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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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Cook County medical malpractice lawyer anesthesiology error injurySurgery with anesthesia always poses some risks to the patient. Many patients choose to proceed with a surgery even after being informed of the risk that the surgery might not have the desired results, because the consequences of not having the surgery are equally dire. Injuries and deaths can happen even when the surgical team does everything right according to current medical standards and best practices. Thus, not every injury resulting from a surgical procedure can be claimed as medical malpractice. However, if you or a loved one have suffered a significant personal injury or wrongful death with substantial financial damages as the result of medical incompetence or negligence during a surgery with anesthesia, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Risk Factors for Surgery with Anesthesia

Certain health factors can increase the risks of anesthesia, including:

  • Obesity can make it harder to determine the correct dosage of anesthetic to administer and to ensure that a patient receives enough oxygen.
  • Age-related conditions such as cardiac disease, prior stroke, clogged arteries, and high blood pressure can increase the risk of complications during surgery.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea and other conditions that affect breathing can cause a dangerous loss of oxygen during surgery, which could result in brain damage or death.

Prior to any surgery, your surgeon and anesthesiologist should conduct a careful assessment of your health to identify specific risks and ways to mitigate those risks. If the surgical team fails to account for all relevant health conditions when planning and performing the surgery, you could have a valid claim for compensation for damages incurred.

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Orland Park birth injury attorney medical expertWhen a hospital or birth center fails to adhere to obstetric standards of care, a baby can suffer severe birth injuries. One health professional’s negligence, or a combination of medical mistakes, can cause irreparable harm to both the child and mother.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit may be far from the minds of grieving parents. However, it is crucial to begin the evidence-gathering process as soon as possible after an infant death or injury, because memories quickly fade, and important evidence could be lost. While you have up to eight years to file a birth injury claim in Illinois, it takes months to gather the necessary evidence and prepare to file a claim.  

Medical Records Review and Analysis

Medical errors, particularly a failure to recognize danger signs, can happen at any time before, during, or after labor and delivery. Therefore, your lawyer’s first job will be to obtain complete medical records for both mother and baby. These records will be the most important factor in your case. 

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Orland Park commercial truck accident attorney insurance claimIf someone in your family has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you are part of a dangerous nationwide trend. In March 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its latest highway crash statistics for the year 2017. From 2016 to 2017, the number of large commercial trucks involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. rose from 4,251 to 4,657, an increase of 10%. Thousands more commercial truck crashes involved serious injuries. These statistics are concerning, because while the amount of semi-truck traffic on America’s roadways has been rising, the number of crashes is rising faster.   

Of course, FMCSA requires interstate commercial trucking companies to carry large amounts of liability insurance. For non-hazardous cargo trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, the minimum liability insurance is $750,000. Thus, anyone injured in a truck crash should be able to collect compensation for their injuries from the trucking company’s insurance policy. 

Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Truck Crash Insurance Claim? 

When someone you love is seriously injured or killed in a commercial truck accident, your family is both emotionally and financially vulnerable. When you have mounting medical bills and loss of income, why not accept the offer of a quick insurance settlement? Can you not trust the insurance company to pay you a fair amount of compensation for your injuries?

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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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Cook County chiropractor injury attorneyWhen you think about suing a doctor for medical malpractice, the specialties that first come to mind are probably surgeons, obstetricians, or other medical providers. However, any state-licensed medical or “healing arts” professional, including chiropractors, naprapaths, acupuncturists, and nurse-anesthetists, can be sued for negligence resulting in serious injury to a patient 

Examples of Chiropractic Malpractice

Because chiropractors often manipulate or adjust the spine and neck, it is possible for a patient’s existing injuries to be made significantly worse or even for new injuries to occur. Examples of malpractice by a chiropractor include:

  • Failure to obtain a thorough patient history and perform a proper examination prior to treatment, resulting in a treatment inappropriate given the patient’s pre-existing conditions that causes serious additional injury to the patient.
  • Negligence in performing manipulations, such as using too much force, which can result in a herniated disk, nerve damage leading to paralysis, or arterial damage leading to stroke.
  • Misdiagnosis of the cause of pain, resulting in delayed treatment of the patient for the true problem. 

Examples of Acupuncture Risks and Practitioner Negligence 

Negligence in the practice of acupuncture can lead to serious injury or even death. Three common ways that an acupuncturist might be found negligent include:

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Will County defective products attorneyYou have probably seen a warning label on at least one product in your house, from laundry detergent pods to hair dryers. But do you know why that warning label is there? One reason is to prevent you from winning a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. 

Product liability lawsuits are different from other personal injury lawsuits in one important way. In most personal injury cases, you must show that you suffered injury due to another party’s negligence, meaning that they failed to act with reasonable caution. In a product liability case, however, you do not have to show negligence. You only have to show that you suffered injury because a defect in the product made it dangerous or unfit for its intended use. You can argue your case based on one of three types of defects:

  • A defect in design
  • A defect in manufacturing
  • Inadequate instructions and warnings on the product

In order to win a product liability case, you must show that:

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Tinley Park truck accident lawyer excessive speedThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) points to rising speed limits as a critical factor in the increase in fatal truck accidents. Since 1995, states first increased highway speed limits from 55 to 65 mph, and then to 70 mph. Since January 1, 2014, over 80 percent of Illinois’ interstate highways have had a 70 mph speed limit. Speeds up to 80 mph are allowed on rural interstates in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, while states like Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and nine others have a 75 mph cut-off. 

When speeding, truck drivers have little room for error. A fully loaded semi traveling at 55 mph will take about 300 feet to stop, but at 65 mph, tractor-trailer trucks can take 525 feet to stop. Tailgating, driver fatigue, or even a minor distraction can lead to a collision with tragic consequences. 

Why High-Speed Truck Accidents Cause More Severe Injuries

The faster a car or truck is going, the greater the force of the crash. In addition, the energy of the crash increases exponentially relative to the speed. Imagine backing into a concrete post at 25 mph. It would not kill you, but your bumper would take a beating. Now imagine this crash at even higher speeds:

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Joliet birth injury lawyer

When you see headlines about babies weighing 10, 12, or even 14 pounds at birth, you might wonder how common this really is and whether such large babies are at a greater risk for some type of birth injury

An estimated 7 percent of babies born in the US weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth, qualifying them for the medical term macrosomia, which means “large for its age.” Just 1 percent of all babies weigh in at 9 ½ pounds or more, the weight at which obstetrical best practices suggest a baby should be delivered by cesarean section. 

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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