In the world of personal injury law, negligence is a concept that holds immense significance. It forms the foundation of many personal injury claims, and understanding what it entails can be instrumental in seeking compensation for injuries and damages resulting from someone else’s carelessness. In this blog post, we will explore the intricacies of negligence, how it impacts personal injury cases, and what you need to know to prove it in your claim.
Negligence, in legal terms, is the failure to exercise an appropriate level of care. It occurs when someone’s actions or inaction fall below a legally recognized standard of care, resulting in harm or damages to another person. Simply put, if an individual is careless, and this carelessness leads to harm, they can be held liable for their negligent conduct.
Elements of Proving Negligence
To establish a negligence claim and seek compensation, you, as the plaintiff (the injured party), must demonstrate three essential elements:
Duty of Care: This is the first element and involves showing that the defendant (the person responsible for the injury) owed you a duty of care. Duty of care arises when the law recognizes a specific relationship between you and the defendant that requires the defendant to exercise a certain standard of care to avoid causing harm.
Breach of Duty: The second element requires proving that the defendant breached their duty of care. A breach occurs when the defendant fails to meet the recognized standard of care required under the circumstances.
Causation: The third element connects the defendant’s breach of duty to the injuries or damages you sustained. It must be established that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the harm you experienced.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements:
Establishing a Duty of Care
In most situations, the law imposes a general duty on individuals to act with “reasonable care” or “due care” when their actions could foreseeably harm others. Reasonable care is defined as the level of care that a “reasonably prudent person” would exercise in a similar situation. However, specific circumstances may dictate a higher or more specialized duty of care, such as in premises liability cases or when dealing with common carriers.
Establishing a Breach of Duty
Once you’ve established the duty of care owed by the defendant, the next step is to prove that the defendant breached this duty. There is no fixed formula for determining a breach; it’s a question decided by a judge or jury. Often, negligence is framed in terms of foreseeability: would an ordinary person in the defendant’s position have anticipated that their conduct could have caused the harm? If so, the conduct is deemed negligent. In cases involving professionals, experts may be called upon to testify regarding industry norms and whether the professional’s actions aligned with those norms.
Before the court holds the defendant liable, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s carelessness directly caused your injury. To determine causation, ask whether the harm would have occurred if the defendant hadn’t acted as they did. If the answer is no, then the defendant’s actions caused the harm. Causation can become complex when experts disagree on whether a specific action led to an injury, requiring thorough examination and evidence.
How Negligence Impacts Compensation
Negligence is a pivotal factor in determining compensation in personal injury cases. When someone’s negligence results in your injuries, it plays a critical role in your ability to seek compensation for the harm you’ve endured. The extent of compensation depends on several factors, including:
The Duration of Injury: Compensation is often higher for injuries that have long-lasting effects, as they can significantly impact your life, both physically and financially.
Permanent or Long-lasting Injuries: In cases where injuries result in permanent disabilities or ongoing medical treatment, compensation is typically higher to cover these future expenses.
Medical Expenses: The cost of medical bills, including past and future expenses, is a crucial factor in determining compensation. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, therapy, and rehabilitation.
Lost Wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work or have diminished your earning capacity, compensation may include reimbursement for lost wages and potential future income.
Negligence is not just a legal concept but a fundamental principle that shapes personal injury cases. When someone’s carelessness leads to harm, understanding the elements of negligence and how they apply to your case is essential. If you believe you have been a victim of negligence, seeking legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney is the first step toward pursuing the compensation you deserve. Remember, negligence is about accountability, ensuring that those responsible for your injuries are held liable for their actions. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate the complexities of negligence and work towards a fair resolution for your personal injury claim. If you or a loved one have been injured due to another’s negligence, call/text The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. at 312.641.5926 for a free consultation with one of our experienced trial attorneys, or fill out a contact form here on our website.
The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. was proud to support the Elevators Local 2 Golf Outing! This outing was held on Saturday, September 16 at White Pine Golf Club in Bensenville, Illinois.
This annual outing benefits Elevator Constructors Against Diabetes. This charity’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease.
Parente & Norem was represented by our Public Relations team, as well as our attorney Cole Munvez. This outing had participation from over 400 golfers, the majority of them being Local 2 members. There were also other trades, politicians, and local businesses there to supported this great cause. We met so many new faces and are thankful for the opportunity to be a Gold Sponsor!
For more information on The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. or speak to an attorney, call/text us at 312.641.5926 or visit us at pninjurylaw.com.
The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. was proud to support the Fox Valley Building Trades Golf Outing! This outing was held on Wednesday, September 13, at the beautiful Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
This annual outing benefits Fox Valley United Way. Fox Valley United Way strives to ensure that all families in their communities have equitable access to opportunities and resources by investing in positive health, education, and financial outcomes.
This outing brought together a large number of union tradesman, politicians, and local businesses to support their cause. We were so grateful to have the opportunity to participate and support organized labor!
For more information on The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. or speak to an attorney, call/text us at 312.641.5926 or visit us at pninjurylaw.com
Personal injuries can be life-altering events, and when they occur due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, it’s important to understand your rights and options under personal injury law. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fundamentals of personal injury claims, the types of cases that fall under this category, who you can sue, what you need to prove, and the compensation you may be entitled to. Whether you’re facing the aftermath of a car accident, medical malpractice, or another personal injury situation in Illinois, this information can be invaluable in helping you navigate the legal process.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law is a branch of the legal system that defines your rights when you suffer harm due to the actions or negligence of another party. Whether you file your claim in state or federal court, you are the plaintiff, and the individuals, companies, or entities you are taking legal action against become the defendants. Personal injury laws outline the situations that can be grounds for a claim, the parties you can sue, the evidence required to win your case, and the damages you may receive if your claim is successful.
Types of Legal Claims Under Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law encompasses a wide range of situations, including:
Accidental Injuries: These occur when someone’s mistake, negligence, or failure to meet professional standards leads to your harm. Examples include medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, car accidents, and more.
Strict Liability Claims: In some cases, you can make a personal injury claim even without proving negligence or wrongdoing. For instance, if a defective product causes harm, the manufacturer can be held strictly liable.
Intentional Torts: Personal injury laws also allow you to pursue a claim if someone harms you intentionally, such as in cases of assault and battery.
It’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to understand how these laws apply to your specific situation. Our attorneys here at the Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. are available to discuss your case and its specifics.
Who Can You Sue Under Personal Injury Law?
In most cases, you can sue the individual, company, or entity directly responsible for your injuries. However, there are situations where multiple parties may be liable. For example, in medical malpractice claims, you may sue both the negligent doctor and the clinic that employed them due to a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. This doctrine holds employers responsible for their employees’ actions during job duties.
Regardless of the defendants you choose, you will likely deal with insurance companies during your personal injury claim. Insurers providing various coverage types, such as homeowners, auto, business, or malpractice insurance, may offer settlements to compensate you for your losses.
What Must You Prove to Win a Personal Injury Case?
To prevail in a personal injury case, you, as the plaintiff, must prove the defendant’s liability. The specifics of your claim depend on whether it involves intentional torts, negligence, or strict liability. In general, you need to demonstrate:
1. The defendant had a duty or obligation, such as driving safely or producing safe products.
2. The defendant failed to meet this obligation, either intentionally or negligently.
3. The defendant’s actions or inactions directly caused your harm.
4. You suffered losses that are compensable under the law.
Typically, you must prove your claim by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that the evidence you present is accurate and justifies holding the defendant liable.
What Damages Can You Receive in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you successfully pursue a personal injury claim, you are entitled to be “made whole,” which means returning you to the state you were in before the injury occurred. Compensation may include:
Medical Bills: Coverage for medical expenses related to your injury.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Power: Compensation for income you lost due to the injury.
Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical and emotional distress resulting from the injury.
Emotional Distress: Compensation for the psychological impact of the injury.
Punitive Damages: In rare cases, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant.
Keep in mind that some states impose limits on punitive and non-economic damages for specific types of cases. Consulting Parente & Norem’s experienced attorneys is crucial to understanding these limitations and maximizing your compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to another party’s fault, taking immediate steps can significantly impact your case. Seek medical attention, gather relevant medical records and evidence, and consult an attorney. To initiate a personal injury claim in Illinois, you typically begin by filing a “complaint” with the court, detailing the parties involved, the harmful act, the damages, and the compensation sought. Most personal injury cases are settled before trial, but for those that proceed to trial, legal representation is essential.
Additionally, personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations, which restricts the time frame for filing a claim after the incident. Seeking legal counsel promptly can prevent your case from being dismissed on the grounds of exceeding this time limit.
The Cost of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they are paid a percentage of the compensation only if they win your case. If the case is lost, you typically do not owe the attorney fees. This arrangement can provide access to legal representation without upfront costs.
Personal injuries can happen unexpectedly, but understanding your rights and the basics of personal injury claims in Illinois can help alleviate additional stress during this challenging time. Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of an accident, medical malpractice, or intentional harm, consulting an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to protect your interests and seek the compensation you deserve. Call or text us today at 312.641.5926 or fill out a contact form here on our website.
P&N BLOG | The Law Offices Of Parente & Norem, P.C. Supports The Eastern Illinois Building Trades Golf Outing
The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. was proud to support the Eastern Illinois Building Trades Golf Outing! This outing was held at the University of Illinois Golf Course in Savoy, Illinois on Friday, September 8, 2023.
This annual event benefits United Way of Champaign County. This charity brings resources together to support the local community, with an emphasis on education, health, and financial stability. Their fundraising supports 41 local programs and 31 local nonprofits.
This event brought together many union representatives, politicians, and professionals of the Champaign area, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to support their cause.
For more information on The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. or speak to an attorney, call/text us at 312.641.5926 or visit us at pninjurylaw.com
When you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may already be grappling with physical injuries, emotional distress, and mounting medical bills. It’s a challenging time, and you may be considering pursuing a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages. However, it’s crucial to understand that your driving record can play a significant role in the outcome of your personal injury claim.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the ways in which traffic tickets can affect the compensation you could receive in your personal injury case. Whether you’re the injured party or the one accused of a traffic violation, knowing the impact of your driving record is vital for navigating the complex legal landscape.
The Role of Your Driving Record
Your driving record is not only a reflection of your history on the road but also a potential factor that insurance companies and courts consider when determining the outcome of your personal injury claim. Here’s how it can affect your case:
Pre-Existing Conditions and Injuries
If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, the at-fault party’s insurance company may argue that you are more likely to have pre-existing conditions or injuries that were exacerbated by the accident. This argument can lead to a reduction in the compensation you receive. The challenge often lies in distinguishing between injuries caused by the accident and those stemming from pre-existing conditions.
Credibility and Sympathy
On the flip side, having a clean driving record can strengthen your personal injury case. Insurance companies and courts are more likely to view you as a reliable witness and may be more sympathetic to your situation. This can potentially result in a more favorable outcome for your claim.
Common Traffic Violations Leading to Accidents
It’s important to recognize that a significant number of accidents are caused by driver error and negligent driving. These commonly involve traffic violations that lead to collisions. Some of the most frequent traffic violations that increase the risk of accidents include:
– Running a red light
– Running a stop sign
– Failure to yield
– Failure to stop
– Failure to use turn signals
– Disobeying road signs
– Improper U-turn
– Improper lane change
– Improper passing
– Driving off the road
Traffic Tickets and Their Impact
Now, let’s look deeper into how traffic tickets can directly affect the outcome of your injury claim.
Police Officers’ Role
Police officers at the scene of a car accident often issue traffic tickets when they observe evidence of a traffic violation, such as running a red light or speeding. These tickets serve as the foundation for a criminal case against the offending driver.
Importantly, police officers are aware that the police report and any traffic tickets issued can significantly impact the outcome of a car accident claim. This is because insurance companies request these reports to find evidence either in favor of their client or to demonstrate the fault of the other driver. However, it’s crucial to note that winning a traffic ticket case does not determine fault in an accident; fault is separately determined in a civil lawsuit or dispute over damages.
Traffic Tickets and Liability
Traffic tickets, on their own, represent an allegation that a person violated a traffic law or failed to adhere to the rules of the road. If the recipient of the ticket pleads guilty or pays the fine without contesting the citation, it serves as proof of a violation. When the traffic violation is established as the cause of a car accident, the traffic ticket and guilty plea can be essential pieces of evidence in proving liability and collecting damages from the driver who received the ticket.
During the negotiation process for your personal injury claim, traffic tickets can be highly relevant. If one driver involved in the accident receives a traffic ticket while the other does not, it may become easier to determine fault, with the driver who received the ticket likely bearing more responsibility for the accident.
In cases where both drivers receive traffic tickets, it may be determined that fault is shared in the accident. Illinois operates under comparative fault rules, meaning that fault can be divided between parties in a personal injury case. Damages are awarded based on contributory fault law, which stipulates that your compensation may be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you were found responsible for 20% of the accident, your settlement or award would be reduced by 20%.
Seek Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a collision due to another driver’s negligence, it’s imperative to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. An experienced car accident attorney can fight for the full compensation you deserve. In many cases, having legal representation can lead to a settlement from the insurance company that is significantly larger, often five to ten times more, than what you might obtain without legal help.
In Illinois, your driving record can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim following a motor vehicle accident. Whether you have a clean record or have received traffic tickets, understanding how this aspect can affect your case is essential. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s wise to consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer who can navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf and work towards securing the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life. Remember, your rights and your future well-being are worth fighting for, and a skilled attorney can be your strongest advocate in seeking justice. For more information or a free case evaluation call/text The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. today at 312.641.5926 or fill out a contact form here on our website.
Car accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Injuries can range from minor bruises to life-changing disabilities that require lifelong medical care. When you are involved in an accident, the insurance policies you have will determine the compensation you will receive for your injuries and damages incurred. In Illinois, having adequate auto insurance coverage is crucial, especially in personal injury cases. This blog will emphasize the importance of having sufficient auto insurance coverage for personal injury cases in Illinois.
Importance of Auto Insurance Policies
Auto insurance policies are essential because they provide coverage for injuries and damages incurred in accidents that are the insured’s responsibility. It compensates injured parties who suffered various losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages. Auto insurance policies provide a safety net for unforeseen events that could occur while driving.
The State of Illinois Auto Insurance Law
In Illinois, it is mandatory to have basic auto insurance coverage, which consists of minimum liability insurance limits of 25/50/20. This means that for an accident-caused by the insured, the insurance company will pay up to $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for all injured persons in an accident, and up to $20,000 for property damage. However, these minimum limits may not be enough to cover damages and injuries that result from accidents that are at or beyond the limits of your insurance policy. Therefore, it is crucial to have adequate insurance coverage in case of personal injury cases.
The Importance of Having An Adequate Auto Insurance Policy
In Illinois, personal injury cases are initiated by making claims towards the at-fault party’s insurance company. In the case that the at-fault party’s insurance limits are insufficient to cover your damages and injuries adequately, you need to have the most extensive coverage available under your insurance policy to contain the further costs that you may incur.
It is essential to consider high-limit insurance policies that offer coverage beyond the Illinois minimum liability limits. Moreover, you can also consider purchasing added protection, such as underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, to protect you in the case of an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. This extra coverage can be the difference between significant financial hardship or just a minor inconvenience in the event of an accident.
Auto insurance policies are critical to mitigating the damages and costs incurred following a car accident. In Illinois, personal injury claimants rely primarily on the insurance policies of the at-fault party to receive compensation for their damages and injuries. Therefore, it is crucial to have adequate auto insurance coverage to protect you from financial hardship that could arise from an accident. Having high-limit coverage and supplementary coverage, in addition to the mandatory minimum requirements, are essential to ensure that you are fully protected during an accident. So be sure to get yourself the best insurance policy for your driving needs and have peace of mind when you’re behind the wheel.
In a recent report published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago’s bike safety crisis remains a pressing concern for cyclists, with recent statistics highlighting the urgent need for enhanced cycling infrastructure. Anne Alt, president of the Chicago Cycling Club, still vividly remembers a traumatic incident nearly two decades ago, when she was thrown off her bike due to a parked vehicle’s open door. Despite this, and countless similar accidents over the years, progress in improving bike safety has been sluggish in the city.
The pandemic further exacerbated the issue, as Chicago lagged behind other cities in taking decisive measures to make its streets safer for cyclists. The numbers tell a grim story: in the year up to August 26, there were 1,186 traffic crashes involving cyclists – a staggering 30% increase compared to the same period the previous year.
Chicago’s ranking in bike safety, placed at 161 out of 163 large cities by PeopleForBikes, highlights the urgency of the matter. The city received a mere rating of 7, a far cry from the average score of 27 for all cities assessed. The pressing need for better infrastructure is evident – protected bike lanes have been proven to increase ridership and create a safer environment for both cyclists and motorists.
Rebecca Davies, an expert from PeopleForBikes, emphasized the importance of reducing speed limits on major roads as a means to improve safety. Studies indicate that even a slight reduction in speed limits can drastically decrease the likelihood of injuries and fatalities. Chicago’s Department of Transportation plans to implement these changes, including narrowing travel lanes to encourage slower driving speeds and reallocating space to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users.
Chicago’s “Chicago Cycling Strategy” released in 2023 outlines ambitious plans for the installation of 150 miles of new and upgraded cycling infrastructure over the next few years. These plans prioritize the creation of protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways accessible to cyclists of all skill levels, aiming to establish a bike-friendly environment for all residents. Nevertheless, critics point out that previous plans have fallen short, emphasizing the importance of accountability and swifter implementation to avoid repeating past mistakes.
As advocates demand greater progress, a transformative vision for Chicago’s streets is proposed. The organization “Chicago Bike Grid Now!” envisions a network of dedicated cycling routes spanning at least 450 miles – approximately 10% of the city’s streets. The plan also includes traffic-calming measures such as lowered speed limits, speed humps, raised crosswalks, curb extensions, and narrower roads to create a safer urban landscape for all.
Chicago’s bike safety concerns have reached a critical juncture, demanding prompt action to prevent further accidents. The current landscape underscores the necessity of prioritizing cycling infrastructure improvements, including protected bike lanes, reduced speed limits, and a comprehensive network of dedicated bike routes. As advocates and officials strive to collaborate for a safer Chicago, the hope is to create an environment where cyclists can ride without fear, and motorists can navigate streets with clarity and confidence.
The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. was proud to support IUOE 150 Bike & Classic Car Run! Held on Sunday, August 27, this event started at their District 2 Hall in Joliet, Illinois, and ended at their Training Center in Wilmington, Illinois.
This annual event benefits the IUOE 150 Scholarship Fund, which is a program that awards scholarships to dependents of active 150 members. These scholarships are awarded to students getting their undergraduate degree, as well as those attending a technical school.
This year our Public Relations team set up at one of the stops in Beecher, Illinois to visit with participants. The weather was beautiful, and overall it was a great day visiting with all the union representatives, members, friends and family.
For more information on The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. or speak to an attorney, call/text us at 312.641.5926 or visit us at pninjurylaw.com
Car accidents are a distressingly common occurrence on the roads of Illinois and the rest of the United States. The consequences of these accidents can be severe, ranging from property damage to debilitating injuries. One of the most concerning injuries resulting from car accidents is traumatic brain injury (TBI). In this blog post, we’ll look into the statistics and insights from various sources to shed light on the frequency and severity of traumatic brain injuries in car accidents.
Understanding the Statistics
According to The National Library of Medicine, a compilation of 11 studies encompassing 2,769 patients involved in accidents with pedestrians, motorcycles, or cars, car accidents were responsible for 43% of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This figure is higher compared to motorbike accidents at 30% and pedestrian accidents at 27%. Interestingly, when considering studies that included pedal bicycles, car accidents dropped slightly to 40%, while motorbike and pedestrian accidents were both associated with 23% of TBI cases. Pedal bike accidents accounted for 14% of traumatic brain injuries.
Another study underscores the gravity of the situation by highlighting that while car accidents contribute to approximately 14% of all TBI cases in the US, they are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths among children and young adults. This sobering fact emphasizes the urgent need to address the issue of traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents.
The Hidden Complexity of TBIs
What makes traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents even more alarming is that they can occur even without a direct impact to the head. As explained in Source 2, the physical force generated by a collision can actually move the brain within the skull, leading to injury. This is why it’s imperative that individuals involved in car accidents seek medical attention, even if they don’t believe they’ve experienced a significant head impact.
Deeper Insights from Research
A study published in the academic journal Brain Communications, offers an in-depth perspective on the relationship between road traffic collisions and traumatic brain injuries. A study involving over 2,000 collisions in Great Britain’s Road Accident In-depth Studies database revealed that approximately 20.2% of casualties sustained a traumatic brain injury. This includes varying degrees of severity, from mild to moderate-severe injuries.
The study’s findings also highlighted key patterns in traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents. Notable pathologies included skull fractures, subarachnoid hemorrhage, focal brain injuries, and subdural hematomas. The study emphasized the role of velocity change (delta-V) in influencing brain injury risk. Higher delta-V values were associated with an increased risk of moderate-severe brain injuries across all road user types.
Interestingly, the study found that pedestrians and cyclists were at a higher risk of moderate-severe brain injuries compared to car occupants when accounting for delta-V. Wearing a cycle helmet was found to provide protective benefits, particularly against skull fractures and subdural hematomas.
Taking Action for Safer Roads
These insights from various sources underscore the importance of addressing traumatic brain injuries resulting from car accidents. Whether you’re a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or cyclist, the risks are significant. While modern vehicles are equipped with collision notification systems, there’s always room for improvement in road safety.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and suspect a traumatic brain injury, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial. Additionally, consulting with legal professionals experienced in personal injury cases can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
The frequency and severity of traumatic brain injuries in car accidents cannot be underestimated. By understanding the statistics, complexities, and risk factors associated with TBIs, you can make informed decisions to stay safe on the road and seek appropriate assistance in the unfortunate event of an accident. Your health and well-being are paramount, and taking proactive steps can contribute to safer roads for everyone.
If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another’s negligence, contact The Law Offices of Parente & Norem, P.C. today at 312.641.5926 or fill out a contact form here on our website.