Recent Blog Posts

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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23 Illinois Hospitals Face Penalties for Injury and Infection Rates

 Posted on January 24,2016 in Medical Malpractice

hospital injury, infection rates, Kane County medical malpracticel lawyersWhen hospitals fail to provide complete, competent, and comprehensive care to their patients, they may become subject to a number of consequences. One of the most commonly known and discussed of these is the risk of a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are, however, other guidelines in place to enforce safe and reasonable patient care. A total of 23 Illinois hospitals are allegedly facing one such provision because of their injury and infection rates.

The Affordable Care Act Penalties

Some stipulations are outlined in America’s Affordable Care Act, including the penalization of the low-performing, high-incident hospitals. To determine which ones will be subject to those penalties, each hospital is rated on a score between one and 10, with 10 being the worst. Any that score a 6.75 lose a portion of their Medicare reimbursement during the following year.

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Winter Weather Safety: Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls on Ice and Snow

 Posted on January 21,2016 in Personal Injury

slips and falls in winter, Aurora premises liability lawyerAt least two people in Illinois recently experienced an injury because of slick, snowy, or icy outdoor surfaces. Sadly, it is an all-too common issue each winter. In fact, at least one-third of all workers’ compensation claims during the winter months are attributed to slips or falls on ice or snow; this does not even begin to account for premises liability incidents of non-employees. Keep yourself safe an accident-free the remainder of the winter season with the following tips on preventing slips, trips, and falls on ice or snow.

Wear the Right Gear

When outdoor surfaces are slick, opt for shoes or boots with rough textures, such as waffling or ridging. If dress shoes are necessary for work or an event, change into them once you are indoors and no longer at risk of falling on icy or snowy surfaces. Additionally, it is important to remember to clean your shoes before walking indoors; caked-on ice or snow can become hazardous on non-carpeted indoor surfaces.

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Workers’ Compensation Reform: Companies Profit While Workers Face Denied Claims, Unpaid Medical Bills, and Poverty

 Posted on January 14,2016 in Workers' Compensation

workers comp reform, Kane County workers compensation lawyersWorkers’ compensation began as an arrangement designed to benefit all parties when it came to handling on-the-job injuries. Workers could receive compensation for their medical bills and time off of work without having to go through the lengthy process of a lawsuit. Employers, who were beginning to face dwindling defense options in the courtroom, could use the claims and insurance process to better manage costs. And legislators saw it as a way to create a more financially secure economy. 

Sadly, those days are long gone.

Today, the workers’ compensation process is lengthy and complex. Thousands of injured workers have their claims denied, leaving them with unpaid medical bills and no paid time off of work to heal. In the best of situations, they struggle to pay for the care they need, but eventually heal and return to work—still capable of paying off their debts, despite being a little poorer. In the worst of cases, their injuries left them permanently disabled (or deceased). With no means to pay their lifelong health care costs of living expenses, they fall into poverty and never find their way out. 

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Automobile Personal Injury Prevention: Avoiding Road Accidents with Farm Equipment

 Posted on January 12,2016 in Personal Injury

road accidents with farm-equipment, Kane County personal injury attorneysAlthough automobile accidents with farm equipment are less frequent than other collisions, they can be just as devastating. A recent incident involving a train and a tractor reminds both drivers and farmers to be more mindful of the laws, and of each other. 

Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment

Due to the continued building of new homes in rural areas, more and more suburbanites and urbanites are finding themselves in new driving situations with slow-moving farm equipment. And when you are about being late to work, late at dropping the kids off at school, or simply in a hurry, it is easy to make an irrational decision. Unfortunately, this decision can have serious or fatal consequences. Improve road safety for everyone—including yourself—with these rural driving tips: 

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Personal Injury Winter Preparedness: Car Maintenance Tips to Help Reduce Your Risk of Injury This Season

 Posted on January 03,2016 in Auto Accidents

winter car maintenance, Kane County car accident attorneysWinter is officially upon us, and that means the weather is a bit dreary. It also means Chicagoans are at great risk of finding themselves stranded in the middle of a winter storm because of vehicle problems, poor road conditions, or automobile accidents. Prepare yourself and your loved ones this season with these winter car maintenance tips.

Perform Winter Maintenance on Your Car

While they do not account for every stranding or accident, vehicle maintenance issues can and do greatly increase the risk of both. As such, it is important that you take the time to perform some simple but extremely important to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Do so by either hiring a mechanic to check the following, or do it yourself:

Birth Injuries and Responsibility: Couple Names U.S. Government as Defendant in Lawsuit

 Posted on January 01,2016 in Medical Malpractice

birth injuries in Illinois, Kane County medical malpractice lawyersBefore giving birth, parents have an expectation, a vision of what life will be like. They may not be aware of it, and it may not be fully defined, but it still exists. When a birth injury happens, those expectations—the dream—is shattered, and the very definition of parenthood and what it will look like must be altered. Who is responsible for the grief? The changes? The loss?

Most couples would look to the doctors, nurses, and hospital that treated them. They are, after all, the ones that made the decisions that led up to the injury. But one couple is looking further up, all the way to the United States government, which has been recently named in their birth injury lawsuit. 

Pregnancy and Birth

According to court documents, the mother had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. The staff at the center she was being treated at had allegedly determined that her diabetes was being poorly controlled, which increased her risk for having an overly large baby. It also increased her risk for a number of birth-related complications, including shoulder dystocia.

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