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Rockford personal injury lawyerIn 2021, a study was published by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission declaring that injuries and deaths related to fireworks increased dramatically during the previous year. Because many municipalities canceled local fireworks shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more people used fireworks on their own, increasing the danger of an accidental or errant discharge resulting in a serious injury or death

To anyone who has never been injured by a firework, the idea that these fun sources of flashy entertainment could cause serious harm may seem laughable. After all, the vast majority of fireworks displays occur without ever causing harm. But at least 18 people died in 2020 from firework-related accidents and more than 15,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for their injuries. Even firecrackers and sparklers, which seem harmless and are used by children all over Illinois every year, are actually responsible for the majority of fireworks injuries treated in the emergency room. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed by a firework and require expensive medical treatment, you may want to seek compensation. 

What Are Common Firework Injuries? 

Unfortunately, fireworks most often injure people in areas that are not easily healed. Face and hands are the most common locations that get hurt and include the following injuries: 

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Rockford swimming pool injury lawyersAs schools let out for the summer, children all across Illinois will spend much more time swimming in public and private pools. For the most part, time spent swimming is a great way to keep kids occupied and with proper supervision, training, and equipment, swimming can be a safe activity. 

However, swimming pools in Illinois must strictly adhere to legal construction standards. The expense and labor involved in maintaining swimming pools mean cracks, uneven or slippery surfaces, and other hazards may go unaddressed. In turn, this exposes people - especially children - to the risk of slip-and-fall injuries that can be serious and even lethal. 

Common Swimming Pool Accidents

By far, the most common swimming pool injuries occur when bathers slip or trip and fall on surfaces that do not have proper anti-slip resistance or are uneven because of poor construction or maintenance. The location and speed of the slip can vary, and children who fall while running can suffer serious injuries and even death.

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Rockford personal injury lawyerIt seems like nearly every day there is a news headline describing the recall of a widely-distributed food. Reports of nameless people in distant cities falling seriously ill and even dying are sad to read but easy to forget. But when a food poisoning incident happens to someone you love - especially to your child - the consequences can be life-altering. 

Just last year, a government report alleged that major baby food companies had dangerous levels of heavy metals in their products. These chemicals and elements can have serious neurotoxic effects, especially on developing brains. Even when heavy metals are not present, other toxic substances like salmonella can make a child very sick and potentially threaten their life. If your child developed a food illness after eating baby food, an Illinois personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover damages. 

Heavy Metals in Baby Food Can Cause Developmental Problems 

Studies show that children who ingest toxic heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury can suffer serious, life-long neurological harm, including: 

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Illinois daycare abuse attorneyBusy parents with hectic schedules must do extensive research to find the perfect Illinois daycare center for their child. Leaving your little one in the hands of a third party all day may be a harrowing experience for some parents, and it is one which takes a leap of faith in the skill and compassion of the daycare staff. 

Unfortunately, daycare staff do not always live up to the expectations parents have of them; worse, they sometimes abuse the children in their care. Any kind of daycare abuse is unacceptable. If your child has been abused in their childcare center and injured or even killed, know that you have options. 

Types of Daycare Abuse

It is often difficult for children to share or talk about daycare abuse, either because they are too young or are afraid of their teachers or caregivers. An estimated 60 percent of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone. But where there is abuse, there are often subtle signs of abuse. These include, but are not limited to:

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Rockford medication injury lawyerFor most women in Illinois, the invention and widespread availability of birth control have made it much easier to make safe, informed decisions about when to start a family. For other women, birth control has meant finally being able to control painful, unpredictable menstruation cycles.

While birth control is well understood and its risks are low, it is not without risks altogether. Many women who use birth control have suffered from serious and even life-threatening health conditions, including heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms. If you started taking birth control and experienced an adverse health condition, you may want to speak with an Illinois birth control injuries lawyer. 

How Does Birth Control Work? 

Different birth control works in different ways. Birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives contain a small amount of human estrogen and progestin hormones. These hormones prevent a woman’s body from ovulating and also change the consistency of the cervical mucus so sperm cannot reach an egg as easily. Non-hormonal methods, such as a copper IUD, change the way sperm cells move so they cannot reach an egg to fertilize it. 

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Rockford product liability lawyerA couple of years ago, a prominent medical device company issued a massive recall of over 300,000 insulin pumps. The pumps had defective retainer rings which could break, causing the pump to dose insulin improperly and potentially send users into diabetic comas. The U.S. Food and Drug administration categorized this recall as a Class I recall, in which there is a reasonable probability that using the recalled defective medical product could result in serious injury or death. 

When situations like this occur, people can suffer catastrophic injuries and death through no fault of their own. The sudden loss or grievous injury of a spouse or a child can cause incalculable grief and suffering and survivors may rightfully wonder if there is anything they can do. If you or someone you love has been hurt because of a defective medical device, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you secure fair compensation. 

What Kinds of Medical Devices May Be Defective? 

Defective insulin pumps are only one kind of medical device that could cause serious injury or death. Pacemakers, hearing aids, prosthetics, implants, joint replacements, and more can be hazardous if they are not manufactured properly. Common injuries that result from defective medical devices include, but are not limited to: 

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Winnebago County auto defect attorneyA few years ago, a story made national news headlines when a family driving together in their car realized that the foot pedal was jammed in the floor mat. Tragically, the entire family died as the car accelerated unstoppably and crashed. Following an investigation, the manufacturer recalled nearly four million vehicles to replace the accelerator pedals. 

While the vast majority of car accidents are caused by human error, accidents involving manufacturer’s defects do happen and the results can be life-changing, if not deadly. Serious accidents can be caused by defective vehicle equipment and when these accidents result in catastrophic injury or death, it is important to hold the responsible party to account. If you have been injured in an Illinois car crash because of a defective automobile part, speak with a product injury attorney as soon as possible. 

Common Car Part Defects

While accidents involving defective car parts vary in intensity, causes, and outcomes, there are many common sources of manufacturer’s defects that can cause or worsen a crash. Some of the most common sources of defective car parts include: 

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Winnebago County bicycle accident attorneyIllinois’ flat landscape and beautiful scenery make it an ideal location for bicyclists who ride their bike for commuting or recreational purposes. And while Illinois is making great strides in bicycle safety lanes and trying to increase motor vehicle operators’ awareness of bikes on the road, great risks still exist to bicyclists. Bicycles are much smaller and lighter than motor vehicles, making them hard to see and susceptible to serious injury and death in even minor car accidents. If you have been injured by a car or truck while riding your bike in Rockford, a personal injury attorney can help you decide whether you want to pursue a lawsuit. 

Common Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Life-threatening injuries and death are regrettably common in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles. Frequent injuries include, but are not limited to: 

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Internal bleeding, bruising, and hemorrhaging 
  • Road rash 

Recovering from these injuries can take months or years and extensive surgeries, physical therapy, and other expensive medical treatment. Successful lawsuits often deliver compensation for loss of mobility, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and decreased life quality. While money cannot give you back your health, it can make managing life after a serious accident a little easier. 

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Rockford dog bite injury lawyerWhile dog attacks are relatively rare, they can be a scary and dangerous experience, especially for young children. Dogs are often much larger and stronger than a child, and because of their similar height, children are at greater risk of sustaining serious and even life-threatening head and neck injuries in a dog attack. Winnebago County does not have any restrictions against owning pit bulls, but parents of young children should know that pit bulls are, statistically speaking, the most dangerous breed of dog when it comes to dog attacks on children and exercise particular caution around an unfamiliar pit bull. If your child has been attacked by a pit bull or any breed of dog and sustained injuries, you may be able to sue the owner to recover the cost of your child’s medical expenses and emotional trauma.  

Are Dog Owners Responsible for Injuries Caused By Their Dogs? 

As with most legal issues, the answer is, “It depends.” If a child wandered onto someone else’s property and accidentally or intentionally provoked a dog attack, the dog owner is probably not liable for any injuries the child sustained. However, if a dog is allowed to wander off private property and it attacks a child at a park or on your family’s property, the owner will likely be responsible. Likewise, if you are invited to a friend’s house and their dog attacks your child unprovoked, especially if the dog has a history of aggression or biting people, your friend may be responsible. 

What is Considered a Vicious Dog?  

Children are often bitten by dogs because they tend not to understand a dog’s warning signs. A child’s behavior that seems playful or harmless to an adult human may seem irritating or threatening to a dog; pulling a dog’s tail or ears, chasing a dog, or taking something from a dog’s mouth may all provoke an attack. A dog who has attacked a child when the child was abusing, assaulting, or physically threatening the dog will likely not be considered vicious and the owner will not be held responsible for the attack. However, if a dog has a history of attacking people unprovoked and the owner does not take the necessary steps to confine a vicious animal, he or she may be held responsible for that dog’s actions. 

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Rockford nursing home neglect lawyerAs our parents and loved ones grow older, moving independently and making everyday decisions about finances or healthcare can become extremely difficult. Physical illness, intellectual degeneration, and other ailments of aging can make caring for a family member at home impossible and the decision to place someone in a nursing home, while difficult, may be the best option. 

We should all be able to trust a nursing home to provide the best care for our aging parents. Unfortunately, understaffing, poor training, and efforts to cut corners all happen sometimes in nursing homes. When nursing home abuse and neglect takes place, residents can suffer - and one of the first signs that residents are getting inadequate care is the appearance of bedsores

What Causes Bedsores? 

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are injuries that appear when skin is damaged because of prolonged pressure on one or more areas of the body. Bedsores are particularly prone to developing on protruding areas like hips, ankles, heels, the back of the head, and the tailbone when someone has difficulty moving and spends most of their time in bed or in a chair. 

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Rockford personal injury attorneyParents who live in Winnebago County, Illinois, send their children all over the state and country to attend college. As university attendance levels continue to rise and more young adults seek to obtain a higher education, exposure to certain behaviors and risks also increases. One well-known risk of university attendance is the binge drinking that often occurs at campus parties. 

Unfortunately, binge drinking is often a mandatory part of joining a fraternity or sorority, and young adults with little experience can suffer serious injuries and even death in campus hazing incidents or university house parties. If your child was attending college and was injured, assaulted, or killed after being provided alcohol by another adult, you may be able to take legal action. 

Common Injuries From College Binge Drinking 

Research suggests that college students drink substantially more than their peers who do not attend college. Binge drinking, or drinking to the point of getting drunk, is especially common at universities with fraternities, sororities, and prominent sporting programs. Binge drinking places young students, who are often without parental supervision for the first time in their lives, at significant risk of catastrophic injury, including: 

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Winnebago County Nursing Home Abuse LawyerAfter a family has made the difficult, often heartbreaking decision to move a loved one into an Illinois nursing home, the family members of the nursing home resident may continue to face additional stress because they worry their loved one is not being properly cared for. Stories of nursing home neglect and abuse are widespread, and, unfortunately, incidents are common. Although accidents and injuries tend to happen more often to elderly people, if your loved one has suffered a broken bone or fracture in their nursing home, you may rightfully wonder if it was an accident or whether something like neglect or even physical abuse is going on. 

What Causes Broken Bones and Fractures in Nursing Home Residents? 

In addition to the clear dangers of physical abuse, more mundane behavior on the part of nursing home staff and supervisors may be responsible for residents’ injuries. Nursing home residents often suffer from weakness, frailty, and difficulty with independent movement. This places them at increased risk of falling and getting injured, especially if nursing home staff are not properly monitoring residents and offering support when necessary. Even minor accidents can result in serious injuries, and not every injury is a consequence of nursing home neglect. However, many behaviors can contribute to an increased rate of resident injuries, including: 

  • Cluttered, unclean, or uneven walkways

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Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerDrug companies in the United States often have significant incentives to market drugs without making potential users aware of the complete list of possible side effects. Because new drugs can be lucrative and often promise significant results, drug manufacturers may not do the necessary research to discover dangerous side effects or may attempt to hide them. Even drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration frequently have serious side effects that are not discovered until after they are widely available. Other times, patients are victimized by drugs that are wrongly prescribed or administered. If you have suffered an injury because of a defective drug, consider speaking with an experienced Illinois drug injuries attorney. 

Defective Drugs Can Cause Serious, Long-Lasting Injuries 

When patients take drugs, they expect them to help manage injuries, pain, or other suffering. Unfortunately, however, sometimes defective drugs can worsen symptoms or present new ones. While side effects can vary widely, common serious side effects of defective drugs include: 

  • Birth defects

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Winnebago County Catastrophic Injury LawyerThose who seek the aid of emergency room staff are in need of urgent, competent treatment from doctors and nurses who take the utmost care to ensure a patient gets treated and diagnosed according to the standard of care. 

Unfortunately, medical practitioners do not always meet their duty in this regard, and patients often suffer tremendously when an illness is misdiagnosed or poorly treated because of an emergency room mistake. Because emergency rooms are often hectic places with stressed, overworked staff who do not have ongoing relationships with patients, failure to diagnose and improper treatment may be more common than in traditional doctors’ offices. In some cases, this may rise to the level of medical malpractice

Common Emergency Room Errors

Medical mistakes have been pinpointed as the third leading cause of death in the United States, and research suggests that errors in emergency rooms are particularly common and occur in nearly every aspect of emergency care. Because staff are often switching between patients and changing shifts, small mistakes can quickly be exacerbated by poor communication or incorrect information. Other common mistakes include: 

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Rockford Personal Injury LawyerChemicals are everywhere in our environment. Even things that we use every day, like vinegar and baking soda, are chemicals or chemical compounds. Most of the chemicals in our environment pose no risk to us, even with daily exposure. Sometimes, however, we are exposed to dangerous chemicals without even knowing it. 

Certain workplaces are known to carry the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals, but even places like your home, streets, and grocery stores may have strong chemicals present that are not always managed correctly. We may unintentionally ingest them, get them on our skin or eyes, or breathe them in. While certain chemical exposures are unavoidable, other times a chemical can get into inappropriate areas due to negligence, serious accidents, or poor management. If you have been injured by exposure to chemicals in the Winnebago County area, a skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help. 

Signs of Toxic Chemical Exposure

While the specific signs of chemical exposure can vary according to the chemical in question, certain symptoms are common. Short-term effects include, but are not limited to: 

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Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerChildren in Illinois daycares frequently have severe food allergies. Daycare staff must be made aware of these allergies and adequately train staff to recognize and respond to signs of an allergic reaction. Because allergic reactions can be life-threateningly severe, daycare staff and managers need to track, plan, and carefully prepare meals to avoid giving children foods to which they are allergic. But when a daycare is careless or understaffed, the risk of accidentally exposing a child to a dangerous allergen increases. If your child was given food to which they are allergic at their daycare, the daycare may be liable for any food allergy injury that resulted. 

Inadequate Staffing Increases Risk of Allergen Exposure

A new 2021 law requires daycare and school employees to recognize and treat signs of anaphylactic shock. Ideally, a child in daycare will never be exposed to anything to which she is allergic, but this law is intended to save lives if a child is accidentally given unsafe food. 

However, if a daycare is understaffed and employees have to manage more children than they can reasonably care for, a child’s risk of allergic food exposure increases, along with the risk of overworked staff who might miss signs of an allergic reaction. Parents should be aware of the staff-child ratios required in Illinois daycares so they can be on the alert for signs of understaffing: 

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Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerVehicle airbags are often subject to conditions that have the potential to deteriorate the condition of the airbags long before they are ever deployed in a car accident. Extreme temperature fluctuations, humidity, and other environmental conditions have the potential to degrade airbags and make them defective, less effective, or even dangerous. 

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a major recall several years ago that involved tens of millions of vehicles that had airbags that could potentially explode and cause serious injury or death. While lives were undoubtedly saved by the recall, other lives in Illinois continue to be prematurely shortened or diminished in quality when a defective airbag deploys improperly. 

How Should an Effective Airbag Work? 

While airbags are not a foolproof method for preventing serious injury or death in a car accident, they are often effective in keeping a car accident victim’s face away from the steering column and dashboard. When a car is involved in a crash, a special sensor detects the impact and a carefully controlled system fills an airbag with gas that rapidly inflates the airbag at over 200 miles per hour, cushioning the impact of the crash and reducing damage to the head and body. 

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Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerHundreds of thousands of people in Illinois go grocery shopping every day without incident. But sometimes, what should have been a fast and easy trip to buy milk can turn into a nightmare scenario. Grocery stores that are not properly maintained and kept clean can quickly present a variety of hazards to unsuspecting customers, including slippery floors, loose electric wires, broken glass, and heavy falling objects. 

The consequences of these conditions can leave customers with serious and long-lasting injuries that require extensive and ongoing medical care. If you have been injured in a Winnebago County retail store and want to know whether you may be able to pursue compensation under Illinois’ premises liability laws, read on. 

When Can Someone Sue a Store for an Injury? 

Illinois law has specific sections discussing the responsibility that store owners have to visitors, shoppers, and even just someone stopping in to use the bathroom. Store owners and managers are legally responsible for keeping their stores free of hazards. While this means that a grocery store owner may not be responsible for every injury (such as if the customer’s own behavior was the proximate cause of the injury), certain conditions in the store that are caused by neglect or carelessness could cause injuries for which the grocery store is responsible. 

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Rockford Personal Injury LawyerAn Illinois mother may not be able to give birth vaginally to her infant for many reasons. The infant’s head may be too large, the infant may be in breech position, or the mother may suffer from serious health complications. Whatever the reason, a cesarean section or “c-section” can save the lives of the mother and the infant.

C-sections are on the rise, and many of them appear to have no necessary medical reason. C-section deliveries can be very risky because they involve complex surgical maneuvers in critical areas of a mother’s body. Even a seemingly minor surgical error or mistake can put the life of a mother or her infant at risk. If you have been injured because of a poorly conducted c-section, this blog may be helpful to you. 

Is a C-Section Mistake Medical Negligence? 

Doctors have a serious responsibility to practice medicine according to an established legal standard of care. Medicine is not always exact, and unavoidable mistakes can happen. But when a mistake is the result of a surgeon who fails to act reasonably or carefully and a patient is injured or killed, that surgeon may have committed medical malpractice

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Winnebago County Surgical Error Injury LawyerAnyone going into surgery is understandably nervous. While the majority of surgeries are completed successfully, surgical errors do occur. Some surgical mistakes are so terrible, they should never happen. Unfortunately, these so-called “never events” can and do occur. One study reported that approximately 4000 never events occur each year in the United States. Often, these egregious surgical mistakes lead to catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one were a victim of a severe surgical error, contact a medical malpractice lawyer for help.

Surgical Mistakes Can Lead to Profound Suffering

No one expects surgeons, doctors, and other medical staff to be perfect, but we do expect a certain degree of competency. Unfortunately, medical professionals do not always meet these expectations.

In 2001, the term “never event” was first used in reference to extreme surgical mistakes. These types of mistakes are unacceptable and should never happen. Some examples of never events include:

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