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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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Kane County workers compensation lawyerOver the years, many states have become safer for workers. Safety standards have increased, exposure to toxic and cancer-causing materials has decreased, and better worker education have resulted in fewer severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, the country as a whole, including Illinois, has come a long way from past decades. However, Illinois has been slipping as of late. According to the Insurance Journal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported a 28 percent increase in worker fatalities since 2013. In 2016, alone, at least 36 Illinois workers were killed on the job. If you were injured while working or a family member lost their life in a work-related accident or resulting illness, contact a skilled attorney today for immediate assistance.

Struck-by Hazards and Falls

Those at considerable risk of fatal injury are construction workers. Being struck by an object or falling are the two largest hazards for construction workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls accounted for 33.3 percent of construction worker fatalities and being hit by an object accounted for 17.6 percent of fatalities. Transportation accounted for 26 percent, while “exposure” accounted for 15.7 percent. Exposure fatalities include death by electrocution, air pressure changes, caustic and noxious substances, and temperature extremes.

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Kane County personal injury attorneysWhen an accident occurs on public property, it can be very difficult to obtain compensation from any government agency. This is due, in large part, to laws which limit an injured party’s ability to sue a government entity or employee in most cases. The law, however, does not offer immunity in every situation. For example, a recent ruling by an Illinois appeals court has opened the door for further action by a bicycle rider who was injured while riding on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.

Governmental Immunity Laws

In Illinois, the Local Government and Government Employees Tort Immunity Act (the Act), affords protection to municipal governments, agencies, and their employees in most personal injury cases. It specifically provides immunity for injuries caused by conditions of public recreation areas unless a local entity or employee is guilty of willful or wanton conduct that caused the injuries. The Act also provides absolute immunity for injuries that occur on access roads to “fishing, hunting, or primitive camping, recreation, or scenic areas.”

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Aurroa personal injury attorneysWhen you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that you believe was the result of another party’s actions or negligence, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation and compromise, filing a lawsuit may be the next logical step. Where you choose to file your action is an important decision, as the forum you select must have jurisdiction over the parties involved. This was recently called into question in a lawsuit stemming from a headline-grabbing accident from 2014 involving an automobile and interstate bus en route from Atlanta to Chicago.

The Accident

In October 2014, a double-decker Megabus was traveling on Interstate 65 near Greenwood, Indiana as it made its way to Chicago from Atlanta. A car on the same highway lost control and hit a barrier, causing the car to become disabled on the roadway. The Megabus hit the car, and the driver overcorrected, leading the bus flipping on its side, court documents indicate. The crash injured a number of passengers, 12 of whom filed lawsuits against the bus company alleging driver negligence.

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Kane County product liability attorneyWhen a person is injured, ill, or otherwise in need of medical care, he or she expect thats the equipment used to treat them is reasonably safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, the number of defective medical device recalls have risen sharply over the last several years. Even more concerning is the risk that those defective devices pose to the general public: an undisclosed, often unpredictable risk of serious injury and/or wrongful death.

A Concerning Increase in Defective Medical Device Recalls

In 2006, the medical device manufacturing industry paid for a study which concluded that serious device-related safety problems are “extremely rare.” Of course, as with most self-funded studies, the findings may have been more than a little myopic. Reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows just how flawed the study may have been. Each year, the FDA receives more than 200,000 reports of defective medical devices. Even more concerning is that things are only getting worse. An FDA analysis found that, from 2007 to 2011, the recalls of moderate- to high-risk devices more than doubled.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyNo one should be above the law. Yet, in the minds of some, this is exactly what a group representing firefighters and municipalities are trying to accomplish by introducing a bill that would reinstate the so-called “public duty rule.” The law, which dates back to the 1800s, broadly protected paramedics and firefighters from lawsuits while on the job, even when those actions stemmed from willful or wanton negligence. Essentially, no form of conduct – even conduct that intentionally or recklessly endangered the public – was considered reprehensible under the law.

Public Duty Rule Unnecessary and Unlawful

Under any other circumstance, the public has the right to expect that they will be protected from harm or injury caused by negligence, recklessness, or maliciousness. Drunk drivers receive criminal penalties and may be taken to court for damages. Negligent physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and hospitals may be subject to malpractice lawsuits and, in some circumstances, could lose their license to practice medicine. Even business owners are expected to provide reasonable protections to their patrons; failure to do so makes them subject to a premises liability lawsuit.

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Aurora car accident attorneyAs winter officially begins and drivers head out and about to visit family and celebrate the holidays, it becomes important for everyone to understand how to stay safe on the roads. Even more critical is the knowledge of what to do, should an automobile accident happen to you or someone you love. Winter weather safety should be the responsibility of every driver and passenger on the road.

An Ounce of Prevention Can Go a Long Way

Ensuring your vehicle is “winter ready” can help dramatically when it comes to keeping you, your family, and others safe on Illinois roadways. New wipers keep your windshield clear, improving your overall visibility. Snow tires that have been checked for proper air pressure help to ensure you have good traction while driving through snow and slush. Good brakes can give you improved stopping power, even in the worst of conditions. So, if you have not yet had your vehicle winterized, either take steps to do it yourself or contact your local mechanic for assistance. Also note that a winter weather emergency pack should be a part of your winterization steps. A flashlight, warm blankets and clothes, ice scrapers, kitty litter, a phone charger, water, and non-perishable foods are just a few thing you might want to include.

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Aurora family law attorneyA slip and fall can happen to almost anyone, almost anywhere, especially during the winter months. Yet, there are some Americans who are at a higher risk of serious injury than others. Of particular concern are those who are over the age of 65. Even more concerning for this at-risk group is the fact that they are also more likely to suffer a slip and fall injury. Learn more about this risk, and what you can do if you or someone you love has suffered a slip and fall injury in Illinois.

Slip and Fall Injuries and Deaths More Common Among Older Americans

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates more than 2.8 million older Americans experience a slip and fall each year. More than 27,000 of those falls resulted in death. Many others (one in five) resulted in serious injury, such as broken bones, facial fractures, and traumatic brain injury. Further, more than 800,000 older Americans are hospitalized due to head injuries, hip fractures, spinal cord injuries, and other serious slip and fall injuries.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyBeing in a car accident with a drunk driver can be traumatic and can leave you with a variety of serious injuries. You may not know what to do in order to be compensated for the damage to your vehicle and the injuries you and your loved ones may have sustained.

The first thing you should understand is that a car accident caused by a drunk driver is no ordinary car accident. Under Illinois law, there are several differences. If you have been in such an accident, it is recommended that you meet with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney who understands the damages you may be eligible for and the parties who may be responsible.

Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

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