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Joliet toxic chemical exposure lawyerTo win a product liability lawsuit, you have to prove that the product caused a significant injury and financial loss. When someone is instantly injured by a defective product, as when a child is poisoned by a product with unsafe packaging, it is easy to see the causal connection between the product and the injury. However, when someone is exposed to a product over a long period of time and alleges that the product gave them cancer, the causal connection is much harder to prove. So, how do you prove causation and win compensation for a personal injury when the damage caused by a dangerous product happened over a long period of time? 

Proving Causation in a Long-Term Exposure Lawsuit

Government warnings based on scientific research. Years of research are typically required to prove how a particular chemical affects the human body. Government agencies often fund this research and issue associated warnings and regulations, including the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

For example, the EPA classifies benzene, a compound found in petroleum, as a “known human carcinogen” that affects the bone marrow; this classification makes it relatively easy to show causation between exposure to benzene and blood-based cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” it opened the door for litigation against the maker of Roundup weedkiller, which contains glyphosate.

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Joliet truck accident lawyerThere is a growing concern in the US regarding the number of fatalities resulting from rear-end semi-truck crashes and the preventability of these collisions. The NHTSA recently released the latest large truck crash statistics. 4,761 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2017, a 9 percent increase from 2016 and a 12 percent increase since 2008. 

Currently, commercial trucks in the U.S. are not required to be equipped with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. However, this technology is being studied intensively by federal safety agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA’s primary mission is to issue and enforce regulations concerning commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). 

Two federal agencies are currently clashing over this issue. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for investigating transportation accidents and making recommendations for improving safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in charge of setting motor vehicle and highway safety standards. 

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Orland Park personal injury lawyersFor motorcyclists, riding a motorcycle on a winding road on a warm sunny day is one of the most enjoyable activities of summer. Unfortunately, motorcycles can be a more dangerous way to travel than other vehicles because of the limited protection the vehicles offer. For years, laws regarding helmets laws have been a source of controversy among the motorcycle community. In the United States, each state can decide whether or not to enact laws that address the use of helmets.

In Illinois, there is no law that requires anyone using a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, or motor-driven cycle to wear a helmet. While many safety advocates believe that the lack of a helmet law is reckless not in the interest of public safety, many riders maintain that helmets can actually present additional dangers. Critics of mandatory helmet laws have claimed that motorcycle helmets cause an increase in the risk of a neck break, but a recent study has dispelled this myth.

Does the Added Weight of a Helmet Increase the Risk of Injury?

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyThe aftermath of any motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. Injured victims must determine how badly they are hurt and then deal with the legal, property, and insurance considerations related to the crash. When the accident involves a commercial truck, however, things can become even more complicated. Not only are injuries much more likely but there are often many additional factors that come into play when a commercial truck is involved. It is important to understand how truck accidents are different from “regular” car accidents so that you are fully prepared in the event of such a crash.

More Severe Injuries

According to federal estimates, the average passenger car, including minivans, and SUVs, weighs just over 4,000 pounds. The average tractor-trailer combination that you see on California roadways measures up to 70 feet long or more and weighs up to 80,000 pounds. The numbers are even more staggering for specially-marked “oversized vehicles.” This means that a commercial truck cruising at highway speeds can weigh up to 20 times or more than the cars around it weigh.

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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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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 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 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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