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Recent blog posts

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 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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Orland Park personal injury attorneyCar accidents can be complex and messy. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you deserve compensation for your losses. Often times, car accident cases become complicated and require extensive courtroom litigation. A qualified personal injury attorney can assess your case and explain potential strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes an expert witness can be used to testify on your behalf and strengthen your case for collecting damages.

Proving Who Was at Fault

One of the first things an accident victim must do is prove that he or she was not at fault or was less at fault than the other driver for the crash. If fault is not obvious, each side may call upon expert witnesses to testify as to who caused the accident. Expert witnesses may analyze the accident, draw conclusions based on evidence, and explain their findings and fact-based opinions at trial. Medical professionals, economists, accident reconstructionists and engineers commonly use their experience and knowledge to explain what happened during the accident and what the effects were.

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyLabor Day, the holiday recognizing America’s workers, is intended as a day of rest and relaxation and a chance to enjoy a rare three-day weekend. Barbeques, ballgames, lakeside fun in the sun – these are hallmarks of Labor Day, so it is both unexpected and tragic when the holiday is marred by an injury or death. 

Unfortunately, with so many Americans hitting the road to visit friends and family, and with alcohol often being a feature of social get-togethers, accidents are inevitable. Personal injuries may be suffered on one of the nation’s highways, parks, sporting grounds, lakes and other swimming areas, or even unlikely places where you least expect it. Cuts, bruises, broken bones, post-traumatic stress, and even loss of life are among the consequences. 

When harm is suffered by no fault of your own, the pain and suffering are only magnified. Besides a ruined holiday and unexpected medical care and bills, there lingers the need to hold a wrongdoer accountable for the physical, emotional, and financial losses you have suffered. Fortunately, in the civil courts of the state of Illinois, procedures are in place to allow victims to seek redress from those that have caused harm, whether intentionally or negligently.

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Orland Park medical malpractice attorney, patient informed concentMedical malpractice involves more than a physician's negligence. A doctor can be held liable if he or she fails to inform the patient about the “general nature” of a procedure and the patient is subsequently injured. Informed consent in this context includes explaining the “risks involved, the prospects of success, the prognosis if the procedure is not performed, and alternative treatments."

Court Reinstates Malpractice Claim Over Child Injured During Delivery

Informed consent often comes up when dealing with birth injuries. There are cases where a doctor fails to properly warn an expectant mother of the risks of natural childbirth. As a result, the child may be injured during delivery and suffer lifelong consequences.

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Orland Park personal injury lawyer, motorcycle accidentApproximately 4,500 people are killed each year in motorcycle accidents, according to federal safety statistics. Even a non-fatal motorcycle accident can leave a driver with serious injuries and cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost income. Therefore, when an accident is the result of another party’s negligence, it is important to hold him or her accountable.

Lying in Road Not an “Overt Action”

Sometimes a motorcycle accident may not be directly caused by another person, but there is still a question as to how a person’s actions may have led to the victim’s injuries. An Illinois appeals court recently addressed such a case. The central question was whether two dog owners’ alleged carelessness led to a motorcycle accident.

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Orland Park criminal defense attorney, DUI chargeNormally an Illinois police officer must have probable cause to stop you on suspicion of a DUI. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects all individuals against “unreasonable” seizures by the police. However, what if an officer stops to speak with you for another reason and subsequently discovers evidence that suggests drunk driving?

Court Reinstated Driver's License Suspension

The Fourth Amendment does not apply to “consensual encounters” with the police. In other words, if you speak to the police voluntarily, and not under coercion or detention, you cannot later invoke the Fourth Amendment to claim any evidence obtained against you was an illegal search. Of course, it may not be obvious to you at the time that an encounter was “consensual.” Consider the following case in point. 

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Orland Park personal injury lawyer, personal injury settlement, medical liensFollowing a car accident, your first priority is seeking treatment for your injuries. As we all know, medical care is expensive, especially if you lack sufficient insurance. Even a simple accident can lead to thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. Additionally, Illinois hospitals are not shy about collecting on those bills, even if the injured victim has yet to receive any compensation from the parties responsible for his or her accident.

Court Rules Hospital Did Not Have to Bill Victim's Insurer

Illinois law permits all health care providers—hospitals, doctors, et cetera—to file a lien against “all claims and causes of action” held by an injured person who seeks treatment. In other words, if you are injured in a car accident, the hospital that treats you can legally claim part of any potential personal injury lawsuit that you file. The law limits such medical lien to “reasonable charges” for the care provided, which in no case may be more than 40 percent of the “verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromised” secured by the injured victim.

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