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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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Cook County car accident injury attorneysWhen we think about car crash injury claims, most people picture broken bones and other physical injuries. However, not every injury that a car accident victim suffers is physical in nature. The emotional, mental, and psychological effects of a serious car accident can be profound. Many car accident victims are left with psychological symptoms that interfere with their ability to work and complete everyday responsibilities like maintaining their home or caring for children. If you have suffered psychological or mental health problems because of a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.  

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Conditions

Anyone who has been involved in a serious auto collision can tell you how terrifying the ordeal can be. The psychological effects of a car crash are often especially severe if the victim feared for his or her life or witnessed other victims’ deaths. Car crashes are the leading causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD after a car crash is often characterized by:

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Arlington Heights food poisoning attorneyFoodborne illnesses occur when food is contaminated with dangerous viruses, bacteria, or parasites. About one out of six people in the United States suffer from some type of foodborne illness each year. Some endure painful symptoms such as severe vomiting and diarrhea that keep them from working and fulfilling their daily responsibilities. Others get so sick that they require hospitalization. Sadly, about 3000 people die because of foodborne illnesses annually. If you or a loved one suffered from food poisoning or another form of foodborne illness, you may be able to sue the responsible party and collect compensation for your damages.  

Foodborne Illnesses Often Occur When Food is Negligently Prepared or Stored

Most foodborne illnesses are preventable. Many times, an individual suffers a foodborne illness because a restaurant, grocery store, product manufacturer, or other party acted negligently.  According to the Food and Drug Administration, the following steps can prevent most pathogens from contaminating food:

  • Thoroughly washing hands and cooking equipment  
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Cooking food to a safe temperature
  • Avoiding cross-contamination between raw and cooked food
  • Keeping food refrigerated

Failure to follow basic hygiene and safe cooking procedures can constitute negligence. Sick individuals have the right to bring a personal injury claim and pursue compensation when a party’s negligent actions cause them to suffer injury or illness and the injury or illness leads to damages. Damages in a foodborne illness case often include hospital bills, lost income from missed work, and pain and suffering.

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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneysThe snow finally seems to be relenting in Northern Illinois, which means that more and more people will be out riding their bicycles. Riding a bike is a healthy and cost-effective mode of transportation but it can also leave bicyclists vulnerable to dangerous collisions. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. However, issues like shared fault can complicate the process of getting the compensation you need and deserve.

An Injured Bicyclist May Be Considered Partly at Fault

When a bicyclist is hurt in a car accident, he or she may bring a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable payout, the bicyclist may file a personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof in a personal injury case is on the plaintiff. This means that it is up to you to prove that the other driver’s negligence or carelessness caused your injuries.

If you were struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, you might assume that the driver is automatically at fault. After all, vehicle occupants are rarely the ones that are seriously injured after a bicycle collision while bicyclists are often left with severe and even life-threatening injuries. However, it is possible that you will be considered partially at fault for your bicycle accident.

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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersEmergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff are held to extremely high standards. They are often the first medical professionals that an injured or ill person seeks help from. ER staff have the crucial responsibility of assessing a patient’s condition and determining the next steps. They often deal with immediate, life-threatening medical emergencies. If an ER doctor makes a mistake, it can cost the patient his or her life. If you were injured or a loved one died and you suspect that substandard emergency room treatment was the cause, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

What Constitutes Substandard Medical Treatment at the ER?

Going to the emergency room does not guarantee a positive outcome. ER doctors and nurses cannot always save a patient or fix their medical issues. However, ER staff are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. In other words, they must provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical staff of the same profession would have provided in a similar situation. If a doctor fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard and the patient is harmed or killed as a result, this may be considered medical negligence. If the patient’s injury or death is caused by negligent medical care and the injury or death causes damages, this is medical malpractice.

ER doctors often must make quick decisions with limited information. For example, an ER doctor may not have time to get a full patient history or to order a battery of tests before he or she begins treatment. Because of this, the standard of care that ER doctors must meet may be lower than what would be expected of a primary care physician or another medical professional in a less immediate situation.  

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