Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

October 6, 2015

Passenger Vans Pose a Serious Rollover Risk in Chicago

10615.jpgIn recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has warned American motorists about inherent dangers associated with 15 passenger vans, but public opinion has not shifted to reflect these concerns. In fact, the settings in which 15 passenger vans are used lead riders to accept that mode of transportation with little complaint as these vehicles are the chosen mode of transit for many school sports teams, church groups, company outings and other group travel.

Fifteen passenger vans have appeal to small groups because they can enable a large number of people to travel together without the need for using a larger, more expensive vehicle. Plus a driver with a standard license can operate a 15 passenger van and therefore driving duties can be shared among a number of adults including parents and chaperones, eliminating the need to hire a driver or contract with a carrier company.

Continue reading "Passenger Vans Pose a Serious Rollover Risk in Chicago" »

October 4, 2015

Poor, Less Educated Drivers at Greater Risk of Death in Car Accidents

10515.jpgIn recent years, experts have presented the promising news that deaths on American roadways continue to decrease - though not as fast or as significantly as anyone would like. However, a new study reveals that while deaths overall may be falling, it depends on your socioeconomic position as to whether you face a decreased risk of an auto fatality or whether you may actually face an increased risk of harm.

The data comes from the National Center for Health Studies and suggests that poor, less educated drivers are at a greater risk of death caused by a car accident than are drivers with greater educations and more money. Though this outcome is clear, the reasons behind it are murkier. One primary cause for this disparity seems to be the vehicles themselves that are driven by members of different classes. As newer safety features debut, they tend to be included only on higher end vehicles that are marketed to drivers with greater resources and on average, it takes approximately 30 years for those features to reach 95 percent pervasiveness on all cars on American streets. This means that though blind spot warnings, front impact alerts, and automatic brakes are being deployed in the newest vehicles at the upper end of the market, it may take decades for those at the bottom of the auto ownership spectrum to own cars with those safety aids. Currently, an average vehicle lasts for 11.5 years in this country with the poorest drivers being the most likely to own the oldest vehicles.

Continue reading "Poor, Less Educated Drivers at Greater Risk of Death in Car Accidents" »

October 1, 2015

Fatal Workplace Accidents Increased in 2014

10115.jpgIt is the responsibility of employers in Chicago and across the nation to maintain a safe and hazard-free environment to the extent possible for the wellbeing of their employees, and there are state as well as federal regulations to ensure this. But despite clear requirements, workplace accidents take place with regularity in Chicago and many of them cause injuries to the employees involved. In the worst instances, someone may lose his or her life due to a workplace incident and that harm will never be righted, no matter what action follows.

The Bureau for Labor Statistics compiles data annually about the number of workers who lost their lives on-the-job as well as what industries those workers were engaged in at the time of their accidents. Numbers for 2014 have been released and show an overall increase of 2 percent compared to the fatalities experienced in 2013.

Continue reading "Fatal Workplace Accidents Increased in 2014" »

September 30, 2015

Is It Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in the Dark?

93015.jpgThere are approximately 240,000 registered motorcycles in the State of Illinois right now and most of those take to the road at some point each year. While it is unusual to see a motorcycle during Chicago's bitter winters, it is possible to come across a rider during any month of the year, a reason that motorcycle safety should be important not only to those who ride but also to anyone who drives a car in Illinois.

Among riders, there are many different styles. Some like to cruise for pleasure during nice weather while others utilize a motorcycle as their primary means of transportation. But there are plenty of issues that all bikers can identify with to some extent, and one of those continues to be the time of day that bikers ride. Specifically, in the biking community, there is plenty of discussion about whether it is safe to ride after the sun sets, and if so, what actions bikers should take to increase their safety as much as possible.

Continue reading "Is It Safe to Ride a Motorcycle in the Dark?" »

September 28, 2015

Forklift Operators are Prone to Injuries in Chicago

just-a-forklift-1439915.jpgNo matter what your profession, you should be able to go to work every day without fear that you will be hurt on-the-job. But unfortunately, the reality is far from that ideal as any worker in any industry could be injured while performing his or her duties, whether or not that worker makes a mistake. Some employees are more likely to be injured than others and often it boils down to the profession in which that employee works. Airline workers, nurses, school aids, and assembly line employees are some people who work in riskier fields but one of the biggest categories tends to be construction workers.

Among construction workers and employees in warehouses, forklift operators are at an unusually high risk for harm from the use of a forklift or from an accident. When injuries result, these workers often are left wondering what legal options they possess and whether they have the right to obtain payment for their suffering. Fortunately, it is the right of every injured Chicago worker to obtain legal representation to assist with a case and to pursue all available legal remedies. If you have been hurt on the job, an Illinois workers' compensation lawyer may help you understand if you are entitled to payment while you miss work and whether your employer must pay all of your medical expenses.

Continue reading "Forklift Operators are Prone to Injuries in Chicago" »

September 24, 2015

Majority of Americans will Experience Wrong or Delayed Diagnosis in their Lifetime

92415%282%29.jpgEvery person gets sick or injured at some point in their lives and will need medical care. Often, when that person presents to a doctor, hospital, or physician, the ill patient will defer to the doctor's judgment in determining what the issue is and what course of treatment to follow. But a new study is highlighting the risks of that deferral as more people are becoming the victims of incorrect diagnoses during their lifetimes.

The Institute of Medicine recently reviewed diagnosis errors in an effort to quantify the issue and to address these failings that seem to be mostly ignored by the public. Unlike other forms of medical malpractice, diagnosis mistakes rarely receive widespread coverage in the media even though their results can be deadly. A failure to recognize life-threatening symptoms, a failure to identify cancer, or even a failure to contain a patient with a highly contagious disease are all examples of why diagnosing is a critically important step in the healthcare process.

Continue reading "Majority of Americans will Experience Wrong or Delayed Diagnosis in their Lifetime" »

September 23, 2015

Keys to Selecting a Safe Bicycle Helmet

92315.jpgRecent decades have seen an explosion in the amount of bicycling around the Chicago area among riders of all ages. With it, the rise of Chicago's reputation as a cycling city has emerged to rival that of many large cities across the country. If all cyclists and drivers act responsibly, riding a bicycle can continue to be a viable means of transit around the city.

But to ensure safety, experts recommend that all those who ride - regardless of their age - use a Consumer Product Safety Commission approved helmet whenever they take to their bikes. It is estimated that the proper use of an approved helmet can reduce 85 percent of all head injuries sustained by American cyclists, including those who are involved in accidents in Illinois.

Continue reading "Keys to Selecting a Safe Bicycle Helmet" »

September 22, 2015

Bizarre Car Crash Caused by Woman Scared by Spider

92215.jpgThere are hundreds of factors that can lead to a car accident in the greater Chicago area, many of which will combine with one another to be blamed for the collision. Whether it is a speeding motorist, a driver who fails to yield the right-of-way, or even poor weather conditions, car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and often with little warning.

Though there are several common fact patterns that lead to impacts, there is always the possibility that something very unique or even bizarre will occur and cause a collision. Reports out of Indiana indicate that a very strange series of events combined on Friday and that it may be just luck that no one was seriously injured.

Continue reading "Bizarre Car Crash Caused by Woman Scared by Spider" »

September 21, 2015

Major Automobile Manufacturers Commit to Automatic Braking

92115.jpgThe average consumer might not notice the subtle changes in automobiles from year to year as engineers tweak and redesign various components, yet those changes are present and they can make a big difference in the functionality of any vehicle. Some alterations are cosmetic or designed with comfort in mind - a sleeker body, a driver's seat with greater back support, etc. - but others affect the safety of passengers in the event of a collision.

These safety-related features often get less publicity and less discussion in popular culture than those that appeal to aesthetics because a typical driver is unwilling to believe that she could be involved in a car accident. Even though the average motorist experiences three collisions in his or her lifetime, there is still a reluctance to believe that a crash is possible until after one occurs. As a result, some drivers give little attention to the safety features of their vehicle until after an accident, other type of incident, or even a near-impact takes place.

Continue reading "Major Automobile Manufacturers Commit to Automatic Braking" »

September 18, 2015

Why Back and Neck Injuries after a Car Accident Should Never Be Ignored

91815%282%29.jpgOne of the biggest causes of injuries for those in Chicago each year continues to be car accidents and other traffic incidents that occur on local roads and expressways. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation reported that 285,477 such traffic crashes happened in the state in 2013 alone. Of those, the official statistics report that 21.4 percent resulted in injuries to at least one person involved.

The percentage allocated to injury accidents likely is low, though, because it is based upon the self reports of victims immediately after they are involved in a collision. Typically, vehicles collided and a law enforcement official is sent to respond to the scene. That officer will ask the drivers and passengers involved if they are hurt and in need of an ambulance if an ambulance has not already been called to the area. There is a tendency among accident victims to underplay their symptoms right after an impact because they are in shock and unsure exactly how they feel. Often, their minds have not slowed enough for them to process what happened to them and the adrenaline rushing through their veins may delay the onset of pain.

Continue reading "Why Back and Neck Injuries after a Car Accident Should Never Be Ignored" »

September 16, 2015

Why Road Rage Incidents are Dangerous to Chicago Drivers

91615.jpgIn an August article, Forbes determined Chicago to be the 8th worst city in the entire country for commuters based on distance that must be traveled, average commute, time, and congestion, among other issues. If you live in or work in Chicago, this likely comes as no surprise to you since you have probably experienced the frustration that often occurs to those behind the wheel.

Traffic issues can lead tempers to flare and can cause anguish to those who are trying to get from one point to another, slowed and inconvenienced by factors beyond their control. When time is of the essence, some drivers may lose their temper and may attempt to act on their frustration by engaging in some form of aggressive driving in an effort to avoid the problems in front of them. Yet other aggressive driving situations can stem from a congestion-free incident that happens on the roadway as well, like an instance where one motorist fails to yield the right-of-way to another or where one driver cuts off a second.

Continue reading "Why Road Rage Incidents are Dangerous to Chicago Drivers" »

September 15, 2015

Protections in Place for Chicago Truck Accident Victims

91515.jpgThe trucking industry is vital to the American economy and is responsible for the transit of a large amount of goods across the nation. From coast-to-coast, trucks take to the roads and haul everything from produce to textiles to machinery, enabling work to get done and products to reach consumers.

But trucks have plenty of drawbacks as well as the benefits they provide. When compared to a typical passenger vehicle, trucks are large, heavy, and difficult to operate. They require additional maintenance to keep them moving and they are harder to start and stop than a car. And the most troubling thing about trucks is the threat they pose to public safety.

Continue reading "Protections in Place for Chicago Truck Accident Victims" »

September 14, 2015

Are Chicago Taxi Cabs a Safe Way to Experience the City?

91415%282%29.jpgTaxi cabs are a staple in and around Chicago, serving both those who call the city home and those who come to Chicago for vacation. Without cabs, the roads would be more crowded with motorists unfamiliar with where they were driving and parking in the downtown area would be impossible. But most people who utilize taxis fail to think about their personal safety before they get into a vehicle, begging the question of exactly what a passenger risks when they travel by cab in Illinois.

Like most forms of transportation, taxi cabs can be safe or they can be very dangerous. Much of the difference is determined by the cab itself and by the individual driving the cab.

Continue reading "Are Chicago Taxi Cabs a Safe Way to Experience the City?" »

September 11, 2015

Why Teens are Dangerous Drivers

91115%282%29.jpgIt is something that makes many parents of teens and preteens anxious these days: the prospect of their children getting their driver's licenses and operating a vehicle on their own. But in practice, it is not only parents who have begun to show apprehension at this issue but also the typical motorists who travels the streets and expressways of Chicago. Many people believe that teens are dangerous to themselves and to others when they drive but they often cannot express why they possess that belief.

Data from numerous national studies continue to hold true the belief that teens present a high risk for being involved in a car accident, whether that crash involves a single vehicle or multiple cars. And when a crash happens, it is possible that the teenager driver, a passenger in that vehicle, or others in another car may suffer from injuries or even be killed as a result.

Continue reading "Why Teens are Dangerous Drivers" »

September 10, 2015

How Much is My Case Worth?

91015.jpgNo one ever thinks that an accident will happen to them or will cause them to be injured but the reality is that people are hurt each and every day of the year in Illinois. As a result of this belief that they will not be harmed, most people are unaware of the process that needs to happen for a personal injury claim in Chicago to be successful and generally are confused about the process from beginning to end.

Personal injury lawyers are consulted with regularity by victims who wish to learn about their legal rights and options following a traffic accident, slip-and-fall, swimming pool incident, or on-the-job injury. At Abels & Annes, P.C., one of the most common questions we get from victims is, "How much is my case worth?"

Continue reading "How Much is My Case Worth?" »