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Our Illinois laws allow those harmed by the negligence of others to seek money damages for losses that they were caused. Those responsible for causing personal injury, and the insurance companies that indemnify them, are required to pay damages to compensate the victim in many cases. But, navigating the complex maze of a personal injury claim or lawsuit can be remarkably complicated, and insurance companies are sophisticated, often multi-billion dollar corporations, structured to fight to avoid or to limit what they pay out in claims. Because there is no simple way to find the best lawyer in Chicago or the best law firm in Illinois for any specific type of case, it certainly is important to research and to feel comfortable that the attorney you hire is competent and cares about doing what is best for you and your loved ones.
“Personal injury” law is a general description of a broad group of different types of legal causes of action. Each law firm will have varying levels of experience handling these specific types of cases, and understanding what “type of case” you may have can be important to allow you to find the best lawyers for a particular case. Saying that a lawyer is a “personal injury attorney” is like calling an obstetrician a “doctor” — while it is certainly true, an obstetrician has a niche practice area that differs from other doctors. However, attorneys are not allowed to advertise as specialists, or to list specific specialities (in most cases). It can be challenging to find the best personal injury lawyer for your case. There are a number of excellent lawyer and law firms in Chicago, but the key is finding the best fit. One way to do this might be to spend time doing more targeted research on specific attorneys and specific types of cases. Below are some general, common “types” of personal injury cases, causes of action, or claims. These claims may share similarities in the sense that each is a type of “personal injury” case and each allows a legal route to pursue compensation for the losses or harms caused, but each “type” of case demands particular experience to be handled correctly. Consider discussing the type of claim you believe you may have with a lawyer and asking the attorney about past experience handling similar types of claims or cases.
Automobile accidents happen on Illinois roadways frequently every day, often causing injuries and fatalities. Even low-speed accidents can cause whiplash, back injuries, and soft tissue damage. Serious accidents can lead to broken bones, severe head or neck trauma, chest injuries, cuts, bruises, paralysis and even death. Subcategories that fall under the umbrella of motor vehicle accidents would also include trucking accidents, car versus pedestrian accidents, car versus bicyclist crashes, bus and mass transit accidents, and ride-share accidents. Each subcategory of case involves unique challenges that your attorney should be willing and able to discuss with you.
Judson Graham Firm helps Illinois residents who have been injured in automobile accidents collect compensation for injuries from car accidents, truck or tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, accidents involving pedestrians, and bus, train, or other mass transit accidents.
Claims Ride share companies, such as Lyft and Uber, as well as delivery companies such as Grubhub or the Amazon delivery vans present very unique challenges when they cause injury or death to a victim. While a delivery van may have Amazon’s logo on it or a ride-share vehicle may have Uber’s branding on it, many of these companies will argue that they are simply an intermediary and that the car, van, or driver is not their agent or employee. By treating the drivers and companies that provide ride-share or delivery services as third party contractors and not as employees, these companies seek to avoid being financially obligated to pay for any and all harms (or to limit the amount they could have to pay). In most all cases involving a serious injury caused by someone associated with one of these companies, you will want to consult an attorney.
A premises liability case or claim generally involves an allegation that a business or property owner created a dangerous or hazardous condition, failed to maintain its property, failed to warn of a dangerous condition on the property, or was otherwise negligent in the upkeep, repair, and inspection of its property, resulting in an injury to an individual. Very generally speaking, those with a property interest are often legally responsible for maintaining safe environments for the safety of people on the property. These obligations may extend to cover walkways and parking lots, as well as structures on the property.
The Judson Graham Firm is experienced in handling premises liability cases and has successfully resolved numerous premises liability cases involving, for example, unsafe roofing conditions, slip and fall cases, and other complex premises liability matter.
Wrongful death claims are claims in which someone has been killed due to the negligence or fault of another. Wrongful death is a subcategory that falls under personal injury. The wrongful death practice of our Chicago firm has included wrongful death cases arising from motor vehicle accidents, defective products, construction, negligent medical practice, and various other causes. Wrongful death claims attempt to recover damages for surviving beneficiaries and may include compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, as well as loss of companionship. The goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate those entitled to recover for the losses resulting from the passing of an individual.
Another component of a wrongful death case her claim is called a Survival Action. The law in Illinois, in some cases, allows for a representative of the estate of someone who has passed away as a consequence of the negligence of another individual or entity to bring a Survival Action, as well as a wrongful death claim. A Survival Action, when allowed, gives the representative of a decedent’s estate the opportunity to seek compensation for the pain, suffering, disability, and other losses suffered by the individual who passed away in the time that he or she was alive.
The Judson Graham Firm understands how difficult wrongful death cases can be. These suits become very emotional and often present unique challenges. In most all wrongful death cases, it is important to contact a lawyer who is dedicated to you and your family. Our firm in Chicago, Illinois has the experience in successfully prosecuting wrongful death cases in a variety of contexts.
Medical malpractice, generally, is a claim alleging that a medical provider failed to act as a reasonably careful provider in the same specialty should have. Medical providers have a duty to provide care that is reasonable under the circumstances for a provider in the same specialty. This is sometimes referred to as the standard of care. Medical malpractice claims, effectively, include an allegation of negligence. An example would be when a doctor or nurse does something that a reasonably careful doctor in the same or similar circumstances would not do, as required by the standard of care. Similarly, another example would be if a doctor or nurse did not do something that a reasonably careful doctor or nurse would do, under the circumstances, as required by the standard of care.
If you or someone you love is injured as a result of medical malpractice, the Judson Graham Firm can help you understand your rights. Unfortunately, it can be very challenging to find representation in a medical malpractice case in Illinois. A part of the challenge is that The Illinois laws require that an attorney hire medical experts to support and prove the case. Finding the right experts who are willing to go on the record to challenge and other medical providers past care can be difficult and expensive. However, the best law firms will be open about all challenges that a case presents and should be willing to talk through the risks and rewards of bringing a medical malpractice case. In most instances, a good injury firms will be willing to advance the expense associated with hiring the experts in order to minimize any financial risks to their clients and to the show their commitment to and investment in the case. While finding the right medical malpractice lawyer can be a challenge, we are always willing to talk through those challenges and to investigate potential case, even if that means that in the end we conclude that another firm is best suited to handle the case. First and foremost is our commitment to teach our clients about their rights and to ensure they find the most comfortable fit for representation, if at all possible.
TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a common causes of personal injury and wrongful death. In fact, medical errors are a leading cause of death in patients who are under the care of a hospital. Medical malpractice cases can be divided into many types of subcategories, including: birth-related injuries to mother or child, failure to diagnose and treat cancers, surgical errors, the improper prescription of drugs, the failure to properly diagnose and treat medical conditions, the failure to follow up with patients and provide referral to specialists who may be better able to treat the condition, and more. If you suspect that an medical error is to blame for a life changing injury or death, you should speak with a lawyer. The best injury law firms in Chicago and throughout Illinois will almost all be willing to consult about a potential case without seeking any payment for the lawyer’s time reviewing the potential case.
The ever-growing number of elderly Americans living in nursing homes in America (currently around 1.5 million) has resulted in increased regulation to address the issue of similarly-increasing occurrences of nursing home neglect, abuse, negligence, or elder abuse, by the facility through the acts of its medical providers, medical directors, doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and others acting on behalf of the nursing home. Nursing home neglect is a terrible and serious issue that the Judson Graham Firm is pleased to handle as a practice area.
COMMON FORMS OF NURSING HOME ABUSE
The elderly are increasingly becoming the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect by nursing home staff. Nursing home patients can be physically, financially, psychologically, and emotionally abused, as well as neglected and abandoned. Often, elder abuse leads to serious and even life threatening injuries, including bed sores, infection, malnutrition, dehydration, brain injury, spinal cord injury, broken bones, and death. This neglect often occurs in corporate owned nursing homes, which sometimes employ practices that expand profits at the expense of the resident’s welfare. It is important for families to understand that any type of elder abuse and neglect is unacceptable and to consider pursing a case or claim on behalf of a loved one.