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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

4 Mistakes That Hurt Personal Injury Car Accident Claims

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Car accidents are an everyday occurrence and it never fails that victims of car accidents stop short of receiving the compensation they deserve to cover the costs of injuries, repairs and other losses incurred as a result of another driver’s negligence.

One of the reasons for these mistakes is that the victim often makes critical mistakes when pursuing/considering a personal injury claim. These 5 mistakes can mean the difference between receiving the compensation one deserves and being left to cover growing medical costs when an auto injury claim goes south.

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Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

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Today, more than ever, nursing home abuse has become a prevalent concern for individuals in the US with the numbers of elderly in the US population on the rise. Because of the aging Baby Boomer generation and the increase in life expectancy today, more and more of our population are elderly. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 1.5 million people currently reside in nursing homes in the US.

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Why it’s Important to Have Attorney Representation in Car Accident Cases

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When someone is the victim of a car accident, it’s often a very scary and confusing time. Nerves are often frayed and if injuries are sustained, negotiating with an insurer and proving liability is the last thing you really want to focus on.

An early offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier may seem quite tempting, but are you really in a position to know the severity of your injuries and understand the scope of the kind of medical treatment you may need long term? Does your settlement offer factor in lost wages, lost future income, and other losses that are intangible such as permanency of injury?

There are many reasons why it’s important to discuss your claim with an experienced personal injury attorney before agreeing to any type of settlement.

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Personal Injury: Trucking Accidents

According to the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2002, 4,897 people were killed in commercial trucking accidents. Because of the sheer size of commercial trucks, the damage caused when they crash on the highways can be much greater than ordinary vehicle collision damages.

When you find yourself victim of trucking accident, you'll often wrestling with a ton of issues not common with an ordinary vehicle collision cases. Many times who is actually at fault is just one of the difficult questions one must answer when seeking damages. Often times in trucking accidents, getting to the bottom of who actually owns the vehicle and what precipitated the collision requires a lot of industry knowledge.

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Personal Injury Damages

While, financial compensation or monetary awards cannot always adequately address the full scope of injury suffered when one is harmed as a result of another's actions (whether through negligence or illicit intent), Illinois law provides for a variety of compensation or "damages" in personal injury cases meant to make the injured "whole" in the eyes of the law. Of course, no amount of compensation can make "whole" those who suffer certain injuries or circumstances, but what Illinois law attempts to do is return the injured party—as much as is possible—to the state they enjoyed preceding the injury.

As such, there are seven distinct types of damages provided for by Illinois personal injury law. They are:

Reimbursement for Medical Costs: Awards for medical costs seek to compensate the injured party for any medical treatment related to the injury. That includes past, present and future medical costs related to your injury.

Disability/Loss of a Normal Life:  In Illinois, disability/loss of a normal life is defined as the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life. This includes a person's inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life (i.e. hobbies, day-to-day routines, etc.) even if for a short period of time.

Disfigurement:  To put it plainly, disfigurement typically involves an injury that leaves the individual with some sort of aesthetic defect   (i.e. scarring, missing limbs, etc.), which also falls under disability. These types of monetary damages can be especially high since many disfiguring injuries are permanent in nature.

Emotional Distress: When the injured party suffers emotional distress (including anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress syndrome, sleeplessness and fear) as a direct result of their injuries, Illinois law provides for compensation for that aspect of the injury. Damages for emotional distress are not meant to simply compensate the injured party for medical treatment of emotional distress, but for the emotional distress itself (which they would never have suffered but for the injury).

Lost Wages: Illinois law provides that an injured party may be eligible to receive compensation to cover past, present and future wages lost as a result of the accident, injury, related medical treatment and diminished earning potential as a result of disability or disfigurement resulting from the accident or incident.

Property Damage: Under Illinois law, an injured part may recover damages for repair or replacement of property damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident. Again, the law seeks to make one whole of the damage done to return the injured party, to their state prior to the incident.

Punitive Damages: Though less common in Illinois, state law does allow for punitive damages in personal injury claims. As the name implies, punitive damages seek to punish the defendant for egregious negligent or actions with illicit intent.

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