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As with most of us, you probably want to look and feel healthy; you probably also want to look fit. Exercising in a gym becomes essential in such a pursuit. Yet, this does not come free of risks. For example, if you are an avid gym goer, then you have probably witnessed, or have even been a victim of, a gym-related injury.

According to Baseline of Health Foundation, there are a lot of gym-related accidents and the rate is steadily increasing. Between the years of 2007 and 2012, the total number of reported gym-related injuries increased by a whopping 45 percent!  

While every piece of equipment in the gym may cause personal injury, the piece of equipment that causes the most gym-related injuries is, you guessed it, the treadmill. In the year 2014, alone, there were 20,400 treadmill injuries. Looking at gym equipment as a whole, not solely focusing on treadmills, a significant number of personal injuries result from defective equipment rather than human error.

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We are in the midst of the dog days of the summer and the weather is scorching. During these conditions, many of us enjoy swimming, or just cooling off in the water. If you are one of these people, you must do so with caution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) recently found that around ten people, every day die from unintentional drowning. As a matter of fact, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States.

If one of your loved ones drowned on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation may include, but is not limited to, medical expenses, related expenses, and loss of consortium. To increase your chances of being awarded this compensation, it is important that you hire an attorney for your case.

Drowning is Not a Rarity

The CDC further reports that from 2005 to 2014, the average number of annual drowning fatalities was 3,536. These were not boating related. CDC found that there were about ten deaths per day. Of these, around one in five people who drown are children aged 14 and younger. Occasionally, a child will wander off onto a neighbor’s property and drown in the neighbor’s pool.

Recently, a two-year-old boy’s body was discovered in his neighbor’s swimming pool. The Coroner’s office found the cause of death to be accidental drowning. An unsecured fence surrounded pool. The child’s aunt was caring for the child at the time the child wandered into his neighbor’s yard. The aunt was mowing the yard and was unaware of the child’s wondering.

Illinois Premises Liability
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There are a lot of dog owners nowadays. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reports that there are around 77.8 million dogs owned as pets in the United States. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) further found that, in Illinois, 32.4 percent of all households own a dog.

With all of these dogs comes an increased risk of dog bite injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that dog bites are responsible for nearly 4.5 million injuries annually. Illinois law provides that you may seek compensation if someone’s dog bites you and you sustain in injury.  

Illinois Dog Bite Law

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When we have a child in desperate need for medical attention, we place our trust in the medical providers. In this instance, the last thing that we want to think of is wrongful/negligent acts being committed by such people. Yet, medical providers, occasionally, commit such wrongful/negligent acts.

Earlier this year, a doctor for a Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center performed a second operation on a baby less than one month following his first surgery. The doctor performed 24 more surgeries on the baby over the next 24 months. During surgery number 25, the doctor used a suturing device with the intent of repairing the baby’s esophagus. Apparently, using this device in such a way is inappropriate in deviation from the standard of care of a doctor in similar circumstances.

Ultimately, this use punctured the baby’s pulmonary artery. The baby now has irreversible brain injury and cerebral palsy. The family settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $30 million.

Road Towards Compensation in IL
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As each day passes, experienced DuPage County Attorneys hear and learn about various types of vehicle accidents that occur throughout the State of Illinois. Although accidents at highway-railway intersections involving trains and automobiles are uncommon, they tend to be devastating when they occur.

The Facts & Figures

The Illinois Commerce Commission reported in 2012 that 89 accidents occurred at highway-railway intersections which resulted in 25 deaths and 34 injuries. Within the state of Illinois, there are over 7,300 miles of railroad tracks with more than 8,400 public crossings and just over 4,500 private crossings. Unfortunately, not all highway-railway crossings are made equal and some present more dangers than others.

Most highway-railway crossings have flashing lights and gates to inform motorists that trains are approaching, some only have reflective signs that advise motorists to use caution when crossing and few have no markings at all. (See the Illinois Railroad Safety Fact Sheet – 2013). Counties located within the Chicago area, including DuPage, are at the highest risk of experiencing a train-vehicle collision, due to the constant flow of daily trains and commuter traffic. Currently, DuPage County has 140 public highway-railway intersections and 18 private highway-railway intersections with a mix of the features identified above, but most have flashing lights and gates.
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A wrongful death lawsuit related to a shooting at a Long Island pharmacy has hit a snag related to the patient privacy rights of the shooter. A husband and wife team undertook an armed robbery of a Haven Drugs in Medford, Long Island with the goal of recovering prescription painkillers. The armed robbery resulted in the deaths of four people, including a cashier and the pharmacist. The pharmacist’s widow brought a lawsuit against, among others, a doctor who had been prescribing the couple with painkillers.

The lawsuit alleged that the pharmacist’s wrongful death occurred because of the couple’s addiction to painkillers, and that the physician should have been monitoring his patients more closely in order to watch for signs of addiction. However, a judge was recently forced to throw out the lawsuit after the shooter exercised his rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

What Are HIPAA Rights?

HIPaA is a 1996 Act that contains a variety of provisions related to patient privacy. The crux of the act relates to personally identifiable patient health information (PHI) and the need to keep it confidential. PHI is any piece of health information, such as a disease or record of treatment, that could be matched back to a specific person. Patient records with names attached fall into this category, but things like addresses or even just a patient’s age, in some circumstances, are enough to trigger the law’s protection.
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Should American federal courts maintain Article III jurisdiction for wrongful tortious conduct occurring overseas? Traditionally, the Alien Torts Statute (“ATS”) provided such redress. Recent court decisions have curtailed ATS’s reach.

Historically, ATS first provided redress for foreign dignitaries for injuries they suffered in the US. It was first codified in 1789.

The History

In 1980, the plaintiffs in Filartiga v. Pena-Irala successfully applied ATS in their wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant. The defendant ordered the decedent’s kidnapping, torture and subsequent murder in retaliation for his father’s public condemnation of the Paraguayan paramilitary government. The Filártiga case established that American federal courts have jurisdiction for cases involving torture and human rights violations. (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/justice/law_background_filartiga.html Smith, Amanda Trial History: Filartiga v. Pena-Irala)

The Torture Victim Protection Act {TVPA} signed into law in 1991 is considered an important addition to ATS. TVPA specifically states ” An individual who, under actual or apparent authority, or color of law, of any foreign nation- (1) subjects an individual to torture shall, in a civil action, be liable for damages to that individual; or (2) subjects an individual to extrajudicial killing shall, in a civil action, be liable for damages to the individual’s legal representative, or to any person who may be a claimant in an action for wrongful death. Thus, in contrast to the ATS, the TVPA is not jurisdictional in nature, but rather creates a substantive cause of action. ”
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Being in a car accident can be frightening, painful, and devastating. But sadly for accident victims, the actual “accident” is rarely the end of the story. More often than not, accident victims are forced to swim in a deep pool filled with calls from insurance representatives, questions from police, and added stress and pressure that can result from the loss of a car. All of this does not even include the pain and life-altering consequences involved with physical injuries.

Making the Victim Whole

Under Illinois law, accident victims are entitled to just compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon them. In fact, Illinois courts consistently state that accident and injury law is “concerned with making the victim whole by making the tortfeasor [person at fault] pay[.]” Kunz v. Little Company of Mary Hospital and Healthcare Centers. But when so much is going on after an accident, how can victims know whether they are being treated fairly or not? How can they know whether they are being offered the type of compensation that makes them whole? These are the types of questions every accident victim should be asking after an accident.

Diminished Value of Property Part of “Making the Victim Whole”
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There are millions of vehicles that travel on Indiana roads each day. And as the summer months continue, those roads are becoming ever more crowded with the increasing number of Hoosiers utilizing the state’s bike laws while enjoying the warm weather. Undoubtedly, some of those cyclists have seen the various license plates encouraging one another to “Share the Road.” It is indeed a catchy slogan, but laws had to be passed in order to accomplish that lofty goal.

Here is the catch: the laws that have currently been passed can often be confusing, and have not been clearly articulated by anyone. This lack of basic understanding of the rights and responsibilities of riders, pedestrians, and cyclists alike will inevitably lead to more accidents in the streets all over this state. For example, if a cyclist and a motor vehicle both arrive at an intersection, who has the “right of way”? Or can a cyclist ride in a middle lane, or should she try to stay as close to the curb as possible if there is no bike lane present? The answer that you get for these questions really does depend on who you ask, and when you ask them.

A few of the obstacles to getting to the bottom of these quandaries include the overall novelty of the law, coupled with the lack of test cases that have presently gone through the courts. Unfortunately, some accidents may have to occur before the laws on the books (and the attitudes and responses of road travelers) finally sort themselves out.
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Chicago has a reputation for its phenomenal hospital system and top tier medical universities. Patients go to Chicago area hospitals trusting that they will receive the most expert care. Families bring their seriously ill loved ones to Chicago hospitals with the hope that bringing them to the best facilities with top notch doctors will help them heal and their conditions improve.

Not only should doctors live up to this reputation to represent their city and place of work, but because it is their legal duty to do so. When patients see a doctor, they are literally putting their life in the hands of the doctor. Because patients entrust themselves to a doctor, a doctor must use the utmost care and responsibility when providing healthcare to a patient. When a doctor fails in this regard, they can be held liable in a lawsuit for medical malpractice. A doctor commits malpractice when their actions or lack of actions cause a patient to suffer injury or their condition to worsen, and this would not have occurred but for the action or inaction of the medical provider.

According to a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, a family that filed a lawsuit in regards to their 6-year-old son settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $30 million against a doctor who allegedly performed experimental surgeries on the patient. The Chicago doctor performed 25 surgeries in all on the child, and the final surgery left the boy with an irreversible brain injury and cerebral palsy. These 25 surgeries took place over a mere 17 months. The doctor utilized unproven methods to treat non-life-threatening conditions. The doctor was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a staff member at Rush University Medical Center. The child will now require lifelong medical care.
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