Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer, slip and fall lawyerA car accident can be a very life-changing event. As scary as car accidents always are, there is always the risk of developing physical problems following an accident. One of the most common injuries following a car accident is a concussion. If you have been injured in a car accident, you may not always know that you are suffering from a concussion, as this type of injury is often difficult to diagnose.

Signs of a Concussion

Symptoms of a concussion may not appear for weeks following a car accident. Research has shown that one incident of mild brain trauma or concussion is sustained every 21 seconds in the United States. Even though a concussion is fairly common, it is important to fully understand the signs of a concussion to properly treat the injury. Some of the symptoms of a concussion include but are certainly not limited to:

  • A sense of confusion;
  • Clumsiness;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Nausea and/or vomiting;
  • Headache;
  • Issues with balance;
  • Dizziness;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Sensitivity to light and noise;
  • Feeling sluggish;
  • Tinnitus, or ringing in ears;
  • Changes in mood, behavior, or personality;
  • Difficulty concentrating; and
  • Memory loss.

Types of Concussions

There are three different types of concussions: Mild (Grade 1), Moderate (Grade 2), and Severe (Grade 3). The concussion is based on factors that include amnesia and loss of consciousness and equilibrium. If a person suffers from a grade 1 concussion, then his or her symptoms last for no more than 15 minutes with no loss of consciousness.

A person experiences a grade 2 concussion if there is no loss of consciousness and symptoms of a concussion last for more than 15 minutes. When a person experiences a grade 3 concussion, he or she loses consciousness for as short as a few seconds. With this type of concussion, it is very important to seek medical advice immediately for observation and treatment, as well as for a doctor to better evaluate concentration and memory skills.

Call a Cook County Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you can count on James A. Payonk, Jr., P.C., Attorney at Law for effective legal representation. For over 35 years, our Orland Park, IL car accident lawyers have assisted our clients in the Cook County area in various personal injury matters, and we are ready to assist you with your case. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 708-633-6005 to get the help you deserve.


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Illinois accident attorney, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car crash lawyer, Most of us have some first-hand knowledge of car accidents since these types of accidents happen all the time. Many of us have not been involved in a pedestrian accident, even though these types of accidents are often serious in nature. There is some suggestion that pedestrian accidents are more dangerous than other modes of travel, and nearly 18 percent of all traffic fatalities involve pedestrians.

Pedestrian Accident, Injury, and Fatality Statistics

Three years ago, in 2015, nearly 5,400 pedestrians were killed in pedestrian accidents which involved cars. Every day, on average, 15 pedestrians were killed in pedestrian and car accidents, representing the highest number of pedestrians killed since 1996. In 2015, nearly 70,000 pedestrians were injured as a result of a pedestrian accident, yet only a small percentage of injuries from pedestrian accidents are recorded by the police.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries

There are many causes of pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities. However, the six types of pedestrian accident injuries include, but are not limited to the pedestrian:

  • Tripping on uneven or cracked sidewalk;
  • Tripping or falling in general;
  • Getting hit by a car;
  • Getting involved with wildlife or pets;
  • Tripping on stone; and
  • Stepping into a hole.

The most common cause of pedestrian accident includes tripping on uneven or cracked sidewalk (24 percent of all responses), and the least common causes include tripping on stone and stepping into a hole (each cause 5 percent of all responses). Tripping and falling (17 percent of all responses) and getting hit by a car (12 percent of all responses) are some of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents. Getting involved with wildlife and pets (6 percent of all responses) is one of the less common causes for pedestrian accidents.

Demographics of Pedestrian Accidents

Nearly 73 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, and approximately 26 percent of all pedestrian deaths occurred in the evening hours. Approximately 34 percent of pedestrians killed had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. In 2014, about 70 percent of pedestrians killed were male. In the same year, the average age of pedestrians killed was 47 years old, and the average age of pedestrians injured was 37 years old.

Call an Orland Park Personal Injury Lawyer

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a very traumatizing experience. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, legal representation is to your benefit. At the law offices of James A. Payonk, Jr., P.C., we will consider your concerns and assist you in winning the best case results. To schedule a free initial consultation with our Cook County pedestrian accident attorneys, please call 708-633-6005 to get the help you deserve.


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In Illinois, a DUI arrest can occur not only when an officer believes that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, but a DUI arrest can occur when an officer has probable cause that an individual is driving under the influence of any controlled substance or marijuana. Currently, most breath analysis equipment is only able to determine the presence and/or amount of alcohol in a driver’s system. In order to determine whether or not a suspected drunk driver has any other controlled substance in their system (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, etc.), an officer will normally request that the driver submits to blood testing at a hospital (“blood draw”).

The United States Supreme Court has held that breath analysis testing is not subject to Fourth Amendment protection, while blood testing is subject to that protection.[1] This is important because if testing is subject to Fourth Amendment protection, law enforcement will be required to obtain a search warrant issued by a judge for any testing. There are many exceptions to this warrant requirement. For the purposes of this topic, the exception to the warrant requirement that has the most impact is called exigency.

Both under federal and state law, if the police have an exigent circumstance, then they are not required to obtain a warrant. For instance, if police see a gunshot victim run into their home, police can enter that home because there is a risk of an immediate loss of life. No court would require that the officers stop their investigation to obtain a warrant while risking that the gunshot victim may die during the process.

Turning back to DUI blood draws because such a blood draw is protected under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, in order to avoid an unlawful search, police must either obtain a warrant for such a draw or establish that there is an exigent circumstance. In the past, police have argued that exigency exists by the very fact that alcohol dissipates over time and the process of obtaining a warrant for a DUI suspect would lead to a “destruction of evidence,” namely that the suspect’s blood alcohol content will decrease during the period the police are obtaining a warrant.

In Missouri v. McNeely, the United States Supreme Court expressly rejected this argument. Among their reasons, the Supreme Court noted that with today’s technological advances, the process of obtaining a warrant can and should be streamlined making the “possible destruction of evidence” unpersuasive.[2] The Supreme Court did not outright ban warrantless blood draws, however. They noted that each individual situation must be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Prior to this decision, Illinois has had a law which dictates that when police have probable cause that an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance and that driver caused an accident leading to the death or great bodily harm of another, the office must request, and the driver must submit to, a blood draw. [3]This is and was without regard to any attempt to obtain a search warrant and did not address any exigencies which may exist in the situation. In essence, this was a law that ran contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely.

That changed on December 26, 2017, when an Illinois Appellate Court was faced with a case where Chicago police officers forcibly drew blood from an individual suspected of driving under the influence after a hit-and-run leading to the death of one individual and permanent injury to another.

The Appellate Court held that the statute which authorized this involuntary blood draw was unconstitutional under McNeely because it did not require a warrant and the fact that death or injury occurs to another does not, in and of itself, create an exigency.[4] Based on this holding, the Appellate Court held that the defendant’s conviction for First Degree Murder should be overturned. It is important to note that the Appellate Court was faced with the question of constitutionality in non-consensual blood draws. A driver consenting to such a blood draw will always obviate the warrant and/or exigency requirements under the Fourth Amendment.

This decision has resolved the conflict that existed in Illinois regarding non-consensual blood draws without a warrant since the McNeely decision. Because the statute was held unconstitutional, the Illinois Supreme Court will surely be reviewing the matter in the future. It will only be a matter of time until we learn whether the Illinois Supreme Court agrees with the Appellate Court’s reasoning or whether the Illinois Supreme Court will determine that, because the statute authorizing such a blood draw is administrative in nature, the law is not unconstitutional.

[1] Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ___ (2016)

[2] Missouri v. McNeely, 569 U.S. 141 (2013)

[3] 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(c)(2)

[4] People v. Eubanks, 2017 IL App (1st) 142837


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