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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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train accident, Kane County personal injury lawyerTrain accidents are rather rare, which makes them exceptionally memorable when they do happen. Such is the case in a recent accident between a truck and a train in Homer, Illinois. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed. The driver of the truck may be due compensation, however, since the accident could have been prevented.

Unmarked Construction

According to the city’s police chief, seven cars had derailed about a week prior to the accident in question. The company that owns the line had allegedly closed the road to clean up the aftermath and fix the problem, but the contractor who was working on the repairs reportedly moved the barricades from both sides and then forgot to return them before leaving. This made it an unmarked construction zone – one with a hole reportedly so deep, it managed to stop the 72-year-old man’s truck as he tried to driver over the tracks.

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negativity, Kane County car accident lawyersPessimism, or a negative bias, has an impact on almost every aspect of your life, including your mood, relationships, and even your health. Now, science has added a new potential risk for those that see the world as a half empty glass: they may be more prone to experiencing motor vehicle accidents.

Negative Bias Increases Response Time to Negative Stimuli

In the study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Psychology interviewed 38 drivers with at least three years of driving experience. Using the number of penalty points on their driving records, the participants were then split into two groups – 23 were considered “safe” drivers and 15 were considered “dangerous” drivers.

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product liability; Aurora product liability attorneysAccording to public policy, consumers have the right to expect certain measures have been taken to ensure the products they purchase are safe for use. Those measures extend to the product’s design, manufacturing, labeling, and marketing. When companies fail to meet those minimum product safety requirements, they become liable for the injuries or deaths caused.

Recalled AquaRug Bath Mats 

According to The Washington Post, Tristar Products, Inc., is currently facing an injury lawsuit over the safety of their AquaRug bath mats. Recalled after 40 online customers filed complaints, the 1.4 million bathmats are said to have faulty suction cups that do not stay in place, which creates a fall risk for consumers. One such consumer reportedly fell while using the AquaRug bath mat.

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"firefighters,Firefighters: just the word invokes a sense of admiration. They are, after all, some of the only men and women that would rush into a burning building to save a life. But, because they are inhaling smoke, combustion by-products, and ash quite frequently, these very same heroes are also three times more likely than the average person to end up with cancer. The only thing more concerning than that statistic is just how difficult it often is for them to receive workers’ compensation.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Study

In 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed cancers and cancer deaths of nearly 30,000 firefighters from the Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Departments. When their rates were compared to the general public, NIOSH found firefighters were 68 percent more likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer.

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concussions, Kane County personal injury lawyersEach year, around 2.5 million Americans suffer from a concussion. Around 50,000 die from their injuries while the remaining victims suffer from a variety of symptoms for weeks, months, years, or possibly even longer. Most of those symptoms include temporary issues, such as difficulty concentrating, personality changes, confusion, balance problems, and headaches. However, a recent study has linked concussions to potentially lifelong and life-altering complications.

New, Lifelong Risks of a Concussion

Over the past few years, researchers, doctors, and scientists have more closely examined concussions and their propensity for long-term complications. Links to a variety of lifelong and life-altering issues have been uncovered in a number of studies, including an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, suicide, and other psychiatric disturbances. Some of the evidence is said to be merely circumstantial at this point, but most healthcare professionals now maintain that a head injury is more sinister than previously thought.

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sexual abuse, Aurora personal injury attorneyYoung boys who are sentenced to a juvenile detention center are there to reform and learn that crime does not pay. But what happens when they are shown otherwise as they are sexually victimized, and the perpetrator remains unpunished and undisciplined? And why is it happening so often? A recent study from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics unveiled the alarming frequency but, unfortunately, we still do not have all the answers.

Sex Abuse Allegations in Detention Centers Have Doubled

According to various reports, the number of juveniles placed in detention centers has decreased. Yet, after analyzing data collected from the administrators of more than 1,400 state, local, and private juvenile detention centers, researchers determined that the rate of sex abuse allegations against guards and other staff members has doubled. In fact, the report indicated that, between 2007 and 2014, some 10 percent of children have reported sexual abuse while serving time.

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Aurora personal injury attorneyStatistics attribute anywhere from 65,000 to 200,000 deaths to medical accidents per year. Interestingly enough, a recently-published New England Journal of Medicine study suggests that many of those deaths might be the doing of just a small fraction of physicians. At the very least, the authors claimed to have linked one-third of all malpractice claims to just one percent of all doctors. This, paired with the set of distinctive characteristics outlined by the authors, could have a lot of people looking at their doctors very differently.

Bulk-Share of Paid Malpractice Claims Linked to Small Percentage of Doctors

Study authors examined more than 66,000 paid medical malpractice claims against 55,000 physicians between 2005 and 2014. Of those physicians, only six percent had a paid malpractice claim over the entire 10-year period. Only one percent of all physicians had more than one claim, and they ended up being responsible for about a third of all the filed malpractice claims during the study period. About a third of those claims resulted in patient death, and 54 percent caused serious injury.

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By Patrick M. Kinnally

unemployment, Kane County general litigation attorneysAn employee cannot collect unemployment benefits if he or she has been discharged for "misconduct" in connection with their job. But what type of misconduct creates ineligibility?

Section 602 (A) of the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act 820 ILCS 405/602(A) says that misconduct is:

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defective products, Aurora personal injury attorneysCar seats go through a number of safety tests to ensure they keep infants safe during an accident. Unfortunately, defective car seats still make their way onto store shelves and put children’s lives at risk. The latest recall includes approximately 71,000 Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seats and travel systems. The risk involves the potential cracking or breaking of the carrier handle, which can pose a fall or injury risk to infants.

Understanding the Risk

Most parents opt for infant carriers during the first few months to make carrying infants in and out of the car easier. Generally, it is the carrier’s handle that makes this ease of movement possible. Unfortunately, the Britax company has received 74 reports of fractured, cracked, or broken  handles – all of which occurred while the car seat was in use. In one, an infant allegedly suffered a bump to the head when the carrier fell to the ground.

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construction site accidents, Aurora personal injury attorneysOut of all industries, construction is considered to be one of the most dangerous for workers and for the general public. In fact, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration attributes around 20 percent of all fatal workplace injuries to the construction injuries. Nonfatal injuries are also much more common among construction workers. The general public is, in turn, often put at risk because of the accidents that cause workplace injuries and fatalities to workers. To reduce the occurrence and risks to all, one Canadian study suggests the use of union workers.  

Construction Worker Deaths and Injuries in the United States

Within the construction industry, four types of accidents are responsible for 57 percent of all fatalities – falls (responsible for 39 percent of construction fatalities), being caught between objects (2 percent), being struck by an object (10 percent), and electrocution (9 percent). If these four types of injuries were completely eliminated, it would save approximately 435 American lives each and every year.

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doctor probation, Illinois medical malpractice lawyersDo you know if your doctor is on probation for misconduct, abuse, or negligence? The hospital they work at does. Their medical malpractice insurance company does. But consumer advocate groups say that, unless you know to look, you may never know. One group is looking to change all of that in California by pushing for a patient disclosure provision with the state Medical Board. If successful, it could very well change the way all patients (and doctors) look at medical care and treatment.

Physicians and Probation

Doctors can be placed on probation for a number of things, such as sexual misconduct, substance abuse, violence, patient deaths, incompetence, and negligence (and those are just the beginning). State boards stress that these doctors – the ones that are simply placed on probation but never lose their license – are still allowed to practice medicine, but there are some highly disturbing statistics when it comes to risk.

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

The Affordable Care Act Penalties

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

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

Wear the Right Gear

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

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