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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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Kane County construction site accident lawyerWhile construction work is necessary to help keep our roads safe, the time in which they are being repaired can be hazardous to both workers and passersby. In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration determined that 87,606 construction zone accidents occurred in 2010. Of those crashes, more than 500 resulted in at least one fatality. In addition, 37,476 drivers and more than 20,000 workers were injured. Unfortunately, sorting who is responsible for these accidents can be a rather difficult task.

Driver Responsibility in Construction Zones

Distracted driving is a major factor in automobile accidents today, and it happens to be one of the most prevalent issues in construction zone accidents. Considered an issue of driver negligence, it can include anything from talking or texting on a cellular phone to changing the radio station. In these instances, the driver can be held liable for any others who are injured, including workers.

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Kane County premises liability lawyersSerious injuries on school property, like those recently experienced by three Alabama high school students, can lead to expensive medical bills, time missed from work for the parents, or even death. Unfortunately, recovering damages for those expenses can be especially difficult when an incident occurs on school property. This is because, unlike other establishments that may be subject to premises liability lawsuits, public schools are considered protected government agencies. There are, however, a few provisions in place to aid parents whose children have been injured at an Illinois public school.

Premises Liability Basics

For a premises liability case to be considered valid, it must contain three basic elements:

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Kane County workers compensation lawyersA California man has spent the last five years in hospitals and assisted living centers instead of at home with his family after being paralyzed in a trucking accident. The reason? The workers’ compensation insurance that should have paid to have his home renovated appealed three different times instead of funding the updates that would have made it possible for him to live at home full-time.

A Five-Year Battle

When he woke up after the accident, the first thing the man could think about was whether or not he had injured anyone else when his truck crashed. He gave no thought to his own circumstances, despite being rendered a quadriplegic – just the well-being of others on the road. So, when he was told that he was the only one injured in the crash, he was able to accept his medical fate with grace. What he was not able to accept was living in an assisted living facility an hour away from his family.

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Aurora personal injury lawyersUnder current state law, complaints of nursing home negligence or abuse against Illinois nursing homes can be made anonymously. A recently proposed bill, sponsored by East Peoria Representative Mike Unes, could ban such complaints. Advocates say this bill would cut back on the amount of time wasted on fraudulent complaints, but the opposition feels it would only deter valid ones. The real question is: who is right?

Lawmakers Say Bill Would Keep Caller Information Confidential

Already approved by a House committee and awaiting a vote from the Senate, the bill (otherwise known as House Bill 5601) would completely prohibit anonymity in nursing home complaints. Instead, callers would be required to leave their contact information so that the state could contact them with any further questions or information. The caller would also be informed that a false complaint could carry criminal charges. The goal, according to Unes, is to reduce the number of fraudulent calls while improving communication with those filing reports, but between the fear of facing charges and the fear of retaliation, some callers may decide that leaving their information is too much of a risk.

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self-driving cars, driverless vehicles, Aurora car accident lawyersDriverless cars are thought to be the wave of the future, a way to decrease risks of distracted driving and improve safety. Unfortunately, the world is a long way off from actually realizing such a phenomenon. Case in point: the recent accident involving a bus and a Google autonomous vehicle (AV). This poses some potential setbacks for the company and driverless cars as a whole, but it also leaves many wondering who would be to blame in situations such as this.

About the Crash

While traveling about two miles per hour, the Google AV driver noticed a bus approaching in their left side mirror but mistakenly believed the bus would either stop or slow down to let them pass. The car’s software also apparently thought the bus would stop. Instead, as the Google AV re-entered the center lane, it made contact with the side of the bus, which was operating at about 15 miles per hour at the time of the accident. Sandbags in the road are also thought to be a contributing factor in the accident.

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hit-and-run accident, injury liability, Aurora car accident lawyerIn a perfect world, every person would take accountability for their actions, all parties in an accident would carry adequate insurance and exchange information, and victims would never have to worry about how they will cover their medical expenses or vehicle repairs. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect, as indicated by a hit-and-run accident involving an Illinois police officer.

The crash occurred in Hammond, Illinois, and seriously injured a motorcycle rider. The police officer, a 13-year veteran of the Evanston Police Department, was driving his personal vehicle, and was subsequently charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury. The case is currently pending. 

Hit-and-Run Accidents on the Rise

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sleep apnea, workplace injury, Kane County workers compensation lawyersAccording to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occur each year. Of those cases, more than half involved missed workdays, job transfers, or work restrictions. Trips and slips, electrocutions, repetitive motion injuries, machine entanglement, vehicle crashes, and falling objects are some of the most common causes, which can affect anyone. However, a new study suggests that sleep apnea sufferers may be especially prone to workplace injuries.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that blocks the airway during sleep and then causes wakefulness throughout the night, affects approximately 22 million Americans. Sufferers often experience marked daytime sleepiness and fatigue due to the disruption of the brain’s normal sleeping cycle, but few awaken fully during obstructive episodes. As a result, many cases go undiagnosed.

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