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What to Do if You Were Injured in a Car Accident

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People involved in a car accident should stop and provide basic information. If any party is injured, the other party must provide aid. Remember, in the event of injury, a hit-and-run incident is considered a felony in Illinois.

Here are nine steps those injured in a car accident should take:

1. Call the Police


In order to receive proper compensation for injuries, people hurt in a car accident should first call law enforcement. The police will create a detailed report upon interviewing involved parties and third-party witnesses, conducting an examination of the scene of the accident and inspecting the vehicle.

Police officials determine who is at fault in the accident. The evidence the police gather proves liability. Keep in mind that the law enforcement report is critical. Without it, the other driver can engage in a battle of “he-said/she-said,” change his story or even deny the accident ever occurred.

2. Obtain Witness Contact Details

Witnesses to an accident are unlikely to wait at the scene until police arrive. If the injured persons are well enough to do so, they should obtain witnesses’ contact information. Police will follow up with the witnesses to help determine who was at fault. Witnesses can also testify in court.

3. Seek Prompt Medical Treatment

Do not postpone medical treatment for any injuries. Minor injuries related to the accident can turn into major pains if not treated immediately. Furthermore, the longer a victim waits for medical treatment, the more likely the insurance company will argue the individual was not really hurt in the accident.

4. Recognize Common Injuries

A person hurt in a car accident should be aware of the injury, which can appear right away and/or worsen later on. Whether the damages are physical or emotional, the injuries sustained as a result of the car accident require immediate and appropriate medical treatment.

An injury that results from a car accident is defined as when an individual sustains damage that warrants immediate treatment by physicians in a medical facility or doctor’s office. Injuries can affect a person for weeks to years. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents:

Whiplash occurs when the body suddenly lunges forward; whiplash can be very painful. Loose projectiles from a vehicle impact can end in cuts and scrapes. Head injuries can cause long-term problems. Moderate impact can lead to broken ribs or other bones.

A herniated disc can occur when one or more vertebrae ruptures or shifts out of place. Knee trauma happens when the knees collide with the dashboard, necessitating braces, crutches or surgery to correct the damage. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an emotional injury that car accident victims may endure.

5. Describe All Injuries


Report even slight pains to a physician. The doctor will note the injury in the medical records, which the insurance company will use to evaluate the victim’s injury claims. By not sharing the details of the pain, the insurance company will claim it was unrelated to the accident.

6. Get Diagnostic Tests

As soon as possible, take tests that allow doctors to diagnose the injuries. MRIs, X-rays and scans will document any injuries the car accident victim has sustained. The sooner these tests are done, the easier it is to associate the injuries directly with the car accident and receive proper compensation.

7. Attend Medical Appointments

Go to every doctor or physical therapy appointment. Failing to follow through with medical appointments may be interpreted by the insurance company to mean that the victim was not truly injured in the accident. As a result, the victim’s insurance compensation will be reduced.

8. Keep Track of Everything

Document all injuries, medical appointments, related expenses and treatments. In the event of a lawsuit, which can take two to three years, the injured party will have documentation of all the circumstances surrounding the accident. Details can be readily recollected with a written record.

9. Avoid Giving Statements

The victim’s insurance company is likely to initiate contact shortly after the accident, knowing the individual has had no time to speak with a personal injury attorney. Their intention is to obtain a statement that may be later used against the victim when he seeks compensation for his injuries.

In vehicle accidents, Illinois law requires the able party render aid when injury occurs, especially when the victim requests help. This includes providing reasonable assistance, such as making arrangements to carry the injured person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical treatment.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Personal Injury Law

If you have sustained an injury as a result of a negligent driver or are otherwise injured by a neglectful third party, you have legal recourse. The personal injury lawyers from Berry K Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are prepared to help you receive the fullest compensation for your injuries.

In the state of Illinois, victims of third-party negligence have two years to bring their case to civil court. You’ll need an experienced personal injury lawyer from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. to provide expert legal representation before this two-year statute of limitations expires.

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will help you have your day in court. Our skilled lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury suits, including construction accidents, wrongful death, birth injuries and medical malpractice. Our team works quickly, so that you are awarded for damages as soon as possible.

With a dedicated team of experienced lawyers on your side, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will work diligently to ensure you receive the maximum compensation to replace lost wages and cover medical bills. We also work with your insurance company to resolve your case with speed.

Contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

Consult Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Our knowledgeable lawyers stay up to date with the changing laws in Illinois. Residents of the Oak Lawn, IL area, are urged to seek the legal counsel from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. as soon as they are injured.

What Should I Consider When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Sustaining injuries as a result of negligence or wrongdoing by another party is grounds for a lawsuit. When a legal case is imminent, the wronged party should seek the professional services of a personal injury lawyer. Prior to hiring the attorney, consider the following.

A personal injury lawyer can help a victim of an accident or an individual who has been injured due to the negligence of others. Such a competent legal professional is knowledgeable about personal injury laws and can help the victim seek compensation for her injuries.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and major corporations will go out of their way to avoid paying compensation for a victim’s injuries and damages. A skillful personal injury lawyer, however, protects a client’s best interests against these hostile companies and explains her legal rights.

When is a personal injury lawyer necessary?What-to-Do-After-Personal-Injury-at-Work-Talk-with-Doctor

An individual who is injured in a car accident must prove the negligence of the offending party. Without evidence, the victim cannot recover compensation for the injuries. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is expedient when the negligent party disputes liability, as the lawyer gathers evidence to prove liability.

A personal injury case will need a lawyer when multiple parties are involved. Examples include medical malpractice claims, construction accidents, product liability claims, and multi-vehicle accidents. The personal injury lawyer develops a case to protect the victim and seeks higher monetary compensation.

Injuries that result in permanent disability or traumatic injury could cause a victim to require ongoing medical care. Depending on age and disability, future damages could run in the millions over a lifetime. A lawyer assembles a team of medical and economic experts to ensure the victim receives maximum compensation.

The abovementioned scenarios are only a handful of instances when a personal injury lawyer can help. In general, the at-fault’s insurance company will aggressively fight back in order to protect itself from liability and avoid paying compensation. A personal injury lawyer fights for fair compensation.

What should be considered when hiring a personal injury lawyer?Talk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

  1. 1. Consider relevant experience

The right personal injury attorney will have experience handling specific types of personal injury cases. Consider that personal injury law is broad, ranging from medical malpractice to vehicle accidents and wrongful death. Ask the attorney what type of personal injury law he practices.

Probe into the lawyer’s professional experience to determine how many similar cases he’s handled. A law firm could give little or extensive focus to specific types of cases, so it is important to know their areas of expertise. Note what types of cases they recently handled and the outcomes.

Although a lawyer may have handled similar cases, the cases may not have gone to trial. While many cases are settled before they go to court, not all attorneys possess the skill to try a case in court. Find a lawyer who has taken similar cases to trial and won.

  1. 2. Consider a good reputation

Personal injury lawyers with a track record of success enjoy a stellar reputation. Lawyers who have earned a good reputation have extensive legal experience; they will also have gained the respect of peers. Overall, a solid reputation gives insight into the quality of the legal practice.

Evaluate the attorney’s reputation by researching the local chapter of the bar association. Additional feedback may be obtained from customer reviews; ratings can provide a wealth of information about client experiences in working with the lawyer and how the lawyer handles client relations.

  1. 3. Consider legal fees

Understand the personal injury lawyer’s fee structure before hiring. Most lawyers who specialize in personal injury law operate on a contingency fee basis, which means the client pays no legal fees unless she recovers compensation from her personal injury lawsuit.

Once the case is resolved, the lawyer will take a fixed percentage of the money awarded. In most cases, the fixed percentage ranges from 20 to 40 percent. If a contingency agreement is not in place, find out if the lawyer charges by the hour or a flat rate.

Be aware of accumulating litigation costs that are paid out of pocket. Whether a case is won or lost, the client may have to pay medical record retrieval fees, filing fees, and other miscellaneous clerical charges. Ask the potential attorney about his policies regarding out-of-pocket litigation costs.

Personal injury lawsuits can be lengthy, especially when severe injuries are sustained. The lawyer should be able to provide a rough estimate of the time frame for the case, though an accurate one may be unrealistic (due to case complexity, willingness to settle, or court calendars).

Assess the experience and qualifications of a potential personal injury lawyer before making a hiring decision. When you are looking for a competent personal injury law firm, consider Berry K Tucker & Associates. We offer 50+ years of combined legal experience in building successful personal injury cases.

In Illinois, personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations, meaning injured parties must file their claim within two years after the injury. When you choose our qualified personal injury lawyers to work on your behalf, your case will be handled swiftly and competently.

Looking for more information?Bankruptcy-Coins-on-Desk-Calculator-Reviewing-Documents

The attorneys at Berry K Tucker & Associates have skillfully handled numerous types of personal injury cases. Our firm specializes in car and bicycle accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death, among others.

Rather than continue to lose wages and watch medical bills accumulate, contact the personal injury lawyers at Berry K Tucker & Associates. We will determine whether or not you are eligible for punitive damages related to your injuries. Our firm works with insurers to ensure maximum compensation.

If you suffered injuries due to the negligence of another party, do not delay contacting Berry K Tucker & Associates. Our personal injury lawyers in Oak Lawn, Illinois, will provide you with expert legal guidance and representation. Contact our office today to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer.

What to do When Involved in a Vehicular Accident

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Motor vehicle accidents are stressful and exhausting. As with any emergency, the key to dealing with it is the preparation and thoughtful execution of a plan. So if an accident happens, the victims already know what needs to be done such as immediately seeking medical assistance or contacting a personal injury attorney.Car Accident

The car accident lawyers at the personal injury law firm of Hutzler Law in Phoenix, Arizona can help with legal advice following a motor vehicle accident. There are also actions that should be avoided such as discussing who may be responsible for an accident. This article can help make a plan for dealing with a motor vehicle accident and avoiding potentially disastrous mistakes.

Follow a Plan After an Accident

Before an accident occurs, make a plan for what to do. The first step should be not to panic; remain calm and take a couple of deep breaths to quiet the nerves. Accidents can trigger a rush of adrenaline, but deep breathing and focusing on staying calm can counteract this effect.

Secondly, check the injury status of everyone involved and call an ambulance if necessary. Thirdly, before an accident, think about the equipment that would be necessary or helpful in case of an accident. This may be a couple extra blankets, a notebook, and a first aid kit in the trunk of the car. It is also incredibly important to have a camera to document the accident scene. This camera could be on a phone or a digital camera that is in the car.

Try to photograph the injuries and damages at the accident scene. The photographs can be used to prove details of an accident that are unclouded by human error and this can make all of the difference when determining who is at fault.

Stick to the FactsPersonal Injury Law

When an accident occurs, it’s important stick to the facts when filing the police report about the accident. Avoid making guesses as to why this accident happened and do not attempt to speculate who or what may have been at fault. Answer only the who, what, where, and when questions.

Any thoughts as to who may be at fault are discussions to have with a personal injury attorney later. This should also be a time to take personal notes with the information of the other parties involved, the vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers, insurance information, and the information that was shared for the police report.

Seek Legal Advice from a Professional Attorney

The best course of action when it comes to vehicular accidents is to be cautious and immediately seek legal advice. It is also important to not to speak to any other insurance company without seeking legal advice.

If an accident victim waits until a medical bill needs to be paid or until they are underwater due to lost wages, it may be too late to recover the money needed to address these issues.

Think about All Medical Expenses and Future Lost WagesWhat-to-Do-After-Personal-Injury-at-Work-Talk-with-Doctor

Finally, those involved in a vehicular accident should not sign any paperwork they receive from an insurance company without consulting a car accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that victims can work on healing and recovering from an accident.

It is so important that victims of vehicular accidents to speak to a personal injury attorney before agreeing to any settlement. Too many accident victims have given up their legal right for larger recoveries or settlements. This is crucial, especially for those who are facing increasing medical expenses and an inability to recover lost wages.


If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, making a plan beforehand and following it can make all of the difference. Please contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Hutzler Law in Phoenix at 602-730-4530 to help make the best decisions following a motor vehicle accident.

Reasons a Personal Injury Lawyer May Not Take a Case

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Many individuals will wonder why personal injury lawyers will not accept their case. If you have the same concerns, this information may provide some insight as to why.

Personal injury attorneyBut first, it is best that you understand the basics of personal injury.

The Basics of Personal Injury

Personal injury law enables an injured individual to go to court and acquire legal remedy for all losses that have resulted from an accident or other incident. The main objective of this ruling system is to allow the injured person to be compensated monetarily or restore the injured person to a sound and healthy condition, after suffering harm due to another person’s acts of negligence or intentional conduct.

There are a variety of situations when personal injury rules will apply.

  • Intentional Acts. Such rules also apply to situations when a person’s intentional actions cause harm to another person. Incidents include assault and battery and other intentional torts.
  • Accidents. Personal injury rules will apply in situations when one acts negligently and the incident causes harm to another person. This type of injury may include slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice, car accidents, among other types of cases.
  • Defamation. The personal injury laws will also apply when a person’s defamatory statements cause harm to another person’s reputation.
  • Defective Products. There are also incidents when a defendant is deemed liable for injuries not based on negligence or any intentional wrongdoing. Such incidents include product liability claims associated with defective products.

Reasons Personal Injury Lawyers will Not Accept a Case

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-StethoscopeAfter an injury, someone may believe that they have a case but often find it difficult to find an attorney who will accept their case.

Here are some reasons why this happens.

  • How the Incident Occurred. One of the first considerations that a personal injury lawyer makes before accepting a case is how the accident happened. To hold a person financially accountable, this person has to breach a legal duty or must do something wrong that has caused the injury. It is not enough that the injury occurred in a certain place or that the injuries are severe. The personal injury attorney will try to analyze whether legal accountability can be established. The attorney will also scale the likelihood of success.
  • The Severity of the Injury. Personal injury attorneys will determine damages and use this information to establish the expected recovery before accepting any case. Speculative damages, whether in terms of injury or financial, does not warrant acceptance of your personal injury case. In most cases, an attorney will pass on your case if your injuries are minor, as the expected monetary compensation will likely be minimal. Besides, the cost of the development of testimony that will help prove the injuries will also be factored into analysis by the personal injury attorney. If ever, upon assessment, the cost of the expected depositions will exceed the expected return, the attorney will most likely not accept the case.
  • The Economic Reality of Pursuing the Case. Personal injury lawyers take cases based on contingency fees. This means that the lawyer often makes a business judgment on the cases they agree to handle. Considerations that factor into the business judgment include the amount of time the lawyer spends on the case, the expected fee, and the cost of developing the case. Also, the more experienced and successful the lawyer, the higher the fees.

Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Law

Like most important decisions you make in your life, you need to do your homework to be able to find the best and the right personal injury lawyer for your case. When you meet with a potential attorney to discuss your case, you need to ask the right questions to determine if the lawyer has a proven track record of success.

It is important to note, however, that there is no official rating system for personal injury lawyers besides peer review from other lawyers. You can find a few resources online. You can also inquire if the lawyer has the financial as well as staffing resources to take on your case. Lastly, you can ask the lawyer what kind of cases he handles, how long has he been handling such cases and his success rate. A personal injury lawyer who can provide you with accurate answers to these queries is likely a great candidate for your case.

7 Safety Tips for Illinois Drivers

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In 2019, car accidents in Illinois totaled 553. Among those crashes, 595 people lost their lives. Safe driving is a life-saving measure. Illinoisans who operate a vehicle should be prepared to adhere to driver safety tips to avoid contributing to the drastic number of fatal statewide crashes.

1. Cell PhonesNegligent-Drivers-Personal-Injury-Attorneys-Car-Accidents

A new state law was enforced on July 1, 2019. Using or even holding a handheld electronic communication device, such as a cell phone, becomes an automatic moving violation under the new Illinois law. Individuals who brazenly disregard the law will receive a ticket.

The new Illinois law takes a critical look at how cell phone usage distracts even the most competent drivers. Trying to get away by using a speakerphone while holding the cell phone is still considered a violation. Three offenses in a year lead to a driver’s license suspension.

While on the road, Illinoisans who must use a cell phone that is not hands-free can do so under specific conditions. These three scenarios are recommended by the Illinois Secretary of State to promote safe driving while taking into account the need to use communication devices:

  • Park on the shoulder to make the call.
  • When traffic is at a standstill and the car is in neutral or park, a cell phone that is not hands-free may be used.
  • A cell phone that is not hands-free can be used to report emergencies.
  • Violations of the new law will result in severe repercussions, including incarceration and criminal penalties, in cases where the distracted driver is involved in a crash.

2. Drinking, Drugs and Medicine

Most Illinoisans know to avoid drinking alcohol when planning to drive. What may be surprising is that an alcohol level below the legal level of intoxication also hampers the driver’s reaction time. Slowed responses when quick thinking is required can lead to car accidents. Don’t drink and drive.

Mixing any amount of alcohol with drugs is extremely dangerous, especially while on the road. To remain safe while operating a vehicle, do not use medical cannabis, prescription, or nonprescription medicines or illegal drugs, such as heroin, LSD, cocaine, or similar mind-altering stimulants.
Illinoisans who are battling a severe cold may take antihistamines or similar cold remedies. When under the weather and consuming prescription medications or over-the-counter ones, be aware that medicines can interfere with safe driving. Under these circumstances, rest rather than drive.

3. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers are on the roads, whether it’s a busy highway or rural street. Their risky behaviors include speeding, tailgating or breaking in front of a tailgater, flashing headlights, repeatedly honking, cutting off other cars, screaming, and making hand or facial gestures toward other drivers.

Safe drivers do not respond to aggression or retaliate. Rather than engage the instigator, safe drivers choose to not make eye contact. They keep their doors locked and windows rolled up. Most importantly, safe drivers never underestimate the level of aggression a driver can execute.

4. BicyclistsWoman-Riding-Bike-on-Street

Illinois, with its forest preserves and winding roadways, attracts avid bicyclists. Drivers share the road with those peddling on two wheels. Responsibilities and rights on the road are also shared. Following safety guidelines ensures the safety of all roadway users, whether they are on four wheels or two.

Drivers should yield to bicyclists just as they would another vehicle. Leave at least three feet of space between the vehicle and bicyclist when passing. Be especially observant and slow down when driving through a residential area where young kids are commonly riding bicycles.

5. Railroad Tracks

Railroad tracks crisscross much of Illinois. The majority of drivers will eventually pass over railroad crossings and should be aware of safety regulations. Vehicles should stop 15 to 50 feet from the tracks if a stop sign is present, the crossing lights flash or the crossing gate lowers.

In the ill-timed event a driver’s vehicle becomes stalled on the railroad tracks, everyone in the car should immediately exit and relocate away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle. Such positioning prevents flying debris from injuring individuals if the train makes impact. Place a call to 911.

6. Vehicle Failure

With the 4.5 million cars on Illinois roadways, equipment failures are bound to happen. When they do, it is critical to maneuver the broken-down car off the roadway safely and quickly. Numerous types of failures can occur, from stuck gas pedals to brake failures to blowouts.

When brake failures occur, the driver’s best friend is the emergency parking brake. A stuck gas pedal calls for a rapid shift to neutral and a gradual brake. Thumping sounds warn of blowouts. In instances of tire loss or blowout, ease off the gas pedal and steer off the road.

7. Time of Day

Rush hour on any weekday occurs between 5pm and 7pm. Due to the increased number of drivers frantically heading home, these evening hours are the most dangerous to navigate. Driving during the mornings is considered safer than traversing the nighttime roads.

Personal Injury Attorney for Bike and Car Accidents


When you are on the road as a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist, you are vulnerable to injury. Accidents happen and can leave you with life-changing injuries and exorbitant hospital bills. Personal injury laws in Illinois are designed to protect victims. If you are involved in an accident that results in injury, seek the services of a qualified personal injury lawyer from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

You deserve adequate compensation for your injuries. The experienced legal professionals from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. have successfully won cases involving construction accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, and wrongful death. Our personal injury lawyers are prepared to help you win your legal battle.

With personal injury attorneys who are up to date on Illinois laws, our firm is positioned to provide you with legal options or help you work with insurance companies to resolve your dispute. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. personal injury law firm is dedicated to serving the residents of Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Get a Free Consultation

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 to schedule your free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.

What Will Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

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An individual who is injured has the right to file a personal injury claim. Whether the damage involves a car accident, requires treatment by a physician or provokes emotional distress, the insurance company of the person who caused the injury could be responsible for financially compensating the victim.Personal-Injury-Law-Oak-Lawn-IL

Insurance settlement offers are made in accordance with the level of pain endured, meaning the payout is higher if the individual suffers a great deal. Insurance companies utilize a formula to determine how much pain the victim suffered in order to calculate a fair settlement offer.

The formula insurers use is not set in stone. Their method of coming to what they view as fair compensation relies heavily on certain factors that result from the sustained injury. No insurer will admit they are using a formula. Still, the formula sets the starting point for negotiations.

Check out the following factors that affect personal injury claims.

1. Minor vs. Severe Injuries

The first step insurance adjusters take to arrive at a settlement offer is to calculate the sum of medical expenses that were necessary to treat the injury. These medical special damages, when minor, are multiplied by one and a half to three times.

Severe medical special damages, such as those that are long-lasting or especially painful, are multiplied by five or more. Once an initial figure is decided upon, the adjuster factors in any wages that were lost due to the injury. This final number is the starting point for all settlement negotiations.

Important factors that influence how much the insurance company will offer include the extent of medical treatment necessary to relieve the pain, a long recovery period and clear medical evidence of damage. The more treatment, recovery time and evidence there is, the higher the insurance payout.

2. Mainstream vs. Alternative Medicine

The type of medical treatment the injured seeks weighs in heavily on the amount of compensation offered by an insurer. Most insurance companies disfavor alternative medicine, which includes such forms of treatment as chiropractic care, acupuncture and even physical therapy.

Insurers take seriously treatment received by medical doctors (MDs rather than non-MDs) and in hospitals or medical clinics. Once the injured person receives the medical bill, insurers take even the most exorbitant expenses seriously and attribute a higher numerical value in their formula.

Although treatment by non-MDs may come with a smaller price and yet be effective, insurance adjusters apply a smaller number when they calculate their formula. The application of a smaller multiplier means the claimant will receive a much lower initial settlement offer.

3. Treatment Duration

The length of time treatment takes is a significant factor in the personal injury claim settlement offer. A prolonged period of treatment suggests the injured endured more pain and suffering. Again, when the medical care is mainstream rather than alternative medicine, insurers are less suspicious.

4. Prescription Medicine

Prescribed medicines are given consideration when calculating insurance settlement offers. When a physician prescribes a drug for a lengthy duration or one that is especially strong, these details communicate to the adjuster that the injuries sustained are serious and will result in a higher settlement for the victim.

A lower settlement offer occurs when the medical treatment is brief and there is a lack of resulting emotional problems. Short recovery periods, no permanent injury and no medications prescribed to address the injury lead to the insurer factoring in a lower multiplier when calculating compensation.

5. Evidence of InjuryPersonal Injury Law

Medical records play a role in how much the insurance settlement will be. A doctor’s notes about continuing pain and the number of office visits will be included in the patient’s medical charts. The insurance company will be made privy to this information, which will affect the compensation.

The proof of injuries is in the hands of the victim. By relaying to the doctor symptoms of discomfort that result from the injury, evidence is established via the medical charts. Additional proof includes photographing bruises or discoloration and writing down when pain precludes one from activities.

While physical damage can be evident, general damages may be more difficult to assign a formulaic number. These less obvious damages include anxiety, stress and emotional distress that can result from the injury. Although less quantifiable, these damages are included when calculating insurance settlements.

6. Fault

Those injured may have played a part in their injuries. When victims of injury share blame for the incident, they are less likely to receive a higher settlement offer. Lower compensation will also be offered if witnesses are unavailable to support the victim or favor the case of the injured.

Comparative fault is recognized in Illinois courts. Essentially, when the injured is partially to blame for the incident (known as comparative fault), the individual’s compensation offer drops. If a victim is found to be 50 percent at fault for the injuries, the compensation drops by 50 percent.

In direct contrast, when the injured has no fault in the incident, insurers will assign higher numbers that raise the compensation amount. Plus, witnesses who support the injured and the victim’s calmness toward the claims process steers the insurance adjuster toward offering a higher compensation.

When filing personal injury claims in Illinois, victims have two years to take action in the civil court system. This statute of limitations starts from the date of the accident. In some instances, the discovery date, or when the injured learned about the injury, is accepted when filing a claim.

Work with a Personal Injury Attorney

Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

Oak Lawn’s most prestigious law firm, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., is prepared to help victims of injury receive the maximum compensation for their pain and suffering. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in fighting for victim’s rights. Our legal experts work diligently with insurance companies to ensure quick and fair personal injury settlements.

The personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. successfully represent clients who are victims of medical malpractice, dog bites, nursing home abuse and neglect and birth injuries, among a host of other types of injury.

Get A Free Consultation

No individual should have to suffer without seeking justice. If you are injured, receive the compensation you are entitled to with the help of the skilled personal injury lawyers from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. We are committed to serving our clients in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and the surrounding communities.

Give us a call at (708) 425-9530 to receive a free consultation.

8 Common Injuries That Occur in Nursing Homes

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While admitting an aging loved one into a nursing home is one of the least favorable of care options, life circumstances may warrant such a scenario. Every year, two million seniors undergo nursing home mistreatment, which results in injuries.Personal Injury Law

When neglect and physical abuse in nursing homes occur, defenseless elders sustain injuries, which can sometimes lead to death. Seniors and family members have the legal right to bring charges against liable nursing home facilities in response to negligence or criminal intent.

Overcrowded and understaffed facilities and overworked nursing home employees contribute to intentional or unintentional injuries to seniors. Due to mental incapacities or physical infirmities, many seniors fail to report nursing home abuse. Fear of retaliation also keeps many abused seniors silent.

Families with loved ones in nursing homes should be observant of signs of abuse and consult an elder law attorney when mistreatment occurs. Here are 8 common nursing home injuries.

1. Bed sores

Bed sores affect over 2.5 million seniors annually. When an elder remains immobile for prolonged periods of time, the skin along bony areas of the body becomes injured. Pressure points, such as those along the hips, ankles, tailbone and lower back, provoke an eruption of bed sores.

Left untreated, bed sores can morph into gangrene, sepsis and joint infections, among a host of additional ailments. When a senior is involuntarily sedentary, bed sores are likely to emerge. Daily bed inspections and shifting the senior away from pressure points prevent bed sores.

2. Malnutrition and Dehydration

One third of nursing home occupants are unable to consume nutrient-rich foods or drink liquids on their own. Elderly individuals who have difficulty chewing food, swallowing or eating independently are at a high risk for malnutrition and dehydration.

Understaffed nursing home facilities, high turnover in the field and improperly trained nursing assistants contribute to underweight residents and elder malnutrition. Nursing home staff should be properly trained to help seniors consume the recommended daily amount of liquids and balanced meals daily.

3. Burns

Burns may result from numerous causes within a nursing home. Extremely hot coffees or teas, scalding food, hot showers, high-temperature physical therapy heating pads and sunburns can lead to second and third degree burns along the fragile skin of seniors.

Preventing burns requires that hot foods be checked prior to serving, hot shower water be checked prior to baths, heating pad temperatures are monitored, the length of time seniors are in the sun should be supervised and residents’ whereabouts should be known in the event of a facility fire.

4. Medication Errors

Life-threatening emergencies can result in medication errors. Some facilities fail to have the right medicines in stock, leaving residents without medication. In some instances, nursing staff ignore or alter the administration instructions or even discontinue the medications.

Seniors may be given expired medications, excessive, or inadequate medicines, improper technique in administering the medications or the wrong medications at the wrong time. Staff may crush pills not intended to be crushed or fail to deliver the necessary liquids—leading to dehydration.

5. Falls

Each year, 100 to 200 nursing home resident falls are reported. Serious injuries, including disability, a decline in functional ability and even death may result. Seniors who experience falls tend to experience feelings of isolation and helplessness. Frequent falls may be a sign of an unaddressed health condition.

6. Head Injuries

Accidental head injuries may occur when nursing home residents slip and fall in the shower, transfer from a wheelchair to a bed, walk along facility sidewalks, or attempt to retrieve items from a high shelf. Intentional head injuries are a possibility in some cases.

Adjusting the senior’s environment reduces a chance for injury. Simple alterations include removing tripping hazards (like rugs), properly utilizing patient lifts for transfer into or out of a wheelchair, dining chairs or shower and keeping commonly used items on low shelves.

7. Sepsis

A full body infection in nursing home residents, sepsis is a consequence of infected, untreated bed sores. Given aging individuals’ weakened immune systems, severe complications from sepsis can threaten seniors’ lives. High fever, chills and a rapid heartbeat characterize the first stage of sepsis.

Elder septic shock can result when the early stages of sepsis go untreated. The senior’s blood pressure drops severely enough that medical professionals are no longer able to restore it. Death can result from extremely low blood pressure. Nursing home negligence is often a cause of sepsis.

8. Choking

Elderly individuals are susceptible to choking when they improperly ingest beverages, certain foods, or medications. Without constant monitoring during mealtimes and medication administration, choking is a stark possibility. Dehydrated individuals can also choke due to an increased difficulty in swallowing.

Nursing home staff should be properly trained to provide appropriate foods and medicines. To prevent choking, employees should engage in regular monitoring of residents for medication side effects and ensure seniors are upright when they consume food and beverages.

The crowded facilities, overworked staff, and lack of proper employee training lead to horrendous cases of nursing home resident injuries. The vulnerable state in which the majority of nursing home residents live requires extensive care on the part of the employees.

Work with an AttorneyBerry-K.-Tucker-Personal-Injury-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

As a concerned family member, you may suspect nursing home neglect. When doubts about care arise, turn to a reputable elder law and personal injury attorney, like Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our firm specializes in all issues surrounding elder care, from nursing home injuries to end-of-life issue planning.

Discuss your concerns regarding the well-being of an aging loved one with a Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. lawyer. Each attorney is dedicated to protecting the interests of the senior in your life. We specialize in health care decision planning, assisted-living arrangements and guardianship, among other elder law niches.

Experienced elder law attorneys from Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. provide invaluable legal expertise and legal advice to help you and your loved one make the most compassionate and appropriate decisions at this important stage of life.

An initial consultation helps determine what type of elder law services your unique situation warrants. Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. serves individuals and families in the communities surrounding Oak Lawn, Illinois.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

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Personal injury attorneys are those who provide legal representation to those who have been injured in some sort of accident and help them in seeking compensation for the accident. As these lawyers work in tort law, it includes both the intentional and unintentional acts.

Cases that Personal Injury Lawyers Deal With:Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Most often these cases involve the negligent acts of others. This involves auto accidents- car, motorcycle or truck accidents. In addition to it, aviation, bike, mass transportation accidents, pedestrian accidents or boating accidents are also additional types of cases these lawyers deal with. Apart from these accidents, premises liability, animal bites, slip, and fall accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse also come within the purview of personal injury cases.

Compensation in Personal Injury Cases:

The victims of personal injury are entitled to the compensation for the injuries that they have suffered. Such injuries include medical expenses, loss of ability to earn, loss of wages or income, emotional trauma, loss of companionship, or pain and suffering.

What do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

The actions of these lawyers depend upon the nature of the case, subject area, and the certain stage of the case. In order to understand how personal injury lawyers can help you, it is important to know what activities they carry out:

  • Investigation of the Claims:

A personal injury attorney work on the contingency fees, in which they only charge their fees after securing the court verdict. As they pay for the case most often, they take a case after carefully examining it whether there are chances in winning the case or not.

  • Collection of Evidence:

These lawyers also collect evidence in order to support their client’s claim. This may include procuring police report, tracking down the witnesses, and record their statements. Moreover, the lawyer may ask a photographer to take pictures of the accident and can retain the evidence such as camera footage, damage to the property etc.

Such evidence explain who was at fault and the intensity of the damages occurred; this evidence involves, medical reports, bills, employment reports etc.

  • Dealing with Insurance Companies:

Personal injury lawyers are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies. They review their policies in the detail and determine the level of compensation they can seek in the case depending upon particular circumstances. Moreover, the lawyer maintains communication with the insurance companies and prevent the client from carrying out actions that can damage his or her claim.

  • Sending Demand Letters to the Insurance Companies:

The personal injury attorney will send the demand letter to the insurance companies once he or she has completely examined the claim. This letter contains the facts of the accident along with the demand monetary compensation of damages.

  • Preparation of Pleads:

In case the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, the lawyer will then prepare a complaint against the defendant. This complaint establishes the legal arguments about why the defendant is being held responsible for the damages. Moreover, the complaint also contains the number of damages that the plaintiff is seeking. One the defendant receives a complaint, he or she has thirty days to respond to it.

Legal Representation of Clients:

When the personal injury case proceeds to trial, the attorney represents the client in the court. An expert attorney is well aware of the accident news as well as court customs and procedures and makes sure that they follow those procedures to ensure smooth trial.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

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After suffering a personal injury such as a slip and fall, dog bite, or car accident, it’s not uncommon to think about how much your case is worth. The answer ultimately depends on the damages incurred, such as what you have suffered physically, mentally, monetarily, and even if the defendant’s actions deserve to be punished.


Here you can get an idea of the personal injury damages for which you are eligible as well as the kind of damages for which you would identify.

Typically in personal injury cases, charges are paid to the injured party (plaintiff) by the company or person who is legally responsible for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). After a settlement has been reached, the damages awarded will be determined between both parties, their attorneys, and the insurance companies. In other cases, they may be ordered by a jury or judge to go to trial.

The following information discusses the types of damages that are common in personal injury cases as well as how the compensation will be affected by the plaintiff’s actions.

Compensatory Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases are identified as “compensatory,” meaning that the intention is to compensate the injured party, or defendant, for the damages on behalf of the plaintiff. This compensation is determined to provide the needed relief for the injured party to recover properly.

This case will put a dollar value on each injury suffered, and while some are easy to determine, some are not. For example, quantifying medical bills and property damages can be easy, but it’s difficult to put a value on the amount of physical pain and suffering or ability to perform future activities due to physical disabilities.

The following includes a list of compensatory damages that are found in most personal injury cases:

  • Pain and suffering. If you have suffered serious discomfort or pain after an accident or its aftermath, you may be entitled to a specific compensation.
  • Medical treatment. Known to be relatively easy to determine the amount of awarded damages, personal injury compensation almost always includes the cost of medical treatment after an accident. This compensation may include the cost of treatment you have already received as well as additional treatments you may need in the future.
  • Property loss. In addition to pain and discomfort, any damages incurred to your property, such as your car, home, or items, may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement. This will be taken at the fair market value of the property.
  • Emotional distress. This type of pain and suffering are usually only compensated for more serious accidents. But it is meant to compensate the injured party for the psychological impact taken on, such as sleep loss, anxiety, or fear. There are some states that still consider this as pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment. When you are not physically capable of enjoying specific activities, such as exercise, hobbies, and other recreational activities, you may be eligible for “loss of enjoyment” compensation.
  • If the accident had caused you to miss work, it will have an impact on your salary or wages. This would include both the income you have lost but the money would have been able to make in the future if the accident never happened. This type of compensation would be counted as “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Loss of consortium. This is mostly related to the impact the injuries incurred on the relationship between the plaintiff and their spouse. Some states also consider the impact on the relationship between the plaintiff and their child if one is injured. Some cases may conclude that the consortium damage is awarded directly to the family member.

Punitive Personal Injury Cases

If the defendant’s actions were intentional or extremely negligent, the plaintiff can be awarded compensation both punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are usually intended to push consequences on the defendant for their negligent or intentional actions.

This would usually result in extreme charges, such as charges significantly exceeding the cost to make the injured party “whole again.” But many states still have a cap on the damages to prevent such outrageous charges from being incurred.

How Damages Awards are Affected by the Plaintiff’s Actions

There are cases in which the injured party’s actions, or even inactions, can take away from the damages awards they are eligible to receive.

  • Contributory negligence. Not many states follow this, but the concept of this is that the injured party may not be eligible for any compensation because they were held partially responsible for the accident.
  • Comparative negligence. If the injured party is at any fault for the accident that caused the injuries, the compensation they receive can reflect this.
  • Failure to mitigate damages after the accident. Most state laws don’t require but do expect the plaintiffs to take steps to help “mitigate” or minimize the damage. This in turn can reduce the financial harm caused to both parties. But if they don’t do anything, such as not getting the proper treatment needed and their injury becomes worse, the compensation awarded will be reduced significantly.

Work with a Personal Injury AttorneyBerry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

The damages and types of personal injury cases stated in this article are intended to help understand the circumstances in which compensation is received and affected; it is not to be taken as legal advice. For more information on obtaining the compensation you deserve, it is highly recommended to reach out to a personal injury attorney.

Contacting a professional that is experienced can even maximize the amount of damages for which you are eligible, provided that all evidence, details, and efforts are made. Finding one that specializes in specific personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall, etc. will also help your case due to their specialization and experience.

Our personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can provide insight to your case. Our attorneys not only have over 50 years of combined experience working in diverse cases, but ensure to stay updated on changes in the law. This allows us to develop the best strategy for your case, fighting for the compensation you deserve so you can recover properly.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information or to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Steps Included in a Personal Injury Case

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Due to the unique situation of each person, there is no black and white solution for each personal injury case. But there is a basis in which each case would follow provide an idea of what to expect.


Here you can get an idea of what to expect when filing for a personal injury lawsuit.

At the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our personal injury attorneys take a professional approach to the situation. We combine the right information with years of experience and knowledge of current law in order to provide the most effective solution for the client.

Our process of personal injury cases goes as follows:

  1. Consultation with an attorney
  2. Personal injury case investigation
  3. Demand for settlement
  4. Filing a personal injury lawsuit
  5. Discovery phase of the case
  6. Mediation
  7. Trial
  8. Appeal

1. Initial Consultation with an Attorney

Immediately after an accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney about the details of your case, including:

  • Whether the other party was negligent
  • If there is a defendant from whom to receive compensation
  • The severity and extent of your injuries
  • Your legal options
  • Your medical expenses

Feel free to ask any questions during the initial consultation with Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

2. Personal Injury Case Investigation

If you retain counsel, one of our attorneys will investigate the details of your case, including all details about the accident scene, photographs, police reports, witness testimony, medical bills and records, employment history and earning power, as well as other details that are important to your case.

They may also work with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, or other professionals involved in your case. They will also look into the defense of the other party to determine their liability.

For many cases involving car accidents, we will need to research the vehicle’s information, including its condition before the crash as well as the condition of the road. If there was any video footage of your vehicle or even of the crash, it will be found as well.

Finally, additional witnesses of the accident may also be contacted in order to obtain statements. But your attorney should keep you informed at all times regarding the details of your case as well as be responsive to your legal questions.

3. Demand for Settlement

This step will demand a settlement that will include the letter outlining your case. This will include the liabilities and damages that highlight the following:

  • Injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment
  • Future medical care and expenses

This demand letter will be reviewed by the defendant, be it an individual, business, or insurance company in which they will either reject, counteroffer, or accept it. As this letter is often the most important step in starting the case, ensuring that it includes all details is crucial.

4. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your case cannot be settled without taking legal action, one of our attorneys will work with you to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.

5. Discovery Phase of the Case

Before going to trial, the other party will need time to gather evidence and determine the nature of both sides of the case. Keep in mind that it’s not only using the right information during this time, but how it’s done.

When the time is right, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will work aggressively in order to gather the necessary information for the case.

6. Mediation

Before filing the lawsuit, it is possible that a mediator will schedule a session in which you and the opposing party can reach an agreement to prevent going to trial. But keep in mind that the actions taken during this session can significantly impact one’s case, so it’s important to work with a trained and experienced attorney.

At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience, including handling negotiations. These experiences have allowed us to win numerous high-value cases in order to provide the solution that served in our clients’ best interests.

7. Trial

If an agreement was still unable to be made, the next step in this case would be to go to trial. During this process, the jury will review the facts, determine the fault, and then award the damages.

8. Appeal

Depending on the proceedings, the opposing party may appeal the case. Known as an appellate process, this will usually proceed differently than the normal trial process. But it’s helpful to work with experienced appellate practitioners to assist with these cases.

Work with an Experienced Attorney


Berry Tucker has years of experience with personal injury cases. Be sure to ask him how he can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Personal injury cases are definitely no walk in the park. Especially when filing a lawsuit, working with an experienced attorney who has negotiated during both mediation and trial will be critical. It’s also important to ask the right questions during the consultation to get an idea of what will be done when working on your case.

If you live near the Oak Lawn, IL area, don’t hesitate to contact the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our personal injury attorneys are not only experienced in handling numerous cases, but we will provide a consultation to discuss your case as well as what will be done in order to obtain the compensation that you deserve. We will then work with you throughout your case, negotiating with the other party in order to reach a solution that works in your best interest.

To speak with one of our attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Every Case is Unique

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