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Nursing homes are required by state and federal laws to provide their patients with a specific level of care. That care includes basic necessities like food, water, and hygiene.

Dehydration in a nursing home resident often indicates nursing home neglect or abuse.

If you suspect that your loved one has been deprived or that they suffer from dehydration, you must educate yourself about what causes this condition and whether it is a case of neglect and abuse.

Understanding the Issue of Dehydration in Chicago Nursing Homes – Is It Abuse or Neglect?

The human body needs hydration, and nursing home residents should receive proper nutrition and hydration so that they can maintain the right level of health. Nursing home residents typically have a higher hydration requirement, because the medications they take could result in medical conditions that demand more fluids.

Sometimes, a nursing home resident’s physical or mental condition makes it hard for them to monitor their water intake, which is why nursing home staff should do it for them. When you pay for a nursing home to care for your loved one, they are obligated to maintain their health – that includes giving them access to water or using intravenous supplements to ensure hydration.

Can You Sue for Dehydration?

A resident who suffers from dehydration could encounter a serious medical condition or die from it. Nursing homes are responsible for maintaining resident hydration. Therefore, family members may consider holding that nursing home accountable if their family member becomes ill or dies from dehydration.

Cases for dehydration, which are typically classified as neglect, require that family members establish four primary elements. These elements show that the nursing home owed a duty of care and breached the duty of care that ultimately led to the patients’ injuries or death.

Determining a required level of care comes down to the state and federal expectations of that nursing home and the attention that the individual would have received if another facility treated them.

The Elements Required for Proving Dehydration in a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, the next step would be to prove that you have a valid claim against the facility.

This starts by proving the four elements:

1. The Nursing Home Owed a Duty of Care

First, you must show that the nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care and that they were legally obligated to fulfill those duties stemming from state and federal laws along with their contractual obligations.

One duty all nursing homes must comply with is providing nutrition and hydration to their patients – especially those who have an additional need for hydration or cannot monitor their hydration themselves.

2. The Nursing Home Breached Their Duty of Care

Next, you must show that the nursing home breached their duty of care by showing that they did not have the adequate staff count to care for patients, or they have a history of patients suffering from dehydration and other health complications. During discovery, your nursing home neglect attorney will look for records that show how much assistance your loved one received, the visits documented by aides, and water intake monitored by the staff. Then your attorney may be able to demonstrate that nursing home caregivers did not have the time to monitor or administer liquids adequately.

3. Creating a Connection Between the Breach and Injury

The third element is known as causation. Causation is the tie between the breach and the injury or illness. Basically, you must show that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your loved one’s injury or medical complication.

The nursing home might argue that your loved one’s dehydration stems from their medical condition – not a lack of care. Your attorney will counter argue against this by showing that the nursing home’s neglect was the direct cause of their dehydration and associated complications.

Documenting your loved one’s dehydration and using independent medical evaluations should be enough to prove that the nursing home failed to fulfill their obligations to your loved one. Also, documenting symptoms (including skin elasticity, lowered vital signs, and low blood pressure) can help prove that dehydration was present, and the nursing home staff failed to diagnose and treat it.

4. Damages

Even if you have the three elements, you still must show that you or your loved one suffered damages because of the breach of duty. Damages come in numerous forms, but the most common for a nursing home neglect case include:

  • Medical Costs – It is likely your loved one will encounter medical costs as a direct result of their dehydration. These medical costs could consist of everything from hospitalization to IV fluids to medications. They may require long-term care following medical complications from dehydration – only adding to your family’s out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering – Dehydration is unlikely to be the only type of neglect your loved one received. They could also be malnourished, suffer from bedsores, or have other medical complications as a direct result of this neglect. All of these conditions lead to physical pain, mental anguish, and long-term emotional suffering.
  • Wrongful Deaths – If your loved one passes away due to the horrific conditions provided by their nursing home, you might be entitled to compensation for that death, including compensation for funeral costs, loss of companionship, and more.

What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Your Case?

Proving that dehydration occurred from negligence or abuse is not easy. You should consult with a nursing home abuse attorney first to explore your options, because an attorney can help collect evidence and knows what evidence they need to prove their case. Some of the evidence that might help prove your claim includes:

  • Medical Records: Your loved one’s medical records, especially when they receive treatment for the dehydration, will indicate the level of dehydration at the time of their admittance. It will also discuss their prognosis, complications that resulted from the dehydration, and whether outside factors played a role.
  • Expert Witnesses: Often a physician’s testimony is required to prove negligence or abuse happened. Expert witnesses in these cases are usually physicians who can testify that the victim’s conditions were caused by dehydration, and how medical staff at the nursing home should have recognized the signs of dehydration and corrected it.
  • Nursing Home Records: Nursing home records for the victim and records regarding past inspections and licenses can be used to prove abuse. Histories of complaints, citations for health and safety violations, employment records, and the care file for the victim can also show how a lack of staffing, attention, and inadequate training led to the victim’s illnesses.
  • Witness Testimony: Aside from expert witnesses, your attorney might contact other residents, their family, or employees in the nursing home who will testify to the conditions and how the victim’s dehydration occurred.

Do You Suspect Abuse? Contact an Abuse Attorney Right Away

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from dehydration and you think the dehydration stems from abuse or neglect, contact an abuse attorney immediately to explore your options.

The attorneys at Malman Law understand how stressful and confusing this can be for your entire family. Let us serve as your advocates in your case. We will investigate, collect evidence, and aggressively fight for your right to compensation. Most importantly, we want to ensure this doesn’t happen to another resident in the facility and that your loved one receives the care they should have received from the start.

To get started, schedule a free consultation with one of our nursing home neglect attorneys. Call our office to schedule your appointment or contact us online with your questions.

Halloween might be the time of year where you invite in the ghouls and goblins, but all in good fun.

Unfortunately, Halloween tends to turn into more than just a night of festivities – it is also one of the busiest nights of the year for emergency rooms.

Injuries on Halloween are common. And while you cannot prevent other people from acting negligently, being aware of the risks out there might help prevent you and your family from joining the crowds at your local ER.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Chicago ERs for Halloween?

Injuries on Halloween night take quite the range but might include minor lacerations, tummy aches from too much candy, or injuries from a rowdy night. Some injuries are more common than others. And by knowing what those injuries are, you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Lacerations

Cuts, scrapes, and severe lacerations are a common reason for ER visits on Halloween night. Whether it is an accident during pumpkin carving or a trip and fall, these injuries can be painful for any age.

If you are carving pumpkins with the family, leave the actual carving to an adult. Children should not use knives or carving tools, because it is easy for the blade to slip and cut their hand instead.

Have children participate in the safer activities of pumpkin carving, like scooping out the seeds, tracing designs with a marker, or painting the exterior of their pumpkin.

Burns

Unfortunately, burns are a common threat for all ages on Halloween, including full house fires.

The most common reason for burns on Halloween come from those flowing costumes, long wigs, and capes. Anyone using live candle flames in their pumpkins or for part of their Halloween décor runs the risk of causing a fire.

When buying your child’s costume, opt for one made from a synthetic material, like nylon or polyester. Anything made from 100 percent cotton is likely to catch fire and burn quickly.

Also, masks, wigs, and beards should be flame retardant.

In your home, use LED candles that simulate the look and feel of a real candle but without the risks. While your children trick-or-treat, teach them to avoid walking next to a live flame and to be aware of where their costume drapes.

Eye Injuries

Basic safety precautions tend to go out the door when Halloween hits.

You teach your children to not run with sharp objects. But on Halloween when costumes come equipped with knives and swords, it is easy to forget that basic necessity and run around with the pointy end facing up.

The most common reason for eye injuries comes from being poked by a sharp object – usually a costume prop. However, it is not the only reason eye injuries come to the ER on Halloween night.

Other causes of eye injuries include:

  • Contacts: Using cat-eye or colorful contacts can lead to serious eye injuries. They irritate the eye, and someone inexperienced with using contacts might scratch their cornea trying to put one in or take it out.
  • Glittering Makeup: On an average day, you wouldn’t buy cheap eye makeup. On Halloween, you might pick up those bargain-bin glitter eye makeup products to complete the look of your costume. However, not all of those Halloween makeup products use cosmetic-grade glitter. In fact, some contain craft-grade glitter which can irritate the eyes and cause permanent eye damage.

Always make sure the eye makeup you buy is non-toxic. Also, do not let your children wear cosmetic contacts – regardless of the costume’s demand for it. If you use decorative contacts for your costume, purchase contacts from a contact supplier and not a costume supplier.

Dehydration

One injury parents and trick-or-treaters are unaware of is dehydration. Halloween is a time for rushing around, last-minute shopping, going to events, and hurrying out the door for candy. All of the rushings leave little time for hydrating.

Make sure you and your children drink water throughout the day. Also, everyone should have a glass of water before they head out to trick-or-treat. Even when the temperatures are not hot, the physical exertion of walking and rushing around is enough to dehydrate the body – especially if you did not get enough water in the day.

Also, know the signs of dehydration and keep an eye out for them. Some common indicators of dehydration include:

  • Dark colored urine or not needing to urinate during the day
  • Extremely dry skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Sleepiness or lack of energy
  • Confusion or unexplained irritability
  • Fainting – in severe cases

Trips and Falls

Everything from uneven sidewalks at the neighbor’s house, to walking through the grass, to costumes that are too long, all creates the perfect storm for a serious trip and fall injury.

Trips, slips, and falls can cause acute pain and serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

You can protect yourself, your children, and visitors to your home by doing the following:

  • Remove Tripping Hazards: Make sure your home is trick-or-treater ready by removing any potential hazards. As the homeowner, you are required to correct trip, slip, and fall hazards in a reasonable amount of time. If you have uneven walkways leading up to the door, consider moving your candy bucket to the driveway where children can avoid going to the door entirely. Also, make sure any Halloween decorations you use do not block the walkway or create tripping hazards (like cords crossing the sidewalk or decorations making it hard to enter the porch area).
  • Trim the Costume: If your child has a baggy or oversized costume, trim or hem the edges so that nothing drags on the ground. If it drags, it can become caught under their shoes or someone else’s and lead to a severe fall.
  • Consider Visibility when Using Masks: Your child’s costume might require a mask to complete the look, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo the basic need to see. Use masks that do not obstruct their vision. You may need to open eye holes further if they are too small for your child to see around them.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are plentiful on Halloween night. Drivers and pedestrians both need to be aware of the risks while walking around from house-to-house or even driving to their destination.

Starting at about 4:00 pm, trick-or-treaters will enter the streets – and most people are driving home from work with limited visibility. As the sun sets, it blocks your vision, making it hard for pedestrians to see oncoming vehicles and drivers to see pedestrians in the roadway.

When nearing intersections and crosswalks, both parties should enter cautiously and be aware of the limited vision.

Furthermore, anyone driving on Halloween should consider the following:

  • Take it slow through neighborhoods. On Halloween night, you know children are out roaming the streets. Go slower than the average speed limit and take special care as you turn around the corner, cross intersections, and especially when you drive past parked vehicles (where children are likely to jump out and cross the road).
  • Watch for children everywhere. As you drive, always assume a child will jump out in front of you – even if it never happens. Exercise caution and never pass a stopped vehicle in the road, back out slowly from your driveway, and yield to anyone crossing (even if they are not using a designated sidewalk).
  • Avoid distracted driving. Now is not the time to check Facebook, post a status update, or even text a friend. Put the phone down, avoid using your radio, and focus on the road ahead. Distracted driving causes enough accidents throughout the year. But on a night like Halloween, it could lead to catastrophic incidents.
  • Never drink and drive. Halloween parties are fun, festive, and most likely to contain alcohol. If you plan to drink on Halloween, find a designated driver or see if you can stay at the party location for the night. DUIs increase on Halloween, and you might discover roadblocks conducting roadside sobriety tests. Not only do you risk an arrest for a DUI, but if you were to injure someone while intoxicated, you could be held criminally and civilly liable.

While you and your children roam the streets filling those bags with candy, make sure you also exercise caution by:

  • Using crosswalks when possible. Not all roads have crosswalks, especially in neighborhoods. Regardless, use the designated crossing zones where vehicles are more likely to stop and wait for pedestrians.
  • Never dart into the road. Most importantly, your children need to be aware that cars are still on the road and basic road safety applies while trick-or-treating. They should never dart into the street, cross outside of the sidewalk, and they should always be careful about crossing behind parked vehicles. Making eye contact with the driver of the car before passing in front of them ensures that they are seen.

When Injuries Occur, Contact a Professional

You and your family should not shoulder the financial burden in the aftermath of a severe accident. If you or your child was seriously injured in a crash on Halloween, contact the attorneys at Malman Law to explore your options.

We aggressively fight for our clients right to compensation – and we can help you, too.

Schedule a free consultation today at 888-625-6265 or contact us online with your questions.

You were in a car accident, you know that you are telling the truth but your vehicle and the photographs from the accident state otherwise. You might have nothing more than a scratch or ding on your car, but your injuries and costs of those injuries are astounding.

Luckily, you might still have a case even if there was no severe damage to your vehicle. You might not see the damage, but cars are designed to absorb impacts and collisions still cause damage to the structure of the car. Therefore, while you might not see damage outright, that impact could have left you suffering from soft tissue injuries such as whiplash.

In cases like this, insurance companies will use the photographs of your vehicle to disprove your claim. They will try to say that no visible damage to your car means you are faking your injuries or making up the accident entirely.

You must realize you are going up against a company that wants to save as much of their profits as possible. They work hard to reduce losses by limiting what they pay out on claims – even if you have legitimate injuries.

It is in your best interest to consult with an accident attorney and even more so if you have no visible damage to your car. An attorney knows the steps insurance companies take to avoid paying out on claims, and they can help you succeed in your case.

What Chicago Victims Must Know about Claims without Vehicle Damage

Vehicles are meant to survive car accidents. And while there might be minimal damage on the outside (or no damage at all), there could be problems lurking under your pristine paint job and flawless bumper. Minor damage goes unnoticed to the naked eye, and it is similar to soft tissue injuries.

A person with soft tissue injuries might not have bruises, lacerations, or internal bleeding, but they are injured.

Certain types of damage can go unnoticed after a car accident, including:

  • Leaking Fluids: A minor crash might have no physical damage present but could result in leaking fluids, including a leaking radiator, oil pain, or brake fluid. A tiny rupture of these essential fluids could turn into a severe problem.
  • Battery Life Complications: During a minor collision, battery lines might come loose from the impact. It might also agitate sediment inside the battery or lead to a short circuit – all of which can reduce battery life. While minor, combined with other issues, it could lead to an unexpected breakdown.
  • Damage to Computer Diagnostics: Cars today are sophisticated, and they rely heavily on their diagnostic computer systems. In an accident, these systems might knock loose and have a delay in checking and reporting failures. If you think your car is fine, but you have a check engine light on, you may want to take your car in.
  • Alignment: One overlooked piece of damage to a vehicle is the alignment. Your vehicle’s bumper will absorb the shock from your collision. While you might not see the physical damage, that absorption could have knocked out your vehicle’s alignment. Driving on poor alignment might not be anything severe at first, but it will eventually wear down your vehicle’s tires. In poor weather conditions, misalignment could become a dangerous problem.
  • Car Mount Breakage: The motor mounts, the items holding your engine in place, may suffer damage in even a minor bump. Those mounts may eventually give way, or your vehicle develops a serious vibration while you try driving.

Should You Still Report an Accident without Vehicle Damage?

In Illinois, you must report a car accident if the accident results in death, injury, or more than $1,500 in property damage. Naturally, if you do not see any damage, you might feel there is no need to contact the policy and report the incident.

However, what if you have injuries that have not yet appeared?

Luckily, you have up to ten days to report the accident with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Therefore, in a few days, if you do notice injury symptoms, you can create a report.

Ideally, a person should report the accident immediately. Police reports help establish that your accident exists and document parties involved in the accident – which might make tracking down the responsible party easier.

Even if you did not file a police report, you might still have a case. You would need to discuss this issue with your attorney and see what your options might be to file a claim without a valid police report on file.

What Injuries Could One Suffer without Vehicle Damage?

If you are in a car accident with no damage or very minimal damage, it is unlikely you would suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries. However, it is not unheard of for life-threatening injuries to occur without vehicle damage.

The human body, like your vehicle, is designed to sustain a vast amount of serious impacts. And these injuries might not be present with symptoms at the scene of the accident. When these injuries go unnoticed and untreated, you may suffer from complications – including those that could be life-threatening.

Neck and Spinal Damage

A common injury that you do not see right away is damage to the neck or spine, like whiplash. Whiplash can occur in any collision but is more commonly seen in rear-end accidents.

The injuries can range from mild to severe, and the primary symptom is neck and shoulder pain. Whiplash symptoms can vary, depending on the person and the severity of the injury itself. Some signs you might experience include:

  • Pins and needles in the extremities
  • Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Headaches or chronic migraines
  • Weakness or numbness that radiates from the shoulders into the arms
  • Neck instability
  • Reduced range of motion

You might have one or all of these symptoms. Some may appear right away while others take a few days to develop.

Back Injuries

Back injuries, like whiplash, take a few days to weeks to manifest. These injuries can involve discs or muscles in the back, and you might notice one day your back is stiff or moving is painful when you wake up the day after the accident.

Chronic back issues can reduce a person’s quality of life. The pain alone might make it hard to sleep, interact with family and friends, or even work.

Internal Injuries

In rare cases, a person can suffer internal organ damage after an accident with no physical vehicle damage. Internal bleeding does not always have symptoms until it becomes more serious. And by the time the symptoms appear, it may be life-threatening.

Nerve Damage

Another injury that is common with minimal vehicle damage is nerve injuries. You may start to notice numbness or tingling, and it may worsen as the days move past the accident. Sometimes, the nerve injuries are temporary while other times permanent. If you notice any numbness or tingling sensations, speak with a doctor right away.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Another rare injury that might occur is a TBI. TBIs could include minor concussions or something more serious like a brain blood clot. Either way, if you notice serious headaches or blurred vision after an accident, see a doctor.

How Do You Make a Case without Vehicle Damage?

With an attorney’s help, you can build a case for compensation – even if the vehicle damage is not present at the scene. An attorney collects evidence to support your claim and prove that you had damages stemming from that incident.

Some of the evidence an attorney uses to prove your case includes:

  • Medical bills
  • Vehicle repair estimates and inspections
  • Employment statements for lost wages
  • Witness testimony proving an accident occurred
  • Expert testimony about future care needs and how an accident with no vehicle damage resulted in physical injury

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Case Today

After a car accident, regardless of the extent of damage to your car, you should contact the law firm of Malman Law.

Our team understands that even with minimal or no damage, you may have suffered serious physical and emotional harm. Our team will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.

You can learn more about your options or start your claim process by meeting with our attorneys for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Call 888-625-6265 now to schedule an appointment or ask us a question online.

A year-long study conducted by the non-profit research firm, RTI International, found that unlicensed care homes in the US are typical. And even more common is the level of outrageous abuse and exploitation of their residents.

These homes were found to commit crimes against the elderly, the disabled, and those who are mentally ill. The study was released for the Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report was initiated after reports from the media, first responders, residents, and loved ones were filed regarding the care in these unlicensed homes throughout the country.

What Is an Unlicensed Care Home and Are They in Chicago?

Unlicensed care homes are allowed in the United States. They are long-term residential care facilities that have no state license. Not all states require licensing. Instead, they only require licensing based on specific situations.

In Illinois, a care home does not have to have a license until they have three beds. Therefore, a house with fewer beds than this could run a care facility without state licensing.

While there are legitimate, unlicensed care facilities that offer excellent care to residents, most of these tend to operate illegally, which makes it hard for officials to investigate or even track the risks associated with these facilities.

Ombudsman Receives Increased Number of Complaints

The Ombudsman program has seen increased numbers for complaints when it comes to unlicensed personal care homes. According to these complaints, residents experienced horrible living conditions: some being locked into basements, some being forced to live in unsanitary conditions, and some did not even have access to toilets, food, or water.

The Risks of Unlicensed Care Homes in the State

Unlicensed care homes do not have the same inspections and regulations as licensed care facilities. Therefore, patients in these homes are at risk for abuse and neglect, including:

  • Poor Living Conditions – Most of the unlicensed care homes found in the country create poor, unsafe, living conditions for residents. The houses are unsanitary, residents have dirty beds and bathrooms, and some do not have access to running water or even toilets.
  • Inadequate Food and Water – You rely on a nursing home to ensure your loved ones get proper nutrition and stay hydrated – especially when they cannot monitor this themselves. Unlicensed facilities were found to have patients suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. Some were purposely deprived of those necessities.
  • Poor Supervision – Even if the facility offers a sanitary living environment, food, and water, they may not provide the care assistance their residents need, including assistance with mobility, transportation, or help with medications.

Bottom line, when a facility is unlicensed, they are unregulated and many are unknown to the state. Therefore, these facilities are not held accountable for the care they provide, and it is easier for the mistreatment of residents to go unnoticed.

What Does Illinois Require for a Personal Care Home

Illinois has over 1,200 long-term care homes in the state serving more than 100,000 residents. These companies offer services for younger individuals with disabilities as well as the elderly. They are all regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

While homes with fewer than three beds do not require licensing, most nursing homes in the state fall into the required license bed count. The health department’s Bureau of Long-Term Care oversees these services and ensures that all nursing homes in the state comply with the Nursing Home Care Act. They also conduct certificate surveys to ensure companies receiving state or federal money for residents abide by all regulations.

You can review a list of all nursing homes registered in the state by visiting the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website search engine.

How to Find a Qualified, Licensed Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Finding a nursing home for a loved one should not be a fearful task. You should not have to worry about the care team mistreating your loved one or that they do not receive proper care. Be proactive when selecting a nursing home, and never rely on a visit by itself. Instead, you need to focus on the picture as a whole, including reviews, state registries, and more.

Consider the Level of Care Your Loved One Needs

You need to determine what is important to you and your loved one. Do you want a facility that offers social activities along with medical care? Does your loved one need special care, like Alzheimer’s or dementia care? How close in location do you want their residence so that you and other family members can visit frequently?

Write down a list of what you need from the care facility, what your loved one needs, and do not budge from that list while looking. There are more than enough homes out there, and you will find several that suit your loved one’s individual needs without having to compromise.

Know the Care Options

Long-term based care comes in numerous forms, and the type of care your loved one needs depends on their overall health and care requirements. The options you have available to you here in Illinois include:

  • Boarding and Care Homes: Care homes are residential care facilities, small care centers, and residential dwellings turned into long-term care. They have fewer than 20 beds, and the rooms are private or shared. Note, these are part of the group that tends to be unlicensed. Therefore, if the facility has three or more beds, the state requires licensing. Ask to see their license.
  • Assisted Living: Assisted living is for those who need help with their daily care, but not as in-depth as your typical nursing home. Assisted living facilities have more residents than care homes but have various levels of care, including graduating programs so residents can remain in one facility as their needs increase.
  • Nursing Homes: Nursing homes have health and personal care services in one. They often include 24-hour supervision, rehabilitation, and assistance with everything from diet to hydration to hygiene.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities: Continuing care communities combine assisted living with independent care and are designed for those who have independence but still need assistance. They may offer everything from assisted living to care homes to skilled nursing care so that a person can live in the one community throughout retirement.

Talk to Others Who Have Done the Search Before

You should ask friends, family, and even co-workers if they have done a similar search and where they ended up going. Personal references are the most reliable, and you can ask about their intimate experiences with that particular nursing home, suggestions they have for searching, and more.

Do not forget about your loved one’s physician. They often have references for nursing homes in the area that they have worked with or have patients currently in.

Call and Ask Questions

After you have a list of nursing homes that meet your basic criteria, call around and start asking them questions. Ask about how many residents they have currently, what it costs to live there, what insurances they accept, their policies, and anything else you can think of that will help you find the right nursing home.

Furthermore, ask about any waiting lists they might have.

Make Plans to Visit

Make plans to physically visit several nursing homes. Bring along a checklist for what to look at while you are there. Some items to include on your checklist are:

  • Medicare and Medicaid Certification
  • Handicap access
  • Staff members present at the time
  • Interactions between staff and residents
  • How the residents look
  • The smell of the facility – you should not encounter any off-putting smells

Even if you visit the nursing home one day and like it, plan on going back at a completely different time. The more often you visit, the easier it will be to soak up the atmosphere and ensure that the experience is consistent.

Talk with the Staff

While you are visiting, talk to the staff and find out their experience, recommendations, and ask questions you might have about their care or services.

Ask about how long the director has held his or her position, who heads up nursing care, the party that makes the diets and prepares the food, and if they have a social service worker on staff. Ask about physicians that visit or are available 24 hours per day at the facility.

Also, ask about visiting policies, how often and when family members can come, and any social activities they might offer.

Review the Contracts Carefully

When you pick a nursing home, you will sign a contract with that facility. Read the agreement carefully, ask questions about anything you do not understand, or consider hiring an attorney to review the contract for you.

The contract should be in your best interest – not the facilities. Also, review the payment policy and what services your loved one receives in turn for payment.

Ask for Certifications

Any nursing home that accepts funds from the government is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pass an inspection and carry a certification. If the facility does not pass the review, they have no certification. Ask for their current inspection report and certification before you hire that nursing home.

What If You Suspect Abuse?

Whether you use an unlicensed or licensed facility, if you suspect that your loved one’s care is substandard, negligent, or abusive, you must report it right away. Not only should you contact local law enforcement, but you should also submit a complaint to the local Ombudsman program as well.

Then, contact an attorney.

An attorney can help investigate the suspected neglect or abuse and hold that facility accountable for their actions.

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse, contact the attorneys at Malman Law today by calling 888-625-6265 or requesting more information online.

Nobody expects to be the victim of a severe accident. When it happens, you need someone by your side that knows the law and is ready to use that legal prowess to defend your right to compensation.

After all, you did not cause the accident. So why should you pay for the medical costs, deal with the aftermath of lost wages, and pay to fix your vehicle?

Whether you need representation during the claims process with an insurance company, you need help dealing with your insurance company, or you plan to file a lawsuit, an attorney is your first call.

A good personal injury attorney helps you seek justice and ensures you receive compensation for your injuries stemming from the accident.

Searching for a personal injury attorney today is not easy. From a simple Google search, you can easily see that you have a plethora of choices, and narrowing down the list might seem daunting at first. To help you find the right attorney, you must first know the traits that go into a good one.

What 9 Traits Make a Personal Injury Attorney Ideal for Your Case?

You need compensation, and you need an attorney that ensures you get fair compensation for your losses. Losses from an accident are hard to compute, and often they extend much further than a victim can fathom. Not only do you have the out-of-pocket costs you already paid, but you also have future losses you might not include in your estimates such as lost wages, more medical expenses, or ongoing treatments.

The lawyer you choose is the party you pick to serve as your advocate; therefore, it is not a decision you make lightly. Instead, look for the following traits and qualities to ensure you have picked an attorney that will fight for you.

1. Knowledge and Expertise of the Law

You want an attorney that can exhibit expertise and experience in personal injury law. The case will not go anywhere if the team you select has no idea of the process or is not up-to-date on the latest trends. An attorney with experience knows how to negotiate, already knows the insurance companies, and also is familiar with the judges who oversee these types of cases.

Furthermore, an attorney with vast experience will often yield a higher settlement amount and faster results than one newer to the game.

2. Focused and Result-Oriented

An attorney needs persistence when trying to resolve an injury case. Accident cases involve plenty of emotions, and you need an attorney that can look past the feelings and get the results you need. The other side may be against the settlement, which means you need an aggressive attorney who is focused on the goal at hand and does not stop until they achieve it.

3. Quality Customer Service

While the attorney is essential, the team working for the attorney is equally important. You want a team that brings the highest level of customer service to the table. They should be open to communicate, and everyone in the law office should be willing to provide clients with the services and assistance they need.

A well-established firm with several years of experience understands the need for fast resolution. They also keep their clients up-to-date on how their case is progressing, and they walk them through the process so that their clients understand what to expect.

4. Availability

When you work with an attorney, you want someone that does not make you wait weeks for updates. After all, you were in a tragic accident and you are stressed, confused, and need results. You have an attorney so that you can not only make better decisions, but also so that someone can take care of your needs. When your attorney is unavailable, takes weeks to respond to an email, or ignores your phone calls, you do not have the reassurance you need to get through this.

5. Ready to Go to Trial

While most personal injury cases settle out of court, some do make their way to trial. If your case will not settle or the insurance company refuses to offer you the amount of compensation you need, you want an attorney aggressive enough to take the case all the way to the jury.

If an attorney is timid or does everything they can to avoid court, even when it is obvious the case needs to go to trial, you will not receive the compensation you deserve. The insurance company is more likely to settle with an attorney that has no fears about going to court.

6. Knows the Value of Your Claim

Before you receive a settlement, you need an attorney who can go over the figures and determine your accurate compensation. They should have a bare minimum for what they will accept in your case. If the attorney cannot evaluate your claim and come up with fair value based on your losses and the recent court decisions, then they are not working in your best interest.

7. Clear Contingency Fees and Agreements

You should know how much you will pay an attorney – and any additional fees that you might have – before you hire them. Most attorneys have a contingency fee, which means they do not collect unless they win your case. The contingency is a percentage of your winnings (20 or 30 percent, for example). However, some attorneys have other fees on top of the contingency. Therefore, find out if you have additional costs and review the full agreement before you sign anything.

8. Good Personality

A personal injury attorney is someone you work closely with for weeks or even months. Therefore, you want someone with a personality that you can get along with and someone you can confide in. You must share personal details (sometimes intimate) to help your attorney argue for your case.

If you cannot confide in them, or you are uncomfortable speaking with them, the process becomes more difficult.

9. Sincerity

As the client, an attorney needs to be upfront and sincere with you. They should not overstate the financial settlement value to get your business, and they should be willing to inform you about every aspect of your case as well as prospective settlements.

Furthermore, you want an attorney that advises you on the best course of action based on the evidence and the progression of your case.

Getting the Most out of Your Injury Consultation

If you have investigated personal injury attorneys, you may have noticed that most offer a free consultation. This consultation encourages you to come in risk-free and meet with an attorney. You go over your case, they get to know a little about you and the accident, and both of you can decide whether or not you can move forward.

You should maximize your consultation potential by preparing ahead of time. The more information you bring, the easier it is for the prospective attorney to assess your case. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to ask as many questions as possible without having to pay for it.

Two things you should do to improve your consultation experience:

Gather Documents:

Gather the documents you have regarding your case, including medical records, police reports, and anything about the incident. If you have receipts or pending medical bills, bring those, too.

Make a List of Questions:

Take the time between when you schedule your appointment and the actual appointment to come up with a list of questions. It is best to write these questions down so that you do not forget them in the moment.

Meet with a Chicago Personal Injury Team Today

If you have been injured, speak with an attorney today to explore your options. The team at Malman Law is here to help. We have over 25 years of experience, and we have settled over 20,000 cases. Our team knows what it takes to get our clients the best compensation possible.

You can meet with our team today, risk-free, by calling 888-625-6265 or contacting us online with your questions.

Whether you own a motorcycle or you love to ride on the back of one, you are already aware of how dangerous they can be. Regardless of how responsible and cautious you are on the road, all it takes is a split second of distraction or a reckless driver to cause a severe accident.

Motorcycle rider fatalities occur 27 times more often than deaths in other vehicle crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Whether you have been involved in an accident or you are concerned about your rights if you are involved in one in the future, it is vital that you understand the facts. Some of these facts might be a given, while others could surprise you.

Your best defense from being taken advantage of by the insurance company is to know everything possible. Naturally, you should speak with a motorcycle accident attorney as well to explore your options and protect your rights.

Facts to Know Regarding Chicago Motorcycle Accidents

Throw out what you think you know about motorcycle accidents, because these facts might surprise you. From the causes of accidents to the party at fault to the internal injuries, review these before you go back out for your next ride.

Motorcycle Helmets Are Not Required in Illinois, but Highly Encouraged

Motorcycle helmet laws vary depending on where you live. But here in Illinois, there is no helmet law for any kind for motorcycle. Illinois is one of the three states to have no motorcycle helmet usage laws. While you could legally ride down I-90 wearing no helmet, you should reconsider.

NHTSA has heavily researched the use of motorcycle helmets and found that helmets have saved more lives in motorcycle accidents than incidents without a helmet. They also periodically publish an estimate of lives saved by wearing helmets. Using the 2003 data, they estimate that 1,060 lives were saved because of helmets and an additional 1,644 deaths could have been avoided had they worn helmets.

So, while the state might not require their use, wearing one could significantly change the outcome of an accident if you are involved in one in the future.

Your Age Might Impact Injury Severity

A study by Brown University found that older riders suffer more severe injuries than younger riders. In the study, they cited that declining vision and reaction times combined with the heavier, larger bikes older riders favor, increases the chance of more serious injury. The heavier bikes can roll easier. And because the body becomes more fragile as it ages, the weight of those bikes can lead to harsher injuries.

Most Motorcycle Accidents Involve Collisions with Another Vehicle

According to the HURT study, three-fourths of motorcycle accidents involved a collision with another vehicle – usually with a passenger vehicle.

Only one-fourth of the accidents analyzed in the study involved a single vehicle accident where the motorcycle collided with a fixed object or crashed due to road conditions.

Rider Inexperience Plays a Heavy Role

Motorcycle riders often learn from family, friends, or they are self-taught. A vast majority of accidents involve riders with no formal training. One study found that the more training and experience a rider had, the less chance of a fatal crash.

More than half of the analyzed motorcycle accidents also involved riders with fewer than five months experience riding, and the total street riding experience added to three years among the accident victims.

Eye Protection Could Prevent an Accident

Accidents involving motorcycles revealed that 73 percent of those riders had no eye protection. Therefore, their eyes were exposed to debris including dirt, bugs, and pebbles. It is likely that their unprotected eyes led to vision impairment, which reduced their reaction time and could have caused the accident.

Riders Have Less Than Two Seconds

Even the most experienced rider might be surprised to find out that in the average accident scenario, there are less than two seconds allotted to react before the collision. Therefore, it is even more critical that you are fully aware of your surroundings and never distracted, because you have less than two seconds to use an evasive maneuver.

Motorcycle Accidents Have Significant Impact on Economic Losses

Motorcycle accidents cost $16 billion in direct costs, including property damage, productivity losses, insurance costs, medical costs, emergency services, and the cost of litigation, according to the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

Motorcycles with Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) Can Reduce Collisions

Motorcycles have a more complex stopping mechanism than the average passenger vehicle. When bikes do not have ABS, the rider can brake too hard, forcing their wheels to lock and the bike to turn over. Riders that have bikes with ABS do not have that risk, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) founds that the risk for an accident on a bike with ABS is much lower than the same model bike without ABS.

Motorcycle Accidents Do Not Just Injure the Head

Motorcycle riders have no vehicle sides or airbags to protect them. Therefore, the injuries in a motorcycle accident are going to be more traumatic than a passenger vehicle incident. The rider’s bike and body tend to absorb most of the impact. And while head trauma is common – especially without helmet use – that is not the only type of injury a rider can sustain.

In fact, other common injuries that can be just as severe include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Skin burns and deep lacerations
  • Permanent muscle and tissue damage
  • Amputation
  • Disfigurement

Do Not Forget the Emotional Trauma

While there are the apparent physical injuries, do not forget the mental anguish and emotional trauma that stems from a motorcycle accident. These accidents are especially traumatic, and there is the risk of a victim developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD can vary. But for a motorcycle rider involved in a catastrophic accident, these symptoms might include irritability, fearfulness, difficulty sleeping, inability to get into a motor vehicle, mood swings, panic attacks, and depression.

Half of the Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Intersections

Intersections are dangerous for motorcycle riders, and approximately 50 percent of motorcycle versus vehicle accidents occur there. Vehicles might unexpectedly turn in front of a motorcycle or pull out of a side street or driveway, which does not give the rider enough time to react. Also, some intersections have limited visibility due to parked vehicles, buildings, and shrubbery – therefore, you should cross with caution.

Not All Accidents Are Caused by Speeding

You might assume that if you are riding through a neighborhood at a casual 20 miles per hour the chances of a serious accident are minimal. It is true that slower speeds mean more reaction time, but that does not mean you should be careless or ride through assuming you are not at risk.

Not all accidents happen because of speeding or at higher speeds in general. There are numerous reasons motorcycle accidents occur. Some common causes include:

  • Motorists failing to see a motorcycle
  • Potholes and uneven riding surfaces, including loose debris on the road, causing a motorcycle to lose control
  • Motorcycles under correcting or over correcting around turns
  • Defective motorcycle components, such as a tire blow out or braking system failure

Most motorcycle accidents, like car accidents, occur during short trips such as running to the store, riding to work, or on your way home from work.

Motorcycle Riders Are Susceptible to DUIs Too

It is not just operators of passenger vehicles that can cause crashes due to alcohol consumption. Almost half of the fatal accidents involving motorcycle riders involved alcohol. The injuries in motorcycle accidents increase significantly when alcohol, speed, or heavier bikes are involved.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact an Attorney Today

After a severe motorcycle accident, you need an attorney ready to fight for your rights and secure the compensation you need to recover. Motorcycle accidents can leave you permanently disabled and suffering from long-term medical complications. You need an attorney that understands the complexity of these types of cases and one that will fight for fair compensation.

To explore your options, speak with an attorney from Malman Law today. We will meet with you for a free case evaluation, and there is no fee unless we recover in your case. Call to schedule your appointment at 888-307-2051 or send us a message online.

Not all motor vehicle accidents result from human error. In fact, there is a handful that occur due to faulty vehicle parts. Whether that part is defective by design, flawed during manufacturing, or installed incorrectly, these accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries.

Victims in these accidents may be able to hold the manufacturer, and other parties involved in the distribution chain, responsible for their injuries and receive the compensation they need to recover from the accident.

Defective Car Parts Are Considered Product Liability in Chicago

When you are holding manufacturers, designers, and mechanics responsible for defective products, you are entering the area of product liability law. Product liability claims are personal injury claims that base themselves off the premise that a product was inherently dangerous and lead to the victim’s injuries.

The Basics of Product Liability

Product liability claims typically arise because one of three defects occurred:

  • The product’s design was flawed. Defective designs happened when the design of the product was inherently flawed and dangerous. Even when manufactured correctly, this product was likely to cause harm. In design defect cases, all products – not just one batch – are affected. A design defect could involve an unstable electrical system in a vehicle or a faulty brake pad design.
  • The product’s manufacturing caused the defect. Defective manufacture means that the product was designed to be safe, but during manufacturing, an error occurred that made it unreasonably dangerous. Using substandard materials, failing to conduct quality control inspections, or even improper assembly are examples of manufacturing defects.
  • The failure to warn was inadequate. Sometimes called “defective marketing,” failure to warn claims arise when the product’s dangers could be avoided through proper instruction or warning.

Multiple legal theories apply when going through product liability claims, but most are based around negligence. Also, multiple parties can be liable for injuries that stem from one of the three defects mentioned above.

Common Types of Defective Vehicle Parts That Lead to Serious Accidents

A modern automobile is a complex machine that relies on hundreds of various parts to work correctly. These parts have a potential for failure, but not all failures lead to serious accidents or injuries. Components that have a higher risk to cause serious injury when they are defective include:

  • Brake Systems: A vehicle’s braking system is by far one of the most critical safety components, because it allows you to slow or stop. When the braking system fails, a driver cannot control their vehicle, which could lead to a catastrophic high-speed accident. Braking systems involve multiple components that could fail when manufactured, designed, or installed incorrectly, including brake lines, cylinders, pedals, and pads.
  • Steering Systems: The steering mechanism in a vehicle allows you to direct your car in one direction. When that mechanism fails, you cannot avoid a collision and may even create an accident by veering into traffic. Components that could fail in a steering system include power steering pumps, hydraulic lines, tire rods, and gears within the steering.
  • Tires: Tires are critical to vehicle safety, and they are the one component that keeps a car in contact with the pavement. When tires fail, drivers may lose control of their vehicle. For example, a tire blow-out could lead to a catastrophic accident. Defective tires can occur from poor manufacturing, substandard rubber use, tread errors, defects in the structure, or an adhesion issue.
  • Airbags: Even if an accident occurs due to human error, when the airbag does not deploy as it should or does so in a manner that causes injury, that vehicle defect could turn a simple rear-end collision into a catastrophic crash. Defective airbags could also deploy while driving; thus, causing the accident. Other times airbags fail to deploy or deploy and send debris into the face of the person in front of them.
  • Windshield Wipers: You might not realize it, but windshield wipers are a critical component to vehicle safety. When wipers fail during a rain or snow storm, your visibility quickly drops to zero. Defective wipers could lead to a severe accident when drivers cannot see in front of them.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Defective Auto Parts?

If a defective car part in your vehicle or another driver’s vehicle leads to a serious accident, your attorney will investigate all parties involved in the manufacturing and distribution of that vehicle to determine who is liable. Some parties that might be found liable include:

Manufacturer of the Vehicle

The vehicle’s manufacturer, if the defective part was on the car when it was distributed to dealerships, could be automatically liable for any defective components in their vehicles. Manufacturers owe a duty of care to their customers. And through proper quality and safety control protocols, these defects should be caught and eradicated. Therefore, a manufacturer that allows a vehicle to leave their facility with a defective part could be named in a lawsuit.

Manufacturer of the Defective Component

If the vehicle manufacturer did not make the defective part, then the third party responsible for creating it could be liable. Companies that make auto parts are just as liable as the manufacturer of the vehicle itself because they must not only ensure their products are created in accordance to their specifications, but also that their products are safe.

Marketer of the Defective Part

Sometimes, the product is manufactured correctly, but the company that marketed that component did not include all warnings or proper instructions with their product. In this case, the marketer would be liable.

The Designer of the Defective Part

Auto parts manufactured correctly can be defective when their design is flawed. Flawed components can be serious safety hazards. And when a poorly designed component causes the crash, the designer can be held responsible.

Dealership or Mechanic That Installed the Defective Part

Products may be designed and manufactured correctly. But when they are installed, something goes wrong. In this instance, the mechanic or dealership that installed the component incorrectly would be liable for your injuries.

Severe Injuries Associated with Defective Vehicle Accidents

Defective components can turn minor accidents into catastrophic incidents. Car accident victims could suffer from long-term, debilitating injuries when parts like airbags, brakes, or even seatbelts fail to work.

Some of the more common injuries seen in a defective part case include:

  • Lacerations
  • Bone fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement

Anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident, whether a defective component was involved or not, should seek medical treatment right away. Some injuries, like soft tissue damage, can take several hours to days to show. Starting treatment early is critical not only for your health, but also in the event that you file an injury case later.

Potential Damages in a Defective Car Part Accident Case

An accident caused by a defective car part could leave you in financial strain. You cannot work while you recover from your injuries, but that does not stop the medical bills and your living costs from quickly draining your bank account. You did not cause the accident, so why should you have to deal with the financial aftermath of that incident?

An attorney will work hard to help remove that financial burden, and they will negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys to reach a settlement that covers your damages. Damages are not just your medical costs either. This compensation helps cover the financial and non-financial losses that stem from your accident:

  • Medical expenses (including any future medical fees)
  • The cost to replace or repair your vehicle
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity if you no longer can work
  • Compensation for your pain, suffering, and any permanent impairment
  • Punitive damages

Note that punitive damages only occur in cases of extreme negligence. Courts use punitive damages to punish the defendant for their acts and to serve as an example to others in the industry so that they do not commit the same act.

For families that lose a loved one in a crash caused by defective auto parts, a wrongful death attorney can help. While no amount of money could reverse the loss, compensation can be obtained to ease the financial strain from that loss.

Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Case Today

Fortunately, those who are injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle part can recover their losses and hold manufacturers responsible. In these instances, recovery could be substantial. To protect your rights and explore your options, speak with an attorney that has experience handling product liability claims involving defective motor vehicles.

Speak with an attorney today from Malman Law. We can meet with you without obligation. Schedule your free case evaluation now at 888-307-2051 or contact us online to get started.

Each year, the number of nursing homes and residents in the United States increases.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that there were 15,600 homes in 2014 and the number of nursing home residents in 2014 was 1.4 million. These numbers are only expected to increase as the aging population increases.

Unfortunately, finding enough qualified care professionals or nursing homes that are not filled are decreasing. More residents are finding themselves in overfilled nursing homes without the staff to handle their care needs.

There has been a correlation between the increase in nursing home residents and nursing home abuse/neglect cases. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to file a claim for nursing home abuse, you need to know specifics about the process – especially when it comes to claiming damages. It is best to consult with a nursing home abuse attorney because they can review your case and better determine what damages you are eligible to receive as well as collect evidence to prove their legitimacy.

What Damages Can You Claim in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?

The damages you might recover in a nursing home abuse case depend on the statute and the extent of the injuries. When a nursing home breaches federal or state safety guidelines, they are liable for the injuries they cause. Victims of the abuse can seek damages against a nursing home, caregivers, and other parties responsible for their injuries.

Some of the damages that a victim might claim include:

Medical Expenses

If a nursing home caregiver or facility abuses a resident, and that abuse results in medical treatments, the nursing home is liable for the costs of those treatments. Nursing homes may pay the following damages in an elder abuse claim:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication costs
  • Hospitalization fees
  • Surgery costs
  • Physical and rehabilitative therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Transportation to and from physicians’ offices
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Doctor’s visits

Lost Wages

In a typical injury case, the injured party might seek damages for wages lost while they recover from their injuries. Nursing home residents do not work, but their loved ones do. If a loved one must quit their job to care for their family member who was abused personally, they may seek damages under exceptional circumstances.

Also, if the nursing home resident does work, they may seek compensation for the hours missed or inability to work in the future because of their injuries.

Cost of Relocation

In nursing home abuse cases, the victim is often moved to another nursing home. This might involve new administration fees, residential fees, and the cost of transporting their personal property to the new nursing home. Residents or family members may claim these costs in their lawsuit. Also, fees paid to the nursing home during the time of abuse may be eligible for a refund.

Pain and Suffering

Any victim that suffers physical and emotional pain can receive damages from the person responsible. These are non-economic damages that are based on the severity of the injury and the long-term damage done to the victim.

The more serious the injury and abuse, the higher the non-economic damages will be. If you can prove that your loved one suffered greatly and that they will be affected for the rest of their life from that abuse, the pain and suffering damages may increase.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a particular category of damages that will not apply in all abuse cases. Punitive damages are seen in cases where the act exceeds ordinary negligence, and the courts feel that the defendant deserves a punishment. When staff maliciously or deliberately abuse nursing home residents, this can qualify for punitive damages.

To recover punitive damages, your attorney must show that the defendant knowingly or intentionally abused the victim. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the victim; therefore, they are not based off the medical costs, lost wages, and other tangible losses. The court decides the proper amount of punitive damages based on the severity of the malicious or intentional acts.

Proving Your Damages

While you are entitled to multiple categories of damages in an injury case, you must show the validity of the damages you request.

You must not only prove that your loved one suffered harm, but that the nursing home caused that harm to have a valid claim. Once you have established the nursing home is at fault, you must prove your damages – showing the court that you have the right to collect the amount of compensation you are requesting.

The evidence you need to support your damage claim can vary depending on the type of abuse. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to get the compensation you deserve.

Some evidence you can use to help prove damages include:

Medical Records

You can establish when the abuse started and the extensiveness of that abuse through medical records. Once your loved one began receiving treatments for their abuse, such as broken bones or lacerations, you have the paper trail showing the medical costs associated with the injuries.

You will also have health insurance billing records, prescriptions, doctor’s office visits and notes, and treatment plans that you can use to prove your requests for medical expense compensation.

Photographs

Photographs of the bruises and other injuries will help establish that your loved one suffered injuries. They will also help the judge or jury visualize how severe those injuries were. This helps prove your request for medical compensation, pain, and suffering.

Diaries

Your loved one might keep a journal outlining the abuse. This diary might describe who was responsible for the abuse, when it happened, and how it impacted your loved one’s quality of life, emotions, and mental state.

Personal Observations from Family Members

Your personal observations as you care for your loved one or when you suspected abuse could also help prove your case. You can discuss the emotional or physical changes you saw in your loved one, their living conditions, and what led you to suspect abuse.

Investigative Reports

When you suspect nursing home abuse, you report it to the local authorities. Not only would you have a police investigation, but the state’s health department is likely to investigate as well and issue their findings in an official report. You can use both reports to prove the conditions of the nursing home, staff, and anyone found guilty of abuse.

Receipts

If you want compensation for costs like transportation to and from doctors’ offices or the cost of relocating your loved one to another nursing home, you need to document how much you spend out-of-pocket and keep receipts to prove these were valid charges.

Working with an Attorney Is Critical

Nursing home abuses can be hard to prove, especially when the abuse is allowed to go on for several months before it is detected. Medical expenses that you thought were unrelated could then be identified as stemming from the injury. And sometimes witnesses or evidence is harder to track once a few months pass by.

It is best that you consult with an attorney that handles nursing home abuse cases to explore your options. An attorney can identify what damages your loved one could receive and also help prove that these damages are valid in your claim.

Furthermore, your attorney identifies all liable parties for the abuse, ensuring that not only the abuser but their employer and the nursing home are held accountable for allowing an abusive caregiver into their facility.

Contact an Attorney for Your Consultation Today

After you have reported the suspected abuse, contact Malman Law to explore your legal options. We fight for victims of nursing home abuse, and we ensure that our clients receive the compensation they need to recover from this heinous crime.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at 888-307-7068 or request more information online.

Most people do not put much thought into walking down the sidewalk. You just assume that if you are walking, pushing a stroller, or your child is riding a skateboard that the sidewalk is safe. All it takes is a crack, sheet of ice, or uneven pavement to make a person unexpectedly topple face first onto the concrete.

In most trip and falls, there are no serious injuries. However, there are instances where a person might trip, slip, or fall on a sidewalk and suffer from more severe injuries like broken bones, lacerations, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). When sidewalk injuries result in serious harm, you may want to know who you can hold accountable for those injuries – whether it is the owner, city, or a third party.

Common Causes of Sidewalk Injuries in Chicago

Sidewalks are used heavily, especially downtown. These surfaces remain in place for years before they undergo repair, and sometimes they are put on the backburner due to city budgetary constraints. Some common causes of serious injuries on sidewalks include:

  • Cracks – A crack in the sidewalk creates uneven surfaces and raised elevations. They typically develop from trees, severe weather changes, soil shifting underneath, age, and the dramatic changes between hot and cold weather that Chicago often sees. Sometimes, a crack might occur because of deteriorating materials or poor construction.
  • Potholes – Potholes typically develop as the concrete separates. Water pooling during the rainy season, snow, and ice all create potholes. Potholes not only form an uneven surface, but they also provide an area where water can pool and freeze quickly in the winter – both create tripping hazards.
  • Debris – Sometimes, it is not the sidewalk itself but what is on the sidewalk that causes an injury. Sidewalks are littered with debris, including fallen leaves that become slick, children’s toys, lawn care equipment, construction debris, and more. Any of these items can create an unsafe surface.
  • Ice and Snow – A common cause for a slip and fall on concrete is ice and snow accumulation. Ice is difficult to see, and even a person walking carefully can experience a severe slip and fall.

How the Law Dictates Responsibility for Sidewalk Repairs

Property owners are required to repair uneven surfaces, potholes, and any obstacles that could create a safety hazard on their sidewalks. Property owners must correct the problems on sidewalks designated as part of their property and those in front of their property. Most cities require that they remove snow and ice accumulation within a reasonable time after a storm.

One thing to remember is that a broken sidewalk might not be the homeowner’s responsibility but could fall on the city, depending on municipalities and regulations. Therefore, you need to know the differences between homeowner responsibility and city responsibility.

Homeowners and Business Owners

Cities have different regulations regarding sidewalk maintenance. Most, however, hold homeowners and business owners responsible for any sidewalk adjoining their property.

The city of Chicago, for example, requires that property owners remove snow and ice from their sidewalks per Municipal Code of Chicago 4-4-310 and 10-8-180. The code requires that snow is removed as soon as possible after it falls. And if the snow falls between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, it must be removed before 10:00 pm. Snow that falls overnight must be removed by 10:00 am the following morning.

Therefore, if you were to trip and fall on a sidewalk because it was slick with ice and that homeowner or business owner failed to remove the ice in the designated time, they would be responsible for your injuries.

The same goes for removing tripping hazards such as lawn care equipment or children’s toys on the sidewalk. If you were to leave obstacles on your sidewalk that later lead to someone tripping and falling, you could be liable for their injuries.

Municipalities

Typically, the city or municipality is responsible for sidewalks that are not adjoining private property. The liability is similar to private property where the municipality must try to make their sidewalks safe – including repairing any defects or dangerous conditions.

Chicago does have a sidewalk program where homeowners can apply for a reduced replacement cost and share the replacement and repair costs of their sidewalks with the city. Normally, a homeowner would be required to replace these sidewalks. But in this case, the city offers a shared cost program to rehabilitate sidewalks that would typically be at full cost for the homeowner or business owner.

The Issue of Reasonable Time

Every time a pedestrian is injured in a trip, slip, or fall on a sidewalk, the property owner is not always at fault. The law gives a reasonable homeowner time to correct a safety hazard on their property.

For example, ice builds up on a sidewalk overnight in front a store. The store had closed at 7:00 pm and a pedestrian walking through at midnight slips on the ice and injures themselves. The snow and ice did not accumulate until after the store had closed. Therefore, it is unlikely the store’s owner would be liable, because they did not have a reasonable time to find the ice and correct it.

If that same store owner did not clear the ice by morning, especially within the Chicago snow removal time limits, then they would be liable if the pedestrian was injured the next day.

How Much Time Does the Court Consider to Be Reasonable?

What is reasonable to some might not be reasonable to the court. Instead, the court considers how much time a person would have to discover the defect and correct it. Snow and ice removal would have less of a timeframe compared to more serious flaws. However, if the property owner does not take measures to deter people from the defect, then they could still be liable – even if they are waiting for the defect to be repaired.

This is because injuries like this come down to negligence and a person’s duty of care to the public. If you know your sidewalk is dangerous and there is a defect that could easily trip someone, leaving it there could still make you liable, even if you have a contractor coming to repair it the following week. The only way to escape liability would be to tape off the area or put up signs warning of the potential hazard – similar to a store posting a “wet floor” sign on slick surfaces.

The Exception for Government

The government is responsible for millions of square feet of sidewalk. Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect them to patrol every inch in the city and be liable the second a pothole or crack forms. The only way to prove the city knew of the defect is through proper notices.

Actual Notices and Constructive Notices

Actual notice is when a citizen writes a complaint to the municipality informing them of the dangerous condition. While this serves as proof the city knew of the defect, they may not be liable if the flaw was too minor.

Constructive notice is when the municipality is aware of a dangerous condition that would not be classified as “minor.” For example, a large pothole in a sidewalk or piece of sidewalk that has lifted several inches because of tree roots.

Proving Your Claim Is Key

Proving a sidewalk trip and fall case might be difficult, but it is not impossible. You will need to show credible evidence that the owner or city knew of the defect and failed to rectify it. You can do so by providing:

  • Photographs: Photographs of the dangerous sidewalk condition are the best piece of evidence you can collect. A picture with a measuring device showing how big the pothole or uneven surface is can also help.
  • Witness Statements: Other witnesses who saw you trip and fall or that have witnessed the dangerous condition can also prove your claim.
  • Surveys: Sometimes owners will claim that the sidewalk is not their responsibility. The only way to prove the sidewalk is their property is through the local tax department. You can look up the survey plot and property’s boundaries, which demonstrates the party responsible for the sidewalk.
  • Damages: Even if you can prove there was a dangerous condition and you know who is responsible for the sidewalk, you must have damages. An accident without damages does not qualify as a valid case. Damages come in numerous forms but often include medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Speak with an Attorney about Your Sidewalk Trip and Fall

If you or a loved one was injured in a slip, trip, or fall on a sidewalk, it is essential that you speak to an attorney. Identifying the party at fault can be difficult in these cases, and proving your case requires someone with experience handling sidewalk injury claims.

Let the team at Malman Law help you with your case. Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation at 888-307-7068 or request more information online.

Motorcycle accidents are one of the more devastating types of traffic incidents. If you consider the lack of protection a motorcycle rider has, you can understand why the risk of physical harm is so much more significant for a person riding a motorcycle when they are in an accident.

Often, the injuries from a motorcycle crash are much more severe and usually last long-term compared to the passenger in a regular vehicle. When you file a claim for your motorcycle accident, you need an attorney ready to address the long-term consequences of your accident. The compensation you receive needs to look at your medical expenses, and these expenses could add up quickly.

The Long-Term Financial Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident in Chicago

The medical expenses are extreme from the moment the crash happens. Think about the costs of an ambulance, hospital visit, surgery, and aftercare. Then, consider the follow-up appointments, treatments, medications, equipment, and more.

These can add to thousands of dollars. And even if you have excellent health insurance and automobile insurance, it is rarely enough to cover the long-term costs.

Some Injuries Yield Higher Costs

Specific injuries will result in escalating medical costs:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Burns
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries

Most of these injuries are common in a motorcycle accident. Some victims suffer severe road rash, which requires skin grafting, plastic surgery, and may still result in permanent disfigurement.

With these injuries come serious financial obligations and costs that are often long-term as well:

  • Longer hospitalizations and multiple hospital stays for surgeries and follow up treatments
  • Physical, vocational, and psychological therapy
  • Nursing care in-home or at a special facility
  • Medications, including over-the-counter prescriptions
  • Long-term counseling for the emotional trauma
  • Medical or assistive devices such as prosthetics or wheelchairs
  • Long-term, in-home, or specialized care such as care at a rehabilitation center or burn center

Therefore, you can see that not only do you have the initial expenses, you also have the long-term consequences like losing work, missing out on wages, or being permanently disabled. When you have no income, the burden of these medical expenses grows. Your insurance benefits might be exhausted, and you will be paying for these out of pocket if you do not receive a settlement to offset the cost.

Form some victims, this burden lasts a few weeks. But for most catastrophic motorcycle accidents, the burden continues the rest of their life.

If you are permanently unable to work, how would you cover the long-term medical costs that lie ahead? How will you maintain insurance benefits without an employer?

The Physical Consequences That Lead to Higher Medical Costs

When your attorney assesses the long-term medical costs for your claim, they look at the injuries and physical consequences from that accident. All these physical consequences result in a higher medical cost expectation.

Some of the consequences might include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury – A TBI has long-term effects that will vary depending on the area of the brain injured. You may have problems like cognitive impairments, seizures, loss of hearing or vision, chronic pain, insomnia, mood swings, and even periods of lost consciousness.
  • Nerve Damage – Permanent nerve damage can result in numerous surgeries, muscle weakness, paralysis, organ dysfunction requiring machine assistance, respiratory distress, and treatments that attempt to help you regain some function.
  • Neck Injuries – A severe neck injury could result in long-term pain, migraines, vision issues, and even damage to the nervous system that will affect your ability to function.
  • Amputations – Amputations can result in many long-term costs. Not only is there the pain, but there is also the emotional and mental trauma, cost of prosthetics, complications with phantom pains, and the physical therapy needed to help a person learn to adapt to living without a limb(s).
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries can become extremely costly long-term. There is the need for continuous treatment and the victim may require life support. The victim could also lose function of specific bodily organs – like bladder control. They may be permanently paralyzed and need long-term care. Physical or occupational therapy might be required for months so that they can learn to cope with limited mobility.
  • Burn Injuries – Burn injuries may require multiple surgeries. Cosmetic surgery is expensive, and the costs alone will easily venture into the tens of thousands. A burn victim may also need psychological therapy to cope with their new appearance and possibly lower self-esteem. They may undergo treatment for infections, have reduced strength, adopt a range of motion issues, and even more that requires ongoing treatment.

Think of the True Costs

When you receive a medical bill, you see that bill. But, what about the many others soon to come? What about the long-term care that you might not have considered?

Just some of the long-term costs that you want to ensure you receive compensation for include:

  • Surgeries – Surgeries are costly. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you could require multiple surgeries that span over a few months or weeks. These surgeries could be life-saving such as repairing organ damage. Then, you may have other operations to correct cosmetic issues like burns or severe scars. You may need surgeries if you develop an infection in one of your wounds or surgeries to repair nerve damage.
  • Hospitalizations – You might be hospitalized initially after your accident, but then you may continue to be hospitalized after every surgery. If you have complications such as an infection, you could be readmitted. A few days’ stay adds up quickly. And the more you are admitted, the higher your hospitalization costs will get.
  • Prescription Medications – Prescription medications are costly. If you do not have good medical insurance, you may find that you cover most of them out-of-pocket. That could be hundreds in prescriptions plus over-the-counter medications for the rest of your life that you need to consider.
  • Doctor’s Fees – Each time you meet with a physician for a follow-up or diagnosis, you have an office fee that you will pay. For serious injuries, you may have multiple physicians you see throughout the week – quickly adding to your costs.
  • Physical Therapy – You may require physical therapy to help you recover from your injuries, regain mobility, or learn to cope with issues stemming from amputations. These appointments can be several times per week for months.
  • Medical Equipment – Following an amputation, you may need a prosthetic, wheelchair, or need to install assistive devices in your home so that you can live comfortably. All these costs are long-term, and the needs may only increase if you do not get better as time goes on.
  • Diagnostic Tests – It is likely that you will have multiple tests administered – not only for the initial diagnosis, but after treatments and as follow-ups. These can include imaging like CT Scans, X-Rays, MRIs, PET Scans, and more. Also, you have the diagnostic workups like blood work and laboratory analysis.

You Should Not Have to Pay for the Long-Term Medical Costs of an Accident

You did not cause the motorcycle accident, but you find yourself going into debt daily from covering the medical costs of that accident.

Instead of struggling, meet with an attorney from Malman Law.

Our attorneys understand what you are going through. We have helped clients in your position, and we know the long-term costs that you are likely to face. We want to help ensure you not only get the compensation you deserve for past expenses, but also the future expenses that will continue while you recover or live with your injuries.

We are here to negotiate with the insurance company and fight for your right to compensation.

To see how much you might qualify for, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today. We will aggressively fight for your right to compensation for past, current, and future medical costs. We also will work to get you compensation for lost wages, pain, and suffering.

You did not cause the accident, so why shoulder the financial consequences of it?

Meet with an attorney from Malman Law today by scheduling a free consultation at 888-625-6265 or request more information online.