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Aurora car accident attorneyAs winter officially begins and drivers head out and about to visit family and celebrate the holidays, it becomes important for everyone to understand how to stay safe on the roads. Even more critical is the knowledge of what to do, should an automobile accident happen to you or someone you love. Winter weather safety should be the responsibility of every driver and passenger on the road.

An Ounce of Prevention Can Go a Long Way

Ensuring your vehicle is “winter ready” can help dramatically when it comes to keeping you, your family, and others safe on Illinois roadways. New wipers keep your windshield clear, improving your overall visibility. Snow tires that have been checked for proper air pressure help to ensure you have good traction while driving through snow and slush. Good brakes can give you improved stopping power, even in the worst of conditions. So, if you have not yet had your vehicle winterized, either take steps to do it yourself or contact your local mechanic for assistance. Also note that a winter weather emergency pack should be a part of your winterization steps. A flashlight, warm blankets and clothes, ice scrapers, kitty litter, a phone charger, water, and non-perishable foods are just a few thing you might want to include.

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Aurora family law attorneyA slip and fall can happen to almost anyone, almost anywhere, especially during the winter months. Yet, there are some Americans who are at a higher risk of serious injury than others. Of particular concern are those who are over the age of 65. Even more concerning for this at-risk group is the fact that they are also more likely to suffer a slip and fall injury. Learn more about this risk, and what you can do if you or someone you love has suffered a slip and fall injury in Illinois.

Slip and Fall Injuries and Deaths More Common Among Older Americans

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates more than 2.8 million older Americans experience a slip and fall each year. More than 27,000 of those falls resulted in death. Many others (one in five) resulted in serious injury, such as broken bones, facial fractures, and traumatic brain injury. Further, more than 800,000 older Americans are hospitalized due to head injuries, hip fractures, spinal cord injuries, and other serious slip and fall injuries.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyBeing in a car accident with a drunk driver can be traumatic and can leave you with a variety of serious injuries. You may not know what to do in order to be compensated for the damage to your vehicle and the injuries you and your loved ones may have sustained.

The first thing you should understand is that a car accident caused by a drunk driver is no ordinary car accident. Under Illinois law, there are several differences. If you have been in such an accident, it is recommended that you meet with an experienced drunk driving accident attorney who understands the damages you may be eligible for and the parties who may be responsible.

Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

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Kane County medical malpractice lawyersAnyone who has been hospitalized understands the longing for home. Hospitals are renowned for the unusual smells, sometimes questionable food, poor sleeping patterns, cranky roommates, and mediocre room service. After even a short stay in a hospital bed, many are quick to start questioning how quickly they can expect to return home. Under the care of an upstanding medical professional, you will likely be advised to stay until you become healthy enough for an unsupervised, non-controlled environment. However, early hospital discharge is a growing epidemic that is putting patients’ lives in danger and creating the possibility of medical malpractice suits.

When to Go Home

Determining when a patient should be sent home can be a difficult decision. However, that is up to the doctor and the patient to decide together. The patient knows their body better than anyone while a physician can determine what symptoms and conditions should be monitored. Working together, they put together a comprehensive picture of the situation. The patient may be ready to go home if:

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Kane County personal injury attorneyThe winter holiday season is fast approaching. This is a time when millions of Americans are expected to travel to various destinations. A significant portion of the population finds traveling by personal vehicle the most beneficial to their situation. In previous years, AAA estimated that 98.4 million drivers were on the road throughout the end of the year holidays, traveling over 50 miles each direction. The staggering number of vehicles on the road is not only impressive, but it also increases the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents due to negligent drivers.

What Constitutes Negligence?

When another driver’s actions or inactions lead to an accident which causes injuries to you or your loved ones, you are entitled to collect compensation. A lapse in attention or judgment while behind the wheel by the other driver may constitute negligence, leaving him or her responsible for the subsequent damages. Negligent driving may include:

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Kane County personal injury attorneyAn estimated 30 million Americans have experienced a loss of hearing. Another 22.5 million have suffered a loss in vision. Some of these cases are due to genetics, diseases, age, or other conditions that may be specific to the person. However, there are other instances in which the loss of sight or hearing was caused by the negligent actions of another. If you or someone you love has experienced visual or auditory losses and believe negligence may have been the cause, the following information can help you better understand your legal rights, including your right to pursue compensation.

Hearing Loss and Negligence

Loss of hearing, whether partial or complete, can greatly change the way a person interacts and communicates with the world around them. For example, if someone experiences a partial loss of hearing, they may be less apt to hear a noise that might indicate a potential danger (i.e. an approaching car, etc.). If they suffer from complete loss of hearing, they may need to learn a whole new way to communicate, such as learning sign language and/or learning how to read lips.

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Kane County workers' compensation lawyerWhen you have been hurt on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage should be available to offer you the benefits you need to recover quickly and get back to work. A work-related injury can be painful, of course, but it should not leave you struggling financially. It should be relatively easy to obtain coverage for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and even lost wages while you heal. According to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, however, it may be too easy to get workers’ compensation benefits, and he wants something done to fix the problem.

Coverage for a Workplace Injury

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that any injury that arises out of and in the course of the injured party’s employment is intended to be compensable under the law. It is up to the injured employee to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her injuries were related to employment. As far back as 2012—before Governor Rauner was even elected—state officials observed that courts in Illinois, as well as the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), have traditionally used very broad interpretations of the law to allow injured parties to collect benefits.

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Aurora product liability attorneyIn several recent posts on this blog, we discussed some of the dangers associated with cell phone use while driving. Texting, checking emails, and even just talking—hands-free or not—can lead to serious accidents and severe injuries. Sometimes, however, a cell phone can be the source of danger, even when it is nowhere near a moving car. Sometimes, the phone itself is defective and can cause damage and injuries to its user. It is exactly this type of situation that has led to a massive recall by one of the world’s leading cell phone manufacturers, the fallout of which has been felt around the globe.

Samsung Recalls More Than Two Million Phones

South Korean electronics giant Samsung announced last month that it was recalling some 2.5 million units of its high-end flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7. The phone had only been on the market for less than a month when users first began reporting incidents of overheating. Some phones even caught fire and exploded. The problems were initially blamed on a particular type of battery being used in the production process, and replacement phones were given to affected customers. Then, the replacements allegedly started exploding and catching fire too.

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Kane County personal injury attorneysIt is becoming increasingly apparent that a growing number of people now prefer their social media over their own safety. While people are falling over cliff faces taking selfies, drivers on our nation’s busy highways are still failing to pay the proper attention required behind the wheel. Thousands of accidents occur every day due to driver error and, more specifically, driver distraction. If you have been involved in a car accident and suspect that the other driver was texting and driving, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered, helping you get on the road to recovery.

Distracted Drivers: A Continuing Epidemic

While they may be wonderful tools to stay connected, our mobile devices come with their downsides. One such disadvantage is that to use such a device, you must be essentially face-down looking at screen. Cell phones are obviously extremely useful when it comes to navigating city streets and routes for your errands and road trips, but the habit of texting while behind the wheel is extremely dangerous. Young people, especially, are prone to this and are often also the victims when a serious crash occurs and someone is injured.

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Kane County medical malpractice attorneysPlanning for a hospital stay can be a very anxious time under the best of circumstances. Not fully understanding your rights while under the care of the hospital, however, may lead to additional medical issues giving way to a possible hospital malpractice lawsuit.

Establishing Patient Rights

In 1973, the American Hospital Association’s House of Delegates implemented the Patient’s Bill of Rights as a measure to not only protect the patient but also medical providers as well. The guidelines were designed to encourage effective health care by strengthening the collaboration between patients and their medical team. They were also employed to open lines of honest communication and to elevate levels of respect between both patients and medical professionals.

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Kane County workers' compensation lawyerWhen a person is injured on the job, he or she should not return to work until he or she has recovered enough to do so. In some cases, such healing may only take a few days, while, in others, physical recovery may require weeks, months, or even years. According to Illinois law, injured employees who miss time at work are eligible to collect temporary disability as part of a workers’ compensation benefits package. Recent studies suggest, however, that injured workers in Illinois miss about 50 percent more work, on average, than injured workers in Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Wide Disparity

The average length of a temporary disability claim in Illinois is 18.4 weeks, according to the 2015 annual report issued by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. By comparison, injured workers in Indiana missed an average of 10.5 weeks, 10.9 weeks in Wisconsin, and 11.6 weeks in Iowa. In Michigan, an average claim for temporary disability lasted approximately 15.7 weeks, the second-highest in the region. Some of the disparity in the amount time missed can be attributed to types of work found in each state. The balance of manufacturing, office, farming, service industry, and public sector jobs can all have an impact on the types and severity of sustained injuries.

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Kane County defective products attorneysPacemakers are common medical devices used in people of all ages, from children to elderly adults. They are a useful and lifesaving tool used to regulate a heartbeat in someone whose own body is unable to do so. As with any device, there is required maintenance and properly suggested usage to extend the life of the product. Even still, there occasionally some products are defectively manufactured, which can be life-threatening.

Why Do People Use Pacemakers?

Pacemakers are extremely useful for a variety of reasons. The most common of these reasons are for arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and heart blocks (caused by a sudden disruption of the impulses to the heart, such as a heart attack). Other reasons your physician may prescribe a pacemaker are:

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Kane County car accident attorneysAll across the country, ridesharing programs have made getting from one place to another simpler, easier, and more affordable. Unfortunately, there have also been auto accidents involving Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other rideshare drivers. Who is responsible when this happens? Can a victim pursue compensation for their injuries? The following can help you better understand this complex area of the law, and how it may apply to your particular situation.

Driver vs. Rideshare Company – Who is Really Liable?

In the beginning, victims injured by Uber and other rideshare drivers faced serious problems in pursuing their claims. This was often because, rather than being employees of the company, rideshare drivers were (and still are) considered independent contractors and, essentially, sole proprietors of their own companies. So, if someone was injured by an Uber driver, the driver’s insurance was generally considered the primary. If the driver had inadequate insurance, then victims were often left with little to no compensation. Rideshare companies themselves rarely stepped in, but even when they did, they carried so low of a policy that victims found little relief.  

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Kane County medical malpractice lawyersGiving birth is both one of the most common and one of the most dangerous procedures performed by a medical professional. Both mother and child (or children) can sustain injury if even a small mistake is made, and many such injuries will occur due to what is referred to as shoulder dystocia. This condition is a primary concern for obstetricians during delivery.

Facts and Statistics

Shoulder dystocia is defined as a condition in which a newborn’s shoulder becomes lodged behind the pubic bone or in another spot in the birth canal and cannot be freed without either significant manipulation or cesarean section. It can cause multiple birth injuries in a newborn, including cerebral palsy and other nerve injuries, as well as internal bleeding and post-delivery complications for the mother.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyAuto accident injuries are frightening and alarming for anyone to experience or witness. However, young children are especially prone to catastrophic injuries, partly because their size and developing bodies make them more prone to certain injuries, but also because young children are unable to communicate when or where something hurts. Even more alarming is that some injuries cannot be seen, and parents may unwittingly make the wrong decision after an accident. Atlanto-occipital dislocation, or internal decapitation, is one such injury.

Internal Decapitation – What is It?

Internal decapitation is not an actual decapitation. In fact, the neck itself often appears to be intact. However, beneath the intact flesh, neck ligaments may have been severed or stretched. If not handled correctly and treated immediately, the lower part of the brain stem – a vital part of the brain that controls breathing – can be damaged and ultimately lead to death. The only chance at survival is the complete and careful stabilization of the neck and head. But even then, survival is not guaranteed, and the risk of permanent paralysis is extremely high.

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Aurora workers compensation attorneysWhen you have been injured on the job, your first source of relief—after addressing your physical injuries—is usually provided by benefits offered through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation benefits typically offer coverage for medical expenses, temporary or permanent disability, and some recompense for lost wages. Because the law in Illinois requires employers to provide workers’ compensation for their employees, many workers simply take the system for granted. They give little thought to the reality that workers’ compensation is a type of insurance policy that the employer must purchase at the expense of the company.

High Expenses, Even for Safe Workers

In recent years, the growing costs of purchasing workers’ compensation in Illinois has led many business owners to question the sustainability of the current system. The neighboring states of Missouri and Indiana manage to offer comprehensive workers’ compensation benefits with a significantly lower price tag. One business leader, whose company offers trucking services, said that if he moved his 17 trucking jobs to Missouri, his company could save more than $25,000 annually, just on workers’ compensation costs. He could reportedly save $66,000 on the insurance by moving to Indiana. “We’re just a victim of a high-priced system,” the company president said.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyRecently, a new federal law went into effect that requires automobile rental companies to fix any vehicles on their lots that have been recalled. The drafting and passage of the law were largely byproducts of the tragic deaths of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, who were killed when their recalled rental car malfunctioned due to the company’s failure to repair it.

The Dangers of Renting Recalled Vehicles

In 2004, the auto manufacturer Chrysler notified Enterprise Rental Company that one of their models—the PT Cruiser—had a faulty power steering hose that needed to be replaced. However, rather than placing the car on the inventory list until repairs could be completed, the company continued to rent the vehicle. Tragically, the failure to replace the defective hose caused a loss of steering and a subsequent fire, which led to the untimely deaths of the Houck sisters.

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Kane County product liability lawyersNew medications and medical devices are constantly being introduced into the market. Laboratory tests and clinical trials often last for months, years, and even decades before the new products are deemed to be safe for human use. No matter how ‘safe’ a solution is said to be, however, there are always side effects that are possible. Every individual reacts to treatment differently, and it is the responsibility of the drug manufacturers to determine potential risks and disclose them to the public before use. Occasionally, problems will arise that were not foreseen during initial testing, and, unfortunately, the public is left with more suffering than positive results. Such seems to be the case for a product known as transvaginal mesh, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to label the product as a high-risk device

What Is Transvaginal Mesh?

Transvaginal mesh was created to treat women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), two side effects common with hysterectomies, menopause, and childbirth. Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor is weakened and the organs (bladder, rectum, and uterus) drop down into the vagina. The device is typically made of a special plastic known as polypropylene. It is a surgical mesh that implanted either abdominally or transvaginally, the latter of which is often easier to implant. For prolapse, the mesh is implanted in order to reinforce the pelvic floor. For incontinence, the mesh is used as a bladder sling that cradles the bladder for added support.

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Aurora IL construction accident attorneysConstruction is an invaluable industry that helps to keep our roads safe. Its workers grow and refurbish our cities by renovating old buildings and erecting new ones. Unfortunately, this industry is also one of the most dangerous professions in the country. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that approximately 5,000 workers die in construction site accidents each year. Cranes, which are used to move and hoist heavy equipment, building parts, and building supplies, account for a large portion of those injuries.

Crane Accidents Often Catastrophic

Between 1992 and 2006, 307 fatal crane accidents were reported. In those accidents, 323 workers died, which averages out to approximately 22 deaths per year. Though the number seems small, it is the often catastrophic results of these accidents, and their rates of fatality, that make them so concerning. In fact, 12 of those fatal accidents led to multiple worker deaths. Furthermore, non-workers, such as pedestrians on the sidewalk, bicyclists on the street, and people driving in cars are often injured or killed as well. In short, crane accidents can wreak complete havoc on anyone and everyone in the area. 

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Aurora defective products attorneysAmid lawsuit claims against Bayer and Jannsen Pharmaceuticals and concerns over the accuracy of clinical trials, company stocks have declined. In an effort to improve stocks (and to possibly improve image), the companies have started using celebrity marketing. But does this really divert attention away from the real risks? Sadly, it very well may.

About the Commercial

NBA player Chris Bosh, NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, golfing legend Arnold Palmer, and Saturday Night Live alumnus Kevin Nealon are all working with Xarelto to promote its use and efficacy in treating pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and stroke in people with atrial fibrillation. Each celebrity allegedly uses the drug as an alternative to other anticoagulants. One even reportedly switched to Xarelto after using Warfarin, which has both blood testing and dietary restrictions.

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