Recent Blog Posts

Inpatient Suicides Are Preventable

 Posted on September 13, 2016 in Personal Injury

By Timothy Tomasik

inpatent suicides, illinois personal injury attorneysAccording to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care of Organizations (JCAHO), suicide ranks as the eleventh most frequent cause of death (third most frequent in young people) in the United States, with one person dying from suicide every 16.6 minutes.  Suicide of a care recipient while in a staffed, round-the-clock care setting has been the number one most frequently reported type of Sentinel Event since the inception of the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Policy of 1996.  Behavioral health hospitals and staff have a responsibility for the identification of individuals at risk for suicide, while under the care or following discharge from a health care organization.  Assessing a patient’s risk for suicide is the first critical step in protecting and planning the care of these at-risk individuals.  JCAHO 2007 Patient Safety Goals on Suicide

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An Alarming Reversal in Roadway Death Trends

 Posted on September 08, 2016 in Car Accidents

By Daniel Kotin

For half a century, roadway deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions were consistently dropping.  Many factors contributed to this good news.  Manufacturers have consistently improved the crashworthiness of their vehicles.  Use of 3-point seatbelt systems became the law and have now become the habitual practice of virtually all drivers and passengers.  And, perhaps most importantly, increased police and judicial intolerance of drunk driving as well as the tireless efforts of groups like MADD have created a societal shift whereby far fewer drivers dare operate vehicles while intoxicated.

As a result, data showed that fatal roadway crashes were in a near constant decline over the past 50 years.  But suddenly, this trend has reversed.

In 2015, fatal roadway crashes in the U.S. increased by 8%.  This is the largest annual increase since the 1960s.  According to the National Safety Council, roadway deaths for the first half of 2016 are up 9%.  (The data for Illinois in 2016 is even worse with deaths increasing by 12% over last year.)

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Public Transit Accidents Are Common in Illinois: Your Rights After a Bus or Transit Accident

 Posted on June 29, 2016 in Bus Accidents

Public transit certainly has its benefits. Used by millions of Illinoisans each year, it gets people to and from work, school, and their daily appointments. Children, teenagers, and adults alike use it to see a movie, go shopping, or just spend some quality time with friends and family. But there is also a side of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) that few take into account: our city’s mass transportation accident rates are highly concerning, and innocent victims are often severely injured in those crashes.

CTA Has One Accident Every 36 Hours

Late last year, an ABC7 investigative team took a look at the startling number of accidents involving CTA buses. Hundreds of incidents were uncovered; enough to place an average of about one CTA crash every 36 hours. In those accidents, hundreds of public transit passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle drivers were injured or killed. Yet, during the investigation, CTA officials attempted to downplay their incident rates and responsibility. That unwillingness to admit any wrongdoing is exactly why so many victims struggle to receive fair and just compensation for their CTA accident.

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Aviation Litigation and Your Rights: Injuries from Turbulence and Falling Luggage

 Posted on June 22, 2016 in Aviation Litigation

While nearly every flight experiences some turbulence, the risk to passengers is generally low. This is because most instances of turbulence are small and short-lived. There are, however, circumstances in which passengers can and do become injured, either because of the turbulence itself or because of fallen luggage or other projectiles. In some of these instances, passengers may be due compensation.

Light Turbulence versus Moderate to Severe Turbulence

Turbulence is essentially a sudden but violent shift in airflow. Caused by a number of elements, including the wind, jet streams, thunderstorms, heat, or objects near the plane, such as a mountain range that causes a shift to the plane’s altitude or tilt. Because most experienced pilots know how to avoid these elements and situations and do their best to ensure the safety of their passengers, this shift or tilt is generally so slight that it feels more like tremor or shake while in flight. This is known as “light turbulence.”

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Airline Negligence and Injury or Wrongful Death of a Dependent Loved One

 Posted on June 16, 2016 in Aviation Litigation

By Timothy Tomasik

When a family places the care of a dependent loved one in the hands of an airline, they have a reasonable expectation of safety and security. Unfortunately, that expectation is not always met, and the loved one can suffer injury or wrongful death. When this happens, the family may be due compensation for their losses. It is important to note, however, that not all situations may constitute a settlement. Learn how to determine if you may have an airline negligence case and how to best pursue fair compensation.

Negligence by Airline Staff

airline-negligence-chicagoWhen a dependent child or adult is placed in the care of an airline, the parent, guardian, or caretaker is typically charged an escort fee in addition to their regular ticket price. This fee creates a reasonable expectation that the airline will ensure the flying child or dependent adult reaches their correct gate and boards the correct plane and all connecting flights. Even if a fee was not charged, the reasonable expectation might still be present if staff was duly notified and warned about the condition or need for supervision of the child or dependent adult.

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Recent Ruling Protects Aviation Crash Victims by Requiring State Law, Not Federal Law, to Govern Trials

 Posted on June 14, 2016 in Aviation Litigation

By Timothy Tomasik

After a long-awaited Third Circuit Court ruling in the case Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., et al., aviation accident victims and their families now have more protection from the negligent acts of airline and aircraft manufacturers. Offered through a limitation on the Federal Aviation Act (FAA Act), the ruling holds that the Federal FAA Act does not purport governance over the design or manufacturing of aircrafts, nor does it supply a comprehensive standard of care. As such, aviation product liability lawsuits should be governed and ruled upon based on local state law standards and regulations, rather than federal laws, regulations, and standards of care.

Background on Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp

The lawsuit arose from a 2005 airplane accident in which a Cessna 172N Skyhawk crashed immediately after takeoff. The pilot suffered fatal injuries and burn injuries. His wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit with the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She alleged that product defect and negligence, including the failure to warn, were the direct causes of her husband’s death. Specifically, she claimed that the crash was caused by power loss or malfunction of the engine’s carburetor, which was not manufactured by Lycoming, the original manufacturer of the engine, but was allegedly compliant with the manufacturer’s specifications.

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Plane Crash Injuries and Wrongful Deaths – Your Risks and Right to Fair Compensation

 Posted on May 29, 2016 in Aviation Litigation

Statistically speaking, travelers are safer when flying than when driving. In fact, the National Safety Council made a side-by-side comparison of the two and determined that a person’s odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 98 while their odds of experiencing a fatality in an airplane crash is just 1 in 7,178. So why, then, do humans fear flying so much? Experts believe it has something to do with the often catastrophic results of plane accidents.

A Single Crash Can Cause Hundreds of Injuries

Although they do not occur often, the results of plane crashes are usually devastating. Take, for example, the 20131 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which killed two passengers and injured 307 members of the passengers and crew. Or the 2001 crash of an Airbus A300 that killed 265 people just moments after takeoff. And then there was the 1977 collision of two Boeing 747s (KLM and Pan Am) that killed 583 people – one of the most devastating accidents to date.

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Falling Objects a Fatal Threat for Construction Workers

 Posted on May 22, 2016 in Construction Accidents

By Shawn Kasserman

falling objects, Chicago construction negligence lawyerEach year, around 4,000 construction workers are fatally injured on the job. Falling objects – tools, equipment, debris, and more – are responsible for approximately eight percent of those deaths, making them one of the most common causes of worker fatality. They are so common, in fact, that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have named them as one of construction’s “Fatal Four.” Yet records from the agency show that failure to provide protection from injury is one of the most commonly cited violations at work sites throughout the United States.

Failure to Provide Protection

While OSHA provides rules and guidelines on how to effectively keep workers safe on the job, contractors, foreman, and other overseeing personnel often fall short when it comes to following through. This can be by not providing proper training (i.e. teaching workers how to safely organize and tether tools) or by not providing the proper equipment to ensure safety protocols are followed.

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Ladders and Scaffolding Accidents Cause Thousands of Deaths and Injuries in Construction Injury Each Year

 Posted on May 16, 2016 in Construction Accidents

By Shawn Kasserman

construction negligence, Chicago personal injury lawyersDesigned to provide temporary stability, help to ensure tools and equipment are within reach, and provide greater flexibility when working at great heights, ladders and scaffolding are used by approximately 2.3 million construction workers (65 percent). But these safety devices can also be the very items that cause injury or death when they are not properly used or maintained. Because negligence often plays a big role in ladder and scaffolding injuries, and because the problem amounts to thousands of deaths and injuries each year, it is critical that workers know what protections they have under the law.

Prevalence of Ladder and Scaffolding Injuries Cause for Concern

Estimates from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate that ladders and scaffolding cause approximately 4,500 worker injuries and 50 worker deaths each year. The cost to employers for time lost is thought to be around $90 million, but it is the cost to workers that makes the prevalence of ladder and scaffolding injuries so concerning. For them and their families, life may never look the same.

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Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in United States

 Posted on May 12, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

medical errors, Illinois personal iniury attorneyThere is an insidious, silent killer in the United States – one that patients are often oblivious to, doctors and hospitals refuse to talk about, and is now considered the third leading cause of death in the U.S., placing it just below cancer and heart disease. In total, it claims anywhere from 250,000 to 400,000 deaths per year, yet there is no system in place to effectively track or prevent these deaths. Even more disturbing is that this killer – otherwise known as medical malpractice  – occurs at the hands of those who are supposed to heal.

What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You

Sick people go to hospitals to get better, but hundreds of thousands will never leave. Victims of poorly coordinated care, preventable infections, system failures, falls, or any number of other, preventable causes, these patients will die a wrongful death at the hands of the doctor, nurse, or surgeon treating them. No one – not even their family – may fully understand the death because those same system failures that allowed the death are often used to cover up its true cause and nature. And therein lies one of the major contributing factors to this American epidemic.

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