David S. Jasmer
Setting the Standard in Personal Injury
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Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Prevention is the best way to reduce Chicago school bus accidents

Autumn is a busy time of year for young girls and boys in America. They are settling in at school, getting ready for Halloween, and of course, spending time on school buses. It is a prime time for school bus accidents as motor vehicles and buses settle into a mutually safe traffic pattern.

Cook County is home to thousands of children who ride a bus to school. It is safe to assume that preserving the safety of these children is everyone's top priority. Many transportation professionals believe that preparing and enforcing a school bus accident plan is a good way to address this issue. An important part of such a plan is prevention. The section below offers a few ways Illinois cities and counties can help prevent school bus accidents.

  • Make sure buses use the safest possible routes
  • Make certain bus drivers and monitors receive the best training available
  • Regularly perform safety assessments of all bus loading zones
  • Use the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines to address the safety of bus stops

Is the seat belt defense a concern for Illinois accident victims?

This is a great question for all Illinois residents who are considering a personal injury claim after suffering car accident injuries. Exploring all potential defenses can help you strengthen your case and prepare you in advance for any possible response on the part of the defendant.

Illinois is one of several states that does not recognize or permit the "seat belt defense" in car accident lawsuits. This means that the court will not take the victim's lack of a safety restraint into account when hearing the case. If your accident occurred in one of the states that does recognize the seat belt defense, it would hurt your chances of finding success.

When you suspect wrongful death took your loved one

If you have lost a loved one in a Chicago car accident or in another unexpected way, it is natural to feel an urge to place blame. In many cases, this feeling will pass, especially if no evidence exists to indicate wrongful death. However, there are some cases when a family member or even a friend remains certain that the deceased died in a wrongful manner. Further, there may even be some indication that the person died wrongfully.

As personal injury and wrongful death lawyers, we know that loved ones can be haunted by a potential wrongful death. These people want to know what happened. They want to be assured that the death of the person they love absolutely could not have been prevented. Unfortunately, they don't know where to start looking for the answers they need.

What it costs to live with spinal cord injuries

Health care is expensive, but you already know that. Fortunately, most people need only pay for health care if they break a bone or catch the flu, but even then, it hurts financially. Now, imagine a chronic and debilitating condition that requires ongoing, long-term care. Even with health insurance, the costs of receiving the kind of treatment necessary can boggle the mind.

Spinal cord injuries are serious conditions that typically require ongoing medical care. Many victims of spinal cord injury cannot work and have almost no means with which to pay their medical expenses. To get a clear picture of what it cost to live with spinal cord injuries, please review the following information.

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.
  • Foundation
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Association For Justice