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Recognizing Brain Injuries After an AccidentDiagnosing a traumatic brain injury after an accident is more complicated than diagnosing other serious injuries. You will not take long to realize something is wrong when you have broken a bone or torn a ligament. Symptoms of a brain injury can take days to appear, and you may not immediately understand what they mean or connect them to your accident. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, the liable party may use the uncertainties about brain injuries to deny that the incident caused a brain injury or that your symptoms are severe. You can best prove your brain injury for your case by getting a diagnosis as soon as possible.

Brain Injury Causes

You are most likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury because of a fall, being struck by an object, or a car accident. A brain injury can occur even if your skull is not fractured or penetrated. A sudden impact or jolt can cause your brain to collide with your skull, resulting in damage. Losing consciousness after your accident is a common sign of a brain injury, but you may still have suffered a brain injury if you remained conscious. You should ask your doctor about the possibility of a brain injury and follow up if you notice any symptoms.

Mild to Severe Brain Injuries

Your doctor may categorize your traumatic brain injury as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of your symptoms. However, even a mild brain injury can have long-term debilitating symptoms. Common symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:

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When Pet Owners Are Liable for Animal AttacksDomesticated animals can behave in unpredictable ways that may cause injuries. A malicious attack, such as a dog bite, can leave lasting physical and emotional damage. More benign actions can also result in injuries, such as an excited dog jumping on someone and knocking him or her over. Guests who are hurt because of the actions of someone’s pet can seek personal injury compensation from the pet owner. Illinois law holds a pet owner strictly liable for injuries unless the victim is at fault for the animal's reaction.

Strict Liability

According to Illinois law, an animal owner is liable for injuries that the animal causes to others as long as:

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Trucks Backing Up Can Cause Serious Construction Site InjuriesA large truck is one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment that you will commonly find at a construction site. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 962 fatalities at road construction sites from 2003 to 2010. Among those:

  • 443 were caused by a worker being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment;
  • 143 were caused by a vehicle backing up; and
  • 84 were caused by a dump truck backing up.

In many cases, workers who are injured by a vehicle that is backing up can petition for workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are scenarios where a third party may be responsible for the incident, which allows the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Danger of Trucks in Reverse

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Dram Shop Law Allows Drunk Driving Victims to Sue Alcohol ServersMotor vehicle accidents involving intoxicated drivers can cause serious injuries and death. The victim in a drunk driving crash can sue the driver for personal injury compensation and the loss of a loved one. There is a third-party liability in Illinois that can extend to businesses that serve alcohol to drunk drivers. Illinois’ dram shop law allows a victim to receive additional injury compensation by filing a lawsuit against an alcohol vendor that is deemed partially responsible for a drunk driving incident.

Proving Liability

Illinois’ dram shop law applies to restaurants, clubs, retailers, and hospitality businesses. In most cases, an individual serving alcohol at a social gathering is not liable. For a successful lawsuit against a third-party alcohol vendor, the victim must prove that:

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Avoid Talking to Insurance Companies Before Your Personal Injury AttorneyThe initial conversations you have with an insurance company after an injury can determine how much the company will cover your health expenses. The goal of an insurance adjuster is to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries so that the company can save money. That is why the insurance company may contact you immediately after a vehicle accident or other injury when you are least prepared to talk to them. There are several reasons why you should not conduct a recorded interview with an insurance adjuster without consulting your personal injury attorney:

  1. Delayed Symptoms: If an insurance adjuster calls you the day of your accident, you may honestly answer that you do not feel injured. However, you may not notice some of your injuries until a couple of days after the incident. Once the adjuster has your statement on record, the insurance company can use it against you when determining your claim.
  2. Lack of Information: Even when you know you have been hurt after an accident, you will not know the full extent of your injuries until seeing a medical professional. You should not speculate about your injuries because your statement may contradict your official diagnosis.
  3. No Condition to Talk: Insurance adjusters contact you as soon as they can after an accident because they know you are vulnerable. You have just been through a traumatic experience that may prevent you from thinking clearly. You do not want to be held accountable for statements you made when you were upset or exhausted.
  4. Letting Your Guard Down: Many insurance adjusters come off as being personable and sympathetic during conversations. Friendliness is a tactic to get you to feel comfortable talking to them. With your guard down, you may inadvertently admit to fault in the accident or inaccurately portray your physical health.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

An insurance adjuster may try to pressure you into giving an immediate statement, saying that it is needed to start your claim. However, it is more important for your claim to accurately cover your medical needs than be expedient. The insurance adjuster cannot force you to say anything or record you without your permission. You can respond to immediate phone calls by saying that you need time to consult with your attorney before making any official statements that may affect your claim. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can advise you on what you should tell an insurance company to make sure you receive the coverage you need. Schedule an appointment by calling 847-381-8700.

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