Blog

Aurora workers compensation lawyersWhen you suffer an injury in the course of performing your job, you are usually eligible to collect benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System. Workers’ comp benefits typically cover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses that you may have incurred as the result of your injury. But, getting hurt at work is not necessarily the same as getting hurt in course of performing your job, as an Illinois appeals court recently determined.

Injured During Lunch

The case arose out of a 2012 injury sustained by a woman who worked at a DuPage County high school. The woman fell as she was leaving the building to go home for lunch, slipping on wet pavement on a handicap ramp. According to court documents, the woman stumbled, struggled to regain her balance, then fell forward “face first onto the pavement.” She was subsequently diagnosed with a broken nose, post-concussive syndrome, and injuries to her shoulder and hip.

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury attorneyWhen a person is injured due to the failure or poor performance of a defective product, he or she may usually seek compensation from a number of parties. In many cases, the maker of the product may be held liable, along with distributors, retailers, and other entities involved with the production, preparation, and sale of the product in question. Determining which party is truly at fault can be challenging, of course, but doing so is necessary for obtaining the damages the injured person needs to put his or her life back together.

Some of the difficulties were recently highlighted in a case that is currently pending in Illinois. In this case, a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer petitioned to be removed as a defendant due to a lack of personal jurisdiction by Illinois courts.

A Line of Defendants

...
Continue reading

Aurora workers' compensation lawyersIn workplaces across the country, employees utilize a wide variety of chemicals and other substances in the course of doing their jobs. While some chemicals are relatively safe, others present serious dangers, including the possibility of chemical burns. If you have suffered a chemical burn on the job, it is important to seek treatment right away and to know your rights regarding workers’ compensation.

Hazardous Chemicals

A chemical that can cause serious burns is typically a strong acid or base. Some of these substances can be found in the average home, such as drain cleaners, chlorine bleach, and ammonia. In an industrial setting, however, there are countless types of chemicals that may be used for a wide variety of applications, including many highly concentrated acids and alkaline solutions.

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury lawyersEach year, approximately 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with some type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. A sudden blow to the head typically causes such injuries. It is a little more difficult to pin down the number of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as many are never diagnosed or seek treatment. Experts estimate that somewhere around 8 percent of American adults—or more than 24 million—are afflicted with PTSD.

Those who develop PTSD are often the victims of rape or assault or soldiers who have witnessed intense combat situations. A recent study, however, suggests that TBI victims may also be more likely to develop PTSD than the average person. Such a link could have an effect on accident cases that involve head and brain injuries.

Examining the Relationship

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury attorneysWhen an auto accident occurs, it is important to determine who was at fault. The determination of fault is typically relied upon to establish which party is responsible for covering the resulting damages. In some cases, fault is fairly clear. For example, a driver who crashes into another vehicle that is stopped a red light is probably at fault. In other cases, fault is more difficult to determine, as both drivers may have played a role in causing the accident. If more than one party is at least partly to blame for an accident in Illinois, liability for any damages or injuries sustained may also be shared.

Pure Contributory Negligence

There are three basic types of comparative fault models in use throughout the United States. Each addresses how damages may be affected when a personal injury plaintiff shares in the responsibility for causing the incident in which he or she was injured. The first is called “pure contributory negligence” and is only used by four states and the District of Columbia. The pure contributory negligence rule provides that an injured party may not receive any compensation whatsoever if he or she shares any responsibility for the accident. The defendant could be 99 percent at fault, but if the injured party is held responsible for the remaining portion, no damages can be awarded.

...
Continue reading

Aurora product liability lawyersLast month’s solar eclipse was, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many thousands of people purchased glasses designed to allow them to watch the eclipse without risking injury to their eyes. Unfortunately, not all of the specialty glasses performed as intended, and there have been reports of eye injuries caused as a result.

One couple who bought eclipse glasses on Amazon has now filed a class action lawsuit against the company. They claim that the glasses were faulty and caused them to sustain eye injuries. The couple said they experienced headaches and vision impairment after watching the solar eclipse while wearing the glasses. Amazon had issued a recall on the glasses on August 10, but the claimants said they were not informed of the recall. They want Amazon to cover the costs of monitoring the damage caused by the recalled glasses.

A Dangerous Phenomenon

...
Continue reading

Aurora personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident is frightening, confusing, and stressful. A thousand thoughts run through a person’s head after they have been involved in a crash. Is anyone injured? Should I call the police? Am I at fault? While you are surveying the situation following a car crash, it is important to check yourself for injuries. Car accidents can cause soft tissue damage, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. Many individuals are quick to conclude that they are not injured after an accident even though they may be. The reality is that car accidents can be very dangerous. Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital due to car crash injuries, and it is estimated that 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year.

You May Be More Hurt Than You Realize

It is important to understand the way adrenaline affects a person’s body following a car accident or other potentially traumatic event. Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. After a frightening or dangerous event, adrenaline floods a person’s bloodstream. The hormone raises the individual’s heart rate, dilates the pupils, and increases sweat production. The purpose of the hormone is to prepare the person to deal with the hazardous circumstances.

...
Continue reading

Aurora workers compensation lawyersIn 2016, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against an Arizona pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing of a particular opioid drug. The suit alleged that the company intentionally sold the fentanyl-based drug to doctors emphasizing off-label uses.

Opioid prescriptions are believed by many to be driving the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic. In Illinois, specifically, there is also concern about doctors repackaging and selling opioid medications to patients with workers’ compensation claims.

A Settlement Could Be Forthcoming

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury lawyersThere are currently eight states—plus Washington D.C.—in which recreational marijuana has been legalized. A substantial number of other states have decriminalized low-level possession of marijuana, implemented legal medical marijuana programs, or both. Illinois is one of those that has done both. The increasingly lax laws regarding marijuana use have led many to wonder what the impact will be on public safety. Two recent studies that seem to contradict each other offer a fairly reasonable insight into the effect of legalized marijuana on the rate of car accidents.

More Accidents

The first study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and looked at insurance claims for crashes filed between 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults over the age of 21. The researchers looked at those two states along with Oregon and compared their accident claims with neighboring states that did not legalize recreational use. The study estimated that crash rates were about 3 percent above what they would have been if marijuana had not been legalized. While the increase is not dramatic, it is statistically significant, according to the study.

...
Continue reading

Aurora personal injury attorneysThe temptation to send a quick text, answer a call, or type on a cell phone while driving affects many of us. Some drivers are even using social networking websites like Facebook and Instagram while behind the wheel. It is a habit that is proving again and again to be fatal. In the most recent, horrifying example, a young woman now faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol after her distracted driving cost her sister her life.

A Tragic Set of Circumstances

The 18-year-old was driving a car in Los Banos with her younger sister and a friend when the driver decided to live-stream on Instagram. The girls filmed themselves talking and laughing before the crash occurred. In the video—which has since been removed from the social media site—the driver can be seen taking her eyes off the road constantly, driving with one hand, and even juggling a phone call and a drink while driving.

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury attorneysThere is nothing quite like a ride down on a water slide on a hot summer day. Of course, there are some dangers associated with water parks, but lacerations and torn ligaments should not be among them. A Chicago woman suffered these exact injuries on a waterslide at Six Flags Great America in 2011. A Lake County jury awarded her $1.5 million last year, and just last month, an Illinois appellate court upheld that verdict.

A Scary Situation

According to court documents, the woman was riding the Wahoo Racer at the Hurricane Harbor water park—a section of Six Flags Great America—when she was injured. On that particular slide, riders descend face-first on a mat, beginning in a tube and ending in an open-air segment. The woman said that “she felt a blunt force in her hands and her right ankle” as she rode down. As the woman reached the bottom, the water was red with blood, park employees testified. She realized that her hands were bleeding, and she was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors performed surgery on her hand.

...
Continue reading

Kane County personal injury attorneyWith summer in full swing, more people are getting outdoors and enjoying life outside. Many people in Illinois belong to various sports teams, clubs, and organizations. When you join a sports club team, you may be required to sign a waiver or release of liability. A waiver is, in essence, a contract with terms that address your right to seek damages if you are injured by your participation in the sport or activity.  

Exculpatory Agreements

An exculpatory agreement is a contract where the parties agree to an express assumption of risk where a party consents to relieve another party of liability. An example would be a waiver signed by those planning to participate in club or recreational sports leagues. While most such sports are relatively safe, there is always the possibility for injury. The league and its officials are likely to require a waiver or an exculpatory agreement to ensure they are not held liable for reasonable injuries that may occur.

...
Continue reading

Kan County workers' compensation attorneysAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, develops in some individuals who have gone through a particularly frightening, shocking, or dangerous experience. The disorder is commonly associated with members of the military who have served in a combat zone, but it is hardly limited to those in the armed forces. PTSD can affect victims of auto accidents, criminal assault, or rape, as well as those who may have witnessed a tragic or horrifying event. It can even result from accidents that occur on the job, which could make the sufferer eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Common Symptoms of PTSD

It is difficult to know for sure how many people suffer from PTSD, as many are reluctant to seek the treatment they need. Estimates, however, place the number of sufferers at around 5.2 million each year in just the United States alone. Those dealing with PTSD may show symptoms that include flashbacks to the triggering event, nightmares, severe depression, “survivor’s guilt,” difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and memory loss. The disorder can also have a serious effect on the sufferer’s family, as his or her behavior may be erratic, unpredictable, and, in some cases, violent.

...
Continue reading

Aurora personal injury attorneyEach year, pharmaceutical companies come up with a number of new ideas for drugs, or combinations of drugs that are intended to treat, cure, or manage certain conditions. Only a relative handful, however, ever receive full approval for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When a drug reaches the market, many patients automatically assume that the drug is completely safe; Otherwise the FDA would not have approved it. The reality is that all pharmaceuticals and drugs are known to have some possible dangers and side effects, and it is up to each manufacturer to be sure that doctors and patients know all of the risks involved.

The Dangers of Depakote

Early last month, a federal jury in East St. Louis, Illinois ruled that AbbVie, the makers of Depakote, must pay $15 million in damages to a 10-year-old California boy. The boy was born with a spina bifida after her mother chose to take the drug to help in her battle against mental illness. Depakote is intended to treat the manic phase of bipolar disorder, as well seizure disorders like epilepsy. The boy’s mother claimed that she was never made aware of the birth-defect risks associated with Depakote, mostly because officials at the manufacturer downplayed the dangers. According to the boy’s lawyer, the drugmaker knew that Depakote is “one of the most toxic drugs to a human baby.”

...
Continue reading

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

...
Continue reading

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.

...
Continue reading

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

...
Continue reading

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.

...
Continue reading

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

...
Continue reading

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.

...
Continue reading