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Lake County bike accident injury lawyerBicycles provide a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors while traveling from place to place, and they can help you save money on energy and transportation costs. However, these benefits also come with some serious risks, especially in cities such as Chicago, where large amounts of traffic and narrow streets can put bicyclists in danger of being injured in a collision. When riding, you should be aware of the potential injuries that can occur in a bicycle accident and the steps to take if you are injured. It is important to contact an attorney after an injury to determine your options for pursuing compensation from the negligent parties.

Common Bike Accident Injuries

  • Head injuries - A helmet can provide essential protection in the case of a crash, but even when wearing a helmet, you may experience a concussion or traumatic brain injury. If you lose consciousness, experience severe headaches or confusion, or have vision problems, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Neck and spine injuries - A collision can result in whiplash or back injuries, and more serious spine damage can cause long-lasting harm. If you experience numbness or tingling in your fingers or toes, you should go to the emergency room for treatment.
  • Broken bones - Fractures can occur in an impact with a car or other vehicle, or when striking the ground after being knocked off your bike in a dooring accident. Common bones broken in bike accidents include the collarbones, facial bones, and bones in the legs, arms, and wrists.
  • Rib injuries - Broken ribs are another common fracture that can occur in a collision, and it is important to receive treatment to ensure that these injuries do not result in a punctured lung. If you experience any difficulty breathing following an accident, you should receive medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Internal injuries - Internal organs can be damaged in the impact with a bicycle’s handlebars or with other vehicles. Tenderness in the abdominal area or a firm or distended abdomen is a sign of that you could have internal bleeding.
  • Lacerations and road rash - An impact with the road can cause serious cuts, bruises, and abrasions. Be sure to properly treat these wounds to ensure that they do not become infected.

Contact Our Chicago Bicycle Injury Attorneys

At Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, we are experienced in helping bicyclists recover compensation for the injuries they have suffered. In one notable case, we obtained a $1 million settlement for a man who was injured when his bicycle seat broke, exposing a sharp edge that cut into his groin and caused internal injuries that required two surgeries.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, our Cook County personal injury lawyers can help determine your options for pursuing compensation from the party or parties who were responsible for your damages. Contact us today at 312-236-6324 to arrange a free consultation.

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Chicago sex abuse lawyer Catholic churchThere have been few news stories in recent decades that have been as shocking and troubling as the revelation that people across the United States have been the victims of sexual abuse by priests and clergy in the Catholic church. While any instance of abuse by someone who was in a position of trust is horrifying, these cases have been especially sickening due to the efforts of the Catholic church to cover up the crimes and protect the abusers rather than the victims. Those who have been harmed by this type of abuse and the negligent actions of the church should take steps to determine their options for pursuing compensation from those who were responsible.

New Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse from Illinois Attorney General

In December 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a report detailing the preliminary findings of an investigation into sex abuse by Catholic priests in the state. While church officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the other five dioceses in Illinois have stated that they have put measures in place to address the issue, the report makes it clear that instances of abuse have been widely underreported.

The report notes that while the church has identified 185 members of the clergy who have received credible allegations of child sex abuse in Illinois, there are an additional 500 clergy members who have been accused of sexual misconduct over multiple decades. While not all of these allegations have been found to be credible, Madigan stated that the church often failed to take steps to investigate accusations and determine whether they were valid.

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Willowbrook ethylene oxide injury attorneyn recent months, residents of the Chicago suburbs have learned of a serious risk to the health of those who live and work in Willowbrook, Burr Ridge, and surrounding communities. A plant operated by Sterigenics International was found to be releasing dangerous amounts of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical, into the air, putting those who live and work in the area at risk of harm. Those who have been exposed to toxic substances should contact a personal injury attorney to determine their options for pursuing compensation for their injuries.

Testing Shows Continued Risk of Toxic Chemical Exposure

After the original report which raised the alarm of ethylene oxide exposure was released in August 2018, Sterigenics stated that in July 2018, they had put new measures in place in their plant to reduce ethylene oxide emissions. While this did not address the harm caused to people in the community during the decades the facility has been in operation, it was meant to ensure that the plant would not present a public safety risk going forward. However, recent tests have indicated that risks of toxic chemical exposure continue to exist near the facility.

In November 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted testing of the air near the Sterigenics plant, and these tests found that in certain locations, levels of ethylene oxide continue to exist in the atmosphere. Alarmingly, one test found that an average level of ethylene oxide detected during a 24-hour period was more than three times higher than the amount of the chemical which the original report stated was a cancer risk.

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Cook County toxic chemical exposure lawyer ethylene oxideRecently, people throughout the greater Chicago area were stunned by the revelation that residents of Willowbrook had been exposed to toxic chemical emissions for decades. A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry stated that a plant operated by Sterigenics International had been releasing ethylene oxide into the surrounding community, potentially exposing tens of thousands of people to chemicals that can have serious health consequences.

Residents of Willowbrook and nearby suburbs such as Burr Ridge should be sure to understand the conditions that can result from ethylene oxide exposure. By working with a personal injury attorney, families may be able to pursue compensation that addresses the damages caused by this toxic substance.

Health Risks Caused by Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is used to sterilize medical equipment, food products, cosmetics, and drugs, and it can also be used as a pesticide. While workers at facilities such as the plant operated by Sterigenics use safety procedures to limit their exposure to EtO, when the chemical is released into the surrounding area, residents have no defense against breathing it in.

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Willowbrook ethylene oxide exposure attorneyIn the United States, we expect to be safe and free from harm as we go about our daily lives. While we may be aware of the risks we face in our daily activities and take steps to protect ourselves from personal injuries, there are times when we are put at risk due to the negligence of others without even being aware of the danger. This was illustrated recently when the news broke that residents of Willowbrook, Illinois have been exposed to toxic chemicals for years, putting them at increased risk of contracting cancer. 

Decades of Ethylene Oxide Emissions

In August 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report which raised the alarm that people in Willowbrook and nearby communities such as Burr Ridge have been exposed to ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical. A plant operated by Sterigenics International, a company that sterilizes medical equipment, food products, and pharmaceutical drugs, was found to be emitting the toxic chemical, and the report concluded that people in the area have an elevated cancer risk and that the emissions constituted a public health hazard.

While Sterigenics took steps to reduce ethylene oxide emissions from their Willowbrook plant in July 2018, this does nothing to address the potential damages caused to Willowbrook residents by years of exposure. Around 20,000 people live in the area surrounding the plant, which has been operating since 1984, and there are four schools and one day care center within one mile of the facility.

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