Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

March 5, 2012

New Dummy Reducing Risks of Injuries in Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

Chicago child injury attorneys at Abels & Annes often handle cases where kids have been hurt in traffic collisions.

A new crash test dummy is hitting the market and it's being used to help keep your child safe in the event of a car accident in Chicago and elsewhere. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the new dummy is being used to test all of the new booster seats and car seats for kids who weigh more than 65 pounds. The new kid dummy represents a 10-year-old child and it is the newest edition to the NHTSA's family of crash test dummies. It's the best and most accurate tool available for testing child seats and for assessing the risk of injury among children who use higher-weight child car seat systems.
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"It's good news that manufacturers are making more car seats and boosters than ever before," said the U.S. Department of Transportation's Secretary, Ray LaHood.

Child car seats are always changing to meet consumers' needs. It's more important now more than ever to make sure that safety regulators have the most advanced tools to help them to evaluate just how well these seats are going to work in the event of an accident. The new child dummy really is breakthrough technology for the DOT's crash test program. Officials see this new addition as a giant step forward in helping them to better evaluate the performance of child car seats.

The new dummy was created to help make sure that child seats are meeting the newly updated child car seat requirements. It will also be able to provide brand new information regarding the specific risks for injury using knee and head excursions and even chest acceleration.

According to the final rule that was recently issued by the NHTSA, the new federal car seat standards will include booster seats and kid car seats for children who are more than 65 pounds and less than 80 pounds. The new standard will also be used to test how well these new kid car seats will deal with collision energy and whether or not the seat's structure will stay intact when the dummy is used.

Car seat manufacturers will be allowed 24 months to certify their higher-weight car and booster seat to meet the new requirements.

Even though the new dummy is a huge step in the journey to better child protection in the event of an accident, David Strickland of the NHTSA says that the Administration is already trying to take the next step it can take to better protect these young passengers.

Remember that none of these tests and none of these newly designed seats will help you to protect your child in the event of an accident if they're not used correctly. Buckle up your little passenger during every car ride!

Continue reading "New Dummy Reducing Risks of Injuries in Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere" »

August 1, 2011

Car Accident Survivors Sent to Chicago Hospital - Two Dead, Two Paralyzed, One Seriously Injured

A horrific head-on collision devastated a family, killing both parents and leaving the two sons paralyzed from the waist down. Despite intense therapy, doctors are unsure if the boys will ever regain use of their legs. The 9- and 8-year-old boys were on their way home with their family from a road trip when the family suffered a tragic car accident in Colorado. The accident happened on Highway 285 in Fort Stockton when an SUV swerved into the lane that the family's minivan was traveling in and collided with the vehicle head on. In addition to the brothers injuries, the parents died and their 6-year-old sister's arm was broken, according to Huffpost Impact.
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After the accident, the boys were taken to the Covenant Health System's Women's and Children's Hospital in Lubbock. Later on they were airlifted to the Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital because of the severity of their spinal cord injuries. They were then transported to Chicago’s Shriners Hospital. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand how fortunate we are to have facilities like this in our area. The Shriners Hospital is a facility renowned for its work in pediatric spinal cord rehab. The boys will continue their treatment here in Illinois. Spinal cord and neck injuries can and do occur in serious car accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the spinal cord column consists of more than 31 bones (or vertebrae), 7 cervical vertebrae (neck), 12 thoracic vertebrae (upper and middle back), 5 lumbar vertebrae (lower back), 5 sacral vertebrae (sacrum) and 2 fused coccygeal vertebrae (coccyx). Also in the spinal cord is the central bundle of nerves in charge of sending signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal column can be detrimental to these functions.

Roughly 200,000 people have to live with SCI in our country. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 15 and 40 cases per million people every year. This means anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 new patients are treated for SCI every year.

Motor-vehicle accidents contribute to nearly 50 percent of these injuries. Men are most likely to be the victim of SCI as they account for 80 percent of all patients. Most of the new SCI cases are of people 30-years-old or younger. It's estimated that approximately 60 percent of these new cases occur in those ages 15- to 35-years-old.

This is no cheap injury either. The CDC estimated that the lifetime cost for this injury can be more than $3 million. This means a patient could potentially have to fork over anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 a year if they suffer from SCI.

Insurance companies understand the liability and can sometimes move quickly toward a settlement -- even offering a check claiming to be the maximum available under the policy limits of the at-fault driver. If a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury, seeking the immediate representation of an Illinois injury lawyer can be vital to protecting your rights. An accident lawyer will charge you nothing for a confidential consultation -- and will often come to your home or hospital room.

Do not make any statements to opposing insurance representatives. Do not sign any paperwork and do not accept any payment. Choosing a lawyer can be an important first step toward ensuring that the necessary resources for rehabilitation and long-term care will be made available to you and your family.

Continue reading "Car Accident Survivors Sent to Chicago Hospital - Two Dead, Two Paralyzed, One Seriously Injured" »

June 6, 2011

Illinois injury attorney to represent Chicago woman hurt in crash

Accident lawyers at Abels & Annes have signed on to represent a South Side resident that was recently injured in a car crash. The collision occurred at 79th and Claremont.

The plaintiff was traveling southbound on Claremont in her Hyundai Sonata when the defendant, who was eastbound on 79th, failed to yield the right-of-way coming out a stop sign. Southbound traffic had no stop sign.

The Chicago Police Department investigated the accident. After speaking to all parties involved, they placed the defendant at fault.

After the incident, our client had an immediate onset of severe neck pain, headaches and generally ached all over. She was seen shortly after at Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island. At the ER she was examined by physicians who diagnosed her with muscle strain due to a motor vehicle accident. She was prescribed pain medication and told to follow-up with a physician.

Over the days following the collision, her neck pain did not decrease. She sought follow up treatment with a medical doctor in the Chicago area. The physician prescribed a course of physical therapy and also recommended an MRI due to the severity of the pain.

Our office will be pursuing a negligence claim against the defendant and her auto insurance carrier. Many of the auto accident claims we handle start off like this one. A motorist has been injured in a collision and he or she is having severe pain that requires medical attention.

MRI results will usually determine if this is a soft tissue case (neck sprain/strain), or if she sustained a more serious injury such as a herniated disc or a protruding disc in her cervical spine.

If the MRI is negative, she will most likely go through a course of physical therapy and her condition would typically improve over the coming months.

If a scan shows a client sustained more serious injury, her medical treatment could move forward in a variety of directions. Often, if she does not improve in therapy, a physician could recommend steroid injections to help alleviate the pain. If that doesn't work, the next option could be surgery.

More often than not the injuries sustained in a fender bender end up being soft tissue nature. However, once in a while our clients' injuries are more serious.

You've sustained a back or neck injury in an Illinois traffic collision, contact the accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for free case evaluation. Call 312-924-7575 to speak directly to a lawyer now.

May 5, 2011

Chicago truck accident lawyer reaches $825,000 settlement

Illinois truck crash attorney Gary Annes of Abels & Annes recently resolved a tractor-trailer vs. automobile accident claim on behalf of a Chicago resident for $825,000.

The claim arose out of a collision that took place in August, 2009 in the afternoon hours. Both the plaintiff and the defendant truck driver were headed northbound on Interstate 94. The tractor-trailer was in the center lane and our client was in the right lane. The semi truck change lanes, failing to observe the plaintiff, and struck the rear driver's side of her car with the front passenger side bumper of the truck.

The impact sent our clients car spinning across three lanes of traffic into the left retaining wall. The front end of her car struck the wall, causing the vehicle to bounce back while still spinning. As the vehicle spun, the passenger side sideswiped another vehicle, causing a third impact. Finally, the vehicle struck the right retaining wall with the rear driver side of her vehicle for a fourth impact before coming to a rest.

The plaintiff had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain chest pain, facial pain and right ankle pain following the collision. She was taken by ambulance to St. Margaret Hospital's emergency room. Upon arrival at the ER, a history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. Glass shards had to be removed from her face and eyelids. She was initially diagnosed with cervical strain, ankle sprain and multiple contusions and abrasions. She was prescribed pain medication and instructed to follow-up with a medical doctor.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our client sought follow-up care two days later at Ingalls Memorial Hospital's emergency room. She complained of increasing neck, back, abdominal and rib pain from the collision. She was again given pain medication and told to follow-up with a physician.

A week later she had an appointment with a board-certified neurologist. At that time she was still having neck pain, back pain radiating into her left buttock, chest pain, right knee pain and right ankle pain. Additional diagnostic tests were ordered and physical therapy was prescribed.

In the coming months, a lumbar MRI was ordered which identified protrusions at L1-L2 and L3-L4 and a bulge at L4-L5. The physician prescribed additional pain medication.

Despite the pain meds, she continued to suffer from low back pain. The doctor soon prescribed a course of epidural steroid injections and facet joint injections. The client underwent injections and while she did obtain some temporary limited relief, the majority of her pain persisted. She then had bilateral medial branch nerve blocks. Again, her pain persisted. In response, the neurologist recommended fusion surgery and referred her to a board-certified neurosurgeon.

The plaintiff underwent lumbar fusion surgery in August, 2010. She then went for follow-up treatment and physical therapy over the coming months.

The claim settled without having to file a lawsuit, saving the client time and litigation costs.

If you have been injured in a Chicago truck crash, contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for free, no obligation consultation. Contact us online or call 312-924-7575.

April 15, 2011

Chicago injury attorney to represent injured truck driver

Illinois work injury lawyers and Chicago motor vehicle accident attorneys at Abels & Annes have agreed to represent a truck driver that was injured on the job. The client will be pursuing both a worker's compensation claim and a third party claim.

In the course of his employment, the trucker was making a delivery in Chicago earlier this month. He was working on a loading dock when a forklift driver quickly turned a corner and struck him. The forklift was moving too fast for conditions on the loading dock.

Immediately after the collision the truck driver started experiencing back and neck pain. An ambulance was called and he was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.

Over the next several days the claimant's pain became so bad he could barely get out of bed. He has since started treatment with an orthopedic doctor in the Chicago area.

Due to the fact that the truck driver was injured during the course of his employment, we will be pursuing a work comp claim on his behalf. Further, because he was injured by the negligence of another party, we will be pursuing a claim against the forklift driver and his employer.

If you've been injured on the job, call the Chicago work accident lawyers at Abels & Annes at 312-924-7575 for free consultation. There is no attorney's fee unless we recover for you.

April 8, 2011

Chicago injury lawyer receives $35,000 verdict in Illinois auto accident lawsuit

Illinois car accident attorney Gary Annes of Abels & Annes obtained a $35,000 jury verdict this week in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The case stemmed from an automobile vs. motorscooter accident that occurred back on June 25, 2008 at around 5:45 PM on westbound Lawrence Avenue in Chicago.

At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was riding a motor scooter and a car in front of him stopped to make a left turn. Our client then stopped behind that car.

At that time the defendant, who was westbound on Lawrence Avenue driving a Buick Century, failed to stop and struck the plaintiff from behind. The impact caused our client to fall off the scooter, landing on his back.

After the collision, he had an immediate onset of head, neck, back and left foot pain. That night his condition got worse and he had difficulty sleeping.

The day after the accident he was still having significant pain and sought treatment at a trauma center. There, diagnostic tests were taken which were negative for any fractures.

Over the next week plaintiff's pain remained. On July 3, 2008 he sought further treatment from a board-certified neurologist. At that time his most significant pain was in his low back. The doctor ordered an MRI and prescribed course of physical therapy. The MRI was negative for herniated discs.

A lawsuit was recommended by our office because the defendant's insurance carrier would only offer $5,000 to settle during pre-suit negotiations. Here, the decision to go to court paid off many times over for our client.

If you have been injured in a Chicago auto accident, contact the Illinois car crash attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. There is no attorney's fee unless we recover for you.


January 21, 2011

Chicago Worker's Compensation lawyer to represent injured store employee

An Illinois work comp attorney at Abels & Annes has agreed to represent a North Side resident who sustained back injuries while working at a large home goods store in July, 2010. The claimant sustaining injuries from lifting heavy objects on a repetitive basis.

After the client got hurt, she underwent treatment with her personal doctor. Over time her pain did not improve, so she also treated with an orthopedic physician in Chicago. An MRI was ordered which showed our client sustained two bulging discs due to the heavy lifting at work.

In a work injury case such as this one, our office will work to ensure that the claimant continues to receive medical treatment as needed, that she receives temporary total disability pay for time off work if warranted, and at the end of the case we will negotiate a bodily injury settlement on her behalf.

If you've been injured on the job in Illinois, contact a Chicago work accident lawyer at Abels & Annes for a free case evaluation. Call 312-924-7575 and ask to speak to a lawyer now.

March 12, 2010

Teen killed in fatal Chicago pedestrian accident blamed on drunk driver

A 15-year-old Bowen High School freshman is dead following a weekend Chicago pedestrian accident after being struck by as many as three vehicles, including a drunk driver, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Chicago police said the teenager was struck by a drunk driver while walking home, thrown into the path of a second vehicle and hit again. Police are investigating reports that a third vehicle may also have been involved.

The girl had just stepped onto East 87th Street near King Drive when she was run down at about 11:15 p.m. Saturday. She died Monday morning at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn.

Her death was ruled an accident by the Cook County medical examiner's office, which reported that she died of multiple injuries sustained in the accident.

The first driver was charged with DUI and ticketed for striking a pedestrian as well as a plate registration violation. The second driver has not been cited and the accident remains under investigation.

The victim was a popular student who had earned a place on her school's honor role. She worked on the school's yearbook and took part in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, according to a school spokesperson. Family said she was an aspiring beautician who had just recently landed a job at a beauty salon.

A total of 156 people were killed in fatal Illinois pedestrian accidents in 2008, the vast majority in and around the Chicago metro area, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

As reported earlier this week on Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, one-third of traffic fatalities in Cook County are blamed on Chicago drunk driving accidents.

January 8, 2010

Chicago Work Injury Attorneys reach $50,000 settlement

Chicago injury lawyers from Abels & Annes, working with Illinois work accident attorney Chris Johnson, have reached a $50,000 settlement for an Illinois resident who was injured on the job.

Our client was injured on November 11, 2007 while use a hoe to mix concrete. She was employed at Tyson Fresh Meats in Western Illinois.

After the accident she had severe neck pain. Our client starting treating with orthopaedic physicians in Moline, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. Due to her complaints, doctors ordered an MRI which revealed the petitioner sustained herniated discs in her cervical spine. She had to undergo surgery to relieve the pain.

The settlement agreement calls for the employer to pay for all of our client's medical bills that were incurred due to the injury. Further, our client also received disability pay while she was off of work due to the accident.

To learn more about work accident cases, please visit our Illinois Work Comp webpage, or contact our office for a free consultation. Call (866) 99-ABELS.

December 10, 2009

Chicago work injury lawyer settles workers' compensation claim for South Side resident

Chicago injury attorneys from Abels & Annes have reached a workers' compensation settlement for a South Side woman who was injured at work in May of 2007. She is employed with the Anixster Center, a company that works with people with disabilities.

She was hurt while trying to help staff control an upset patient who has learning disabilities. After the incident she had pain in her neck and low back for several days. She sought treatment after the accident at St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond, Indiana.

After the ER, her pain did not resolve and she treated at the Orthopaedic & Occupational Rehabilitation Center and with a local orthopaedic medical doctor. An MRI was taken that showed she sustained injuries to both her cervical and lumbar spine. Our client underwent a regiment of physical therapy and her pain resolved over time. She did not undergo surgery.

The case has settled for $23,490.81, plus we recovered an additional $8,120 in disability pay while she was off work due to her injuries.

Amtrust insures the employer and is paying on the claim.

If you have been injured on the job in Illinois, contact our office for a free consultation. Call (312) 475-9596 24/7 to speak to a lawyer directly.