaluation as soon as you can, you can rule out serious injuries and receive the treatment you need. You also limit the insurance company’s ability to argue that you were not hurt in the wreck simply because you waited to see a doctor, even if you were in pain all along.

Dealing With The At-fault Driver’s Insurance Company

Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they go to great lengths to pay injured victims as little as they can. This means that when an insurance adjuster or representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls you, they may try to get you to say things that can be used against you, or may quickly try to settle before you know the full scope of your damages and losses. Don’t trust the insurance company, and don’t speak with them. Remember, you can have an experienced personal injury lawyer handle communication with insurance companies on your behalf.

Document Everything

Get a copy of any accident reports or incidents reports filed by the police and other drivers to assist in settling your claim. Always write down names of any investigators, including police officers or insurance claims adjustors. Whenever speaking with an insurance company representative, note the date, the name of the person, and a brief description of the conversation. Also, keep receipts of all expenditures, including transportation, parking costs, medical costs and repair costs.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

The most important thing you can do after a car accident is to bring your case to the attention of an experienced personal injury lawyer. You want to make sure that the lawyer you seek has experience in personal injury law, and that they know how to protect your rights and interests at all stages of the personal injury process. At Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm, we focus exclusively on representing the injured and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation on their behalves. When victims reach out to us, we immediately set to work on reviewing their case, discussing their rights and options, and explaining what we can do to handle all the legal work involved.

Car Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

No matter what happened after your car accident, it is important to learn about your rights and options. That’s why Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is readily available to help as soon as possible after a crash occurs. We even offer weekend appointments! With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

 

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5 Defensive Driving Tips For Preventing Car Accidents In Illinois

 

Can you guess which Illinois county has the highest number of fatal accidents so far in 2017? According to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), it is Cook County with 136 fatal crashes since the beginning of the year and it is only June!
Unfortunately, fatal car accidents are on the rise all over the state of Illinois, with a steady increase in fatalities over the years.

While the counties with the highest fatalities are not all bordering one another, they are mostly all near the Chicagoland area. Fatal auto accidents in Illinois occur statewide, but the stresses of city driving can also bring out aggressive tendencies in drivers. More freeways, roads, people, and vehicles mean more chances of collision between cars.

A few defensive driving techniques can mean the difference between colliding with a neighboring car or preventing an accident altogether.

5 Defensive Driving Tips For Preventing Car Accidents In Illinois

Relax Behind the Wheel

Aggressive driving causes 66% of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration. It also reported that 37% of aggressive driving incidents involved a firearm. Emotions can make minor issues escalate quickly. Remain calm when driving and you will be more likely able to safely navigate the roads.

Maintain an Even Driving Pace

Aggressively increasing your speed when a light turns green and slamming on the brakes when it turns red makes it more difficult to avoid collisions, as your speed is changing drastically. Similarly, weaving in and out of lanes frequently increases your chances of side-swiping another driver.

Always Have an Escape Plan

Since it’s impossible to predict what other drivers will do, keeping an escape plan in the back of your mind will give you the ability to safely navigate issues that may arise. Whether that issue is an accident, like, your car breaking down or sliding on black ice, or another car running a red light. Giving proper following distance (at least 3 to 4 seconds) and keeping an eye on the shoulder, are both solid escape plans in case danger arises.

See the Whole Picture

Instead of just looking a few feet in front of your car, look at the entire, landscape picture you are driving in, including your peripherals and far down the road. Anticipating an accident or a mistake by another driver will give you enough reaction time to swerve or brake and avoid a collision.

Set Yourself up for Safe Driving

Wearing your seatbelt, not driving under the influence or while tired, regularly maintaining your vehicle, giving yourself plenty of travel time, obeying speed limits, and putting away your cell phone and other distractions are all effective steps for safe driving that will help keep your focus on the road and anticipate a potential accident before it happens. These may sound like the basics of good driving, but it’s easy to slip into bad driving habits while tired or distracted.

Protecting yourself on the road through attentive, defensive driving can mean the difference between a totaled car and higher insurance rates and a spotless record with no accidents.

Car Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

If you are in a car accident in Illinois, reach out the experts at Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm! Our warrior personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping injured individuals and families, successfully taking them from injury to recovery. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

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What To Do After An Uber/Lyft Car Accident In Illinois

The ever growing popularity of Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing services has transformed the way we think about transportation. Ordering a ride through your smartphone is faster, easier, some even think safer and often less expensive than hailing a cab. But Lyft and Uber drivers are still drivers and still have the possibility of causing an accident due to their own negligence. With that in mind, what happens if you’re injured in an accident while using a ridesharing service, or you are in a car accident and the person who hits you is a Lyft or Uber driver? Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against Uber or Lyft.

Ridesharing Service Liability Coverage

From the time you accept an Uber trip to the time you exit the Uber vehicle, you are protected by a million dollars in commercial liability insurance, which includes a million dollars in uninsured motorists coverage in case the Uber driver gets into a car accident. Both Uber and Lyft boast of their $1 million insurance coverage, which is great for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured while a ride is taking place. The coverage does not, however, cover drivers who don’t have customers in their car, even if they are on their way to pick a customer up.

What needs to be understood first is that personal injury cases involving companies like Uber and Lyft are part of a new and evolving legal field. Ridesharing companies have a different business model than most taxi companies. For starters, all Uber and Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors and are held to different standards than taxis. Also, Uber and Lyft both require their drivers to have personal injury insurance. However, problems arise if the drivers’ personal injury insurance is not sufficient enough to cover the losses of injured passengers.

What To Do If Your Uber Gets Into A Car Accident

Photo documentation and gathering witness information are essential in the immediate aftermath of a Lyft or Uber accident. If possible, take several pictures of the scene of the accident. Also, note the time of the crash and the names and contact information of all those involved. Every piece of evidence is vital as you determine whether negligence played a role in in the accident, especially as your driver or other parties involved in the incident may quickly change their stories after speaking with insurance providers.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. As well as assisting with your recovery, seeking medical attention provides medical records which will help document your injuries. The more thorough your injury documentation, the stronger your injury claim.

Also, keep in mind Illinois’s statute of limitations when filing an injury claim, and contact a trusted warrior personal injury lawyer promptly after the accident. Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm offers free initial consultations; do not hesitate in calling (312) 377-7000, to set one up, today! If a representative from the ridesharing company responsible for the accident attempts to contact you, do not agree to speak with them until you have an aggressive legal representative on your side. Your personal injury lawyer will help you deal with insurance adjusters and determine whether negligence played a sufficient enough role in the accident to warrant further personal injury proceedings.

What To Do If You Are In A Car Accident Involving An Uber Driver

 

If you are a third party, such as a pedestrian or the driver or occupant of another vehicle, you may only claim compensation from Uber if the driver was carrying a passenger at the time of the crash or in route to pick up a fare. If the driver was between fares or using his or her car as a personal vehicle when your accident occurs, you must file a claim with the driver’s personal insurance company or your own insurance company. If a driver is using the app but has yet to start a trip when the accident occurs, you can file a claim under the driver’s personal insurance policy as well as Uber’s contingent liability policy, which provides up to $50,000 per injury for a total of $100,000 and up to $25,000 in property damage in the event the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the issue. If an Uber driver has accepted a fare or is on a trip with a passenger when the accident occurs, you can file a claim with Uber as they have a $1 million dollar liability policy for this kind of incident.

Treat a crash with a ridesharing service like any other auto accident. Collect the names, insurance providers, and contact information of everyone involved. Record witness testimony and take photos of the accident scene, any cars involved, your injuries and traffic signs or lights that may be relevant to the cause of the accident or your case. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident in order to assure your injuries are documented.

While Uber does have a significant insurance policy, you have to keep in mind that its insurance carrier is a business, and like any other insurance carrier, they are going to look to limit their liability and pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Therefore, it is important that you seek out an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice on your specific situation. A thorough understanding of Uber’s policies and typical protocol in the aftermath of an accident can save you a lot of grief down the road, and help you secure the damages you deserve should negligence come into play.

Uber Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

The laws regarding Uber or Lyft car accidents remains in flux for passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists. You’re advised to consult with a Chicago-based warrior personal injury lawyer for the latest information on filing an injury claim involving ridesharing, app-based transportation services such as Uber or Lyft. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

5 Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois

 

Did you know that the fatality rate in motorcycle accidents is 26 times higher than the rate for car accidents? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 80% of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death. That makes it all the more important to do everything you can to keep you and other motorcycle riders safe. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned biker, you should practice safe riding at all times, and take necessary precautions to reduce your risk of crashing. Consider the following 5 tips to prevent motorcycle accidents in Illinois.

Gear Up

Safety gear helps to make riding more comfortable, protect your body from injury, and increase visibility on the road. Wear long pants and sleeves made of leather or another thick, protective material, as well as gloves, eye protection and durable boots that cover your ankles. While, wearing a reflective vest or safety jacket with bright colors will allow drivers to see you better, particularly at nighttime.When it gets colder, don’t forget to add layers or invest in heavier gear designed for lower temperatures. Although there is no mandatory helmet use law in Illinois, wearing a helmet at all times can also save your life.

Be Visible

Many drivers who cause motorcycle accidents claim they never even saw the motorcyclist. Wearing bright colors and riding with the headlight on are two ways to increase your visibility. Use your headlight, day or night. Try to ride in the section of the lane that makes you most visible to motorists, and if you’re not sure a motorist sees you, honk!

Be Alert

Never assume that another vehicle sees you or will give you the right of way. Stay alert at all times and be prepared to take evasive maneuvers if necessary.Texting motorists are, unfortunately, a very real danger, so be ready for sudden lane changes and swerves. Watch for patches of sand, potholes, railroad tracks and other road hazards, as well as fellow motorcyclists.

Never Drink or Speed

More than 40% of motorcycle riders who die in single-vehicle crashes are alcohol-impaired, and speed is at play in more than a 1/3 of fatal crashes. Riders should always keep control of their pace, and obey regular traffic laws. You might also want to ride more cautiously on slippery, wet, or icy pavement. In addition, you should follow the ‘slow in, fast out,’ rule when entering corners because turning too fast can cause you to wipe out or crash into an unforeseen obstacle. Staying sober and observing the speed limit go a long way to ensuring you’ll arrive safely at your destination.

Avoid Bad Weather

Study up on safe ways to ride in the rain, wind, or whatever type of challenge Mother Nature offers on that particular day, in case you get stuck in it. If rain is in the forecast and you have to ride, pack rain gear to stay dry and comfortable. Knowing how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces can aid drastically in accident prevention.

Motorcycle Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

Many motorcycle accidents occur when other drivers fail to watch out for motorcyclists, which is why it is extremely important to always be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively. Unfortunately, some motorcycle accidents are unpreventable and can happen to even the safest Chicago rider. If you have been recently injured in a Chicago motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate in calling Chicago Injury Legal The Romaker Law Firm, as you can be eligible to receive compensation for damages.

With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case! Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

How Social Media Can Affect Your Worker’s Compensation Benefits

Some of the leading causes of personal injuries suffered in Illinois are work-related accidents. Whether it’s electrocution on a construction job or a slip-and-fall in the lunchroom, there is no limit to the type of personal injuries you can suffer on the job. If a worker gets injured on the job, their employer is required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and the worker should be able to simply make a claim and receive the medical treatment and other monetary benefits they deserve until they recover. Unfortunately, there can be many complications in the workers’ compensation claims process and a truly injured worker could find themselves facing a partially or completely denied claim.

If you’ve been injured in a work accident, your employer may try to find a way to make it seem like your injury is not as serious as you claim. They could find your Facebook page and Twitter usernames to see if something you posted could be used to weaken your argument. While a worker with a legitimate injury has no need to feel frightened or paranoid that their social media activities might compromise their workers’ compensation claim, they should use some restraint in what they choose to post.

Injury Thresholds For Worker’s Compensation

Because worker’s compensation is intended to assist you in returning to the workforce as soon as possible, this threshold may be different depending on the type of work you perform. For example, if you are an office worker and you slip on spilled coffee in the office kitchen and break your leg, you may only be out of work for a few days to treat and recover, as such an injury will not keep you from performing your job. However, if you are a landscaper and you trip and break your leg at work, this may keep you out of work for months, as walking is necessary in order to perform the vast majority of your duties. Your employer’s worker’s compensation carrier is aware of these differences, and as such, it will monitor your ability to perform the following activities during your recovery:

  • Lifting and carrying;
  • Walking;
  • Sitting;
  • Bending;
  • Laying, and
  • Driving.

This is where social media can have a substantial impact on your benefits. Let’s say that you work for the post office loading and unloading packages over 10 pounds when you injure your back on the job. You claim that as a result of your work injury, you can no longer lift or carry anything over two pounds without great pain. However, while you are out of work and receiving benefits, you post a picture of yourself holding your son, who is 30 pounds. It seems innocent enough, but you claimed that you could not lift or carry anything more than 10 pounds when you applied for compensation. If your employer sees this photograph, you may be in danger of losing your benefits. Especially if the case is contested and your employer has an attorney, always assume that they are monitoring your social media accounts for evidence that you are not suffering from the injuries as claimed.

Social Media and Injury Timeline

Another means by which social media can affect your worker’s compensation claim is if there is evidence that you really did not suffer the injury while at work. For example, an investigator for the insurance company may actually go back through your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account history to see if you posted about a previous injury to the area claimed. For example, two months before you injury at work you may have posted that you injured your knee while on vacation skiing. If you simply “tweaked” the injury while at work, but you are claiming that the primary cause of the injury was from the work accident, your social media account may prove otherwise, and your benefits may be cut-off.

Social Media and Privacy

Studies show that close to 2/3rds of social media accounts are “public,” meaning that postings, such as photos, tweets, and status updates, are visible to anyone who searches for them. If you make your profiles and postings public, this information can be used against you during litigation and may be submitted as evidence to cut off your benefits. On the other hand, if you take advantage of privacy settings on your social media, an insurance adjuster is not permitted to “hack” your account and bypass such measures to obtain protected photos and information. Nonetheless, because social media is generally geared towards public offerings, if a friend shares your photo because such is permitted and the insurance adjuster obtains such from a public posting, this may also be used against you. It is important, therefore, to always assume a posting is public and to consult a warrior personal injury lawyer if you believe past posts may be interpreted in a manner that could affect your worker’s compensation benefits.

Injured? Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm Today!

There are many personal injury lawyers in Illinois, but not many of these lawyers are up to date on the different social media platforms, their privacy settings, and how insurance providers are using social media to cut off your benefits. If you believe social media may affect your benefits or simply want advice on filing a worker’s compensation claim, contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm today. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer In Illinois?

If you are hurt in a car accident, suffer injury due to a medical error or get harmed by a defective product, your first afterthought is most likely not about legal matters like filing injury claims or lawsuits. However, if you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do at the time of the injury and beyond, which includes deciding if you need a personal injury lawyer for your case.

On one hand, you do not absolutely need a personal injury lawyer. Technically, you can deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company and seek a settlement on your own. But on the other hand, handling a case on your own could actually end up being highly stressful, costly and simply not in your best interest.

Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm asks you to consider the following benefits that an experienced warrior personal injury lawyer can provide as you move ahead with your injury case.

Ease Unnecessary Stress

It can be extremely frustrating to suffer an injury through no fault of your own. Suddenly, you find yourself dealing with treatment needs, insurance companies, and medical costs. You may be unable to work as well and struggling to pay your bills. Luckily, a personal injury lawyer can ease many of your burdens. For instance, a personal injury lawyer can work with health care providers and insurers to make sure your care and treatment needs go uninterrupted. A personal injury lawyer can also deal with insurance companies on your behalf and protect your rights throughout the personal injury case process.

Also, your personal injury lawyer will keep you updated on the progress of your case and answer any questions you may have, leaving you to focus your energy and attention on healing.

Conduct A Comprehensive Investigation

Your personal injury lawyer will conduct a complete investigation of your accident, take the time to fully understand your injuries, and ensure the entirety of your damages are accounted for. Properly investigating an accident case involves knowing what evidence is needed to establish a claim and how to go about collecting that evidence. Your personal injury lawyer may involve a team of investigators, paralegals, and others available to carry out the investigation in a professional, timely manner.  If you try to handle a case on your own, you will not have these resources at your disposal. As a result, you may fail to receive full compensation.

If you suffered major injuries, cannot return to work for some time, sustained a disability, or became disfigured, there will be a lot of money on the line. A lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law and how to negotiate, litigate, and maximize claims can help you secure a fair settlement. When your claim has a high value, you will undoubtedly want a personal injury lawyer overseeing the case and ensuring you are fully compensated.

Handle the Insurance Company

Insurance adjusters may not have your best interests in mind. A personal injury lawyer can handle correspondence with them, negotiate for higher settlements, and defend against any criticisms or denials they make on your claim. With the presence of an assertive personal injury lawyer, the insurance company fears the threat of a lawsuit. On the other hand, the insurance company does not usually believe that an unrepresented claimant can prepare and file an effective lawsuit on their own.

Insurance companies want to help their clients, but not at the expense of profits. Make sure you get the full amount of money you deserve by hiring an experienced, warrior personal injury lawyer.

Calculate the Damages you Should Seek

Based on evidence that is carefully gathered through an investigation and input from qualified experts, your lawyer can calculate the amount you should seek in damages in your personal injury claim. This should include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more.

If you are not represented by a lawyer, an insurance company may try to take advantage of you and offer a settlement that is for far less than what your claim is actually worth. Your warrior personal injury lawyer won’t let that happen to you.

Present the Strongest Case Possible in Court

In some situations, going to trial is necessary. The other party or parties involved in your personal injury case may refuse to admit responsibility or agree to a fair settlement of your claim. It will benefit you to have a seasoned personal injury trial lawyer at your side. If your case goes to court, you will want to be represented by a personal injury lawyer who knows how to present evidence in a compelling, persuasive manner and how to challenge the other side’s story of what occurred.

Collect and Disburse Compensation

What do you do if the insurance company drags its feet when it comes to paying a settlement or a judgment that has been entered by a court? A personal injury lawyer will know, and that knowledge can make a major difference when it comes to collecting what you are owed and moving on with your life.

Additionally, a health care or workers’ compensation lien may be attached to your financial recovery. A lawyer can negotiate with those lien holders in an effort to minimize the amount that is deducted from your recovery and maximize the amount that goes directly to you.

Injured? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

Personal Injury Lawyers, such as the warrior personal injury lawyers at Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm have experience dealing with these issues and know how to deal with them in order to maximize your results.  You should, at the very least, consult with a personal injury lawyer before settling your case against an insurance carrier who, no matter what they say, have their own pockets’ in mind when settling cases.

With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

7 Most Common Workplace Injuries

 

Workplace injuries can happen at any time and in any occupation, but there are some occupations that are inherently riskier than others, especially those in construction and manufacturing. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 3.3 million workers suffer from work-related injuries and 5,000 workers lose their lives to workplace accidents each year. Workplace injuries are so common, in fact, that one in five American adults say that they have suffered an injury while on-the-job, according to a recent FindLaw survey.

Injuries while on-the-job are unavoidable. Even for companies that follow every safety rule and regulation to the letter, it is simply impossible to remove 100% of safety risks in the workplace. Learning more about the most common workplace injuries and how they occur can help you prevent injuries of your own. The following 7 types of injuries are among the most common workplace injuries across all jobs.

Most Common Workplace Injuries

Overextending/Overexertion

The primary cause of workplace injuries is overexertion. Injuries that result from overextending yourself arise when you’re attempting to do more than your body is physically capable of. Such injuries involve extensive lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, and throwing, that results in a work related injury. Overexerting yourself on-the-job can cause muscle pulls, tears, and strains. You can also hyper extend a joint by causing it to move beyond the intended range of motion. People tend to overextend themselves when the job involves performing physical labor. However, even employees with sedentary office positions can overextend themselves in certain circumstances. In 2010, overexertion cases resulted in $13.4 billion in workers’ compensation across the nation, according to the 2010 Workplace Safety Index.

Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall

A majority of the slip, trip, and fall workplace accidents arise from workers slipping on wet floors around the workplace. The floor may be wet because it was freshly mopped or because something was spilled; even if there were warning signs around the wet floor, you’re entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if you fall and sustain an injury while on-the-job. Falls can either be from the same level, including tripping or slipping, or from a height, including falling from a ladder, stairs, scaffolding, or rooftop. Falls can result in broken bones, head injuries, neck and back injuries, and injuries to internal organs.

Struck by an Object

Whether an object drops from above or swings through the air, it can cause serious injury if it strikes a worker. These type of workplace injuries occur most often when something falls off a shelf or other storage area. Such work accidents also occur when an object is dropped by another worker onto a lower level. Even small objects like tools can be deadly if they fall from high enough and strike the head or another body part with enough force. Most all occupations, from office and retail workers to construction and manufacturing workers, are in danger of being struck by something.

Struck Against an Object

Injuries from being struck or pinned against an object occur far more often than people realize. For example, a construction worker can be seriously hurt, or even worse killed, if they get caught between a truck frame and a lowering hydraulic bed. According to the same FindLaw survey from above, some 17% of surveyed individuals reported injuries related to potentially dangerous office equipment, machinery, and objects.

From defective machinery and equipment to improper maintenance, if you suffer injuries from such items while on-the-job you should contact an experienced warrior personal injury lawyer who can help you with the workers’ compensation process, as well as filing product liability claims against the manufacturer.

Motor Vehicle Injuries

Auto accidents happen at a staggeringly high incident rate. The same FindLaw survey from above stated that 12% of workers reported suffering on-the-job injuries related to car accidents. If you have to travel while on the clock, you’re considered to be on-the-job while driving. If you are involved in a car accident that occurs while you’re driving or otherwise traveling in connection with your employment you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for the injuries sustained as a result.

Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the head snaps forward and then backward, is a common occurrence in car accidents.

Whiplash symptoms include:

  • Dizziness;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Headaches;
  • Pain at the base of the neck.

Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after the accident. That is why seeking medical attention as soon as possible after any accident is so important for your recovery, health and your personal injury case.

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive physical tasks performed over a long period of time, such as pushing and pulling with your hands or arms while working on an assembly line or operating a machine, can cause temporary or even permanent damage to muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments. 20% of those survived for the FindLaw survey mentioned above reported suffering work related injuries caused by repetitive motion. Common repetitive motion injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and medial and lateral epicondylitis. Assembly line workers, construction workers and employees in the meatpacking industry are at particular risk of development repetitive motion injuries.

Occupational Illnesses and Diseases 

An occupational illness or disease is any illness or disease resulting from exposure to various health risk factors while working. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major occupational risks include airborne exposures, carcinogens, ergonomic stressors, and even noise. Some of the most common illnesses and diseases caused by workplace risks include:

  • Breathing and respiratory problems.
  • Exposure to hazardous airborne chemicals, dust, gasses, or fumes at work, especially over a lifetime of work, can result in serious breathing problems. For example, asbestos, common among construction workers and shipbuilders, is an illness that results from breathing in asbestos particles. People suffering from asbestos experience severe fibrosis (scarring of throat and lung tissue) and have a high risk of developing mesothelioma (cancer of the lung and throat linings). Other breathing and respiratory problems include silicosis, beryllium disease, and pneumoconiosis.
  • Skin disease; exposure to chemicals, plants, or even too much sun at work can result in skin diseases. For example, metal workers and those that work with cement can experience chrome ulcers. Other skin diseases that plague workers include eczema/work-related dermatitis, contact dermatitis, friction blisters, and inflammation of the skin.
  • Hearing loss; exposure to loud or constant noise at work can result in permanent hearing damage. Workers commonly at risk for hearing loss include construction workers, bouncers, bartenders, factory workers, ambulance drivers, and even airplane flight crews.

Workplace Injury? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

Workplace injuries can have serious physical, mental, and financial consequences. If you are suffering as a result of a job-related injury, even if it was your fault, you can seek benefits by contacting Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm. You should take action as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights. Also, remember to report your injury as soon as possible or you may risk hundreds or even thousands of dollars in valuable benefits!

With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

What To Do After A Dog Bite

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but all too often we hear stories of people who are seriously injured in dog attacks. In fact, statistics from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that almost 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with half of these victims being children. In addition to causing pain, injury, or nerve damage, dog bites can become infected, placing the bite victim at risk for illness or even death.

One in five dog bites cause injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Luckily, the state of Illinois offers strong protections to victims of a dog bite. When victims suffer injuries caused by dog bites or attacks that could have been prevented, there are laws in place that can help them recover their damages, including medical bills, reconstructive surgery costs, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and more.

What Should I do After a Dog Bite?

Understanding your legal rights and the steps that can be taken after a dog bite are crucial to protecting yourself and your ability to file a dog bite injury claim. Below you will find what you should know and do after a dog bite:

 

  • Seek Medical Treatment. Just as with any accident or injury, it is best for your own safety to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Dog bites can result in serious infections and some dogs may transmit certain diseases such as rabies. Seeking medical treatment is also essential for documenting your injury.

 

  • Identify the Dog and its Owner. Depending on the situation, it may be difficult to determine the owner of the dog. Be careful when attempting to identify a dog, especially after an attack. If you don’t know the dog or its owner, you can ask neighbors, witnesses, and other bystanders if they have seen the dog before or if they know the owner.

 

  • Collect Information and Evidence. After a dog bite, you can protect your potential personal injury claim by collecting any relevant information and evidence, including photos. Collect all pertinent information of the dog owner, information about the dog, and contact information from any witness who may have seen the attack. You should also take pictures or video of the dog, the scene, and any visible injuries.

 

  • File a Report. If you are able to do so, file a report with law enforcement or your local animal control. The report will help provide further evidence of your attack and will include information recorded by a neutral third party.

 

  • Contact an Experienced Lawyer. If you’ve been injured by a dog, you should always contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights, the dog bite laws that may apply to your case, and whether you may be able to file a successful claim for damages. It’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible and to work with attorneys who have experience handling dog bite cases. 

 

Dog Bite Injury? Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

Time is of the essence when dealing with dog bites. Preserving evidence, finding the dog’s owner and getting witness statements are best done immediately. It’s also important to work with experienced and proven lawyers who know the laws and how to protect the rights of injured people and their families. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

Amusement Park Accidents And Injuries

 

As the summer months approach many Chicagoland area residents will make their way to amusement parks for vacations, family reunions, and excitement. The most recent figures from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions report nearly 400 permanent attractions or amusement parks are located in our country, many close to Chicago like Navy Pier and its famous Ferris Wheel and Six Flags’ with its thrilling roller-coasters. While going to a theme park should be a fun, care-free event, thousands of people every year suffer serious, life-changing injuries while visiting them.

Before planning a trip to an amusement park, you should be aware of the most common types of amusement park accidents and injuries and remain on the look out for such dangers.

Common Amusement Park Accidents

Despite popular belief, most amusement park injuries do not involve gruesome roller-coaster accidents. Rather, slip and falls are the number one cause of a majority of amusement park injuries. According to a report from 2009 analyzing almost 500 state and federal lawsuits against park operators over an eight-year period, 46% of cases involved slip and fall injuries.

About 20% of the injuries reported in the study involved attractions at amusement parks. These attractions, like roller coasters and other thrill rides, have a potential to result in much more serious and even life-threatening injuries due to their size, speed, and complexity. Common injuries from roller coasters include head, neck, and spinal injuries from whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.

Common Causes of Amusement Park Accidents

Most injuries involving park accidents fall into one of three categories: negligence, premises liability, or product liability.

Safety experts claim operator negligence is one of the leading causes of amusement park accidents. Negligence refers to an injury or fatality that results from the carelessness of a park employee or the park as a whole. Examples include failure to properly train employees, failure to regularly inspect and maintain rides, or providing riders with incorrect instructions.

Premises liability means that the owner of the property has a duty to keep it reasonably safe for all visitors, including the installation of proper handrails, adequate security, and cleaning up all debris. This is important in preventing slip and fall injuries.

Often, the cause of an accident at an amusement park is faulty equipment or defective parts. It’s important to make safety a priority when visiting and being on the look out for rides that don’t have proper inspection papers or for park employees that might be acting negligently. Unfortunately, no amount of caution on the part of riders can prevent every accident.

Injured at the Park? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

When mechanical problems, operator negligence, or carelessness result in amusement park accidents and potentially long-term health consequences due to severe injuries, you need the assurance of a proven personal injury lawyer on your side. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!

 

Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you have been driving for any length of time, it has probably happened to you, that moment when you realize you are drifting off while you are driving. Your eyes feel heavy and you find yourself snapping your head up. That is obviously the opportune time to take the next exit and let someone else drive or check into a motel. Unfortunately, not everyone makes that decision.

The Risks of Driving While Drowsy

Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after you’ve had too much to drink. The National Sleep Foundation tells us a driver who has been awake for 18 hours has the same driving impairment as someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%. That means just as bad as a person legally drunk in the state of Illinois.

Anyone can experience drowsy driving, but certain groups of people are most at risk due to lifestyle factors. People like commercial drivers, shift workers, and business travelers tend to have irregular sleep patterns.  And certainly, people who are on sedating medications or who suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders have an increased likelihood of problems.  We know that most normal healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per day.  The people with these risk factors, and more so if they have multiple risk factors, are significantly less likely to get the sleep they need on a regular basis.

One common misconception is that people can easily tell if they’re too tired to drive. A recent study found that 50% of drivers involved in accidents after they fell asleep at the wheel reported they felt not at all drowsy or only slightly drowsy before the accident. Subtle but in some ways obvious warning signs that you need to rest include:

  • Frequent blinking;
  • Daydreaming;
  • Yawning;
  • Difficulty keeping your head up;
  • Feeling irritable or restless;
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles you’ve driven.

How Can You Spot a Drowsy Driver?

Such numbers may be enough to dissuade you from driving while drowsy, but what about others on the road around you? How can you tell if someone driving near you or who even might have collided with you on the road was driving drowsy?

Your first thought may be that such a thing would most likely happen late at night. Yet surprisingly, most statistics show that drowsy driving accidents happen during the day after drivers have had little to no sleep the night before. Instead of focusing on the time of day, focus instead on drivers driving irregularly on the road. These are some of the telltale signs of a drowsy driver:

  •          Drifting in and out of a lane or onto the shoulder of the road;
  •          Driving with all of the windows down;
  •          A driver’s head bobbing up and down;
  •          Repeatedly speeding up and then slowing down.

Drowsy Driving Accident? Call Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm!

Avoiding drowsy driving can help reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident, but you can’t account for the behavior of others. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for medical care and other accident-related expense. With over 25 years of experience and a bilingual staff, Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm is dedicated to providing you with the aggressive legal representation you need. We provide an initial consultation free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if we win your case!

Contact Chicago Injury Legal at The Romaker Law Firm at 312-377-7000 today!