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

Distracted Driving Is One of Illinois’ Leading Causes of Auto AccidentsA recent study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration showed that over 600,000 drivers across the country use their cell phones while driving. This type of reckless behavior leads to injury or even death of those involved in a car accident with the distracted driver.

In an effort to lower the collision rate in Illinois, the state amended the vehicle code on July 1, 2019, to consider a first offense of distracted driving as a moving violation. Previously, the law stated that only subsequent offenses would be moving violations that would appear on a driver’s record. 

Collisions that happen as a result of cell phone usage will also see the distracted driver responsible for any compensation for victim injury or wrongful death.

...

Are Motorists Always Liable for Bicyclist Injuries After an Accident?In Illinois, bicyclists are permitted to share the roads with cars as long as they abide by the rules of the road. Bicycles are considered "vehicles" when they ride on the road and must obey traffic laws in order to avoid a collision. 

However, accidents can happen even if everyone involved is trying to be as safe as possible. It can happen as a result of driver distraction or ignorance of the bicyclists. Either way, Illinois is an "at-fault" state which means whoever is responsible for the accident will pay for the damages and any injuries sustained after the incident. Since bicyclists have less protection than a motorist, injuries can be catastrophic.

What is Catastrophic Injury?

An injury that is so severe that it alters a victim's way of life forever is considered "catastrophic." This can include: 

...

Can Using Forceps During Childbirth Injury a Baby?While it is uncommon for babies to suffer serious birth injuries during an assisted birth, it can still happen if the doctor miscalculates or misuses a device.

If a mother is having difficulty during labor, a doctor will sometimes use forceps or a vacuum to help guide the baby through the birth canal. However, this should not be the first step to coaxing a baby through a difficult birth. It is risky to pull too hard on a baby during birth because it can lead to: 

  • Nerve damage;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Exterior eye injury;
  • Skull fracture;
  • Seizures; and
  • Bleeding within the skull.

Most of the time the injuries are minor cuts to the baby’s scalp or wherever the forceps grab the baby, but parents whose child sustained more serious injuries should file a medical malpractice lawsuit as soon as possible.

...

Lane Merging Near Trucks Can Result in an AccidentIllinois is cracking down on the number of people driving in the left lane on highways. It is the law that the left lane should be used for passing only and not for idle driving. However, there are times when cars need to be in the left lane – such as a left exit ramp – and so do trucks.

The best way to avoid a truck accident while merging lanes on the highway is to make sure you are not in the truck driver’s blind spots. Most truck drivers have a sign on the back of their vehicle reading “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Motorists should keep this in mind every time they drive near trucks to avoid going undetected while passing.

Truck drivers need to also be aware of where their left-sided exit ramp is on the highway and be prepared for smaller vehicles passing on the left before they move over. If the driver does not check their mirrors and turn on their indicator light before moving, they could be putting another driver’s life at risk.

...

Orland Park birth injuries attorneysThe main concern with every birth is getting the baby out safely, but the mother’s health also must be observed carefully. According to a recent report by USA Today, the preventable deaths of mothers during childbirth are on the rise in the country.

The report notes that one of the main causes of mothers’ deaths is hemorrhaging, or rapid blood loss that would go untreated by the hospital staff. Of these cases, 90 percent were avoidable, according to report, which means they could provide the basis for medical malpractice lawsuits.

Frightening Numbers

The report concluded that approximately 700 mothers die in childbirth a year across the country (15 per 10,000 births in Illinois from 2012-16), and at least half of them could have been saved if the mothers had been given better attention. These numbers are rising from year to year while other countries continue to reduce the death rate of mothers.

...

Orland Park truck accident lawyerMany jobs across the country require their workers to perform on tight deadlines. Truck drivers, especially, have their own deadlines for delivering goods to a destination. This is why sometimes drivers travel for too long and can become drowsy while still behind the wheel. Drowsy driving may be considered a negligent act by the truck operator because it can lead to serious accidents that often involve other people on the road.

The Reality of Drowsy Driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2013, drowsy driving accounted for about 72,000 crashes, 40,000 injuries, and 800 deaths. Truck drivers were included in the list of most likely to fall asleep at the wheel due to long shifts.

Truck drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours in one day so long as they had at least 10 hours of non-driving time before the shift began, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If drivers operate their vehicle for longer periods of time or just feel tired, but continue to drive, their senses and reaction time become impaired. Thus, they will be unable to react quick enough if they start to veer off the road or come into close contact with other drivers.

...

Will County birth injuries lawyerEvery parent hopes for just one thing when they prepare for the birth of a child: a healthy baby. So, in cases where a baby is born with broken bones or another ailment, the special day can turn into a nightmare for the parents.

Birth injuries such as broken bones sustained during labor can leave a baby in a lot of pain and even the possibility of long-term disability. Unfortunately, the injury is commonly a result of medical negligence in which a doctor does not notice that a baby is too big to pass through the birth canal without injury. In such a case, the doctor should order for a cesarean birth to make the process easier for both mother and baby.

How do I Know if My Baby Was Born with a Broken Bone?

Babies can feel the pain of a broken bone just as easily as an adult can, but they cannot tell their parents or the doctor what is the source of their pain. According to the Birth Injury Guide, a clavicle (collarbone) break is the most common injury after a complicated delivery. It can be the result of not enough room for the baby to pass through the birth canal or too hard of a pull from the person delivering the baby.

...

Will County medical malpractice lawyerWhen you go to a doctor or other medical professional, you hope that they will be able to accurately diagnosis and treat your aliment. An inaccurate diagnosis can result in a sick patient not getting essential treatment or receiving unneeded medical treatment which worsens their condition.

While no medical professional is perfect, there are some instances of misdiagnosis which are so egregious they are considered medical negligence. If you suffered due to a misdiagnosis or a loved one passed away because of complications related to a misdiagnosis, you may have a valid personal injury claim.

What Makes a Misdiagnosis an Example of Medical Malpractice?

Doctors, nurses, specialists, and other medical professionals cannot always immediately know what is wrong with a patient. The human body is unbelievably complex, and it is understandable that a doctor may consider several diagnoses before arriving at a conclusion. A diagnostic mistake by itself is therefore not enough to sustain a medical negligence claim. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, patients must prove the following:

...

Orland Park premises liability attorneysAny property owner, whether they own a residential home or a large-scale business, is required to keep that property reasonably safe. Any visitor to the property should not feel in danger of harm due to poor property maintenance or unorganized conditions, perhaps even a dog bite. If you have suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you may have a case under the Illinois Premises Liability Act. Premises liability law affects both property owners and those who become injured.

Invitees vs. Licensees

Prior to the 1995 amendment to the Illinois Premises Liability Act, those who would visit a property were defined separately as either invitees or licensees:

  • Invitee: a person who visits the property for the benefit of the owner of that property (e.g. guests were invited over for party)
  • Licensee: guests are visiting the property for their own amusement (e.g. patrons of an arcade)

Prior to the amendment, invitees and licensees were offered different protections when on a person’s or business’ property. After the amendment was enacted, both invitees and licensees should expect to be reasonably safe, no matter what type of property they are on, whether business or personal.

...

Will County wrongful death attorneysThe US Bureau of Labor Statistics operates a program called the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, often referred to simply as CFOI. This program helps to compile statistics on the deaths that occur in the workplace such as:

  • Where the fatal injury took place;
  • What job the person was performing;
  • What industry the person worked in; and
  • Other details that can help determine new laws and regulations to make the workplace safer for all employees.

In Illinois, the CFOI program has noted a significant drop in the number of deaths in the workplace in 2017, the most recent year for which data has been compiled, from 2010. While this is a step in the right direction, any death in the workplace is a tragedy that can leave a family in an emotional and financial mess. 

Types of Injuries Sustained

Over half of the workplace fatalities in Illinois that occurred in 2017 were due to either slips, falls, and trips or those involving transportation. Slips and falls are usually, but not always, due to a dangerous work environment whether something was not cleaned up promptly or properly, or even due to equipment being left out where it can cause someone to trip. 

...

Joliet Truck Accident Injury Lawyer

The number of commercial truck accidents has climbed substantially over the past few years. Could drug use among commercial truck drivers have been a contributing factor? A recent survey of truck driver applicants by the Trucking Alliance suggests that the answer to that question is, “yes.” 

The Trucking Alliance survey compared the results of urine testing alone versus a combination of urine plus hair testing, and they found a dramatic difference. Urinalysis alone failed to identify nine out of 10 illegal drug users. A combination of urine testing and hair testing was substantially more accurate in weeding out illegal drug users.

...

"OrlandWhen a child is born with a brachial plexus injury, it is natural to wonder if medical errors or negligence contributed to the injury. Such injuries can happen when a baby’s shoulders are large relative to the size of the mother. When the baby gets wedged in the birth canal during the delivery process, the baby’s brachial plexus nerves can stretch or tear. 

Types of Brachial Plexus Nerve Injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that control shoulder, arm, and hand movement. There are essentially four types of nerve injuries:

  • A stretching of a nerve, akin to a mild muscle strain, which usually heals on its own within a few months. 

    ...

"Orland

When you think of someone being injured in a semi-truck accident, you probably think of the truck colliding with a car or motorcycle. However, not all trucking accidents and injuries involve vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Trucks can also seriously injure people as a result of improperly loaded cargo that spills onto a roadway.

Toxic Chemical Exposure from Truck Accident

In April 2019 in a northern suburb of Chicago, a farm tractor pulling two 1,000-gallon tanks of fertilizer leaked significant amounts of anhydrous ammonia into the air. The tanker leak created a suffocating cloud of ammonia gas that looked like fog. Anyone who drove through it instantly felt their lungs burning. Exposure to the toxic gas sent about 40 people to the hospital, seven of whom required treatment in the intensive care unit. Injuries included chemical burns to the lungs, which could leave permanent damage, as well as vision and speech impairments. 

...

Joliet Birth Injury Attorney

If your baby suffered a birth injury as a result of medical errors in treating meconium aspiration, you may want to seek malpractice compensation in order to provide proper lifetime care for your child.

What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)?

In the womb, a baby does not use its lungs to breathe in oxygen. It cannot, since the baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid in the uterus. Instead, a baby receives oxygen through the umbilical cord. However, a baby in the womb will take “practice breaths” that harmlessly draw clean amniotic fluid into its lungs.

...

Joliet Motor Vehicle Accident AttorneyMotorcycle accidents generally result in more severe injuries than car accidents. If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing a significant loss of income and expenses not covered by health insurance. Your ability to obtain compensation for those losses will depend on who was at fault for the accident. If you can point to another driver on the road whose careless, reckless, or negligent behavior led to your crash and injuries, you could file a claim for compensation against that driver and their insurance company. If a member of your immediate family was killed in a tragic crash, you could obtain compensation for your loss by filing a wrongful death claim.

Impact of Helmet Wearing on Motorcycle Accident Claims

Illinois does not have a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. However, it is common knowledge that wearing a helmet reduces your risk of head injuries. Therefore, if you are not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident, this can be held against you in a lawsuit for damages.

Illinois law follows the principle of modified comparative negligence, meaning that if you are at least 50 percent at fault for an accident, you cannot recover any damages. If you are found to be partially at fault (up to 49 percent at fault), you can recover damages, but the total amount of damages to which you would otherwise be entitled will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

...

Joliet Motor Vehicle Accident AttorneyIn the latest statistics released April 2019, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that the statewide number of auto accident fatalities rose 8 percent for the second year in a row, while miles driven rose less than 2 percent. The nationwide rise in fatal crashes has been linked to higher highway speed limits, and this is somewhat borne out by Illinois statistics. Controlled-access, interstate-type highways saw a 16% jump in fatalities from 2015 to 2016, while state routes saw a 32% leap.

However, the rise in fatalities was offset by a significant reduction in A-injury accidents, defined as an incapacitating injury such as severe cuts, broken bones, head injuries, and internal injuries. While the total number of fatalities rose from 998 to 1,078, an increase of 8 percent, the total number of A-injuries dropped from 10,078 to 9.060, a decline of 10 percent.

In Cook County alone, there were 255 fatal accidents and 3,170 A-injury accidents. Will County saw 42 fatal crashes and 427 A-injury crashes in 2016.

...

Joliet Tire Blowout AttorneyIf a tire blowout or loss of traction due to bald tires causes you to lose control of your car, leading to a car accident with injuries, will you be found at fault and liable for the injuries to others? Or, does this situation qualify as one of those “acts of God” for which you cannot be held responsible? The answer depends largely on whether negligence on your part contributed to the collision. In order to be found at fault for injuries to others, you must have been negligent or careless in some way.

However, some type of negligence on your part does not necessarily mean you will be found 100 percent at fault for a collision. There is always the possibility that the other driver was partially or primarily at fault, perhaps because they disobeyed a traffic signal or committed some other traffic violation.

Here are a few examples to illustrate when a tire failure might result in your being judged at fault or not at fault for a collision.

...

Joliet Birth Injury AttorneyWhen a baby dies after at least 20 weeks of pregnancy but prior to birth, this is termed a stillbirth. Problems with the placenta or umbilical cord are two of the most common causes of stillbirth, and both of these problems can often be diagnosed via prenatal ultrasound tests. If your doctor failed to identify and provide appropriate treatment for a condition that led to your child being stillborn, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit for infant wrongful death.

Illinois Law on Wrongful Death of an Unborn Child

Some states strictly limit the amount of damages that can be claimed by parents for the wrongful death of a child, essentially allowing recovery only for funeral expenses. Some states do not allow parents to make a wrongful death claim at all for an unborn child. In Illinois, however, the law states that parents can claim compensation for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering in addition to actual expenses. Illinois law also holds that “the state of gestation or development of a human being” does not prevent parents from pursuing a claim for

“the death of a human being caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default.”

...

Joliet Whiplash Injury AttorneyWhiplash is a common car crash injury that not only causes severe pain in the days immediately following a crash but can also cause disorders that persist for years. If you suffered whiplash in a rear-end collision, you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. However, because this type of soft-tissue injury is rarely visible on X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, you can expect the auto insurance company to argue the reality and severity of your injury. You may need the help of an experienced car accident injury lawyer to prove the full extent of your injuries and demand all due compensation. If your damages exceed the other driver’s liability coverage, your attorney may also recommend suing that driver personally.

Allow Time to Evaluate the Full Extent of Injuries

While it is important to file an insurance claim immediately after any car accident, you should not rush to settle a claim involving a whiplash injury. It may take months for the full effects of a whiplash injury to become evident. You may need expensive surgeries and other therapies to relieve your pain and address other symptoms. You could be unable to work, care for your family, and generally enjoy life for months or years. You deserve compensation for all of your losses, both financial and emotional, that stem from a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence or carelessness.

Gather Evidence Needed to Prove Whiplash Injury

Research has shown that the pain of whiplash is caused by tiny breaks and tears in the soft tissue that connects and protects the bones of the neck, aka the cervical spine. Specifically, the damage tends to be concentrated in the facet joints that connect the vertebrae together and allow the head to bend and rotate. In addition to neck pain, other disorders caused by a severe whiplash injury include: loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, dizziness, and pain that spreads to the arms. Because none of these problems can be easily proven by X-rays or other medical tests, other sources of proof will be needed to support a personal injury claim.

...

Cook County Semi Truck Accident AttorneyIf you have been seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck or semi-trailer, proving that the crash was primarily the truck’s fault will be crucial to obtain compensation for your injuries. Three things you can do to improve your chances of winning your case are: document, watch what you say, and consult an experienced truck accident lawyer.

1.  Document As Much As You Can About a Truck Accident

The quality of witness testimony about an accident can play a crucial role in the determination of fault and the amount of compensation that will be paid. The more you can document about the accident and its aftermath, the better. Start a journal or computer file, and write down everything you remember, feel, and do. Also, take pictures of your injuries, your vehicle, the crash site, any medications or medical devices (e.g., casts or braces) prescribed, and anything else that could later serve as evidence.

2. Watch What You Say and Where You Say It

When you are involved in a personal injury case, heed the warning given to criminal suspects: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”

...
To Top