Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered
Wheaton Office  630-462-1980
Chicago Office  312-372-1980
Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn
Recent blog posts

Wheaton car accident lawyersA hit-and-run car accident can be dramatically more challenging to deal with than a regular car accident. When a person is injured in an auto accident and does not have the cooperation of the person who hit them, the injured victim will often have to work much harder to recover compensation for the damages caused. If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence during a hit-and-run accident, read on to learn your options for receiving compensation.

Finding Out Who is Responsible for the Accident

Ideally, someone who is involved in a hit-and-run accident will have an opportunity to gather information about the driver responsible for the crash. Making note of the make, model, or color of the vehicle that hit you can help law enforcement find and prosecute the negligent driver. Even a partial license plate number can be beneficial to police as they search for the person who hit you. However, it is very important that you do not attempt to chase or otherwise pursue the other driver in a hit-and-run. Doing so can cause you to be further injured or criminally responsible.


Wheaton medical malpractice lawyersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 140 million visits to the emergency room occur in the United States every year. These numbers equate to almost 400,000 ER visits on an average day. When a person visits the emergency room, it is usually because he or she is dealing with a relatively serious health problem. The issue is at least serious enough that it could not wait for a family doctor to be available. While there are people who go to the ER for more minor concerns, the vast majority are experiencing a true medical emergency. The severity of the cases coming in the door means that emergency room staff place significant emphasis on treating patients quickly. Going too fast, however, can result in mistakes, and sometimes, those mistakes may be considered malpractice.

High-Pressure Situations

Understaffing is a serious problem in many emergency departments. This means that ER doctors, nurses, and support staff are frequently required to work long hours. To make things worse, they are often underpaid and underappreciated as well. Many ER physicians will see several dozen patients in just one shift, trying to diagnose every one quickly so that they can start treatment and move on to the next patient.


Wheaton personal injury attorneyTraffic accidents that cause injury often involve several vehicles. There may be only one driver who caused the accident, or the actions of multiple drivers could contribute to a crash. In fact, in some cases, several drivers may be found to have partial liability, and in other cases, only one or two drivers will be considered at fault. If you have been in a car accident involving several other vehicles, you may be wondering how can you determine who was at fault for the crash and whether you can still collect compensation for your injuries.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

In the past, accident cases involving unclear liability were subject to a different policy called contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, if the person bringing a personal injury lawsuit, called the plaintiff, was found to be even partially at fault, he or she could not recover any compensation for his or her injuries resulting from the accident. Fortunately, in 1986, the Illinois Supreme Court abolished the contributory negligence rules in favor of the more reasonable doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, also called comparative fault, a plaintiff can still recover compensation for damages caused by an accident even if he or she was partially at fault.


Wheaton pedestrian accident lawyersThe weather is getting warmer in Illinois, and because of this, more and more people are spending time outside. Whether it is though jogging, walking your dog, sightseeing, or simply walking for exercise, it can be fun and rewarding to walk the streets of the greater Chicago area. However, with the increased frequency of pedestrians, there is also an increase in car-pedestrian accidents. Data shows that pedestrian fatalities in Chicago have been rising for the last five years and sadly, 46 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents during 2017. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, there are certain steps you must take to protect yourself financially, medically, and legally.

Get to Safety and Call the Police

Pedestrians can be struck by vehicles for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes the driver is distracted or not looking where he or she is going while other times the driver is impaired by alcohol. Even good drivers can make a mistake which causes a pedestrian to get hurt. If you have been struck by a vehicle, first try to get out of the way of traffic. Secondly, call the police. Ideally, the person who struck you will stay with you and wait until the police arrive.


Wheaton medical malpractice attorneysWhen you go to a doctor, you are assuming that he or she will perform his or her job proficiently and without error. We put a tremendous amount of power and trust in the hands of medical professionals. Unlike many other professions, the decisions that doctors and other healthcare workers make can have life or death consequences. The law, therefore, holds medical professionals to an especially high standard.

Mistakes Diagnosing Patients Can Be Medical Negligence

When a doctor or other medical professional causes a patient injury or harm due to negligence, he or she can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Medical negligence can include many circumstances, but the most common reason for a medical negligence claim is diagnostic errors. Research shows that about a third of medical malpractice claims from 2013-2017 were related to diagnostic mistakes. Claims related to surgical errors and medical management claims were the second and third most common type of malpractice claims during the same time period.


Wheaton medical malpractice attorneysMedical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, other healthcare professional, or institution does not use reasonable care while treating a patient, causing him or her to be injured or killed. The term “standard of care” is used when talking about what type of behavior is expected of medical professionals. Put simply, the standard of care refers to the actions any other healthcare professional in a similar situation would have taken. Breaching the standard of care is called medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical negligence, you may be eligible for filing a medical malpractice suit.

What Types of Actions Can Be Considered Negligent?

In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice suit against a person or institution, the claimant, or person filing the suit, must prove that the medical negligence resulted in some type of injury or illness. Common examples of medical negligence include:


DuPage County personal injury attorneysAs consumers, we put our trust in manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies every day without even thinking about it. We assume the products that we and our children use are safe and will not cause harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Every year, thousands of products must be recalled because they have some type of defect or flaw which has the potential to cause harm. Even though companies often issue recalls, this does not prevent people from being injured in accidents involving defective products. If you or your child has been hurt due to a faulty product, read on to learn how a product liability claim could help you recover compensation for injuries.

Who Is Liable for Injuries?

The laws regarding how companies should be held responsible for malfunctioning products are called product liability laws. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, legal responsibility for dangerous products could lie with:


Wheaton nursing home abuse attorneyAs the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, more and more people are requiring the around-the-clock care afforded by a nursing home. Physical disabilities, as well as cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, make it hard for many elderly individuals to do the daily tasks of living. Family members who place their relatives in the hands of a nursing home expect that he or she will be treated fairly, kindly, and consistently. Tragically, this is not always the case. Read on to learn signs that your loved one is being mistreated by nursing home staff.

Be on the Lookout for These Signs of Neglect

One of the saddest things about nursing home abuse and neglect is that many of the victims are not able to communicate how they have been wronged. In cases where a nursing home resident cannot advocate for himself or herself, it is up to family members and friends to watch for signs of bad care. Warning signs that your loved one is not being properly cared for in a nursing home include:


Wheaton car accident attorneysWhen a car accident, slip-and-fall, or any other type of injury-causing accident occurs, determining who was at fault is an important element of the case. Assigning fault typically determines which party will be responsible for paying for any resulting injuries or property damages. In some situations, fault is fairly easy to determine. For example, a driver who runs a red light and hits a pedestrian who was legally crossing the street would probably be considered at fault. In other situations, the determination of fault is more complex, as two or more parties may each have contributed to the accident occurring. When fault is shared in an Illinois accident, liability may be shared as well.

Pure Contributory Negligence

In the United States, three basic models of comparative fault are currently in use. Each one addresses how collectable damages may be impacted when an injured victim is at least partly responsible for causing the accident. The first type is known as “pure contributory negligence” and is the least common. Only four states and Washington D.C. maintain pure contributory negligence laws. These laws state that if an injured party shares any of the liability for the accident, he or she may not collect any damages at all. This means that the defendant could be 95 percent responsible for the accident and still avoid paying damages if the victim was found to be just 1 percent at fault.  


DuPage County personal injury lawyersThe cold weather, it seems, is finally behind us. This year’s winter defied the calendar and hung on well into the spring season, but temperatures are rising, and people throughout Northern Illinois are heading outdoors. Springtime also marks the beginning of another riding season for motorcycle owners throughout the region. As riders get their motorcycles out of storage and back on the roads, safety advocates and even government officials are encouraging riders and other drivers to work together to keep the streets and highways safe.

Official Awareness Campaign

In honor of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner joined representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) this week to announce the start of the annual “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign. During the kickoff event, Rauner shared a story about a personal friend of his who was recently injured while riding. “A pickup truck didn’t see him,” the governor said. “He’s still in the hospital today.”


b2ap3_thumbnail_airplane-engine-accident-damage.jpgEarlier this month, a 43-year-old woman suffered fatal injuries when a mid-air, catastrophic engine failure caused damage to the passenger cabin of an airplane headed from New York to Dallas. The death was the first accident-related fatality on an American-based airline flight in more than nine years—the longest such stretch in American aviation history. Another passenger on the same flight has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the airline and several other co-defendants seeking damages for physical and mental injuries.

A Scary Situation

The accident occurred during a Southwest Airlines flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field. Preliminary investigations indicate that a short time after take-off, a fan blade in the left-side engine broke and caused a violent chain reaction, which threw debris flying in all directions. A piece of debris shattered a window in the passenger cabin. The passenger nearest to the window was partially sucked out by the air pressure, but other passengers were eventually able to pull her back inside.


Wheaton distracted driving accident attorneysMost of us have heard about the dangers of texting while driving. Campaigns like AT&T’s “It Can Wait” pledge or the U.S Department of Transportation’s “Project Yellow Light” have attempted to curb the increase in distracted driver-related accidents using statistics and powerful personal stories. Unfortunately, studies show that many people continue the dangerous practice of texting while driving. In fact, studies show that approximately one out of every four U.S car accidents is caused by a distracted driver using their cell phone. Unfortunately, many people continue to insist that they are capable of using a phone and operating a vehicle at the same time.

Legislators Respond to Reckless Distracted Drivers

For decades, drunk driving has been a huge concern for police and civilians alike. Shockingly, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. Because of the dangerous nature of distracted driving, many states have created laws about cell phone use in the car. In Illinois, hand-held cell phones are banned for anyone operating a motor vehicle. If Illinois drivers wish to use their phone while driving, they can only use it hands-free. Drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Those who are 18 years old or younger will have to pull over if they wish to legally make a call while driving, as all cell phone use is illegal for drivers under age 19.


Wheaton car accident lawyer
When a drunk driver causes an accident, he or she is generally liable for any injuries or fatalities that occur as a result. For most injured victims, the first step in recovering compensation is to file a lawsuit against the intoxicated driver, but there may be other parties who could share in the liability for the accident. In fact, there are situations in which bars, restaurants, or other establishments could be held responsible for overserving the drunk driver prior to the crash.

A Fatal Night

Last month, a judge in St. Clair County presided over a trial regarding a 2010 crash that claimed the life of a woman and sent her husband to the hospital for six months. The couple was a long-haul trucking team and the two were westbound on Interstate 64 in Illinois just east of St. Louis in the early morning hours of November 17, 2010. According to reports, a drunk driver was driving east in the westbound lanes when he crashed into the couple’s truck. The truck went down into the median, fell to its side, and caught fire. The woman died at the scene while the man suffered severe burns and was left totally disabled.


DuPage County personal injury attorneyWhile it may not feel like it, spring has finally come to Northern Illinois, at least according to the calendar. In the next few weeks, temperatures will begin to rise, and the snow and ice of winter will become unpleasant memories. For most drivers, spring represents a period of relief from slippery roadways and whiteout conditions, but the season brings with it an entirely new set of dangers. There are some things you can do to help prepare your vehicle for spring driving and to prevent accidents.

De-Winterize Your Car

It is common for drivers to take extra precautions with their vehicle when winter is approaching. They may switch to snow tires, for example, and use heavy-duty windshield wiper blades. Spring, however, brings different types of weather patterns, so it is important to be ready for them. Removing snow tires in favor of all-season or “summer” tires is usually a good idea. Snow tires have aggressive treads designed to account for ice and snow on the roads, while all-seasons are generally better at handling wet roads and standing water.

2150 Manchester Road, Suite 200
Wheaton, IL 60187 | 630-462-1980
221 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60601 | 312-372-1980
To Top