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Aurora personal injury attorneysThe trucking industry transports goods across the country and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. Large trucks, however, can also cause a great deal of harm to other drivers and passengers on the road. In fact, estimates from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that more than 1,000 truck crashes occur each year. Such accidents often involve other vehicles, of course, leading to the thousands of injuries and hundreds of tragic deaths. Why do so many truck accidents occur happen, and what can victims do to ensure they are compensated for their losses?

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

While there are many potential reasons that a truck accident may occur, many are related to driver fatigue, alcohol or drug use, and speeding. In fact, data from the FMCSA shows these as the most common causes of truck crashes – nearly 90 percent of them, to be more specific. Other factors, such as those pertaining to weather and road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and other critical reasons accounted for just 13 percent of all serious or fatal truck accidents in a recent study.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyOver the last several years, rideshare services like Uber have offered unprecedented competition to taxicabs and other forms of public transportation. Of course, the rise of ridesharing has not been without controversy as many believe that any type of transportation should be subject to strict regulations to ensure passenger safety. Uber’s contracting practices have also been the focus of public scrutiny, yet thousands—if not millions—of riders continue to use the service every day in cities throughout the world. Sometimes, however, accidents do happen, and when they do, it is important to know your rights.

Police and Uber Collide

Even the most careful drivers cannot prevent every accident. Such was the case for an Uber driver this week when he unwittingly entered a police chase on West Roosevelt Road. According to news reports, Chicago police tried to pull over an SUV for a traffic violation in Lawndale when the SUV sped away, prompting the police to give chase. The pursuit continued into the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood. The police car collided with a vehicle being driven by an Uber driver who was transporting a passenger at the time of the crash.

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Kane County auto accident lawyerTypically, accidents that receive compensation for a head injury are those that result in concussion, but is this truly the baseline for trauma? A recent study on young football players suggest it may not be. In fact, even players who never received a concussion diagnosis had subtle changes to their brains. This suggests that head injuries in all types of accidents, including those sustained in auto accidents, may deserve a closer look when deciding whether a victim may be owed compensatory damages.

About the Study

Conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the study examined a small sampling of young football players – just 25 of them, all of whom were between the ages of eight and 13. Images of their brains were taken prior to the start of the football season and then again at the end. The team also installed sensors into their helmets to record data on the frequency of head impact. What they found was that, even among those that had not received a concussion during the season, slight and subtle changes had occurred within the brain over the course of the season.

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Kane County workers compensation lawyerOver the years, many states have become safer for workers. Safety standards have increased, exposure to toxic and cancer-causing materials has decreased, and better worker education have resulted in fewer severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, the country as a whole, including Illinois, has come a long way from past decades. However, Illinois has been slipping as of late. According to the Insurance Journal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported a 28 percent increase in worker fatalities since 2013. In 2016, alone, at least 36 Illinois workers were killed on the job. If you were injured while working or a family member lost their life in a work-related accident or resulting illness, contact a skilled attorney today for immediate assistance.

Struck-by Hazards and Falls

Those at considerable risk of fatal injury are construction workers. Being struck by an object or falling are the two largest hazards for construction workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls accounted for 33.3 percent of construction worker fatalities and being hit by an object accounted for 17.6 percent of fatalities. Transportation accounted for 26 percent, while “exposure” accounted for 15.7 percent. Exposure fatalities include death by electrocution, air pressure changes, caustic and noxious substances, and temperature extremes.

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Kane County personal injury attorneysWhen an accident occurs on public property, it can be very difficult to obtain compensation from any government agency. This is due, in large part, to laws which limit an injured party’s ability to sue a government entity or employee in most cases. The law, however, does not offer immunity in every situation. For example, a recent ruling by an Illinois appeals court has opened the door for further action by a bicycle rider who was injured while riding on Chicago’s Lakefront Trail.

Governmental Immunity Laws

In Illinois, the Local Government and Government Employees Tort Immunity Act (the Act), affords protection to municipal governments, agencies, and their employees in most personal injury cases. It specifically provides immunity for injuries caused by conditions of public recreation areas unless a local entity or employee is guilty of willful or wanton conduct that caused the injuries. The Act also provides absolute immunity for injuries that occur on access roads to “fishing, hunting, or primitive camping, recreation, or scenic areas.”

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Aurroa personal injury attorneysWhen you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that you believe was the result of another party’s actions or negligence, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. If the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation and compromise, filing a lawsuit may be the next logical step. Where you choose to file your action is an important decision, as the forum you select must have jurisdiction over the parties involved. This was recently called into question in a lawsuit stemming from a headline-grabbing accident from 2014 involving an automobile and interstate bus en route from Atlanta to Chicago.

The Accident

In October 2014, a double-decker Megabus was traveling on Interstate 65 near Greenwood, Indiana as it made its way to Chicago from Atlanta. A car on the same highway lost control and hit a barrier, causing the car to become disabled on the roadway. The Megabus hit the car, and the driver overcorrected, leading the bus flipping on its side, court documents indicate. The crash injured a number of passengers, 12 of whom filed lawsuits against the bus company alleging driver negligence.

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Kane County product liability attorneyWhen a person is injured, ill, or otherwise in need of medical care, he or she expect thats the equipment used to treat them is 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 undisclosed, 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 which concluded that serious device-related safety problems are “extremely rare.” Of course, as with most self-funded studies, the findings may have been more than a little myopic. Reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows just how flawed the study may have been. 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 personal injury attorneyNo one should be above the law. Yet, in the minds of some, this is exactly what a group representing firefighters and municipalities are trying to accomplish by introducing a bill that would reinstate the so-called “public duty rule.” The law, which dates back to the 1800s, broadly protected paramedics and firefighters from lawsuits while on the job, even when those actions stemmed from willful or wanton negligence. Essentially, no form of conduct – even conduct that intentionally or recklessly endangered the public – was considered reprehensible under the law.

Public Duty Rule Unnecessary and Unlawful

Under any other circumstance, the public has the right to expect that they will be protected from harm or injury caused by negligence, recklessness, or maliciousness. Drunk drivers receive criminal penalties and may be taken to court for damages. Negligent physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and hospitals may be subject to malpractice lawsuits and, in some circumstances, could lose their license to practice medicine. Even business owners are expected to provide reasonable protections to their patrons; failure to do so makes them subject to a premises liability lawsuit.

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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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