Teens, Car Accidents, and Traumatic Brain Injuries. A Tough Road Ahead

Posted: December 17th, 2014

closed head injury, Lake County personal injury attorney, physical therapy, TBI, teen safety, traumatic brain injury, car accidentAs children grow older, parents are faced with a myriad of situations in which to worry. However, when parents have a trustworthy teen who makes good choices, the anxiety levels ease slightly.

Unfortunately, however, life is not always as simple as making a smart choice. Fate has a way of presenting circumstances which cannot always be avoided, and there are times when accidents happen. In fact, young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest proportion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations due to motor vehicle traffic-related events.

Closed Head Injury

A traumatic brain injury or TBI refers to damage to the brain caused by an external physical force such as a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury (i.e. a gunshot wound or a fall) that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Additionally, severely jolting the head in a car accident can cause the brain to move unnaturally around in the skull cavity and damage tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. This constitutes a “closed head injury.”

A traumatic brain injury is not caused by something internal such as a stroke or tumor. Interestingly, it is possible to have a TBI and never lose consciousness.

An Altered Lifestyle

The Centers for Disease Control describes the potential harm a victim may suffer resulting from a TBI:

  • Coma;
  • Amnesia; and
  • Compromised cognitive, motor, sensation, and emotional skills.

It is clear that a traumatic brain injury can diminish a teen’s overall quality of life as an injury is often long term and permanent, and may require long term rehabilitative care. The financial costs to sustain a victim, especially a young teen through the course of his or her life, can be burdensome. However, retaining the services of a personal injury attorney can allow parents to focus on their child while evidence is gathered, insurance benefits are analyzed, and parties prepare to go to trial.

Seek Compassionate and Determined Counsel

If your son or daughter was involved in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is important to consider your legal options. Moreover, if negligence on the part of someone else contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation.

With the exorbitant costs of urgent medical care and long term rehabilitative physical therapy, a financial settlement can help ease the burden on families coping with their new normal. A Lake County personal injury attorney with relevant catastrophic injury litigation experience is the sensible place to start. The compassionate team at Noonan Perillo Ltd. has litigated several catastrophic injury and fatal car accident claims over the years and have a deep understanding of the law and the day to day practical considerations that clients have to face. We will be the advocates you need to fight to win compensation for your child. Call us today at 847-244-0111.

Author: | Filed under: Car Accident, Child Safety, Lake County personal injury attorney, Medical Care, Personal Injury | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

When is An Employee Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Posted: December 10th, 2014

 eligible for workers' compensation, injured on the job, Lake County personal injury attorneys, Noonan Perillo Ltd., work-related accidents, workers' compensationOne of the benefits of employment is the reassurance that if you are injured on the job, you will be entitled to monetary benefits to help cover the costs of treatment. What is not always clear cut, however, is exactly under what circumstances you may be eligible.

The defining term in the state legislation covers injuries sustained in “the course of employment.” What does this mean in a practical sense? It is an issue toyed over in courts all over the country.

Each year in Illinois, approximately 200,000 work-related accidents occur. Having an experienced personal injury attorney representing you is your best opportunity to make a case for compensation for an on-the-job injury. The intricacies of establishing whether or not an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation can be daunting, but the attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. have extensive experience litigating workers’ compensation claims in Lake County, and understand the potential complexities involved.

Work Related or Personal Errands?

An employee who operate heavy duty machinery and suffers injuries on the job has a fairly obvious workers’ compensation case. Additionally, when an employee carries out his or her sanctioned duties, and safety precautions are in place but he or she still experiences a finger, hand, or eye injury for example, the employee would likely qualify for benefits to aid in their recovery.

The ambit of benefits can cover short term or permanent disability, partial and total limb loss, vision impairment, rehabilitation costs and more.

But, what if an employee is injured indirectly through the course of his or her employment?

Consider the following examples, some of which are proffered by the International Risk Management Institute.

  • A teacher suffers a jaw injury playing basketball in a faculty evening social game on school premises;
  • A police officer is shot at home while cleaning his approved weapon;
  • An employee is injured on his or her day off when picking up their paycheck;
  • A financial analyst suffers a heart attack at home and claims a highly stressful job as the cause;
  • An employee slips and falls on the roadway after leaving work; or
  • An employee is killed in a car collision while servicing vending machines in the area.

Not only does the concept of “within the course of employment” come into play, but the notion of whether an employee was injured while furthering the business interests of the employer also comes into play.

In addition to this, courts have to consider if an activity was open to “voluntary” participation by employees or activities contrary to business duties, horseplay, or any other situation not within the scope of employment. These instances could negate any employer responsibility.

The distinctions between a work function and personal business is key. Obviously, the burden of proof to establish a causal connection is important. If a court does not find a reasonable, direct link by way of medical expert testimony—for example, an employee’s chronic ailment which is exacerbated by a work-related scenario—it may not be grounds for compensation.

Similarly, if a court deems that evidence does not support a claim, benefits will be denied. The same is for any case where an employee is injured but cannot prove it occurred while acting under the direction of his or her employer.

With this in mind, if you have been injured at work, please contact an attorney with the depth of knowledge to assess your specific situation to fully understand your rights. There is a very small window of time available for you to report your injury to authorities to initiate the claim process. Hence, it is crucial to have an attorney representing you who is honest and fair about the merits of your case. If it is deemed you have a viable case, the Lake County personal injury attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. will show a professional commitment and dedication to your case to seek compensation. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation in our Waukegan office.

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Holiday Traffic More than a Headache: Drunk Driving Destroys Lives

Posted: December 2nd, 2014

drinking and driving, drunk driving destroys lives, holiday driving, holiday traffic, Illinois driving fatalities, Illinois personal injury attorneys, impaired driving, MADDX Noonan Perillo LtdWhile families feverishly prepare for guests, menus, and gifts for upcoming holiday celebrations, traffic authorities around the country are preparing for an increased number of car accidents. Not only does the weather this time of year—especially in the Eastern regions—cause many fender benders, but impaired, reckless, and negligent drivers are an additional menace. The heavy volume of traffic that begins Thanksgiving weekend and extends throughout December is traditionally a time to be extra cautious and attentive on the roads.

Family gatherings, work functions, and social engagements equal more people traveling the nation’s highways, and a higher probability for intoxicated drivers. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Thanksgiving is the worst holiday of the year for drunk driving. In 2012, 416 motorists died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and 42 percent of them were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver

Celebratory Drinks Turning Sour

Holiday parties involve the consumption of alcohol. Additionally, a responsible intake of alcohol is the route to go, as is nominating a designated driver or arranging a taxi. Sadly, however, many people make the poor choice of getting behind the wheel when impaired. Law enforcement undertake heavier patrolling and set up sobriety check-points to try and curb the incidence of accidents on the roads. But, every year, serious injuries and fatalities are reported by victims of crashes where a drunk driver was involved. MADD, Mothers’ Against Drunk Driving, reports a noticeable increase in the proportion of drunk driving deaths specifically around the holidays. These deaths occur in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Thursday, following what is becoming known as “Blackout Wednesday.”

Families want to cherish the memories of holiday cheer, and not have to face these times of year with the anguish of loosing a a loved one in a drunk driving accident. In 2012, there were 321 alcohol impaired driving fatalities in Illinois which accounted for 34 percent of all traffic deaths—a 15 percent increase from the previous year. These numbers represent real people and real victims hurt in preventable circumstances. Innocent victims suffer catastrophic short or long terms injuries such a loss of function of a limb, paralysis, brain damage, burns, and internal organ damage.

Contact a Compassionate Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries caused by an intoxicated driver in Lake County over Thanksgiving weekend, please contact the compassionate Illinois personal injury attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. We are here to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 847-244-0111 today.

Author: | Filed under: Car Accident, Drunk Driving, Lake County personal injury attorney, Lake County personal injury lawyer | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

When Driving Ends in Life Altering Burn Injuries

Posted: November 25th, 2014

average hospital stays, car fires, car safety, Lake County personal injury attorney, life altering burn injuries, Noonan Perillo Ltd., serious injuries, burn injuriesFrom 2008 to 2010, an estimated 194,000 highway vehicle fires occurred in the United States, each year resulting in an annual average of approximately 300 deaths, 1,250 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property loss.”

Reported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), these disturbing numbers raise concerns about the severity, scope of injuries, and costs that occur when victims suffer serious injuries or death in car fires. Not only is the permanent scarring from burns a constant reminder, but the pain endured, and the lengthy treatment regimes and costs, can be unimaginable.

In line with these statistics, the American Burn Association reported 300 deaths related to vehicle crash fires, burns and smoke inhalation, in 2013.

Occupants can suffer horrendous, disfiguring burns that can cause lifelong impairment. The severity of the burns can range from superficial-first degree burns to fourth degree burns, where tendon, nerve, muscle, and bone damage occurs.

Car Crashes and Burns

A car accident alone is a terrifying experience, but the potential for sustaining serious injuries is worse. When considering the working parts of a vehicle, one can begin to understand how many different scenarios could play out and cause injury to an occupant. The first priority, however, is to safely get out of a burning vehicle. Unfortunately, unpredictable and fast moving fires can cause injuries such as:

  • Flame burns from ignited gasoline;
  • Scald burns from hot radiators; and
  • Burns from contact with hot tail pipes or engine surfaces.

FEMA states that the second most common area in a crashed vehicle, where a fire originates (after the engine), occurs in the operator/passenger section. So when a vehicle is involved in a car crash, commonly due to an impact from another car, a fireball usually ensues engulfing its occupants.

Burn Risks

Vehicle accident burn injuries usually involve a heat, electrical and/or chemical source.

  1. Heat burns occur when there is direct contact with open shooting flames, hot surfaces or liquid or steam. Even the general heat emanating from a flame or hot surface or substance can cause a heat burn. FEMA notes that a vehicle fire can generate heat upward of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Electrical burns may be caused by damaged or exposed electrical components in the vehicle or even a downed power line on or near the vehicle.
  3. Chemical burns commonly occur when a commercial vehicle carrying chemicals is involved in a roadway crash. If an occupant’s skin comes into contact with strong chemicals, a chemical burn may result.

Historical studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control have shown that burns associated with vehicle crashes have the longest average hospital stays, due partly to the need for medical treatment of other injuries sustained in the crash. This would compound the types of medical costs for which a victim would be responsible.

Contact a Compassionate Lake County Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident and suffered life altering burn injuries, contact a Lake County personal injury attorney experienced in litigating these types of cases. Pending the facts of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The lawyers at Noonan Perillo Ltd. would be instrumental in collating all the documentation to help bolster your case. This can include police and crash investigation reports, first responder observations, witness statements, and medical evaluations of the severity of the burn injuries, treatment, and rehabilitation involved. Do not suffer in silence. We will fight to seek compensation to help ease your financial burdens.

Author: | Filed under: Car Accident, Lake County personal injury attorney, Lake County personal injury lawyer, Personal Injury, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Workers’ Compensation: Third-Party Claims

Posted: November 18th, 2014

Lake County personal injury attorney, Noonan Perillo Ltd., personal injury claim, third-party claims, workers' compensationIn the State of Illinois, workers’ compensation allows employees to receive compensation and benefits if injured on the job. There are no requirement to prove fault. Additionally, an injury may have occurred simply as a result of an inherent risk of the job description. When digging deeper into the cause of an accident, what happens when an employee is seriously injured due to a defective piece of equipment, or because of another’s negligence associated with the employee’s daily duties?

A worker may be able to file a personal injury claim for damages against a third party. However, to ensure you have a valid case, retaining a knowledgeable attorney well versed in civil litigation, is advisable.

Reaching beyond An Immediate Employer

In the event of an injury or even death on the job, Illinois has comprehensive workers’ compensation legislation that provides for monetary benefits for workers. These benefits can cover the costs associated with permanent “partial” or “total“ disability and even death. These payments may be paid weekly, or paid as a lump sum depending on the disability. Death benefits are paid for 25 years or $500,000, whichever is greater.

If, however, a workplace injury was caused by a defective product or machine, or by someone who is not a co-worker, they are deemed to be a “third party” and can be asked to pay for the injured worker’s medical expenses. This is as long as an employee can prove that the negligence of the third party contributed to the injury.

Nearly three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2012. In Illinois, there were 172 workplace fatalities in 2013 alone. The highest incidence occurring in the transportation sector.

Several common examples why an employee may be able to file a claim against someone other than his or her direct employer include the following:

  • Construction Sites: Construction workers face a number of risky situations in their daily tasks. But, compounding that, is the substandard implementation of safety standards which creates a dangerous situation for a workers. Typical injuries include electrocution and falls from scaffolding. In these cases, the employee could bring a personal injury claim against general contractors, site supervisors, project managers or property owners.
  • Delivery/Shipping/Transportation: Often, drivers are injured on the road by another vehicle. These victims can suffer head and neck injuries and even serious internal injuries. The offending driver of the car that hit the worker (if not an employee of the worker’s company) could be subject to a claim for his or her negligent driving.
  • Manufacturing: Many employees are injured while working on a production line while using a piece of machinery, such as a power press, band saw or milling device.The manufacturer of a defective product that injures a worker could be held liable for catastrophic injuries such as compressions and crushing that lead to limb loss and vision impairment.
  • Slips, Trips and Falls: According to the National Floor Safety Institute, 22 percent of slip and fall incidents resulted in more than 31 days away from work. A fall resulting in serious injuries, including broken bones and head and spinal injuries that was neither the employer, employee, or co-worker’s fault, can be a basis for a claim against a third party. For example, another contractor on the job site may be found to have contributed to the injuries sustained.
  • Work Related Site Visits: A property owner who fails to properly maintain a safe workplace environment or an owner of an animal that bites a worker may also find themselves on the opposing side of a personal injury claim.

Contact an Experienced Lake County Personal Injury Attorney

The potential for “shared responsibility” in a workplace injury is an essential part of an employee’s recovery. Hence, it takes the legal assistance of a Lake County personal injury attorney, with the depth of knowledge, to determine if you have a case in Illinois. The team at Noonan Perillo Ltd. has a large practice area focused on workers’ compensation. We have attorneys who each have nearly 30 years of trial law experience. We understand the anguish that is suffered by workers and their families when someone is seriously hurt on the job. We also understand the types of medical costs associated with care and recovery. Our attorneys can evaluate if you have a claim for workers’ compensation AND a strong personal injury claim against a third party. Often the latter can potentially be a source of a large monetary settlement. Call our Lake County office for a complimentary consultation today.

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Eyes on the Job: Vision Impairment Caused at Work

Posted: November 11th, 2014

Lake County personal injury attorneys, Noonan Perillo Ltd, vision impairment caused at work, work injury, eye injury, workers compensation, personal injury, work safetyOur eyes are a very delicate and necessary part of our bodies. In fact, our vision is a sensory feature that we should be complacent about, especially when on the job. Many people depend on their eyesight to undertake employment duties. However, while regular vision checkups and protection from the sun are recommended, protecting the eyes while at work is crucially important. This is especially so for employees working with heavy machinery. Unfortunately, accidents can still happen even after identifying potential hazards, implementing safety procedures, and properly utilizing protective equipment.

Prevent Blindness America notes, “Eye injuries in the workplace are very common. More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About 1 in 10 injuries require one or more missed work days to recover from. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.” Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that “Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.”

Who Is at Risk?

Most work-related eye injuries are a result of objects striking the eye. Employees who primarily use tools and machinery with moving parts that generate debris are at an increased risk. The following are typical jobs that tend to increase the risk of eye injury, which can include partial or total vision loss:

  • Construction workers;
  • Auto repair workers;
  • Contractors;
  • Shipyard workers;
  • Welders;
  • Farm workers;
  • Miners; and
  • Landscapers.

Heavy machinery used in various industries to cut, weld, stamp, drill, and chisel materials such as metal, glass, concrete, or wood can produce shards or minute particles and dust that can cause severe lacerations to the eye. Equipment commonly used by many tradespeople such as nails, cutting tools, wire, and staples can inadvertently hit an eye and cause serious abrasions and injury.

Additionally, certain chemical splashes and fumes (chemical burns) can cause eye injuries and impaired vision. Workers who handle acids, solvents, and other corrosive solutions face a high risk of harm to their eyes. The Environmental Protection Agency guidelines relating to prompt eye wash and deluge showers are in place to try and avoid—or at least minimize—the severity of the eye injury. Prolonged exposure to intense UV radiation (thermal burns) is also known to cause tissue damage to the eyes. Finally, even a slip/trip and fall hazard present in the workplace can contribute to an employee suffering facial and eye injuries.

Workers Compensation for Injuries and Vision Loss

Total loss or compromised vision can impact your ability to drive, work, and perform simple daily tasks. If you have suffered damage to your eye(s) at work, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits to cover the associated medical costs. In addition, depending on the severity of the injury, your convalescence, and the long term effects, workers compensation weekly benefits may also be awarded to you.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

OSHA requires the use of eye protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury. The eye protection to be worn depends on specific work situations and the type of hazard that a worker could potentially encounter.

Employers must assess eye safety hazards in the workplace and formulate policies and guidelines for employees to ensure their safety. Complying with government regulations for eyewear and emergency eyewash stations is vital. Employees should also be aware of the potential for eye injury and ways to protect themselves. In fact, anyone working in, or passing through, areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective gear.

Safety eyewear protection recommended by OSHA and endorsed by the Vision Council of America include:

  • Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses;
  • Goggles;
  • Face shields;
  • Welding helmets; and
  • Full-face respirators.

Although the legislation and guidelines regarding workers compensation may seem clear cut,in reality it can be a very difficult process. The opposing attorneys representing an employer’s insurance company can create a very tenuous situation. However, the Lake County personal injury attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. have the depth of knowledge and legal experience to represent you. We understand that injuries suffered by one client may affect another differently. We know that there may be complications or limitations in your long term recovery. We are compassionate to your individual circumstances and how your loved ones also have to endure the worry about your injury and the anxiety of how you will recover. With that in mind, we strive to win the best care and benefits for our clients. We encourage you to call our office today and schedule a consultation.

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Behind the Wheel: Ensuring Your Car Is Safe on the Road

Posted: November 4th, 2014

car safety, Lake County personal injury attorney, Noonan Perillo Ltd., safe on the road, serious safety defect, vehicle recallToday’s headlines regarding road safety often focus on distracted or impaired drivers. However, could the vehicle you are driving pose a risk to your safety?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, works to ensure vehicles on our roads are safe and comply with federal standards. Since the legislation, under which the NHTSA was created and took effect, it is stated that “… more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats have been recalled to correct safety defects.”

The regular monitoring of the automotive industry by this agency helps to identify potentially dangerous design defects and products. The NHTSA issues a recall if it is discovered that a particular make and model of a vehicle, or one of its components, has a serious safety defect. The purpose of a recall is so that consumers have a chance to rectify the problem before it causes harm. Unfortunately, however, the backstory to many recalls often involves someone actually being injured or killed because of the defects. Of note, car makers can be subjected to monetary fines for failure to notify NHTSA promptly of potentially dangerous flaws in their cars.

What Types of Defects Exist?

A laundry list of recalls reveal how varying factors may cause a serious situation on the road. Several recall examples include:

  • Hood latches that can corrode causing them to open while the car is being driven;
  • Wiring that can overheat and cause a fire;
  • A brake component malfunction requiring greater stopping distance and the increased chance for a crash; and
  • Faulty ignition switches which suddenly cause the engine to shut off.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2012 lists 886 crashes in Illinois that involved a contributing factor from a vehicle. Tire issues, brake systems, steering, or possible device malfunctions are all listed as contributing factors. Additionally, several of these examples simply do not allow drivers to take evasive action; Therefore, many lives have been lost in both these and other circumstances. Catastrophic injuries from accidents that could have been prevented is just cause for you to make a case for compensation.

Even though automakers are legally required to report to NHTSA any and all claims they receive from consumers blaming defects for serious injuries or deaths, vehicle owners should be proactive and check the NHTSA website for specific information regarding the make and model of their cars, and they should also view the current list of recalls. Remember, in many households, cars may be shared between family members and friends. Therefore, be conscious of the reality that a loved one may be behind the wheel of a non-roadworthy vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, retaining an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney is a step in the right direction. To discuss your case, please contact the attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. today.

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Infectious Diseases Spreading in Hospitals: Should You Be Worried?

Posted: October 26th, 2014

contract infectious diseases, Lake County personal injury attorney, infectious disease, Ebola, cases of Ebola, rapid response teams, spread disease, hospital protocolWe generally associate hospitals as safe places for treatment and healing—facilities that are clean and sterile and where medical professionals take every precaution to preserve a safe environment. Despite these notions, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly 2 million people contract infectious diseases in hospitals each year.

As new and evolving diseases crop up and spread, hospitals, in conjunction with the CDC, must remain alert. Part of this awareness is taking note of how the infections are contracted. Every precaution, in terms of patient care, must be executed meticulously. Currently with cases of Ebola occurring in the U.S., a handful of hospitals have rapid response teams. These specialized teams can either treat a patient onsite or in one of their own facilities, or they can be dispatched to another hospital to treat the sick patient. In any case, early intervention is key.

Unfortunately, despite appearances that staff are abiding by rules and regulations to safeguard patients, infectious diseases can spread to other patients with very serious consequences, especially if not diagnosed in time.

Hospital-Acquired Infections

According to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) a non-profit educational campaigning organization, “Hospital infections kill more Americans each year than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined” at a cost of over 30 billion in additional treatment expenses.

This is truly a worrying prospect when you consider that going to a hospital is commonly viewed as a safe and hygienic place.

So, how do hospital acquired infections occur? Below are examples:

  • Lack of proper screening of patients being admitted, and in turn, inadequate precautions and care that leads to the rampant spread of disease;
  • Equipment not being cleaned between patient use allowing the spread of bacterial spores; and
  • Catheters and IV’s not being administered hygienically.

These instances can lead to some of the most prevalent healthcare- associated infections such as:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA);
  • Norovirus;
  • Hepatitis; and
  • HIV.

Ways to Protect Yourself

Being proactive is always ideal. In fact, there is a valuable resource available to prospective patients in Illinois. Patients have the ability to check the health record of hospitals throughout the State. The Illinois Department of Public Health provides a Hospital Report Card which is the result of the requirement that hospitals report data pertaining to the spread of infectious disease in their facility. This information is also reported to the Medicare National Healthcare Safety Network.

Also, RID’s 15 steps to protect yourself as a patient, to help avoid contracting an infection, is worth noting. Steps include asking staff AND visitors to hand wash frequently; having your doctor or nurse clean equipment such as the flat surface of the stethoscope before use on you; and, choosing a reputable surgeon with a known low infection rate.

Despite a patient’s preconceived notion about the cleanliness of a hospital and assurances from staff, there is still a risk that improper care, negligent handling of specimens, and failure to abide by protocol by all staff in the chain of care can lead to a patient acquiring an infection. Being admitted in a hospital already indicates that your health is vulnerable in some way. To then be exposed to more harm that was potentially preventable, is a case an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney can spearhead on your behalf. Contact Noonan Perillo Ltd. today to schedule a consultation in our Waukegan office. Your health and well-being is not something in which to be complacent. While you may consider yourself safe in a facility with all precautions in place, sadly, hospitals can indeed be a breeding ground for infections. The consequences may be dire.

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Safety on Two Wheels: Drivers Must Make a Point to See Motorcyclists

Posted: October 20th, 2014

distracted driver, Lake County personal injury attorneys, motorcycle safety, motorcyclist, safe riding, Waukegan, sharing the roads, driver negligence, fatal crashes, crashes in IllinoisWho doesn’t love a road trip along scenic highways? One of the best ways to enjoy a sightseeing journey is on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, colliding with a truck or encountering a distracted driver who has slower reaction times has become increasingly probable. When sharing the road with cars, buses, and trucks it is essential to take extra precautions since defensive driving is becoming the norm on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in 2012. This is a 7 percent increase from 2011. Drivers in cars and trucks are routinely failing to observe other vehicles on the same roads. Not only are pedestrians and cyclists seriously injured, motorcyclists suffer the same fate, but often with catastrophic consequences.

The Highway is for Everyone

A common refrain from safety experts is the phrase “sharing our roads.” The meaning behind this, however, should not get lost in people’s preconceptions about motorcyclists. As with cars, riders take pride in their machines and reap pleasure from their performance and they place faith and trust in drivers to operate vehicles in a courteous and attentive manner. Yet, the cause for crashes is often a visibility issue.

In 2012, there were 2,317 two-vehicle fatal crashes where a motorcycle and another type of vehicle were involved. In 41 percent of these crashes, the other vehicles were turning left while the motorcycles were either going straight, passing, or overtaking other vehicles. Both vehicles were going straight 23 percent of the time. These scenarios clearly show a lack of consideration afforded to motorcycle riders on our roads and especially at intersections.

Riders have suffered serious injuries in crashes in collisions with cars or trucks that have not yielded to them. These types of injuries can include head trauma, brain injury, internal organ damage, broken bones and lacerations. Between 2001 and 2008 over half of the injuries treated at emergency rooms were head, neck, leg and foot injuries. And while helmet use (recommended in Illinois) has prevented many fatal injuries, serious internal injuries and limb damage can still occur. In fact, 29 of the 148 crashes in Illinois alone involved a motorcyclist actually wearing a helmet.

While practicing safe riding for crash avoidance is important, falling victim to another driver’s negligence is something that is unpredictable. At Noonan Perillo Ltd. we have an experienced team of litigators who will work vigorously on your case. Call our Waukegan office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Lake County personal injury attorneys.

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Concerns about the Use of Medical Devices

Posted: October 9th, 2014

defective medical devices, Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, medical device, defective devices, device side effects, medical device failureIn today’s world of amazing technology advancements, it is promising to know that ailments may sometimes be cured or alleviated with the development of medical devices. However, when new products are available, doctors must be very cautious when recommending and using them. What happens when a patient reacts badly? Is this an inherent risk of using such a device? Is there a problem with the way the device was placed? Or, is there an issue with the device itself?

Approval and Risk

Companies that design medical devices may have the best intentions to serve patient needs and are dependent on the skilled physicians who will use them. The process to have devices approved for use, however, rests with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The process involves:

“a pre-marketing submission made to FDA to demonstrate that the device to be marketed is as safe and effective, that is, substantially equivalent to a legally marketed device that is not subject to premarket approval”

Yet even in cases where a company has obtained this approval, what happens when the device causes catastrophic injuries in patients? The FDA currently lists several product recalls of devices that can seriously harm patients.

Examples include:

  • A manual resuscitator valve that can get stuck preventing air flow to a patient;
  • Incorrect labeling on a metered dosage causing a patient to receive the wrong amount of medication;
  • Catheters that can separate during use and cause injury;
  • Vascular retrieval snare loops that can separate and get stuck in other organs and block blood flow; and
  • Knee replacements that do not accommodate for weight distribution effectively and can cause fractures which can, in turn, lead to the loss of a limb.

Several of the examples listed fall under “Class I” recalls. A Class 1 recall is the most serious type and involves situations in which “there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

Other harm known to be caused by defective devices, and reported by the FDA, includes infection, brain injury, strangulation (with a physical therapy device) punctured organs, nerve damage, tissue erosion, and possible link to anaplastic large cell lymphoma (as in the case of breast implants). Often, further surgery to correct the device’s serious side effects or failures is required, thus putting the patient at potentially more risk.

Categories of Liability

So, in the event of a serious injury, where do you apportion blame?

As the examples above demonstrate, a medical device that causes serious injury to a patient could be the result of any of the following:

  1. A defective design feature;
  1. An issue in the actual manufacturing process of the device; or
  1. Insufficient or incorrect labeling of a product to be dispensed.

An attorney will look to the law in Illinois that relates to products liability to investigate whether a manufacturer is liable for the injuries resulting from the medical device. Further, if a medical practitioner was negligent in the way the procedure to insert the medical device occurred, a malpractice claim could be brought against that doctor for failing to maintain a reasonable standard of care expected in these circumstances.

If you have experienced a serious injury attributable to a medical device, you are strongly encouraged to seek immediate legal advice regarding your case to explore your potential legal rights to compensation. Having the expertise of a compassionate Lake County personal injury attorney on your side can only improve your chances of success. Call Noonan Perillo Ltd. today to schedule your consultation.

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