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Crystal Lake personal injury lawyerAlthough all motorists have a legal duty to drive in a safe manner, truck drivers have an even greater responsibility on the road. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer combination can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. At this size, a truck can cause devastating damage. If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, you may have considerable medical bills and other costs caused by the accident. You may also be wondering who is at fault for the damages you suffered.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident Involving a Commercial Truck

Truck accident liability may lie with a number of different parties depending on the circumstances of the accident, including the following:

  • Truck Driver or Trucking Company: Sometimes, fault lies with the truck driver himself or herself. If a truck driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating traffic laws, or was otherwise driving in a negligent or reckless manner, the driver or the trucking company he or she works for may be liable for damages.

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Six Ways Insurance Companies Avoid Personal Injury ClaimsSeeking compensation for your personal injuries after an accident should start with exploring your insurance options. You can file a third party personal injury claim if someone else was at fault for your injuries. Illinois law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that includes at least $40,000 for bodily harm. Unfortunately, any insurance company that you deal with is likely to resist giving you the injury compensation you need. It does not profit them to award all of the claims they receive. Claims adjusters are trained to spot weaknesses in your claim that may allow them to deny coverage. Here are six ways insurance companies will try to deny or undervalue your personal injury claim:

  1. Questioning Delayed Action: If you do not seek immediate medical attention, an insurance company may doubt the validity of your injury claim. Waiting a couple of days to get examined suggests that your injuries were not serious or urgent.
  2. Citing Lack of Evidence: With a third party claim, the insurance company will want proof that its client was at fault for the accident. If you cannot provide independent witnesses or an official police report, the company may claim that you have failed to prove fault.
  3. Shifting Blame: After investigating the accident, a third-party insurance company may accuse you of being at fault. If the company proves your fault, it would shift the liability onto your own insurance.
  4. Using Your Words Against You: The strongest evidence against your insurance claim is if you admit to fault for your accident. A representative with the insurance company will try to catch you unprepared for an interview, hoping that you will unintentionally say something that can be held against you.
  5. Doubting Your Injury: The insurance company will look for any reason why your injuries should not be covered. This may include claiming that you have exaggerated the extent of your injuries or that you had a pre-existing condition.
  6. Making a Low-Ball Offer: If the insurance company does not believe it can legally deny your claim, it may preemptively offer a settlement that is lower than what it expects it will be liable for in court. A company representative may pressure you to accept the offer by claiming an artificial deadline.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

You should consult with an attorney before discussing your personal injury claim with an insurance company. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can advise you on what to say to the insurance company and what evidence you need to gather. If the insurance company denies your claim, you may need to take it to court or file a personal injury lawsuit against the party at fault. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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holiday injury, product liability, personal injury, law firm, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyersThe holiday shopping season can be hectic – and dangerous. Each year on Black Friday, news outlets across the nation report on injuries (and, in some cases, deaths) that result from individuals attempting to get a good deal on electronics or other gifts for family members and loved ones. However, as the holiday season wears on stores put on other sales and events designed to entice would-be shoppers to part with their hard-earned money. During these busy times, serious and debilitating incidents can occur in stores that make the holidays tragic, such as:

  • Head injuries or crushing injuries sustained after being struck by falling merchandise displays;
  • Being trampled by other shoppers during Black Friday sales or other sales events;
  • Being struck by moving machinery like forklifts and employees using pallet jacks; and/or
  • Purchasing dangerous or defective products that can cause burns, shocks, cuts, and other injuries to you and/or others in the family.

Thankfully for holiday injury victims, legal principles are not suspended during the holidays. Your Illinois holiday injury may be the fault of one or more negligent actors.

The Individual May Be Responsible

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personal injury compensation, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneyCar accidents and other incidents leading to injuries are not always a clear cut case of one person's fault. Sometimes the injured person may have taken some action, no matter how slight, that might have contributed to the incident. Regardless of this, an injured person may still seek compensation for injuries sustained. Whether the injured party can recover for those injuries ultimately depends, in part, on to what degree his or her actions can be said to have contributed to the accident.

Illinois is a “fault state” that follows what is called modified comparative negligence when it comes to recovery in personal injury lawsuits. Following modified comparative negligence, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit cannot recover damages if he or she is found to be 51 percent at fault in the incident that resulted in his or her injuries or property damage. Therefore, if a plaintiff is found to be more than 51 percent at fault, he or she is likely to be responsible for all medical bills and other related costs.

If the plaintiff is found to be below 51 percent at fault, he or she can recover damages, although these are likely to be paid in accordance with the defendant's determined percentage of fault. Therefore, if the defendant is found to have been 90 percent at fault, the plaintiff can recover 90 percent of his or her costs.

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statutes of limitations, Illinois personal injury attorney, McHenry County personal injury attorney, civil claims, personal injury claim, file a claim, Illinois law, legal claimsCivil courts are in place to provide a way for private citizens to seek justice for wrongs done to them and to solve disputes between each other. However, this goal of attempting to provide justice for injured parties is also tempered by the practical issues of the legal system. State legislatures have imposed statutes of limitations on various civil claims which may be brought up by citizens. These statutes are the time limits that a person must file the claim by or he or she will have lost the right to do so.

How Statutes of Limitations Work

Statutes of limitations set the period of time in which a person may file a claim. The time limit varies based on the type of claim, as well as specific circumstances. For instance, an ordinary personal injury case has a two-year statute of limitations under Illinois law, and that time limit starts to run once the injury occurs. Conversely, injuries arising from medical malpractice have a two-year time limit that begins at the discovery of the injury. Additionally, a separate four-year time limit starts once the injury occurs regardless of discovery. If the medical malpractice injury involves a minor, then he or she has an eight-year time limit from the date of the injury. However, the statute automatically runs out on his or her 22nd birthday.

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