orland park car accident lawyerPractically speaking, when a drunk driver is involved in a car accident, they are almost always at fault. It is rare - but not impossible - for a drunk driver to get into a crash they did not cause. In Illinois, drunk drivers are presumed to be negligent under a legal principle known as “negligence per se.” If you were hurt in a car accident involving a drunk driver, it is best to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later, and always before you give a statement to an insurance company. Even if it is abundantly clear that the drunk driver was at fault, a lawyer can represent you during settlement negotiations and ensure your rights are protected. 

What is Negligence Per Se? 

Negligence per se is a legal principle used to prove that a person was acting negligently simply by breaking a law that was put in place for safety reasons. The injured victim must also demonstrate that they were hurt because the negligent person broke that law. In drunk driving cases, this tends to be a straightforward analysis. Laws against drunk driving were put in place because drunk drivers risk hurting other people by crashing into them. A person who drives drunk is breaking the law. If a drunk driver injured you, you were hurt because the drunk driver broke that law, and you likely would not have been hurt if the other driver were sober or took a cab instead of driving. 

Usually, this is enough to show that the drunk driver is at fault. If the at-fault driver is convicted of driving under the influence, this will likely help your case. Consequently, calling the police is particularly important when you suspect that the other driver is impaired. A police report is a valuable piece of evidence in any insurance claim or personal injury claim. 


Posted on in Car Accidents

appleton car crash lawyerSince around 2016, vehicles with varying levels of automated driving systems have been hitting the roads in the Chicago area. Cars are getting smarter - most new cars on the market today offer some level of automation that was not available even five years ago. But these systems are not failproof on their own. Human error is still the culprit in most car accidents involving automated vehicles. If you have been hurt in a car accident where automation is involved, you will need an experienced attorney on your side to give you the best chance of recovering all the compensation you deserve. 

What is Vehicle Automation? 

There is a wide range of technology that falls under the umbrella of “automation” when it comes to cars. The term refers to much more than just the truly driverless cars many see as the future of transportation. Most “automated” cars you see on the roads still require some degree of human input and require a person to be in the driver’s seat, prepared to take over if necessary. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that you will step out of your vehicle after an accident to speak to the other driver only to find that there is no other driver. 

The more commonly available technology involves a car that is mostly driven by a human, but with some automated processes. For example, a car may feature automatic parallel parking, automatic braking when a rear-bumper camera detects that something is behind the vehicle, or even automatic lane changing, where the human driver simply activates the turn signal and allows the car to merge on its own. The problem is that these technologies sometimes fail and cause accidents, leaving questions about who is liable to the injured party. 


Posted on in Medical Malpractice

orland park medical malpractice lawyerMedical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. today. Sometimes it is clear that medical malpractice has occurred, such as when a surgeon leaves a foreign object inside the patient’s body during an operation. Other times, it is not so clear. Some patients may not even realize that they have been the victim of medical malpractice until years later. This article will cover some common types of medical malpractice. If you suspect that you have suffered worksened health as a result of medical malpractice, it is important to get in contact with a qualified attorney as soon as you realize that something is amiss. 

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis 

This type of medical malpractice can be quite insidious. People tend to trust their doctors and often accept their diagnoses - or lack thereof - without question. Healthcare providers may sometimes miss the signs of a serious illness such as cancer, resulting in delayed treatment. Or, a doctor may incorrectly diagnose a condition, resulting in unnecessary treatment or the wrong treatment. A patient may not discover this type of medical malpractice until years later after they have already suffered substantial harm as a result. 

Failure to Treat 

Doctors nowadays are extremely busy, and sometimes take on more patients than they can safely manage. This increases the risk that patients will be harmed as a result of negligence. A doctor may fail to provide adequate instructions for follow-up care after a hospital visit, release a patient from the hospital too soon or without providing necessary care, or fail to order tests that would have caught a serious condition. 


orland park slip and fall lawyer Slip and fall accidents occur frequently in Illinois and can lead to severe injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. If someone else’s negligence caused the accident, you have the right to pursue a legal claim. If you suffered the injury at a friend’s home, it might make the situation more awkward. However, pursuing a personal injury claim may allow you to obtain financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

Steps to Take If You Had a Slip and Fall at a Friend’s Home

Whether it was due to liquid on the floor or torn carpeting, a slip and fall accident can turn a fun visit at a friend’s home into a nightmare. Here are several steps to take to ensure the compensation you deserve.

  • Ask for your friend’s home insurance information. If your friend owns the home, he or she should have homeowner’s insurance. Certain policies may cover damages associated with injuries on the property. Ask your friend for the name of the insurance company, phone number, and policy number.


Posted on in Car Accidents

orland park injury lawyerApproximately 6 million car accidents occur every year in the U.S. and many of them result in injuries. Some vehicle accident injuries, like broken bones and lacerations, are immediately apparent. Other injuries, on the other hand, are not so obvious. That is why it is important to get medical attention promptly if you are involved in a car crash.

Car Accident Injuries That Are Not Always Apparent 

Certain car accident injuries do not always present symptoms in the beginning. In fact, some injuries may not show symptoms until days or weeks after. Here are several hidden injuries to look out for.

  • Whiplash - Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries and can occur when your head moves backward and then forward suddenly. Symptoms of this injury include neck pain and stiffness, dizziness, and shoulder pain. If whiplash is not addressed promptly, it can lead to complications in the near future, like severe neck pain and limited range of motion.


James A. Payonk, Jr.

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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