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Aurora personal injury attorneyAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of a fatal car wreck is highest for younger drivers. This comes as little surprise to most people, considering the overwhelming access we have to various technological devices, paired with the general inexperience most teenage drivers have when it comes to operating a vehicle. Texting while driving and lack of experience are not the only causes behind the staggering accident and injury statistics for young drivers, however. There are many other factors that put this particular age group at increased risk for injury and death on the roads.

In the year 2014 alone, over 220,000 teenagers were injured in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2015, over 2,000 teens ranging from ages 16 to 19 years of age were killed in auto accidents. These numbers represent a vast group of young drivers who experienced injury or fatality for a variety of reasons and a diverse set of risk factors.

Why Young Drivers Are More Prone to Crashes

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Kane County personal injury attorneyThe Fourth of July is one of the highlights of summer for many individuals. It is a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate our great nation’s independence. The summer festivities usually include fireworks, food, and for many gatherings, alcohol. Unfortunately, the combination of drinking and travel leads to thousands of tragedies every year.

Sobering Statistics

The Fourth of July is the second deadliest day of the entire year as a result of alcohol-related car accidents—trailing only New Years Eve. Roughly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities on Independence Day involve at least one driver with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. That percentage is even higher among younger drivers.

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Kane County workers compensation lawyers Workers’ compensation reform has been a hot topic over the past few decades, with many states deciding that lowering employer costs for insurance coverage will help encourage new job growth within state lines. The logic of many policymakers maintains that by cutting costs for employers and increasing their margins, the profits will trickle down to the employees in terms of job creation and higher wages.

However, the truth of the matter is that workers’ compensation reform only hurts employees and the local economy. It makes it more difficult for injured employees to receive the benefits they need and reduces the benefits available to each worker. Injured employees may be in danger of being evicted from their homes and being denied the medical coverage they deserve because of some these reforms, which are currently being pushed by Illinois lawmakers. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at once for professional assistance with your case.

Lobby Groups Intent on Cutting Workers’ Compensation Benefits

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Aurora personal injury lawyersInformation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that some 1.7 million people experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year. Most are treated and then released (about 1.365 million), but approximately 275,000 are hospitalized and another 52,000 suffer fatality. Early detection can sometimes mean the difference between mild and more severe injuries. Learn how to tell if you or someone you love has experienced a TBI, and what you can do after the fact to increase the chances of a full recovery.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the first ways to detect TBI is to understand how it happens. Most occur either after a strike or blow to the head, which might be experienced during a fall (the leading cause of brain injury), car crash (the third leading cause of TBI), or assault. However, contact with an object or a hit to the head is not required; some traumatic brain injuries occur because of jarring motions that force the brain to move quickly inside the skull. In fact, this is the same injury that happens to infants who suffer from shaken baby syndrome. As such, even those who have not hit their head in an accident but experience the common signs should see a doctor.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyWhen a person is attacked or injured by a dog, the results can be very serious. Some of the most terrifying attacks occur when a small child is mauled. Children tend to be attacked more often than adults; in fact, 70 percent of fatal dog attacks involve children. Tragically, the likelihood that the child will die as a result of the attack is also high.

Dog bites can end up being extremely severe and may cause a myriad of injuries, many of them potentially fatal. If your loved one has died as the result of a dog attack, speak with a dog bite attorney right away to help you in your quest to recover compensation for the death of your loved one.

Seeking Compensation

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Kane County personal injury attorneysPedestrians, in most situations, generally cross the street at specified and controlled locations, expecting that cars will obey the relevant traffic signals. When a driver fails to meet that expectation, the pedestrian is unable to move out of the way quickly enough to avoid being hit. Unprotected and vulnerable, pedestrians then become at risk for death or serious injury. Both are on the rise in Illinois, and throughout the United States. If one has happened to you or someone you love, the following can help you understand your rights, including your right to pursue fair compensation.

Understanding the Risk

The rise in pedestrian accident deaths is not a particularly new trend, but it is one that continues to trouble health and safety professionals. This past year, the national increase reached its highest number since 2005. Federal officials estimated an increase of nine percent during just the first six months of the year. In Illinois specifically, the death toll rose from 127 in 2015 to 150 deaths in 2016.

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Aurora workers compensation attorneysInjuries happen everywhere on a daily basis. They occur at home, on the roadway, at school, and even at your workplace. No matter where they occur, there is often insurance coverage available to cover such injuries. By law in Illinois, insurance is required nearly everywhere, including by your employer.  This benefit is known as workers’ compensation insurance, and it covers a wide variety of situations should you find yourself a victim of a workplace injury.

What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Worker’s compensation insurance is a type of coverage that employers generally carry for the benefit of their employees. Not every state currently requires employers to have this insurance, which could potentially open the employer to personal liability claims. In Illinois, an employer must carry workers’ compensation in every work situation, regardless of considerations such as:

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Kane County personal injury lawyers If you were to ask a group of people what time of the year has the most car accidents, the majority of the group would probably say during the winter months—especially in climates such as Illinois. Roads covered with snow, sleet, and ice, along with poor visibility, certainly contributes to many accidents, but statistics show that it is actually the summer months when motor vehicle accidents spike. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the month of May marks the beginning of the dangerous “summer” driving season

In 2015, the latest year for which national statistics are available, there were more than 35,000 people killed in vehicle accidents. Car crashes in the month of August claimed the most victims—over 3,300. In fact, from May through October, more than 3,000 crash-related fatalities occurred in each month.

Possible Causes

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Kane County motorcycle accident lawyerSpring has arrived in Northern Illinois, which means that the individuals and families throughout the region will be spending more time outside enjoying the warmer weather. For many, springtime also marks the beginning of another year of motorcycle riding. With that in mind, rider safety groups and state officials throughout Illinois are urging riders to protect themselves and to keep the road safer for those around them. It is the responsibility of every rider, driver, and pedestrian to do what they can to prevent motorcycle accidents and the injuries that often result.

Making a Difference

Every year hundreds of deaths are caused by motorcycle accidents in the state of Illinois. In fact, motorcycle-related deaths comprise more than 15 percent of all vehicle fatalities in the state. Tragically, many of these accidents can be prevented by following a few simple safety procedures:

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Kane County workers compensation attorneysCoal mining is an inherently dangerous job. However, recent safety measures of the last few decades have made the occupation leaps and bounds more safe and sustainable for Illinois coal miners. In 1972, for example, 114 miners died in a single disaster in Saunders, West Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On a longer-term scale, the Mines Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) began tracking mining fatalities in 1978. The peak year for fatalities was 1979, a tragic year with well over 250 deaths.

Fatalities declined during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, with just 45 fatalities in 2014. The improvements have come from strong enforcement of safety rules and regulations, better equipment and increased training, education, and technical support. However, there is still a long way to go before coal mining is considered safe and the number of fatal injuries reaches zero. If you have been injured working in the coal industry, contact an attorney for assistance in recovering workers’ compensation benefits

Fatal Coal Dust Levels Fall in Line with New Standards Set by the MSHA

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Aurora personal injury attorneysSports and athleticism are encouraged within our lives and are essential parts of our education system. Our children learn a lot about life when competing in sports: how to work as part of a team, how to overcome adversity, how to accept both the wins and the losses. There is always, however, an inherent risk of injury when participating in sports. What happens if the injury is not inherent to the sport? Who is at fault?

The Assumption of Risk Doctrine

The assumption of risk doctrine in regard to participation in athletics dictates that by participating in a sport, one understands that there is a possibility of injury. A baseball player while at bat may not be surprised if he gets hit with a pitch because being hit with the ball is an acknowledged possibility and therefore the injury was foreseeable. The doctrine, as developed by case law in Illinois, determines the point where an athlete assumed the risk of injury inherent in the sport.

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Kane County personal injury attorneysSpring has finally reached the American Midwest, bringing with it the promise of new beginnings. Leaves are reemerging on trees, the grass is turning green once again, and animals are returning from their winter retreats. Of course, springtime also means seasonal changes in the weather, including increased rain and warming temperatures. The warming pattern, however, is often inconsistent and rapid changes in temperature and humidity levels can lead to the development of fog around area roadways. Fog, of course, can drastically reduce driver visibility and contributes to hundreds—if not thousands—of traffic accidents each year.

Safe Driving Tips

There is little question that heavy fog requires adjustments in driving. Motorists must always operate their vehicles in ways that are appropriate for the weather conditions at that time. How you drive on a clear sunny day is different from how you should drive during rain, snow, or fog. To remain safe when driving in fog, be sure to:

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Kane County car accident lawyersAfter your car has been towed and you have been to the doctor comes the part of an auto accident that most people hate the most: dealing with insurance. While every car accident is different, there are several common mistakes that people make when they have a car accident claim.

Not Doing Your Own Research

If the insurance company has declared your vehicle a total loss, the value of your car must be determined. The insurance company will almost always attempt to determine the value, but be wary of their estimate. The mistake many people make is to simply accept the insurance company’s value without doing their own research. An offer from the insurance company is just an offer. If you can demonstrate your car was worth more than they are offering, you may be able to get more for your car.

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Aurora workers compensation attorneysEach year, approximately three million workers in the United States suffer from a work injury or illness. Some suffer only minor injuries and are eventually able to return to work. Others experience more severe injuries, such as head injuries or spinal injuries, which may leave them unable to work for an extended amount of time. The most serious may experience catastrophic injuries, permanent disability, and even death. Yet all have one thing in common: it is critical that each one knows how to effectively protect their rights.

The Importance of Timely Reporting

Work injuries should always be reported to your employer immediately after the injury occurs or as soon as is practical. At maximum, the injury should be reported within 45 days. If the possible injury involves exposure to radiation, the maximum time of reporting is 90 days after exposure. Any delays that extend beyond these constraints can become highly problematic and could potentially result in a denial of your claim or delay of benefits. Do not take any chances; report your injury immediately.

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Aurora personal injury attorneysWith spring quickly approaching, many motorcycle riders are gearing up for rallies, runs, and good old-fashioned cruises. Sadly, the nearing season also means headlines will soon feature motorcycle crashes. The “lucky” ones will suffer injuries that will one day heal. Others will suffer serious and life-altering injuries. Still others will experience a crash that ends tragically in death.

What is most devastating about these crashes is that many will be the fault of another driver—a person who acted in a negligent way and, as a result, cost a family or rider a life, a limb, mobility, money, or employment. In such situations, the victim may be owed compensation, and it is important to know how to protect your rights.

Negligence Is a Common Factor in Motorcycle Accidents

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Aurora personal injury attorneyIn any Illinois personal injury case—a car accident, a workplace mishap, or a bicyclist or motorcyclist injury crash—there is one person who is repeatedly made a focal point of the injured victim’s case: the “reasonable person.” The victim’s entire case for compensation often rests on what this “reasonable person” would have done in the same situation. If a judge or jury believes the allegedly negligent defendant acted in the same manner as the reasonable person would have acted, then the injury victim’s case will fail. Conversely, if the defendant is determined to have behaved in a manner at odds with the how the reasonable person would have behaved, then the defendant will be found to have acted negligently and may be held responsible for the injured plaintiff’s losses.

Characteristics of the Reasonable Person

The reasonable person in personal injury cases is fictitious—he or she does not actually exist. Nonetheless, there are several characteristics about the reasonable person that are worth noting:

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Kane County workers comp attorneysThe media often portrays workers’ compensation fraud as one-sided. The most common scenario reported is that of the employee who commits fraud by faking an injury to get benefits that they do not deserve. The reality is that less than 2 percent of workers’ compensation claims are fraudulent, with some states reporting that fraud is only evident in one-sixth of a percent of cases according to recent studies. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for employer fraud. If you have been denied workers’ compensation, contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today for assistance.

The Root of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Problem

It makes sense that the blame has been put on employees because they, as a group, do not have the resources to refute these false allegations. Employee fraud has been the focus of state workers’ compensation reforms that take away benefits for injured workers, making it easier for employers and insurance companies to deny benefits and increase their profit margins. Fraud, however, is more prevalent at the employer level than at the employee level. In fact, studies have shown that over 13 percent of employers contacted did not even have the required workers’ compensation insurance. Furthermore, a study performed by Texas Mutual Insurance Company discovered that employer fraud costs insurance companies nearly 18 times more than employee fraud. Fraud committed by the insurance companies themselves is also generally a larger problem than employee workers’ compensation fraud as well.

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Aurora personal injury attorneysThe trucking industry transports goods across the country and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. Large trucks, however, can also cause a great deal of harm to other drivers and passengers on the road. In fact, estimates from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that more than 1,000 truck crashes occur each year. Such accidents often involve other vehicles, of course, leading to the thousands of injuries and hundreds of tragic deaths. Why do so many truck accidents occur happen, and what can victims do to ensure they are compensated for their losses?

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

While there are many potential reasons that a truck accident may occur, many are related to driver fatigue, alcohol or drug use, and speeding. In fact, data from the FMCSA shows these as the most common causes of truck crashes – nearly 90 percent of them, to be more specific. Other factors, such as those pertaining to weather and road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and other critical reasons accounted for just 13 percent of all serious or fatal truck accidents in a recent study.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyOver the last several years, rideshare services like Uber have offered unprecedented competition to taxicabs and other forms of public transportation. Of course, the rise of ridesharing has not been without controversy as many believe that any type of transportation should be subject to strict regulations to ensure passenger safety. Uber’s contracting practices have also been the focus of public scrutiny, yet thousands—if not millions—of riders continue to use the service every day in cities throughout the world. Sometimes, however, accidents do happen, and when they do, it is important to know your rights.

Police and Uber Collide

Even the most careful drivers cannot prevent every accident. Such was the case for an Uber driver this week when he unwittingly entered a police chase on West Roosevelt Road. According to news reports, Chicago police tried to pull over an SUV for a traffic violation in Lawndale when the SUV sped away, prompting the police to give chase. The pursuit continued into the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood. The police car collided with a vehicle being driven by an Uber driver who was transporting a passenger at the time of the crash.

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Kane County auto accident lawyerTypically, accidents that receive compensation for a head injury are those that result in concussion, but is this truly the baseline for trauma? A recent study on young football players suggest it may not be. In fact, even players who never received a concussion diagnosis had subtle changes to their brains. This suggests that head injuries in all types of accidents, including those sustained in auto accidents, may deserve a closer look when deciding whether a victim may be owed compensatory damages.

About the Study

Conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the study examined a small sampling of young football players – just 25 of them, all of whom were between the ages of eight and 13. Images of their brains were taken prior to the start of the football season and then again at the end. The team also installed sensors into their helmets to record data on the frequency of head impact. What they found was that, even among those that had not received a concussion during the season, slight and subtle changes had occurred within the brain over the course of the season.

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