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Arlington heights boat accident lawyerFor many, warmer weather means that it is time to get out on the water. The Arlington Heights area has many opportunities for fishing, canoeing, water skiing, jet skiing, or lounging on the deck of a pontoon. Unfortunately, severe and even fatal accidents can occur during a boating excursion. If you or a loved one were hurt in a boat accident in a boat that was rented, you might be unsure of your rights in this scenario. Is the boat rental company liable for the accident? Who will pay for your medical bills?

Understanding Liability for a Boat Accident

Boat accidents can happen for countless reasons. In some cases, a boat collides with the shore, a submerged object, or another watercraft. Injuries may also occur when a boater slips and falls on the boat deck. Boat defects may cause the boat to flood, resulting in injuries or even death due to drowning. After a boat-related injury, the legal options available to you are primarily based on the reasons for the boat accident. The cause of your boat accident may include:

  • Boating under the influence – Although prohibited by Illinois law, many boaters choose to operate the boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you were injured in a boat accident caused by an intoxicated boat operator, the operator might be liable for your injury. If a boat operator of a commercial boat such as a fishing charter caused a boat accident while under the influence, the company may be liable.

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Palatine sex crime injury attorneysThe Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that one individual is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in the United States. The effect that sexual violence has on the victim cannot be overstated. Sexual abuse victims often bear physical and psychological scars for the rest of their lives. If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual abuse, you should know that you may be able to hold the perpetrator accountable and recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

How a Personal Injury Case Differs From a Criminal Case

Sadly, many sexual abuse victims are abused by someone that they trusted. The perpetrator may be a family member, teacher, religious authority, community member, or another respected figure. This can often make it even harder for the victim to report the abuse. Some sexual abuse survivors can hold their abuser accountable through criminal proceedings. However, there is sometimes not enough evidence for the prosecution to secure a conviction against the perpetrator. Even if the criminal case is successful, a criminal conviction against an abuser does not offer the victim restitution.

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil case that may be brought in the absence of a conviction or in addition to a criminal case. The perpetrator does not need to be convicted of sexual abuse or another sex crime for the victim to bring a civil claim against him or her. In fact, it is possible to bring a successful civil case against the perpetrator even if the perpetrator was acquitted of criminal charges. This is because the standard of proof in a personal injury case is lower than that of a criminal case. Prosecutors must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” to get a criminal conviction. To hold a perpetrator civilly liable for the abuse, his or her actions must be proven "by a preponderance of the evidence,”—which means that the judge or jury must be convinced that the perpetrator was more likely than not to have caused the injuries alleged in the lawsuit. 

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Arlington Heights pedestrian accident attorneysWinters in Illinois can be harsh, and in addition to dealing with cold temperatures, people will also need to be aware of how weather conditions can affect their safety. Snow, ice, sleet, and slush on roads, driveways, sidewalks, and walking surfaces can make pedestrian accidents more likely, and those who have suffered injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle while on foot will want to understand who was responsible and how they can receive compensation for their damages.

Winter Pedestrian Accident Liability

In many cases, accidents in which pedestrians are struck by vehicles occur due to the negligence of drivers. During any type of weather, drivers should be sure to notice pedestrians who are walking near the road or crossing the street, and they should always drive safely and give themselves plenty of room to slow down or respond to sudden, unexpected movements by people on foot. During the winter, drivers should take extra precautions to avoid pedestrian accidents, including reducing their speed, keeping their vehicles maintained, and paying close attention to pedestrians and the conditions on the road.

Victims of pedestrian accidents may be able to recover compensation from a negligent driver who did not take the proper measures to prevent a collision. For example, a driver may not have accounted for reduced visibility during a snowstorm by slowing down, using their headlights, or ensuring that their vehicle was clear from the accumulation of snow on the windshield. In other situations, a driver may not have taken the proper steps to make sure their vehicle was safe to drive in the winter, such as by failing to replace worn tires or keep tires properly inflated. Other forms of driver negligence that can be especially dangerous in the winter include distracted driving and drunk driving.

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorneysSerious injuries can occur in a wide variety of situations, and in many cases, victims will be able to understand the immediate physical effects of their injuries and the impact this will have on their lives. However, some types of injuries are not always immediately obvious. Traumatic brain injuries are sometimes considered “invisible injuries,” since they cannot be easily observed, and their effects may not make themselves fully known for weeks or months after the injury occurred. 

Long-Term Complications of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can occur in a wide variety of different situations, ranging from car accidents, to slip and falls, to workplace accidents in which a person is struck by a falling object. Medical malpractice can also lead to brain injuries, such as when a doctor misdiagnoses a condition such as a blood clot that leads to damage to a patient’s brain.

In the immediate aftermath of a brain injury, a victim may experience symptoms such as loss of consciousness, headaches, dizziness, problems with balance and coordination, sensory issues, memory loss, or difficulty concentrating. In cases involving minor concussions, these symptoms may clear up over time with no permanent effects. However, moderate or severe brain injuries can have a permanent impact on a person’s health and well-being, leading to effects such as:

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Schaumburg DUI accident attorneysThe holiday season is a dangerous time on our nation’s roads due to increased amounts of drunk driving. This period typically starts with “Blackout Wednesday,” when many people drink large amounts of alcohol on the day before Thanksgiving. The rest of Thanksgiving weekend usually sees hundreds of fatalities in drunk driving accidents, and this trend generally continues in the weeks leading up to Christmas as people enjoy drinking with friends and family during holiday parties. Alcohol consumption is also prevalent on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and this often leads to another spike in traffic accidents and deaths. 

While this year’s holiday celebrations are likely to be smaller and more subdued than in years past for most families, there will still be too many people drinking and driving. Those who have been injured in accidents involving drunk drivers will want to understand their options for pursuing financial compensation.

Liability for Holiday Drunk Driving Accidents

In most car accident cases, victims will need to demonstrate that a driver acted negligently in order to collect compensation for their injuries and damages. In accidents involving a drunk driver, proving negligence is not difficult, since violating the law and driving while intoxicated is an act of negligence that puts others’ safety at risk. Victims may be covered by a drunk driver’s insurance policy, or they may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and seek to recover compensation for their damages, including medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

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