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Oswego medical malpractice lawyerEvery year, millions of patients visit a doctor or hospital to receive medical treatment. Most of the time, they expect to have their issues taken care of, and they trust doctors and nurses to provide quality care. However, there are far too many cases in which medical procedures go wrong, and serious injury or death occurs as a result. When someone is injured due to the negligence of medical providers, they may be able to seek compensation for medical malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional causes injury or death to a patient, due to an error in diagnosis, treatment, health management, or aftercare. Medical negligence is responsible for the deaths of over 400,000 Americans every year, with these medical errors costing the country more than $19 billion. 

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Naperville slip and fall accident attorneyThe holiday season has officially begun, and as the weather gets colder and we begin to experience snowy and icy conditions, the roads and sidewalks are likely to become slick. Slippery walkways can lead to premises accidents, and when these types of accidents occur while someone is working, they can result in expensive workplace injury claims. To prevent serious injuries and even death, both employers and employees should take steps to stay safe during the holidays.  

Slip and Fall Injury Statistics and Prevention Tips

In 2014, slip and fall accidents resulted in over 247,000 workplace injuries that resulted in time off from work, including 818 worker deaths. To avoid these types of injuries and the personal and professional costs that can result, follow these tips:

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Kane County distracted driving accident lawyerDistracted driving is risky and dangerous. It is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States; in 2015, distracted driving led to crashes that claimed the lives of 3,477 people and caused 391,000 injuries. 

Distracted driving involves any activity that causes a driver to take their attention off the road. Eating, drinking, and talking to passengers are activities that often distract drivers, and cell phone use is one of the primary causes of distracted driving. In fact, about 660,000 drivers utilize their cell phones while driving during daylight hours every day in the U.S.  

Here are some tips on how you can avoid distracted driving:

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Naperville workers' compensation benefits attorneyWorkplace injuries can be devastating to your life and your finances, impacting not only your health and well-being, but your ability to earn an income and provide for your family. For employees who are injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits allow them to obtain financial relief due to the situation and/or injury. There are three types of workers’ comp benefits: 

  1. Disability benefits: These benefits replace the wages an injured employee loses due to their inability to work. The injury the employee has must be work-related. Disabilities fall into four groups: 
    • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If an employee has this type of disability, that means they are unable to earn income in the future from the type of job he or she held when they received the injury. Employees with a permanent disability are eligible to receive lifetime disability payments.
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): This type of disability partly hinders the employee’s ability to earn income. Examples include the loss of a finger or hearing loss. In these cases, an employee will typically receive an award based on the body part that was injured and the percentage of impairment.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Also referred to as short-term disability, this type of disability benefit is for employees who are partially and temporarily disabled by the work-related injury. Benefits in these cases are typically available while the employee is recovering from their injury.
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): The employee cannot work at all for a short amount of time due to his or her work-related injury. In these cases, an Illinois employee will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage until they are able to return to work.
  2. Medical benefits: Medical benefits often have no deductible and are unlimited. Payments are made until the injured individual is provided with the maximum amount of relief or is cured completely. The medical bills are sent to the workers’ compensation carrier. In Illinois, employees can use a doctor from their employer’s Preferred Provider Program (PPP), or they may choose one other doctor. If their employer does not have a PPP, they may choose up to two doctors.
  3. Death benefits: If an employee passes away because of a work-related injury, death benefits are paid to the employee’s dependents. In Illinois, these benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, paid until the death of a surviving spouse or until dependent children reach the age of 18, whichever comes later. Funeral and burial costs up to $8,000 are also covered by death benefits in Illinois. 

Contact a Kane County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you were injured while on the job, or if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness but your employer is withholding benefits or wages from you, contact our firm today. Our attorneys will assess your situation and help obtain the best resolution for you and your family. We understand what workers and their families go through when they are unable to work due to an injury or illness, and we will aggressively fight for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Contact an Aurora workers’ comp attorney at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.

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Oswego nursing home neglect attorneyYou should always take your time when viewing potential nursing homes for your loved one. Observing the general emotional state of the patients and the physical condition of the facility is imperative in ensuring you choose a nursing home that will take care of your loved one well. However, when your family member is living in a nursing facility, it can be sometimes difficult to ascertain whether abuse or neglect have occurred and resulted in your loved one suffering from an illness or ailment. The following are some general signs of abuse or neglect that you should look out for in a nursing home:

  1. Observe the physical conditions of the facility. If the nursing home you are visiting is consistently dirty and smells foul, consider looking for a new facility. 
  1. Look for signs of any pain your loved one is experiencing. Bruises could occur because of abuse or a fall which happened due to insufficient supervision. 
  1. Watch out for any weight loss. This could be a sign of inattentiveness to your loved one’s eating habits or diet. 
  1. The inattentiveness of nursing home staff members can also lead to your loved ones developing bed sores. These sores can occur if a person is unable to get out of bed, move, or turn over, causing them to remain in the same position for a long time.
  1. Look out for emotional abuse, such as being ignored. This type of treatment may cause a resident to experience a change in their mood, sleeping patterns, weight, or appetite. 
  1. Nursing home staff members should be ready to answer any questions you have. If the staff are not responding to your questions or are deflecting them, then you should take that as a warning sign. 
  1. If the nursing home is often understaffed or the staff often seems frantic, then you should take that as another warning sign. An adequate number of staff members is important to ensure that residents are taken care of and given an appropriate amount of attention.
  1. Residents should never feel uncomfortable or anxious about staff members. If your loved one does not want a certain staff member to serve them without being able to express a reason, that staff member may be treating them poorly.  

Contact a Kane County Personal Injury Lawyer 

Your loved ones deserve to be taken care of and treated well during the final years of their life. If your family member has experienced any form of neglect or abuse while receiving treatment at a nursing facility, the attorneys of Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. are committed to helping you obtain compensation for the damages which they have suffered. Contact a Naperville nursing home abuse lawyer at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation. 

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Kane County car accident lawyer car seat safetyHere is a sobering statistic: the leading cause of death in U.S. children ages three to 14 is car accidents. In 2014, 121,350 children aged 12 and younger were injured in a car accident, and in 2015, more than 663 children died in a motor vehicle accident.

Studies have shown that consistent use of a car seat for young children can help prevent severe injury in the event of a car accident. However, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in a single year, more than 618,000 children aged 12 and under rode in a car without the use of a car seat, booster seat, or a seatbelt. 

The proper use of a car seat (also called a child safety seat) is essential in preventing children from being severely injured during a car accident. Here are six tips that outline how to properly use a child safety seat:

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Kane County defective medical products lawyerWhen you are injured, ill, or otherwise in need of medical care, you expect that the equipment used to treat you will be 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 under-discussed, 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 that concluded how serious device-related safety problems are “extremely rare.” Of course, as with most funded studies, the results were thought by many to be flawed. Reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows just how severely. 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 medical malpractice attorneyIf you have ever been hospitalized for any reason, you probably know the feeling of homesickness that often develops quickly. Even a short hospital stay forces many to wonder how soon they can escape the antiseptic smell, checks by doctors and nurses and at all hours, and the often questionable food. In most cases, a patient must remain in the hospital under he or she is well enough to go home to a relatively non-controlled environment with no—or limited—professional supervision. Unfortunately, however, cost-cutting efforts and other factors have been blamed for the uptick in cases where patients are discharged from the hospital too soon. Early hospital discharge can put lives in danger and open the door to possible medical malpractice claims.

Creating a Plan

Deciding when to send a patient home can be challenging, but the doctor and the patient must work together in developing a discharge plan. The patient knows his or her body and, generally, has a good idea of his or her own limitations. The doctor will better know what symptoms need to be monitored as well as certain conditions that could develop once the patient leaves the hospital. If both the doctor and patient are comfortable with the decision to discharge and the patient fully understands the recommended course of follow-up treatment, it is probably fine for the patient to go home.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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