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Chicago Semi Truck Crash LawyerSemitrucks, flatbeds, and other commercial trucks haul cargo across the country. There is no doubt that trucks are vitally important, but these massive vehicles can also be extremely dangerous. When truck cargo is not loaded correctly, it can increase the chances of a truck accident. Cargo may move around within the truck’s trailer, making it hard for the driver to control the truck. Shifting cargo can even cause the truck to tip over. Freight that is not strapped down well enough can also fall out of the truck and onto the road where it becomes a deadly hazard to other motorists.

If you or a loved one were involved in an auto accident due to improperly loaded and secured truck cargo, you may be able to take legal action against the trucking company or other at-fault party. You could be entitled to financial compensation for vehicle damage, medical expenses, lost income, and more.

Accidents Caused by Improper Loading and Securement of Truck Cargo

Inadequately secured cargo, unbalanced loads, and overloaded trucks pose such a threat that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has instituted specific cargo securement rules. Truck cargo must be secured well enough to withstand 0.8 g deceleration in the forward direction, 0.5 g acceleration in the rearward direction, and 0.5 g acceleration in a lateral direction. Tiedowns must be used to ensure that cargo cannot loosen or release during transit. Additionally, the weight must be distributed evenly on the truck and not surpass the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Unfortunately, some truck drivers and trucking companies disregard these important rules either accidentally or intentionally.

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Chicago Nursing Home Neglect LawyerWhile elderly or disabled residents of nursing homes are more likely to suffer risks of aging and decreased mental faculties, not all of these risks are inevitable. One common but avoidable danger to nursing home residents is choking on food and drinks. Nursing home residents should not be choking on their food and drinks; nursing homes are responsible for assessing whether a resident is at risk of choking and providing a diet and administrative method that allows that person to eat and drink safely. If you have a family member in an Illinois nursing home who has choked and died, the nursing home may have been negligent in caring for your loved one. 

Choking is a Leading Cause of Death in Nursing Homes

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is a condition that affects a significant number of elderly adults. Victims of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are more likely to suffer from dysphagia, as are patients who have had a stroke and patients who are old enough that they are suffering from muscle degeneration. 

Dysphagia can make nursing home residents more likely to suffer from other issues as well, including malnutrition, pneumonia, and death. Nursing homes know that patients suffering from dysphagia are more likely to choke on food and drink and must provide the assistance that patients need to eat safely. 

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Chicago Truck Accident Injury AttorneyBeing sleepy is typically a mere annoyance. However, when someone is operating a massive commercial truck, sleepiness can be deadly. Multiple studies show that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. Fatigued drivers are less attentive and less capable of making sound decisions. They are slower to react to obstacles or hazards. Driving after being awake for 18 hours or longer has the same effect on driving ability as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent. If a driver has not slept in 24 hours, this is equivalent to having a BAC of 0.10 percent – twice the legal limit for commercial drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours that a commercial driver may drive without taking a break to rest. However, some truck drivers violate these Hours of Service rules in order to complete their routes faster.

Semi-Truck Drivers Are Not Supposed to Drive Beyond the Limit

The FMCSA limits property-carrying drivers to 14 hours of drive-time. They are required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. Commercial drivers are also subject to additional driving limitations including weekly drive-time caps.

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Chicago Reproductive Malpractice Injury LawyerThe recent Netflix documentary Our Father is bringing new attention to an extreme case of reproductive malpractice. The show highlights the history of an Indianapolis-area fertility doctor who impregnated unsuspecting women with his own sperm over the course of several decades. Many of the women were expecting to be impregnated by anonymous sperm donors, but others were expecting the offspring to be with their own husbands. To date, 94 children have been identified. So far, he has only been found guilty on a few counts of obstruction of justice and has escaped criminal prosecution for his actions. Individual lawsuits from some of the affected mothers and children, now middle-aged adults, have been more successful in collecting damages.

Examples of Reproductive Negligence and Malpractice

While this is an extreme example of malpractice, related cases of embryo mistransportation are not unknown. This can include implanting a woman undergoing fertilization treatments with the wrong sperm or eggs. This can lead to a woman unknowingly being impregnated with another couple’s child, having a child with an unknown party, or having a child born with a birth disorder or birth defect that should not have occurred.

Other examples of reproductive malpractice could include:

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Chicago Wrongful Death LawyerThe loss of a loved one in an accident is always painfully difficult for surviving family members. Beyond the emotional grieving, it can be difficult to move forward when financial issues are impacting everyday life. The loss of income, hospital bills, funeral costs, and other expenses all contribute to the need for financial compensation. While more difficult to adequately quantify, compensation for the emotional impact of the loss can also be sought. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you recover the compensation that you deserve.

Potential Types of Wrongful Death Compensation

While wrongful death cases can be complicated, our law firm will learn the details of your case and pursue all potential damages. In wrongful death cases, you may be able to seek compensation for a wide range of losses. The first general category covers damages directly caused by the accident, including:

  • Medical expenses – This can include emergency medical bills, hospital bills, and other medical expenses incurred after the accident but before the deceased’s death.

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Chicago Bus Accident AttorneyThe last few months have brought accidents that resulted in injuries and even death for both CTA and Pace buses. While bus drivers are trained and expected to operate safely, accidents involving buses and other vehicles can still occur. If you have been injured in an accident involving a bus, either as a passenger or when you were in another vehicle, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries as well as for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Causes of Bus Accidents and Compensation Available

Accidents involving transit buses as well as school buses tend to grab the headlines, but many other types of buses are also on the road, including charter buses, shuttle buses, and intercity buses like Greyhound or Megabus. There can be many causes of bus accidents. While causes generally overlap with factors in other motor vehicle crashes, there are a few factors that disproportionately impact buses.

  • Driver Fatigue – Drivers may be operating on tight schedules over long distances and be vulnerable to fatigue. Fatigued driving increases the risk of a crash and is one of the leading factors in bus accidents.  

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWhen you move your loved one to a nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other elder care facility, you are expecting them to receive the physical, emotional, and mental support that they need if they cannot live on their own. You put your trust in the staff that they will keep them safe and well looked after. Unfortunately, the diminished physical or mental state that led to their move in the first place makes them vulnerable to various types of abuse. It is good to know the common types of nursing home abuse and neglect and what some of the signs that you can look for.

Keeping Our Elderly Loved Ones Safe

Elder abuse can come in many forms, each of which can be physically, emotionally, and mentally harmful. Common types of elder abuse include:

Neglect – This includes failing to provide residents with their basic daily needs, including food, water, medical care, clean clothing, and other basic hygienic needs.

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWhen working on a construction site, ladders and scaffolding are an unavoidable presence. While they allow construction workers, painters, roofers, and countless other workers to perform their jobs, they can also present a danger if not erected or maintained properly. Thousands of injuries every year are caused by falls, collapses, or other related accidents.

Common Causes of Scaffolding or Ladder Injuries

Workers who regularly use ladders or scaffolding know the risks they take when using them as part of their job. However, there are some circumstances beyond their control that can cause injuries and even death. Here are some of the most common causes of scaffold or ladder accidents:

  • Wet or slippery walkways causing slips and falls

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerOn May 31, Governor Pritzker signed a new bill into law that will reform nursing homes around the state and tie their funding to performance measures and staffing levels. It also provides funding for increased pay for nursing home staff. The bill is partly a response to chronic staffing shortages in nursing homes that were only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also trying to better address the care of residents in nursing homes.

More Funding for Nursing Homes, Nurses

The reforms in the bill provide for increased funding tied to staffing levels, new pay for certified nursing assistants, and connects funding to improved quality of care. The legislation adopts the federal Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which helps nursing homes to better shape their care to reflect the needs of residents, prevents fraudulent billing, and promotes full disclosure of nursing home ownership. The disclosure portion is tied to a trend of private equity funds buying nursing homes and being linked to lower-quality care.

There are approximately 65,000 nursing home residents in Illinois, 45,000 of whom are enrolled in Medicaid. Currently, annual funding of $2.5 billion in state and federal funds goes through the Illinois Department of Public Health to the facilities housing the 45,000 nursing home residents dependent on Medicaid. Through this bill, an additional $700 million will be directed to nursing homes through a combination of additional federal Medicaid funds, a revised nursing home assessment tax, and Illinois general revenue funds. By law, the assessment tax is not allowed to be passed on to residents.

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Chicago Car Crash Injury LawyerAccording to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, early estimates of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for 2021 show an increase in the number of people killed in traffic crashes. In Illinois, fatalities were also higher than in 2020. Nationwide, the rate of fatalities among drivers remained high after spiking during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

Summary of Fatal Traffic Crash Data

The statistical projection produced by NHTSA shows that almost 43,000 people are estimated to have died in 2021 in traffic crashes nationwide. This number is up 10.5 percent from 2020 and would be the highest total number of fatalities since 2005. Each region of the country showed higher total numbers of fatalities, and only five states recorded fewer fatalities. The total number of fatalities in Illinois in 2021 is estimated to be 1,357, a 13.7% rise over the total of 1,194 in 2020.

In a small silver lining, the national fatality rate from 2020 to 2021 actually dropped slightly. This is based on the total estimated number of fatalities divided by the total number of vehicle miles traveled. While the year-end fatality rate was only slightly lower, in the final three quarters of the year, the rate was lower than the same quarter in 2020. This may be from the higher rate of fatalities during COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and early 2021. Less traffic on the roads, while stay-at-home orders were in effect, meant higher speeds for those who were traveling. These higher speeds translated into a higher rate of fatalities among those driving, even though the total numbers were down. However, even the lowest quarterly rate in 2021 was higher than those seen from 2011 to 2019.

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWith the end of the school year and the arrival of warmer weather, local pools will soon begin filling up with water and swimmers. Whether at a park, a hotel, or in a backyard, a pool can be a fun place to enjoy, but it also has risks that can result in a personal injury. If you are the owner of a pool or are just looking to have a fun time, it is beneficial to know the hazards present at a pool and the responsibilities homeowners have to keep their pool safe.

Safety Tips and Responsibilities for Pool Owners and Swimmers

Many pool owners know the risks and responsibilities of owning and maintaining a pool and the premises liability that comes with it. To prevent any unintentional injuries or even tragedies, it is best to be prepared and keep your family and friends safe. Here are some of the top risks for personal injuries for pool users.

Drowning – Drowning is the most present and tragic danger that a pool poses. Swimmers, especially children, should always be watched, and you should know first aid and CPR in case of an emergency. While there are many tragic drowning fatalities cases every year, many more adults and children are treated at hospitals due to non-fatal submersions and near-drownings.

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerAs the weather warms up, Illinois's construction season is in full swing. Whether on an area expressway or your local road, it is essential to drive with caution when you are in a construction zone. Narrow lanes, uneven surfaces, and vehicles entering the roadway can contribute to accidents and put construction workers at risk of injury.

Safety Tips for Construction Zones

  • Pay attention – Warning signs ahead of construction zones will provide advanced notice for traffic shifts, lane closures, roadway incidents, and other warnings.

  • Slow down if workers are present or not – It’s the law to reduce your speed in construction zones and keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you. The lanes in construction zones are often narrower than other lanes, and traffic patterns can shift. There can also be uneven pavement in sections between or in the middle of lanes.

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Chicago Truck Accident LawyerThe state of Illinois and especially the Chicagoland area have some of the highest truck volumes in the United States. Chicago has long been a transportation hub, and massive tractor-trailers are an ever-present sight on our interstate system. In addition, smaller trucks are found on virtually every major street and road in our communities, delivering goods or carrying construction materials. The surge in delivery trucks from online shopping has only made the streets more crowded. While trucks are regulated by the government and drivers are required to have additional driver training, truck accidents are still a common occurrence.

Factors in Chicago Trucking Accidents

  • Speeding – While speeding increases the risk of accident for any vehicle on the road, the increased weight and decreased stopping distance of a truck only add to the danger.

  • Driving Under the Influence – A truck driver’s perception can be impacted if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerLife is busy, complicated, and ever-changing. If they were honest, many people would admit to being distracted for a significant portion of their day. Whether it is a pinging cell phone, screaming toddler, or work responsibilities, most of us have too many things on our minds at any given moment.

Distractions like these may be little more than annoyances during daily activities. However, distractions can be much more dangerous when the distracted individual is driving. Operating a motor vehicle takes concentration, attention, and skill. Distracted drivers can make mistakes that cause severe car crashes. To bring awareness to the risks of distracted driving, the NHTSA has declared April Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Driver Distractions Come in Many Forms

Everyone knows that using a cell phone while driving is dangerous, and most states have established legislation prohibiting hand-held cell phone use behind the wheel. However, distracted driving does not only involve cell phones. Other forms of distracted driving that can lead to serious accidents include:

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Chicago Medical Negligence LawyerDoctors are not magicians; they cannot simply look at someone and know what ails him or her. However, doctors and medical specialists are highly educated professionals who must complete years of training before practicing medicine. Consequently, we generally expect that doctors and other medical professionals will act with a reasonable degree of skill and competence. We assume that if they will take the appropriate steps to diagnose and treat whatever medical condition a patient suffers from.

But what happens when a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition like cancer? Can failure to diagnose be the basis of a medical malpractice claim?

Early Diagnosis of Cancer is Key to Beating the Disease

The sooner cancer is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. When cancer is recognized early, doctors can start treating the cancer before it has a chance to spread throughout the body. When a cancer diagnosis is delayed, the cancerous cells have more time to spread and the chances of survival decrease. Screening tests like mammography, colonoscopy, CT scans, and blood tests can often detect the signs of cancer. When a doctor fails to order the appropriate tests, a patient may have cancer and not even know it.  

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Chicago Medical Negligence LawyerParents expecting a new baby may feel increasingly anxious as the due date approaches. This concern is understandable. After all, there are nearly countless things that can go wrong during an infant’s birth. Asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, is one of the most common types of birth injuries suffered by newborns. Many different problems can cause a baby to be deprived of oxygen. Sometimes, these problems are the direct result of medical negligence during birth.

Causes of Birth Asphyxia

Babies in the womb receive oxygenated blood through the umbilical cord. When the baby is born, he or she takes his or her first breath and no longer relies on the mother’s blood for oxygen. Unfortunately, many different problems can arise during this transition which deprive the baby of oxygen. The longer the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen, the worse the consequences.

Birth asphyxia may be caused by:

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWhen an elderly person or individual with disabilities cannot take care of themselves, moving that person to a nursing home is often the next step. We trust that nursing home facilities will be safe, clean, and staffed with compassionate workers. However, some nursing homes fail to meet these expectations. In extreme cases, the nursing home staff even intentionally harm residents.

It is hard to believe that nursing home staff would prey upon vulnerable residents, but sometimes, the very people who are supposed to protect residents are the perpetrators of abuse. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse are not uncommon in nursing homes in Illinois and across the United States. If you suspect that your loved one was sexually abused or otherwise harmed while living in a nursing home, do not wait to take action.

Red Flags That Could Be Signs of Sexual Abuse

Nursing home residents are often frail and in poor health. Many suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other ailments that reduce their ability to communicate with others. Sadly, some people take advantage of this vulnerability. Understaffing, inadequate staff training, and negligent hiring practices such as failing to perform background checks can increase the chances of abuse.

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Chicago Tax Accident LawyerThe Chicago metropolitan area is heavily congested and can be very difficult to drive and park in and around downtown. For many people, occasionally taking cabs is a much more cost-effective and timely way to navigate the city. While most taxi drivers are cautious and get their passengers safely to their destination, many people are injured in taxi crashes every year. As with any other car crash, taxi accidents can cause serious injuries and even death. If your cab driver was responsible for a car accident in which you or a loved one were injured, you may want to meet with an experienced Chicago taxi crash attorney. 

What Should I Do After a Taxi Crash? 

Immediately following a taxi crash, make sure you are safe. Even if you initially feel okay, the adrenaline that our bodies release after car crashes can make it difficult to feel pain. Getting assessed by a physician is always a good idea after a car accident. 

Next, it is always important to involve the police, even if no other cars were involved and your cab driver asks you not to contact law enforcement. Certain taxi crashes require cab drivers to be tested for drug and alcohol use and failing to call the police can mean missing valuable evidence that you may need later on. Get your taxi driver’s information, including his or her driver’s license and license plate number. 

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Chicago CTA Bus Injury LawyerChicago has an affordable and accessible public transit system made of buses and the famous “L” train lines. While these vehicles are useful and necessary, they are large, numerous, and often in a hurry. Because buses are so much larger than other pedestrians, cyclists, or vehicles in the road, they can present serious dangers when drivers are careless, tired, or distracted. If you have been injured by a Chicago Transit Authority bus, consider meeting with an experienced CTA bus accident attorney to explore your options. 

CTA Bus Crashes Are Surprisingly Common 

A 2015 study seeking to investigate how often CTA buses crash discovered that, on average, a CTA bus is involved in a crash every 36 hours. In addition to crashes with cars in the street, CTA buses also hit pedestrians with their mirrors and sideswipe them on street corners.  While CTA buses are not always at fault in these crashes, these statistics illustrate just how common potentially dangerous interactions with these vehicles are. 

Bus Accidents Can Cause Serious and Life-Threatening Injuries

The sheer size and shape of a bus means that, even when traveling at low speeds, buses present a significant safety hazard. Injuries that are commonly sustained in bus accidents include, but are not limited to: 

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerCertain careers place their employees at a particularly high risk of death or serious workplace injury. Loggers, roofers, steelworkers, and other similar hands-on employees who work with heavy objects and machinery, especially at great heights, are frequently injured on the job. When an employee is injured on the job in Illinois, workers’ compensation usually covers the injury or loss suffered by an employee or their family. People generally cannot sue their employers for negligence. But when a third party was involved, there may be a potential for a lawsuit. 

Why is Workers’ Compensation Mandated? 

While there are exceptions for employees who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, employers in Illinois usually must have workers’ compensation so that an employee who is injured or killed on the job can be fairly compensated, regardless of who was at fault. This benefits the employees by allowing them to collect benefits even if the employer was not directly at fault, including incidents where an employee: 

  • Slips, trips, or falls

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