Blog
14496 John Humphrey Drive, Suite 100, Orland Park, IL 60462
Search
Schwartz Injury Law

CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

Orland Park Office708-226-9000

Joliet Office815-723-7300

Glen Ellyn Office630-273-7330

Elmhurst Office630-415-0500

Recent blog posts

Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyer prescription drug errorMedication side effects are a leading cause of injury and death in children, leading to roughly 200,000 emergency room visits per year. However, before you accuse your child’s physician of medical malpractice, remember that you play an important role in helping to avoid medication errors that could hurt your child.

14.7 Million U.S. Children Are at Risk for Medication Errors

A recent study reported that 20 percent of U.S. children take at least one prescription medication, putting them at risk for dangerous side effects. The more medications a child takes, the greater the risk of drug interactions and adverse events. An estimated 5 percent of all U.S. children regularly take two or more prescription drugs, and roughly 8 percent of them are at risk for major drug interactions that could have serious side effects. 

Teens on Antidepressants Have Greatest Risk for Drug Interactions

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), run under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), examines 5,000 people per year. A recent review of data collected by this survey found that teenage girls taking antidepressant medications are at the highest risk for drug interactions.

...

Cook County car accident injury lawyerMore than 37,000 people died and over two million were seriously injured in car accidents in 2017. Sadly, most of these deaths and injuries were preventable. In its 2019–2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identifies some of the top causes of highway accidents and ways to prevent these injuries. The ones discussed in this article are all possible factors which could support a claim of negligence or fault for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash.

Personal Injury Claims Against Alcohol and Drug Impaired Drivers

Alcohol impairment is a leading cause of car accidents. In 2016, one third of fatal car crashes involved a driver with alcohol in their system. While the current standard for DUI is a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the NTSB would like to see states adopt a legal limit of 0.05 percent. This is something to keep in mind if you are ever injured in an accident with a drunk driver: even if the driver is not charged with being over the 0.08 legal limit, they could well be alcohol-impaired at a level of just 0.05 percent. 

The NTSB would also like all law enforcement agencies to collect “place of last drink” data as part of any accident investigation involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This could be another valuable data point for any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

...

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. 

...

Tinley Park birth injury lawyer hypoxia

What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Birth Injury Claim in Illinois?

Illinois law recognizes that the extent of a birth injury is often not fully realized until a child nears school age. The Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations, which you can find at 735 ILCS section 5/13-212(a), states that the statute of limitations is 8 years after a child’s birth to file a birth injury claim for damages.

Oxygen Deprivation May Be Attributed to Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries due to hypoxia are often preventable. Labor and delivery staff are expected to closely monitor the baby’s heart rate and take swift action if there are signs that the baby’s health is in danger. If labor and delivery professionals are negligent and fail to meet the medical standard of care, causing significant injury and damages to a baby, they can be sued for medical malpractice.

...

Tinley Park birth injury lawyer maternal deathYou may be shocked to learn that the number of U.S. women who died while giving birth has risen over the past 15 years, from 700 deaths in 2000 to 1,063 in 2015. Over the same 15-year period, the U.S. maternal mortality ratio rose from 17.5 to 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Of course, not all of those deaths are attributable to medical malpractice. But these statistics do raise questions. Why has the maternal mortality ratio in the U.S. gone up? Why are maternal death rates are so much higher in some states than others? Are some of these deaths preventable?

California, for example, has a maternal death ratio of just 4.5, while Illinois has a reported ratio of 14.7. An Illinois study published in 2014 suggested that roughly one-third of maternal deaths in Illinois could have been prevented. 

Preventable Maternal Deaths During Childbirth

Some birth injuries leading to maternal death are blamed on poverty, lack of access to health care services, and untreated chronic conditions such as obesity, smoking, substance abuse, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and mental health disorders.

...

DuPage County premises liability lawyer trampoline park injuryThe combination of entertainment and fitness offered by indoor trampoline parks has led to rapid expansion of these types of businesses over the past decade. While these facilities are typically laden with foam padding to help prevent injuries, there is a risk of injury in any athletic activity. Trampoline parks generally require each participant (or a minor’s parent or guardian) to sign a liability waiver, indicating that they understand and accept the risk of injury and agree that the facility is not liable for injuries sustained while participating. However, there are cases where the trampoline park could be held liable for injuries under premises liability law.

Safety and Injuries In Cook County Trampoline Parks

Hundreds of trampoline parks now operate in the U.S., and many have creatively expanded their offerings to include climbing walls, augmented reality games, and physical challenges such as rope ladders and warp walls popularized by TV shows like American Ninja Warrior. Most of these activities have been carefully designed to minimize the chance of injury to participants. For example, trampoline springs should be covered by foam mats that are secured in place, and padded walls or nets can be used to prevent people from flying out of a trampoline enclosure. In addition, facility employees should monitor each area of the park and “blow the whistle” on any jumpers who are not following posted rules. 

The most common trampoline injuries are sprains or strains incurred when jumpers land awkwardly. More serious injuries have also occurred, including leg fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. In most cases, customers cannot recover financial compensation from the trampoline park because they were made aware of these risks and signed a liability waiver.

...

Tinley Park birth injury lawyer oxygen deprivationOxygen deprivation during the birth process is a common cause of brain damage in newborns. While some cases of oxygen deprivation are unforeseeable, invisible, and unpreventable, other cases can be attributed to medical malpractice. It is crucial that hospitals and birthing centers respond quickly to provide treatment if there is any indication that a baby is suffering or has suffered oxygen deprivation during birth.

Brain Damage Due to Oxygen Deprivation in Cook County 

One of the most common causes of brain-related birth injuries is delayed delivery of the baby. A baby that stays in the birth canal too long can suffer permanent brain damage due to lack of blood flow and oxygen. Oxygen deprivation can also result from umbilical cord problems or other complications during birth. The technical term for oxygen deprivation at or near the time of birth is birth asphyxia

As a result of oxygen deprivation during birth, two to three out of every 1,000 babies born in the US are diagnosed with a condition known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Breaking down this term: hypoxic = lack of oxygen, ischemic = restricting blood flow, and encephalopathy = affecting the brain. Children with HIE can have cognitive impairments as well as deficits in motor skills.

...

Joliet semi-truck accident lawyerNational statistics on large truck and bus crashes are alarming. In 2016, 180,000 people were injured and over 4,500 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks and buses. Compared to 2011, these figures increased by over 20 percent, while the number of large trucks and buses on our roadways increased by 14 percent over the same time period. Because of the weight of these vehicles (30,000 to 80,000 pounds) relative to the weight of an average person (175 pounds) or passenger vehicle (3,000 to 6,000 pounds), a truck accident often leads to a catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death.

Negligence in Large Truck Accidents in Will County

There are many ways in which a person can be killed or injured as a result of negligence on the part of a truck owner or operator. In one 2018 incident on I-80 near Joliet, a wheel hub became detached from the rear axle of a semi-trailer and went flying through the windshield of a passenger car. The car’s driver and her unborn son were both killed in the ensuing crash. The truck driver was cited for an “unsafe equipment” violation by the Illinois State Police. If the driver and/or his employer are found to have been negligent in maintaining the vehicle properly, one or both could be held liable for significant damages for the woman’s wrongful death

A particularly dramatic crash on I-80 near Joliet in 2017 involved three tractor-trailer trucks. One FedEx truck was broken down on the shoulder, and a second FedEx truck had also parked on the shoulder to offer assistance. A third semi-truck, driving out of control, veered out of its traffic lane and onto the shoulder, striking both FedEx trucks and causing all three trucks to burst into flames. Both FedEx drivers were killed. The Illinois State Police charged the driver of the third truck with improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

...

Cook County Injury Lawyers

If you or someone in your family has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In the wake of a serious injury, your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family. Consulting with a lawyer may be the last thing on your mind, but obtaining legal advice quickly can prove critical, especially if you face medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and/or pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.

Police and Insurance Company Investigations

When a severe injury occurs in an accident, an investigation will begin immediately to determine exactly what happened. The police may be involved along with insurance company investigators, but they have different objectives. The police want to determine if a crime was committed, while the insurance company is focused on who was liable. You want to speak with an attorney before giving a statement to an insurance claims agent. If you mistakenly say the wrong thing, it could affect your ability to obtain full and fair compensation for your losses. 

...

Vincent CorneliusThe attorneys of Schwartz Injury Law would like to congratulate Vincent F. Cornelius on his recent election as Circuit Court Judge in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Will County. With his extensive legal experience and dedication to protecting people’s rights, Vince will ensure that all who enter his courtroom are treated fairly and justly.

For the past several decades, Vince Cornelius has been a pillar of the community and the legal profession in Illinois. He has represented clients in hundreds of criminal and civil cases in Will, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Grundy, DeKalb, Kendall, and Winnebago Counties. Whether defending against criminal charges or working to reach settlements in personal injury cases, he has always provided the personal touch and aggressive advocacy to help his clients achieve positive results.

Vince is not only respected for his work inside the courtroom, but he has also demonstrated dedication to the legal community. He has been highly involved in the Illinois State Bar Association, serving as President and on the Board of Governors and as a member of the Judicial Evaluations Committee and the Special Committee on Capital Punishment. He has also served as the President and on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation and as the Chancellor of the Illinois Academy of Lawyers. He is a founding board member of the Black Bar Association of Will County and a member of the Will County Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association, and the National College for DUI Defense. He was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Law Reform and has served on the Northern Illinois University College of Law Board of Visitors.

...

Orland Park personal injury attorneysWith just a few short days to go before Thanksgiving, and with the winter holidays fast approaching, now is the time to consider your strategy for preventing drunk driving-related arrests or, worse, injuries. The holidays are a time for families and friends to celebrate with festive gatherings that often include delicious meals, lavish desserts, and, in many cases, beer, wine, and cocktails. If your holiday plans involve alcoholic beverages, enjoy yourself, but make a plan to get home safely and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

Seasonal Spike in Injuries

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact percentage of increased risk, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 725 people are killed or injured in drunk-driving crashes every day during the holiday season, with more than 25,000 total accidents. On any given day during the year, drunk driving plays a role in about 30 percent of highway fatalities, Around Thanksgiving, and for the rest of the year, that number jumps to 40 percent, tragically culminating over the New Year’s holiday, during which alcohol contributes to nearly 60 percent of roadway deaths.

Make a Plan…

The most important thing you can do to avoid drunk driving this holiday season is to be prepared. “Prepared” can mean different things for different people. You may choose to drink only a very modest amount or not at all, remaining sober and unimpaired for the drive home. Similarly, you may designate a driver who is not drinking at all. In some families, one designated driver may even be willing to make several trips to ensure that everyone is safe. Finally, alternative transportation may be another solution. Call a cab, even if you will need to wait for a while, or use ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. Whatever the expense may be for a ride home, it pales in comparison to the potential costs of a DUI ticket or injury.

...

Posted on in Personal Injury

Will County personal injury attorneysIf an individual dies as a result of another person’s negligence or misconduct, the deceased person’s family may have an opportunity to sue. These wrongful death lawsuits are designed to help compensate surviving members of the victim’s family for their tragic loss. Of course, money could never atone for the loss of a human life, but the financial award does help victims’ families pay for things like tuition or medical expenses which would otherwise be an additional burden. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence or other “wrongful act,” you may have questions about wrongful death lawsuits.

When Is a Wrongful Death Appropriate?

Wrongful death lawsuits allow those who have lost a loved one to recover compensation for damages. A successful wrongful death lawsuit is possible when the following conditions are met:

  • A person has died;
  • The death was caused by negligence or harmful intent;
  • The surviving family members are suffering financial injury as a result of the death; and
  • A personal representative for the decedent's estate has been assigned and is willing to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

There are many wrongful death situations that may necessitate a wrongful death claim, including:

...

Orland Park wrongful death lawyersApproximately 30,000 fatal auto accidents occur each year. In those crashes, there are victims—lloved ones who were taken from their families. Grief, anger, resentment, financial loss, and immeasurable emotional devastation are in the aftermath of that loss. Some immediately search for justice. For others, the thought of pursuing a claim seems like an insurmountable challenge—one best avoided until after the grief and pain have subsided. Unfortunately, by then, it may be too late. If you have lost someone you love in a car crash, understand why you should pursue a wrongful death claim, and how an attorney can help to ease your burden in the difficult journey ahead.

Compensation is Not Meant to Replace Your Loved One

Often, the families of victims are put off by the idea of a lawsuit because they feel it is pointless. Money will not bring back what was taken from them, and the grief of drudging it all up seems hardly worth it. They look at it as punishing someone else when, in reality, the compensation is about easing the burden they bear, and may continue to experience, as the months and years pass.

Death experienced during an auto accident creates unpaid medical bills. It takes away an income and makes paying for even the necessities of life more difficult. Sometimes, these accidents even leave behind dependents, including young children for whom the deceased parent may have been saving, in the event that they decided to go to college, or maybe to pay for that first car. True, some of these things may not be “necessities,” but they are losses, nonetheless. They were also the wishes, hopes, and dreams of the deceased. The love cannot be given back, and the hole left by their absence cannot be filled, but the monetary losses can be recovered. That is the purpose of wrongful death compensation.

...

Orland Park personal injury attorneysWhen most people are involved in a negligence lawsuit, they expect at the end to receive sufficient compensation to address the harm they have suffered, and indeed, that is the aim of most proceedings. However, what many do not know is that their award will often be reduced, because it is rare that either the plaintiff or the defendant is totally blameless in an accident. This doctrine is referred to as comparative fault.

Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Fault

In most accident cases, the first question that is asked is who is at fault. Historically, under common law, if it was determined that the plaintiff played any role in their own injuries, it acted as a complete bar to recovery. The rationale at the time was that everyone had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent themselves from sustaining injury, and if they failed in that duty, they might be barred from recovery.

Gradually, however, the states have begun to shy away from this rule, primarily on public policy grounds. Public policy is a concept that states that a law or decision should not shock the conscience of the public, and to completely deprive an injured plaintiff of recovery based on perhaps 5 percent contributory negligence was often seen as unjust. There are very few jurisdictions nowadays that retain the pure contributory negligence standard; almost all have shifted to the comparative fault standard (including Illinois), which holds that if a plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries, no recovery is possible.

...

Will County personal injury attorneysMotor vehicle accidents do not just harm adults. In fact, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that car crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, with hundreds of children under age 12 killed each year. Many thousands more are severely or permanently injured. If you are a parent and facing such a situation, it is important to understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Injuries Commonly Sustained by Children in Car Crashes

Because of their smaller size and developing bodies, children are often more prone to severe injury than adults are. Even more concerning is that serious injuries may not always be immediately evident in young children. This is especially true for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which just so happens to be the injury most commonly sustained by children in a crash. Other common injuries include those to the thoracic area and spine. Children can also experience fractures, soft tissue injuries, and lacerations, much like adults can.

What to Do After a Crash

If you are involved in a crash and your child is with you, it is critical that you contact emergency personnel so that your child can be immediately checked for serious injury. You should also avoid moving your child if you have any suspicion that they may have experienced an injury to the head, neck, or spine (unless not moving them would likely cause more harm). If emergency personnel have cleared your child, you should still take them to their regular doctor or to a pediatric trauma center for further evaluation. Again, some injuries may not be immediately evident following a crash. The follow-up will help reduce the chances that an injury is missed.

...

Orland Park personal injury attorneySociety tends to think of children as resilient, but they are just as susceptible to head injury during a car crash as adults are. Further, children may be at an increased risk for certain long-term complications. In fact, previous studies have found that children may be at an increased risk for mental health issues during adulthood if they have sustained a head injury during childhood. Now, a more recent study, has linked childhood traumatic brain injuries to an increased risk of adult anxiety and depression. Learn why this may be important to your auto accident injury case, and how an attorney can help.

A Closer Look at the Study

Published in the Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation, the study examined over 120 adults who had experienced mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) during childhood. It had been at least 10 years since the injury for most, and 15 years or longer for some. Regardless of the severity of their injuries, all the adults in the study were five times more likely to have an anxiety disorder than adults without a history of TBI. They were also four times more likely to suffer from depression, panic attacks, or phobias. It should also be noted that individuals who suffered moderate to severe TBIs had the highest risk for an anxiety disorder. They were also more likely to suffer from multiple disorders than those with less severe TBIs.

Why It Matters

Traumatic brain injury was once thought to be a condition that could heal completely over time, but studies like this one have slowly started to emerge. Because of this, we are now starting to realize that brain injury can have long-lasting, and potentially even lifelong implications for sufferers. The risk is especially concerning in children because, unlike adults, they still have their entire lives ahead of them. They should have every opportunity to live a happy, healthy life. TBI can take this opportunity away from them, possibly at various capacities, which may be dependent on several factors, such as the severity of the injury, the child’s age or health at the time of the crash, and the type of treatment received afterwards.

...

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?

...

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.

...

Will County defective products lawyersHave you ever wondered who is accountable for making sure the products we use every day are safe to be used? The answer can vary depending on the specific product in question, but one independent federal regulatory agency is at the center of product safety in the United States. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a government organization that examines products for safety and removes unsafe products through recalls. The agency controls over 15,000 products including children’s toys and furniture, household appliances, power tools, and even fireworks. Throughout the years, the CPSC has had to wield its power through recalls in order to keep consumers like you and me safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is similar to the CPSC and regulates motor vehicle safety.

General Motors Issues Huge Recall Due to Dangerous Defect

Product recalls are generally voluntary, meaning that the company in question is asked—but not required—to remove products from shelves to address dangerous problems. In February of 2014, General Motors made international headlines when it was exposed that some GM vehicles had faulty ignition switches. Terrifyingly, the malfunctioning switches could deactivate the engine, power steering, brakes, and airbag-inflation mechanisms while the vehicles were being driven. At least 31 car accidents have been directly linked to these faulty ignition switches, and 13 individuals lost their lives in incidents involving the defective vehicles. Families of those injured and killed have brought several lawsuits against General Motors. Data shows that the automotive industry accounts for over 70 percent of the value of all recall-related insurance losses in any given year.

...

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.

...
To Top