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Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerWhen you have a mammogram, you likely believe that the health care professionals will ensure you receive quality care from start to finish. But tunnel vision and unconscious bias are some reasons radiologists will fail to detect breast cancer. These ways of thinking may save time and energy, but they can distort judgment and decision-making. Up to 35 percent of cancers are missed in the United States leading to medical malpractice lawsuits. Unfortunately, the longer it takes for diagnoses, the lower the chances of survival.

Common Cognitive Pitfalls for Misdiagnosis

Breast asymmetry is prevalent in women with dense breasts, but it is a common abnormality in mammogram results. If there is a sudden change in breast density or if the tissue is substantially uneven it could be an indication of cancer that is being missed due to cognitive bias.

Radiologists need to recognize their own unconscious bias to reduce misdiagnosis. New research suggests these four factors impair decisions that can be damaging to patients when examining the results of a mammogram:

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Chicago Birth Injury LawyerYou were hoping to take your healthy newborn home. The last thing you expected was for your infant to be injured after Pitocin was administered during birth. If your child suffered a birth injury, it is necessary to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for medical malpractice and that you receive full compensation.

Administering Pitocin to Induce Labor

Pitocin is a drug that is often given to women to induce labor. It is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin. The body naturally releases oxytocin in tiny pulses triggering contractions. In the hospital, however, a woman is given a continuous dose of Pitocin intravenously, causing stronger contractions that are closer together. When it is administered properly, it can help uterine contractions occur at a more regular rate. If it is given inadequately, it can result in injuries to both mother and child.

It is vital for your medical team to monitor the heart rate of both the mother and baby during delivery and that they respond promptly to any signs of distress. A fetal heart monitor will let doctors and nurses know when the baby is lacking oxygen and if the medication needs to be adjusted or if a cesarean section is required to prevent injury.

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Chicago Nursing Home Injury AttorneyThe Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines nursing home neglect as "failure to provide or intentionally withholding “adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living."

Nursing home neglect is a serious problem that can result in physical and psychological injuries or even death. Everyone with an elderly loved one living in a nursing home should be vigilant for signs of nursing home neglect. 

Red Flags of Neglect in an Illinois Nursing Home

Nursing homes are legally obligated to provide a reasonable level of care to residents. However, not every nursing home meets this standard. Signs of nursing home neglect can include:

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Chicago Medical Malpractice Injury LawyerThe sooner cancer is discovered, the sooner treatment can begin, and the more likely the individual will survive. The American Cancer Society states that when breast cancer is detected in the localized stage, the survival rate is 99 percent. The longer it takes for someone to be diagnosed with cancer, the lower their chances of beating the disease. When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key. 

If a medical professional's failure to diagnose cancer causes a patient's injury or death, he or she may be liable for damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Detecting Breast Cancer 

There are a number of tests used to detect breast cancer, including mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies. Doctors and radiologists must recognize the warning signs of cancer and order the appropriate tests and treatments. 

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Chicago Car Crash Injury LawyerCar accidents are often a chaotic blur of metal scrapping metal and vehicle occupants being jostled around the inside of the car. Many accident victims do not even realize what happened until the accident concludes. In the moments after a crash, adrenaline courses through the body and can mask any injuries. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury, may not be immediately apparent.

If you or a loved one were in a car accident, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of TBI so that you can get prompt medical attention if needed. Symptoms of TBI can appear immediately after the crash or possibly hours or days later.

Signs You Suffered a Brain Injury in a Car Accident

Headache is the most common symptom of TBI. If you have a headache after a car accident that does not go away or gets worse, it could be a sign of brain injury. Dizziness and loss of balance are also common symptoms. This can make it difficult to walk or stand. You may also feel nauseous and vomit as a result of the dizziness. Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, and changes in the ability to smell are all possible signs of TBI.

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerNursing home residents trust that the staff will care for their needs and keep them safe. Sadly, many nursing homes miss the mark. Nursing home neglect and abuse is more common than many realize. It can take the form of skipped medication, overmedication, failure to provide for the resident's daily needs, and even intentional abuse.

If your loved one was harmed as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, you may be able to take legal action against the facility.  An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help you understand your options and take steps to protect your loved one's rights.

Causes of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

What are some of the main causes of nursing home abuse? In many cases, it is the result of medical negligence, failure to provide medical care, medication mistakes, and understaffing.

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Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerMost people have had one or two negative experiences at a doctor’s office or hospital. Some of these incidents are minor. A rude receptionist may treat a patient callously. A nurse having trouble finding a vein may need to poke a patient multiple times during a blood draw. However, some negative medical experiences are much more severe.

If you received substandard medical care or were the victim of a medical mistake, you may be unsure of whether the situation constitutes medical malpractice. This blog will explain the four main elements of medical malpractice as well as what you can do if you believe you have a potential medical malpractice case.

Medical Malpractice Defined

Not every instance of poor medical care is considered medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when the following four legal elements are present:

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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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