Recent Blog Posts

Pessimism Could Increase Your Risk of a Car Accident, Study Says

 Posted on April 07,2016 in Personal Injury

negativity, Kane County car accident lawyersPessimism, or a negative bias, has an impact on almost every aspect of your life, including your mood, relationships, and even your health. Now, science has added a new potential risk for those that see the world as a half empty glass: they may be more prone to experiencing motor vehicle accidents.

Negative Bias Increases Response Time to Negative Stimuli

In the study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Psychology interviewed 38 drivers with at least three years of driving experience. Using the number of penalty points on their driving records, the participants were then split into two groups – 23 were considered “safe” drivers and 15 were considered “dangerous” drivers.

All drivers were asked to view a series of photographs and determine if they had a red border or blue border. Each was meant to incite a negative, positive, or neutral emotion. Those in the dangerous driving group took slightly longer to identify the border colors of negative emotion photographs than those in the safe driving group. According to the authors, this suggests that negative drivers may take longer to respond to negative stimuli while driving.

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Makers of Recalled Bath Mat Now Facing Lawsuit

 Posted on March 30,2016 in Product Liability

product liability; Aurora product liability attorneysAccording to public policy, consumers have the right to expect certain measures have been taken to ensure the products they purchase are safe for use. Those measures extend to the product’s design, manufacturing, labeling, and marketing. When companies fail to meet those minimum product safety requirements, they become liable for the injuries or deaths caused.

Recalled AquaRug Bath Mats 

According to The Washington Post, Tristar Products, Inc., is currently facing an injury lawsuit over the safety of their AquaRug bath mats. Recalled after 40 online customers filed complaints, the 1.4 million bathmats are said to have faulty suction cups that do not stay in place, which creates a fall risk for consumers. One such consumer reportedly fell while using the AquaRug bath mat.

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Despite Increased Risk of Cancer, Firefighters Struggle to Receive Workers’ Compensation

 Posted on March 23,2016 in Workers' Compensation

"firefighters,Firefighters: just the word invokes a sense of admiration. They are, after all, some of the only men and women that would rush into a burning building to save a life. But, because they are inhaling smoke, combustion by-products, and ash quite frequently, these very same heroes are also three times more likely than the average person to end up with cancer. The only thing more concerning than that statistic is just how difficult it often is for them to receive workers’ compensation.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Study

In 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed cancers and cancer deaths of nearly 30,000 firefighters from the Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Departments. When their rates were compared to the general public, NIOSH found firefighters were 68 percent more likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer.

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Study Links Concussions to Increased Risk of Suicide, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Psychiatric Disturbances

 Posted on March 16,2016 in Personal Injury

concussions, Kane County personal injury lawyersEach year, around 2.5 million Americans suffer from a concussion. Around 50,000 die from their injuries while the remaining victims suffer from a variety of symptoms for weeks, months, years, or possibly even longer. Most of those symptoms include temporary issues, such as difficulty concentrating, personality changes, confusion, balance problems, and headaches. However, a recent study has linked concussions to potentially lifelong and life-altering complications.

New, Lifelong Risks of a Concussion

Over the past few years, researchers, doctors, and scientists have more closely examined concussions and their propensity for long-term complications. Links to a variety of lifelong and life-altering issues have been uncovered in a number of studies, including an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, suicide, and other psychiatric disturbances. Some of the evidence is said to be merely circumstantial at this point, but most healthcare professionals now maintain that a head injury is more sinister than previously thought.

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Study Finds Sexual Abusers of Teens in Juvenile Detention Rarely Disciplined

 Posted on March 08,2016 in Personal Injury

sexual abuse, Aurora personal injury attorneyYoung boys who are sentenced to a juvenile detention center are there to reform and learn that crime does not pay. But what happens when they are shown otherwise as they are sexually victimized, and the perpetrator remains unpunished and undisciplined? And why is it happening so often? A recent study from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics unveiled the alarming frequency but, unfortunately, we still do not have all the answers.

Sex Abuse Allegations in Detention Centers Have Doubled

According to various reports, the number of juveniles placed in detention centers has decreased. Yet, after analyzing data collected from the administrators of more than 1,400 state, local, and private juvenile detention centers, researchers determined that the rate of sex abuse allegations against guards and other staff members has doubled. In fact, the report indicated that, between 2007 and 2014, some 10 percent of children have reported sexual abuse while serving time.

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Just One Percent of Doctors Linked to a Third of All Malpractice Claims

 Posted on February 25,2016 in Medical Malpractice

Aurora personal injury attorneyStatistics attribute anywhere from 65,000 to 200,000 deaths to medical accidents per year. Interestingly enough, a recently-published New England Journal of Medicine study suggests that many of those deaths might be the doing of just a small fraction of physicians. At the very least, the authors claimed to have linked one-third of all malpractice claims to just one percent of all doctors. This, paired with the set of distinctive characteristics outlined by the authors, could have a lot of people looking at their doctors very differently.

Bulk-Share of Paid Malpractice Claims Linked to Small Percentage of Doctors

Study authors examined more than 66,000 paid medical malpractice claims against 55,000 physicians between 2005 and 2014. Of those physicians, only six percent had a paid malpractice claim over the entire 10-year period. Only one percent of all physicians had more than one claim, and they ended up being responsible for about a third of all the filed malpractice claims during the study period. About a third of those claims resulted in patient death, and 54 percent caused serious injury.

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Unemployment Insurance: Can You Be Denied Benefits for "Misconduct"?

 Posted on February 18,2016 in General & Commercial Litigation

By Patrick M. Kinnally

unemployment, Kane County general litigation attorneysAn employee cannot collect unemployment benefits if he or she has been discharged for "misconduct" in connection with their job. But what type of misconduct creates ineligibility?

Section 602 (A) of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act 820 ILCS 405/602(A) says that misconduct is:

"The deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employing unit, governing the individual's behavior in performance of his work, provided such violation has harmed the employing unit or other employees or has been repeated by the individual despite a warning or other explicit instruction from the employing unit."

Therefore, misconduct occurs only if the facts meet three requirements: a deliberate and willful violation; of a reasonable rule or policy of the employer governing the individual's behavior in the performance of his work; and, which either harmed the employer or a fellow employee, or was repeated despite a warning or explicit instruction from the employer. (Petrovic v. Department of Employment Security 2016 IL 118562)

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Britax Car Seats Being Recalled Due to Fall and Injury Hazards

 Posted on February 12,2016 in Product Liability

defective products, Aurora personal injury attorneysCar seats go through a number of safety tests to ensure they keep infants safe during an accident. Unfortunately, defective car seats still make their way onto store shelves and put children’s lives at risk. The latest recall includes approximately 71,000 Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seats and travel systems. The risk involves the potential cracking or breaking of the carrier handle, which can pose a fall or injury risk to infants.

Understanding the Risk

Most parents opt for infant carriers during the first few months to make carrying infants in and out of the car easier. Generally, it is the carrier’s handle that makes this ease of movement possible. Unfortunately, the Britax company has received 74 reports of fractured, cracked, or broken  handles – all of which occurred while the car seat was in use. In one, an infant allegedly suffered a bump to the head when the carrier fell to the ground.

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Union Workers May be Key to Reducing Construction-Related Deaths and Injuries

 Posted on February 06,2016 in Construction Accidents

construction site accidents, Aurora personal injury attorneysOut of all industries, construction is considered to be one of the most dangerous for workers and for the general public. In fact, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration attributes around 20 percent of all fatal workplace injuries to the construction injuries. Nonfatal injuries are also much more common among construction workers. The general public is, in turn, often put at risk because of the accidents that cause workplace injuries and fatalities to workers. To reduce the occurrence and risks to all, one Canadian study suggests the use of union workers.  

Construction Worker Deaths and Injuries in the United States

Within the construction industry, four types of accidents are responsible for 57 percent of all fatalities – falls (responsible for 39 percent of construction fatalities), being caught between objects (2 percent), being struck by an object (10 percent), and electrocution (9 percent). If these four types of injuries were completely eliminated, it would save approximately 435 American lives each and every year.

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Medical Malpractice Injury Prevention: Is Your Doctor on Probation?

 Posted on February 01,2016 in Medical Malpractice

doctor probation, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersDo you know if your doctor is on probation for misconduct, abuse, or negligence? The hospital they work at does. Their medical malpractice insurance company does. But consumer advocate groups say that, unless you know to look, you may never know. One group is looking to change all of that in California by pushing for a patient disclosure provision with the state Medical Board. If successful, it could very well change the way all patients (and doctors) look at medical care and treatment.

Physicians and Probation

Doctors can be placed on probation for a number of things, such as sexual misconduct, substance abuse, violence, patient deaths, incompetence, and negligence (and those are just the beginning). State boards stress that these doctors – the ones that are simply placed on probation but never lose their license – are still allowed to practice medicine, but there are some highly disturbing statistics when it comes to risk.

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