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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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DuPage County product liability attorney baby powderIn the United States, we expect the products we use to be safe, but unfortunately, large corporations often put profits ahead of public safety, and unsafe or dangerous products are put on the market as a result. When people are injured by the negligence of product manufacturers, they deserve to be compensated for their damages. In some cases, injuries may even be caused by trusted brands that many people have relied on for decades. This was illustrated recently by reports that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder has been found to contain asbestos.

J&J Knew That Baby Powder Danger Existed for Decades

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder has been a popular product for over 100 years. However, when the talc used in this product is mined from various sources around the world, it can become contaminated by tremolite, a naturally-occurring form of asbestos. While J&J has claimed that its Baby Powder is safe to use and does not contain dangerous amounts of asbestos, recently-uncovered reports have shown that the company was aware that their products were contaminated and took steps to conceal this information from the public.

A Reuters investigation has found that as early as the late 1960s, Johnson & Johnson was aware that the talc used in its products contained asbestos. As the dangers of this substance became known, J&J claimed that it had addressed this issue and taken steps to remove asbestos from its Baby Powder. However, internal company documents have revealed that over the subsequent decades, the company was aware that the product continued to contain unsafe levels of the substance, and it took steps to misrepresent data when reporting results of product testing to the FDA.

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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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Illinois police chase accident attorneyThe exciting high-speed police chases depicted in movies and TV shows may seem like a necessary risk that police officers must take in order to capture dangerous criminals. However, in reality, police chases often cause a great deal of harm to the public, and in many cases, they lead to dangerous car accidents in which innocent bystanders are seriously injured or even killed. If you or a member of your family have been injured in a collision caused by the negligence of a police officer, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Police Chase Accident Statistics

A study conducted in 2015 by USA Today analyzed data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and found that between 1979 and 2013, at least 5,066 bystanders or passengers were killed in police chases. During this period, 6,301 suspects and 139 police officers were also killed during pursuits. However, the actual number of fatalities is likely higher, since the NHTSA’s data is based on police reports, which sometimes do not disclose whether a motor vehicle collision occurred during a police chase.

The total number of accidents and injuries that occur in police chases is more difficult to determine, since the NHTSA only reports fatal accidents, but based on data provided by six  states that make up 24% of the population in the United States, as many as 7,400 people are likely injured each year in police chases.

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DuPage County nursing home negligence attorneyWhen someone reaches an advanced age and is no longer able to care for themselves, a nursing home or assisted living facility is often the best solution for a family. These facilities ensure that our elderly or disabled loved ones receive the medical care they need, as well as providing them with the proper nutrition, physical exercise, and social interaction. However, patients in nursing homes are in a vulnerable position, and sadly, cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, are all too common. If you suspect that your family member has been sexually abused while in the care of a nursing facility, you should be sure to understand your legal options.

Elder Abuse Statistics

The elderly population in the United States has increased significantly in recent years, due to the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age. As the number of seniors increase, so does the prevalence of elder abuse. It is estimated that around five million seniors are abused each year, and 10% of all elders have experienced some form of abuse. Unfortunately, only one in every 14 cases of abuse are reported.

While all forms of elder abuse are serious, sexual abuse is particularly shocking, yet it is frighteningly common. A 2017 investigation by CNN found that more than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse were reported in nursing homes across the United States since 2000. In Illinois alone, 386 instances of sexual abuse were reported between 2013 and 2017, and 201 of these cases involved abuse by a caretaker such as a nursing home staff member. CNN also found that between 2013 and 2016, over 1,000 nursing homes were cited by the federal government for failing to prevent sexual abuse or for mishandling reports of abuse, and almost 100 facilities were cited multiple times.

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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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DuPage County misdiagnosis injury attorneyDuring the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink ribbons are a common sight as many people join in the effort to make the dangers of this disease known. Acitivists have spent decades working to increase awareness and encourage women to participate in regular screenings, and as a result, many lives have been saved. However, due to the unfortunate prevalence of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, many families continue to suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial harm because of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Statistics and Risks

Every year, more than 250,000 women in the United States contract breast cancer, and the disease results in around 40,000 deaths. More than three million people in the U.S. have a history of breast cancer, including those who are participating in or have completed treatment. While breast cancer is most common in women over the age of 50, it also affects many younger women, with around 10% of newly-diagnosed cases occurring in women under the age of 45.

Some factors that increase the risks of breast cancer include:

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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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Chicago bus accident attorneyBuses operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) are a common sight on the city's roads, but while these vehicles provide an essential service, they also create serious risks for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. The huge difference in size and weight between buses and cars can result in serious injuries for those involved in a CTA bus accident, and people who have been injured should understand their options for pursuing compensation for their damages.

CTA Bus Accident Statistics

While we expect the CTA to operate its vehicles safely and protect passengers, drivers, and others who use the road, the sobering reality is that CTA buses are regularly involved in motor vehicle collisions. In fact, a 2015 investigation by ABC7 News found that buses are involved in an average of one accident every 36 hours. In addition, a 2017 investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times found that over the previous two years, there were more than 500 CTA bus accidents which resulted in more than 1,000 injuries, five deaths, and a cost to taxpayers of $16 million.

The Personal Impact of Bus Accidents

While the statistics about bus accidents in Chicago can be shocking, it is important to remember that they are not just numbers. Each of these incidents represents someone whose life was drastically affected by a motor vehicle collision. At Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC, we fight for the rights of those who have been harmed by the negligence of bus drivers or the CTA.

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