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kane county nursing home neglect lawyerChoosing to move an elderly family member into a skilled nursing facility can be difficult. This decision is often made out of concern for the senior’s safety. When a person can no longer live at home because they are no longer able to care for themselves, or because their care has become overwhelming for family members, placement in a nursing home may be the best option. Nursing home residents are supposed to be cared for in a safe environment by skilled, concerned caregivers. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are of equal quality. There are a few known telltale signs that a particular nursing home may not be the best place for vulnerable elderly people. If you notice several of these signs in the nursing home that is caring for your loved one, you may want to do a little more digging to find out whether they have been receiving the appropriate care. If you find that they may have been harmed by a negligent nursing home, you may want to speak to an attorney. 

Nursing Home Red Flags to be Aware of

When you are visiting your family member or speaking to their care team, these signs may be a signal that something is wrong. Signs of an unsafe nursing home include: 

  • Understaffing - When a nursing home does not have enough caregivers present to adequately meet all of the resident’s needs, important issues can fall through the cracks and your family member may not be receiving all the care and attention they need. Understaffing is a major problem at this time due in part to a shortage of nurses. 

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kane county medical malpractice lawyerWe often hear about doctors who fail to diagnose and treat their patients in a timely manner. Those with rare or chronic illnesses may sometimes spend years fighting for a diagnosis and getting the treatment they need. Failing to treat a patient who needs treatment can be a form of medical malpractice. On the other hand, so can overtreating health issues or subjecting a patient to treatment they did not need. When applied well, medical science can do incredible things to make sick people well again. However, medical science can also do extreme harm to a person when care is administered negligently. Medications, tests, procedures, and surgeries can all do serious harm if they are not medically indicated. Some patients endure needless treatments for years before learning that their health care is actually making them sicker. If you have been harmed by unnecessary medical treatment, you may be entitled to compensation. 

What Medical Treatments Are Used Unnecessarily? 

Profit-driven hospitals and doctors are often eager to perform as many tests and treatments as they can. This can drive doctors to order all sorts of medical interventions that a patient does not genuinely need. Overtreatment can be just as dangerous as undertreatment, but it is much less discussed. Some types of unnecessary medical interventions people have faced include: 

  • Medications - Often, medication will be one of the first things a doctor tries to relieve a patient’s reported symptoms or correct an issue they think they have spotted. However, “FDA approved” does not mean “safe for all humans.” This often happens when doctors fail to perform appropriate tests to determine whether the medication is needed. For example, if a doctor takes a new patient’s blood pressure once and sees that it is high, they may instantly prescribe blood pressure pills without realizing that the reading was a fluke. 

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kane county car accident lawyerRight after you have been hurt in a car accident, you are left with the unenviable task of battling an insurance company or other liable party trying to get the compensation you need. You can be almost certain that the insurance company will be recording every phone call and ready to use your words against you in any way they can. It is very easy to inadvertently provide them with a sound byte that could hurt your case. These profit-driven companies are not above taking something out of context if it could save them money on a settlement. This is one of the big reasons why conversations with insurance companies are best handled by a lawyer. If all you need to say is, “please contact my attorney,” then there is little chance of having your well-intentioned words thrown back in your face. 

Phrases You Should Never Say to a Car Insurance Company

In general, you will want to avoid saying anything that could possibly be interpreted in a way that reduces the other driver’s liability. Even innocuous phrases can be twisted here. You will need to carefully avoid saying things like: 

  • “Sorry” - After an accident involving another driver, it is tempting for some people to apologize to the at-fault driver out of an abundance of politeness. While you - and everyone else - would readily be able to tell that you meant, “it is unfortunate that you were injured,” an insurance company may try to construe it as though you were apologizing for causing the accident. 

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kane county car crash lawyerRear-end collisions can be exceptionally jarring. You probably never saw the impact coming when you were hit from behind. You may have had no chance to brace yourself or get out of the way. The injuries commonly caused by a rear-end collision can include whiplash, back injuries and head injuries, which can be serious. Rear-end collisions are likely the most common type of car accident. In Illinois, there is a legal presumption that the driver behind is at fault in a rear-end collision. The front driver can be at fault in rare instances, but for the most part, the driver who hit you from behind is going to be liable. If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you may be entitled to compensation. A lawyer can help you understand your rights. 

Common Excuses From At-Fault Drivers After a Rear-End Crash

Drivers love to make excuses after rear-ending someone. If the responsible driver got out of his car after the accident and went off on you as if this was your fault, your experience is not unique. Some of the most common reasons and excuses at-fault drivers give - and why they do not get them off the hook - include: 

  • The weather did it. - If it was raining, snowing, foggy, or icy when your accident happened, you more likely than not had to listen to the driver who hit you attempt to blame the weather. However, drivers are responsible for adjusting their driving technique based on the weather they are in. In fog or low-visibility conditions, drivers should increase their following distance just in case the driver ahead of them stops quickly. In rain, snow, or otherwise slippery conditions, drivers should realize that it will take longer to stop their vehicle and start braking well in advance. 

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kane county work injury lawyer

In some lines of work, getting hurt on the job is relatively likely. In others, it is rare. Whether you are dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from typing at a desk all day or a serious neck injury after a construction site accident, you are likely eligible for workers' compensation if you sustained an injury at work. Many injuries keep you from returning to your job right away. In some cases, you may be able to perform a less physically challenging job for your employer while you are injured. In others, you may not be able to work at all during your recovery period. If you are hurt and unable to perform your normal work duties, you may be able to receive temporary disability payments. An attorney can help you understand what types of benefits you are eligible for. 

What is Temporary Total Disability?

Temporary total disability benefits are used when you are unable to perform any work for your employer. If your employer cannot offer you temporary light-duty work that you would be able to perform, then you may be considered totally temporarily disabled. This is often the case if a worker's injuries are severe, especially if they must remain in the hospital or a rehabilitation facility for some time. 

If you are eligible for temporary total disability, you can be paid two-thirds of your normal wages. If you are hourly and your income varies, your weekly wages will be averaged out based on what you earned in the past year. 

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aurora personal injury lawyerRoad rage has been on the rise since the end of pandemic-related lockdowns. For a long time, essential personnel were the only ones commuting. People were not doing much of anything outside their homes, and everyone got used to there being very little traffic. Then, stay-at-home orders lifted and suddenly, everyone was dealing with traffic like they had not seen in over a year. Since the roads first started to fill back up, road rage car crashes have only gotten worse and more frequent. 

Now that we are right in the middle of summer, road rage levels may be even higher than usual. There is an undeniable link between heat and road rage, and traffic tends to be worse in the summer. If you are injured by a driver with road rage, you may be able to recover compensation. 

The Link Between Heat and Road Rage

The fact that high temperatures contributes to road rage incidents has been known for a very long time. Extreme heat tends to increase how a person responds to annoyances drastically. A minor irritation, like getting cut off in traffic, might be no big deal at all for a driver in pleasant weather. However, in extreme heat, that same driver may end up reacting quite aggressively, such as by trying to swerve around and cut off the other driver in an act of revenge. 

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illinois distracted driving accident lawyerYou have probably heard a lot about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Obviously, if someone is cruising down the highway with one hand on the wheel, one hand holding a cell phone, and two eyes looking at a screen, there is likely to be a car accident. Distracted drivers kill over 3,000 people and injure almost 500,000 each year in the U.S. 

Cell phones are responsible for quite a large percentage of distracted driving accidents. Unfortunately, drivers of brand new vehicles may now have a completely new source of distraction - their own dashboards. Many car companies are now using built-in infotainment systems that are meant to reduce cell phone distraction. The question remains just how distracting these integrated systems may be. 

The Dangers of Integrated Distractions

New cars with integrated infotainment systems can do almost everything a cell phone can do, including helping the driver send a text message, navigate, or connect to the internet. Screens may be integrated into the dashboard so that drivers do not need to pick up their phones. Often, these infotainment systems are meant to be voice-controlled, but voice control is still far from a perfect technology. 

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Kane County Slip and Fall Accident Injury LawyerThere are certain safety standards that staircases should comply with, whether in residential buildings or in public places. Staircases can be dangerous when they are not kept in a reasonably safe condition. Things like having enough lighting and handrails are some of the most basic steps that a premises owner or manager should take to ensure that people are able to get up and down the stairs safely. When these very reasonable safety standards are violated, the likelihood that someone will suffer a serious fall, slip, or trip, skyrockets. If you were injured when you fell on a staircase, you may have a strong claim against the party who is liable for the safety of those on their premises. An attorney can help guide your next steps. 

The Most Common Hazards That Cause Falls on Stairs

While people can fall down even the best-designed staircase, serious staircase accidents are often caused by the premises owner’s failure to use reasonable precautions. Some common safety issues on staircases include: 

  • No handrails - A lot of people rely on handrails to help them keep their balance on a staircase. They are also necessary so that people can grab them to steady themselves if they begin to lose their balance. 

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illinois nursing home injury lawyerOne of the main reasons people enter nursing homes is because they can no longer perform their normal activities of daily living and need help. People who reside in nursing homes can generally do very little to care for themselves and must rely on caregivers for assistance with everything from eating to dressing. When your loved one in a nursing home presses their call light, everyone should be able to expect that someone will come along in a timely fashion to see what they need. Whether a nursing home resident presses their call light because they need help making a phone call or because they have fallen out of their chair, they deserve a prompt response. If your loved one’s call light is going unanswered, they may be facing nursing home neglect. An attorney can advise you on what your next steps should be. 

Dangers of Leaving a Call Light Unanswered 

Healthy people who can help themselves do not live in nursing homes. The people who do move into nursing homes are typically medically fragile and in poor health. A call light may be a nursing home resident’s only means of summoning help when they need assistance or are in trouble. Until a caregiver responds, there is no way for anyone to know whether the resident is calling for a normal, routine need or because they are having an emergency. While it is probably alright if someone has to wait a bit for help changing their clothes, it is absolutely not alright if someone has to wait more than a few minutes for help because they are having chest pains. 

When a nursing home resident uses their call light, someone should come by very shortly to determine what the need is. While waiting for a call light to be answered, a nursing home resident could be: 

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aurora hospital malpractice lawyerWhen you go to a hospital for medical care, you expect to be in a safe place. You should be able to automatically trust that the doctors and other providers are being careful to provide you with safe treatment. Unfortunately, the labor shortage has hit hospitals just as much as it has hit restaurants and retail businesses. There is a significant nursing shortage. However, being short-staffed does not excuse medical malpractice. A hospitalized patient can do very little to take care of themself and must rely on doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals like Certified Nursing Assistants. When these providers fail to perform their jobs in a manner that is safe for patients, they may ultimately do more harm than good. If you were harmed while staying in a hospital, an attorney may be able to help you recover compensation. 

Common Forms of Malpractice in a Hospital Setting

Some types of medical errors are more common than others, especially in a hospital inpatient setting. Medical malpractice in a hospital may take the form of: 

  • Medication errors - One of the most common types of malpractice that can happen to an inpatient is a medication error. Being given the wrong medication, or the wrong dose of the right medication, can cause serious harm or even cause a patient to crash. Nurses may mistakenly give one patient’s medication to another patient, or the wrong medication may be pulled or ordered because many drugs have similar names. Patients may be inadvertently given a drug that they are allergic to. Medication errors can even be fatal. 

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illinois workers compensationIn Illinois, just about anyone with a job is eligible to receive workers’ compensation if they are injured or made ill at work. Even office staff sometimes uses workers’ compensation after an accident like a slip-and-fall. However, if you are in a dangerous career with a high risk of injury, you may use workers’ compensation several times throughout your career. People in high-risk professions include electricians, construction site workers, and some healthcare professionals. When you are in a high-risk profession, it is best that you understand the workers’ compensation process and know how to respond to a workplace injury before anything happens.

Do’s and Do Not’s for High-Risk Employees

If you are in a dangerous profession, there are a few rules of thumb you should keep in mind when it comes to workplace safety and handling a workplace injury. General do’s and do not’s for high-risk workers include: 

  • Do use PPE - Use any personal protective equipment your employer provides. This may include gear like safety goggles and hard hats on a construction site, or N95 masks and smocks in a hospital setting. This gear can reduce the severity of harm, and heads off accusations that you were careless about your own safety. 

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aurora injury lawyerNo one should ever have to experience sexual abuse or sexual assault. Being harmed like that can leave long-lasting mental and emotional scars, and many victims are left with physical injuries as well. You may have heard some truly alarming statistics about low conviction rates for sex offenses in criminal court. However, filing a civil claim is completely different. To successfully prosecute someone for a sex crime, it must be proven that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To win a civil claim, however, you would only need to show a jury that it is more likely than not that the abuse or assault happened as you are alleging. That said, following through with such a claim can be very challenging on many levels. At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we will make sure that you have all the information you need to decide whether you should file such a claim. 

The Benefits of Pursuing a Sexual Abuse Claim

Even if your abuser or rapist was found not guilty, had their sex offense charges dropped, or was never actually arrested and charged, you could still win in civil court. Many victims who were unable to meet the standard of proof required in criminal court are able to obtain relief and a sense of justice by filing a civil claim. While the civil court cannot send your abuser or assailant to prison, it can award you financial compensation. 

 

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aurora personal injury attorneyAfter you get hit by a negligent driver, you are likely to get a call from their insurance company fairly soon. The insurance company will make you a settlement offer. It will sound like a good offer, but it rarely is. Insurance companies do not count or consider every financial loss you will suffer as a result of your car accident. Their goal is to get you to accept a settlement that does not come close to fully compensating you. Before you think about accepting a settlement, it is important that you take the time to add up every expense and loss associated with the crash. You are likely to find that your claim is worth much more than you are being offered. Our experienced lawyers can help you determine the total amount that you deserve. 

What Costs Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

The types of damages you could recover after a car crash are much more numerous and varied than you might expect. A car accident injury can cause lasting damage for many. When calculating your total financial loss as a result of the crash, make sure to factor in not just your ER bill and the cost of your car, but also: 

  • Lost wages - Very few people go back to work the day after an accident. Odds are, you had to take time off of work to recover from your injuries. Your lost wages may be compensable. If your injuries were very serious and disabling, you may have even had to change careers or stop working altogether. Your lost future earnings can also be included.

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aurora car accident lawyerRear-end collisions are not always harmless fender-benders. A hard rear-end collision can cause serious or even disabling injuries. Head, neck, and arm injuries are very common in rear-end crashes. The damage does not need to look bad from the outside to be bad for the individuals inside the car. In a rear-end accident, the driver in front is often completely stopped, causing them to absorb the full force of the impact. There is also little the driver in front can do to avoid being rear-ended even if they do see the accident coming. This type of car accident is very preventable, and often the result of careless driving. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, we may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. 

Careless Driving Habits That Cause Rear-End Accidents

Every driver has a duty to use an appropriate level of caution to prevent accidents. Rear-end collisions are almost always caused by carelessness. Some common forms of negligence that cause rear-end accidents include: 

  • Cell phone use - Far too many rear-end collisions happen because someone was texting or using their cell phone while driving instead of watching the road. A driver who is absorbed in whatever they are doing on their phone may not notice cars ahead of them slowing or stopping. 

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kane county workers compensation lawyerWorkers’ compensation is not just for those in traditionally high-risk blue-collar jobs. White-collar office workers can and do get hurt at work and are equally entitled to workers' compensation protection. While injuries suffered by those with desk jobs tend to be less severe on average, they can still keep an employee out of the workplace for weeks while they recover. If you were injured at your office job, you should take the situation seriously and consider having an attorney help you recover compensation. The costs associated with a workplace injury are compensable whether you operate a desktop computer or a forklift. Some office employees hesitate to file a workers’ compensation claim, but this is a mistake. If you do not file a claim after getting hurt at work, you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table. 

The Most Common Reasons Office Workers Get Hurt on the Job

People with desk jobs tend to view their workplaces as very safe. This can cause people to let their guard down and become more vulnerable to hidden dangers around the office. Some of the most common categories of workplace injuries in office buildings include: 

  • Slips, trips, and falls - A lot of office buildings use tile or linoleum over carpeting because it is easy to clean. This also makes slip-and-fall accidents more likely - all it takes is a dropped cup of coffee or a missing wet floor sign to cause an accident. Trip-and-falls are also common. It could be a poorly placed power cord or a box of files set on the floor too close to a doorway. Light switches that are not placed where a light can be turned on prior to entering a room can increase the risk of a tripping injury. 

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kane county car crash lawyerThe most careful driver in the world would still be powerless to avoid a car crash caused by mechanical failure. These accidents can be terrifying for everyone involved. One moment everything is fine, and you are cruising down the road in control of your car. Then suddenly, you realize that you are no longer in control of your car, and a crash is inevitable. 

Initially, it may even appear to others that the crash was your fault. You are left trying to figure out what went wrong. Fortunately, the maker or seller of a defective car part can be held liable for any accidents that happen because their part failed. Those responsible for putting a defective product on the market are responsible for the injuries the defect causes. Anyone from the manufacturer to the mechanic who incorrectly installed the part may be the liable party. An attorney can help you determine what happened and who you may have a claim against. 

Which Defective Car Parts Often Lead to Serious Crashes?

Some car parts can fail without causing an accident. You will probably not get into an accident if your speakers stop working or your interior lights quit. However, other parts can cause nearly immediate crashes when they abruptly fail. When defective car parts cause accidents, the parts most likely to blame are: 

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kane county product liability lawyerWhile the bathroom is typically the most dangerous room in a house, the kitchen is a close second. Anything from burn injuries caused by a hot stove to lacerations sustained while chopping vegetables can happen in a kitchen. Using reasonable care can help you avoid some types of kitchen injuries. However, when a kitchen appliance or other product is defective, there is probably nothing you can do to avoid getting hurt. Injuries caused by defective kitchen products can be severe. They often involve explosions, gases, or fires, all of which can be extremely harmful or even lethal. If you were injured due to a defective product, you will need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to financial compensation. 

Which Kitchen Products Are Most Likely to be Defective and Dangerous?

You might have heard a commonly cited statistic that you are more likely to be killed by a defective toaster than a shark. This is very true. But toasters are just one of many kitchen appliances that can become deadly when they have a defect. A few kitchen products that could become very dangerous if defective include: 

  • Gas stoves - Electric stoves are generally safer than gas stoves. The major risk with gas stoves is that there could be a gas leak. Gas leaks can be dangerous in multiple ways. Simply breathing in the gas could be harmful or fatal. Or, if ignited, a gas leak could result in an explosion or major fire. 

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kane county workers comp lawyerWorkplace accidents can be permanently life-altering. Some victims are able to recover enough to return to work in some capacity. Others must change career paths to accommodate their change in physical ability. There are some, however, who are never able to return to work. People who have suffered a severe and disabling injury in the workplace may be able to receive permanent total disability through Workers’ Compensation. Obtaining this level of compensation is not always easy from a practical standpoint. These claims can be worth quite a lot, and employers are rarely willing to pay out without a fight. It often takes the skill and experience of a trained attorney to help establish that a disabled worker is entitled to this type of compensation. 

Qualifying for Permanent Total Disability

To receive permanent total disability, you will need to not only prove the cause of your injuries but also show that you are no longer able to work and support yourself as you could before. The following types of injuries could suggest permanent and complete disability: 

  • Amputations- If you lost any part of your body in the accident, like a finger or an eye, it may be difficult for your employer to argue that you could return to work. Especially if you work with your hands, you are not likely to ever regain the ability to do your job. 

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kane county birth injury lawyerExpecting a new baby is exciting and terrifying all at once. So many things can go wrong during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, so many expectant parents are understandably nervous. Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are tasked with recognizing potential complications and taking the necessary action to mitigate any negative health consequences to the mother and baby. However, medical professionals involved in the birthing process do not always meet the high standards parents expect of them.

Failure to perform a Caesarean section or delayed c-section can cause serious and potentially deadly complications. If your baby was harmed during labor or delivery and you suspect that the doctor's failure to perform a timely c-section may have been the cause, read on to learn more.

Failure to Perform a Timely C-Section

Some c-sections are planned in advance. The mother may have had problems delivering her other children or suffers from health complications that make vaginal delivery impractical or unsafe. C-sections may also be a last resort when problems arise during labor, making it too dangerous for the mother to give birth traditionally.

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truck accident lawyer in kane countyTruck drivers may need to follow laws that do not apply to drivers in personal vehicles. Large commercial trucks present a much greater danger to everyone on the road, so it makes sense that those driving them are subject to additional regulations. While crashes involving personal vehicles can be devastating, truck accidents are highly likely to cause serious injuries to anyone involved. When truck drivers follow all the safety laws that apply to them, major accidents are less likely to happen. It may give you a bit of hope to learn that if it turns out that the truck driver who caused your motor vehicle accident was disregarding a statute intended to keep people safe, your case could become easier to prove. If you were in an accident involving a commercial truck, you will need to promptly contact a local attorney to start the process of seeking compensation. 

What Laws Are Truck Drivers and Companies Required to Follow?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets out a series of laws that commercial trucking agencies and their drivers must abide by. These laws may not apply to other drivers. Laws that specifically pertain to truck drivers include: 

  • Hours of Service - This is one of the most important safety laws in trucking - and perhaps one of the most commonly violated. These laws govern how long a truck driver can keep driving without taking a break, and how long these breaks must be. These laws are intended to make sure that truck drivers get adequate rest so that they do not become fatigued and likely to make mistakes. Truck drivers have even fallen asleep at the wheel after violating hours of service regulations. 

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