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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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workers comp reform, Kane County workers compensation lawyersWorkers’ compensation began as an arrangement designed to benefit all parties when it came to handling on-the-job injuries. Workers could receive compensation for their medical bills and time off of work without having to go through the lengthy process of a lawsuit. Employers, who were beginning to face dwindling defense options in the courtroom, could use the claims and insurance process to better manage costs. And legislators saw it as a way to create a more financially secure economy. 

Sadly, those days are long gone.

Today, the workers’ compensation process is lengthy and complex. Thousands of injured workers have their claims denied, leaving them with unpaid medical bills and no paid time off of work to heal. In the best of situations, they struggle to pay for the care they need, but eventually heal and return to work—still capable of paying off their debts, despite being a little poorer. In the worst of cases, their injuries left them permanently disabled (or deceased). With no means to pay their lifelong health care costs of living expenses, they fall into poverty and never find their way out. 

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road accidents with farm-equipment, Kane County personal injury attorneysAlthough automobile accidents with farm equipment are less frequent than other collisions, they can be just as devastating. A recent incident involving a train and a tractor reminds both drivers and farmers to be more mindful of the laws, and of each other. 

Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment

Due to the continued building of new homes in rural areas, more and more suburbanites and urbanites are finding themselves in new driving situations with slow-moving farm equipment. And when you are about being late to work, late at dropping the kids off at school, or simply in a hurry, it is easy to make an irrational decision. Unfortunately, this decision can have serious or fatal consequences. Improve road safety for everyone—including yourself—with these rural driving tips: 

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winter car maintenance, Kane County car accident attorneysWinter is officially upon us, and that means the weather is a bit dreary. It also means Chicagoans are at great risk of finding themselves stranded in the middle of a winter storm because of vehicle problems, poor road conditions, or automobile accidents. Prepare yourself and your loved ones this season with these winter car maintenance tips.

Perform Winter Maintenance on Your Car

While they do not account for every stranding or accident, vehicle maintenance issues can and do greatly increase the risk of both. As such, it is important that you take the time to perform some simple but extremely important to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. Do so by either hiring a mechanic to check the following, or do it yourself:

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birth injuries in Illinois, Kane County medical malpractice lawyersBefore giving birth, parents have an expectation, a vision of what life will be like. They may not be aware of it, and it may not be fully defined, but it still exists. When a birth injury happens, those expectations—the dream—is shattered, and the very definition of parenthood and what it will look like must be altered. Who is responsible for the grief? The changes? The loss?

Most couples would look to the doctors, nurses, and hospital that treated them. They are, after all, the ones that made the decisions that led up to the injury. But one couple is looking further up, all the way to the United States government, which has been recently named in their birth injury lawsuit. 

Pregnancy and Birth

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While television is notorious for exaggerating reality, there is one thing the medical sitcoms have correct: medical interns work ridiculously long hours. Two unpublished studies that aim to examine how those long hours might affect work quality and safety have recently come under criticism. The concern is patient safety—as it should be—but the studies have been permitted to move forward. And that has a lot of medical professionals worried that medical errors relating to sleep deprivation will increase.

Doctors That Never Sleep

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