Frequent Boating Accidents in Illinois: Are You Safe on the Water?

Posted: October 2nd, 2014

boater negligence, boating accident, driver negligence, Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, maritime safety laws, Noonan Perillo Ltd., boat operators, boating injuries, safe boat practices, water safetyAlthough summer has drawn to a close, spending time on the water in boats, kayaks, jet skis, and other pleasure crafts is still quite prevalent this time of the year. In 2013, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources reported 65 boating accidents which resulted in 50 injuries and 14 fatalities. Between October 2012 and September 2013, 1, 235 citations were issued and 4,525 written warnings were given to boat operators. This unequivocally highlights the increased need for safety on the water, similarly to that required on our nation’s roads. Boat owners and operators must heed to a level of responsibility for the maintenance and use of their vessels.

Recreational Use

Boat owners, friends, and families all have several motivating interests to be out on the water. From fishing, swimming, touring, and even in the commercial sense, sharing the waterways should be undertaken with care. Often part of the recreational aspect of boating is the consumption of alcohol.

In a 2013 report, the US Coast Guard identified 236 accidents that involved the use of alcohol and resulted in 75 deaths and 187 injuries. In addition, 180 children under the age of twelve were injured in 2013 in the United States. These numbers are disheartening, especially for families with young children and considering operator inattention was the number one reason for accidents.

Other contributing factors included:

  • Excessive speed;
  • Operator inexperience;
  • Overloading of passengers;
  • Congested waters;
  • Mechanical failure or improper maintenance; and
  • Weather conditions such as strong or unexpected currents.

The presence of these scenarios can lead to collisions, capsizes, and drowning (especially in the case of people not wearing life jackets). Victims may sustain a variety of injuries ranging from lacerations, broken bones, hypothermia, and internal organ damage to catastrophic harm, such as amputations, spinal cord injuries, electric shock and burns.

Safety Regulations

The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act outlines the requirements for safe boat practices. If you were injured in circumstances where a boat operator digressed from the reasonable care he or she should have exercised, you may have a case and you may be awarded monetary compensation for your injuries. Maritime safety laws are in place to provide safe passageway for all crafts and people sharing the waterways.

When a day of pleasure turns into a tragedy, navigating the legal system can be as difficult as navigating the waters. Retaining the services of an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney will aid you in figuring out if there was the presence of negligence. Having a compassionate and experienced attorney to work with you will help. Make it a priority to contact Noonan Perillo Ltd. today.

Author: | Filed under: Drunk Driving, Lake County personal injury attorney, Personal Injury, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Dental Malpractice: What You Should Know

Posted: September 24th, 2014

dental errors, dental malpractice, Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, Noonan Perillo Ltd, permanent injury, routine dental procedures, standard of careWhen most think of medical malpractice, horrendous injuries, wrongful deaths, faulty surgical procedures, or misdiagnosis are typically what springs to mind. The area of dentistry is no exception. In Illinois, all dentists are required maintain a standard of care. Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist’s conduct fails to meet this standard of care, and serious injury or death results.

According to The National Practitioner Data Bank, there were 17,473 medical malpractice reports against dentists between 2002 and 2013. Of those, 539 were reported in Illinois.

Types of Dental Malpractice Cases

There are times when the most routine dental procedures can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. The location of the body where dentists must work is a nexus of the sinus and throat area. Hence, training and experience in the medical field is crucial. Unfortunately, however, dental errors can occur in a myriad of circumstances. Examples of harm patients have experienced include:

  • Diseases, oral cancers and infections that were not identified (or improperly identified) by the dentist;
  • Substandard crowns, bridges, root canals, or extractions which may even include extractions of the incorrect tooth;
  • Not obtaining the specific patient consent for a particular procedure; and
  • Improper sedation/anesthesia.

Disturbingly, some of the most dangerous procedures involve children. Often young patients require sedation. Therefore, dentists with insufficient emergency procedures in place and minimal training create an unsafe situation for their patients. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has formulated guidelines to promote safe dental sedation procedures when it comes to children.

Types of Dental Malpractice Injuries

Both temporary and permanent injury may occur due to dental malpractice. Common dental malpractice injuries include:

  • Accelerated periodontal disease, oral cancer or other diseases;
  • Infections;
  • Loss of the wrong teeth;
  • Sinus damage and joint and nerve damage in the jaw, tongue or lips;
  • Facial paralysis; and
  • Respiratory, cardiac, brain damage or death, from improper anesthesia or sedation levels.

Consult an Experienced Lake County Attorney

A personal injury attorney, well versed in malpractice litigation, will know the intricacies of where and what documentation is required to be filed. Your case could be dismissed on the count of procedural errors if the proper steps are not taken according to current rules. Also, the prospect of taking legal action can be fought with some level of anxiety.

This, in addition to coping with the stress and pain of an injury, and the lingering sense of an impending financial burden and uncertain future, means it is important to team up with an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney who is sympathetic to your needs. The attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd. have the legal expertise to move forward with a meritorious malpractice case. Contact us today.

Author: | Filed under: Dental Malpractice, Lake County personal injury attorney, Medical Care, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Workplace Fatality is Still Commonplace

Posted: September 17th, 2014

Waukegan personal injury attorney, workplace fatality, worker fatalities, workplace injury, injury compensation, workers compensation, slip and fall, tragic accident, Illinois personal injury attorneyWorking hard to provide for a family or to have the ability to enjoy lifestyle choices is an advantage of employment. Certain benefits may come with a job, including health insurance, but in some instances there may also be risks. Although the incidence of death and injury occurs less often than in years past, on average, twelve workers are killed every day on the job. In fact, some of the injuries can be catastrophic and can impair workers for long periods of time. If you have lost a loved one or have been injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Location

The types of injuries workers can suffer depends on the nature of work. Different locales present different scenarios which can lead to death or serious harm to employees.

Industry sectors in which workers can be at risk include:

  • Factories and warehouses where there is heavy machinery and vehicles;
  • Construction sites;
  • Employees who drive for work;
  • Retail establishments; and
  • Offices.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics latest numbers, transportation/warehousing, and the forestry, fishing, and agricultural industries had the highest rate of fatal injuries in 2012. Illinois reported 146 fatalities in 2012 alone, and 19 percent occurred in the transportation sector.

Roadway accidents, falls, and impacts from an object or equipment were common reasons that led to fatal occupational injuries. Some of the most horrific injuries, such as the loss of limbs or death, are sustained from use of heavy machinery where workers are crushed or struck. Slips and falls also commonly result in death or can cause serious head, neck and spinal injuries. Disturbingly, electrocution, asphyxiation and severe burns have also been reported this year by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as reasons for worker fatalities.

Workers Compensation

When a workplace fatality or serious injury occurs in Illinois, there are legal remedies available pending the circumstances. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act provides benefits to injured workers or to a spouse in the event of a workplace fatality. In Illinois, recipients of the death benefit receive payments for 25 years or $500,000.00, whichever is greater. Recipients are eligible for cost of living adjustments. However, the circumstances surrounding the accident must first be fully investigated to ensure there was no horseplay or illegal activity which played a role in the accident.

The loss of a loved one in an unnecessary and tragic manner is devastating. There are, however, procedural and documentation requirements for filing a claim. The compassionate team at Noonan Perillo Ltd. can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Seek the expertise of a Waukegan personal injury attorney who can advise you on the precise details to begin a case. Call today.

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Defective and Dangerous: Flawed Products Harming Our Children

Posted: September 10th, 2014

consumer product injuries, consumer safety, defective product, flawed product, Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, nationwide product recalls, product defects, product recall, recent recalls

News headlines regarding nationwide product recalls, such as an unsafe feature in a motor vehicle or a poorly designed kitchen appliance, are a common occurrence. However, it is most distressing when a recall involves an infant or toddler item. In years past, babies have died due to a defective product such as a crib, high chair, playpen or unsafe toy. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports thousands of injuries per year, and the most heartbreaking are those injuries of children. In fact, children under the age of five years accounted for 76,000 consumer product injuries reported between October 2010 and September 2011.

Types of Product Defects

Product defects can fall into three main categories:

  1. Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect occurs in the production of a product whereby it is engineered incorrectly or its components are substandard in some way. If there was a lack in quality inspections, an unsafe product can enter the stream of commerce and land in the hands of an innocent consumer.
  2. Design Defects: A design defect or ‘flaw’ in the creation process can create a hazardous item. Again, a lack of thorough quality control testing can lead to injuries.
  3. Misleading Information: A product can cause harm when someone fails to warn of a potential danger.This occurs when misleading marketing makes consumers think the product is safer than it actually is, or the product’s operating or installation instructions are incorrect or incomplete, and is therefore insufficient.

Because of these differences, it is possible for liability to rest in various places including the product designer, the manufacturer, the retailer, or even the marketer.

Causal Connection and Establishing Recourse

Product liability lawsuits basically fall into three main areas:

Negligence: In these types of cases, it must be proven that the designer, manufacturer, or seller of a defective product should have ‘reasonably known’ that the product could result in injury and failed to take steps to prevent them.

Strict Liability: This type of case deals with the production and sale of unreasonably dangerous products even when used for their intended purposes. The two tests adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court, and can be used by plaintiffs to prove their case in strict-liability design-defect cases, are the ‘consumer-expectations test’ and the ‘risk-utility test.’ The consumer-expectations test asks whether the “product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used in its intended manner.” The risk-utility test asks whether the “harm could have been avoided by the adoption of a reasonable alternative design.”

Breach of Warranty: This deals with the failure of a product feature under warranty. If a warranted feature fails and causes an injury, the manufacturer can be held liable.

Recalls and Injuries: What You Can Do

An extensive list of recent recalls by the CPSC highlights the ongoing concern that products are never guaranteed as failsafe until they are tested in the market and used by people in daily scenarios. Several serious injuries have occurred with children’s items and include lacerations, entrapment, suffocation, choking, and even electrical shock hazards from electronic gadgets. To lay a successful claim, a person must first prove that an injury actually occurred as a direct result of the product in question. The harm must be a result of defective product that should have been safe when used by a consumer in its intended manner.

As a means of prevention, when purchasing products for your child, always be sure to research products beforehand, complete and return consumer warranty cards, periodically check items to make sure they have not become damaged or compromised in some way, and check the CPSC website for current recalls. If your child is injured by a consumer product, your best course of action is, without question, to preserve the product as evidence.

Consult a Compassionate Illinois Personal Injury Attorney

If you or your child was injured by a flawed product, contact a Lake County personal injury attorney who can review your circumstances and give you a fair and honest assessment of the merits of your case. The legal team at Noonan Perillo Ltd. can help determine what parties may be liable for any injuries sustained. Begin the process and schedule your free consultation today.

Author: | Filed under: Defective Product, Lake County personal injury attorney, Personal Injury, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Overweight Trucks Still a Menace on Highways

Posted: September 3rd, 2014

commercial truck accident, deadly trucking accidents, Noonan Perillo Ltd., overweight trucks, tractor trailers accidents, truck weight limits, Waukegan personal injury attorneyIn the interests of commerce, sometimes shortcuts occur. When businesses are vying to get their products to consumers in an increasingly competitive market, distributors are thus overwhelmed to meet deadlines. Often, this translates into goods being overloaded onto commercial trucks beyond their capacity.

Numerous trucks on our nation’s highways are carrying cargo exceeding legal limits. These same trucks are setting up dangerous scenarios for cars sharing the roads. Unstable and unsteady loads are leading to deadly trucking accidents on our highways. Because of the size, weight, additional stopping distances, and clearance a truck requires, those in cars should always be mindful to maintain a safe distance.

Federal Rules

The desire to ramp up profits and bolster bottom lines is leading to the culture of overweight trucks and uneven loads, and so is increased population. More shoppers equal an increased flow of commerce on highways throughout the state. The Illinois Tollway has stated that just one overweight truck can cause as much damage as hundreds of cars traveling on the same route.

Due to the sheer enormity of tractor trailers, rollovers are a common occurrence. If a load is overweight and unstable, the smallest road condition makes  tractor trailers difficult to control. Large trucks have large blind spots and make wide turns, and this also increase the risk of accidents. Driver fatigue, poor vehicle maintenance, road and weather conditions, and the manner in which a truck is loaded can all contribute to horrific accidents.

Illinois has maximum weight limits for trucks. In line with the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois abides by the “Bridge Formula Weights Calculator,” where a 20,000 pound limit stands for single axle trucks and the gross vehicle weight limit for semi-trailers and tractor and trailers is 80,000 pounds.

A tier of monetary fines outlined in the Illinois Vehicle Code are imposed for overweight trucks ranging from $100 up to and over $1500 depending on the amount of excess weight.

Catastrophic Injuries

Commercial truck accidents are very different from accidents that take place between private vehicles. The obvious size of a truck as compared to a passenger vehicle usually means the people in the car are more likely to suffer catastrophic personal injuries. Statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation demonstrate the injury comparisons between truck occupants and car occupants. By far, drivers and passengers in cars were injured in far higher numbers (2,010) than those in a tractor trailers (466) in 2011 alone.

Injuries and damages tend to be traumatic, often fatal, when a commercial truck is involved, and the devastation can alter the course of people’s lives forever. Broken bones, lacerations, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations and death are a grim reality on highways throughout the state.

Because the operation of commercial trucks is regulated by federal law, in the event of a truck accident, the ensuing police report should include a report from a certified truck inspector who collects valuable information from the scene. This account and preservation of evidence is crucial for a thorough investigation and a solid claim for damages. Filing a timely claim is also crucial if you are seeking a successful settlement.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should first contact a law firm with experience handling personal injury cases. It is also important to find a firm that understands the intricacies of litigating truck accident cases. Aligning yourself with an experienced firm enables you to have the best chance of success.Contact a Waukegan personal injury attorney today at Noonan Perillo Ltd.

Author: | Filed under: Lake County personal injury attorney, Personal Injury, Semi Truck Crash, Truck Accident | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Serious Illnesses Caused by Contaminated Foods

Posted: August 29th, 2014

food preparation, contaminated food, Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, preventing cross contamination, health regulations, prevent sickness, norovirus, E. coli, foodborne illnessAn evening at a restaurant with family and friends is a special occasion enjoyed by many. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that patrons face a risk of foodborne illness such as E. coli and salmonella from tainted ingredients or infected food preparers. Those who consume contaminated food may suffer severe stomach illness, listeria, acute kidney failure, paralysis, and even death.

Earlier this year, a salmonella outbreak across Illinois resulted in hospitalization of a third of all people affected. When a situation like this occurs, and affects you or a loved one, it is important to contact a local personal injury attorney who can help determine if you have a solid case to pursue.

Background

Outbreaks of illnesses due to food contamination are an increasingly common occurrence and impacts millions of people around the country each year. CDC statistics show that each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Over 250 different foodborne illnesses that have been identified and include listeria, E. coli, botulism, hepatitis A, and the norovirus. These illnesses usually take the form of infections caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites from a foodborne source. Other illnesses, such as poisonings, are caused by harmful toxins or chemicals that have contaminated food.

These illnesses can cause a variety of symptoms. Hence, there is no particular set of circumstances to make it easily identifiable as a foodborne illness. However, because the “microbe” or “toxin” enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract and often causes the first symptoms in that area, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea are typical precursors.

Identifying that an outbreak is definitively attributed to foodborne illness is a difficult task for public health authorities. Establishing how a particular illness spreads is crucial in order to take the appropriate steps to stop it.

Contaminated Food: The Culprits and Causes

The following factors are most associated with foodborne illness:

  • Raw foods of animal origin are the most likely to be contaminated such as raw meat and poultry, raw eggs, unpasteurized milk, and raw shellfish;

  • Naturally occurring pathogens in seawater and the norovirus from sewage being dumped in the water can contaminate filter-feeding shellfish;

  • Foods that combine animal products such as bulk raw milk, pooled raw eggs, or ground beef are hazardous because a pathogen present in any one of the animals may contaminate the entire batch. This is most commonly the case with meat, as a pound of ground beef may contain meat from hundreds of animals; and

  • Raw fruits and vegetables prepared in unsanitary conditions or washed in dirty water have caused outbreaks.

Unfortunately there are several opportunities for food to become contaminated as it is handled and prepared. Foodborne illness such as Hepatitis A and the norovirus can be introduced from infected humans who handle the food, or via cross contamination when the same utensils or cutting boards are used between foods without being washed. Food that is fully cooked can become re-contaminated if it touches other raw foods that contain pathogens.

Warm moist conditions are the best breeding grounds for bacteria to multiply. This is why refrigeration and freezing is so important. Disturbingly, there are certain bacteria that can survive in cold conditions. Conversely, if food is heated to an internal temperature above 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or 78 degrees Celsius) it is sufficient to kill parasites, viruses or bacteria. Unfortunately there are bacteria which produce a heat-resistant form called a “spore,” and boiling is the only way certain toxins can be inactivated. However, even this method is not 100 percent guaranteed.

Contaminated Food Prevention

Various basic rules to follow to prevent sickness include:

  • Checking “use by” dates on products at the grocery store;

  • Cooking food thoroughly;

  • Preventing cross contamination between raw and cooked meats;

  • Refrigerating leftovers;

  • Cleaning produce before use; and

  • Reporting suspect foods and patronizing restaurants that abide by Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you have become sick due to contaminated food, seek medical attention immediately. Stool samples can be analyzed to reveal the presence of bacteria and other pathogens that may have caused your illness.

In Illinois, the legal litmus test is the “reasonable expectation” standard. This apportions liability for injuries caused by the substance where the consumer of the product would not reasonably have expected to find it in the product. If this test is satisfied, you may be entitled to damages to cover medical bills and pain and suffering.

The Illinois law offices of Noonan Perillo Ltd. have attorneys with years of personal injury litigation experience. They will guide you through the areas of law that may apply in your case. Contact a Lake County personal injury attorney today.

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Pedestrians Still Face Risks of Vehicular Impact

Posted: August 25th, 2014

Lake County Personal Injury Attorney, pedestrian death, pedestrian safety campaign, vehicular impact, pedestrian risks, pedestrian accident, pedestrian vehicular impactSharing the roads with pedestrians is not something new. In fact, the number of people choosing to walk or use other modes of transportation over the cost and the environmental impact of driving continues to increase. In large urban areas, pedestrians are a mainstay. Unfortunately, the incidences of people being struck by cars continues.

In today’s current climate, the types of driver distractions that exist are common knowledge. Personal electronic devices used while driving, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and inattention and inexperience behind the wheel all contribute to pedestrian fatalities throughout the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) statistics report 4,930 pedestrian crashes in 2012 alone, resulting in 139 fatalities and 890 serious injuries that left victims incapacitated.

Negligence: Care, Cause and Loss

In many crashes, it is a driver’s negligence that contributes to injury or death of a pedestrian. Negligence essentially means that he or she should have exercised reasonable care behind the wheel. If a driver is reckless and strikes a pedestrian, he or she may be held liable to compensate the victim for medical costs and pain and suffering.

An accident victim must be able to prove a causal connection between the driver’s actions and their own injuries and that he or she suffered a loss by way of a serious injury restricting them from their normal duties.

Life-Changing Injuries

The most common scenarios in which pedestrians are being struck and/or killed in occur when drivers:

  • Fail to yield or commit some other sign/signal violation;
  • Are intoxicated, impaired or distracted;
  • Use excessive speed;
  • Operate their vehicles recklessly; and
  • Have reduced visibility during night time hours.

The most frequent injuries to pedestrians include lacerations, broken limbs, and skull, chest, and abdominal injuries. However, brain and spinal injury, limb loss, and death are also prevalent. These serious injuries and the medical costs associated with treating them, are extremely high. Therefore, filing a timely claim and having an experienced attorney on your side—should you recover monetary damages—can help make your convalescence more manageable.

Efforts to Promote Pedestrian Safety

Illinois’ pedestrian safety campaign is especially aimed at seniors, who tend to suffer more severe injuries and have longer recovery times, and teenage children aged between 15-19, as this group was identified as featuring often in pedestrian crashes. Special attention has been given to the safety of the most vulnerable pedestrians—school aged children. A vehicle that turns onto the path of a child happens all too frequently. When entering or exiting trucks or school buses, youngsters are hidden from view. These are areas where people need to be extra vigilant.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident, contact a compassionate Lake County personal injury attorney who can provide the expertise needed to file a claim to recover monetary damages. The attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd understand that resuming a normal lifestyle and undertaking everyday duties is paramount for recovering victims. Call today to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your legal options.

Author: | Filed under: Distracted Driving, Lake County personal injury attorney, Personal Injury, Safety | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

The Perils of Intoxication: Illinois Dram Shop Liability Laws

Posted: August 18th, 2014

 dram shop, dram shop legislation, Illinois dram shop liability laws, Liquor Control Act, Waukegan car accident attorney, drunk driving awareness, social host liability“Dram shop,” formerly known for a measurement of alcohol sold in spirit stores in days gone by, is now a term that describes a set of laws to hold alcohol servers responsible for damages caused by their patrons. The fundamental objective of dram shop legislation is to reduce the incidence of drunk driving deaths and other injuries to third-parties that were the result of a patron’s intoxication. These laws typically apply to the “over-serving” of alcohol to patrons.

The threat of incurring financial penalties has helped businesses and social hosts, who serve already intoxicated clients, realize when to call it quits on serving drinks. This in turn creates incentives for liquor license holders to avoid dram shop liability and minimize their risk by providing beverage server training. In fact, restaurants, bars, clubs, caterers, convenience stores, and liquor stores that serve alcohol may benefit from a decline in insurance rates if their servers are trained in an approved programs.

Liquor Control Act

Illinois’ dram shop law is called the “Liquor Control Act.” Under the act, commercial establishments are held liable for any damages or injuries caused by intoxicated persons, provided the following can be proven:

  • The vendor sold alcohol to the patron;
  • Injuries or damages were in fact caused by the patron;
  • The business was the ‘proximate’ or ‘foreseeable cause’ of the intoxication; and
  • The intoxication was at least one major cause in the third-party’s injury.

Furthermore, if an injured person can satisfy the above requirements for each and every business the defendant was served alcohol in, it is possible for him or her to recover from multiple establishments. 

The Penalties

Monetary compensation limits that can be awarded to claimants’ have been increasing over the years. Three categories of dollar limits exist for actions that lead to harm caused on or following January, 20, 2013. These categories include:

  • A maximum of $64,057.00 for each person incurring damages from persons injured or killed;
  • A maximum of $64,057.00 for each person incurring property damage; and
  • A maximum of $78,291.89 for either loss of means of support or loss of society resulting from the death or injury of any person.

Contact an Illinois Car Accident Attorney

Serious injury, death, and damage to property occurs far too often as a result of intoxicated driving. Compensation for medical costs, pain, and suffering can help ease the burden. However, filing a claim under these circumstances can be time sensitive and overwhelming. If you sustained injuries in a drunk driving accident caused by another’s negligence, please contact an experienced Waukegan car accident attorney at Noonan Perillo Ltd. We are here to help get you through this difficult time.

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“Drop It and Drive”: Illinois’ Campaign against Distracted Drivers

Posted: August 13th, 2014

distracted drivers, Lake County personal injury attorneys, fatal crashes, fatal car accidents, teen drivers, distracted teen drivers, prevent distracted drivingOne of the most trying times in which an individual or family can suffer is after a car accident. The Illinois Department of Transportation shows nearly 500 fatal Illinois car crashes have occurred thus far in 2014. Thirteen of these crashes occurred in Lake County. While this staggering number of fatal crashes is difficult to comprehend, it may not be too surprising when considering the number of distractions that play a part in so many fatal car accidents.

Statistics indicate that the lack of restraints or improper use of restraints contributes to nearly half of all fatalities. However, distracted drivers continue to be a major reason for car accidents across the country. In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study reporting over 660,000 drivers are on cell phones or electronic devices at any given moment during daylight. The study also revealed a puzzling double standard from drivers who considered it dangerous when observing another driver’s negligence—when committing the same offense, they did not themselves at fault. This inexplicable double standard contributes to serious car crashes throughout the state. In Illinois, 6,000 crashes occurred between 2008 and 2012 where cell phone use, by a driver, was cited by law enforcement. Of those, 30 crashes ended with fatalities.

Young drivers are at most risk with 71 percent of teens admitting to sending texts messages while driving. This endangers both the driver and any passengers or innocent bystanders.

To help combat distracted driving, the Illinois’ “Drop It and Drive” campaign was launched to bolster awareness of stricter laws which took effect this January. The campaign aims to educate drivers about the high risks of cell phone use while driving. Illinois was the 12th state to ban cell phone use while driving. Any offending drivers can expect penalties such as:

  • Fines of $75 for a single offense;

  • Fines of up to $150 for repeat offenses; and

  • Suspension of licenses.

To prevent distracted driving while America is in the throes of summer vacation travels, the Department of Transportation recommends that drivers:

  • Turn electronic devices off and keep them out of reach before driving;

  • Be good role models and lead by example for young family members and remind teen drivers to be responsible behind the wheel;

  • Speak up for safety’s sake if you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. The call can wait; and

  • Always wear a proper restraint in a vehicle.

If you or a loved one experienced injury due to a car accident caused by another’s negligent driving, the attorneys at Noonan Perillo, Ltd. can help. Contact our experienced Lake County personal injury attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

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

Hazards on the Bleachers at Sports Events: What You Need to Know

Posted: July 31st, 2014

bleacher safety, Lake County personal injury lawyer, personal injury attorneyOrganized sport is a large part of national pride. From America’s basketball courts to its football sidelines, spectators fill stadiums from state to state, showing their team pride and support. But what happens when tragedy strikes in the very seats from which you are viewing your favorite team?

If you have fallen and been injured in a bleacher related accident, you may be able to file a personal injury suit. If it turns out that proper safeguards were not in place or that there was a defective design element, a legal team can assist you. Soaring medical costs and pain and suffering can be alleviated by compensation, if rightly yours. An experienced attorney will be able to assess the circumstances and guide you through your options.

Bleacher-Associated Injuries

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), every year almost 20,000 men, women, and children fall out of bleachers and suffer injuries. Sometimes, a fall victim dies. Unfortunately, like so often is the case, those responsible for the upkeep of bleachers may not give them the attention they require until an accident actually occurs. In fact, research by the CPSC suggests that bleacher safety requires increased attention from facility directors and especially so for those managing equipment that is over fifteen years old.

The most common scenarios for bleacher collapses or accidents are:

  • Poor maintenance
  • Defective design
  • Faulty mechanism
  • Insufficient guardrails or structural support
  • Absence of non-skid surfaces
  • Overcrowding/excessive weight
  • Horseplay such as jumping
  • Weather related damage such as heavy rains

Often incidents on or near bleachers occur at sporting events held at local schools and young children are the victims. Children as young as six have died after falling through gaps or openings in the bleachers onto the surface below.  The CPSC reports that of the ten deaths that involved falls from bleachers from 1980 to 1999, four involved children under the age of fifteen.

Fall injuries 

The most common bleacher related accidents are falls, and resulting injuries can include:

  • Broken and /or fractured bones
  • Head trauma
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Death

Who may be Liable? 

Depending on the circumstances, liability for injuries suffered may rest on stadium facility managers, school districts and possibly the manufacturers and installers of the bleachers.

In Illinois, the Premise Liability Act stipulates the obligations of a landowner’s “duty of reasonable care” to people on their property. If there is a hazardous condition that they could have discovered under reasonable circumstances and subsequently failed to protect those who could be injured, they may be held liable. The CPSC and CDC both recommend vigilant maintenance of bleachers to minimize the risk for falls and in addition, the CPSC lists detailed guidelines for the retrofitting of existing bleachers.

A fun day out at a game can turn a young life upside down with an injury in a bleacher accident. Falls can be deadly and many facilities around the country do not have a good track record when it comes to maintenance of their equipment. If  you or someone close to you has been injured in a bleacher related accident, contact a Lake County personal injury lawyer for a free consultation to help you understand the merits of your case.

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