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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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Winnebago Car Crash LawyerApproximately 4.5 million people were injured in car accidents in 2019. Car accident victims are often faced with significant financial losses, including vehicle repair costs and medical bills. Many are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Some suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them permanently disabled. Car accident victims may be able to recover financial compensation for their losses through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

However, not all car accident injury claims are the same. When a car accident is caused by a government employee, a government entity may ultimately be responsible for compensating the victim. Unfortunately, bringing a successful claim against the government can be even more challenging than bringing a claim against an insurance company. Claims against the local, state or federal government are subject to special rules and tight deadlines. If you or a loved one were injured in a wreck and a government worker is at fault, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for help.

Sovereign Immunity in Illinois Car Accident Claims

Being hurt in a car crash is always a surprise, but you may be even more surprised if the crash was caused by a government employee. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may wonder if you have the same rights as other crash victims.

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Winnebago County Defective Product AttorneyThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is the government agency tasked with ensuring consumer products are safe. The agency frequently issues product recalls, but tragically, recalls are often not enough to prevent injuries and deaths caused by dangerous or defective products.

If your baby died and you suspect that a defective product was the cause, you may be looking for answers. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to seek justice on behalf of your child and hold the at-fault company responsible for this tragedy.

Unsafe Infant Products and Wrongful Death

Parents trust that products designed for infants are safe for infants. Unfortunately, baby and child products are frequently recalled due to safety hazards. Often, these recalls do not occur fast enough to prevent children from being hurt or killed by the products. Just recently, over 3 million infant loungers were recalled after eight reports of infant suffocation were associated with the lounger.

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Rockford Catastrophic Injury AttorneyMost of us take our ability to use our arms and legs for granted. Someone who has suffered paralysis after an accident knows just how precious this ability is. Paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other forms of paralysis are often the result of spine injuries suffered in a collision, slip and fall accident, or other type of accident. Some paralysis victims can still retain some control over the affected body parts, others are completely paralyzed. Their muscles may become flaccid and unusable or tight with painful spasms. Whatever the specifics of the condition, paralysis affects every aspect of a person’s life.

Legal Options for Paralysis Victims in Winnebago County

Per Illinois law, individuals who are injured by the actions of another party may be able to bring a personal injury claim and seek financial compensation. Money could never make up for the loss of your hand, foot, arm, or leg, however, it may relieve some of the financial burden caused by the accident. Many paralysis victims are left with massive medical bills and other expenses. They may be unable to work either temporarily or permanently. Many are never able to enjoy the same hobbies and activities they could before the accident.

If you or a loved one suffered temporary or permanent paralysis in an accident, you may be able to take legal action and recover financial compensation.  The liable party may be an individual such as a drunk driver, a commercial business such as a trucking company, a property owner, or another party. For car accidents, the party who is ultimately responsible for compensating the victim is a car insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with. The insurance company or other at-fault party may try to avoid taking responsibility for the accident or offer an unreasonably low payout. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence needed to build a compelling claim and act as your legal advocate during settlement negotiations, communications with the at-fault party, or any legal proceedings.  

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rockford wrongful death lawyerWhen a person dies unexpectedly, their family members may struggle financially while also dealing with grief and emotional trauma. Picking up the pieces after the loss of a loved one can be especially difficult when the person’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence. In these situations, a family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the person or parties who were responsible. While the damages available in these cases may provide compensation for the financial losses a family has experienced, they may also address the ways family members have been personally affected. By understanding how loss of companionship is addressed in these cases, a family can make sure they will be able to receive the compensation they deserve.

What Is Loss of Companionship?

A wrongful death case will often focus on “pecuniary” losses. These are also known as economic damages, and they will address the ways a family has been affected financially by a person’s death. Family members may be compensated for the loss of the income that their loved one would have earned, as well as other financial benefits they would have provided. In addition to these pecuniary losses, family members may also be compensated for non-economic damages, including their loss of a relationship with their loved one.

Loss of companionship, which may also be referred to as loss of consortium or loss of society, addresses the harm suffered by family members because they no longer have their loved one in their lives. A person’s spouse and children will suffer from the loss of a loving relationship in which the person would have provided them with comfort, affection, and attention. Children will not be able to receive guidance, instruction, and protection from a parent who was killed. A spouse will be deprived of partnership and sexual intimacy. A family may also experience a loss of services that their loved one would have provided, such as caring for children, providing transportation, assistance with education and activities, and performing work around the home.

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rockford medical malpractice lawyerWhen patients receive substandard care from doctors or other medical professionals, they can suffer serious harm. While medical malpractice can take many forms, misdiagnosis is one of the most common issues that affect patients in the United States. An incorrect diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a failure to diagnose a serious medical condition can result in a patient not receiving the proper medical care within the right time frame. In cases involving misdiagnosis of cancer or other serious illnesses, the failure to receive timely treatment may result in a person’s wrongful death. By understanding the reasons that misdiagnoses may occur, victims of medical negligence can ensure that their injuries and damages will be addressed properly.

Causes of Misdiagnosis

There are many issues that can increase the likelihood that a patient will not receive the correct diagnosis. When medical providers do not follow standard practices or otherwise fail to provide patients with adequate care and consideration, a misdiagnosis may be considered to be medical negligence. Some common ways that negligence by doctors or staff members can lead to an incorrect diagnosis include:

  • Lack of experience - While doctors may rely on their experience providing treatment for patients as they recognize different symptoms and make a diagnosis, they should also be aware of gaps in their knowledge and cases where they may need assistance from other professionals. A doctor’s failure to refer a patient to another provider that would provide a better understanding of their condition may lead to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis.

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rockford personal injury lawyerWhile the brain is one of the most important organs in the body, it is also one of the most sensitive. Even though the skull provides protection for the brain, there are many ways that serious brain injuries can occur, and they can drastically affect a person’s health and well-being. A person who suffers from a brain injury may experience issues such as memory loss, sleep disorders, sensory issues, problems with balance and coordination, mood disorders, personality changes, seizures, or intellectual disabilities. By understanding the causes of brain injuries, victims can determine their legal options for receiving compensation that will allow them to address their symptoms and make a full recovery.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Many of the most serious brain injuries involve trauma such as a blow to the head. These traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can occur in situations such as:

  • Car accidents - While motor vehicles have safety features such as airbags that are meant to protect against brain injuries, drivers and passengers may still be injured by striking their head on a steering wheel, dashboard, the frame of a vehicle, or other objects. These injuries are more likely to occur in high-speed collisions, rollover accidents, or collisions involving large vehicles such as commercial trucks or buses. Motorcyclists or pedestrians who are involved in collisions are also likely to experience serious brain injuries.

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Rockford personal injury attorneys

Originally published: October 24, 2018 -- Updated: December 6, 2021

UPDATE: While punitive damages, as described below, may be available in some cases, these types of damages are generally only awarded in situations where a person committed an egregious violation of the law or knowingly acted in a way that put others at risk of serious harm. While punitive damages may be available in some car accident cases involving distracted driving, they may also be awarded in cases where a drunk driver caused injuries to others, since all drivers should be aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

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rockford injury lawyerPatients who undergo medical procedures put a significant amount of trust in their surgeon and medical facility. When unexpected, severe, and even fatal injuries occur during these procedures, patients and their families suffer devastating consequences. In some cases, these injuries are caused by defective devices utilized during the medical procedure. 

To better understand how to pursue a claim to hold the at-fault parties accountable and recover damages, contact an attorney proficient in handling defective medical device injury cases. 

Defective Medical Devices and Common Injuries

Though not all defective medical devices cause injury, those that do can have catastrophic consequences. Defects can be present across various surgical instruments that are often used in critical procedures, including implants, pacemakers, and prosthetic devices. There are certain medical devices that feature defects more frequently than others, some of which include:

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rockford premises liability attorneyTerrible accidents that occur due to poor property management often seem altogether preventable and unnecessary. When visitors suffer an injury due to unsafe environments that the landowner should have addressed, premises liability law holds property owners accountable for the sustained harm. If you have been injured due to the negligent actions of a property owner, it is vital to understand what legal options may be available.

Different Types of Premises Liability Cases

Accidents that involve premises liability can arise in many different instances, therefore it is critical for property owners to remain vigilant for safety hazards within their property. These types of injuries can occur at nearly any location, including restaurants or stores, the workplace, daycare, or a neighbor’s yard.

Slip and fall accidents may be the most common premises liability danger. Luckily, most slip and fall accidents are fairly minimal and do not result in serious accidents. However, slip and fall accidents can also be extremely dangerous and lead to devastating injuries. Wet floors, unmarked obstacles, and snowy or icy pathways are common factors in slip and fall accidents. Any of these conditions have the potential to cause the victim catastrophic head, neck, or other bodily injuries. 

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rockford nursing home injury lawyerIn Illinois and across the country, nursing homes are seeing a rising number of residents suffer injuries and health problems due to medication errors. Families who cannot properly care for their elderly loved ones on their own often rely on nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to properly and compassionately attend to them instead. When their loved one’s health fails due to negligent or abusive care, it is critical to work with legal professionals who can represent your loved one’s case. 

What Are The Dangers of Medication Errors?

It is very common for nursing home residents to take prescription medication. Unfortunately, nursing homes are notoriously understaffed, and this is a leading cause of medication errors in long-term care facilities. Commonly occurring errors include providing the resident with expired medications, administering the wrong dosage of medication, and neglecting to monitor the resident following administration.

When mistakes occur during medication administration to a nursing home resident, serious and sometimes fatal consequences can arise. An individual who suffers a medication error may experience unexpected medical complications, reduced immune response, malnutrition and dehydration, and organ failure. Medication errors can also lead to fatalities.

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shutterstock_746570434-min.jpg Spinal cord injuries can be detrimental to a victim and their family. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim may suffer lifelong disability accompanied by continuous treatment and medical bills. Victims should not have to face these challenges alone. A knowledgeable attorney can help injured victims understand their options and help to hold the responsible parties accountable. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney can also help the victim understand what caused their injury and what types of symptoms they may experience.

What Are The Most Frequently Seen Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Damage to the spinal canal nerves or spinal cord can permanently change an injured individual’s life. A severe spinal cord injury arises when the spinal cord itself or the vertebrae, discs, or ligaments within the spinal column are damaged. The most commonly seen cause of a spinal cord injury is a serious motor vehicle accident. However, there are many other events that may result in this type of catastrophic injury, including:

rockford daycare injury lawyerFew parents have the pleasure of being able to stay at home to care for and raise their children. In most cases, parents must return to work shortly after the child is born so that they can adequately provide for their family. When this time comes, it is common for parents to pick out a daycare. Trusting a facility with that responsibility is a major step in a parent’s life, and unfortunately, sometimes that trust is broken by negligent facilities and their staff. If your child has sustained serious injuries due to the actions or inactions of their daycare, you may want to work with an experienced daycare injury lawyer

Did Your Child Suffer Injuries at  Daycare?

Children of all ages come home with scrapes and small bruises after a day away from home. This is not all that uncommon or necessarily concerning. Accidents certainly happen, especially with small children. However, many injuries are entirely preventable and in some cases, would have been avoided had the daycare acted more responsibly. 

Certain types of accidents are more likely to cause injury at a daycare. While some playground accidents can be minor, others can be much more serious, resulting in injuries such as concussions, bone fractures, and internal injuries. Loose and falling objects are also a common cause of child injury, sometimes causing children to suffer bruises, head injuries, and broken bones.

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rockford workplace accident lawyerWhen most people imagine themselves experiencing a slip, trip, or fall at work, they likely envision an embarrassing moment in front of co-workers, resulting in injuries that may require an ice pack or bandage. Unfortunately, some slip and fall accidents can be much more serious. While it is not entirely uncommon to experience a minor slip, trip, or fall on the job, severe accidents may lead to significant injuries, long durations of time away from work, and considerable medical expenses. 

Employees who suffer a serious workplace accident may find it helpful to seek legal guidance from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Common Situations that Lead to On-The-Job Slip and Fall Accidents

Construction workers are the most susceptible employees to face dangerous, even fatal falls. However, even workers who spend most of their workday in a cubicle or other office space can experience a serious slip and fall accident. 

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rockford brain injury lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 there were 61,000 deaths in the United States related to a traumatic brain injury. This equates to 166 traumatic brain injury fatalities on a daily basis. After an accident, injured victims should take the necessary steps to ensure their safety and look after their overall health. Additionally, the victims and their families should understand the unique challenges they may face after suffering this type of injury. 

 

When a brain injury is caused by another party’s negligent or illegal actions, the victim may be entitled to monetary damages. The brain injury sufferer may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering, and more. 

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