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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

Personal-Injury-Law-Oak-Lawn-IL

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.

Personal-Injury-Law

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.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

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-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

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.

Worker’s Compensation Eligibility: Find Out If You Are Eligible

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A warehouse worker who slips and falls while mopping the floors could be eligible for worker’s compensation. The drug store employee who injures herself while moving merchandise boxes to the appropriate aisle could also be a candidate for worker’s compensation. A businessman who falls down the hotel lobby stairs while on a business trip could also receive worker’s compensation benefits.

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Worker’s compensation protects employees from the financial consequences of workplace injuries. This insurance program covers the employee regardless of who is at fault, whether a colleague, customer, or employer. Limits do apply to receiving worker’s compensation benefits, however.

All of the following factors will determine whether or not one is eligible for worker’s compensation benefits:

Worker's-Compensation-Form

The following factors will determine whether you are eligible for worker’s compensation

1. Employee Status
2. Injured on the Job
3. Commutes
4. Reporting Timeframe
5. Employer Coverage
6. Exceptions

1. Employee Status

An individual must be an employee to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Volunteers, for instance, provide services on a volunteer basis and are not candidates for benefits. Exceptions do exist, however. Volunteer firefighters are sometimes covered by some states’ worker’s compensation programs.

Independent contractors and consultants are not typically eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Still, the rules vary state by state, and those who signed a 1099 tax form will likely go to court to resolve any disputes.

2. Injured on the Job

To be eligible for worker’s compensation, the employee must have been injured while engaging in work-related activities. The fine line between work-related and non-work-related situations can be illustrated with the following examples:
An employee takes a lunch break and is injured in the cafeteria after slipping on spilled food. This individual is likely to receive worker’s compensation benefits because the injury occurred during work hours and on the company’s premises.

However, an employee who takes a lunch break at the local deli and twists his ankle while at the deli is not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. This individual’s injury did not occur on workplace premises and is not a work-related incident. However, this employee could receive worker’s compensation benefits if he picked up lunch for his boss from the deli and the injury occurred at the time.

3. Commutes

Commutes to and from work are not considered time on the job and do not entitle an employee to worker’s compensation benefits if injuries occur. However, exceptions to this rule do allow some employees to receive benefits. For instance, an individual driving a company vehicle, an employee running errands for the employer or someone who regularly travels for work can be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

4. Reporting Timeframe

Employees who have been injured as a result of work-related activities must report the injury within a specified timeframe, which differs from state to state, in order to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Typically, most states have a 10 to 90-day time period for employees to make a written report for their employer. Once the employer is made aware of the employee’s injury, the employee typically has one to three years to file a worker’s compensation claim.

Different states may allow more time to file a claim. Some states also extend the time limit for filing claims if the individual is unable to file a claim immediately due to such scenarios as falling into a coma, prolonged treatment of the injury (such as burns), or being quarantined due to a contagious condition.

Those with mild work-related injuries should not hesitate to file a claim, since injuries can get worse over time. A claim will simply close in the event that a work-related back condition heals on its own. However, waiting to file a claim for a back injury that grows increasingly severe could lead to becoming ineligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

5. Employer Coverage

The vast majority of employers provide worker’s compensation coverage. While state laws differ, worker’s compensation coverage is usually dependent on the number of employees an employer has, the nature of the business and the type of work employees engage in. Most state laws require an employer to have coverage if they have at least one employee; other states require two to five employees.

Employees of the federal government are protected with a unique federal worker’s compensation system. Federal workers are guided by federal worker’s compensation benefit systems rather than state systems.

6. Exceptions

Domestic workers, such as housekeepers or nannies, are typically not covered by many states’ worker’s compensation programs. Other states exclude these professions if the employees are part time.

Temporary workers, or those hired by staffing agencies, are also covered by worker’s compensation so long as any injury sustained occurred while on the job. The primary challenge in temp workers’ claims is determining who is responsible for the coverage, the temp agency or the company to which the employee was sent to perform work.

Seasonal workers may also be excluded from some states’ worker’s compensation programs. Most states do, however, cover immigrant workers who lack the legal status to work.

Work with an Attorney

As the victim of injury while on the job, your medical bills, lost wages, and time off work are likely to cost you and your family valuable time and expense. You’ll benefit from seeking the services of a worker’s compensation attorney who will handle your case with professionalism and ensure you receive proper compensation. The attorney will discuss with you what is considered eligible under your state’s worker’s compensation laws and find out if your injuries make you eligible for benefits.

In Illinois, workers who have sustained injuries on the job have a two year time limit to file a worker’s compensation claim. When you are ready to discuss your claim, contact Oak Lawn’s most trusted personal injury lawyers. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. legal team is experienced in all facets of personal injury law. Our lawyers’ wealth of experience includes birth injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful death.

The dedicated team of personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will review your case, work with your insurance company, inform you of your legal options and fight for maximum compensation. We also offer an initial consultation to help you get started on resolving your worker’s compensation claim quickly.

What is Considered Personal Injury?

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Personal injury law (also known as tort law) includes the case of an injured plaintiff to receive compensation for the fault of another’s intentional or negligent act to cause the plaintiff harm. Personal injuries can include a number of situations and can be serious if the individual suffered a severe injury.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Make sure to contact a personal injury attorney right away if you have suffered on behalf of another.

This article will explain what is considered personal injury, according to the law.

  1. 1. Car Accidents
  2. 2. Medical Malpractice
  3. 3. Slip and Falls
  4. 4. Defamation: Slander and Libel
  5. 5. Dog Bites
  6. 6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

1. Car Accidents

Car accidents make up the majority of personal injury cases in the US. An accident usually occurs when one isn’t following the rules of the road, either not paying attention or going too fast in the given conditions.

The defendant, or careless driver, will be held responsible for the injuries occurred during the accident. There are exceptions in “no fault” states, whereas the drivers must collect from their insurance companies, except in cases of severe injuries.

2. Medical Malpractice

When a healthcare professional or doctor does not provide the necessary or competent care a patient needs, the injury or pain and suffering of a patient is the result. These medical malpractice cases are considered more complex as they involve a number of unique situations.

3. Slip and Falls

Another type of common personal injury case, the property owners (or renters) must keep their homes free of hazards and safe to prevent the injuries of any and all visitors. While not all injuries sustained on the property will result in the owner being liable, this is not always the case. Ultimately, their legal duty will vary depending on the unique situation and state where the injury happened.

Slip and Fall personal injury claims are usually based on premises liability laws.

4. Defamation: Slander and Libel

Defamation in the state of slander or libel is when one suffers an injury to his or her reputation as a result of false claims. The plaintiff must prove who they are and the situation in which the claim was made. Usually, this person will need to prove that the false statement was made and they suffered financial harm as a result.

In the case of public figures or celebrities, they must prove “actual malice,” meaning they must prove that the false claim was made intentionally or with disregard to the truth of what was really true.

5. Dog Bites

Most dog owners are always financially responsible for bites and injuries occurred to the person from the dog. The details of the law will vary according to each state. But in some situations, there are strict liability rules and the owner of the dog will be liable for the damages caused by the dog bite, even if the dog never showed aggression in the past.

Some states go by the “one bite” rule in which dog owners are responsible for personal injury charges if there is a reason for them to know their dog is aggressive.

6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are not based on accidents as a result of carelessness, but when one intentionally harms another. These cases will usually involve the condition of a criminal case against the perpetrator. For instance, if one physically harms another, they will most likely face criminal charges. The victim can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the criminal to get proper compensation for the injuries.

Work with a Personal Injury Attorney

Berry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry Tucker has years of experience with diverse divorce cases. He can also provide a cost-effective solution for your case.

If you can identify with any of the situations explained above, it’s important to reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. In addition to paying for your medical bills, you can also be compensated for pain and suffering as a result of the injury.

When searching for a lawyer, it’s important to find one who is experienced and is knowledgeable of all updated laws in order to receive the most compensation. This must also be done as soon as possible as there is a time limit for which you will need to file to fully prove that their wrongdoing was a result of your injuries.

One such experienced law firm includes Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Not only do they have over 50 years of combined legal experience, but they can provide the guidance and assistance you need to receive proper compensation for all injuries occurred. They have also worked in diverse cases, allowing them to make well-rounded decisions in unique situations that have ended up working in the client’s best interest.

For more information on their personal injury attorneys, please call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Tips for Filing for Worker’s Compensation

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There are many people in Illinois that have jobs in which there is a risk for a work-related injury.  If you get hurt on the job in Illinois, you are entitled to workers’ compensation.  Getting hurt at work is never a pleasant experience because of the pain you go through and the possibility that you may be out of work for a decent amount of time.

Missing that much work due to an injury can put people in a deep financial hole, which is why Illinois requires all employers by law to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.How-to-File-for-Workers-Compensation-Illinois

The Process of Filing for Worker’s Compensation

Even though workers in Illinois are entitled to workers’ comp when they are injured on the job, the compensation is not automatic.  You must go through the process of filing your claim and notifying your employer, and your request for workers’ compensation can still be denied for various reasons.  If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney that understands workers’ compensation laws and can help you navigate the claims process.  When you are ready to file your workers’ compensation claim, make sure you follow these tips to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois

In Illinois, there are a variety of benefits that make up workers’ compensation, including coverage for reasonable medical care, temporary total or partial disability, permanent partial or total disability, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits.  None of these benefits are taxable under Illinois law.

Temporary Disability Benefits

If you are eligible for temporary disability benefits, you can receive 66.6% of your weekly pay as long as it does not exceed the maximum set by the State of Illinois.  The maximum weekly payment for this benefit is $1,440.60 as of July 15, 2017, and this maximum amount is usually updated every 6 months.  You can receive temporary disability benefits after missing three days of work, and if you end up missing more than 14 days of work, you will be compensated the lost wages for the first three days.

Permanent DisabilityDisability-Benefits-Personal-Injury-Attorneys

Permanent disability can be configured in a couple of different ways.  You may receive 66.6% of the difference in your wages before and after the injury, or your pay may be determined by a “schedule of injuries” with predetermined compensation depending on the specific injuries.  Those who have been disfigured may be eligible for 60% of your average weekly wages for up to 162 weeks.

Filing for Workers’ Compensation

When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, there are two major steps you must complete:

1. Notify your Employer

The first thing you must do if you plan to file for workers’ compensation is notify your employer.  It is best to notify your employer in writing so that it is formal and on record.  Make sure your notification includes the date, time, and place of your accident.  You have 45 days from the time of the accident to notify your employer and still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  If you wait for more than 45 days to file, you can lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

There are a couple of exceptions to the 45 days rule.  You can file for workers’ comp after 45 days if you have a slow-developing injury or cumulative trauma injury that is work-related and has resulted in a disability.  You must notify your employer immediately once you have discovered the condition.  You have up to 90 days to notify your employer if you have experienced an injury due to radiation exposure on the job.

2. Employer’s ResponseTalk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

After your employer has been notified of your injury, they must provide you with a list of medical professionals that you can see for treatment and start the claims process with their insurance provider.  Your employer must accept or deny your claim within 14 days if your injury has caused you to miss more than three days of work.  If your claim is accepted, you should start receiving temporary disability payments.  If your employer denies your claim, they must provide you with a written explanation of why your claim has been denied or delayed.

Once your employer has been notified of your injury, they have 30 days to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  However, this report does not result in any actions taken by the Commission.  You are responsible for filing a claim with the Commission if your employer does nothing after your injury report.

Application for Adjustment of Claim

An Application of Adjustment Claim is the paperwork you must file to start your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  You must not only provide this application to the Commission, but also proof that you have provided your employer with a copy of your application.  This claim must be filed within 3 years of your injury, or within 2 years of the last time you received a compensation payment.  The following are exceptions to this rule:

  • If you have an injury caused by asbestos, you have 25 years from your last exposure to file a claim.
  • If you have Pneumoconiosis, you have 5 years to file.
  • You have 25 years from your last exposure to file for radiation exposure.
  • If you have a disease caused from inhaling silica dust, you have 3 years to file a claim.

Denied-Workers-Compensation

Many people believe that they only need to file this claim if their employer is not providing them with their workers’ compensation benefits.  However, it is a good idea to always file an Application for Adjustment Claim so that you are ready to deal with any disputes.  It is common for people to hire a personal injury attorney to help them prepare the application for this claim.

If Your Workers’ Compensation is Denied

There are always reasons your workers’ compensation claim can be denied.  Most claims are denied due to failure to notify your employer within 45 days or failure to prove that the injury is work-related.  If you did abide by these rules and your claim was still denied, you can contact the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission for a review.  The Commission will decide what to do with your claim after holding a hearing.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

While you can file a workers’ compensation claim without an attorney, it helps to have the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.  At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. our personal injury lawyers have experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases and we will work to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

We can help you correctly file your claim and fight for you if you need a hearing to get your compensation.  Contact Berry K. Tucker, Ltd. to talk to our attorneys about your workers’ compensation claim.

Every Case is Unique

Fill out the form below to submit your case for a free consultation.

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Oak Lawn, IL 60453

708-425-9530

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