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Determining Fault in a Weather-Related Car Accident

Aurora weather-related car accident lawyerCar accidents can be very scary, and they can have a major physical, mental, and even emotional impact on the people who are involved. Weather-related car accidents are absolutely no exception, and accidents which take place in the winter may be even more nerve-wracking than accidents in warmer weather. Every year in the United States, there are an average of nearly 5,900 deaths caused by weather-related car accidents, and over 445,000 injuries are reported. If you have been involved in a weather-related car accident, you may find yourself confused about who is at fault and how to receive compensation for your damages.

Who Is at Fault?

If one person is involved in a weather-related car accident, such as when they lose control of their vehicle and run into a guardrail, snow bank, or tree, they are automatically at fault, even if law enforcement does not issue a ticket. When a claim is filed regarding the car accident, points will be added to the driver’s record, most likely increasing their insurance premiums in the future. The driver will also be responsible for paying their collision coverage, which requires a deductible to be paid to get the car repaired. 

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Nursing Home Abuse Vs. Nursing Home Neglect

Kane County nursing home abuse and neglect attorneyThere are more than 1.6 million individuals who live in nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities in the United States, and around 900,000 people live in residential care facilities or assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, due to inadequate staffing and improper training in these facilities, there are far too many cases where elderly individuals are either abused or neglected

Even though the terms nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are often used interchangeably, they are distinct forms of mistreatment, and it is important to understand the differences between these two offenses.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

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Workers’ Comp: Permanent Partial Vs. Permanent Total Disability

Kane County workers' comp disability lawyerIf you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers compensation benefits, especially if you are no longer able to go back to work due to the nature of your injury. If severely injured, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Even though there are two different types of permanent disability benefits, there is a major difference between permanent partial disability (PPD) and permanent total disability (PTD), and it is important to understand the distinction between the two types.

Permanent Partial Disability

In order to receive permanent partial disability benefits, an injured individual may still earn income from their job, but they are partially impaired from a permanent injury. Permanent partial disability can include the following injuries:

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Recognizing the Signs of Sexual Abuse

Kane County sexual abuse attorneyWhen someone is a victim of sexual abuse, they may experience a wide variety of physical and emotional problems throughout their lives. Depending on a victim’s age group and personality, every person displays their reactions to sexual abuse differently than others. It is important for friends and family members to recognize the signs of abuse and help their loved ones seek help when needed.

Sexual Abuse Warning Signs in Children

Research shows that one in five girls and one in 20 boys are affected by child sexual abuse. Between the ages of seven and 13 years old, children are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse. If a child has been sexually abused, then he or she will likely display the following signs:

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Avoiding Personal Injuries From Medical Malpractice

Oswego medical malpractice lawyerEvery year, millions of patients visit a doctor or hospital to receive medical treatment. Most of the time, they expect to have their issues taken care of, and they trust doctors and nurses to provide quality care. However, there are far too many cases in which medical procedures go wrong, and serious injury or death occurs as a result. When someone is injured due to the negligence of medical providers, they may be able to seek compensation for medical malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare professional causes injury or death to a patient, due to an error in diagnosis, treatment, health management, or aftercare. Medical negligence is responsible for the deaths of over 400,000 Americans every year, with these medical errors costing the country more than $19 billion. 

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How to Prevent Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents this Holiday Season

Naperville slip and fall accident attorneyThe holiday season has officially begun, and as the weather gets colder and we begin to experience snowy and icy conditions, the roads and sidewalks are likely to become slick. Slippery walkways can lead to premises accidents, and when these types of accidents occur while someone is working, they can result in expensive workplace injury claims. To prevent serious injuries and even death, both employers and employees should take steps to stay safe during the holidays.  

Slip and Fall Injury Statistics and Prevention Tips

In 2014, slip and fall accidents resulted in over 247,000 workplace injuries that resulted in time off from work, including 818 worker deaths. To avoid these types of injuries and the personal and professional costs that can result, follow these tips:

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8 Tips for Avoiding Distracted Driving Car Accidents

Kane County distracted driving accident lawyerDistracted driving is risky and dangerous. It is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States; in 2015, distracted driving led to crashes that claimed the lives of 3,477 people and caused 391,000 injuries. 

Distracted driving involves any activity that causes a driver to take their attention off the road. Eating, drinking, and talking to passengers are activities that often distract drivers, and cell phone use is one of the primary causes of distracted driving. In fact, about 660,000 drivers utilize their cell phones while driving during daylight hours every day in the U.S.  

Here are some tips on how you can avoid distracted driving:

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Types of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Naperville workers' compensation benefits attorneyWorkplace injuries can be devastating to your life and your finances, impacting not only your health and well-being, but your ability to earn an income and provide for your family. For employees who are injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits allow them to obtain financial relief due to the situation and/or injury. There are three types of workers’ comp benefits: 

  1. Disability benefits: These benefits replace the wages an injured employee loses due to their inability to work. The injury the employee has must be work-related. Disabilities fall into four groups: 
    • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If an employee has this type of disability, that means they are unable to earn income in the future from the type of job he or she held when they received the injury. Employees with a permanent disability are eligible to receive lifetime disability payments.
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): This type of disability partly hinders the employee’s ability to earn income. Examples include the loss of a finger or hearing loss. In these cases, an employee will typically receive an award based on the body part that was injured and the percentage of impairment.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Also referred to as short-term disability, this type of disability benefit is for employees who are partially and temporarily disabled by the work-related injury. Benefits in these cases are typically available while the employee is recovering from their injury.
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): The employee cannot work at all for a short amount of time due to his or her work-related injury. In these cases, an Illinois employee will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage until they are able to return to work.
  2. Medical benefits: Medical benefits often have no deductible and are unlimited. Payments are made until the injured individual is provided with the maximum amount of relief or is cured completely. The medical bills are sent to the workers’ compensation carrier. In Illinois, employees can use a doctor from their employer’s Preferred Provider Program (PPP), or they may choose one other doctor. If their employer does not have a PPP, they may choose up to two doctors.
  3. Death benefits: If an employee passes away because of a work-related injury, death benefits are paid to the employee’s dependents. In Illinois, these benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, paid until the death of a surviving spouse or until dependent children reach the age of 18, whichever comes later. Funeral and burial costs up to $8,000 are also covered by death benefits in Illinois. 

Contact a Kane County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you were injured while on the job, or if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness but your employer is withholding benefits or wages from you, contact our firm today. Our attorneys will assess your situation and help obtain the best resolution for you and your family. We understand what workers and their families go through when they are unable to work due to an injury or illness, and we will aggressively fight for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Contact an Aurora workers’ comp attorney at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.

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Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Oswego nursing home neglect attorneyYou should always take your time when viewing potential nursing homes for your loved one. Observing the general emotional state of the patients and the physical condition of the facility is imperative in ensuring you choose a nursing home that will take care of your loved one well. However, when your family member is living in a nursing facility, it can be sometimes difficult to ascertain whether abuse or neglect have occurred and resulted in your loved one suffering from an illness or ailment. The following are some general signs of abuse or neglect that you should look out for in a nursing home:

  1. Observe the physical conditions of the facility. If the nursing home you are visiting is consistently dirty and smells foul, consider looking for a new facility. 
  1. Look for signs of any pain your loved one is experiencing. Bruises could occur because of abuse or a fall which happened due to insufficient supervision. 
  1. Watch out for any weight loss. This could be a sign of inattentiveness to your loved one’s eating habits or diet. 
  1. The inattentiveness of nursing home staff members can also lead to your loved ones developing bed sores. These sores can occur if a person is unable to get out of bed, move, or turn over, causing them to remain in the same position for a long time.
  1. Look out for emotional abuse, such as being ignored. This type of treatment may cause a resident to experience a change in their mood, sleeping patterns, weight, or appetite. 
  1. Nursing home staff members should be ready to answer any questions you have. If the staff are not responding to your questions or are deflecting them, then you should take that as a warning sign. 
  1. If the nursing home is often understaffed or the staff often seems frantic, then you should take that as another warning sign. An adequate number of staff members is important to ensure that residents are taken care of and given an appropriate amount of attention.
  1. Residents should never feel uncomfortable or anxious about staff members. If your loved one does not want a certain staff member to serve them without being able to express a reason, that staff member may be treating them poorly.  

Contact a Kane County Personal Injury Lawyer 

Your loved ones deserve to be taken care of and treated well during the final years of their life. If your family member has experienced any form of neglect or abuse while receiving treatment at a nursing facility, the attorneys of Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. are committed to helping you obtain compensation for the damages which they have suffered. Contact a Naperville nursing home abuse lawyer at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation. 

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6 Tips for the Proper Use of a Child Safety Seat

Kane County car accident lawyer car seat safetyHere is a sobering statistic: the leading cause of death in U.S. children ages three to 14 is car accidents. In 2014, 121,350 children aged 12 and younger were injured in a car accident, and in 2015, more than 663 children died in a motor vehicle accident.

Studies have shown that consistent use of a car seat for young children can help prevent severe injury in the event of a car accident. However, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in a single year, more than 618,000 children aged 12 and under rode in a car without the use of a car seat, booster seat, or a seatbelt. 

The proper use of a car seat (also called a child safety seat) is essential in preventing children from being severely injured during a car accident. Here are six tips that outline how to properly use a child safety seat:

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Kane County defective medical products lawyerWhen you are injured, ill, or otherwise in need of medical care, you expect that the equipment used to treat you will be 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 under-discussed, 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 that concluded how serious device-related safety problems are “extremely rare.” Of course, as with most funded studies, the results were thought by many to be flawed. Reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows just how severely. 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 medical malpractice attorneyIf you have ever been hospitalized for any reason, you probably know the feeling of homesickness that often develops quickly. Even a short hospital stay forces many to wonder how soon they can escape the antiseptic smell, checks by doctors and nurses and at all hours, and the often questionable food. In most cases, a patient must remain in the hospital under he or she is well enough to go home to a relatively non-controlled environment with no—or limited—professional supervision. Unfortunately, however, cost-cutting efforts and other factors have been blamed for the uptick in cases where patients are discharged from the hospital too soon. Early hospital discharge can put lives in danger and open the door to possible medical malpractice claims.

Creating a Plan

Deciding when to send a patient home can be challenging, but the doctor and the patient must work together in developing a discharge plan. The patient knows his or her body and, generally, has a good idea of his or her own limitations. The doctor will better know what symptoms need to be monitored as well as certain conditions that could develop once the patient leaves the hospital. If both the doctor and patient are comfortable with the decision to discharge and the patient fully understands the recommended course of follow-up treatment, it is probably fine for the patient to go home.

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Aurora workers compensation lawyersWhen you suffer an injury in the course of performing your job, you are usually eligible to collect benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System. Workers’ comp benefits typically cover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses that you may have incurred as the result of your injury. But, getting hurt at work is not necessarily the same as getting hurt in course of performing your job, as an Illinois appeals court recently determined.

Injured During Lunch

The case arose out of a 2012 injury sustained by a woman who worked at a DuPage County high school. The woman fell as she was leaving the building to go home for lunch, slipping on wet pavement on a handicap ramp. According to court documents, the woman stumbled, struggled to regain her balance, then fell forward “face first onto the pavement.” She was subsequently diagnosed with a broken nose, post-concussive syndrome, and injuries to her shoulder and hip.

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Kane County personal injury attorneyWhen a person is injured due to the failure or poor performance of a defective product, he or she may usually seek compensation from a number of parties. In many cases, the maker of the product may be held liable, along with distributors, retailers, and other entities involved with the production, preparation, and sale of the product in question. Determining which party is truly at fault can be challenging, of course, but doing so is necessary for obtaining the damages the injured person needs to put his or her life back together.

Some of the difficulties were recently highlighted in a case that is currently pending in Illinois. In this case, a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer petitioned to be removed as a defendant due to a lack of personal jurisdiction by Illinois courts.

A Line of Defendants

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Aurora workers' compensation lawyersIn workplaces across the country, employees utilize a wide variety of chemicals and other substances in the course of doing their jobs. While some chemicals are relatively safe, others present serious dangers, including the possibility of chemical burns. If you have suffered a chemical burn on the job, it is important to seek treatment right away and to know your rights regarding workers’ compensation.

Hazardous Chemicals

A chemical that can cause serious burns is typically a strong acid or base. Some of these substances can be found in the average home, such as drain cleaners, chlorine bleach, and ammonia. In an industrial setting, however, there are countless types of chemicals that may be used for a wide variety of applications, including many highly concentrated acids and alkaline solutions.

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Kane County personal injury lawyersEach year, approximately 1.7 million Americans are diagnosed with some type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. A sudden blow to the head typically causes such injuries. It is a little more difficult to pin down the number of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as many are never diagnosed or seek treatment. Experts estimate that somewhere around 8 percent of American adults—or more than 24 million—are afflicted with PTSD.

Those who develop PTSD are often the victims of rape or assault or soldiers who have witnessed intense combat situations. A recent study, however, suggests that TBI victims may also be more likely to develop PTSD than the average person. Such a link could have an effect on accident cases that involve head and brain injuries.

Examining the Relationship

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Kane County personal injury attorneysWhen an auto accident occurs, it is important to determine who was at fault. The determination of fault is typically relied upon to establish which party is responsible for covering the resulting damages. In some cases, fault is fairly clear. For example, a driver who crashes into another vehicle that is stopped a red light is probably at fault. In other cases, fault is more difficult to determine, as both drivers may have played a role in causing the accident. If more than one party is at least partly to blame for an accident in Illinois, liability for any damages or injuries sustained may also be shared.

Pure Contributory Negligence

There are three basic types of comparative fault models in use throughout the United States. Each addresses how damages may be affected when a personal injury plaintiff shares in the responsibility for causing the incident in which he or she was injured. The first is called “pure contributory negligence” and is only used by four states and the District of Columbia. The pure contributory negligence rule provides that an injured party may not receive any compensation whatsoever if he or she shares any responsibility for the accident. The defendant could be 99 percent at fault, but if the injured party is held responsible for the remaining portion, no damages can be awarded.

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Aurora product liability lawyersLast month’s solar eclipse was, for many, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many thousands of people purchased glasses designed to allow them to watch the eclipse without risking injury to their eyes. Unfortunately, not all of the specialty glasses performed as intended, and there have been reports of eye injuries caused as a result.

One couple who bought eclipse glasses on Amazon has now filed a class action lawsuit against the company. They claim that the glasses were faulty and caused them to sustain eye injuries. The couple said they experienced headaches and vision impairment after watching the solar eclipse while wearing the glasses. Amazon had issued a recall on the glasses on August 10, but the claimants said they were not informed of the recall. They want Amazon to cover the costs of monitoring the damage caused by the recalled glasses.

A Dangerous Phenomenon

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Aurora personal injury attorneyGetting into a car accident is frightening, confusing, and stressful. A thousand thoughts run through a person’s head after they have been involved in a crash. Is anyone injured? Should I call the police? Am I at fault? While you are surveying the situation following a car crash, it is important to check yourself for injuries. Car accidents can cause soft tissue damage, concussions, whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. Many individuals are quick to conclude that they are not injured after an accident even though they may be. The reality is that car accidents can be very dangerous. Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital due to car crash injuries, and it is estimated that 20-50 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year.

You May Be More Hurt Than You Realize

It is important to understand the way adrenaline affects a person’s body following a car accident or other potentially traumatic event. Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is known as the “fight or flight” hormone. After a frightening or dangerous event, adrenaline floods a person’s bloodstream. The hormone raises the individual’s heart rate, dilates the pupils, and increases sweat production. The purpose of the hormone is to prepare the person to deal with the hazardous circumstances.

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Aurora workers compensation lawyersIn 2016, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against an Arizona pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing of a particular opioid drug. The suit alleged that the company intentionally sold the fentanyl-based drug to doctors emphasizing off-label uses.

Opioid prescriptions are believed by many to be driving the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic. In Illinois, specifically, there is also concern about doctors repackaging and selling opioid medications to patients with workers’ compensation claims.

A Settlement Could Be Forthcoming

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