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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Legal Theory of Negligence in Personal Injury Cases

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Negligence is a legal doctrine that often serves as the basis for a wide range of personal injury cases (See our post on Damages in Personal Injury Cases). From medical malpractice to vehicle accidents to product liability, the kinds of personal injury claims that often hinge on the establishment of negligence are many. But what, exactly, is negligence and how can it be established in association with a personal injury case? This is a very complex issue and often must be examined on a case-by-case basis when it comes to personal injury claims.

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Complexity of Illinois Dog Bite Laws

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Understanding Illinois dog bite laws will help to shed light on liability in your dog bite case and discerning your chances of recovering damages in your case. Illinois dog bite laws are very complex. They are included in state, county and, in some cases, city laws. They are considered part of tort law. Tort law deals with personal injuries like those arising from traffic cases.

Most Illinois dog bite laws also govern other kinds of injuries that spring from a dog attack (e.g. dog scratches, injuries sustained in attempts to flee from a dog attack). With two exceptions, the law in Illinois indicates that dog owners are responsible for covering medical costs when their dog(s) injures an individual. This does not require the establishment of negligence on the part of the dog owner.

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Delayed Pain and Personal Injury

Personal-Injury-and-Delayed-Pain

A car accident can be an incredibly distressing and upsetting event, not just mentally or emotionally but also physically. The body takes quite a beating in some collisions and the damage done isn’t often most readily seen.

In fact, quite frequently, people involved in an accident don’t immediately notice resulting physical trauma at all. Many notice very few (if any) symptoms and often choose not to see a physician after the accident. It’s extremely important, whether or not one is immediately aware of physical pain or trauma after a car accident, that you take certain precautionary measures to protect yourself from damaging outcomes that often result in these cases.

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Why You Should Take Notes During an Accident

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Personal injury claims are not always just about medical expenses. A myriad of damages are typically on the table when someone successfully fights for damages in a personal injury case. That is why it is very important to document everything you can about the circumstances surrounding your accident, the impact on your life and employment and, yes, your injuries and medical expenses.

One of the best ways to do this is to take notes from the very outset of the accident. Notes will help to remind you of all of the important details of your case months down the line when you and your attorney set out to calculate desired damages in your case. Memory alone is a poor reference for the time, pain and loss you endured as a result of the accident.

Facts matter in an injury case and notes that document all of the details of your accident will help bolster the facts of your case and the damages you are demanding. (Read our Personal Injury F.A.Q. for key points regarding accident claims)

Circumstances of Your Accident

From the very outset, it is very important to document the circumstances of your accident. Everything from the time of day to the number of witnesses to the positioning of traffic signs can be an important factor in determining fault in your case. Details help to set a context and with the absence of a clear causal agent, context may be the best way to help determine fault and liability. As soon as you are clear-headed enough, document the circumstances surrounding your accident to support your case.

Your Injuries

As with the circumstances of your accident, you want to document your injuries from the very first opportunity you have. If you suffer pain or discomfort, you want to document it. Of course, you want to keep all medical records to document doctors’ diagnoses, and treatment you receive. But keep a daily journal to note the level of pain, anxiety, loss of sleep and any other injuries you notice from day to day. This will be helpful in identifying less quantifiable losses in your case.

Loss of Income or Other Losses

Your accident may impact your ability to earn a living. If that happens, you want to document those losses from the start. Take notes immediately after the accident when you suffer a loss of any element of your lifestyle prior to your injuries. Whether they are educational opportunities, social opportunities, marital harmony or other losses, these are important to note from the very start in order to get a real sense of the accident’s impact on your life.

Conversations

Take notes on all of the discussions you have with people involved with the accident. Documenting in-person or telephone conversations (and preserving any email or text communications) is important because it helps to note details as seen by those involved (including witnesses, claims adjusters, medical personnel and insurance representatives).

The Scene

It is also important to document the scene of the accident. If you can have photos taken at the time of the accident, remember to do so. That can help set conclusive evidence in your case. It may also be helpful to return to the scene of the accident to get photos and locate and talk with witnesses who might be able to support your case.

It is also important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney like the skilled injury lawyers of Panio Law Offices. We can help support the establishment of fault in your case with documentation of all evidence and expert witnesses testimony. We have a wealth of experience winning large rewards for our clients in injury cases. Call us at 888.799.7561. We can help.

Products Viability Vs. Medical Malpractice

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When a patient is injured by a medical device in a hospital or medical treatment setting, the most immediate response is typically to seek damages in a defective products claim. However, it may also be true that damages may be awarded in connection with medical malpractice as a result of the incident.

The good thing is that claimants do not have to choose which to pursue: products liability or medical malpractice. Claimants are eligible to fight for damages under all available legal theories. As such, it is very important to understand when you are eligible for multiple awards or for damages under multiple legal theories.

In the case of a patient injured by a medical device in the course of treatment, it is important to make the distinction between the two legal theories at play.

Products Liability

Under the theory of products liability: (1) a claimant must have been injured; (2) the defective  medical device must have been defectively designed or manufactured or packaged/promoted with language that failed to properly warn of any inherent danger related to the device’s use; and (3) the defect or improper marketing was identified as the cause of your injuries.   

To successfully win a products liability claim, it is important to understand that you are not entitled to damages if you were never actually injured by the defective device.

Medical Malpractice

In the context of an injury caused by a defective medical device, medical malpractice typically comes into play when the physician, nurse or technician improperly operates the medical device or even fails to recognize that the device is defective when other qualified medical professionals in their position would have understood that it posed a significant danger to the patient.

There are many ways a medical professional commit medical malpractice, but essentially, when a medical professional, be it a doctor or a nurse or EMT, fails to carry out the standard of care as recognized by the medical industry (and identified as common to other qualified medical professionals in the same circumstance), any resulting injuries may entitle the patient eligible to  medical malpractice damages.

It is advisable that you seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those of Panio Law Offices. We are very experienced in negotiating personal injury claims and litigating medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys know well the intricacies of Illinois medical malpractice law. We will work assiduously to ensure you are awarded all of the damages to which you are entitled.

Call us at 888.799.7561. We can help!

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