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aurora injury lawyerNo one should ever have to experience sexual abuse or sexual assault. Being harmed like that can leave long-lasting mental and emotional scars, and many victims are left with physical injuries as well. You may have heard some truly alarming statistics about low conviction rates for sex offenses in criminal court. However, filing a civil claim is completely different. To successfully prosecute someone for a sex crime, it must be proven that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a civil claim, however, you would only need to show a jury that it is more likely than not that the abuse or assault happened as you are alleging. That said, following through with such a claim can be very challenging on many levels. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we will make sure that you have all the information you need to decide whether you should file such a claim. 

The Benefits of Pursuing a Sexual Abuse Claim

Even if your abuser or rapist was found not guilty, had their sex offense charges dropped, or was never actually arrested and charged, you could still win in civil court. Many victims who were unable to meet the standard of proof required in criminal court are able to obtain relief and a sense of justice by filing a civil claim. While the civil court cannot send your abuser or assailant to prison, it can award you financial compensation. 

 

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aurora personal injury attorneyAfter you get hit by a negligent driver, you are likely to get a call from their insurance company fairly soon. The insurance company will make you a settlement offer. It will sound like a good offer, but it rarely is. Insurance companies do not count or consider every financial loss you will suffer as a result of your car accident. Their goal is to get you to accept a settlement that does not come close to fully compensating you. Before you think about accepting a settlement, it is important that you take the time to add up every expense and loss associated with the crash. You are likely to find that your claim is worth much more than you are being offered. Our experienced lawyers can help you determine the total amount that you deserve. 

What Costs Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

The types of damages you could recover after a car crash are much more numerous and varied than you might expect. A car accident injury can cause lasting damage for many. When calculating your total financial loss as a result of the crash, make sure to factor in not just your ER bill and the cost of your car, but also: 

  • Lost wages - Very few people go back to work the day after an accident. Odds are, you had to take time off of work to recover from your injuries. Your lost wages may be compensable. If your injuries were very serious and disabling, you may have even had to change careers or stop working altogether. Your lost future earnings can also be included.

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aurora car accident lawyerRear-end collisions are not always harmless fender-benders. A hard rear-end collision can cause serious or even disabling injuries. Head, neck, and arm injuries are very common in rear-end crashes. The damage does not need to look bad from the outside to be bad for the individuals inside the car. In a rear-end accident, the driver in front is often completely stopped, causing them to absorb the full force of the impact. There is also little the driver in front can do to avoid being rear-ended even if they do see the accident coming. This type of car accident is very preventable, and often the result of careless driving. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, we may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. 

Careless Driving Habits That Cause Rear-End Accidents

Every driver has a duty to use an appropriate level of caution to prevent accidents. Rear-end collisions are almost always caused by carelessness. Some common forms of negligence that cause rear-end accidents include: 

  • Cell phone use - Far too many rear-end collisions happen because someone was texting or using their cell phone while driving instead of watching the road. A driver who is absorbed in whatever they are doing on their phone may not notice cars ahead of them slowing or stopping. 

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kane county workers compensation lawyerWorkers’ compensation is not just for those in traditionally high-risk blue-collar jobs. White-collar office workers can and do get hurt at work and are equally entitled to workers' compensation protection. While injuries suffered by those with desk jobs tend to be less severe on average, they can still keep an employee out of the workplace for weeks while they recover. If you were injured at your office job, you should take the situation seriously and consider having an attorney help you recover compensation. The costs associated with a workplace injury are compensable whether you operate a desktop computer or a forklift. Some office employees hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim, but this is a mistake. If you do not file a claim after getting hurt at work, you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table. 

The Most Common Reasons Office Workers Get Hurt on the Job

People with desk jobs tend to view their workplaces as very safe. This can cause people to let their guard down and become more vulnerable to hidden dangers around the office. Some of the most common categories of workplace injuries in office buildings include: 

  • Slips, trips, and falls - A lot of office buildings use tile or linoleum over carpeting because it is easy to clean. This also makes slip-and-fall accidents more likely - all it takes is a dropped cup of coffee or a missing wet floor sign to cause an accident. Trip-and-falls are also common. It could be a poorly placed power cord or a box of files set on the floor too close to a doorway. Light switches that are not placed where a light can be turned on prior to entering a room can increase the risk of a tripping injury. 

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kane county car crash lawyerThe most careful driver in the world would still be powerless to avoid a car crash caused by mechanical failure. These accidents can be terrifying for everyone involved. One moment everything is fine, and you are cruising down the road in control of your car. Then suddenly, you realize that you are no longer in control of your car, and a crash is inevitable. 

Initially, it may even appear to others that the crash was your fault. You are left trying to figure out what went wrong. Fortunately, the maker or seller of a defective car part can be held liable for any accidents that happen because their part failed. Those responsible for putting a defective product on the market are responsible for the injuries the defect causes. Anyone from the manufacturer to the mechanic who incorrectly installed the part may be the liable party. An attorney can help you determine what happened and who you may have a claim against. 

Which Defective Car Parts Often Lead to Serious Crashes?

Some car parts can fail without causing an accident. You will probably not get into an accident if your speakers stop working or your interior lights quit. However, other parts can cause nearly immediate crashes when they abruptly fail. When defective car parts cause accidents, the parts most likely to blame are: 

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kane county product liability lawyerWhile the bathroom is typically the most dangerous room in a house, the kitchen is a close second. Anything from burn injuries caused by a hot stove to lacerations sustained while chopping vegetables can happen in a kitchen. Using reasonable care can help you avoid some types of kitchen injuries. However, when a kitchen appliance or other product is defective, there is probably nothing you can do to avoid getting hurt. Injuries caused by defective kitchen products can be severe. They often involve explosions, gases, or fires, all of which can be extremely harmful or even lethal. If you were injured due to a defective product, you will need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation. 

Which Kitchen Products Are Most Likely to be Defective and Dangerous?

You might have heard a commonly cited statistic that you are more likely to be killed by a defective toaster than a shark. This is very true. But toasters are just one of many kitchen appliances that can become deadly when they have a defect. A few kitchen products that could become very dangerous if defective include: 

  • Gas stoves - Electric stoves are generally safer than gas stoves. The major risk with gas stoves is that there could be a gas leak. Gas leaks can be dangerous in multiple ways. Simply breathing in the gas could be harmful or fatal. Or, if ignited, a gas leak could result in an explosion or major fire. 

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kane county workers comp lawyerWorkplace accidents can be permanently life-altering. Some victims are able to recover enough to return to work in some capacity. Others must change career paths to accommodate their change in physical ability. There are some, however, who are never able to return to work. People who have suffered a severe and disabling injury in the workplace may be able to receive permanent total disability through Workers’ Compensation. Obtaining this level of compensation is not always easy from a practical standpoint. These claims can be worth quite a lot, and employers are rarely willing to pay out without a fight. It often takes the skill and experience of a trained attorney to help establish that a disabled worker is entitled to this type of compensation. 

Qualifying for Permanent Total Disability

To receive permanent total disability, you will need to not only prove the cause of your injuries but also show that you are no longer able to work and support yourself as you could before. The following types of injuries could suggest permanent and complete disability: 

  • Amputations- If you lost any part of your body in the accident, like a finger or an eye, it may be difficult for your employer to argue that you could return to work. Especially if you work with your hands, you are not likely to ever regain the ability to do your job. 

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kane county birth injury lawyerExpecting a new baby is exciting and terrifying all at once. So many things can go wrong during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, so many expectant parents are understandably nervous. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are tasked with recognizing potential complications and taking the necessary action to mitigate any negative health consequences to the mother and baby. However, medical professionals involved in the birthing process do not always meet the high standards parents expect of them.

Failure to perform a Caesarean section or delayed c-section can cause serious and potentially deadly complications. If your baby was harmed during labor or delivery and you suspect that the doctor's failure to perform a timely c-section may have been the cause, read on to learn more.

Failure to Perform a Timely C-Section

Some c-sections are planned in advance. The mother may have had problems delivering her other children or suffers from health complications that make vaginal delivery impractical or unsafe. C-sections may also be a last resort when problems arise during labor, making it too dangerous for the mother to give birth traditionally.

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truck accident lawyer in kane countyTruck drivers may need to follow laws that do not apply to drivers in personal vehicles. Large commercial trucks present a much greater danger to everyone on the road, so it makes sense that those driving them are subject to additional regulations. While crashes involving personal vehicles can be devastating, truck accidents are highly likely to cause serious injuries to anyone involved. When truck drivers follow all the safety laws that apply to them, major accidents are less likely to happen. It may give you a bit of hope to learn that if it turns out that the truck driver who caused your motor vehicle accident was disregarding a statute intended to keep people safe, your case could become easier to prove. If you were in an accident involving a commercial truck, you will need to promptly contact a local attorney to start the process of seeking compensation. 

What Laws Are Truck Drivers and Companies Required to Follow?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets out a series of laws that commercial trucking agencies and their drivers must abide by. These laws may not apply to other drivers. Laws that specifically pertain to truck drivers include: 

  • Hours of Service - This is one of the most important safety laws in trucking - and perhaps one of the most commonly violated. These laws govern how long a truck driver can keep driving without taking a break, and how long these breaks must be. These laws are intended to make sure that truck drivers get adequate rest so that they do not become fatigued and likely to make mistakes. Truck drivers have even fallen asleep at the wheel after violating hours of service regulations. 

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kane county workers compensation lawyerWhen you get hurt on the job, you should not have to worry about how you will pay for medical care or get by financially while you are missing work. Workers’ Compensation programs exist for exactly this type of situation. It should be simple - you have an accident in your workplace, you file a claim, and your medical expenses and lost wages are covered. Unfortunately, some employers are not as cooperative with this process as they should be and will deny a rightful claim for any number of reasons. If your claim was denied, you might have a lot of fears about your situation. There are several ways that a Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you after a denied claim. Your best bet may be to work with an attorney who understands the appeals process well. 

How to Recover Compensation After Your Claim is Denied

An initial denial does not mean that you will never recover compensation for your injuries and lost wages. It does, however, mean that extra steps will need to be taken to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. If you were not working with a lawyer already when you filed your initial claim, it is probably time to find one. Appealing a denied Workers’ Compensation claim can be difficult. 

Your lawyer will most likely want to help you file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with Illinois’s Workers Compensation Commission. This starts the appeals process. From there, your lawyer will generally formally request an appeals hearing. Workers’ Compensation appeals cases are tried before an arbitrator, rather than a judge. An arbitrator acts as a neutral third party and can make a more final decision about your case. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_430725808.jpgWhen you get hurt on the job, you should not have to worry about how you will pay for medical care or get by financially while you are missing work. Workers’ Compensation programs exist for exactly this type of situation. It should be simple - you have an accident in your workplace, you file a claim, and your medical expenses and lost wages are covered. Unfortunately, some employers are not as cooperative with this process as they should be and will deny a rightful claim for any number of reasons. If your claim was denied, you might have a lot of fears about your situation. There are several ways that a Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you after a denied claim. Your best bet may be to work with an attorney who understands the appeals process well. 

How to Recover Compensation After Your Claim is Denied

An initial denial does not mean that you will never recover compensation for your injuries and lost wages. It does, however, mean that extra steps will need to be taken to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. If you were not working with a lawyer already when you filed your initial claim, it is probably time to find one. Appealing a denied Workers’ Compensation claim can be difficult. 

Your lawyer will most likely want to help you file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with Illinois’s Workers Compensation Commission. This starts the appeals process. From there, your lawyer will generally formally request an appeals hearing. Workers’ Compensation appeals cases are tried before an arbitrator, rather than a judge. An arbitrator acts as a neutral third party and can make a more final decision about your case. 

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kane county personal injury lawyerThe statistics about child sex abuse are grim. Approximately one out of every five girls is sexually abused. It is estimated that about one out of every 20 boys is abused. However, many children, teens, and adults never report sexual abuse, sexual assault, or other sex crimes committed against them.

Sexual abuse victims often suffer profound physical, mental, emotional, and psychological consequences after being victimized. They may develop anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues that require expensive medication and treatment. Many turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their pain.

If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a religious authority, teacher, child care worker, medical provider, or family member, know that you are not alone. Also, know that you have legal options for holding the perpetrator accountable and seeking compensation for your financial and non-financial damages.

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kane county medical malpractice lawyerWhen you or your loved one is extremely ill or badly injured, a hospital admission may come as a relief. Hospital patients are monitored by trained medical professionals 24 hours a day, so you would think that they are as safe as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Hospitals are often understaffed and overwhelmed, which can contribute to critical safety mistakes. Hospitalized patients are medically fragile as it is. A single careless mistake can do serious harm or even prove fatal. If you were personally harmed by or lost an immediate family member due to medical malpractice in a hospital setting, you may be entitled to recover compensation. An attorney can help you better understand what rights you may have. 

What Are the Most Common Careless Mistakes Made in Hospitals?

Hospital inpatients are often not in a good position to speak up for themselves and look out for their own safety. They have little choice but to trust that the medical professionals treating them are taking the needed precautions to keep them safe. When they are not, the results can be traffic. The most common types of medical malpractice to look out for in hospitals include: 

 

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aurora personal injury attorneyYou probably already have a good idea of what to do after you get into a car accident - call the police, exchange information, get medical attention, and then call an attorney. Equally important - but lesser known - is the list of things you should not do after a car crash. Making one of these mistakes could make it more difficult for you to recover full compensation or even bar your claim. It can be difficult to think clearly in the immediate aftermath of a crash, particularly while you are still on the side of the road or if you have been injured. Calling a lawyer right away can help you avoid these mistakes as you navigate your path to recovery after a crash. 

What Should I Avoid Doing on the Side of the Road After a Car Accident? 

Most people are quite stunned right after a car accident. People react in different ways to this kind of shocking event. Some people are naturally inclined to try to minimize the impact of the accident in an effort to calm this situation. However, doing so can cause problems when it comes time to fight for compensation. In general, you should try to avoid:

  • Taking blame - Particularly when the at-fault driver is upset and apologetic, your instinct may be to respond “politely,” by saying something like, “it was my fault too - I should have stopped earlier,” whether this is true or not. However, these words can be used against you and could result in a reduced award. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1530933998.jpgSigns of abuse can be as difficult to pick up on in elders as they are in children. Many residents of skilled nursing facilities are experiencing some form of incapacity. It may be difficult or impossible for them to outright tell you that they are being abused. In neglect cases, some nursing home residents hesitate to speak up out of misguided politeness. Residents themselves may not be aware that they are being neglected. If one of your loved ones lives in a nursing home, it is important that you check on them regularly and keep your eye out for subtle signs of abuse. If you think something is wrong, an attorney may be able to help you investigate further. 

What Clues Should I Look Out for That My Loved One is Being Abused?

When you visit your elderly family members or friends in a nursing home - whether you do so virtually, in person, or over the phone - there are a few signs you should not ignore. That said, you know your loved ones and what is or is not normal for them. Be mindful of: 

  • Call lights - If your relative uses their call light during your visit, pay attention to how long it takes for the call to be answered. Long enough that you have had to leave the room in search of a staff member more than once? The nursing home could be dangerously understaffed, leading to neglect. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_403907830.jpgMental and emotional injuries are very real harms that can occur in the course of a person’s employment. Traumatic events can happen in the workplace just as easily as they can happen anywhere else. Workers who witness a major accident can suffer psychiatric injuries just as the people involved in the accident may suffer physical injuries. Other extreme events that occur while an employee is performing their job duties can cause lasting psychological harm that makes it impossible for the employee to return to work immediately. Contrary to popular belief, these mental injuries can be covered under workers’ compensation. However, it is likely to take a skilled attorney to get you the assistance you deserve after a workplace psychological injury. 

When is a Mental or Emotional Injury Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

After a workplace psychological injury, you are likely to need treatment and time to recover. Your lawyer will need to show that your mental injury was directly caused by something that happened at work, typically a traumatic event. This includes situations like: 

  • Co-occurring physical injury - If you also experienced a physical injury during the traumatic event that caused your psychological harm, your attorney may have an easier time proving that you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Often, a physical injury will heal before the emotional side of the injury does. You may have PTSD or a more acute post-trauma concern after a frightening workplace injury.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_627148505.jpg Sexual abuse can have a devastating, lifelong impact on a child. Few crimes evoke the level of outrage that sexual abuse of a child does, and for good reason. Suffering from sexual abuse at a young age can leave a child in need of therapy for many years to come and cause troubling behavioral changes. The sooner the abuse is caught, the more complete a child’s emotional and psychological recovery can be. Parents should keep a lookout for any signs that their child is being hurt in this fashion. There are some signs that may prompt parents and other concerned adults to investigate further. 

If your child was the victim of sexual abuse, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit on top of any criminal action that may take place. The individual or organization responsible for harming your child can be held financially responsible for their horrible behavior. Any money recovered can be used to aid your child’s long-term recovery. 

What Are Some Signs That a Child is Being Sexually Abused?

Children who are going through another type of difficult situation may show some of these signs. Other signs can be explained by a child having been accidentally exposed to sexual materials. However, if more than one of these signs is present, parents may want to investigate further and consider enlisting a professional to help determine if your child is facing sexual abuse. Signs include: 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_92893810.jpgPeople rely on their doctors to help them heal from illnesses and injuries. We tend to implicitly trust our doctors to help, rather than hurt us. Most people who do not work in the health care field lack a high level of medical knowledge and rely entirely on our doctor’s advice, diagnoses, and treatment plan. Like everyone else, doctors make mistakes at work. Unfortunately, these mistakes can cost people their lives. While the vast majority of doctors are not acting maliciously, those who have suffered due to medical malpractice deserve to be compensated for the harm done. No amount of money can undo this type of mistake, but it is quite frequently the best way the legal system can attempt to right a serious wrong. 

What Medical Mistakes Can Become Fatal?

Some types of medical errors can cause people to become seriously ill, suffer disfigurement, or cause life-altering disabilities. Others can lead to a patient’s death if not caught and corrected quickly. These mistakes include: 

  • Delayed diagnosis - This is a particular risk when it comes to cancer. When certain conditions are not caught in time, they can progress to a point where the patient cannot be successfully treated. 

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kane county workers compensation lawyerAfter a workplace injury, you may be unsure whether you can handle your workers’ compensation claim yourself. In most cases, it is a good idea to at least speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case and give you an educated estimate of what your claim is worth. Most injured workers could benefit from a little help - the claims process can be difficult and legally complex, especially if you are faced with a permanent disability. An experienced attorney can step in and advocate for you to help ensure that you receive all the compensation you need. 

When Do I Need an Attorney to Help With my Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If your claim is uncomplicated, your employer is fair, and you are able to return to work quickly, you may be able to handle it yourself. If you are faced with any of these situations, it may be in your best interest to be represented by counsel during the claims process: 

  • Claim denied - If your rightful claim gets rejected and you are denied workers’ compensation, you will need to file an appeal. Appealing these decisions can be complicated. Some unscrupulous employers routinely deny claims under the assumption that workers will not be able to appeal. A qualified attorney can prove them wrong. Further, enlisting a lawyer and appealing may discourage your employer from doing the same thing to others in the future. 

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illinois workers compensationMost injuries that occur in the workplace are temporary. Injuries like broken bones, torn or pulled muscles, and severe sprains may take you out of the workforce for some time, during which Workers’ Compensation can help in the short term. On the other hand, some workplace injuries are so severe that you may never be able to return to your job. These life-altering injuries can render some individuals not only unable to work, but unable to care for themselves and in need of long-term medical care. When this is the case, you could be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) payments through Workers’ Compensation. Navigating the application process for these benefits can be extremely complicated. It may be in your best interest to work with an attorney if you believe you may qualify for these benefits. 

How Do I Know if I Qualify for PTD?

There are a couple of different ways to establish that you qualify for PTD. For starters, the injury that left you disabled must be a workplace injury. If you became disabled for another reason, you would look into Social Security benefits or a personal injury lawsuit. 

If the injury that led to your disability was workplace-related, then medical evidence of a permanent and serious disability may be enough to establish that you qualify. Your care team may need to testify that you will not be able to return to work. 

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