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Cook County cervical spine injury lawyerYour spinal cord is a key part of your central nervous system, and any injuries which result in damage to the spine can not only be very painful, but they can lead to long-lasting complications, including numbness, tingling, and paralysis in different parts of the body. Cervical spine injuries that affect the vertebrae in the neck can be especially dangerous, and they can result in permanent disability. These injuries often occur in motor vehicle accidents, but they can also happen in a variety of other situations, such as construction site accidents or slip-and-falls. If you have suffered a spine injury, you will want to work with a skilled attorney to determine your options for pursuing compensation.

Is Surgery Necessary for Cervical Spine Injuries?

The first seven vertebrae in the spine are known as the cervical vertebrae. Damage to the nerves in this area of the spinal cord can lead to paralysis in the arms, legs, and trunk; impairments in one’s ability to breathe, eat, drink, and speak; and loss of bowel and bladder control. 

Not every type of cervical spine injury will result in permanent disability. In some cases, people experience a herniated disc, which occurs when one or more of the discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae rupture. This can cause significant pain, and it may lead to compression of the spinal cord, resulting in numbness, weakness, and loss of fine motor control in the hands and arms.

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Chicago medical negligence attorney for misdiagnosisWhen you receive medical care, you place a great deal of trust in your doctor and other medical personnel. Because of their medical expertise, you expect them to be able to identify your needs and determine the best treatments. Unfortunately, doctors do not always meet these expectations, and if they fail to provide the proper level of medical care, you can suffer serious harm. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice that can result in serious injuries to patients, and it occurs far too regularly.

A recent study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that around 12 million people experience diagnostic errors each year in the United States, and in around one third of these cases, misdiagnosis results in permanent injuries or wrongful death. The study also estimated that between 40,000 and 80,000 people die each year because of misdiagnosis.

What Are the Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions?

The study identified three areas in which misdiagnosis occurs most often:

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Cook County toxic chemical injury attorney ethylene oxideIn 2018, people in the Chicago area became aware of the significant dangers posed by a toxic chemical. Sterigenics International, a company that sterilizes medical equipment, was found to be emitting ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen, from its facility in Willowbrook. A variety of legal challenges have been raised against the Willowbrook plant, but due to its decades in operation, people in the surrounding communities, including Hinsdale and Burr Ridge, are at risk of serious personal injuries.

Changing Laws and Regulations Regarding Ethylene Oxide

While Sterigenics has claimed that its Willowbrook plant was operating within the emissions regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EPA reported in 2018 that people in the surrounding areas were at an elevated risk of contracting cancer due to the presence of ethylene oxide in the atmosphere. As a response, a variety of legal complaints were lodged against Sterigenics, and in February 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an order to shut down the facility.

In the ensuing months, Sterigenics was able to reach an agreement with Illinois lawmakers and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to reopen the plant, as long as new equipment was installed to drastically reduce the amount of ethylene oxide emissions. However, people in the community and public officials continued to fight against the facility being able to operate in Willowbrook. In September 2019, Sterigenics announced that it would be permanently closing the plant and that it would no longer operate sterilization facilities in the state of Illinois.

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Chicago drunk driving accident attorneyThe holiday season can be a wonderful time to enjoy parties and gatherings with friends and family, and the festive atmosphere of joy and cheer is often enhanced by the consumption of alcohol. Unfortunately, some people do not act responsibly during this season, and they may choose to violate the laws against driving under the influence. Drinking and driving can lead to dangerous or fatal car accidents, and victims in these cases may be left struggling to pick up the pieces after a tragedy.

The Dangers of Holiday Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous at any time of year, but it can be especially deadly during the holidays. During this time, there are often large numbers of vehicles on the roads because people are traveling to spend time with family or because they are taking shopping trips. This increased traffic, when combined with the trickier driving conditions that come with the colder winter weather, can result in very serious motor vehicle collisions.

The increased risk of drunk driving accidents during the holidays has been demonstrated in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2017, 885 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers throughout the month of December. In addition, there were 267 fatalities in drunk driving accidents in the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day, and this fatality rate was higher than in any other holiday period in 2017.

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Chicago dangerous product attorney e-cigarette lung illness
As the elderly population in the United States continues to increase, more and more seniors are receiving care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Sadly, these facilities are often understaffed, and in many cases, employees are not properly trained or qualified to provide the care that residents need. Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect have become alarmingly common, and statistics show that around 10% of seniors have experienced some form of neglect or abuse. Pressure sores are one of the most serious effects of nursing home negligence, and family members of nursing home residents who experience these types of injuries should be sure to understand their legal options.

What Are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores, also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers, can develop when a person stays in one position for too long. This can occur when a nursing home resident is bedridden or spends most of their time in a wheelchair. When constant pressure is placed on parts of the body such as the hips, buttocks, back, shoulder blades, heels, or ankles, this can cut off blood flow, and it can lead to sores on the skin, infections, and damage to muscles, joints, and bones.

There are four stages of pressure sores:

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Chicago dangerous product attorney e-cigarette lung illness
Over the past several years, the use of electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or vape pens) has grown by leaps and bounds. Manufacturers of these devices have marketed them as being safer than traditional cigarettes, and “vaping” has become especially popular among teens and young adults. However, a variety of concerns have arisen regarding the harm that these devices can cause to their users. In addition to a large number of reported injuries from exploding e-cigarettes, multiple health issues have begun to make themselves known. If you have experienced a personal injury after using a vaping device, you should speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible.

Lung Illness Related to Vaping

One of the most worrisome issues currently affecting e-cigarette users is the outbreak of vaping-related lung illness (known as “e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury,” or EVALI) that has occurred throughout the United States. People have reported serious respiratory symptoms, including chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue, after using e-cigarettes. As of November 2019, more than 2,000 cases have been reported, and 39 people have died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been researching this outbreak, and a potential source has been identified. Vitamin E acetate, an additive that is used in some vaping products, was found to be present in samples of fluid collected from patients’ lungs. This substance is usually harmless, but when inhaled, it may interfere with the normal functions of the lungs.

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Cook County slip and fall injury attorney snow and ice
As the temperature drops in the Chicago area, people are beginning to prepare for winter conditions, including snow and ice that may be present on roads, sidewalks, and other walkways. These conditions can significantly increase the risk of a slip and fall accident, and when injuries occur, victims may be unsure about their legal options. In these cases, it is important to understand how Illinois’ premises liability laws apply to a situation, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine whether a property owner may be held liable.

Slip and Fall Accident Injuries

While losing one’s footing and falling down is often seen as a minor incident, these types of incidents can result in serious injuries that have long-term effects, especially when snow or ice are involved. During cold weather, surfaces are very unforgiving, and a fall can lead to injuries such as:

  • Broken bones

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Chicago winter car accident lawyer
Every year, Chicagoans brace themselves for the bitter cold, strong winds, and snowy and icy conditions that they must deal with during the winter months. As the temperature begins to drop, and we start to experience inclement weather, one concern that is on many people’s minds is the increased possibility of car accidents. Drivers will want to take additional care to protect their safety during winter weather, and those who are injured in a collision should be sure to understand the forms of driver negligence that may have led to their auto accident.

Safety Measures When Driving in the Winter

It can be very easy to lose control of one’s vehicle during winter weather. To reduce the likelihood of a collision, drivers should do the following:

  • Perform proper vehicle maintenance - Drivers should ensure that all of their car’s safety systems are in working order. If tires are worn or bald, this can reduce traction, causing a vehicle to slide out of control when stopping or turning. Burnt-out headlights can reduce a vehicle’s visibility, and if windshield wipers or defrosters are not working properly, a driver may be unable to fully see the road around them. Failure to keep a vehicle maintained may be considered a form of negligence on the part of a driver.

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Lake County landlord liability attorney
In 2017, there were nearly 18.8 million residents living in apartment complexes across the United States. These living units are supposed to be overseen by capable management teams; however, instances of carelessness by landlords occur far too frequently, putting residents at risk of serious injuries. When a property is not adequately maintained, residents may be able to hold a landlord responsible for any personal injuries or wrongful deaths suffered. Some of the most serious injuries can occur in apartment fires, and victims of these incidents may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. It is crucial for victims of an apartment fire to find out if all the safety regulations and building codes were followed correctly.  

Types of Tenant Injuries

When a fire occurs in an apartment, tenants often do not have much time to make a safe exit. In a multi-floor apartment complex, residents on higher levels could become trapped inside a raging inferno for an extended duration. In these cases, people are likely to suffer injuries from smoke inhalation, as well as serious burns. These injuries can be incredibly traumatic, resulting in damage to the lungs and internal organs, significant scarring and disfigurement, and long-term pain.

When Can a Landlord Be Liable?

An apartment fire could happen at any moment, for almost any reason; when an emergency does arise, a landlord is responsible for making sure safety equipment has been tested and regulations have been met. Depending on the location, size, and number of tenants an apartment has, the fire safety requirements can change, although there are some general guidelines that should always be considered. A landlord should ensure that:

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Lake County boating accident attorney
People in the Chicago area and throughout the state of Illinois often enjoy spending time on the water in boats or other types of watercraft. While this can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity, it can also be dangerous, and boating accidents can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. If you have been involved in a boat accident, you should work with a personal injury attorney to determine your options for recovering compensation from the parties who were responsible.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents and Injuries

According to the most recent data available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, there were 80 boating accidents throughout the state in 2017. These accidents resulted in 48 injuries and 12 fatalities. However, these numbers may not accurately reflect the actual injuries that occurred in boat accidents, since they do not include “non-reportable” accidents. For example, injuries or fatalities that occur when someone jumps or dives from an anchored or moored boat are not reportable.

Some of the reasons boating injuries may occur include:

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DuPage County work area injury attorney

It is no secret that construction work is a dangerous job. However, people may not realize just how dangerous it can be and how often construction accidents and injuries occur. In 2017, more than 20% of all work-related fatalities occurred in construction. That is, one out of every five people killed in workplace accidents were construction workers. 

Falls are the leading cause of fatalities for construction workers, accounting for over one third of all deaths. Due to the risks of falls, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put regulations in place to provide protections for workers.

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Lake County popcorn lung attorneyIn 2000, a number of workers at a Missouri facility that manufactured microwave popcorn developed a lung condition called bronchitis obliterans. This illness, which has become known as “popcorn lung,” was caused by the inhalation of a chemical used in popcorn flavoring. Despite its name, popcorn lung can have a variety of causes. Those who experience this condition may be able to hold a negligent employer or product manufacturer responsible for their injuries. 

What Causes Popcorn Lung?

A person may contract popcorn lung after being exposed to a number of different substances, including:

  • Diacetyl - This chemical was responsible for injuring the workers at the aforementioned popcorn plant, and it is often used for flavoring in food products like candy, potato chips, and dairy products. It is also commonly found in the “e-juice” used in electronic cigarettes and vape pens. While its use has been banned in e-cigarettes in Europe, it is still regularly used in the U.S.

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DuPage County work area injury attorney

Construction zones are a familiar sight on the roads in Illinois, and most people are aware of the need to take extra care when driving through work areas. However, many drivers fail to follow the proper roadway safety rules, and when car accidents occur in construction zones, workers are likely to be seriously injured. These types of accidents occur all too frequently. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reports that on average, more than 5,000 accidents occur every year in work zones throughout the state. These accidents lead to more than 1,500 injuries on an annual basis.

Construction Zone Safety Tips

Drivers can face severe penalties if they do not obey the law in a work zone. Striking a worker in a construction zone can result in fines up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 14 years. In order to avoid construction zone accidents, drivers should take the following safety precautions:

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Lake County vape pen injury lawyer“Vaping” has grown significantly in popularity in recent years, and it is often seen as a safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. However, as more and more people have begun using electronic cigarettes (commonly known as e-cigarettes or vape pens), a large number of people have reported serious injuries from devices that explode or catch fire.

Exploding e-cigarettes can be incredibly dangerous, especially when these incidents occur near someone’s face. For example, in one recent case, a Nevada teen’s jaw was shattered and several of his teeth were knocked out when his device exploded in his mouth. In another case, a Florida man was killed when a vape pen exploded and sent shrapnel into his brain. Those who are injured by dangerous e-cigarettes should work with a personal injury attorney to determine their options for pursuing compensation.

What Causes E-Cigarette Explosions?

E-cigarettes use high-powered lithium-ion batteries to vaporize a liquid, and these batteries are often unstable, leading them to overheat, catch on fire, or explode. Some of the causes of these incidents include:

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Cook County electrocution injury attorney

Electric shocks can cause devastating injuries, and people in certain occupations are at a higher risk of being electrocuted. In fact, electrocution is the sixth most common cause of workplace fatalities in the United States, and 54% of the deaths caused by electrocution are suffered by workers in the construction industry. If you have experienced an electrocution injury while working, you should be sure to understand your legal options for recovering compensation.

Effects of Electrocution

The injuries that occur when electricity flows through the body can vary depending on the type and amount of electrical current and the parts of the body affected. Some  common injuries include:

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Chicago electric scooter injury lawyer

There are nearly 70 million dogs in the United States, and while many of these animals are friendly, loving pets, there are also many instances of people being injured after being attacked by a dog. Whether a dog is considered dangerous or had no previous history of aggressive behavior, its owner may be liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite. However, many people do not realize the full extent of the damage that can be caused by a dog bite, so it is important for victims to be aware of both the short-term and long-term ramifications of these types of injuries.

Short-Term Injuries

The physical injuries caused by a dog bite are often immediately evident, and they can include puncture wounds or lacerations. In most cases, medical care should be received as soon as possible, and stitches may be needed to close these wounds. In addition, a dog may knock someone down during an attack, leading to broken bones, sprained joints, and serious bruises. Elderly people and young children are especially susceptible to these types of injuries.

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Chicago electric scooter injury lawyerElectric scooters, or e-scooters, are becoming more and more popular in cities throughout the United States. These vehicles offer riders a quick and easy way to get around urban areas, and multiple companies, including Uber, Lyft, Bird, and Lime, have begun offering curbside e-scooter rentals. However, as the use of e-scooters has increased, so has the number of serious injuries in e-scooter accidents.

E-Scooter Injuries

E-scooters have become incredibly popular in a short period of time. In fact, more than 38 million people took trips on shared electric scooters in 2018. Since this is a fairly new form of transportation, many cities have not yet put laws and regulations in place for e-scooters. In addition, the rules and guidelines for the safe operation of these vehicles are not yet fully established, and a large number of injuries have occurred as a result.

Since 2017, there have been more than 1,500 injuries involving e-scooters across the United States, as well as at least four deaths. Studies have found that around half of e-scooter accidents result in severe injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and injuries to tendons, ligaments, or nerves.

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Chicago personal injury attorney insurance claimA personal injury can turn your life upside down. In addition to the difficulties that come with your recovery, your injury is likely to have a major financial impact, including the cost of medical treatment and the loss of income while you are unable to work. If you are planning to file an insurance claim, you may expect to work with an insurance company to ensure that your injuries are covered. However, before doing so, it is important to consult with an attorney who can ensure that you are fully compensated for your damages.

How Can an Attorney Help With My Case?

When you are struggling in the aftermath of an injury, you may feel like you have to accept an offer made by an insurance company so that you can address your immediate financial concerns. However, an insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible, and even if a settlement offer appears fair to you, it is likely that it will not fully cover your costs or meet your ongoing needs.

In reality, you should be wary of speaking to an insurance company at all before consulting with an attorney, because they may ask you to provide recorded statements, and any information you provide may lead them to reduce the amount of your claim or even deny your claim altogether. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you need.

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Chicago taxi injury attorney common carrierLarge numbers of people use taxicabs for transportation throughout the Chicago area every day. Unfortunately, most people are familiar with the experience of being afraid for their safety while riding in a vehicle operated by a cab driver who has little regard for traffic laws. The desire to complete fares as quickly as possible causes many taxi drivers to put passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians at risk. Fortunately, taxi companies’ status as common carriers provides those who have been injured in taxi accidents with the ability to recover compensation for their damages.

What Is a Common Carrier?

Companies, entities, or individuals that transport people or property within or through the state of Illinois are considered common carriers. According to decisions made in Illinois courts, common carriers have a duty to provide the “highest degree of care” to their passengers while transporting them or while passengers are entering or exiting a vehicle.

Because of this duty of care, taxi companies may be held liable for passenger injuries which occur because of the negligence of taxi drivers or other employees. In addition to injuries that may occur because of negligent driving, a company may be responsible for injuries caused by equipment failure, negligent maintenance, or failure to follow the proper safety procedures.

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Lake County defective product injury attorney jogging strollerParents often assume that the products intended for use by their children are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and there are many situations in which companies put profits ahead of consumer safety and release defective or dangerous products to the market. This was demonstrated recently when news stories broke about a jogging stroller that had caused injuries to parents and children.

Injuries When Using the Britax BOB Jogging Stroller

The BOB jogging stroller produced by Britax is intended to keep children safe and secure when parents are using it to run on sidewalks, streets, or even dirt paths. This three-wheeled stroller, which typically costs between $400 and $600, appears to be rugged and sturdy. However, hundreds of reports were sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2012 and 2018 stating that the front wheel of the stroller could suddenly become detached. When moving at high speeds, the strollers could then flip over, causing serious or life-threatening injuries to both children and parents. Some of the reported injuries included broken bones and teeth, torn ligaments, and severe lacerations.

In 2017, the CPSC requested that Britax voluntarily recall these strollers, but the company refused to do so. Even though the quick-release lever used to secure the wheels to the strollers was prone to cause these wheels to detach, the company claimed that the product was completely safe when used correctly because it had passed all safety tests. While the company ultimately took steps to address the issue in later models of the stroller and put out information intended to help owners use the strollers safely, there are still nearly 500,000 strollers which may be unsafe in American homes.

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