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November 2012 Archives

Early Signs of a Head Injury

Each year, approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. have some type of brain injury, according to WebMD. Medical costs and lost productivity are estimated at between $48 billion and $60 billion per year. A common cause of traumatic brain injuries are car accidents. Other common causes include commercial truck accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and sports injuries.

The severity of a head injury depends on the type of injury, as well as obtaining prompt medical treatment for any serious conditions. Because many head injuries appear to be mild at first, but can, in fact, be serious and life-threatening injuries, it is important to recognize the early signs of a head injury. If you have been in an auto accident or other accident, it is highly advisable to see a doctor as a soon as possible, even if you are showing no signs or symptoms of a head injury.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer after a Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident, whether a minor accident or severe accident, you probably have a number of questions. One of your first questions is likely whether or not you should hire a lawyer. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to hire an attorney and, if so, which attorney.

The following are the top 5 reasons to hire a personal injury attorney after a car accident:

  1. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. Auto accidents generally involve an area of law called "tort law," which includes complex legal issues such as negligence, strict liability, product liability, and premises liability.  Tort laws vary from state to state so it is important to hire an attorney that understands the laws of the state in which the lawsuit will be filed.

  2. You have a limited time to file a legal claim. Statutes of limitations place time limitations on when a lawsuit can be filed following any personal injury accident, including a car accident. The applicable statute of limitations varies depending on the circumstances surrounding the car accident and the jurisdiction in which the auto accident occurred. A personal injury attorney can help ensure that you file any potential legal claims within the applicable statute of limitations.

  3. Insurance companies may not agree to the money damages you are owed. Insurance policies are difficult to understand and insurance companies often apply a formulaic approach to determining claim damages. Insurance companies frequently seek to offer the least amount of compensation to settle a claim quickly. Unfortunately, the amount of money damages offered by an insurance company may not be sufficient to compensate you for your injuries and damages. A skilled personal injury attorney can negotiate with insurance companies and advocate on your behalf to get you the money damages that you deserve.

  4. Personal injury laws are complex and vary from state to state. The laws regarding auto insurance and liability vary from state to state, and a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you understand the laws that apply to your case. For instance, under comparative negligence theories, some states allow lawsuits to proceed even if the plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident, whereas other states follow contributory negligence theories to bar lawsuits if the plaintiff contributed to the accident.

  5. Legal procedures are strict and often difficult to understand. In order to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, you will need to file several documents with the court. Courts have strict procedural requirements that must be met in order to maintain a lawsuit and a personal injury lawyer can ensure that these civil procedure requirements are satisfied.

At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago car accident lawyers have significant experience advocating for clients who have been injured in Illinois automobile accidents. We will help you understand your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 to learn more about how we can help you following your Illinois car accident.

Child Booster Seats Are Safer Than Ever

Child booster seats are safer than ever. In fact, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IHS) recently issued a report awarding 15 of the 17 booster seats introduced in 2012 with its top rating of BEST BET. While manufacturers crash test boosters, these simulations don't provide information on how a booster will fit a specific child in a specific vehicle and federal regulations currently do not stipulate how a booster should position safety belts. Accordingly, IHS launched its ratings program to provide information to parents and consumers after research showed most boosters were not adequately fitting safety belts correctly and consistently in a variety of vehicles.

Boosters, which are designed to improve the fit of adult safety belts around children, come in two main styles: highback and backless. Highback booster seats have guides to route lap and shoulder belts and offer some head support. Backless booster seats have lap belt guides but may need a plastic clip to properly position shoulder belts. Some highback boosters can be converted to backless seats.

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