7210 East State Street, Suite 102A, Rockford, Illinois 61108

Call Us815-215-7561

Recent blog posts

Rockford personal injury attorneysAggressive driving is a common factor in traffic accidents across America. In fact, a 2009 study from the American Automobile Association (AAA), which used information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatal Accident Report System (FARS), had found aggressive driving to be a factor in as many as 56 percent of all U.S. car crashes between the years 2003 and 2007. What does these statistics mean for non-aggressive drivers, and what can victims do after an accident has occurred?

What Constitutes Aggressive Driving?

Most people see the terms “aggressive driving” and “road rage” as synonymous, but road rage is actually a form of aggressive driving—certainly one of the more concerning displays of it. Other forms of aggressive driving include:

  • Speeding;
  • Following too closely, or “tailgating;”
  • Racing;
  • Improper lane changes;
  • Driving on the shoulder;
  • Driving in the median;
  • Passing where prohibited;
  • Failure to yield the right of way;
  • Failure to signal;
  • Driving too fast for road conditions;
  • Improper turns;
  • Reckless or erratic handling of a vehicle;
  • Failure to obey traffic signs or controls; and
  • Failure to observe warnings or instructions.

All these maneuvers and behaviors may place the driver and other road users at risk for an accident. If a crash does occur, aggressive drivers may be held liable for the injuries or damages experienced by victims.

...

Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneysAnyone who has spent time in a hospital can tell you the relief they felt when they were discharged and allowed to go home. Even those staying in a hospital for a short time can start to feel homesickness and grow intolerable of the bustle and noise of a busy hospital. Although they can be uncomfortable, hospital stays are often a requirement for patients requiring round-the-clock care for more serious illnesses and injuries.

To most patients, the news that they get to leave the confines of a hospital bed and return home is met with happiness. After all, if they are allowed to go home, their condition must have improved dramatically. Patients assume that the doctors and nurses on staff at the hospital would never discharge someone who was not well enough to go home. The tragic reality is that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals do make mistakes and sometimes patients who are not ready to leave the hospital are discharged anyway.

Questionable Early Hospital Discharges Put Lives in Danger

Even hospitals which are not-for-profit must rely on income generated through medical services. Hospitals must constantly find ways to save on costs. Many experts believe that cost-cutting efforts and other factors have caused an increase in patients being discharged from the hospital too soon. Sometimes, patients who are simply staying in the hospital to be observed are discharged quickly in order to create space for patients who need more intensive care or many diagnostic tests. Early hospital discharge can lead to worsened medical conditions and unnecessary pain and suffering. Early discharges that result in injuries to the patient can often open the door to medical malpractice claims.

...

Posted on in Car Accidents

Rockford car accident attorneyOf all the car accident injuries, whiplash is, by far, the most commonly reported in the United States. In fact, recent statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that some 66 percent of all claimants file an injury related to the neck, and over 800,000 whiplash injuries have been reported over the last 12 years. What can accident victims with whiplash expect after a crash, and what kind of compensation might they be entitled to receive? It is important to understand the dangers of this condition and what can be done about it.

What is Whiplash?

A soft tissue injury that involves the tendons, ligaments, and surrounding tissues of the neck, whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly and violently thrust backward, and then forward. It might sound as though it takes a high-speed crash to create this type of motion. However, whiplash is often seen in even low-speed crashes (perhaps as little as six miles per hour, if going by the cut-off limits in the UK). There is also a common misconception that whiplash occurs only in rear-end crashes, but front-on collision victims are also at risk.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Though the pain of whiplash may not show up immediately after the accident, victims are likely to notice symptoms in the coming hours, days, or weeks after an accident. Often hard to ignore, and typically far more painful than just a simple ache, these symptoms can include:

...

Winnebago County personal injury attorneysIf you were to ask a random person on the street to think of a personal injury lawsuit that did not involve a member of their family, that person might name any number of cases. If you were to ask that same person to think of a frivolous lawsuit, he or she will almost certainly bring up the idea of suing over a cup of coffee and being awarded millions of dollars.

In 1994, an elderly New Mexico woman named Stella Liebeck did, in fact, sue McDonald’s over a cup of hot coffee. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury did decide that she should receive nearly $3 million in damages. A closer look, however, reveals that labeling the lawsuit as “frivolous” is, at best, unfair to the woman who suffered gruesome injuries from coffee that was far too hot.

The Facts

Ms. Liebeck was 79 years old when her grandson took her to McDonald’s in 1992. As she sat in the passenger seat of the car, she started to remove the lid of her coffee so that she could add cream and sugar. The cup tipped over and spilled the coffee onto her lap. The spilled coffee was so hot that Ms. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns on her legs and genitals in a matter of a few seconds. Her injuries were so severe that she required skin grafts and extensive surgeries.

...

Winnebago County car accident attorneysThere are currently nine states—plus Washington D.C.—in which recreational marijuana has been legalized. A substantial number of other states have decriminalized low-level possession of marijuana, implemented legal medical marijuana programs, or both. Illinois is one of those that has done both. The increasingly lax laws regarding marijuana use have led many to wonder what the impact will be on public safety. Two recent studies that seem to contradict each other offer a fairly reasonable insight into the effect of legalized marijuana on the rate of car accidents.

More Accidents

The first study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and looked at insurance claims for crashes filed between 2012 and 2016. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults over the age of 21. The researchers looked at those two states along with Oregon and compared their accident claims with neighboring states that did not legalize recreational use. The study estimated that crash rates were about 3 percent above what they would have been if marijuana had not been legalized. While the increase is not dramatic, it is statistically significant, according to the study.

No Effect on Fatalities

The second study was published by researchers from the University of Texas and Rice University and examined car accident fatality rates between 2009 and 2015. Their findings indicated that there was no increase in fatalities in Colorado or Washington compared to other states during the first three years of legalization.

...

Rockford In workplaces nationwide, workers are required to use various chemicals and other materials in order to perform their jobs properly. While many chemicals are fairly safe, others often present severe dangers, including the ability to cause serious burns. If you have suffered a chemical burn while on the job or while visiting an industrial or construction site, seek treatment immediately and learn about your rights to possible compensation.

Breaking Down a Chemical Burn

Chemicals that can seriously burn a person are usually strong acids or bases. Some such chemicals are found in most homes and may include ammonia, chlorine bleach, and drain cleaning liquids and gels. In manufacturing and industrial settings, however, there are many more chemicals that are often used for a wide range of applications. These chemicals are usually even more concentrated—and therefore more dangerous—than their household counterparts.

When a caustic or corrosive chemical makes contact with your skin, the substance could start to eat away at your flesh. The severity of the burn depends on several factors, including the type of chemical, its concentration, and how long it stays in contact with your skin. The least serious type of chemical burn is called a “superficial injury” as it only damages the top layer of skin. A “dermal injury” or “partial thickness” burn refers to damage to the second layer, called the dermis. The most serious type of chemical burn is a “full-thickness injury” and damages the top and second layers of skin, as well as the tissue underneath, including muscle and fat.

...

Rockford medical malpractice attorneysWhen something goes wrong at a doctor, physical therapist, dentist, or other medical office, patients can be left lost and confused. After all, most of us grew up putting total trust in doctors and nurses. Their ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions still seem like a superpower to many children. Sadly, as we age, we realize that nobody is perfect and that medical professionals can and sometimes do make catastrophic mistakes. If you have been mistreated or hurt because of inadequate medical care or a negligent health-care provider, read on to learn about your options for financial compensation.

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that, shockingly, medical negligence is the third most leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans. In fact, in the year 2012 alone, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice disbursements. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional strays from the accepted “standard of care” while treating a patient. The “standard of care” in this context simply refers to what a reasonably thoughtful medical professional of similar experience and training would have done under similar circumstances. Someone who has a poor outcome from a medical procedure has not necessarily experienced medical negligence. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals simply experience bad luck. However, when a patient is treated in a way that deviates from the acceptable treatment of a condition or injury and suffers damages as a result, he or she may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Medical Negligence That Could Lead to a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical negligence can take many different forms. Examples of medical negligence that could possibly lead to a lawsuit include:

...

Rockford defective drugs attorneyDespite the existence of federal agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dangerous and defective drugs still manage to make it to pharmacy shelves with alarming regularity. Hardly a year goes by where without a major drug manufacturer being called out for products that injure those who take them. Unfortunately, such cases often drag on for many years. One example can be found in the case being brought against the maker of AndroGel.

Compensatory and Punitive Damages

According to court records, a Tennessee man began using the testosterone replace drug AndroGel in 2010. He used the product for two months and stopped when he suffered a heart attack. The man filed a lawsuit against AbbVie, the Chicago-based manufacturer of AndroGel, on the basis that the company failed to warn patients about the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. His claim was one about 6,000 similar claims filed against the company.

In April of this year, a federal jury in Chicago found in favor of the man and awarded him $140,000 in compensatory damages. The jury also ordered AbbVie to pay $140 million in punitive damages. 

...

Rockford wrongful death attorneyWhen someone dies as a result of another person’s negligence or misconduct, the decedent’s family may sue for "wrongful death." This claim is separate from any criminal charges such as murder or assault which may have been brought against the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit. A person can also be found liable for wrongful death even if no criminal charges were ever filed against that person. A wrongful death lawsuit can be a highly beneficial legal tool for families of victims who wish to pursue financial compensation for their loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit and When?

The personal representative of the victim’s estate, called the “special representative,” is the only one who can bring a wrongful death suit. This representative is most often a close family member. In order to have a valid wrongful death case, several criteria must be met. Firstly, someone must have died. The death must have been caused by another’s negligence, such as when a drunk driver kills a pedestrian, or through intentional harm. Another requirement is the survival of family members who have experienced damages as a result of the death.

What Types of Damages are Considered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The damages surviving family members can recover compensation for include medical expenses, the deceased’s lost wages, the value of the services that the victim would have provided, and funeral and burial expenses. Additionally, a wrongful death lawsuit can help recover compensation for the deceased’s person's mental and physical pain and suffering. Damages can also include losses relating to the non-financial, emotional benefits the victim provided their family. For example, the loss of the nurturing and care a parent would have provided to his or her children can be considered recoverable damages. Loss of companionship and love as well as loss of consortium, the losses a widowed spouse experiences, can all be included in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages can also include the mental suffering and grief suffered by the surviving family members.

...

Winnebago County personal injury attorneysThe House Veterans Affairs Committee has begun an intensive investigation into the quality of care at 133 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nursing homes after it was revealed that the VA itself ranks most of its facilities as seriously lacking. The agency’s internal rankings of its nursing homes had been kept secret for years, but they are now available for the public to view. The data is grim. Almost half of all VA nursing homes have been assigned the lowest possible score with regards to cleanliness, safety, and quality of patient care.

VA Facilities at Greater Risk for Pain and Medical Complications

Tragically, studies show that care for American war veterans is shockingly insufficient. An investigation headed by USA Today and The Boston Globe found that 60 VA nursing homes were given a score of one star out of five. In over two-thirds of VA nursing homes, patients were found to have higher rates of pain and a higher incidence of bedsores than nursing homes in the private sector. Residents in VA nursing homes show a greater decline in their quality of life than nursing home residents in private facilities.

Illinois nursing homes did not fare particularly well on quality-of-care rankings. The facility in Danville, IL, scored one out of five stars in part due to a resident who had a catheter left in their bladder. The lowest possible score for nursing home quality is one star. Other two-star nursing home facilities had high rates of bedsores and residents slipping and falling. The best-rated home in Illinois was in North Chicago and earned three stars out of five.

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_gavel-justice-personal-injury-courtroom.jpgWhen you or someone you love is injured in a car crash, or any other situation caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. This compensation is meant to reimburse you for medical expenses, lost wages, damage to your property, and other types of losses that can be measured financially. Your recovery may also include damages for non-economic considerations like pain, suffering, scarring, and disfigurement. Unfortunately, collecting the compensation you deserve is not always easy, and it is important for you the steps that could be necessary.

Filing Your Claim

In most personal injury matters, the first step is file a claim for damages with the insurance company of the person or entity you believe was at fault for the accident. This process usually includes an exchange of relevant information, in addition to reports filed by the police and witness statements. At this stage of the game, you will probably need to have some type of proof to show the insurance company that their client is responsible for your actions. Most insurance companies are not likely to admit responsibility without convincing evidence.

Depending on the details of your case, the insurer might offer a settlement. It is critically important to remember that accepting a settlement almost always limits your ability to take legal action in the future. You should never agree to a settlement offer without first consulting with your lawyer.

...

Rockford car accident attorneysIf you have ever been in a car accident, you know that the moments after impact can be confusing and overwhelming. After realizing they have just been in an accident, most people have several thoughts racing through their heads. One of these thoughts is usually about if anyone was hurt during the accident. However, it can be very difficult to assess your own injuries after an accident accurately.

Common Car Accident Injuries

One of the tricky things about car accident injuries is that some injuries are not outwardly visible. For example, a person may have experienced whiplash during a sudden stop but have no immediate signs of this internal neck injury. Whiplash, also called a neck sprain or strain, can cause severe pain, stiffness, headaches, numbness, and fatigue. However, these symptoms may take up to 24 hours to develop. Soft tissue damage, spinal injuries, concussions, broken bones, herniated discs, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries can all be caused by a car accident.

Delaying Treatment Can Exacerbate Medical Issues

Imagine this scenario: a driver is rear-ended by another vehicle. The driver feels a pain in his back but ignores it. The driver who was hit is so consumed by exchanging insurance information and taking care of his vehicle that he does not get checked out by a medical professional. A few days later, the back pain has dramatically worsened, and the man finally goes to a doctor. The doctor explains that the man will need expensive back surgery to correct the problem. 

...

Rockford personal injury attorneysThe weather has been warming up in Northern Illinois, and that means that people are out picnicking, swimming, and walking their dogs. Although many consider dogs to be “man’s best friend,” the reality is that dogs are still animals, and their behavior is not always predictable. Sometimes, a dog who has never shown signs of belligerence suddenly becomes aggressive. If you have been bitten by a dog in Illinois, it is important to know that you might be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries.

Illinois Dog Bite Laws

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximate about 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Illinois has traditionally been a state in which a higher-than-average number of dog bite lawsuits are filed. This is partially due to how the law is written. In some states, a dog owner is not responsible for damages caused by a dog bite if the dog had never bitten anyone before. For example, if someone owned a dog who was usually friendly and non-aggressive, but then one day the dog suddenly bit someone, the dog owner may not be held liable because he or she did not know the dog was capable of violence. However, Illinois does not have this law in place. Instead, a dog owner can be held liable for damages caused by his or her dog biting someone even if the dog has never shown signs of aggressiveness in the past.

The Illinois Animal Control Act dictates when a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog. According to the act, “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury proximately caused thereby.”

...

Winnebago County nursing home abuse attorneysAs the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more individuals are seeking the 24/7 care that nursing homes offer. One study suggests that over half of the current U.S population will need to stay in a nursing home, at least temporarily, at one point in their lives or another. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are not able to manage the increasing number of residents. Understaffed nursing homes or staff who are not properly trained can leave residents without the help and resources they need. When left unchecked, nursing home neglect and abuse can be deadly.

Nursing Home Abuse and Mistreatment Shockingly Common

The most vulnerable among us deserve to be cared for and respected by nursing home staff. Sadly, many nursing home residents find themselves in facilities that do not make residents’ needs the staff’s top priority. Some nursing home staff even purposely harm the residents. A congressional report found that almost a third of all U.S nursing homes were guilty of safety and regulatory violations which put residents at increased risk of harm. Surveys show that almost half of nursing home residents have reported being mistreated at some point in their stay. Even more concerning, an astounding 95 percent of nursing home residents claim to have personally witnessed staff neglecting other residents.

Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect

One of the most tragic realities about nursing home abuse and neglect is that many residents are unable to communicate what is happening to them. Residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be especially vulnerable to mistreatment. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs of neglect or abuse such as:

...

Rockford motorcycle crash lawyersAs spring turns into summer over the next few weeks, more and more motorcycles will be out on Illinois roadways. Helmet laws have long been a topic of intense debate for motorcycle riders across the country, as each state has the freedom to make its own laws—or not—regarding helmet use. In Illinois, there are no helmet laws for motorcycle riders, which means that each rider must decide for himself or herself whether or not to wear one.

Advocates of mandatory helmet laws believe that wearing a helmet decreases the likelihood of serious injury in a crash—an outcome that serves the public interest. Those who oppose helmet laws maintain that because it is the rider who is at risk, the rider should have the freedom to go helmetless. Some riders even go so far as to suggest that while helmets may protect the head from impacts, they can actually cause neck injuries.

Added Weight

The basis for the claim is that a helmet adds weight to the riders head and neck. When the motorcycle is moving, the head and helmet combination is moving at the same speed. If the motorcycle stops quickly—such as during a crash—the head and helmet will continue moving forward. The theory holds that in many cases, the inertia of the head and helmet is too much for the rider’s neck, which can cause broken vertebrae or even a severed spinal cord.

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_childrens-products-safety-recall.jpgWhen consumer products are aimed at children—or the care and well-being of children—the manufacturers and distributors of such products may be absolutely sure that children are not being placed in danger by using the products. Unfortunately, dozens are children’s products are recalled each year, and consumer advocacy groups suggest that there has been little, if any, progress made in recent years toward improving children’s product safety.

A New Report

Kids in Danger (KID) is a children’s advocacy group based in Chicago. Earlier this month, KID held press conference, alongside Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and representatives from other groups, to announce the release of a new report that looked at children’s product recalls in 2017. The report also outlined the effectiveness of recalls issued in 2016.

The annual report is an effort to educate the public and product manufacturers regarding dangerous children’s products. Despite releasing the report every year since 2002, KID officials say there is still a long way to go. “It is disheartening [that] we don’t appear to be much closer to effective recalls now despite enormous leaps in communication resources to reach consumers,” said KID executive director Nancy Cowles.

...

Winnebago County car accident lawyersThere is little argument against the fact that smartphones and other hand-held technology has dramatically changed Americans’ lives in the last few decades. We use our phones for everything from texting and calling to GPS navigation, social media, “Googling” information, and even streaming video. Unfortunately, some people choose to do these things while driving. Even though some mistakenly believe that they can “multitask” while driving, the reality is that doing anything other than driving while behind the wheel greatly decreases a person’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed in car accidents caused by a distracted driver in 2015. During the same year, a shocking 391,000 people were injured in these types of accidents. A countless number of public service announcements and campaigns have attempted to decrease the number of people killed or injured by distracted driving incidents each. Many states have enacted laws to make using a cellphone while driving illegal or to require the use of hands-free devices. Unfortunately, some people continue to endanger others by using their phone at the wheel.

Cell Phones Are Not the Only Dangerous Distraction

The tricky thing about cell phone use legislation is that many everyday occurrences can be even more distracting while driving. For example, studies show that talking on a hands-free phone or through a Bluetooth connection may be just as distracting as using a handheld phone. In fact, the simple act of talking to another person inside the car can be distracting. Australian researchers found that the presence of children in a vehicle is 12 times more distracting to a driver than using a cell phone. Startlingly, the research also showed that people driving with children in the car take their eyes off of the road for more than three minutes of a 16-minute trip on average.

...

Rockford medical malpractice attorneyWhen you place yourself under the care of a hospital and a team of medical professionals, you expect everyone involved to do their best to meet your needs. Doctors and medical staff members, however, are human, and they sometimes make mistakes. In some cases, medical professionals can be blatantly negligent, and when this happens, the patients who suffer harm as a result may be entitled to collect compensation for their injuries.

The amount compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive depends on a large number of factors, including the seriousness of the injury and how it will affect the rest of their lives. A recent appeals court ruling in Illinois indicates that if the circumstances of a case change during trial, the verdict can be directly affected.

A Quick Recap

The case in question involved a 42-year-old Illinois woman who sought treatment at a Cook County hospital in 2005 for a soft tissue infection in her neck. Due to swelling in her throat, doctors installed a tracheostomy tube but failed to properly account for the effects of a blood-thinning medication that the woman was already taking. The combination of the medication and the trach tube led to several incidents of bleeding, including a serious event where the patient went into respiratory arrest. Before proper action was taken, the patient suffered serious brain damage and partial paralysis.

...
AV Rating Leading Lawyers Super Lawyers Super Lawyers Top 10 National trial Lawyers
Back to Top