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Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Catastrophic bridge accident causes physical and emotional trauma

In March, a well-publicized tragedy occurred when a pedestrian bridge under construction in Miami, Florida, collapsed over a busy roadway. You and other Illinois residents may be interested in learning how construction accidents can affect non-workers in the wrong place at the wrong time, as well as the potential for long-term physical and emotional damage.

You may be familiar with this story, in which six people were killed – one was a construction worker, and the other five were people stopped in their vehicles at a red light beneath the bridge. Investigators are still unsure of what exactly caused the collapse of nearly 960 tons of concrete and metal onto the roadway, which flattened the cars underneath.

3 essential tips for winter driving in Chicago

Winter is well underway, which means driving in Chicago just got tougher. Whether you have lived here for years or are new to the area, it is always good to be aware of some essential winter driving tips.

When everyone else is freaking out, getting stuck in the snow and causing car crashes, you can be confident in your ability to navigate through Chicago even when it is snowy and icy. Brush up on these guidelines to handle winter driving conditions without a problem.

What are some causes of serious truck accidents?

If you have ever found yourself surrounded by semi-trucks on the expressway, you know how scary it can feel to be dwarfed by these giant rigs. The combination of trucks' heavy weights and high speeds plus your car does not always make for a good result.

Commercial truck drivers are held to high safety standards, but serious accidents continue to happen. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents and what you can do to stay safe when driving around trucks:

What it costs to live with spinal cord injuries

It could be argued that a great portion of responsibility in building a successful truck accident claim is on the attorney's shoulders. This is certainly true because a good attorney knows how to collect the right evidence to support your claim and knows how to present this evidence to the court. However, we believe that a team approach is often the best way to build a winning claim.

A team approach means that the plaintiff and the attorney work together to strengthen the case. Playing such an important role can often imbue the victim of a truck accident with a sense of purpose, which can help with emotional and physical recovery. A team approach does not mean that you do the lawyer's work. Rather it simply means that you play an important role in standing up for your rights and keeping your case on track for success.

Defining responsibilities in Chicago truck accident claims

It could be argued that a great portion of responsibility in building a successful truck accident claim is on the attorney's shoulders. This is certainly true because a good attorney knows how to collect the right evidence to support your claim and knows how to present this evidence to the court. However, we believe that a team approach is often the best way to build a winning claim.

A team approach means that the plaintiff and the attorney work together to strengthen the case. Playing such an important role can often imbue the victim of a truck accident with a sense of purpose, which can help with emotional and physical recovery. A team approach does not mean that you do the lawyer's work. Rather it simply means that you play an important role in standing up for your rights and keeping your case on track for success.

Driver fatigue: A real risk to everyone on the roads

When a truck driver is behind the wheel, it's of the utmost importance that he or she is alert and well-rested. If the individual hasn't had enough sleep, he or she could make poor decisions that lead to a crash.

Some of the symptoms of driver fatigue that impact the ability to drive include zoning out, which is when you're not focusing on the road, daydreaming and trouble focusing. Other outward signs could include head nodding, drifting in or out of your lane or actually falling asleep behind the wheel.

What kinds of injuries are common in car accidents?

Sometimes even the most minor fender bender can leave a victim with serious injuries. Other times, a car accident leaves the vehicle completely destroyed while its occupants walk away without a scratch. In other words, it is not possible to predict the outcome of car accidents with any true accuracy.

However, it is easy to see injury patterns in many cases. In turn, these injury patterns can allow drivers in Illinois to understand what can, but might not, happen to their bodies in a car accident.

  • Broken bones: It may not feel like it at the time, but breaking a leg or an arm in a serious car accident is actually a great outcome if you consider what could have happened. Breaking one or more bones is a common result of car accidents.
  • Head injuries: As you might expect, injuries to the head can be very serious. Common head injuries include concussions, traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures and other types of damage.
  • Back injuries: Back injuries can also be serious, especially if the spinal cord suffers damage. Common injuries to the back include disc injury, spinal cord injury and paralysis.
  • Chest injuries: The trunk or torso protects vital organs like the lungs and the heart. When victims suffer chest injuries, it could result in cardiac arrest or internal bleeding.
  • Neck injuries: Common injuries to the neck can range from serious ligament and neck muscle injury to generalized swelling and pain. Some car accident victims have even experienced temporary vocal cord paralysis from injuries to the neck area.

No injuries reported in Illinois school bus accident

It is a scenario parents across the nation fear: Their child has been involved in a school bus accident. Each time parents send their children off to school on a public transport, they often dread receiving word that the unthinkable has happened.

Like other motor vehicles, school buses are at risk for an accident the entire time they occupy roadways. The main difference is that instead of carrying a handful of people, school buses often carry tens of passengers. Unfortunately, a school bus accident occurred recently in Kankakee County, Illinois. The bus was carrying 19 students when an alleged drunk driver crossed into the opposite lane and struck the school bus.

Learn about the leading causes of spinal cord injuries

The average Chicago resident knows very little about spinal cord injuries. For example, did you know that about 12,500 people survive such injuries each year? You may also be surprised to learn that at 80 percent, far more men than women suffer spinal cord injuries.

Common sense may tell you that if you know what causes these injuries, you will have a better chance of avoiding situations that put you at risk. With that goal in mind, this blog post will explore several of the top reasons injuries to the spinal cord occur.

  • Auto accidents: Those who do not perish in serious auto crashes typically suffer severe injuries. In fact, these crashes are the No. 1 cause of injuries to the spinal cord.
  • Falling: Falls may seem like a less-than-serious accident in most cases, but they are actually the second-leading reason spinal cord injuries occur.
  • Gunshot wounds: A bullet can damage the body in catastrophic ways, especially if it enters the body at or near the spinal cord. Gunshots are the third-leading cause of injuries to the spinal cord.
  • Diving: Victims can permanently damage the spinal cord by diving in water that is too shallow or water that contains obstacles. As such, diving accidents come in at fourth place in the top causes of spinal cord injuries.
  • Motorcycle accidents: These accidents represent the fifth-leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Even a relatively minor motorcycle accident can cause devastating injuries to the spine.

The Illinois construction industry can be deadly to workers

Like other industries in the Chicago area, construction work can be dangerous. In fact, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) refers to construction as a "high hazard industry." Each year, in Illinois and nationwide, many construction workers suffer serious injury and some are even lost to work-related death in the field of construction.

Construction can be lucrative for those willing to put in the hard work, but as attorneys, we want you to know just how dangerous this industry can be. We believe that when you are informed about the industry's potential risks and hazards, you will practice caution and avoid becoming a work-related death statistic. Consider the construction statistics discussed below.

  • During a construction career of 45 years, a worker has a 1 in 200 chance of death.
  • The construction injury comes in at second place as the top cause of death for workers under 18 years of age.
  • Nearly 20 percent of work-related deaths between 2002 and 2012 occurred in the construction industry.
  • Those working with iron suffer the highest rate of injuries in the construction industry.
  • Falling from heights is the leading cause of injuries in the construction field.
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