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Elgin business formation attorney LLCFor anyone who has suffered a personal injury, coping with the effects that it will have on their life can be incredibly difficult. This is especially true if the injury results in disability that affects a victim’s ability to work and earn an income. While it may be possible to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, many people also rely on public benefits such as Social Security income (SSI) or Social Security disability income (SSDI). However, some recent changes to the rules followed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) may affect a person’s ability to receive Social Security disability benefits.

Updated regulations which went into effect in March of 2017 have changed some of the processes followed by the SSA in Social Security disability appeals hearings. These changes include:

Opinions of Treating Physicians

In a Social Security disability appeals hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is no longer required to give more weight to the opinion of the doctor who originally treated the claimant. Instead, an ALJ will consider the following factors:

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Compensation Available to Survivors of a Wrongful Death

Kane County wrongful death lawyerIt is hard to lose a loved one, even if they die from natural causes after having lived a long and meaningful life. When someone’s time is cut short, however, the pain, loss, and grieving is magnified – especially when death has been caused by another’s negligence or intentionally bad conduct. Besides the immense grief and realization that nothing can bring a loved one back, many individuals and families must deal with the stark reality of the loss of support, both financial and emotional, provided by the work, income, and participation in family responsibilities of the lost loved one. When grief is coupled with tenuous financial straits, survivors of the wrongful death of a family member can seek compensation from the person or entity responsible. 

Defining Wrongful Death in Illinois

In general, a wrongful death occurs whenever an individual is killed because of someone’s intentionally wrongful or negligent conduct. More specifically, in the precise legal language of Illinois state law, “whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages,” the individual or entity (e.g. business or other institution) that caused the death may be held liable in a wrongful death suit in civil court.

Eligible Survivors of a Wrongful Death Victim

Only certain close relatives are eligible to seek compensation under the state’s wrongful death statute. These relatives include:

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Obtaining Compensation for Severe Personal Injuries

Elgin severe personal injury attorneyIllinois law allows personal injury victims to seek compensation from the individuals or institutions responsible for harms and losses suffered. Sometimes, the computation of this compensation, termed “damages” by the law, is relatively straightforward. When an arm is broken in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, there are the costs of having the car repaired and the bone re-aligned and set in a cast, as well as pain and suffering, and any lost income due to missed work during any necessary rehabilitation. 

Such consequential damages are designed to make things right – to allow an injury victim to be in (theoretically) as good of a position as they would have been had the negligence and subsequent accident never occurred. However, other personal injury scenarios – especially more severe injuries with long-term consequences – are not so easily translated into a clear and fair award of legal damages.  

When Money Alone Cannot Restore a Victim to a Pre-Accident Position

Sometimes, tragically, the consequences of an accident are so dire that no award of financial damages can truly restore a personal injury accident victim to the position in life he or she occupied prior to the harm they suffered due to someone else’s negligence. Severe injuries, such as those involving permanent paralysis or brain damage, must be viewed with a long lens to truly grasp the long-term consequences. 

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Obtaining Compensation When Icy Store Sidewalks Cause Broken Bones

Kane County slip and fall injury lawyerWith snow falling in the Chicago area and temperatures fluctuating in the precarious area just above and below freezing, ice will be forming on streets and sidewalks throughout the region. This slick, slippery substance poses a real danger to pedestrians, whether they are enjoying holiday shopping and activities or are simply trying to get to and from work. 

A slip-and-fall on ice can occur when you least expect it, sending you off balance and unprotected to the cold, hard ground below – sometimes while holding groceries or shopping bags and thus unable to stabilize yourself. First, there is the shock and surprise. Then, pain begins to set in. And in the worst cases, there is the realization that you have broken a bone, suffered nerve damage, or injured your spine. 

It is one thing if ice has been allowed to form on your own front walk, but when ice is allowed to form on a business’s entryway area, that is a different matter altogether. If you have suffered a slip-and-fall injury on an ill-maintained business entry, exit, or sidewalk area, the property owner or manager may be held liable for the damages you have suffered.

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Seeking Compensation for Injuries Suffered in Interpersonal Conflicts

Elgin personal injury attorney interpersonal conflictsThe 2017 holiday season may feature some contentious arguments, whether they occur over a family dinner table or during gatherings at neighborhood bars and restaurants. The reason: the nation’s intense political polarization. While most family and friends will be striving to avoid the subject of politics while enjoying the holidays, or even explicitly agreeing to refrain from discussing the subject, it may nonetheless creep into conversation – especially as wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages flow. 

The same is true at bars and pubs when old friends who are in town to visit their respective families meet to reconnect. When a good time devolves into hostile grievance-making – so much so that words beget actions and a personal injury is suffered – legal recourse may be required to obtain compensation for damages. If you have suffered personal injuries in a dispute that turned from verbal to physical, or if you were caught in the fray as a bystander, it is essential to secure the services of an experienced attorney who can advocate for your legal rights.

Battery Is an Intentional Harmful or Offensive Contact 

If you have been struck with a punch in or around a bar or, heaven forbid, in the home of a family member or friend, you have been the victim of battery. Battery is both a crime and what the civil side of the law terms a “tort.” As such, battery is both prosecutable in a criminal court and subject to litigation for compensatory damages in civil court. 

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