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Archive

Category Archives for "Serious Injury"

Have You Been Hurt In A CTA Bus Crash? Here’s What To Do.

Hurt In a CTA Bus Crash?

Here’s What To Do.

Reports show that you are not alone and that there are a lot of reasons for the crashes that CTA should be working harder to fix. But they do not.

According to records and interviews conducted by the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, there have been 5 people killed and over 1000 injured in CTA caused crashes.

That is only from a CTA bus crash, not all the other ways people can be hurt on the CTA. Like being hurt on a train, for example. And these are just the ones which have been reported.   These crashes have cost taxpayers over $16 million dollars over the same 2-year period.

You see, the CTA only has to report the crash to the Federal government if there is a death, a hospital trip, or property damage of more than $25,000.00. These figures do not even factor in how many minor injuries have occurred that were not required to be reported.

I’ll be honest: I am often a critic of the Sun-Times because their paper is often fluff. But in this case, their investigation is a good service to the people of the City of Chicago and anyone who rides the CTA.  

In the last 2 years, more than half of the injured people were passengers of the CTA. They were hurt by negligent driving by a CTA bus driver.

The remaining injured people were the bus drivers themselves (around 250); other drivers (about 200); and pedestrians (55) and bicyclists (20).   

That is a lot of people being injured in a lot of different ways. Of course, speaking with a lawyer who is in possession of the actual details of the case is the only way to really know whether you have a chance at recovery in any kind of injury case.

That includes when you got hurt on the CTA. I am going to explain a little about the injury claims process that the Chicago Transit Authority has.

You see, CTA bus drivers, train operators and even supervisors who are called to the scene of a crash or an injury will often give you a claims number. This is so that you can call the CTA and open an injury claim. I have been an injury lawyer for almost 20 years.  

Do you know how many times I have heard of an injured person actually being paid anything for their injuries or getting the medical bills paid by making an injury claim through the CTA? Never. Not once in almost 20 years.

I think that the CTA claims process is false. It is a farce. ​

It is designed to get injured people to give the CTA information about you, your injuries and your medical treatment. They do this NOT to evaluate your claim for purposes of settling.

Instead, they do it, I believe, SOLELY for the purpose of finding weaknesses in your case. They hand out witness cards to other people on the bus. However, they do it to find a way to contest your injury case.  

CTA lawyers will ask to take a recorded statement from you. But it is mainly to figure out a way to poke holes in your case and get you to say things that you do not even realize hurt your case.  

That’s why talking to a lawyer who knows what to do when you get hurt on the CTA is the key to improving your chances to win fair compensation for your injuries.

They have lawyers and you deserve the advice of a lawyer, too. Why should they get legal advice and you have to go in ‘blind,’ not knowing what they are really doing? Consult with a lawyer and level the playing field.

Every case is different and there are wrinkles to the facts of your case that make it somewhat unique. One simple fact and knowing how to mitigate it if it is a bad one can mean the difference between a good outcome or having your case thrown out of Court.  

We deserve to be warned of the dangers of riding the CTA and the preventable injuries that its negligence causes. If you want to learn more, you can read more about the article here.

What Should YOU Do If Hurt In A CTA Bus Crash?

The first thing you should do is assess yourself. Are you in pain? Can you walk or move? If you are able, ask for help or assist others who are hurt.

Next, make sure that the CTA bus driver calls in the crash and makes a report.   

What Should YOU Do If Hurt In A CTA Bus Crash?

The first thing you should do is assess yourself. Are you in pain? Can you walk or move? If you are able, ask for help or assist others who are hurt.

Next, make sure that the CTA bus driver calls in the crash and makes a report.   

I have talked to many people who get hurt on the CTA and sometimes, bus drivers do not want to make a report. Then, the CTA can later claim that the injury never happened. Make sure to report it and make sure CTA does a report of injury as well.

The third thing you have to do is see a doctor right away. You do not want to wait weeks or months and there are two reasons for that. First, there are no medical injuries that get better faster without medical care.

You may think your problem is a minor sprain, but it may be something more serious. Second, delays in medical treatment make Juries suspicious that you were not really hurt. When in doubt, go get checked out.   

But obviously, if you are okay and in no pain and no pain develops in the days or weeks ahead, do not go to the doctor for no reason. Another thing to think about is whether you know anyone who saw the CTA bus crash or whether you can get photos of the scene.

These days, almost everyone carries a cell phone that is capable of taking really good photos.   I know it is hard to think to do that, but it is important. Finally, DO NOT try to handle the case yourself. Years ago, the CTA would occasionally settle cases.  

That has more or less disappeared. They now only settle slam dunk cases and they are experts at interviewing unrepresented injured people and poking holes in their case.

Are There Differences In CTA Bus Crash Cases?

The answer to that question is “Yes”. Of course, the basics of a crash that happened on the roads of Chicago are the same whether we are talking about a car crash or an injury on the CTA.

But there are differences. The first is that there is a ONE YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. That means that you have one year from the date of your crash to file a lawsuit. This confuses some people because most injury cases involve a 2-year deadline.   

Since the CTA is a part of the City of Chicago, it benefits from the one-year deadline which most municipalities enjoy. Miss the date and your case is over.Another thing to keep in mind is that having a clear diagnosis from your doctor for an injury that is clearly related to the crash makes the case easier to settle.This will give us fewer problems if we have to take the CTA to trial to win your case.

Believe it or not, I have several clients where the Hospital or the follow-up doctor makes medical notes in the patient’s medical records and it described how the injury occurred incorrectly.

For example, I represented a lady who had a car accident and was taken to the Emergency Room by ambulance. However, the ER nurse wrote down that my client hurt her knee in a fall.   

Obviously, that was wrong, but Defendants in these cases will try to confuse the Jury and defend that case however they can. It isn’t always honest or fair. Their job is to save money and they have to give you nothing and defeat your claim to do that. And believe me, they will.

That’s why I believe that the most important thing any injured person could do is hire an experienced lawyer for CTA injury. One who is also courteous and easy to talk to. Sometimes, these cases go on for many years and it is a mistake to hire a mean lawyer who acts like you are bothering him when you have a question.

As much as it is unpleasant to think about calling a lawyer, not all lawyers are jerks. Many of us a very nice people and will spend some time with you on the telephone so you can explain what happened and what your concerns are.

If you have a lawyer who is a jerk, say goodbye and call another one. Find a lawyer who is courteous and knowledgeable about how to handle such cases. That’s why most good injury lawyers offer a free consultation in person or over the telephone.  

You can learn a lot from one of these free consultations. They cost you nothing, but what you might learn could win your case, or prevent you from losing it.

Like many injury lawyers, I offer a free consultation through my telephone line as well. You can call 24 hours a day and every day of the year, so answers are just a call away whenever you want to call.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

7 Smart Tips from Personal Injury Attorneys in Chicago

7 Smart Tips from Personal Injury Attorneys in Chicago

Injured man consulting an attorney about a lawsuit.

You’ve just been injured in a car accident. Left leg was broken. Index finger on your right hand crushed. Left thigh burned to the third degree.

You know you’re entitled to financial compensation due to the negligence of the other driver, but you’re not sure how to go about getting it.  

So where do you turn? The good news is that persoanl injury lawyers are available to help.

Let's take a look at 7 smart tips on how you can successfully naviagte your claim with the best personal injury attorneys Chicago has to offer.

1. File a Police Report ASAP

Remember, if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen, at least according to the courts. Unless you have what happened in writing, anyone can say anything during a personal injury case.

Be sure to include as much relevant information as possible, including the:

  • Full names of every person involved
  • Contact information for every person involved
  • Facts as you know them to be
  • Make and model of the other vehicle if in an auto accident
  • Location and time of the accident
  • Machinery, objects or anything else involved in the accident if not an auto accident

It’s a good idea to write down as much information as possible before filing the police report.

2. Collect Evidence

Every little piece of evidence you can gather for your case can have a significant impact and adds credibility. Your personal injury lawyer can help you with this.

When you’re searching for “personal injury attorneys Chicago,” you’ll want to read the testimonials. Once you’ve established that you’ve chosen a reputable lawyer, he or she can help you know what type of evidence is most important to your case.

Keep in mind that lawyers can get sued, too. So, you’ll want to make sure that the information you’re giving your attorney is accurate, complete, and provided to the best of your ability.

3. Speak Mindfully

During a personal injury court battle, less is more. Make it a point to only speak with your attorney in the privacy of his or her own office.

You’re entitled to your privacy, and the details are no one’s business but yours and whomever you choose to share them with.

Avoid speaking about your case to family, friends, and especially strangers. Though it may seem as if your words are safe when you’re chatting with the grocer, beware. Even the walls can have ears.

Remember that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Keep your confidential information confidential.

4. Take Responsibility For Your Emotions and Reactions

After you’ve sustained a personal injury, all sorts of emotions may come up: anger, grief, fear, sadness, resentment, betrayal. And these are all valid and completely understandable.

But don’t forget these are your emotions, and you can choose how to respond to the situation when they arise.

Pursuing a personal injury claim is about receiving what you’re due in compensation for the physical, financial, psychological and employment consequences you endured. This is not about revenge. It’s only about justice.

So, even though it may be tempting to shout at or curse the person who harmed you, keep your emotions in check. Speak respectfully to all parties involved in your case, resting in the knowledge that justice will be served.

5. Stand Your Ground with Your Insurance Company

It’s natural for your insurance company to offer you the lower financial compensation that you deserve during your first attempt to contact them. They’re trying to save money and will agree to the lowest you will allow. This is normal operating procedures for insurance companies.

While you do want to be reasonable, you don’t want to sacrifice what you’re entitled to. Their inability or unwillingness to see the extent of your personal injuries does not have to determine how much you settle for.

Contact them a third or fourth time if needed. It’s normal for there to be several offers and counter-offers before reaching an agreement.

Comprise where you can to show them that you know what you’re worth and you’re willing to be open and reasonable. But also know when not to budge. This is where a personal injury attorney can help tremendously.

6. Social Media Can Be Your Best Friend or Worst Enemy

Many of us enjoy our daily romp down the Twitter page or our hourly browsing of Facebook pictures.

Social media is connecting, entertaining, and just plain fun.

But it’s important to remember that all this can change during a personal injury claims battle. Every status you post, every picture you take, every comment you give — all of it can potentially be used against you and hurt your personal injury claim.

From that picture of you throwing a ball to your 2-year-old cousin to that status about the great time you had a party the night before, you can greatly affect the outcome of your settlement.

These pictures and statuses can be used to demonstrate that you’re not really that hurt, or that you haven’t really suffered that much.

A good rule of thumb is to take a break from social media altogether during the personal injury claim process. It may just be worth the withdrawals you go through.

7. Hire a Good Personal Injury Lawyer

This may be a given, but it bears repeating. A good personal injury attorney can fight the battles that would only give you additional headaches and stress.

You’ll want to either fully research “personal injury attorneys Chicago” or get a very good recommendation from a trusted source.

The nice thing about having a lawyer is that they often fight these types of battles for you to get you the greatest financial compensation possible.

The next time you’re searching for “personal injury attorneys Chicago,” remember these seven tips.

The Best Personal Injury Attorneys Chicago Can Provide

You don’t want to cheat anyone. You just want to receive what you’re entitled to.

When you’re looking for personal injury attorneys, look no further than DeSalvo Law.

We’ll work with you to make sure you receive what you’re due, and we’ll be there for every step of the journey.

Contact us for more information and let us lead the way!

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Chicago Accident Lawyers

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Chicago Accident Lawyers

In the state of Illinois, about 800 car accidents occur every day. Which means, Chicago accident lawyers definitely have their work cut out for them.

If you are unfortunate enough to get caught up in one of these all too common collisions, you may be feeling a little bewildered about what to do next.

Medical bills may have started coming in the door and repairs need to be done on your vehicle. Perhaps you even had to miss work, and now the rent is due. As the pressures mount, you should seek out Chicago accident lawyers for counsel.

They will be able to negotiate the settlement that you need so that you can get the help you deserve to get back on your feet after an accident.

But choosing from the many options you have for attorneys is sometimes trying, there are just so many. And if you have never required the services of Chicago accident lawyers, it can even be hard just to know what to look for.

So that you can better understand each candidate, we have devised a series of questions meant to reveal all the most important aspects to be considered when choosing a lawyer.

1. How Long Have You Been in Practice?

You may not consider the length of time in practice to be the most paramount factor when you select from your choices of Chicago accident lawyers.

However, that number will tell you so much.

By knowing how many years someone has been in practice, you can better assess their abilities because you know that many have come before you and chosen them as well.

You will want to ask how long they have practiced this particular type of law, and what their success rate has looked like.

2. Do You Solely Represent Car Accident Victims?

Knowing what other types of cases your firm represents can help give you an idea of what kind of lawyer they are. Finding one that takes a real interest in auto injury cases is very important. The last thing you want is for your case to become an afterthought or an experiment.

Finding one who takes a real interest in auto injury cases is crucial. The last thing you want is for your case to become an afterthought or an experiment.

3. What Is Your Assessment of My Case?

Your personal injury attorney should be able to tell you realistically what kind of financial settlement you may receive. They will be able to break down the factors that are working in your favor, and those working against you.

4. Is It Likely That We Will Have to Go to Trial?

Sometimes cases can be settled without the expense of a trial. Asking Chicago accident lawyers whether they think your case will be settled outside of court can be a good way to set your expectations.

5. About How Long Will It Take for My Case to Wrap-up?

These kinds of cases all take different amounts of time based on the schedules of everyone involved, including the court system.

It can seem at times like it just keeps being dragged out.

By asking up front about similar cases time frames, you can set an expectation for your own. This can help you to know what money you will need to come up with before any settlement you might receive comes through.

6. How Would You Describe Your Approach to These Cases?

Based on personality and experience, every lawyer will approach a case differently. They have seen this all before, even though it may still be a little raw and shocking to you.

Some of them will want to get the case moving immediately, others will want to gather more background information, and still, more will instruct you that your best option is an immediate settlement.

When you are hiring someone to represent your interest, knowing how they plan to approach the problem can help you be sure that they will act in the way you want.

7. Who Will be Managing My Case?

Every law firm has attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, assistant attorneys, and secretaries. Each member of the team needs to be effective for your case to be successful.

You will want to find out exactly who will be managing your case, and how much access you will have to them, as well as the rest of the team.

8. Will I Receive Any Progress Reports?

Depending on how busy a law office is, how much support staff they have, and how active your case is, you may want to receive progress reports on some kind of regular basis.

Not all practices will provide you with them, however. It takes a lot of time for someone to prepare a progress report and many lawyers that work with a smaller team simply won’t have time.

If you’re paying a certain amount a minute for any conversation you have with your lawyer, and you’re not getting a progress report, it can be a bit disconcerting. This is why it is so important that you ask thorough questions right at the start of your case.

9. What Is Your Hourly Rate?

There are a few ways costs might be managed when you pay your lawyer, but the most common is an hourly rate.

The hour is divided into tenths, meaning many lawyers are really charging you a price for every six minutes of their time.

10. What Fees Will be Taken Out of My Settlement?

Besides simply paying for the attorney’s time, there may be other fees. Some practices ask to work on contingency, or for a retainer fee.

You should find out what these costs are, and know if you will need to pay them back should your case not be successful.

If the costs are very concerning to you, ask them for a print out of the expenses for past cases similar to yours. Although no two cases are completely the same, knowing what those that came before you paid can give you some confidence that you are making the right decision.

Finding Chicago Accident Lawyers

When you are looking for the right representation for your case, experience and knowledge of the system are the most important factors to consider.

If you are in Chicago and are looking for a personal injury attorney, contact us at the law office of Scott D. DeSalvo. We have answers to many of these imperative questions available right on our website.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

When Should New Mothers Hire Medical Malpractice Lawyers?

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

nursing home injury

One of the most difficult things millions of Americans face each year is placing their parents or other elders in a nursing home. It’s often a heart-wrenching decision. You want some assurance your loved one will receive humane treatment and care.

They do this with the trust that their loved one will be well taken care of. This trust is not unwarranted. Nursing homes are premised upon the assumption that your loved one will receive better care in a facility than they would on their own.

For many this is true. But unfortunately for some, it is not. When your loved one is victimized by the staff at a nursing home, you need a nursing home abuse attorney in Chicago to help you fight for your loved one’s rights.

As Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys, at the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo, LLC, we share your concern. We want to offer a number of suggestions to help you find a nursing home where your loved one will be treated with dignity and respect and receive attentive care.

What is Elder Law?

Elder law is a subset of personal injury law or tort law. In general, the elder law deals with the legal considerations of aging, such as end-of-life issues, guardianship and personal injury law as it relates to nursing home neglect.

Duties of a Nursing Home Attorney

An elder law attorney can provide assistance with any of the following:

  • The importance of wills and estate planning
  • Ensuring power of attorney
  • Financial representation
  • Healthcare planning, including long-term care options and patient rights
  • Nursing home rights and filing a claim

They also specialize in senior citizens, which leaves them better equipped to handle sensitive emotional and psychological matters for older adults.

Your Loved One Has Rights

Any resident of a Medicare or Medicaid-certified nursing home has a number of rights and protections under both federal and state law. These rights should be explained in writing at the time someone is admitted to the nursing home.

It should continue to be explained in a way that said resident can understand throughout the term of their stay. Residents must own a copy of their rights in writing and acknowledge that they understand them.

Yet, however standardized these regulations attempt to be, there are still many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect on our nation’s elderly.

Around 1.4 million Americans live in nursing homes and as the population ages and baby boomers become elders, this number is only expected to increase.

A congressional report conducted over a 2-year period found that nearly 1 in 3 nursing homes were cited for violations, with the potential to cause harm. On the other hand, almost 10 percent had violations that caused actual harm or even death.

Another survey found that up to 44 percent of nursing home residents reported having been abused at some point during their residency. These awful numbers have caught the attention of state legislatures, prompting anti-elder-abuse laws in all 50 states.

However, sadly, nursing home abuse continues to occur and often goes unreported.

Don’t Go Through It Alone

If you suspect nursing home abuse, you don’t have to go through it alone. This can be a confusing time. You entrusted the care of your loved one to the nursing home and their staff. And they have let you down.

It can be difficult to believe and may leave you in denial or search for answers that aren’t there. When you are in this state of mind, it’s best not to handle the case on your own.

You need the assistance of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Chicago so you don’t make any mistakes that could cost you the compensation your loved one deserves.

With the help of an attorney, you can get the case settled, while still giving your loved one the attention he or she needs in this difficult time.

Examples of Nursing Home Neglect

Imagine rushing to the hospital after getting a call that your elderly parent has had a stroke. Upon arriving, you find that not only do they no longer have a long-term care policy, but their financial assets have been signed over to a stranger.

This is where a nursing home attorney can help you. Senior abuse and neglect can take many forms, but it’s widely underreported – only 1 in 14 domestic abuse cases and 1 in 25 financial exploitation cases come to the attention of state and local authorities.

Knowing what some of these forms are will help you know when you have the right to pursue legal action. Here are a few common examples of types of elder abuse. If you’re concerned about someone’s well being, it’s always a good idea to ask what your options are.

  • Medication Error

In many cases, you put your elderly parent in a nursing home to make sure they are taking the correct doses of medication at the right times for their own safety.

A nursing home is responsible for making sure overdoses, underdoses, incorrect administration, or confusion of medications do not occur. If any of these happen, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

  • Financial Exploitation

This is the most common form of elder abuse and can include undue influence, theft and forgery.

  • Inappropriate or Wrongful Care

Any form of care that leads to illness or injury is grounds for a lawsuit and can include everything from sepsis to bedsores, to medication errors.

  • Life-Threatening Injuries

Residents of a nursing home rely on their caregivers to provide the appropriate level of supervision and care. If their failure to do so results in life-threatening injuries, you have the right to sue.

  • Insufficient Staffing

Many of the nursing home neglect problems arise from a failure to adequately care for and supervise the residents of the home. Cutting staff is one of the most common ways for facilities to reduce costs, despite the fact that there are laws in place to prevent such actions.

Their lack of staff has a serious cost, as many instances of nursing home neglect arise when staff does not adequately supervise and care for their residents.

  • Verbal Belittlement and Harassment

Emotional neglect and abuse are just as much of a concern as physical and financial abuse.

Verbal belittlement is one of the most common examples. It may seem small, but it can result in serious emotional and psychological trauma. Depression and anxiety are both signs of trauma and every senior has the right to feel safe.

If you believe that your loved one died as a result of poor care at the hands of a nursing home, it is imperative that you seek legal action as soon as possible.

3 Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

It’s easy to see nursing homes as giant and untouchable entities. If you take this view, it’s likely that you will fail to realize that you can fight back against elder abuse when it happens to you or your loved ones.

Chicago nursing home abuse lawyerWhen it comes to nursing home abuse, Illinois protects its residents, as does the United States. These facilities are federally regulated and if there is abuse happening, you are within your rights to seek recourse.

But before you take legal action, you need to act to protect your loved one and other senior citizens from the facility. It’s vital you stay vigilant and call a nursing home attorney in Chicago if you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse.

Until you can talk to a legal professional, be sure to take these steps:

1.Help Your Loved One File a Complaint

Nursing home residents are legally entitled to file a complaint with their nursing home. Staff is legally required to make reasonable accommodations to deal with these complaints.

As mentioned, nursing home abuse tends to be underreported. Among the reasons for this is that many residents fear retribution from staffers. Your presence will be reassuring to your loved one, who may fear his or her caretakers.

If the nursing home is being negligent, you’ll be able to hold them accountable by being an advocate for your loved one.

It’s likely that more than just your relative is being put at risk: this abuse is often systematic. Filing a report is the best way to put a stop to it and protect all families.

2. Look Into New Nursing Homes

It always helps to have options. If you suspect nursing home abuse, you don’t want to be left without a place for your loved one to stay. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services provides information on finding a caretaker for your loved one.

Read their publication on choosing a nursing home. At the new facility, visit as frequently as possible to make sure your relative isn’t experiencing the same abuse in a different location.

3. Investigate Your Nursing Home

Medicare.gov provides information on all active nursing homes. If you do some digging, you can research the records of various nursing homes, including your own. Understanding their track record can help you decide when it may be time to call a nursing home attorney in Chicago.

Here Are The Things To Pay Attention to To Avoid Chicago Nursing Home Abuse

Oftentimes, the victims of elder abuse are also made to feel that they will not be believed when they discuss their experiences. Make sure you take these steps to prevent your relatives from being victims of nursing home abuse.

Know what options you have if your relative is being victimized.

  • Visit More Than One Nursing Home So You Can Make Comparisons

There is a lot of difference in staffing level, the cleanliness of the facility and the attitude of the people who work there between nursing homes.  

You might want to spend some time there, just looking around and not just on a tour where the facility might be trying to put its best foot forward. Check when their guard is down. Doing your  homework is one of the best ways to make sure you can avoid Chicago nursing home abuse.

  • Consider the Location

The nursing home should be close enough that you can visit often without having to drive hours each way. I always tell clients and friends: if you have a loved one in a Nursing Home, you should have a presence there.  

Visit. Check in. If you have a question about your loved one’s condition or health, then ask questions. This is all easier if the Nursing Home is close to your home or work. It is also nice if it is in a good location for other family members or friends to visit too.

  • How Does the Place Smell?

The odors encountered are not always pleasant, but that’s sometimes unavoidable. Certain medications and diets sometimes make residents more gassy. As people age, they’re more likely to lose control of their bladder and bowels.

So, a faint unpleasant whiff isn’t necessarily bad. But if the facility reeks of stale urine, that could mean the place is not properly cleaned. Some medical smells are to be expected in areas where very ill people are living or if they are bedridden.  

But if the entire facility does not smell clean, then worry. Or worse, if it looks run down and does not look like it is cleaned regularly, you may be dealing with a facility that is just not attended to properly.  

If they do not take care of the physical building, they are not likely to give your loved one the care they need.

  • What Sounds Do You Hear?

Hearing someone moaning or yelling “help” doesn’t necessarily indicate bad care. It could just be an indication of patient dementia. Instead, listen to how the staff addresses residents. Do they speak respectfully or do they use demeaning names?

Listen to how they talk to address the nursing home residents. Are they being nice, or being short and ill-tempered? It isn’t an easy job, but patience is required.  

If everyday interactions with the old or sick people in a Nursing Home are short and aggressive or just unpleasant while they are being watched, this is not an encouraging sign. The language and actions are likely to worsen when no one is watching.  

You do not want your family member to be a victims of nursing home abuse.

  • Does the Facility Conduct Background Checks On Its Employees?

Under federal law, elder care facilities must not hire people who have committed violent acts against patients. Unfortunately, the law does not require the use of any specific type of background checks. The choice is up to each nursing home and they may not bother to check.  

I know that this isn’t fair to say, because plenty of people who get into some trouble with the law are very nice people. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes, someone just made a mistake when they were young. Not everyone who gets into some trouble is violent.

But this is why a good background check is essential. The facility needs to know if a person has been convicted of a crime and if so, whether the crime is something relatively innocuous like possession of marijuana or curfew violation.

Or, whether a person was convicted of assault and battery, or aggravated assault charges.  These folks may not have the patience to tend to older folks in a nursing home who may be suffering from bedsores, or who cannot move around themselves too well.

These kinds of nursing home residents need understanding and cooperation.

  • How Do Residents Spend Their Afternoons?

Quality nursing homes have a daily calendar of activities for residents. If your loved one is room-bound, activities should be brought to them. Obviously, nursing homes are not vacation resorts and the physical limitations of the residents limit what they can do.  

Different residents have different capabilities and those capabilities dictate what they can offer by way of entertainment. But a nursing home should not be a human warehouse, where people are placed and forgotten.  

When the body fails, the mind needs stimulation. When the mind goes, people still need human contact, compassion and connection.

  • What Happens If I Run Out of Funds?

If my resources are exhausted, are you certified to accept Medicaid? It is important to line up how the nursing home is going to be paid for.  

The last thing you want to happen is that someone in your family gets their work hours reduced or they get laid off. And now, in addition to the household stress of a decrease in income, you have to worry about a nursing home hounding you for not making payments.  

To the extent possible, use insurance, disability insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or other programs to ensure a stable flow of payment. This is so that if your loved one is being well cared for, they can stay there without disruption.  

For many of us, when we get older, change is hard for us. It is upsetting for older folks. Making sure the dollars and cents are taken care of keeps them in a stable nursing home facility.  It reduces their stress and yours.

You can get more advice from the Illinois Department of Public Health here.

Know The Signs

Nursing home abuse is happening all across America. The reason it’s so common and underreported is that people often don’t know what to suspect.

People committing nursing home abuse are dependent upon the fact that the victims won’t be believed (due to the decline in mental faculties associated with aging.) Or, they believe the victim will be too humiliated to speak up.

It’s what makes this crime so widespread — but also so sickening. If they suspect nursing home abuse, Illinois residents can fight back by knowing the signs.

  • Silence and Isolation

As we said, the reason so many nursing homes and nursing home workers feel entitled to commit this abuse is the low likelihood of reporting. In some cases, it’s because of the mental faculties of residents.

A person may have Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or just be experiencing senility. In any case, these conditions will make it a lot harder for residents to articulate abuse. Another reason is the humiliation associated with reporting abuse.nursing home abuse lawyer

The psychological trauma associated with the abuse suffered in nursing homes can make it a lot harder to report the incident or incidents. In either case, if your loved one is less talkative and seeks isolation repeatedly, there is very likely a reason for it.

  • Bed Sores or Injuries

Unexplained injuries are a telltale symptom of physical abuse being experienced in a nursing home. Senior citizens are a lot less likely than the average person to engage in a strenuous physical activity.

It is possible that a fall or a bumped knee could be to blame for a bruise or welt on an elderly person. But it’s more likely a sign of nursing home abuse Illinois residents should dread seeing. Bed sores, like bruises, can also be a symptom of nursing home abuse.

These are more likely to be ignored because people tend to think of them as the result of aging and being less mobile. But they often signify something darker. In either case, you should ask what’s happening to your relatives.

  • Dehydration, Weight Loss, Or Lack of Sanitation

There is absolutely no reason for anybody to be dehydrated in a nursing home. Dehydration, as we all know, happens because you have not consumed enough water. In a nursing home, attendants are supposed to make sure their patients are consuming the water they need.

This is what makes dehydration a sign of nursing home abuse Illinois residents need to be aware of. If your relative is dehydrated, your relative is neglected. Weight loss and unsanitary conditions are also serious warning signs.

If your relative is not being fed or is not having their room cleaned, they are likely being neglected. Neglect is one of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse. That makes it absolutely essential that people know these signs.

  • Unexpected Death

Unfortunately, this is often the end result of elder abuse. When it comes to nursing home abuse, Illinois residents need to know the signs. After all, older bodies can take a lot less harm or neglect than those of younger people.

That means that older people are far more likely to be killed by the abuse they experience than their younger counterparts – so don’t wait to see the signs.

How a Nursing Home Attorney Can Help

Dealing with elder abuse can be a frightening time for all involved. A nursing home attorney can help you keep your peace of mind and make sure your loved one receives the care and compensation they deserve.

First Steps

The best way to build a case of neglect or abuse is to visit frequently and report early, as many of the markers used to signify nursing home abuse and neglect are time sensitive (such as injuries).

You should record evidence of abuse and report it to local and state authorities. You can use the resource page on the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and contact members of your loved one’s immediate healthcare team (if they are not involved in the neglect).

Once reported, you can seek legal counsel to determine how to proceed. They can help you build a case and determine how to proceed.

Questions to Ask

When seeking a nursing home attorney, you should have a few questions in mind, including:

  • What percentage of your time is devoted to elder law?
  • Do you have an area of specialty within elder law?
  • What information will I need for our first meeting?
  • How are your fees computed?

All of these questions will help ensure that you find an attorney who specializes in the area most important to you and make sure that you are prepared when you begin to compile a case.

Injury Case Q&A

Now, we are going to answer Robert’s question about his dad’s stay at a nursing home where he took a fall.

“Hi, my name is Robert. My father is a resident at a nursing home and he fell out of bed and hurt his arm. I am not sure what happened but he has problems walking and he has fallen a lot before he fell at the nursing home.

Is this a case? What should we do? What is our first step?

Thanks, Mr. DeSalvo.”

Thanks for the question Robert. You know, nursing home cases are very good cases.

You might think that the fact that your dad had lots of falls before going into the nursing home makes it a tougher case because his injury at the nursing home involves a fall – it is actually the exact opposite.

When an elderly person or an ill person goes into a nursing home, the nursing home has to do a fall assessment risk. The assessment is in writing, so it should be in your dad’s hospital records or nursing home medical records.

nursing home abuse lawyerWhen the nursing home knows somebody has a problem with falling, they actually assess them for the risk and then there are safeguards that they are supposed to take.

Now, if they didn’t follow those safeguards or didn’t do a fall assessment and if your dad falls and hurts himself under the care of the nursing home, that is a really great case. It absolutely is a case that can be proven.

I don’t think you mentioned how bad your dad got hurt, but even if it is a minor injury, you don’t entrust your loved one into a nursing home for theme to only break the rules in a way that results in your loved one being hurt.

Whether it is a big case or a small case, there is compensation for your father. I would encourage that you definitely to talk to a lawyer just based on the information you’ve given me. Of course, you can call me or speak with any other attorney that you are comfortable with.

I would say you are better off going with an attorney who has some experience handling nursing home cases because they can be a little bit more complicated than, for example, a car crash case. However, it’s a solid case and you should do something.

I hope your dad is okay and I hope this information helps you. For the rest of you viewers out there, if you have any questions that you would like me to answer on YouTube or privately, you can send them in to calls@desalvolaw.com.

Count on Experience

A qualified nursing home abuse attorney in Chicago will have handled a vast number of cases similar to yours. Their expertise can be invaluable in determining the best course of action to take and what compensation to seek.

They won’t allow you to aim higher than you deserve, only to be disappointed by the final result. A lawyer can keep your expectations grounded and help you move forward on the path to healing.

Get Help From The Law Offices Of Scott D. DeSalvo, LLC

If you think your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect then you need the help of a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer. This is a systematic problem precisely because legal recourse is not taken nearly enough.

Meanwhile, senior citizens are being hurt, humiliated and even killed at alarming rates. Elder abuse is one of our areas of specialty. This problem is important to us because we believe our elders need to be treated with respect and dignity at all stages of life.

We also believe that families should be able to trust nursing homes to guide our loved ones through their golden years. We want to help make these beliefs a reality in the state of Illinois. If you suspect or know that your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, contact us immediately.

No one should have to deal with a case of nursing home abuse alone. A consultation with us is free and can take place in person or over the telephone.

A nursing home abuse lawyer understands the rights that should be afforded to residents and can assess whether or not those rights are being violated. Their expertise in the field will allow you to build the strongest case for your loved one so they receive the treatment they deserve.

Don’t let the nursing home abuse go unreported. Contact the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo, LLC and get the legal counsel you need. Call us today to get your case started.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or have questions about an injury case, I offer injured people a copy of my FREE Injury DVD and Book. Just call me at my 24/7/365 toll-free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318)  and ask for the free injury book.

Give us your name and mailing address and I will mail it to you free of charge and with no obligation. If you are ready to talk, call that same number and ask to speak with me!


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In a Car Accident? What You Need To Know.

In a Car Accident? What You Need To Know.

There are thousands of people hurt in car accidents in Illinois every year.  And more than 900 are killed in a car accident every year.  About half of these car accidents happen in Cook County, Illinois.

So what should YOU do if you or a loved one has been in a car crash?

1.  Take a deep breath and gather yourself.  Different people react differently when they have been involved in a car accident.  I have had clients who are light-headed, and so shaken up that they should remain seated.  Sometimes, an injury is immediately obvious.  Almost everyone has a strong emotional reaction to fear and shock of being in a car crash.

2.  Make sure everyone is safe and not in any danger.  This could include someone being trapped in a car which was involved in a car accident, or it could be that people are walking around the scene of the crash, and there may be more traffic approaching, making the area unsafe.

3.  Contact police and ambulance.

4. If you are able, collect the name and telephone numbers of any witnesses.  You would not believe how car insurance companies will deny that their insured is responsible for a crash, even in the most ridiculous of circumstances.  Getting witnesses after a car accident has got to be a high priority, especially if anyone was seriously injured in the car accident.

5.  Make sure to get the insurance information from the other drivers and a police report or at least the police report number from the reporting police department.

6.  If you are hurt, make sure that you are at least checked out by medical professionals after being involved in a car accident.  You would not believe the number of people who do not like going to the doctor, so they put off getting medical help after being in a car accident.  This is a big mistake.  Insurance companies love being able to argue that “If he was really hurt, he would have gone to the doctor…”  In most circumstances, it is best if you see a doctor right away, but a short delay is okay.  Many of my clients actually feel worse over the next several days after being in a car accident than they did on the day of the crash.  This is very common.  DO NOT avoid medical care.  You get one body in this life, and whether you have a case or not, your health has got to be your top priority.

7.  Consider speaking with a lawyer, especially if there is an injury.  Insurance companies treat people more fairly for car damage repair than they do for personal injury after being in a car accident.  If you talk to anyone in the business, there can be a very little question that insurance companies are waging an all-out war against injury claims.  Many of my clients get treated fairly when it comes to repairing their vehicle, only to have the auto insurance company change their tactics when it comes time to discuss a reasonable settlement.   Like most injury lawyers, I offer a free case evaluation, so talking to me in person or by telephone is no cost and no obligation.  Studies show that injured people recover three times as much with a lawyer in an injury claim as compared to not using a lawyer.

8.  DO NOT agree to let the auto insurance pay your medical bills as they are incurred.  Once your bills are settled, the auto insurance company no longer has any incentive to pay you a fair settlement, because you are not allowed to the Judge and Jury about bills they paid.  This is actually a sneaky maneuver by many insurance companies — once they pay your medical bills, they offer you nothing for your injuries after a car accident.

I hope that these guidelines are helpful to you, but they can never take the place of the help of an experienced lawyer who knows what to do when a client has been in a car accident.   If you have any questions or need help or representation, please give my office a call at 312-895-0545 and I would be happy to speak with you.

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Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

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Job Site Safety Tips from a Top Construction Accident Lawyer

Job Site Safety Tips from a Top Construction Accident Lawyer

On a construction site, there are many worst-case scenarios that can play out. It’s a scary thought for any site owner and construction firm to think about.

These instances can turn into multi-million-dollar lawsuits that can bankrupt your construction business. This alone is more than enough reason to hire a construction accident lawyer to draft your contracts.

There has to be clauses that indicate the risks of a project and the accountability of all parties involved. For instance, who’s responsible for paying the costs of injuries and property damage in the event of an accident?

This is also why your construction firm should have proper liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. But what’s even more important is having safety guidelines in place that your employees follow.

Tragically, thousands of workers are injured and hundreds are killed on construction sites in the U.S. each year. As Chicago personal injurylawyers, we’re aware of the crucial importance of workplace safety.

In the following guide, we’ll cover the top tips you can use to keep your construction site safe.

Give Safety Training to All of Your Workers

Before a new employee sets foot on any of your construction sites, they should receive safety training. The training should go over workplace safety standards and common hazards on different job sites.

Training should include proper lifting techniques to avoid back injuries. Then, there should be safety policies employees have to read before the start of a new site. Make sure no employees operate equipment they’re not trained or qualified to use.

In the event of an accident, your workers should know the procedure to use and the name and location of first aid responders to contact. Remember: safety training isn’t a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing effort to ensure all workers know and remember all of the policies and procedures.

The last thing you want to have to do is hire a construction accident lawyer for a pending lawsuit.

Have Crew Safety Meetings Frequently

The frequency of these safety meetings will depend on your particular construction firm. For instance, some companies need to have these meetings daily when there’s high-risk work being performed.

In this case, remind your workers to stay focused and address relevant issues. It’s more motivating when the details given are real-life and job-specific.

Make Workers Wear Protective Clothes and Gear

Your top priority as a construction business owner is to ensure the protection of your employees. The best way to do this is to have them consistently wear protective clothing and gear.

This includes high-visibility clothing, hard hats, steel-toed boots and shirts that protect against UV rays. Wearing a yellow hardhat is not a fashion statement, but it could save your life.

Without that hard hat and steel toe cap boots, you’re putting yourself at great risk on a construction site. Anyone not wearing the recommended protective wear shouldn’t be allowed on the construction site.

This way, you can avoid potential injuries, lawsuits and the need to hire a construction accident lawyer.

Maintain Clean Workspaces

While constructing a new building, it’s essential to have a cleanup crew. This will ensure walkways are free of debris, spills and tools, so no one slips and falls. It’s also a good idea to teach your employees good cleaning habits.

Have them maintain a clean space at all times.

Regularly Inspect Tools and Equipment

Malfunctioning equipment can present a grave hazard to employees and anyone else on or near the construction site. It’s best to inspect your tools and equipment on a regular basis. Accidents can occur, such as employees being pinned by heavy malfunctioning equipment.

Then, there are cases where workers end up losing fingers, toes and limbs because of faulty tools. In worst case scenarios, some companies end up with a wrongful death lawsuit they have to hire a construction accident lawyer for.

Prevent workers from using any gear containing broken parts or improper functions.

Implement Fall Protection Systems

One of the leading causes of fatalities on construction sites is due to falls. In order to protect your employees from fatal injuries, it’s best to install fall protection systems. For example, you can install guardrails, screens, canopy structures, toe boards and nets.

Also, scaffolding is useful for preventing falls. Just ensure it’s properly installed so that it holds the intended weight load. It’s important to inspect scaffolds regularly as well.

Make sure the scaffolds have been inspected by a competent person and never work on one that does not have a strong platform or base. Check any ladder thoroughly before using it and if any part of it is wobbly, don’t use it.

Run Risk Assessments Per Job Site

Each construction site is different and comes with its own separate hazards. The safety tips you provided to workers for the last construction site may not work for the new site.

Risk assessments will help you identify unusual hazards, so you can warn your employees beforehand. Then in your crew meeting, ensure your workers get all the important information, education and training to handle the job safely.

Management should have prepared a safety plan to deal with on-site emergencies. Workers should have some basic first aid knowledge to deal with injuries that occur.

Use All Equipment for its Intended Purpose

It’s not uncommon for construction workers to use equipment and tools in tasks they’re not prescribed for. Make sure all of your workers know how to operate all gear based on the instructions of the manufacturer.

Misusing tools and equipment will increase the chances of someone getting injured. Also, the equipment should meet the standards of OSHA.

Follow the Guidelines OSHA Sets

OSHA guidelines are very important for keeping construction sites safe. Make sure each of your workers are well-acquainted with the rules and procedures. Then if there are any dangerous working conditions, workers should know how to report it to OSHA.

Record and report all violations and incidents.

Hazardous Materials

Label and store any hazardous materials in proper containers and secure them in a safe location. Make sure there is an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for all potentially hazardous chemicals and materials.

Surroundings

Many construction site accidents happen when people are not aware of their surroundings. Stay alert and pay careful attention to any loose materials that might topple or fall on you.

Tools and Electricity

When using power tools, make sure that power cables are protected, the metal casing is grounded and the power supply has an earth leakage circuit breaker.

Heavy Equipment and Vehicles

Each year, about ten people die when hit by heavy vehicles at construction sites. Often the drivers cannot see you fully, so stay clear while they’re in motion.

Reduce Nighttime Work

There will be days when work has to extend into the night. However, you want to reduce this as much as possible. Having employees work too long will potentially lead to injuries due to workers cutting corners to get the job done faster.

Plus, you have to worry about employees becoming fatigued and injuring themselves or others. Lighting should be sufficient to ensure visibility isn’t an issue. Also, it’s better to limit nighttime work to a low-risk area.

Hire a Construction Accident Lawyer

When the push comes to shove and you end up facing a personal injury or worker’s compensation lawsuit, you need proper representation.

We fight on the side of construction businesses and construction workers. If you were recently injured and you’re denied workers compensation, we can help.

If you’re injured at a construction site despite your efforts to avoid it, we urge you to email or call us at 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318).

At the Law Firm of Scott D. DeSalvo, we are Chicago personal injury lawyers and we want to help you get back on your feet, both physically and financially.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

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  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

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  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
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8 Essential Questions to Ask Your Burn Injury Lawyer

8 Essential Questions to Ask Your Burn Injury Lawyer

In the U.S. approximately 450,000 patients are admitted to a hospital due to burn injuries.

If you suffered a burn injury due to negligence and think you have a case, you should get in touch with a burn injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you get through this tough time and get you the compensation you deserve.

To help you find the best lawyer, here are 8 questions you need to ask.

1. Do I have a Case?

During your initial consultation with a burn injury lawyer, the first thing you need to ask is if you have a case?

Your lawyer should be able to determine if you should move forward with the lawsuit. They can better explain to you the weaknesses and strengths of your case.

They will need to know the severity of your burn injury. Also, was the injury caused due to the negligence of a third party? And did you suffer any damages that can be recovered?

Keep in mind that even if you have a case, in the initial stages it might be difficult to determine what you’ll be entitled to.

2. What Kinds Of Damages Can I Expect?

If you have never filed a personal injury lawsuit, then you have no idea what you’ll be entitled to. However, your lawyer does, so you should be asking them what to expect.

Typically, in personal injury lawsuits, you can expect compensation for your medical bills. This should be a huge relief because hospital stays and doctor visits can have a hefty price tag.

You might also be entitled to loss of wages for the time you had to be out of work due to your injury.

The aftermath of a burn injury always brings pain and suffering, so you can ask your lawyer if you can expect compensation on this matter.

3. How Many Similar Cases Have You Handled?

Remember that not all lawyers specialize in the same fields. If you want to get the best representation, then you need to know if your burn injury lawyer has what it takes.

You shouldn’t be shy when asking about their experience. Ask them how many burn injury cases they’ve handled over the years. Did they always specialize in personal injury or did they change practice areas over the years?

Ask them if they have ever been on the other end of a personal injury lawsuit.

4. What Other Areas Do You Specialize In?

Just like you want to know if they’ve handled cases similar to yours, you should also ask what other areas they practice.

It’s not a bad thing if your lawyer specializes in other areas. It’s good for your lawyer to have a wide set of skills and experience. However, you want to pick the one who will handle your case better.

For example, you wouldn’t go to an orthopedic surgeon about a brain injury, even though he’s still a doctor.

5. How Many Lawyers In The Firm Handle Similar Cases?

The lawyer you meet with will probably won’t be the only one working on your case. In fact, a lot of the cases in a law firm are delegated by the partners to associate attorneys and paralegals.

They always remain under the complete supervision of the lawyer handling your case, but they do handle a large portion of the workload. This is not a bad thing, after all, this is how most successful lawyers get their experience.

However, you should still find out if the other lawyers helping in your case have handled cases similar to yours, or have extensive experience with personal injury suits.

6. What Are Thier Contingency Fees?

For the most part, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means the client will pay the lawyers if the case settlement is successful.

If the lawyer loses the suit, then neither you or the lawyer gets any money. You’re also not required to pay the lawyer for any fees.

However, if you win, the lawyer receives a percentage from the settlement. The contingency fee agreement is usually one third.

Ask your potential burn injury lawyer if he or she is willing to work on a contingency fee basis, and make sure this is clear in the engagement agreement.

When a lawyer agrees to take a case under contingency, it’s usually a great sign. If you don’t get paid, then your lawyer doesn’t get paid.

7. What Is Their Case Strategy?

You might want to know what strategy your burn injury lawyer will use to win your case.

Their strategy has to be well planned based on the severity of the burn injury and all of the evidence provided during the consultation.

When your lawyer discloses their strategy make sure you ask specific questions about it. What are the pros and cons of said strategy? Also, ask if there are other ways to handle it.

Ask your lawyer why they think this is the best strategy, and if they have used it in the past.

8. How Long Will It Take to Settle the Case?

When it comes to personal injuries, usually medical bills really pile up. You might be in a hurry to settle the case so you can take care of all the payments.

A lot of factors that will determine how long your case will take to settle. Depending on the claim you’re making, your lawyer will be able to provide you with a better time frame.

Remember that they cannot provide you with an exact time frame, but maybe you can ask them for the time frames of each step they take.

A lot goes into investigating an resolving a personal injury lawsuit. You will often have to attend proceedings, there’s investigation that needs to take place, and much more.

Take the estimated time frame your lawyer provides you with as an estimate only.

Ready To Hire a Burn Injury Lawyer?

Suffering through a burn injury is stressful enough, getting a lawyer to help you in your case doesn’t have to be.

We hope these 8 tips will help you in your search for a burn injury lawyer.

Are you in the Chicago area and in need of a personal injury lawyer? Contact us for a consultation and to learn more about our practice areas.

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Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

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The Auto Accident Claim Process Explained

The Auto Accident Claim Process Explained

If you’ve just been in a wreck, figuring out the intricacies of filing an auto accident claim is likely the last thing on your mind — and for good reason.

That’s why taking a proactive approach and learning how the process works now can save you valuable time and energy should you need to do it in the future.

Today, we’re breaking down just what happens after you file that initial claim. Where does it go? Who handles it? How long until you can expect to hear back?

We’ll answer all of those questions and more. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

The Basics of an Accident Claim

As with almost any legal process, the exact steps that your claim will take will differ according to a few factors. These include:

  • The exact nature of the accident
  • How severe the accident was
  • The degree of property or bodily damage (or both) that occurred, if any

That said, there are a few actions that will occur regardless of your individual circumstance. Let’s look at those in closer detail:

Step 1: The Claims Adjustor

As soon as you file your accident claim, your insurance company will dedicate a claims adjustor to your case. He or she will be responsible for reviewing your auto policy to determine exactly how you’re covered — and how you should proceed.

Depending on your case, your claims adjustor might do the following to help create a clearer picture of what occurred during the accident:

  • Ask for a copy of the detailed police report
  • Communicate with other parties involved, including the driver and any witnesses
  • Go to the scene of the accident
  • Examine your car and photograph any physical damage
  • Review your medical record (with authorization) to discern sustained injuries

This step is critical for determining fault as it helps your insurance company understand precisely what happened and who should be held responsible.

Step 2: Finding Fault

Next, your adjuster will work to gather the evidence, listen to recounts, and pore over details to determine who was at fault.

You may be aware that not all automobile accidents are cut-and-dry. Sometimes, one driver is mainly at fault, but not completely.

What then?

While you’ll likely have a hard time proving total (100%%) or no (0%) fault, figuring out a percentage of blame is a helpful way for insurance companies to determine who pays what amount.

For instance, if you were found to be 70% at fault and the other driver was found to be at 30%, the settlement payments would be divided against those ratios as well.

Checking You Out

Increasingly, insurance adjusters are adopting a more digital mindset, turning to the Internet to help fill in any holes they might need while determining fault.

One place they’re likely to look? Your social media accounts. Now, you can find out more about a person in just a few clicks than you ever could in an over-the-phone interview.

Often, you can also trace that person’s steps according to what they post that day — a feature that helps adjusters grasp the timeline of the day of the accident.

For instance, you might claim you were in an automobile accident on Thursday, then upload a Facebook Live video showing your pristine car in the background on Friday.

Sounds fishy, right? Your adjuster will think so too.

Adjust the settings on your accounts so that only your added friends and family members can see your posts.

Also, it should go without saying, but try to avoid posting about the accident in the social sphere, as doing so could come back to hurt you in the end.

Step 3: Payment for Damages and Losses

After your claims adjustor reviews your case, he or she may determine that the other driver was at fault.

When this is the case, he or she will work with the other party’s insurance company to seek payment for any medical attention you might have received or any property damage done to your vehicle.

In insurance speak, this payment process is known as indemnification. Alternately, if your adjuster determines that the other party is at fault, it can sue that party for the amount of its payment in a process known as subrogation.

Vehicular Damage

If your vehicle is damaged during the accident, you’ll have a few ways to go about getting it fixed with your insurance money.

You can either go to a body shop that approved by your insurance company, or you can opt for a local one that you prefer. Regardless, it pays to do your homework and get plenty of estimates.

If you end up going with your preferred shop over the approved one, keep in mind that you could be required to pay the difference if their price is higher than what your insurance company budgeted.

Medical Care

To give your claims adjuster as much information as possible, it’s important that you allow him or her access to your medical records, including any other pertinent yet personal data such as your amount of lost wages.

Doing so will allow the adjuster get a more in-depth understanding of your case, as that information is often highly detailed.

Typically, all it takes to allow this permission is to sign a patient release waiver.

Not entirely comfortable with the idea of a veritable stranger rummaging through your medical history? Hire a personal injury lawyer to facilitate this process, so you can rest assured that the documents are sound and allowing access to them is the best next move.

Not Satisfied? Your Rights and Options

If the outcome of your accident claim wasn’t quite what you thought it would be, take heart that there are measures you can take to ensure another chance.

You could start by requesting your adjuster’s boss review the claim from a fresh point-of-view.

If that doesn’t work, you can choose legal mediation or head to small claims court. If you want to avoid a full-blown trial, you can seek arbitration instead. Follow the advice of your attorney to discern what the appropriate steps are.

Your Next Move: Hire an Experienced Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re totally satisfied with the outcome of your accident claim or wish it could be different, an experienced car accident lawyer is a key asset throughout this journey.

That’s where we come in.

Our injury lawyers are skilled in helping clients win big and we’d love to represent you. Contact us today to learn more!

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Bitten by a Dog? Lawyers in Chicago Can Help

Suffering After a Dog Attack? Here’s Why You Need to Hire a Dog Bite Attorney

og attacks aren’t easy. While we may love dogs, some of them are absolutely massive and can cause serious harm to victims of their bites. Every year, between 20 and 30 Americans die from a dog bite.

Along with coping with your consequences, victims of dog attacks play a role in keeping dangerous dogs more restricted. Depending on the dog’s history, this can result in various responses. For a first-attack, a vicious dog is usually required to wear a muzzle.

Why Dogs Bite

With so many dog bites occurring each year in the United States, one has to wonder why. There are a number of reasons dogs attack people. Typically, it’s a reaction to stressful or threatening situations.

Reaching out to pet a dog may not seem threatening to you. But if the dog is anxious or ill, it can unexpectedly lash out in defense. Dogs also commonly bite during play, but may not realize how painful the bite is for the recipient.

This can catch people off-guard, especially with larger dogs that don’t know their own bite strength.

Potential Harm From a Dog Bite

First off, there is a lot to discuss regarding the potential harm caused by a dog bite. Obviously, a larger dog causes more harm. It doesn’t take a lawyer to understand that an angry dachshund will not hurt you as much as a vicious Rottweiler.

However, even in the case of large dogs, people often do not understand the potential harm that could result from a dog bite. On the other hand, lawyers in Chicago know that dog bites are extremely serious.  For people of all ages, being attacked by a dog can cause serious trauma. A lifelong fear of dogs is not an uncommon result of an attack. In the case of a more serious and unexpected attack, deeper trauma can occur.


In some cases, a person can even fear leaving the house as the result of an attack. There are also physical risks. Along with the dozens of deaths that result from dog attacks every year, a person attacked by a dog can experience lifelong scarring and disability.

This is particularly true if a person is attacked by a dog like a pitbull, which can bite with over 230 pounds of pressure. This pressure can easily break the limbs of an attack victim.

What to Do If Approached by an Angry Dog

There are ways to minimize risk. While you cannot help the way others raise their dogs, there are actions you can take to keep yourself safe.

Do Not Approach Strange Dogs

This is the first and most effective piece of advice. If you see a dog, especially a large one, do not approach it to pet it. Unless you are expressly invited to by the dog’s owner, you have no idea how a dog will react.

Respect a dog’s right to personal space and do not get into an unnecessary altercation.

Do Not Run

If a dog approaches you, it is important to ignore your instinct and try not to run. If you run away from a dog, you will find that dog becoming more aggressive.

This is because dogs initially evolved as a hunter and have a strong prey drive instinct for those who decide to get into a chase. Instead of running from an angry dog, stay perfectly still and lay down in a fetal position.

Communicating submission to a dog is one of the best ways to stop an attack.

Do Not Make Eye Contact

When lawyers in Chicago see clients attacked by a dog they did not approach, the cause is often eye contact. Making eye contact with a dog can seem harmless to somebody who does not know much about these animals.

But if you are an expert on dogs, you will recognize that many dogs see this as a challenge. Avoid making eye contact with dogs, particularly dogs that are walking off-leash.

If Bitten, Do Not Pull Away

Finally, if you have been bitten by a dog, there are ways to minimize the harm. One of the most effective is resisting the temptation to pull the clenched limb away from the animal.

When you pull your hand away, the dog will see this as an invitation to partake in a tug-of-war with the clenched individual. This will end poorly for you. This makes it absolutely essential that dog bite victims resist the temptation to pull away from a dog.

What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog

If you have been bitten by a dog, the first response is probably to remove yourself (or the dog) from the situation. Even if the dog didn’t mean to bite aggressively, the ensuing commotion may cause the dog to panic further. This can result in greater injury.

After that, there are a few steps to take to clean the dog bite and prevent infection.

1. Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. If possible, find a clean cloth or towel to prevent contamination.

2. Go to the nearest kitchen or bathroom to clean the bite with soap and water.

3. If the wound is very large or deep, head to a local clinic or doctor’s office, as you may need stitches or other assistance.

3. Apply a clean bandage and a disinfecting ointment to the wound each day.

4. Over the next few days, continue to change the bandages and check for any redness, swelling, or discharge that could indicate infection.

If you notice any of these symptoms, go to your doctor for antibiotics and treatment.

Dog Bite Laws in Illinois

Before you hire lawyers in Chicago for your dog bite, you should know about the laws around dog bites in the state. This can help you make sure that you have legal options for your situation.

The first thing to know is the statute of limitations. In the state of Illinois, there is a two-year statute for dog bites. If you were bitten over two years ago, lawyers in Chicago will probably be unable to help you.

Another thing to consider is whether you provoked the dog. If you provoked a dog to attack you, you do not have the right to legal recourse within the state of Illinois. This is an important consideration when weighing your legal options in the case of an attack.

Finally, you need to consider where you were. If you were bitten by a dog while trespassing, you obviously do not have the right to pursue legal action.


In trying to determine your right to damages from an attack by a dog, there are provisions in the Illinois Animal Control Act to keep in mind.

The Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/) states: “If a dog or animal attacks, attempts to attack any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dogs or other animals is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”

The Illinois Animal Control Act permits a person to recover money if they have been bitten by a dog. Under the law, you can recover damages from the dog’s owner under the following circumstances:

  • The person actually owns the animal.
  • You did not provoke the dog.
  • You were acting peaceably.
  • You were standing in a place where you were legally entitled to be.

If you can prove these four things, you are entitled to recover from the dog’s owner for medical bills, future medical care, pain and suffering, lost wages and disfigurement suffered in the attack.

Further, even if this is the first time a dog has attacked or bitten anyone, you might still collect from the owner’s insurance company. Most homeowner policies cover this type of incident under general liability policies.

However, in order to collect, you need Chicago personal injury lawyers to represent you as insurance companies often try to place the blame for the attack on the victim.

As Chicago personal injury lawyers, the Law Office of Scott D. DeSalvo LLC has spent years helping victims of dog bites collect the damages they deserve. If you’ve suffered a severe dog bite, we urge you to contact us to arrange your free consultation.

When to Seek Legal Advice

If you’ve already been bitten and the injury was severe enough to require medical attention, or if there have been any complications afterward, it’s best to follow up with a dog bite attorney. There can be a number of costly complications following a dog attack.

In addition to obvious medical bills from stitches, antibiotics and follow-up care, you may also need mental health care. Traumatic events such as dog attacks can leave lasting effects. You may even develop PTSD or other issues that can negatively impact your daily life.

Avoiding dogs altogether might seem like a solution, but it’s very difficult to predict when someone will be walking their dog on the sidewalk alongside you. To cope with this, you may need emotional support and therapy for years to return to a state of normalcy.

If this is the case, it makes sense to hire a dog bite attorney who can review the case and work to get monetary coverage and reimbursement for these related costs. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, here are some ways that lawyers in Chicago can help.

Benefits of Working with a Dog Bite Attorney

An experienced dog bite attorney can listen to the facts and determine liability. In addition, even if you think it’s clear who owes you reimbursement, it can be difficult to collect outside of the legal system.

Having an attorney will help recoup your funds and make sure you receive the resources necessary to heal.

Hiring the Right Attorney for the Job

Even after you’ve made the decision to hire a professional, there are still a few considerations to keep in mind. Not every lawyer will be willing to take on every case. Many law firms have specializations or focus areas.

The lawyer who helped close your real estate transaction may not have the experience or desire to work on a personal injury case. The personal injury lawyer who represented you after a car accident may not work with animal attack victims.

It’s important to look for a dog bite attorney who has specifically helped clients in similar situations in the past. Feel free to ask about previous cases they’ve worked on and settlements they’ve received on behalf of other dog bite victims.

Each case is different, but it’s good to know that you’re working with someone who knows local laws regarding animal attacks and has had success representing clients in the past.

Getting Ready for Your Attorney Consultation

After you’ve been bitten, make a note of when and where the attack happened. Write down as many details as possible to help your lawyer determine who is at fault. Keep a record of all bills related to your injury as well.

Document each doctor’s visit, medication prescribed and any follow-up care. Even if the bite seems minor now, there is the chance it will become infected later or lead to other complications.

It’s best to record all the details as they happen rather than trying to remember them later on when there is a larger problem.

Remember: mental health is just as important as physical health. If you’ve suffered any emotional trauma as a result of the attack, let your attorney know about this as well. They may be able to help you find treatment.

If you’d like to learn more about what to expect at your consultation, feel free to contact us for more information. We’d be happy to answer any questions and help you recover from your attack.

Hire Lawyers in Chicago

We’re the best lawyers in Chicago when it comes to helping victims of a dog bite. We specialize in helping the victims of animal attacks get the legal recourse they are owed. That includes giving you financial restitution while holding the owners of vicious animals accountable.

I hope this info helps you. If you have questions or need more help, give me a call, toll-free, at 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318). Free, no obligation consultation either in person or by phone. If you aren’t ready to talk to a lawyer, I have created a DVD Injury Video which you can get immediately delivered to your email.

Same deal. Free, no obligation. Just click the link to get the Injury DVD and you will be taken to my website. Just give your name and email and I will send you the Injury DVD Video: Free DVD Want to see the NEWEST injury videos as they come out? Subscribe Now!

I hope this info helps you find the right lawyer for your needs. If you still have questions, I am happy to answer any questions you have below or give me a call. Thanks.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Can I Sue For Falling On A Sidewalk?

Can I Sue For Falling On A Sidewalk?

Fall on Private Sidewalk Versus Fall on a City Sidewalk

Any time you are injured because of the fault of another person, you can sue.  Yes, you can sue for falling on a sidewalk.

If you fall down and are injured, lawyers call those “premises liability” cases. I usually call them “fall down” cases.

Many people I speak to who is injured in a fall believe that the law says that if you fall on someone else’s property, they have to pay your medical bills. I don’t know where this comes from but it is not the law in Illinois.

In Illinois if you want to sue for injuries related to a fall down, you have to prove:

(1) what caused you to fall;

(2) prove that what caused you to fall was unreasonably dangerous

(3) and prove that the thing which caused you to fall was created by the property owner or;

(4) that the property owner knew or should have known about it.

If you trip on a sidewalk, a big challenge in a case like that is proving that the crack in the sidewalk is “unreasonably dangerous”.  Most people don’t think of a crack or a height difference between two slabs in a sidewalk as unreasonably dangerous. Due to the crummy conditions of a city of Chicago sidewalks, people see that as a normal condition of the sidewalk. And they think that you should just have been more careful. Of course, when THEY fall on the sidewalk their opinion changes!

Another challenge in a sidewalk fall down case against the city of Chicago is proving that the city of Chicago knew or should have known about the problem.

The City of Chicago often defends sidewalk fall down cases by claiming that they did not know about the particular broken sidewalk, even when it is in terrible condition. They make the argument that they have hundreds of miles of sidewalks to monitor and repair. And unless someone specifically complains about a sidewalk, there’s not much that can be done.

If you have fallen in a sidewalk, one of the best things that you can do is talk to people who live in the area to see if you can get witnesses who will testify about how long the problem existed.  If you can call ordinary normal people who can honestly say that a problem existed for five years, then it will be up to the jury to decide whether they want to live in the city where the city leaves broken sidewalks broken for five years.

You can fall on a private sidewalk or one owned by the City of Chicago.  (Well, technically 'held in trust' by the City of Chicago).  Chicago has no sidewalk inspection system, and I have honest doubts as to whether their record keeping is for the express purpose of helping them defend fall down cases on City sidewalks.  Many lawyers have abandoned taking city sidewalk cases because they are hard to win, and the City of Chicago rarely or never makes a settlement offer.  But I am not afraid of them.

Keep in mind that the City of Chicago defends hundreds of fall down cases on city sidewalks per year. They have lawyers assigned to nothing but these kinds of cases. How good would you be at your job if you did the same thing every day? There is no question that city of Chicago lawyers knows how to defend these cases, so you better hire a lawyer who is very good at putting these cases together.

Also, the Tort Immunity Act gives the City many, many advantages on sidewalk fall down cases. Literally, it is harder to prove a case against the City for a sidewalk fall down than any other Defendant, other than maybe a fall in a park or other recreational property.

Since they do not settle, that means a lawyer who takes a case like this knows he or she is going to be working on the case for years, and that it is virtually guaranteed that the case is going to go to trial, though there is a small possibility that the case will settle right before trial.  This is small consolation to an injured person and their lawyer because at this point, the client has already given a deposition and the lawyer had handled the case for a long time and has advanced case costs and invested a lot of time into the case.

As you can see, you can sue for falling on a sidewalk.  But these cases are much more complicated than many people understand them to be.  And a fall on a private sidewalk or driveway is easier to prove that a fall on a city sidewalk.

If you’ve been injured in a fall down on a sidewalk or if you have fallen on a sidewalk and want to talk to a lawyer, I am available to speak with you for free and give you my opinion about what our chances for success would be.

Get Your FREE Injury "Cheat Sheet"

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Testimonials

"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  See More >

Want The Injury "Cheat Sheet"?

Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
  • Get EVERY DOLLAR The Law Allows!

Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation