Credible Waukegan, IL Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer
Home to late great comedian Jack Benny, Waukegan Illinois supports a thriving and diverse population of approximately 93,000, situated near one of the most important harbors in the Midwest region. Every year, around a hundred major vessels dock in Waukegan Harbor. Waukegan Regional Airport serves as a smaller (and in some ways, more posh) alternative to Chicago’s enormous O’Hare Airport. Given all of the industrial traffic in and out of Waukegan, however, transportation related injuries can easily occur. Industrial disasters at the harbor, boating accidents or accidental drownings, and injuries at the private airport may not always make the front page of the Chicago Tribune, but they nevertheless transform lives and push families to the brink of stress and exhaustion.
Looking for an Attorney in Waukegan?
If you have been injured in or around Waukegan, Illinois, you may need experienced legal counsel to advocate for your rights and ensure that you are taking the proper measures to get the compensation you deserve. Often times, you will need to deal with many logistics simultaneously. For instance, let’s say that you hurt your spinal cord near the St. Mary’s Cement Factory or slipped and fell on the icy tarmac at Waukegan Regional Airport. Not only would you have to obtain medical care ASAP, but you would also have to deal with crises at work and at home as well as with the logistics relating to your accident. Victims in stressful situations can make imperfect decisions that can lead to profound and unpleasant consequences. You might miss out on opportunities to achieve compensation, for instance. On top of that, you may feel plagued by anxiety and stress related to the fallout from your Waukegan, Illinois injury.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) Can I sue a trucking company for the negligence of its driver?
Sometimes, but not in most cases. The reason is that while an employer is usually liable for the on-duty misconduct of its employee under the well-established legal doctrine of respondeat superior, the same doctrine does not apply to an independent contractor.
Whether or not the supervisor refers to the worker as an “employee” does not matter – a court will decide the status of the worker based on the degree of independence that the worker enjoys from his or her supervisor. Most truckers operate as independent contractors, not employees, and most trucking companies insist on this arrangement in order to limit their legal liability in case of an accident.
To illustrate the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, a plumber you call in to fix your sink is probably an independent contractor, while a live-in maid who receives a monthly salary from you is probably your employee, regardless of how you characterize the relationship.
2) Does it make any difference if the defendant injured me intentionally?
Yes, it matters, because in the event of an intentional tort you may be able to obtain punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Moreover, if the person who injured you was an on-duty employee at the time of the assault, you may be able to sue the employer for punitive damages.
Keep in mind that you can win a civil lawsuit against someone who assaulted you even if they were acquitted in criminal court. This is because the standard of proof is much lower in a civil case than in a criminal case. In a civil case, you don’t have to prove the defendant was “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt ” – you only have to prove a 51 percent likelihood that the defendant is liable for damages.
3) If I am bitten by a dog, do I have to prove that the dog owner was negligent?
No, not in Illinois. In some states, the dog owner can escape liability by showing that the dog had never exhibited any aggressive tendencies before. In Illinois, however, a dog owner is considered strictly liable for a dog bite – you don’t even have to prove that it was negligent in order to win your case. Furthermore, most homeowner’s insurance policies and many renter’s insurance policies cover dog bite liability.
If the dog owner is uninsured or is otherwise unable to pay a judgment, you might also be able to sue the landlord of the establishment where you were injured – even if he or she did not own the dog – if the dog bite occurred in a common area, such as a courtyard. In this case, however, you may have to prove that the landlord acted negligently.
4) What happens if a driver who injured me in a crash has no liability insurance?
This won’t matter a whole lot as long as you have uninsured motorist insurance in an amount sufficient to cover your claim. All it means is that you will have to file a claim against your own insurance company rather than the driver’s insurance company. Since Illinois law does not require motorists to carry uninsured motorist insurance, however, many drivers do not carry it.
If you do not carry this type of insurance and the driver who injured you has no liability insurance, you may have to sue the driver directly. Of course, winning a lawsuit against a motorist who lacks the financial resources to pay a judgment will do you little good. In a best-case scenario, however, the driver could turn out to be an on-duty employee of a company that can afford to pay a judgment.
5) What is a “hazardous condition” on real property, and who is responsible for fixing it?
A hazardous condition is an unreasonably dangerous condition such as a deep pothole, missing stairway railing, or even (in some cases) accumulated ice on steps. A retail shop owner, for example, has a duty toward customers to repair any known dangerous conditions on the property and to inspect the property and repair or warn of any non-obvious hazards.
Liability for dangerous conditions is subject to the rule of reason, however – if you are injured by slipping down snowy steps, for example, the property owner or lessor might not be ruled liable as long as he or she made periodic efforts to keep the stairs clear of snow and ice. To win a lawsuit under these circumstances, you will have to show that the owner or lessor was negligent.
Contact Waukegan’s Experienced Personal Injury Team Today
Malman Law can provide no obligation, absolutely confidential consultations for accident victims. Steven J. Malman is one of the most prolific, well-respected, and intuitive attorneys in the Chicago area, particularly when it comes to personal injury law. He and his firm have battled in over 5,000 cases and won many multimillion-dollar verdicts for clients – some of which have been in excess of five million dollars. But while Steven is an adept litigator who understands the system and who knows how to extract maximal compensation for his clients, he does his work not merely to make money but also to help injury victims recover and go on to lead good, active, and happy lives. Steven really does care about his clients, as countless reviews – both from clients and from legal peers – attest. Find out more about the firm at Malman Law, or dial 1-(888) 625-6265 or fill out our free online consultation.