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.

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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.

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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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Drain Entrapment and the Dangers of Swimming Pools

Posted: July 28th, 2014

drain entrapment, personal injury lawyer, Illinois injury attorney, swimming safetyWhen the swimming pool beckons you this summer, it is important to remember that although hours of fun can be had, pools present a very real danger to those in an around it.  A body of water alone can be hazardous and it is commonly known that a person can drown in just inches of water. But drain entrapment is a danger that many homeowners are not aware of, and may  not realize that a relatively simple fix can help avoid a serious tragedy. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported recently that in the period between 2008 and 2012, there were thirty nine injuries associated with entrapment in a circulating body of water in a pool, hot tub or whirlpool. Overwhelmingly, the majority of victims (seventy four percent) were children under the age of sixteen. Horrific injuries and death have occurred in preventable situations.

If negligence was present in these circumstances, and a death or catastrophic injury resulted, litigating these types of cases requires the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Hazardous circumstances

The three primary scenarios where entrapment occurs, are:

  1. Where a person is held to the drain by the suction force; or
  2. Where there are missing, removed or poorly attached outlet covers; or
  3. When a person gets caught on the outlet cover.

Several parts of the body can be injured in an entrapment accident. Limb and body entrapment occurs when areas such as arms, legs, feet, shoulders, upper arm, abdomen, back, or hip are sucked or inserted into an open sump or pipe.

Sometimes, hair, articles of clothing, jewelry, or appendages such as fingers and toes, can become caught in an outlet cover. Both adults and children have experienced a myriad of injuries from entrapment and entanglement including near drowning, cuts, contusions, eye hemorrhages, muscle trauma and toe fractures.

The most serious and often fatal entrapment is what is known as “evisceration/disembowelment” This occurs when suction is applied directly to the intestines, such as when a child sits on an open sump in a wading pool. Children as young as three have been treated for prolapsed rectums.

Federal legislation 

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act  named for a seven year old girl who died after being entrapped in a hot tub drain, was signed into law in 2007. It specifies that compliant drain covers be installed and the presence of a “safety vacuum release system” to be used in the case of an emergency.

Of note, it is recommended that in new pools, several unblockable drains be installed as opposed to one main drain. This allows for the spread, and in turn a reduced intensity, of suction across all drains.

 As always, when poolside, adult supervision is crucial, but additionally, children should be well versed about the dangers of drain entrapment and entanglement and be taught to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets. If an entrapment accident has occurred and you require the skills of a personal injury attorney in the Lake County area to assess your case, contact Noonan Perillo, Ltd. You may have a viable case and be entitled to a monetary award for your injuries.

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When Celebrations Sour: Backyard Fireworks and Serious Burns

Posted: July 16th, 2014

grill safety, bonfire safety, serious burns, Illinois personal injury attorneySummer across America heralds the celebration of our nation’s Independence and long days relaxing at the beach or poolside and grilling to our hearts content. The barbeque season should remind us how to be safe around open flames and hot embers. Children are taught from an early age to be extremely cautious around electrical sources and fire. Schools drive home the safety rules and local fire departments host ‘touch a truck’ events. Adults need to remember that the same rules apply to the use of fireworks. While many consider the effect of fireworks on family pets and animals, people do not always give thought to the proper way to use and view firecrackers.

Unfortunately, in all the revelry, common sense and safety often dissipate along with the smoke emanating from the seared steaks. Fires that spread from outdoor fire pits and rouge embers from a spent firecrackers can pose a massive hazard to residents, neighbors and guests. Fireworks displays at an event or in a backyard are potentially very dangerous. Illinois regulations regarding what type of firecrackers are permitted are in place to help prevent serious burns to users and spectators.

If you have been burned in a fireworks incident, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate your rights. Medical costs are not easy bills to manage. If someone’s lack of care led to your injury, you may be able to recover compensation to assist you in your treatment and recovery.

Injury numbers

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall released statistics in 2013 summarizing the occurrence of injuries resulting from fireworks. Second degree burns were overwhelmingly the most common injury reported by hospitals treating victims. Burns can lead to permanent scarring, and the fingers and hands are the most vulnerable areas of the body. Eye injuries from foreign objects, which can lead to reduced visual ability and blindness were also reported. Hearing loss, amputations and even near fatal asthma attacks from the inhalation of firecracker contents and/or fumes have also been seen. Costs associated with the treatment of injuries as a result of fireworks has been estimated at one hundred million dollars a year.

The National Council on Fireworks Safety outlines recommendations for the responsible use of firecrackers, most notably:

  • Always have an adult supervising;
  • Keep a water supply nearby;
  • The person lighting the fireworks should wear safety goggles;
  • Spectators should sit a safe distance away;
  • Only use firecrackers permitted by your town;
  • Never relight a ‘dud’;
  • Soak spent crackers in water overnight before adding to your regular garbage.

Noonan Perillo Ltd. have attorneys in Illinois who can litigate the letter of the law as thoroughly as possible. They understand that your rights to be protected against an unsafe condition are important. If an organization or homeowner has breached their duty of care owed to you, you deserve to be compensated for the costs involved in treating your injuries. Do not think twice. Explore your rights. Contact an attorney today.

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Catastrophe in the Skies: When Pilots Crash Land

Posted: July 8th, 2014

plane crash, airline safety, FAA, Waukegan injury lawyer, personal injury attorney in IllinoisMuch of the anxiety for travelers is whether they are packing the right wardrobe for their destination, airport delays, rental cars and baggage limits. But an ongoing concern is airline safety. Are airlines maintaining their aircraft regularly? Are pilots continually being assessed for competency and wellbeing?

Recent international headlines have reminded passengers that there is no fail-safe equation for aircraft safety. Weather conditions, mechanical failure, pilot error and erratic passengers are all factors that could play out on your flight. According to Boeing, (the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer) there were 407 commercial jet accidents between 2003 and 2012 that resulted in 4,269 onboard fatalities. Specifically, crash landings among their worldwide jet fleet accounted for 706 fatalities alone.

When you or a family member has been involved in an airline accident, accountability must be levelled somewhere. The sheer size and nature of a plane with its fuel load and electrical components is a huge responsibility for the crew, and when disaster strikes, horrific scenes ensue. In a time of such tragedy, legal representation is important.  An experienced attorney will work behind the scenes to fight for justice for your loved one to enable your family the time to cope with the loss or injury.

Domestic Flights and their Governing Bodies

Flights in American airspace are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA has rules and regulations governing various aspects of the airline industry including the conduct of airline pilots and flight and ground instructors.

In the event of an accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) steps in to investigate make a determination as to cause.

International Treaty

International flights (and American domestic flights that have an international segment) may be governed by a different set of rules in the event an accident occurs overseas. The Montreal Convention (formerly known as the Warsaw Convention) governs compensation limits. The USA is a signatory to this convention.

An experienced attorney will be able to navigate through which rule of law applies to your case and what restrictions may exist. They will be able to determine financial compensation categories to strive for the maximum allowable for the loss or injury to your loved one.

Who can be Held Liable?

In order to bring a personal injury or wrongful death suit, the circumstances of the crash will reveal where liability may rest, including:

  • The owner or manufacturer of the aircraft if there was a defective component on the aircraft that could have reasonably been detected and remedied;
  • The airline or it’s insurer if pilot error is involved;
  • Federal authorities, if regulations were insufficient to promote safe flying.

Seeking compensation in the case of airline accidents is an extremely intricate process. Noonan Perillo Ltd. have attorneys with the depth of knowledge and personal injury litigation experience to assist you in this trying time. Do not become overwhelmed by this often complicated legal process. Based in Lake County, Illinois, Noonan Perillo Ltd. offer representation in personal injury or wrongful death suits and should be your attorney of choice.

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School Bus Crashes: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Posted: June 25th, 2014

school bus, bus crash, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois bus crash attorneyMany people consider bus transportation to be extremely safe. For the most part, today’s modern highways and bridges allow smooth journeys. Riding the bus means sharing the road with other vehicles, often large tractor trailers.

Everybody hopes that all drivers behind the wheel are experienced, rested, and able to competently complete their travel. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Fatigued and impaired drivers can cause accidents and injuries. Side impacts and overturned buses are a scary prospect. If you or someone you know was hurt or killed as a result of a bus accident, it is your best interests to speak with an attorney to examine whether there may be compensation owed to you.

Safety Regulations

Every parent of a school aged child knows the level of excitement that comes with an impending field trip. But what if an educational day at the museum or zoo is ruined by a bus crash? Or if students on their way to or from school get in an accident? Students who have suffered life changing injuries, is a truly devastating experience for a parent. Even passengers with minor injuries and witnesses can be traumatized by such an event.

Safe driving is a huge responsibility, especially for drivers of vehicles that carry a large number of passengers. There is an expectation that there will be an alert and experienced driver and a well maintained bus. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the rules and regulations regarding bus drivers. They provide several resources to aid drivers in carrying out their duties properly. School field trips come under the FMCSA jurisdiction.

What an Attorney can do for You

In the event your child is involved in a serious bus crash, dedicated legal counsel is important. An attorney with a wealth of experience in personal injury litigation will be able to assure you of a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the crash. Determining who is at fault helps pinpoint where compensation can be sought from. Questions to seek answers to, may include:

  • Was the driver fatigued, under the influence or otherwise negligent?
  • Did the bus company fail to maintain a road-worthy vehicle?
  • Were there other vehicles involved in the crash whose drivers were responsible?
  • Were the road conditions safe?

The Illinois law firm of Noonan Perillo Ltd. has over forty years of experience in personal injury litigation. They are precisely the team you need on your side to ‘fight the fight’ for your children.

Author: | Filed under: Bus Crash, Car Accident, Child Safety, Lake County personal injury attorney, Lake County personal injury lawyer | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Rates of Illinois Dog Bite Attacks among Nation’s Highest

Posted: June 18th, 2014

dog bite attack, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois personal injury attorney, dog attack, dog biteFamilies opting for a family pet often gravitate towards dogs. Canine companionship brings a warm addition to families with children but for all their redeeming qualities, owners cannot always predict behavioral changes. Rates of dog bite attacks are prevalent and sadly more than half of victims are children. Seventy five percent of bites are usually from an animal living within the child’s neighborhood. One national insurer recently ranked Illinois as the State with the second highest frequency of dog bite attacks in the nation. Most of those attacks were at the jaws of the beloved family pet.

When a loved one has fallen victim to an attack by a dog and serious injuries ensue, contact a personal injury attorney who can fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve.

Injuries and Death

The most common dog bite injuries are puncture and laceration wounds to the arms and hands. Legs and feet followed by the head and neck are the next most common location of attacks. The majority of injuries among children under 4 years old were to the head and neck region. This usually results in a tearing type of soft tissue injury. Reconstructive surgeons not only have to attempt a cosmetic resolution but also try and restore functionality to a seriously injured part of the neck or face. A dog bite attack can lead to scarring and infection especially if the wound is not treated promptly. It is easy to understand how these serious injuries can also lead to emotional distress.

Dog bites can also result in death. Statistics from DogsBite.org, show that multiple fatalities occur each year and that pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for eighty one percent of the total recorded deaths in 2013.

Prevention

A. Pet Owners:

For owners, the key is responsible dog ownership and a common sense approach. Ownership must not be taken lightly. It is a huge responsibility, and because an owner knows the temperament of their dog, does not mean a stranger will.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends tips for dog owners to reduce the risk of their pet lashing out.

  • Obedience training can help an owner maintain a level of control;
  • Dogs should be kept in another room when people visit a home. Dogs are naturally very territorial and when they sense someone encroaching on their land, they often want to defend it;
  • Spaying or neutering dogs can prevent them from roaming.

B. Avoiding or minimizing an attack:

  • Because children are often the victims of an attack by a dog, adult supervision is crucial. Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog and avoid approaching a strange dog. Before getting up close and personal with a dog to pet it, ask the owner first and let the animal see and sniff you first for familiarization;
  • A dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch, so avoid running by a dog;
  • If you feel an attack might be imminent, stay calm, look away and try to slowly edge away. If possible, put an object between you and the dog;
  • If you get knocked down, curl into a ball and try your best to protect your face with your hands.

If a dog bite has happened to you or someone you know, separate yourself from the situation right away, take note of when and where the attack took place and seek medical attention immediately. Inform police and contact a personal injury attorney in Lake County, Illinois who can assess the circumstances surrounding the attack. If you can prove that you were bitten and injured by a dog, you may have a case. You may be able to successfully receive a legal settlement for your injuries and costs.

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