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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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medical malpractice lawsuits, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to advance his radical political agenda by making it more difficult for victims of negligence and medical malpractice to obtain fair and just compensation for their injuries.

Governor Rauner and his friends—big businesses and insurance companies—falsely claim that there is a “lawsuit crisis” in Illinois.  However, the fact is that lawsuit filings in Illinois have dropped 26 percent since 2007.  Governor Rauner’s proposed changes to the tort system in Illinois are designed to benefit the corporate sector, not victims of negligence. This would make it more difficult to sue large companies (including medical and pharmaceutical companies). Governor Rauner’s proposals would also limit the power of judges and juries in your community to compensate injured people who were victims of negligence.

The so-called “reforms” sought by Gov. Bruce Rauner, big business, the PAC’s that provide his campaign funding and his insurance industry backers, will only undercut the constitutional rights of citizens injured due to the wrongdoing of others and help to boost insurers’ bottom line.  When a person is brain damaged, mutilated, rendered paraplegic or suffers another grievous harm as a result of another’s negligence, but cannot obtain fair compensation from the culpable party through our courts because the laws have been rigged against them, the healthcare and other financial support for that individual and her family will be borne by the taxpayers.

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coumadin blood thinner, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerWhen you place a family member in a nursing home or other long-term facility, you expect them to be treated with care. Unfortunately, it does not always work out this way. Mistakes, negligence, and accidents do happen. But when it happens with medications, the implications can be severe, maybe even deadly.

The “Most Dangerous Drug in America”

Coumadin, a commonly prescribed anticoagulant, was originally used as a rat and mouse killer. In the 1950s, it became a breakthrough drug for humans with clotting disorders, arrhythmias, and deep vein thrombosis. Indeed, it can be a life-saving drug when used correctly. But there are some serious dangers with Coumadin, particularly for geriatric patients.

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Takata airbag recall list, Illinois product liability lawyerEight deaths and over 100 injuries have been linked to defective Takata airbags. As a result, more than 30 million vehicles from 10 different manufacturers have been recalled. Consumer Report recently released an exhaustive list of those vehicles, as well as some tips for those affected.

Which Vehicles are Being Recalled and Why?

Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW all have models on the Takata airbag recall list. Most of them were manufactured between 2002 and 2008, but some models have been expanded to 2014. (A comprehensive list of the specific models and years of vehicles being recalled are listed at Consumer Report.)

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Dodge Challenger, Takata recall, Chicago defective car parts lawyerDodge Challengers have recently been added to the ever-growing list of Takata airbag recalls. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says that the Challengers were “inadvertently excluded” from the original recall list submitted to the NHTSA. The FCA also stated it was not until an audit on July 6 that they realized the 88,346 Dodge Challengers, manufactured between September 2007 and October 2010, had Takata airbags.

The Japanese-manufactured airbags contain a propellant that can degrade over time from moisture exposure. Even in a low-speed impact, the airbags can deploy with such excessive force that they self-destruct and shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Over the last decade, they have been traced back to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Takata’s Failures in Morality

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