IL crash lawyerWhen a person is injured in a car accident, it is not uncommon for their medical expenses to total in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In cases involving driver negligence, the at-fault party often lacks the resources to compensate the victim out of pocket, and instead, compensation usually comes through the driver’s liability insurance, which is required by law in Illinois. However, there are a variety of situations in which the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot cover the victim’s damages. In these cases, victims can often turn to their own car insurance policy for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

When Should I Use Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

By default, car insurance policies in Illinois include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and death, and policyholders often have the option to purchase additional coverage for uninsured or underinsured property damage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be a life-saver for injury victims under many different circumstances, including when:

  • The at-fault driver lacks liability insurance. Although Illinois law requires all drivers in the state to have liability insurance, many people choose to drive illegally without it. A victim’s uninsured motorist coverage is crucial when the other driver has no insurance coverage at all.
  • The at-fault driver flees the accident and cannot be located. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, it may not be possible to identify the at-fault driver to determine whether they have liability insurance and file a personal injury claim against them. Uninsured motorist coverage can also take effect in these cases.
  • The victim’s injuries are severe. Even if the at-fault driver has liability insurance, their policy limit may not cover the full extent of the victim’s damages. The minimum required liability insurance limit in Illinois is only $25,000 per victim, and many severe injuries require treatment that costs much more, not to mention other possible damages including lost wages and pain and suffering. Underinsured motorist coverage can account for the remaining balance of a victim’s damages after the at-fault driver’s policy limit is reached.
  • There are multiple injury victims. In addition to a limit per victim, liability insurance coverage also typically includes a limit per accident, with the minimum required amount being $50,000 in Illinois. Even if a victim’s injuries are relatively minor, the at-fault driver’s policy may not cover their damages if there are other victims with severe injuries. Underinsured motorist coverage can also be used in these cases.

Contact an Orland Park Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured by a driver who lacks the insurance coverage to pay for your damages, Attorney James A. Payonk, Jr. can help. He will work with you to file a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and handle disputes that may arise with your insurance provider. Contact our Illinois personal injury lawyer today at 708-966-2408 to schedule a free consultation.

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IL injury lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. In recent years, there has been a lot of research conducted on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), most notably concussions that are caused by sports. However, significant head trauma is often a result of a motor vehicle accident. The force of impact in a car crash can be severe, causing a driver and passengers to slam their head against the steering wheel, windows, or doors. In many head injuries, the brain is negatively affected, and the long-term consequences of it can be serious, often requiring medical treatment such as surgeries or therapy. Depending on the details surrounding the collision, a victim may be able to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent party.

Types of Head Trauma

Brain injuries can affect an individual’s speech, critical thinking skills, memory, and more. Physicians usually classify traumatic brain injuries into two main categories. Closed injuries do not fracture the skull but open injuries can break or penetrate the skull bone, leaving a person’s brain exposed to outside elements. This can lead to other complications, such as infections.

There are several different types of brain injuries that can occur, including:

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IL injury lawyerHaving a baby can be a beautiful, momentous, and life-changing experience. However, complications during childbirth can cause serious injuries to the mother and child. Depending on the circumstances, a maternal injury may lead to debilitating conditions and even death. The risk of injuries to the mother may increase when certain procedures such as a cesarean delivery (C-section) are performed. However, some maternal injuries during childbirth can be prevented if medical staff are able to address risk factors and provide intervention when signs or symptoms first present themselves during pregnancy or labor. Mothers who experience trauma when their child is born may be able to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim if negligence played a role in their injuries.

Prenatal Care Is Vital

Expectant mothers are advised to see their physician regularly while pregnant to monitor the baby’s development. If the safety of the mother or unborn child is in jeopardy, the medical staff should be ready to take necessary measures to ensure their health and safety. Doctors and nurses should take care to notice any signs of distress in the mother during routine visits or labor and delivery, which may include high blood pressure.

In many cases, maternal injuries can occur when a mother attempts to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) delivery. Scars from the previous C-section or other type of abdominal surgery tear during the process, which can lead to blood loss, infection, or other internal organ damage.

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IL injury lawyerWinters in Illinois are known for being brutal. They can bring snow, wind, sleet, and slush not to mention freezing temperatures. Driving can be downright treacherous due to black ice, which can cause a driver to slide, lose control, and crash with other vehicles. Even walking can present its own set of dangers. Ice can cause people to slip and fall, which may result in serious injuries. In other cases, icicles hanging from gutters or roofs may fall onto bystanders below. If you or your loved one was hurt in an accident that involved winter weather, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses or damages.

Illinois Premises Liability

Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, property owners have a duty of care to maintain their grounds and buildings so they are safe for patrons, visitors, and guests. It is unrealistic for property owners to be expected to keep their land completely free of snow and ice all of the time. However, property owners are tasked with taking steps to prevent injuries caused by the “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice. This means that property owners are not automatically liable for injuries that are caused by the natural accumulation of this precipitation. If the snow or ice accumulates unnaturally due to improper or inadequate maintenance or repairs, the property owner may be liable for injuries caused by the accumulation.

A property owner may be liable for injuries caused by:

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Posted on in Workplace Accident

IL injury lawyerNo one expects to get hurt when they go to work, but it does happen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4 million work-related injuries that required medical attention in 2019. These injuries may be caused by various factors and can affect different parts of the body. For example, falling from scaffolding at a construction site can result in fractured or broken bones. In other cases, exposure to toxic or dangerous substances can harm an employee. Even when safety measures and procedures are followed, workplace accidents involving chemical hazards can still occur. In some situations, exposure can result in severe to life-threatening consequences.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Toxic chemical exposure can occur in several types of industries, but there are some settings in which workers may be more susceptible to these hazards. These can include manufacturing, oil and gas, welding, transportation (trucking, railroad, agriculture, and healthcare. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides standards for preventing illnesses and injuries. However, many of the chemicals used in these types of jobs increase the risk of serious injury or death when workers are repeatedly exposed to them over a long time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are five common substances that can cause work injuries:

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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708-966-2408