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traumatic brain injury, Chicago personal injury attorneysA traumatic brain injury (TBI) can affect every aspect of your life—work, school, relationships, and even your own sense of independence. Most common in car accidents and construction accidents, the symptoms most typically displayed are dizziness, irregular breathing, poor balance, lack of coordination, and lessened endurance. But a new study has revealed some other symptoms that may make it difficult for our veterans when it comes to receiving a TBI diagnosis, especially if they suffered through a traumatic event while protecting our country.

Symptom Similarities between TBI and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

TBIs and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) both affect the brain, but while one is the result of a traumatic injury, the other is the result of a traumatic event. Still, a study published in the journal Psych Central found some odd similarities between the symptoms of both disorders, including aggression and destructive or reckless behavior. The overlapping of these symptoms, paired with other symptoms that may be misunderstood, could have serious implications for veterans.

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tort reforms, Chicago product recall attorneysThere was a time when corporations cared about their products and the effect they had on the general population. It was a time when companies worked hard to prevent the distribution of defective products; when the system failed and a defect did make its way to the public, the issue was quickly rectified. In some ways, it is an indication of just how much values have changed over the years, but it is an even stronger indication of how the decisions made by lawmakers, legislators, and courts have diminished the sense of accountability for large corporations.

Punitive Damages and Corporate Accountability

Punitive damages and corporate accountability go hand-in-hand because, when a corporation has the fear of being hit with damages above and beyond just the typical damages, they are less likely to gamble with the lives of their consumers. But punitive damages have become nearly non-existent, with some states placing caps on the amounts and others doing away with them altogether. As a result, corporations have begun to weigh the cost of continuing to produce defective products against the cost of correcting the problem or pulling the product altogether.

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oxygen tank recall, Chicago personal injury attorneysOxygen, though essential for breathing, is a volatile substance with the potential to ignite, explode, or catch fire. Thankfully, modern medicine discovered how to harness this substance so that those that need it on a regular basis could use it.  However, the risks are still present, especially if the product is mishandled or ends up being a defective medical device. One of the two scenarios are behind a recent recall on portable oxygen tanks manufactured by Western/Scott Fetzer Company; which scenario has yet to be determined.

Reason Behind the Recall

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Western/Scott Fetzer Company received reports that their OxyTote canisters could ignite and cause an internal flash fire if dropped or mishandled. Two incidents—one resulting in injury, the other in death—were also allegedly received by the company, prompting the oxygen tank recalls. In the case of the injury, the unit was reportedly dropped from a height of approximately four feet; when the death occurred, the unit was not dropped but was reportedly set at the side of the handler.

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statute of limitations, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersDespite receiving overwhelming bipartisan support from the Assembly, sponsoring from the majority of the State Senate, and endorsement from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomono, a bill that would have changed New York’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice will never come up for a final vote. Instead, the bill, named Lavern’s Law, was shot down by the Senate majority leader, John J. Flannagan. As a result, victims of medical malpractice in New York will continue to suffer.

Lavern’s Law and the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Suits

Lavern’s Law was named after Lavern Wilson, a Brooklyn woman who died from a curable form of lung cancer. Doctors at Kings County Hospital had found a suspicious mass during an X-ray three years prior to her death, but never told her about it. And, because New York’s statute of limitations only gives victims two-and-a-half years from the date a mistake occurs to file a lawsuit, no action was ever taken against the negligent physicians.

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back to school driving tips, Chicago car accident attorneysWith school now in full swing and social activities heating up, more drivers are on the road. More importantly, there are more inexperienced teen drivers on the road, and that means the risk of a vehicular accident is higher. Of course, the only way to become experienced is to practice safe driving. So take a deep breath and encourage your teen to use these back-to-school driving tips while navigating the Illinois roads.

General Driving Safety Tips

General safety rules apply whether your teen is driving through the city of Chicago (recently named eight worst city for drivers), in the country, or in your local hometown. They are even a good refresher for parents who, amidst all the distraction and day-to-day craziness, often forget to abide by these simple but important safe-driving rules:

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semi truck accidents, Chicago personal injury lawyerVehicle accidents that involve semi-trucks or other oversized vehicles are often the most catastrophic. Many end in death, and those that do not typically cause severe, long-term health problems. Surprisingly though, most collisions with oversized vehicles are caused by the mistakes of other motorists. Thankfully, you have the power to make the roads and highways safer for everyone by learning how to share the road with semi-trucks and other oversized vehicles.

Understand the Limitations of Oversized Vehicles

Semi-trucks and oversized vehicles operate very differently than cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Their massive size creates very large blind spots and makes it very difficult to navigate turns. Most are also loaded with heavy freight, which also limits their ability to stop quickly. If you understand these limitations, and know how to effectively accommodate them, you can decrease your risk of a collision with an oversized vehicle.

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illinois nursing home negligence, Chicago personal injury lawyerIt is a sad and unfortunate fact that the most vulnerable members of our society are also the most susceptible to abuse, neglect, and negligence. But just how prevalent is elder abuse, neglect, and negligence? How many of them result in wrongful death or personal injury cases? And just how often are those cases tied to the long-term care facilities entrusted with the care of someone’s beloved family member?

National Study Reveals Alarming Information on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

According to a study from the National Center on Elder Abuse, 3.2 million Americans resided in a long-term facility in 2008, and more than 900,000 lived in an assisted living setting. Interviews with 2,000 nursing home residents revealed that 44 percent had experienced abuse, and 95 percent had experienced neglect or had seen another resident being neglected. But the claims of nursing home negligence and abuse come from more than just the residents themselves; staff of nursing homes and regulating agencies also give us a glimpse into just how severe of a problem nursing home abuse and neglect has become.

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deaths and injuries in the workplace, Chicago injury attorneyReported workplace injuries have decreased over the years, going from 4.2 million in 2005 to just a little over 3 million in 2013. Unfortunately, work-related deaths and injuries are still a serious problem in the United States today, a study from Eastern Kentucky University recently revealed. In fact, they estimated that approximately one work-related illness or injury occurs every ten seconds. What is most concerning about this is that many of those accidents could have been prevented.

Most Common Injuries and Illnesses in the Workplace

With a total of 400,090 injuries, overexertion accounted for 34 percent of all non-fatal work-related injury claims. Falls, slips, and trips were cited as the cause for another 296,130 injuries while contact with objects or equipment were responsible for 268,380 injuries. And violence by another person or animal and transportation accidents made up just a little over 10 percent of all non-fatal injuries.

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commercial truck accidents, insurance coverage minimumsCatastrophic crashes with freight or commercial trucks are rare, but when they do happen, the implications can be extensive and long-lasting. Death, lifelong health complications, expensive medical bills, loss of income, and decreased quality of life are just a few examples. Unfortunately, there are some problems with the insurance coverage minimums for freight-liners, and victims are the ones suffering from it.

Current Coverage Minimums Fail to Cover Costs for Victims

In 1985, liability insurance coverage minimums for freight trucks were set at $750,000. That amount has not changed since. This is a serious problem—so serious that a government study examined those minimums and found that, not only are they failing to keep up with the rising cost of medical care, but that, based on inflation, the amount should have been $3.2 million dollars in 2013.

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hit and run accidents, Chicago personal injury lawyerLeaving the scene of an accident is against the law. In the state of Illinois, hit-and-run drivers can be sentenced to anywhere from three years to 15 years in a state penitentiary, and face fines of up to $25,000. Unfortunately, this is not always enough of a deterrent for drivers that may have already broken the law, either by driving intoxicated or operating a vehicle without proper licensing or insurance. As such, it is important to know what to do if you are ever the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

What Not to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

Probably just as important as knowing what to do in the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is knowing what not to do. The most important is to not flee the scene yourself. This includes attempting to chase after the other driver. Instead, find somewhere safe (and outside of your vehicle) to wait for the police to arrive. And, if at all possible, do not block traffic.

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Illinois elder abuse, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyersSome people need more protecting than others, particularly young children and the elderly. That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the community—caregivers, healthcare professionals, financial institutions, neighbors, friends, and family—so make a difference in the lives of those around you. Learn how to recognize the signs of elder abuse, and know what you should do to take action against it.

Understanding Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is any type of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. Most commonly, abusers are spouses and family members, but an abuser can be anyone that comes into regular contact with the victim, including:

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recorded surgeries, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerMedical errors can have catastrophic, and sometimes deadly consequences. For those affected by such errors, the medical malpractice lawsuits that often follow can be complex, stressful, and lengthy. During that time, the injured or the family of the deceased must bear the weight of financial burdens caused by the death or injury. But what if it were possible to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, if a death or injury had been the result of an unpreventable complication, or if it had been caused by negligence?

The University of Toronto has already created a device that could do all of this, and more.

University of Toronto Device Spurs Bills in Wisconsin and New York

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Bayer Yaz settlement, Chicago defective drugs lawyerAccording to plaintiffs in the case against Bayer, the makers of the drospierenone-containing Yaz and Yasmin, and Barr Laboratories makers of the generic form, Ocella, the drugs have caused arterial clots that resulted in life-threatening complications, including stroke and heart attack.

Recently, Bayer agreed to pay $56.9 million to establish a settlement program for those claims, but if fewer than 97.5 percent of the eligible plaintiffs fail to participate, they will be able to withdraw. It is not clear at this time if the manufacturers of Ocella will contribute to the settlement, or, if so, how much.

Court documents originally contained 12,000 files, all with multiple plaintiffs, making it the largest multidistrict litigation in the nation at its height. But the defendants reportedly argued that some of the plaintiffs had duplicate claims, and that others had never taken drospierenone-containing birth control. By February, they had boiled it down to just 3,400 claims. Some of the cases dismissed were remanded to their home district to be dismissed, settled, or tried. The first is set to begin trial in late July.

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viagra melanoma warning, Illinois defective drugs attorneyEvery medication has side effects, but some drugs are released to the public so quickly that some of them may be unknown. This makes them dangerous and defective drugs, and in some instances, deadly. A new study, published in the journal of American Medical Association, suggests that this may very well be the case with the popular erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra.

Study Examines Viagra for Melanoma Risk

Viagra was the first drug manufactured for erectile dysfunction, and at the time the study started, it was the only one in existence. Researchers on the study opted to examine it for its potential to increase melanoma risks because both the drug and the cancer block the enzyme phosphodiesterase within the body’s cells.

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city drivers, Chicago Car Accident AttorneyThere are only a handful of options when it comes to transportation in the city: public transit, carpooling, walking, or driving. For those that must drive in Chicago, Illinois, it probably does not come as a surprise to hear that the roads they are navigating happen to be the eighth-worst for drivers; the reasons why might be.

Chicago’s Driver Ranking: The Good, Bad, and Surprising

Out of all the cities in the United States, Chicago ranked as one of the worst ten cities for commute time, overall cost, traffic conditions, maintenance costs, and parking rates. Considerations included commonly dealt with driver issues, such as car repairs, gas prices, insurance rates, and personal vehicle maintenance repairs that exceeded the national average of $515.

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side effects of levaquin, Chicago Defective Drugs LawyerGovernment agencies like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were put into place to protect the public. But what happens when that agency fails to do its job; when they and the companies they are supposed to regulate begin to view the public as a statistic?

Does the FDA Really Protect the Public?

Recently, investigators from ABC News looked into the FDA’s failure to disclose the serious side effects of Levaquin to the public. Part of the fluoroquinolones drug family, it is also marketed under the brand name Cipro, and the generic name Levofloxacin. Commonly used to treat severe infections, like pneumonia and kidney infections, the drugs are so powerful that they are even used to treat anthrax.

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defective vehicles, Chrysler recalls vehicles, Chicago Defective Car Parts LawyerIn the midst of the Takata airbag recalls, which now includes more than 30 million vehicles, Chrysler has announced a recall on more than 11 million defective vehicles; only this one has nothing to do with Takata. In fact, this recall has nothing to do with airbags at all. It does pose a safety hazard to Chrysler owners, however, and the public deserves to know the truth.

Formal Recall Started with Software Issues

Recalls initially started after a published a story on Chrysler’s Uconnect dashboard computers. Security researchers reportedly hacked into the system of a Jeep and wirelessly took over its dashboard functions, transmission, steering, and brakes.

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surgeon complication rates, medical negligence, Chicago Medical Malpractice LawyerSince the 1999 publication of “To Err is Human,” a landmark report from the Institute of Medicine on the number of medical errors in the United States, patient safety has been at the forefront of health care discussions. Unfortunately, little has changed since then; a recent study from ProPublica has provided a closer (and highly disturbing) look.

ProPublica Reveals Disparity in Patient Care Among Surgeons

Medical malpractice studies are not a new concept, but ProPublica took their analysis beyond statistics as a whole; they individually examined the Medicare cases of 17,000 surgeons over the course of five years. Eight commonly performed elective procedures were examined, including knee and hip replacements, spinal fusions, prostate removals and resections, and gallbladder removals – all of which are considered routine, straightforward, and relatively low risk.

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asbestos in crayons, Chicago product liability attorneyThe public has feared asbestos for quite some time, and for good reason. It has been linked to a number of serious conditions, and it is thought to kill up to 15,000 Americans every year. Yet this carcinogen was recently found in crayons and other items marketed to children.

The Truth About Asbestos

Most people assume that asbestos has been banned and that it is a problem of the past. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth; asbestos can be found in products used by the general public on a daily basis.

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amusement park liability, Chicago premises liability lawyerFor most, summer fun means the lake, the pool, zoos, and amusement parks. Each of these locales have their own set of risks, but when it comes to injuries and accidents, amusement parks seem to garner the most attention. So is the thrill really worth the risk? Or are fun parks just a huge liability?

Amusement Park Injury and Accident Rates

Few studies have examined the injury rates at amusement parks in depth. Those that have determined that:

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