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How Long After a Settlement Do I Get Paid?

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A settlement can end a personal injury case fairly quickly. In fact, in most personal injury settlements, the case is finalized within one to six weeks. However, the process is complex and relies heavily on various factors, such as the ones that follow.

It’s important to recognize the different types of lawsuit settlements. Personal injury cases occur after the victim is injured as a result of the careless actions of another person. A civil case is filed by the plaintiff in an effort to receive compensation for medical expenses from the offender’s insurer.

The severity of the victim’s injuries determines the amount of compensation awarded. Typically, lawsuit settlements can range from low to substantial. An average personal injury settlement ranges from $3,000 to $75,000 but depends largely on circumstances surrounding the individual case.

What are different types of personal injury cases?Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

A lawsuit settlement may involve vehicles. The verdict in car accidents depends on the type of car and the severity of damages sustained. The condition of the vehicle also influences the amount of compensation awarded. Damaged property is repaired using the money from the settlement.

Personal injuries may occur when individuals accidentally slip and fall on slick surfaces. Hazardous, wet floors are found in workplaces or general stores. Tripping over objects on the floor can also lead to a legal case in which the lawyer attempts to obtain funds to cover the plaintiff’s medical expenses.

A class action lawsuit settlement involves many people who have been harmed by the wrongful actions of a manufacturer, retailer, financial institution, or government entity. The plaintiff in such a class action lawsuit usually lacks the financial power to pursue legal actions individually.

What are the various types of settlements?

A personal injury case can fall into either of two categories: formal settlement or informal settlement. A judge decides whether or not the defendant is guilty during a formal settlement. Restitution is often a large sum in such cases, or the benefit may be worth more than a monetary award.

During an informal settlement, both parties negotiate and arrive at an agreement prior to the case going to trial. A written agreement in which both parties agree to not pursue further legal actions follows. The case is ultimately resolved with an agreed-upon monetary sum.

The type of settlement influences how soon a plaintiff will receive compensation. The entire settlement may be paid in one lump sum, which is known as a lump sum settlement. Most personal injury cases are settled via this basic form of settlement. All the money is paid without a wait.

Structured settlements, however, allow the defendant to compensate the plaintiff in a series of payments. The annuity plan may continue for years or even a lifetime. Inflation may increase each payment in structured settlements, or the payments may decrease as medical expenses lessen.

What additional factors influence the timing of payments?

Personal-Injury-LawAfter both parties sign the settlement agreement, the insurance company in a personal injury case will remit compensation. The legal documents must be filed appropriately in order to protect the plaintiff in the future. Only once the process is satisfactorily complete will the plaintiff be paid.

Once the lawyer receives the settlement check, it is temporarily placed into an escrow account or trust. The plaintiff’s attorney will pay any unpaid medical bills, health insurance fees related to the accident or auto debts using the settlement check received.

Then the court and legal fees must be paid. Court fees include the costs to file the settlement, to compel witness participation, for court appointed experts and for miscellaneous expenses, such as transcripts and document copying. Once all the aforementioned fees are paid, the plaintiff receives the rest.

Delays in the receipt of settlement compensation may also be due to the day of the week the payment is remitted. Weekends and holidays can delay payment, as funds are normally distributed on business days. Banks may also hold large sums for several days to ensure the deposit is lawful.

In most cases, compensation from settlements is received within six weeks after negotiations complete. Any extensive delays should be discussed with the personal injury attorney handling the case. The attorney should explain the reason for the delay and can help resolve any issues.

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

The personal injury lawyer can also work to expedite the payment due. A partial settlement payment may be an option as the attorney negotiates existing liens. In such instances, the lawyer will retain a portion of the settlement proceeds during the course of negotiations.

Personal injury lawsuits are complicated processes. Without an experienced personal injury attorney to provide legal representation, a plaintiff is potentially subject to frustrating delays in receiving compensation, the forfeiture of critical rights and an undervaluation of the personal injury case.

When you are the victim of a personal injury, such as a slip and fall accident, nursing home abuse or birth injury, you deserve expert legal representation to ensure you receive fair compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will help file your claim in a timely manner.

Our personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable in all facets of Illinois law. We’ve successfully won cases when clients were involved in bicycle accidents, car accidents and construction accidents. Our experience also ranges from medical malpractice to wrongful death and workers’ compensation.

The family law attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. are also available when you fail to receive the alimony or child support to which you are entitled. Our divorce attorneys provide sound legal counsel and guidance in matters involving property division and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Call for a Consultation

The highly competent attorneys at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. provide comprehensive legal representation, whether you are injured and are burdened with expensive medical bills or are pursuing a difficult divorce. Our firm serves residents in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Call our office at (708) 425-9530 for a consultation. 

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.

Prevention of Pedestrian Accidents in California

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According to accident news in California reported on March 17th, 2019, a pedestrian was killed at the spot after begin hit by a vehicle near Beverly Hills. Another case involved two pedestrians struck in San Francisco, CA, one killed while others being dragged but survived. Every year, there are thousands of fatalities that occur in pedestrian accidents in the U.S.

Negligent-Drivers-Personal-Injury-Attorneys-Car-AccidentsAccording to a report published by Governors Highway Safety Association in 2018, 6,277 pedestrians died in the accident. Since 2008, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 41%, which is 16% of all fatalities that occur in traffic accidents.

With the number of cars on the roads increasing, it’s crucial for drivers and pedestrians to be mindful. As pedestrian accidents continue to rise each year, there are certain steps that must be taken to stop – or at least minimize – the traffic fatality rate.

It is important to understand the causes of these accidents and take safety measures to reduce them.

What Causes Fatal Accidents?

• Alcohol: Alcohol is the leading cause of pedestrian-related accidents. Almost 49% of the accidents reported included alcohol involvement, either with the driver or the pedestrian, as it remains the biggest contributor to pedestrian death.
• High Speed of the Vehicle: Increased speed of the vehicle results in less reaction time to prevent an accident when a pedestrian crosses the road.
• Distracted Driving: Using a cell phone is a growing contributor of distracted driving that leads to pedestrian accidents.

Prevention of Pedestrian Related Accidents

Once learning about the causes of these accidents, the next step is to know how to prevent them from happening. According to NHTSA, the following are certain safety guidelines for pedestrians when on the road:

  • Improve their nighttime visibility by holding a flashlight or wearing reflective clothing.
  • Cross the road at an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Walk on the sidewalk.
  • Don’t use alcohol and drugs when walking. They impair reaction time and coordination.

Safety Measures for Drivers

  • Always be mindful of pedestrians. They don’t often walk where they should or may not be easily seen in poor lighting conditions. Be sure to look out for them and drive slowly.
  • If other vehicles are stopped at the crosswalk, don’t pass these vehicles. Chances are higher that they may be stopped to let the pedestrian cross.
  • Avoid driving if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Reduce speed and follow the speed limit in areas where children and pedestrians are present.

While these accidents cannot be avoided completely, however, following safety measures ensure the safety of everyone on the road and reduce fatalities resulting from these accidents.

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 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.

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.


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 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!

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