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Will County personal injury attorneysOver the last decade or so, lawmakers and public safety advocates have been trying to create awareness about the dangers of driving while distracted. Many of these efforts have been centered around the use of a cell phone and texting behind the wheel. While many wireless service companies like Verizon and Sprint have joined the fight and introduced “driving modes” to eliminate texting while driving, thousands of people are still injured each year in accidents that could have been prevented if drivers simply put down their phones. A recent study found, however, that your phone can be distracting even if it is not in your hand or where you can see it.

The Call of the Unknown

A research team from Florida State University wanted to know how much driver distraction was caused the act of texting as opposed to the thought that is involved with sending and receiving messages. They found that simply hearing a notification from a cell phone was enough to significantly distract a driver from the task of driving the vehicle. The distraction was found to be so severe that it was comparable to the distraction of a cell phone call or sending a text message. One of the project’s contributors said it “was really shocking” to see the level of distraction caused by just a notification.

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Orland Park motorcycle crash attorneyAs the warmer weather has finally come to Illinois, more and more motorcyclists are enjoying the freedom of the open road. Unfortunately, every year thousands of individuals are killed and injured while riding a motorcycle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015, approximately 88,000 people were injured and nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in motorcycle crashes. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, read on to learn how you can recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

When Negligence Causes a Motorcycle Accident

There are many reasons that motorcycle accidents occur. If a motorcyclist is killed or injured because another motorist was not acting with reasonable care, that victim or their family may be able to recover compensation. A motorist who is not acting with reasonable care does not fulfill his or her duty to drive safely. More specifically, a negligent driver may:

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Orland Park personal injury lawyersInhabitants of Chicago and the surrounding areas know that construction work is a never-ending process. Although there are many legal protections and regulation in place to try to prevent accidents, construction sites can be quite dangerous. If you have been hurt while visiting or working on a construction site, you may be able to recover costs associated with your injury through a personal injury lawsuit.

Causes of Construction-Related Injuries

Construction workers represent just 6 percent of the total workforce in the United States, and yet they account for 20 percent of all work-related fatalities. Construction work can be full of hazards and dangerously powerful equipment. Injuries and deaths on construction sites can be caused by tripping and falling, electrocution, mishandled equipment, unsecured scaffolding, motor vehicle accidents and more. Of course, those who work in construction know that there are certain risks associated with the profession, and employers or supervisors cannot prevent every negative incident that occurs on a construction site. However, when a worker or passerby is injured or killed due to negligence, someone will usually be held liable.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyMost of us can remember when we were first learning how to drive. Whether in a formal driver’s education class or just in a friend’s or family member’s car, when we were taught how to drive, we learned certain rules. One of these rules was to keep both hands on the steering wheel at “10 and 2.” However, as we became more comfortable driving, many of us started experimenting with driving one-handed while doing things like eating, texting, or attending to children’s needs. Today, we have named this type of behavior “distracted driving.” Sadly, distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents. Motor vehicle crashes in the United States involving distracted driving accounted for 3450 deaths in 2016.

An Escalating Problem

While distracted driving has been present since the invention of the car, in today’s technology-dependent society, there are more ways than ever to be distracted behind the wheel. One of the most notorious problems is using a phone while driving. When drivers take their eyes off the road, they are essentially driving blind. They will be unable to react appropriately if an expected hazard were to appear. At 55mph, a car travels the length of a football field in only five seconds. At high speeds such as these, a distracted driver becomes a threat to themselves and everyone around them. One study has shown that distracted driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving.

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Orland Park premises liability attorneysPersonal injury lawsuits exist for several reasons. Firstly, when a person or entity’s behavior causes an innocent party harm, the responsible party should be held accountable. Secondly, the person harmed should be able to recover costs associated with their injury or illness such as lost wages, medical bills, and future curative costs such as physical therapy. In order to prove that a party is liable for an injured person’s damages, negligence must be proven.

If you own a piece of property and invite others onto it, you assume responsibility for their safety. On the other hand, when you are invited onto another person’s property, you trust that person to keep the property fee of injury-causing hazards. If you have been hurt or injured on someone else’s property, the property owner may vulnerable to a premises liability lawsuit.

Necessary Components of a Negligence Claim

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysEarlier this week, a Southwest Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing when one the of aircraft’s engines exploded and sent debris into the body of the plane. In the wake of the fatal accident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it will be issuing an “airworthiness directive” regarding the specific type of engine in question because this was not the first time one of them failed in spectacular fashion.

What Investigators Know

The exact cause of the explosion is not yet known, but the chain of events is fairly clear. The incident occurred as a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas was climbing toward its normal cruising altitude shortly after takeoff. A preliminary investigation suggests that a fan blade in the left-side engine broke, causing an explosion and sending pieces of the engine—including the large outer covering—flying.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyWhen you are a visitor or guest on someone else’s property, the property own has a responsibility to ensure that you are safe. He or she is not necessarily responsible for stopping you from making poor decisions while on the property, but the owner must take steps to keep the premises free of potential hazards that could cause you to slip and fall or trip and fall. If the property owner does not keep the property safe and you suffer injuries as a result of his or negligence, you could be entitled to collect compensation through a premises liability claim.

Recovering compensation for slip-and-fall injuries requires the plaintiff—that is you—to show four primary things:

  1. The property owner owed you a duty of care. Proving a duty of care includes several elements. You will need to show that the defendant owns or occupies the premises where your injury occurred and that he or she is responsible for keeping the property safe. You must also show that you were permitted to be on the property, as trespassers are not owed the same duty of care as invited guests or visitors.
  2. A hazard existed on the property. The second thing you need to prove is that a dangerous condition existed on the premises. This could include a slippery floor with no warning signs, broken floor tiles, poorly lit areas, or merchandised that is unsafely stacked. Keep in mind that a hazardous condition must be capable of causing injuries.
  3. The owner knew or should have known about the problem and did not address it. A property owner can only be held liable for your injuries if he or she was aware (or should have been aware) that there was a hazardous condition on the property. Proving this element may depend on how long the condition existed. For example, an owner should know that a railing on a commonly-used staircase was broker, but he or she may not yet have known about a spill that happened just moments before your accident.
  4. You suffered harm as a result. Lastly, your right to collect damages will hinge on your ability to prove that the hazardous condition is what caused your injuries. Any action that the property owner took to mitigate the danger will be considered at this stage as well. For example, if the owner placed signs warning visitors of the broken railing and you used the staircase anyway, the owner’s liability could be reduced.

Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer

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Orland Park medical malpractice attorneyWhen you are sick or injured, you trust doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to care for you. The responsibility that medical professionals have to their patients is like no other profession. When a hospital or medical professional makes a mistake, the results can be catastrophic. Tragically, medical mistakes and negligence are increasingly prevalent problems that leave thousands injured or killed every year.

Medical Errors Now Account for a Staggering Number of Deaths

The Latin phrase “Primum non noceere” which means, “First, do no harm,” is often recited by physicians as a promise to uphold their responsibility to keep patients safe from injury. Unfortunately, this promise is not always kept. Most people are aware that there are instances when medical professionals fail to do the job they have a sworn duty to do but have no idea how prevalent the problem really is. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that medical negligence—instances when health professionals cause injury to a patients—is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans than medical malpractice. Many of the victims of medical negligence seek financial compensation for their injuries. The issue is so pervasive that over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts in 2012 alone. This works out to an astounding one payout every 43 minutes.

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Orland Park nursing home abuse lawyersAs the “baby boomer” generation ages, more and more elderly or disabled individuals will need care in a nursing home. A new study estimates that over half of all Americans will require some sort of nursing home stay in the future. This estimate is much higher than experts had previously thought. Unfortunately, this increased need for nursing home facilities and staff has left some nursing homes understaffed and grossly mismanaged.

Widespread Problems

Elderly individuals deserve to be treated with compassion and respect and to feel safe in their home, but unfortunately, many nursing homes are not as safe as they should be. A congressional report showed that almost a third of all nursing homes had committed violations which could cause harm to residents. In a survey of nursing home residents, 44 percent reported that they had been abused while staying in a nursing home. Even more shockingly, 95 percent of nursing home residents reported that they had seen nursing home staff neglect other residents. Nursing home neglect can include:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Orland Park personal injury attorneysCar accidents can happen for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, one or more drivers share fault in causing the accident. Other times, the entity who is at fault for the accident is not even on the scene of the accident because the party at fault is the manufacturer of the vehicle. Motor vehicles are extremely complex machines and because of this they frequently have malfunctions which can put the passengers in the car, other motorists on the road, and pedestrians at risk of death or serious injury.

Anti-Lock Brakes Can Malfunction

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a computer-assisted braking system which prevents the brakes from locking up. ABS have come into widespread use in production automobiles since their adoption in the 1970s. In addition to anti-lock brakes, modern motor vehicles also often have electronic control of the front-to-rear bias, traction control, electronic stability control, and emergency brake assist. These computer-assisted features are supposed to make the car safer and more easily controlled. Unfortunately, computer systems in cars can malfunction just like other computer systems.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysBeing involved in a car crash is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. It can happen in the blink of an eye. In the moments after a car crash a driver may think, “Am I injured? Is anyone else injured? What should I do now?” After a car accident, it is important that everyone involved check themselves for injuries. Car accident injuries can result in broken bones, concussions, neck and back injuries, and damage to soft tissue. Many individuals who get into car accidents quickly determine that they have not been injured, however, it may be hard to know this for sure in the moments following an accident. Car crashes are extremely very dangerous and may lead to disability, reoccurring pain, and even death. Between 20 and 50 million Americans suffer injuries in car accidents annuallyr, resulting in over 1 million days under hospital care due to these accidents.

“Fight or Flight” Hormones Masks Pain

If you have ever been in a car accident, you know the gut-wrenching feelings that can overcome you immediately after the accident. After a traumatic event such as an accident, adrenaline floods a person’s system. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone and is responsible for readying our bodies to face danger. Also called epinephrine, adrenaline increases the production of sweat, dilates the pupils, and elevates the heart rate. One of the most important functions of adrenaline, however, is blocking the recognition of pain.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneysMost people have heard about the now-infamous McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit. It is a story which has been widely misrepresented by the media and is often misunderstood by the general public. The 79-year-old plaintiff was in the passenger seat of a car when she went through the McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered a coffee. As she was unfastening the lid of the coffee, it tipped and spilled on her. When she and her family brought a lawsuit against McDonald’s, many considered the suit to be ridiculous. After all, we have all accidentally spilled coffee or other drinks before. The public, in general, did not understand how the situation was the restaurant’s fault and assumed the plaintiff was merely greedy or looking for an easy payout.

Appalling Injuries

The actual story is much more gruesome. What many do not realize about the cup of coffee from McDonald’s was that it was served at a temperature between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit—per corporate specifications. Liquid at this temperature is so scalding that it can cause third-degree burns in two to seven seconds. Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn a person can endure and result in skin being burned down to the muscle/fatty-tissue layer.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

Will County personal injury attorneyWhile winter can be a beautiful time of year, it does come with some very unique risks. Every year, people are injured and killed in auto accidents caused by snow-covered and icy roads. We generally think of winter weather conditions being dangerous primarily for motorists, but there are risks for those who use snowmobiles during the snowy months.

Illinois Man Dies After Snowmobile Accident

Sadly, an Illinois man who was involved in a snowmobile accident on New Year’s Day has passed away due to the injuries he sustained in the accident. When the 33-year-old Coal Valley native failed to return home after going out to use his snowmobile on New Year’s Day, officers were called to the scene. When they arrived, they found the man lying underneath the machine. He was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Because a snowmobile involved, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be in charge of the investigation.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Orland Park car accident attorneyEvery time a person gets in a vehicle, he or she is are taking a risk. Although we often do not think about it, driving or riding in a motor vehicle is a dangerous activity. Advances in vehicle safety have helped, but car accidents do still happen. There is no way to completely eliminate the risk of being in a car accident, but making sure your car is ready for the winter is one way you can lessen it.

Experts suggest that drivers take the following steps in order to keep their car maintained adequately for the winter:

  • Read the owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule;
  • Keep your gas tank filled and add a bottle of fuel deicer in your tank once a month during the coldest months. This can help prevent moisture in the fuel line from freezing, which can cause issues;
  • Have your battery checked and consider keeping a set of jumper cables in your car. If your car has had problems such as stalling, hard starts, rough idling, or reduced power, get it serviced immediately. Cold weather can make these problems worse;
  • Examine tires for adequate tread depth and check that there are not tears, cuts, or uneven wearing. Do not forget to check your spare tire as well.
  • Replace dirty air, fuel, and PCV filters;
  • Get your oil and oil filter changed regularly. This is a step that many people forget or wait too long to take. Regular oil changes are essential in protecting your engine;
  • Make sure that the heater and defroster work correctly. A nonworking defroster can become a serious hazard when a driver cannot see out of their windshield due to frost. Always carry an ice scraper;
  • Flush and refill your cooling system at the frequency dictated by your owner’s manual. A mix of antifreeze and water is recommended, and the exact mix may vary by your vehicle’s make and model;
  • Replace old windshield wiper blades and keep the washing fluid filled, as you will use more of it in the winter.
  • Have your brakes and transmission checked regularly. Do not wait until there is a serious problem to have brakes serviced; and
  • Always carry an emergency kit with you. In it pack blankets, warm clothes, drinking water, snacks, flashlights, extra cell phone chargers, flares, reflectors, and sand or kitty litter.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyIn what the NHTSA has called "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history," approximately 46 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled. The airbags were found to have chemical defects that can cause them to explode and spray metal shrapnel onto passengers. The propellant in the air bags was found to break down when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. This causes the propellant to burn too quickly and results in increased pressure in the inflator, which can cause the inflator to explode.

Dangerous Products

The faulty airbags have injured nearly 200 people and killed 19. Takata airbags are in cars made by 19 different manufacturers. Some automakers, such as Tesla, Honda and Subaru, have been vigilant about getting news of the recall out to the public. They have contacted consumers by putting ads on social media and sending representatives door-to-door. Unfortunately, other automakers are not being as aggressive with their outreach. Of course, letting people know about the recall is only half the battle. It is sometimes difficult to get people to respond to recalls such as this because they do not think the problem is a big enough concern to actually take the car in to be fixed. The NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers are urging the public to get their defective airbags fixed as soon as possible. The repair is free for consumers.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyFor many people around the country, the Thanksgiving holiday begins on Wednesday and continues through to Sunday—or even Monday in some areas. Most children do not have school, and a large number of adults take time off work to travel, visit family, and spend the holiday weekend with loved ones. Of course, many Thanksgiving celebrations include alcoholic beverages, which means there is a marked increase in the number of potentially intoxicated drivers on the road at the end of the celebration. There a few things that you can do, however, to avoid becoming the victim of a drunk driver’s bad decisions.

Be Alert When Out and About

Whether you are driving yourself, riding with another person, or simply walking somewhere during the Thanksgiving weekend, you would do well to be aware of your surroundings. Pay particular attention to other vehicles, watching for indications that other drivers may be impaired or not focused on the road. Common signs of driver impairment include:

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Orland Park personal injury attorneyA car accident can be a frightening, traumatic experience, but so can the events that follow. Serious injuries, time away from work, unpaid medical bills, financial problems, and so much more are all possibilities. However, it is possible to recover your losses, including those that may not have a monetary value. Protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation by knowing what steps to take after an accident in Illinois.

Get Immediate Medical Assistance When Needed

If anyone is seriously injured during an accident, your first step should be to call 911. Excessive bleeding, head injuries, lack of consciousness, entrapment, or difficulty moving a body part are all signs to look for in yourself, your passengers, the other driver, or the other car’s passengers. If at all in doubt, call for help. Also, unless you have specific medical training, you should never try to move someone who is seriously injured unless leaving them would put them in greater danger.

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Orland Park premises liability attorneyLast night, the 2017 World Series got underway as this year’s baseball season draws to a close. Business is essentially back to normal for Major League Baseball, though the mood could have been quite different. About a month ago, a toddler at Yankee Stadium was hit in the face by a 105-mile-per-hour foul ball during a game. The little girl suffered a broken nose and other fractures, spending five days in New York hospital, but her injuries could have been much worse and potentially fatal.

The frightening incident has led many to wonder about the family’s recourse regarding their child’s medical expenses. Could they sue the New York Yankees or the ownership group for negligence or failure to provide for the safety of spectators in attendance? While many injured spectators have tried in the past to sue ballpark owners and sports teams, their efforts are often unsuccessful due to a doctrine known as “assumption of risk.” In the state of Illinois, the assumption of such risk has even been codified into statutory law.

Premises Liability

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyA car accident is not truly safe for the occupants of any of the vehicles involved. Automakers and insurance companies, however, are constantly crunching numbers to determine which seat—if any—may be slightly less dangerous than others in the event of a car crash. Long-standing wisdom suggests that the back middle seat should be the safest in an accident, but recent advancements in safety technology have challenged this way of thinking.

Farthest From the Impact

The prevailing belief regarding the rear middle seat—despite usually being the most uncomfortable position in a vehicle—is that the spot is typically about as far as one can get from the point of impact. When a collision occurs at the front the car, the back middle is, on average, the farthest away and least likely to be affected. Crashes that occur at intersections may result in crushed doors and outer seats, but the middle is statistically safer.

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Orland Park distracted driving accident lawyersThe fall season has officially arrived in Northern Illinois and school is back in full swing. If you have school-aged children, you may have struggled with them adjusting to getting up early again, finishing homework before dinner, and the everyday stresses that are part of the educational process. Of course, the new academic year affects those without children as well, particularly individuals who live near a school or who must pass by a school on their way to and from work. Every day, millions of Americans drive through school zones, but a disturbing new study suggests that as many as one in three drivers may be distracted when they do.

Safety Analysis

Zendrive is a California-based tech company that develops tools for capturing and analyzing driving behaviors for individuals, fleets, insurance companies, and other organizations. The company recently conducted a study that examined some 75,000 schools across the United States and how drivers who passed them behaved behind the wheel. According to Zendrive’s numbers, nearly nine out ten drivers (88 percent) still use their phone while driving despite laws against hand-held device use in nearly every state.

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