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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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Aurora medical malpractice lawyersNearly four million Americans undergo cataract surgery each and every year. This makes it the most commonly performed operation in the country. Unfortunately, it also happens to have more errors than it should, given its relative simplicity and low overall risk. In fact, an independent state agency investigation documented 28 serious errors in the state of Massachusetts alone. If that were to be translated into a national total, it could amount to hundreds of patients being injured by preventable medical errors each and every year.  

Cataract Surgery Generally Considered a Safe and Routine Procedure

During cataract surgery, an eye surgeon removes a person’s natural lens and then replaces it with a manufactured one. In total, it generally takes less than a half hour to complete, and the patient, who once suffered from cloudy and obstructed vision, often experiences a dramatic improvement once the process is complete. But the procedure has become so safe and so routine that some nurses, anesthetists, and doctors may be making some serious failures when it comes to protocol.

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Aurora personal injury attorneysDistracted driving causes more than 3,000 deaths per year and more than 400,000 injuries. Safety advocates, scientists, and researchers have been working hard to find a way to reduce those numbers but have struggled to get drivers to understand the implications. But the results from a new study, and the development of a new safety alert, could go a long way in helping them make some headway.

Research Reveals Why Texting and Driving Is So Dangerous

Previous studies have indicated that distracted driving can increase a driver’s risk of accident by as much as ten times. Researchers from the University of Houston sought to determine the accuracy of those figures, and to see if one form of distraction was more dangerous than another. In an experiment that tested the driving habits of 59 drivers, the research team observed drivers on four separate routes on a simulator.

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Kane County personal injury attorneysMore than half of all traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the result of a traffic accident. A startling portion of those individuals suffer long-term complications, including memory loss, confusion, poor concentration, and even balance problems. A new experimental therapy is hoping to help those who suffer from residual TBI symptoms, particularly those that have continued balance problems.

Therapy Already Found Fairly Successful in MS Patients

Otherwise known as Portable Neuromodulation Stimulation, the therapy is a non-invasive technique that uses a mouthpiece containing 143 different electrodes. Used in a double-blind study of 14 MS patients who suffered from gait and/or balance, the device was used during intense, 20-minute guided physiotherapy sessions over the course of 14 weeks. Results showed that all participants had improved, but those in the “active” group reportedly had improvements that were not seen in patients from the study’s control group. Researchers, who were tentative to claim this as a positive or affirmative result, have decided to expand testing to include those who have suffered from TBI and experience balance and/or gait issues.

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Aurora Workers Compensation LawyersAlthough every state in the U.S. offers some form of workers’ compensation for those injured at work, the programs themselves vary greatly. Take, for example, the maximum compensation for losing a limb while on the job. In Illinois, you might receive as much as $439,858, but in Alabama, the maximum payout is only $48,840 - nearly $400,000 less.

When paired with the varied availability of services, maximum monthly compensation, and maximum time-frame for receiving that compensation, these massive disparities and differences can make a substantial difference in the lives of injured workers. A new study, conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, sought to understand how by examining the long-term recovery and outcomes of victims in 15 states.

Access to Services Vary Significantly from State to State

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Aurora personal injury attorneyEach and every day in the United States, an average of 28 people die in an automobile accident involving an intoxicated driver. This accounts for nearly one-third of all U.S. traffic accident deaths each and every year. Designated driver commercials and campaigns and even free ride services are in place to prevent such tragedies, yet 1.5 million people are arrested for driving over the legal limit during any given year. To help raise awareness and show the real consequences of drunk driving, more than 600 Illinois residents recently participated in a race to honor one victim.

Made the Right Choice but in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

The young man, a former Heartland Community College and Illinois State University student had been out drinking with his friends the night of the accident that took his life. But, unlike the driver that hit him, he had ridden with a designated driver. He had made the right choice but, ultimately, had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and still became a victim of a drunk driving accident.

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