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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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Chicago Sexual Harassment LawyerSexual harassment in a Chicago workplace is never excusable - and in 2022, nobody can say that they have not received training or adequate information about what constitutes sexual harassment. Yet this terrible behavior continues to happen all the time and the most common victims of sexual harassment are women, ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable populations. 

In addition to being an unacceptable way to treat another human being, sexual harassment is illegal. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you have options to stop the harassment and possibly even pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrator. You do not have to take action alone; consider speaking with an experienced Illinois sexual harassment attorney. 

Is “Joking” an Excuse for Sexual Harassment? 

While some people may want to engage in flirtatious innuendo at work, people often engage in sexual harassment and later fall back on the excuse that it was “just a joke.” Whether the perpetrator claims it is a joke or not, sexual harassment occurs when someone makes unwanted sexual advances, asks for sexual favors, or engages in other unwanted physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. When someone rejects or submits to sexual harassment because of the fear that doing otherwise could lead to a negative employment outcome or hostile work environment, the sexual harassment is against the law. 

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Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerBreast cancer treatments are constantly evolving towards more effective methods with less significant side effects. Women in Illinois who are diagnosed today with breast cancer, especially those whose cancer is caught early, stand a much better chance of survival than cancer patients even in the more recent past. 

But even the most effective treatment is dependent on correctly diagnosing cancer in a timely manner. Doctors, radiologists, and oncologists must take the responsibility to provide their patients with a standard of care seriously. When medical providers make mistakes, act negligently, or otherwise cause a misdiagnosis or inappropriate course of treatment for breast cancer, they may be held liable for the consequences. Here are some of the most promising emerging breast cancer treatments available today. 

HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

For a long period of time, HER2 breast cancer was one of the most difficult types of breast cancer to treat. A new drug, trastuzumab, specifically targets HER2 receptors and has improved treatment outcomes significantly, especially when combined with chemotherapy. HER2-positive breast cancer is still challenging because not every patient receives the same benefit from trastuzumab and doctors must be particularly careful to assess a patient’s likelihood to need aggressive treatment methods. 

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Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerEvery day, thousands of women across the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. One of the most common and well-understood types of cancer, breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of breast tissue of both men and women, although it is seen far more frequently in women. 

If you have received a breast cancer diagnosis, you likely already know that a large team of medical staff is going to help you throughout your treatment and recovery. Each part of your Chicago cancer treatment team, whether doctors, nurses, oncologists, or radiologists, are responsible for providing treatment according to the established standard of care. 

Unfortunately, this does not always happen successfully. Breast cancers are often misdiagnosed, mistreated, or missed altogether. To optimally treat breast cancer, it must be caught as early as possible and the patient given an effective testing and treatment regimen. Understanding how and when breast cancer diagnosis and treatment may involve medical malpractice is important for ensuring you get the best quality treatment available. 

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerWhen someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, there are a number of tests that can indicate what kind of cancer it is, how quickly it is likely to progress, and which treatment options may be more successful than others. This can be an overwhelming amount of information for breast cancer patients and patients must put their trust in the hands of a qualified medical team. 

Unfortunately, doctors, nurses, radiologists, and other medical staff do not always exercise an adequate standard of care, and breast cancer patients can suffer when their cases are misdiagnosed or otherwise not managed appropriately. Lives are tragically cut short every day because of breast cancer malpractice, and doctors are responsible for doing everything in their power to keep this from happening. 

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you are probably learning as much as you can. One important test you may want to know more about is the Ki-67 proliferation marker test. For a brief overview of this topic, and how it may contribute to an understanding of your breast cancer diagnosis, read on. 

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Chicago Missed Breast Cancer Diagnosis LawyerCases of breast cancer misdiagnosis are tragically common and the results can cause life-threatening injuries and death. Doctors are responsible for ensuring they pay close attention to their patients’ needs, complaints, and health histories so they can order the appropriate screening and diagnostic tests. 

One of the best screening and diagnostic tools available is digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). 

When DBT is properly utilized in coordination with other tools, patient outcomes can improve dramatically. If you or a loved one have suffered from a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis because your doctor failed to order the appropriate detection tools or treatment, you may be able to pursue compensation. 

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Chicago Cancer Misdiagnosis LawyerWhether due to suspicious results on a routine mammogram or a patient finding a lump in their breast, breast tissue biopsies may be warranted to determine whether breast cancer is present. After breast tissue is removed, it is sent to a laboratory and tested. If breast cancer is present, the breast cancer cells may be tested further to determine the specific type of cancer and potential treatment options. 

Breast tissue is regularly tested for the presence of certain proteins that allow estrogen and progesterone to attach to special receptors in breast tissue cells, stimulating cancer growth. 

If a breast tissue sample does have these estrogen and progesterone receptors, the cancer will be deemed hormone receptor-positive. Understanding what it means to have breast tissue that is hormone receptor-positive is important if you believe you may have suffered from a breast cancer misdiagnosis or negligent treatment from your Illinois healthcare provider. 

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Cook County Misdiagnosis Injury LawyerBreast cancer is one of the most well-understood forms of cancer and the field of treatment and diagnosis is continually evolving and improving. Illinois doctors like radiologists and oncologists who work with breast cancer patients are responsible for constantly pursuing appropriate education so they can give their patients an appropriate standard of medical care. When doctors fail to do this, test results can be delayed, misdiagnosed, or poorly managed, leading to adverse patient outcomes and a possible medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have been diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer, it may be helpful to learn more about what this means so you can ensure you are getting what you need. 

What is the HER2 Gene? 

The “human epidermal growth factor receptor 2,” or HER2, is a gene that can contribute to the growth of breast cancer. When a breast tissue biopsy is performed, a written report will have specific information about the tissue, including whether HER2 plays a role in a specific patient’s cancer development. 

More specifically, the HER2 gene creates HER2 proteins that help healthy breast cells grow, divide, and repair themselves. But for an estimated 10 to 20 percent of breast cancer patients, HER2 genes do not work properly. When this happens, HER2 cells may make too many copies of themselves, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and division. 

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Chicago Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis AttorneyThanks to major advances in technology and treatment, breast cancer is currently one of the best-understood types of cancer. Although this can be good news for women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is not a guarantee that breast cancer will always be appropriately diagnosed and treated. 

One of the most important elements in properly anticipating, diagnosing, and treating breast cancer is a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s current health, health history, and risk factors for breast cancer. Physicians who practice an appropriate standard of care will take all of these issues into account and strive to provide the best care for their patients. When they fail to do this, breast cancer patients can suffer from late diagnoses, misdiagnoses, and serious injury or death from cancer that has advanced past the point where it can be treated. Here are some common risk factors physicians should be aware of when assessing a patient’s risk of breast cancer. 

Natural Risk Factors 

Patients may not be able to change certain risk factors, but awareness is a great first step in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Natural breast cancer risk factors include: 

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Chicago Personal Injury LawyerEvery year, incredible new diagnostic and treatment options are developed for detecting and managing breast cancer. While it is crucial for doctors to understand each of these options so that cases of failure to diagnose and other medical malpractice are minimized, it is also necessary for patients to be informed about their options. 

Mammography is one of the most important resources for finding breast cancer, but not all mammograms are the same. If you are in the early stages of finding out more about breast cancer, read on. 

Screening Mammograms

Screening mammograms are given during regular breast exams to detect cancer early, when it is easiest to treat. Screening mammograms use x-rays in safe, low doses so women can have regular mammograms–usually once a year around age 45 or later. Screening mammograms are usually the first strategy for looking at potentially cancerous tissue that can be further investigated and treated if necessary. 

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chicago medical malpractice lawyerBreast cancer appears in many different forms. Doctors who specialize in breast cancer treatment, such as radiologists and oncologists, must be able to correctly distinguish between the different types of breast cancer so a patient gets the necessary treatment. But when doctors do not order the appropriate diagnostic tools, a misdiagnosis may occur, leading to inadequate treatment or delayed treatment and serious injury or death. If you are worried that your doctor may have failed to diagnose or misdiagnosed you or a loved one with the wrong type of breast cancer, read on. 

Common Types of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is initially divided into two categories: Invasive and non-invasive. While non-invasive breast cancer is contained within the milk ducts and glands, invasive breast cancer has already spread beyond the ducts and glands into the surrounding fatty tissue, muscles, lymph nodes, and beyond. 

Although there are many types of breast cancers, the two most common types of invasive breast cancers are:

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chicago medical malpractice lawyerMammography is a technology that works wonders for many women by detecting breast cancer early enough that doctors can treat it effectively. Using x-rays, mammograms offer a safe and routine screening method for women over a certain age. But if a woman is at an increased risk of breast cancer, she may need to take additional measures to catch developing masses early. These include extra forms of screening, the most common of which is magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. Using a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves, an MRI creates detailed images of breast tissue that can show cancerous growths that a mammogram might miss.

However, no screening measures are effective if they are not used because a doctor ignores or misses risk factors and fails to order necessary diagnostic tests. Insufficient monitoring or follow-up during routine mammograms may lead to the failure to diagnose breast cancer and lawsuits for medical malpractice

Who is at an Increased Risk of Breast Cancer? 

Medical providers have many tools available to estimate a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. Although there is no sure-fire way to predict whether a woman will develop breast cancer, some common risk factors include: 

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cook county medical malpractice lawyerBreast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the U.S. today. Approximately one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime, and even men can develop this insidious disease. Although there is no failsafe method for detecting and completely eliminating breast cancer, medical professionals such as women’s health providers, oncologists, and radiologists must meet a standard of care when detecting and treating breast cancer. Failing to adhere to this standard at any point during treatment may be medical malpractice that can result in unnecessary loss of life. One of the most helpful procedures for identifying a breast abnormality is called a “stereotactic biopsy.” In this blog, we will explore what a stereotactic biopsy is and how it can help detect breast cancer. 

What is a Stereotactic Breast Biopsy? 

Stereotactic breast biopsies are procedures that use X-rays to diagnose and locate tumors or other abnormalities in breast tissue. “Stereotactic” means that a machine uses two images of the same location, taken at slightly different angles. Stereotactic biopsies are less invasive than a surgical biopsy and patients have a faster recovery time. 

Doctors will often order a stereotactic breast biopsy when they see a suspicious irregularity on a mammogram. Stereotactic breast biopsies are widely considered to be the gold standard of breast cancer diagnostic tools because they are so good at locating the exact area of concern so that a biopsy needle can take a tissue sample at an exact location. 

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shutterstock_407531302.jpgFamilies in Illinois who struggle to conceive without medical assistance already have enough challenges to manage without having to face the consequences of incompetent or negligent medical care. Unfortunately, this does not prevent in vitro fertility (IVF) treatment professionals from failing to provide an appropriate standard of care when treating their patients, potentially causing great harm to the mother, an embryo, or a child developing in utero. 

Reproductive law is relatively new and presents unique and developing legal challenges. In this blog, we will reveal some of the common harms that can result from improper treatment in a fertility clinic. If you recognize yourself as having experienced any of these conditions, a fertility medical malpractice attorney may be able to help. 

Common Types of Fertility Malpractice and Injury

Fertility clinics exist to help people who wish to become parents but are struggling with fertility due to underlying conditions. Fertility clinics may also help preserve the eggs or sperm of people who hope to have children one day but are not yet ready. 

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