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Five Types of Catastrophic Injuries and Their EffectsThere is no legal definition for a catastrophic injury in a personal injury case, but general consensus defines it as an injury that permanently affects your ability to work or enjoy your life. Suffering a catastrophic injury may entitle you to substantial compensation if another party was at fault for the accident. You will need the money to pay for expensive medical treatments and therapy, as well as to replace your lost income or to train you for a new career. Your lost quality of life is more difficult to quantify, though compensation for pain and suffering should help. Here are five types of catastrophic injuries, each debilitating in its own way:

  1. Brain Injuries: Suffering a fractured skull or concussion can result in traumatic brain injuries. A minor brain injury can cause headaches, dizziness and troubling thinking, but the prognosis for recovery is usually good. A severe brain injury can cause longer-lasting or permanent symptoms, such as problems with memory, speech, or bodily functions.
  2. Spinal Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are often associated with paralysis, loss of feeling and the inability to control bladder and bowel functions. The severity of the symptoms depends on where the injury occurred and whether it is a complete or incomplete injury. The injury will affect a greater part of the body when it is higher on the spinal cord. An incomplete injury may allow some feeling and movement, while there is a low chance of recovering from a complete injury.
  3. Limb Loss: Victims can lose body parts when they are severed as the result of an accident or when the extent of the damage forces doctors to amputate. In some cases, a severed body part can be reattached, followed by painful rehabilitation. Otherwise, losing a finger or limb will permanently change how a person functions.
  4. Organ Damage: A ruptured organ, such as a liver or kidney, is often a medical emergency because it can cause internal bleeding. The victim may be able to recover with time, but there can be long-lasting symptoms if doctors had to remove part of the organ due to damage or infection.
  5. Severe Burns: Third-degree burns can cause severe disfigurement, chronic pain, loss of sensation, or disablement of part of a body. Even if the long-term effects are purely cosmetic, that may still diminish the person’s quality of life.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

No amount of money may ever feel like enough to pay for a catastrophic injury, but you need the compensation for practical purposes. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can tell you how much compensation you can expect to receive for your injury, based on similar cases. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Slips vs. Trips Can Change Personal Injury CasesBoth slipping and tripping can end in a fall-related injury, but there are important differences between the two types of accidents. A slip-and-fall accident is more likely to cause severe injuries because of how you lose your balance. It can be easier to establish premises liability with a trip-and-fall accident because of what caused you to trip. In either case, you must document the circumstances that led to your injury and determine whether the property owner neglected its duty of care towards you.

Slipping

The act of slipping occurs when a liquid causes a lack of traction on the ground. Usually, your foot slides forward at a greater speed than the rest of your body, which may cause you to fall backward. It is difficult to stop yourself when falling backward because you cannot use your arms or legs to catch yourself. You can suffer traumatic injuries to your:

  • Back;
  • Neck;
  • Spine;
  • Pelvis; and
  • Head.

In order to hold a property owner liable for your slip and fall, you must prove that the owner was aware of the dangerous condition that caused your accident and did not take sufficient action to prevent it. Surfaces can suddenly become slippery, such as when there has been a spill. The property owner could argue that it was unaware of the spill or did not have enough time to respond.

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Left-Turning Drivers Pose Threat to PedestriansA majority of the accidents that occur at intersections are the result of a vehicle making a left turn. Drivers can easily misjudge the speed of an oncoming vehicle or may not see the vehicle because of their vision being obstructed. Oncoming drivers may suffer serious injuries if they have a head-on collision with a vehicle that turns in front of them. Pedestrians in a crosswalk can also be injured when a vehicle makes a risky or illegal left turn. There are four factors that make left-turning vehicles dangerous to pedestrians:

  1. Driver Impatience: It can be frustrating to wait at an intersection for a chance to turn left, especially when there is not a left turn signal. The driver may act hastily when there is finally a gap in the oncoming traffic or the light is about to turn red. He or she may not think to look for pedestrians, who have the right-of-way to cross the street at the intersection.
  2. Quick Acceleration: Drivers must increase their speed when making left turns because of the wide turn radius. They may also rush to fit into the small window they have to make a turn against oncoming traffic. A fast-moving vehicle will have more difficulty stopping for a pedestrian and can cause greater injuries if a collision does occur.
  3. Blind Spots: A left-turning driver will likely notice a crowd of people in a crosswalk but could miss a single pedestrian who happens to be in his or her blind spot. The A-pillars on a vehicle, which hold the windshield, can obstruct a driver’s vision during a left turn. Car companies are designing wider A-pillars to store airbags and increase vehicle safety during rollovers. Unfortunately, wider A-pillars create larger blind spots for drivers.
  4. Oncoming Vehicles: A vehicle making a dangerous left turn affects the behavior of other vehicles on the road. An oncoming driver could react to a vehicle turning in front of him or her by swerving to avoid a collision, putting pedestrians at risk. A second vehicle could rear-end the oncoming vehicle, pushing it further into the intersection.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The driver of a left-turning vehicle will likely be liable for hitting you while you are in a crosswalk. You may share contributory negligence if the crosswalk light told you to stop, but you can still receive injury compensation as long as the driver was more than half at fault. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you file a lawsuit against a negligent driver. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838. 

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Building a Case After a Truck AccidentBeing involved in an accident with a truck is both frightening and perilous if you are driving a smaller vehicle. Victims can suffer serious or even fatal injuries because of the force of colliding with a such a large object. Pursuing personal injury damages will help you afford the recovery treatments you need, as well as compensate you for your pain and suffering. However, building a personal injury case involving a truck is different than with other vehicles.

Crash Causes

Driving a large truck requires greater skill and caution than with a normal-sized vehicle. A truck takes longer to stop, has larger blind spots, and needs more space from other drivers when making turns or changing lanes. Drivers have more difficulty avoiding an accident with a reckless truck driver because of the length of the vehicle. The truck driver may have been at fault for your accident if he or she:

  • Was driving too fast;
  • Did not apply the brake in time to stop from rear-ending your vehicle; or
  • Changed lanes without consideration for other vehicles.

To prove that the truck driver was reckless, you will need to recount how the driver was behaving before the accident, his or her actions that put you in danger, and how you responded. A witness may have had a more complete view of the circumstances that led to the crash and be able to corroborate your account.

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Five Tips for Teen Drivers During the WinterPart of learning to be a driver is having your first winter driving experience and understanding how it affects your road safety. Teens who have recently obtained their driver’s license may not fully appreciate the dangers of driving through snow and ice. In the worst scenario, their inexperience may result in a vehicle accident that leaves them injured or worse. As parents, you can prepare your teen for winter driving with a few safety tips:

  1. Staying Warm: It is important to dress appropriately for the weather, including warm gloves and boots. Hands and feet that are numb from the cold may not respond quickly enough when the driver needs to take decisive action. Being cold in general can also be distracting. Remind them that the interior heating system may take a couple of minutes to warm up the vehicle if it has been sitting cold for a while.
  2. Decreased Traction: Wintery conditions on the road can make starting and stopping take longer than a teen driver is used to. Losing control of a vehicle due to ice on the road is frightening and may cause teens to panic. Tell them to give themselves additional time to brake and to not slam on the brakes or the accelerator if they lose traction on the road.
  3. Driving Distractions: Reiterate the importance of paying attention to their driving and not being distracted by electronic devices. In addition, teens must clear the vehicle of snow and frost before they start driving. Trying to clean a windshield or mirror while driving will take their attention away from the road.
  4. Extra Time: Winter conditions cause all traffic to slow down in order to stay safe. Teens should give themselves additional time to get to their destination. Running late may cause them to hurry, which can lead to accidents.
  5. Knowing to Stop: There are times when the weather conditions are bad enough that driving is unwise. Teens may not want to be told that they should not drive because of the weather, but their inexperience would put them in even more danger than other drivers. They should also understand that it is acceptable to pull over or stop somewhere if the weather suddenly turns worse.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

Though your teen may be the more inexperienced driver, it is possible that another driver was at fault for their accident. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you prove that another party should be liable for your teen’s injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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