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Archive for the category: personal injury
  • The Double Cross of Crossfit

    It is estimated that there are 3 injuries for every 1,000 hours of Crossfit training in the United States. It is estimated that one in five Crossfit participants will suffer an injury over the course of one year of training. Overall, one in seven women “Crossfitters,” and one in five men are expected to incur at least one injury during their training. This makes the injury rate for the activity among the highest in the athletic world. With over 9,000 CrossFit gyms located around the world, the risks to the general public are considerable as the sport has earned a reputation for causing serious, potentially life-threatening overexertion injuries. Three Injuries Lead the (Ice) Pack Injuries to the shoulders, knees, and lower back account for more than 50% of CrossFit injuries. Powerlifting is responsible for most of the injuries to the lower back, while gymnastic motions are responsible for causing the majority of shoulder injuries. The repetitive motions of many CrossFit activities such as lifting dead weights and kettle bells can lead to Tennis Elbow and De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Other common injuries include Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon, and Rotator Cuff Tendonitis of the shoulder. The longer a CrossFit participant continues to do their exercises, the more pronounced and serious these injuries will become. Exercising Their Way Into an Early Grave One of the potential side-effects of CrossFit is the development of rhabdomyolysis. This condition occurs when muscle tissue breaks down and enters the bloodstream. As the kidneys become clogged with these tissues, they can no longer effectively filter blood which then leads to kidney failure. Up to 26,000 people each year are treated for the condition, and many of them can trace CrossFit as being the cause of their injury. Other potentially fatal conditions caused by CrossFit include heat stroke and heart attack brought on by overexertion. Less lethal, but no less serious are the potential long-term consequences of CrossFit training. These include destroyed joints and torn ligaments that can require surgical repair. Even after these are repaired, these injuries can permanently limit an individual’s range of motion and ability to perform their jobs. A personal injury attorney can help injured CrossFitters trace the cause of the injury and the impact it has on their lives. When an exercise regimen is responsible for causing an injury, the health club and/or trainer can be held liable for failing to adequately monitor[READ MORE…]

  • When Bacteria Spoils the Meal

    Foodborne bacterial infections affect millions of Americans every year. Many of these bacterial infections create short term discomfort including diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. However, there are some bacteria that can require hospitalization and the use of strong antibacterial medication to clear up. For patients infected with these more serious bacteria, the fight is quite literally life or death. The Most Dangerous Bacteria Salmonella – Salmonella thrives in raw meats, eggs, and unpasteurized milk. It can also live for extended periods of time in fruits or vegetables. The CDC estimates that on average the bacteria is responsible for 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths per year. E. Coli – Shiga toxin is the most dangerous form of e.coli and it causes 265,000 infections per year. It can be transmitted via a variety of foods and water. The bacteria is responsible for the most recent e.coli outbreak in Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts and has caused the CDC to issue a recall on soy peanut butter products manufactured by I.M. Healthy. Listeria – Statistically, Listeria is a particularly deadly bacterial infection. Each year, roughly 1,600 people are infected, and of these, 260 succumb to the infection. The bacteria can thrive in meats, vegetables, dairy products, and fruits. Norovirus – Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States and the world. The bacteria can thrive in seafood, vegetables, and fruits. It can also survive for extended periods of time on contaminated surfaces including tables, cutting boards, handrails, silverware, etc. While many people associate Norovirus with the much-publicized outbreaks on cruise ships, it is not a ship that passes in the night. Globally, it occurs most often on dry land and causes 685 million infections per year; nearly 200 million of these occur in children younger than 5 years old. Liability for Bacterial Infections The negligent actions of one or more parties are often responsible for the transmission of foodborne bacterial infections. A personal injury attorney in Chicago can help determine whether the following common causes behind bacterial outbreaks are responsible: The farmer who fails to properly harvest and transport crops, or slaughter meats in accordance with established guidelines. The wholesaler who improperly stores food products prior to distribution. A food processing facility that does not adhere to sterilization standards. The grocery retailer who stores food products outside of established food safety rules and regulations. Inspectors who fail to identify unsafe food handling procedures and/or[READ MORE…]

  • ‘Textalyzer’ to Detect Cell Phone Use While Driving Under Consideration

    A new device called a ‘textalyzer’ is being developed to help law enforcement officers detect whether or not drivers in accidents were distracted by texting, social media and other applications while they were driving, resulting in their accidents.Currently, law enforcement officers must get search warrants in order to search drivers’ phones, making it difficult for them to enforce existing distracted driving laws. A lawyer for a car accident injury victim likewise may have difficulty uncovering evidence that proves the at-fault driver was distracted in the moments preceding the accident. Opponents of the textalyzer device have concerns about the privacy of drivers whose phones would be searched using it. How the Textalyzer Device Would Work With a textalyzer device, a police officer who suspects that a driver was distracted by a cell phone would not be required to take the phone away and check inside of it. Instead, the officer could simply use a cable to attach the device to the phone, and the driver would not have to take it of his or her hands. The officer would tap a button on the device, and it would take about 90 seconds to return a report of the activities that the driver engaged in immediately before the accident with time stamps. Cellebrite, the company that is working to develop the technology, states that it would not download content from the phones but would instead detect swipes and taps. It would also provide a summary of what applications were open at the time of the accident and whether messages were incoming or outgoing. This could be used as evidence by a lawyer for a car accident injury victim to show that the driver was at fault because of distraction. It could also be used to prosecute the distracted drivers for using their phones with their hands while driving. Privacy Concerns about Textalyzers While textalyzers could help to prove that drivers were using their cell phones illegally, causing accidents, privacy advocates have concerns about their use by law enforcement officers. They argue that these devices would allow police to search the phones of drivers after even minor accidents. They also have concerns that the searches would be warrantless but could amount to drivers effectively providing information to officers that could then be used against them in court. Americans have a constitutional right against self-incrimination and a right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the[READ MORE…]

  • How Safe is Your Child’s Daycare?

    Thousands of children suffer injuries in daycare homes and facilities across the United States every year. Although some of these injuries are simple bumps, bruises or scrapes that require simple first aid or no follow-up care at all, others are so severe that victims require emergency medical intervention. In some situations, these young children lose their lives. To help protect children from the dangers that might be lurking in child care settings, parents and caregivers should familiarize themselves with common safety concerns and how to address them. Common Safety Concerns in Daycare Settings There are a number of factors that parents and caregivers should consider to help ensure that children are as safe as possible in their daycare setting. Some of the biggest concerns include: Supervision: The lack of adequate supervision by competent adults can pose a significant threat to the safety of children. In Illinois, acceptable caregiver-to-child ratios are very specific. For children who are 14 months old or younger, for example, the ratio is one caregiver for every four children. As children grown older, the ratio changes and by the time a child reaches kindergarten age, a single provider can watch as many as 20 children. Even with ratio compliance, however, it is important to evaluate the interaction that staff members have with the children to ensure they are being adequately supervised. Basic Medical Training: Accidents can and often do happen in daycare settings. When correct first aid and CPR techniques are not performed, however, these incidents can lead to serious consequences or even fatality. It is essential that caregivers are sufficiently trained to effectively respond when emergencies happen. Illinois requires that a caregiver who is certified in the Heimlich maneuver, first aid and CPR be present at all times. In facilities where infants and newborns are cared for, all staff members must be trained about Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and safe sleep recommendations. When evaluating a daycare facility, parents should request to view copies of certifications and additional training. Medications and Chemicals: Accidental poisoning is one of the leading causes of serious injury and fatality among young children in the United States. Medications, cleaning supplies and other household chemicals should be kept in locked, childproof containers or cabinets. Additionally, when medications must be administered it is essential that caregivers have written authorization and instructions from a parent regarding proper dosage. Medications and other[READ MORE…]

  • The Liability of “Good Samaritans” In Illinois

    Good samaritans are defined as individuals who render aid and assistance to individuals in the midst of emergency situations. Illinois law provides protections for individuals who offer this assistance, however, there are exceptions to the rule and not every action is protected under the law. Emergency Room Physicians The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that emergency physicians can be held liable for negligence if they are paid for their services by either the hospital or the patient. The law only shields volunteer physicians, nurses, and other licensed medical personnel only if they do not bill or receive payment of any kind for the services they provide to an injured person. Physicians can also be held liable if they initiate inappropriate actions while rendering emergency aid at the site of an accident or catastrophe. For example, a physician who reads an injured person’s medical alert bracelet indicating an allergy to aspirin prior to administering a dose of aspirin. Such blatant disregard for the person’s safety would disqualify them from protection under the Illinois Good Samaritan Act. Willful or Wanton Misconduct Willful and wanton misconduct on the part of volunteer medical personnel or private citizen rendering aid disqualifies the individual for protection under the Illinois Good Samaritan Act. For example, if a volunteer surgeon conducts a wrong-site surgery or if a volunteer nurse deliberately fails to properly clean a wound that then becomes infected. Another example of willful or wanton misconduct includes individuals who come across accidents and whose actions cause further injuries or the death of the victim. For example, if a passerby responding to an accident was smoking a cigarette even as the smell of spilled fuel permeated the air. Should that cigarette ignite the fuel and the ensuing fire burn the injured party, the “volunteer” could be held liable for their negligence. Write Off’s & Unpaid Bills A physician cannot utilize the good samaritan defense even if the patient has failed to pay their medical bill. The fact that the physician’s office sent the bill in the first place shows that their services were contracted and not volunteered. The same is true if the physician offers the patient a discount for services, or if the physician’s office writes the medical bills off as uncollectible. Individuals injured by “good samaritans” should speak with the best personal injury attorney to discuss the merits of their claim. The law allows injured parties to[READ MORE…]

  • Playing it Safe at the Playground

    Every year, more than 200,000 children between the ages of 1 and 14 are seen in emergency rooms due to playground injuries in the United States. Many of these injuries are life-altering or even deadly. To help ensure that kids stay safe at the playground, parents and caregivers should consider the following tips. Playground Supervision Adequate supervision is essential for preventing injuries at the playground. In fact, Safe Kids Worldwide reports that approximately 45 percent of serious playground injuries are associated with the lack of proper supervision. Children cannot always identify playground hazards or foresee dangerous situations by themselves, and some children tend to test their limits or show off their abilities by taking unsafe risks. Young children should always be supervised by a competent adult when playing at the playground. Play Equipment Inspection Parents and caregivers should always conduct a thorough inspection of all equipment before allowing their children to play. They should be on the lookout for broken or damaged parts, rusted areas, missing or loose guardrails, and older equipment with unsafe designs. Well-maintained, modern playground equipment is designed for safe play. Unfortunately, not all playgrounds are designed and maintained in the safest manner possible. Inspection of the Surrounding Area Areas underneath and surrounding play equipment should be inspected as well. Ground surfaces should be covered with a soft material like wood chips, mulch, or sand. They should also be free from trash, excessive toys, and other objects. Additionally, parents should make children aware of tree stumps, rocks, or other hazards that might hinder safe play. Dressing Appropriately for the Playground Parents and caregivers should ensure that their children wear appropriate clothing and shoes when headed to the playground to prevent injuries. Items such as drawstrings, scarves, purses, and necklaces can get caught on equipment and cause falls or strangulation. Additionally, dangling shoelaces, flip flops, and shoes with slick soles should be avoided. Setting Rules and Limitations It is essential for parents and caregivers to enforce safe playground rules to keep kids safe. Pushing, shoving, our crowding should be prohibited and children should avoid playing on equipment that is not age, size and ability appropriate. Being Prepared at the Playground It is a good idea for parents, caregivers, and older children to learn how to respond in the event of a playground emergency. They should also familiarize themselves with basic first aid and CPR just in case tragedy strikes.  

  • When Pro-Athletes Become Injured

    Today’s professional athletes often spend their time performing extensive, physically demanding and dangerous activities anytime they train, practice or compete. Although their bodies are typically conditioned to withstand the demands of their sport, these athletes are not invincible. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sports competitors and professional athletes suffer over 2,000 serious injuries per 10,000 workers each year. This places sports in the top five when it comes to occupations with the most injuries. Football: Injuries on the Field Football has long been recognized as a dangerous sport for amateurs and professional athletes alike, and despite numerous efforts to increase safety on the field, players continue to suffer catastrophic injuries every year. Official reports from the National Football League (NFL) state that within the first two weeks of the season, approximately 15 percent of professional football players have already suffered an injury. While some injuries are fairly minor and recovery is quick, others result in severe impairments, long term disabilities, and sometimes even death. Head, neck, and knee injuries are some of the most common serious injuries sustained by players, and these injuries can sometimes take victims out of the game for good. For a few, repetitive injuries sustained during years of participating in the sport can cost them their lives. A study released in 2015 revealed that out of 91 NLF players who were deceased, a disturbing 87 tested positive for a brain disease that has been linked to repetitive head trauma (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). Baseball: Diamonds in the Dust Professional baseball players often suffer severe injuries that sideline them, and sometimes their careers, as well. According to studies published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, about 51.4 percent of Major League Baseball injuries were to the upper extremities, while 30.6 percent were to the lower extremities. Pitchers were at the highest risk of injury, accounting for about 34 percent more injuries than fielders, and they suffered a significantly higher number of injuries to the upper extremity (67 percent). Fielders, however, were more likely to suffer injuries to the lower extremity, accounting for about 47.5 percent. While professional baseball players are much less likely than football players to lose their lives while participating in practice or a game, many times their injuries are so severe that they become unable to continue their careers. Basketball: Catastrophe on the Court With teams playing demanding, 82-game[READ MORE…]

  • Young Athletes and Sport Related Injuries

    Roughly 30 million children engage in sporting activities and each year these young athletes experience millions of injuries. Approximately 775,000 children under the age of 14 visit emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year. A further 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctors visits are needed to assist children between the ages of 14-19 with recovering from their injuries. Nationwide, nearly 1/3 of all recorded childhood injuries are caused by participation in sporting events. (Article continues below Infographic) Playing a Dangerous Game While every sport involves the risk of injury, some sports are inherently more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football, wrestling, and hockey have higher rates of injury than sports such as baseball, golf, and tennis. Basketball – Children between the ages of 5-19 suffer more than 375,000 basketball-related injuries each year. That’s equivalent to about 15% of all players within the demographic. The most common injuries are strains and sprains of the lower extremities, followed by fractures and dislocations. Of considerable concern is the fact that the number of traumatic brain injuries is increasing. From 1997 to 2007, instances of TBI increased more than 70%. Baseball – Slightly more than 100,000 children between the ages of 5 to 14 are treated in emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries each year. Common injuries include strains, sprains, and broken arms/legs. Up to 25 of players between the ages of 5 to 14 are injured each year. Since 2000, rates of elbow and shoulder injuries have risen more than 500%. Moreover, many children experience traumatic brain injury when they are struck with either the bat or the ball. The sport has one of the highest fatality rates of all sports and each year 3 to 4 children under the age of 14 die while playing the game. Cycling – Each year, 200,000 children are treated for cycling related injuries. These injuries include strains, sprains, broken bones, and severe lacerations. Use of safety equipment such as helmets and pads has helped reduce fatality rates by 92% since 1975. However, it is still considered one of the most dangerous youth sports and roughly 13 per 100,000 children are hospitalized each year with cycling related injuries. Hockey – Roughly 20,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 are injured in hockey-related accidents each year. Common injuries include broken bones, fractures, and traumatic brain injury. Football – Between 2005 and 2014, 92 teenagers died as a result of[READ MORE…]

  • Is Your Child’s School Safe? Some Tips to Make That More Likely

    The unfortunate and tragic events in American schools in recent years have been cause for concern to parents, teachers and students themselves. And while shootings have grabbed most of the headlines, there are other dangers that can befall our most vulnerable generation before graduation. But that’s not to say we are helpless. There are many steps parents can take to improve the odds that an attack, an accident or an illness will not happen. In Chicago, the obvious concerns are the problems of guns, gangs and bullying. No lawyer, judge or politician can unilaterally end these scourges to our educational system and our students. Just as important are strategies that parents, educators and school administrators can follow to make things safer. Here are a few:  Develop incident reporting systems as well as a transparent means of reporting cumulative data for public consumption. This first step is to develop a solid understanding of the problem. Insist that districts and individual schools have crisis plans and drills. Provide literature, training and support to teachers on issues such as drugs, weapons, youth suicide, child abuse and school law. Observe and promote Safe Schools Week, which is in October. This provides a way to engage everyone in why it matters and the commitment of the school to provide a safe environment throughout the year. Other, unintentional safety issues exist in the school experience as well. On playgrounds, more than 200,000 children under age 14 are injured and require emergency treatment every year in the U.S. Preventive measures include ensuring that equipment is well maintained and that ground surfaces are soft. School staff, including and especially nurses, should be particularly attuned to symptoms of concussion. The journey to school also needs to be safe. A trend toward driving children in cars to their school may be an overzealous response and is attributed by some as a contributor to childhood obesity. If at all possible, parents can escort their children by bike or on foot and when the child is ready, allow them to walk alone if neighborhood conditions allow. Chicago’s Safe Passage program has largely been hailed a success (where it is available); Walking School Bus programs, led by a parent volunteer, are successful in many municipalities. In almost all instances, parental involvement is a fundamental component of ensuring safer schools. Attorneys might be able to lend assistance if laws are being broken, but a[READ MORE…]

  • Look For Neighborhood Hazards When Shopping For a New Home

    Different people have varying priorities when looking for a new place to live and, more specifically, for a new home to buy. For some, it’s about the kitchen, including the newness and functionality of the appliances, countertops, cabinetry and storage. Other people need a specific number of bathrooms and bedrooms, an informal family room, a large-enough garage or an outdoor space that accommodates recreation and entertaining. People with school age children will almost always prioritize living in the district of a desirable school. But aside from features and amenities, new home shoppers should also consider the quality of the neighborhood. That should include immediately adjacent properties, as well as what’s nearby, such as a business that might produce a large volume of traffic. Some businesses, such as nightclubs, can cause noise problems for neighbors. Other factors to consider: Odor nuisances and dangers –Odors, such as those emanating from the exhaust fans of a nearby commercial establishment, might be a nuisance but not necessarily dangerous to human health. Smells from manufacturing facilities, farms and sewage treatment plants may be injurious to health and likely will depress property values. If there is or was a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory on or near the property in the past, there is a good chance toxic waste exists nearby. Sexual offenders in the vicinity – The Illinois State Police maintain the Illinois Sex Offender Information map, which can provide the names and addresses of sexual predators within five miles. Attorneys are sometimes successful at having old sex offense records expunged, but that is only after years without subsequent offenses. Environmental hazards – In most residential areas, the concerns about toxic substances in the neighborhood have to do with operating or shuttered dry cleaners, gas stations and auto shops, however landfills and superfund sites might also be in the vicinity. A home inspector is not required to know how to identify hazards off the property, however some are equipped to do so. Real estate brokers are not qualified to make this assessment but it helps to heed their warnings and seek an independent assessment by qualified technicians.  Crime – A quick online search can find various crime statistic reporting sites, searchable by zip code and address, in Chicago and elsewhere.  Traffic – While traffic and highway engineers can design roads for safety according to latest technologies, some neighborhoods still have higher rates of accidents. If you or[READ MORE…]

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    Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.