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Barrington personal injury lawyersDespite the first COVID-19 vaccines being distributed this week, in all likelihood many people are still going to stay at home for safety during the majority of the wintertime. However, as the economy continues to recover from all the stay-at-home orders and closing businesses, many more people have entered the gig economy as delivery drivers for all sorts of companies. While postal workers and delivery drivers for mainstays like the USPS, UPS, and FedEx have been delivering for years and have plenty of safety guidelines and insurance policies in place to handle slippery sidewalks and walkways, gig workers are much newer to the threat of slips and falls on the job while delivering goods. Here is some “need-to-know” information for these gig workers about premises liability in Illinois and the possibility of receiving personal injury compensation for slip-and-fall accidents this winter while on the job. 

Why Is Premises Liability So Significant Now?

The gig economy is real, and it is growing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the delivery drivers or “gig workers” contracted to deliver goods independently through third-party or less traditional companies are new on the job due to the recession. These workers include:

  • Amazon Prime delivery drivers
  • Grocery delivery drivers (Instacart, Shipt, etc.) 
  • Restaurant delivery drivers (GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc.) 
  • Private business delivery drivers (Consider deliveries being made by employees or owners of businesses who never had to deliver their products or foods in the past. They have far less experience with this sort of process and need to be made particularly aware of the winter rules of premises liability.)

How Does Illinois Law Define Premises Liability?

If you are delivering something to a house where the snow/slush is not shoveled or the ice is not melted and this has caused you to suffer an injury, you might be able to claim personal injury compensation. This is in addition to any workers’ compensation you might automatically receive as an injured employee. (Keep in mind, though, many “gig economy” jobs hire their workers as contractors who do not have the same benefits and rights as employees, so you might not receive much assistance from your employers, if any, which is all the more reason to pursue your own personal injury case).  

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Barrington, IL personal injury lawyer for medical expert testimonyDue to issues related to evidence, witness testimonies, and liability, personal injury cases can be quite complex, and they can involve many factors that can affect an entire case. One of the most important of these factors is the medical professional(s) that may provide testimony, consultations, or reports in support of your case. Here are some of the ways medical professionals can help you win your personal injury case:

4 Reasons Third-Party Medical Professionals Are Vital to Your Personal Injury Case

Getting fair compensation for your personal injury is not always an easy outcome to attain. You deserve to receive compensation for the injuries you have sustained, including physical and psychological harm, as well as loss of income due to recovery time or disability. As you pursue compensation, some of the most important members of your team will be the medical professionals. Here are some ways they can alter the outcome of your case:

  1. Helping to Decide Whether a Case Is Worth Pursuing—A medical professional can provide keen insights into the technical aspects of your case so that you and your attorney better understand whether your claim will be worth pursuing. By consulting with medical professionals early in the process, your lawyer can get a proper assessment of your case from a medical perspective. 

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Barrington wrongful death lawyersIt is an unfortunate reality that not everyone will survive major accidents that would have otherwise left them severely injured. More than 1,000 people die in vehicle crashes in Illinois each year, according to recent data from the Illinois Department of Transportation. While fatal vehicle accidents make up less than 1 percent of the total crashes in Illinois, each death has an irreversible impact on the family of the person who was killed. If another party is liable for the fatal accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to receive monetary compensation.

When Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Be Filed?

A simple way to explain a wrongful death claim is that it is a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of the deceased person. Illinois law states that survivors of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim if:

  • Someone’s wrongful act or negligence caused the death
  • The victim would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim if they had survived

With a fatal vehicle accident, a reckless driver may have been responsible for the crash or a vehicle manufacturer may be liable for a defective part that caused a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Wrongful death claims can also apply to other areas of personal injury, such as premises liability and third-party construction accidents.

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Three Safety Tips for New Illinois Motorcycle RidersBeing behind the wheel for the first time can be an exhilarating yet nerve-wracking experience for young, new drivers. They never have the same instinct and ease as those with years of experience under their belt. The same goes for those who have recently obtained their motorcycle license. While you may have spent years driving a passenger vehicle, getting behind the handlebars of a motorcycle is a whole new ballgame. These small, unprotected vehicles can leave even the most experienced riders with serious or fatal injuries. If you have recently obtained your Illinois motorcycle license, heed the following precautions before taking your first ride:

  1. Get the Right Bike for You: There are a vast number of models that one can choose from when looking for their first motorcycle. While you may be leaning towards the larger, more advanced motorcycles, it is critical that you test out the bike before purchasing. When sitting, your feet should be able to easily rest flat on the ground and the handlebars should be right within reach. The larger bikes may be more alluring, but a motorcycle that is not the right fit for your body can lead you into dangerous waters. 
  2. Antilock Brakes Are Worth the Investment: Antilock brakes have proven to save lives time and time again. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycles with antilock brakes were 37 percent less likely to be in a fatal crash than those without them. These special brakes allow motorcycle riders to maintain steering control during an emergency stop, rather than having the brakes lock up. This will reduce a rider’s chances of skidding and crashing and is also useful in bad weather conditions.
  3. Take a Safety Course: In order to legally ride a motorcycle on Illinois roadways, a motorcycle license is required. However, this does not mean that a course is technically mandatory — it simply requires the passing of a written exam and driving test. Safety experts always suggest that new riders take a training course to learn basic riding skills and more advanced safety measures. The courses can sometimes provide other benefits, such as discounted insurance rates and a credit towards a new motorcycle depending on the manufacturer.

Call a Barrington Personal Injury Lawyer

No matter how many precautions or safety measures you have taken, you can never control the abilities of other drivers on the road. Accidents involving motorcycle riders are often caused by passenger vehicles, but due to their lack of protection, motorcycle riders suffer more serious consequences. The legal team at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, assists both motorcycle drivers and passengers to help them obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases and understand the unique issues involved. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our Illinois personal injury attorneys at 847-381-8700 to schedule your free consultation.

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Heavy Machinery Poses Injury Risk for Construction WorkersA construction worksite has plenty of dangerous equipment that can cause severe injury or death if workers are not careful. Some of the most dangerous equipment is heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, cranes, dump trucks, and excavators. When used safely, these machines are highly useful because of their ability to complete large-scale tasks in an efficient manner. When accidents happen, workers can suffer broken bones, severed limbs, and traumatic brain and spine injuries. If you have been injured by heavy construction machinery, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation.

Staying Safe

Most construction workers are appropriately cautious when around heavy machinery, but some accidents happen because a worker was being careless or reckless. Making a mistake with a machine could cause injury to yourself or others. You need to take safety precautions in order to protect everyone on the construction site:

  • Do not operate heavy machinery that you have not been trained to use or are not comfortable with.
  • Be cautious when entering and exiting the machine to avoid falls.
  • Stay focused on operating the machinery and avoid distractions, such as your phone.
  • Do not operate the machinery if you are impaired, such as feeling drowsy or sick.
  • Always use safety equipment when on or near the machinery, even if for just a short time.
  • If moving the machine, communicate with a spotter on the ground who can check in your blind spots.
  • When driving the machine, stick to the designated safe routes.
  • If working on the ground, keep a safe distance from the machine and stay aware of its location.

Injury Compensation Options

Many construction workers who are injured on the job are limited to claiming workers’ compensation benefits. You do not have to prove negligence when filing for workers’ compensation, but there is a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive. Sometimes, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was liable for your injury. For instance:

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