Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Many of our readers take prescription medications for various conditions and ailments. When a physician recommends a medication, we trust that they will be effective for the condition being treated and also safe to use. Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to provide consumers with drugs and medications that are safe for use or to warn those whom should not be taking the medication and to provide instructions for proper use. They must also inform consumers of any known risks and side effects. When drug companies fail to do this and defective medications are put on the market, they can be held liable for such negligence in a product liability lawsuit.

Additionally, patients trust that their physicians will provide them with the correct medications based on their past medical history and lifestyle. This means that not only should doctors have knowledge surrounding the medications themselves, but also enough background information on their patients to make sure they are prescribing drugs that are safe to use given this information. Just as pharmaceutical companies must warn that not every drug is right for every individual; doctors must research the risks and know their patient’s health before providing a prescription. Where doctors fail to properly research and tailor a prescription to the patient’s individual health conditions, they can be held liable for medical malpractice.

According to a recent article by ABC, one Chicago suburban woman was awarded a $14 million verdict against her doctor after suffering a stroke from taking the birth control drug, Yasmin. The report notes that as a result of the stroke she is wheelchair bound, paralyzed on the left side of her body, and unable to completely communicate. She requires 24 hours per day, 7 days per week care from her husband, which has made it difficult for him to remain employed.

Every day thousands of people in Chicago rely on public transportation to travel to work, school, and other daily activities. These passengers should be able to trust that the vehicle in which they ride is fully operational and safe and that their driver will be diligent in obeying the rules of the road and not cause them injury. However, it is all too common that injuries occur to those riding public transportation, either on the bus or train. Oftentimes, these injuries could have been prevented with exercise of the needed care and caution of the company or employee.

An article in the Cook County Record recently reported on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a CTA bus passenger. The passenger filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court against the Chicago Transit Authority citing negligence. The plaintiff claims she was injured aboard a CTA bus near State & 87th Street when the bus accelerated suddenly. As a result of the abrupt speeding up, the passenger fell and hit a pole. Now, she seeks over $50,000 in damages, plus court costs.

Illinois, and in particular the city of Chicago, is a major hub for bus transportation. Our city roads and highways are always filled with school buses, CTA buses, or charter buses on the way to a city tourist spot. Regardless of the type of bus though, passengers ought to be able to rely on buses as a safe mode of transportation. That means that the passenger should be able to trust that the driver is properly-licensed and in an attentive, well-rested, and functional state to drive. It is the duty of the employee to protect the safety of passengers, and the duty of the employer company to hire drivers best suited for the job and ensuring this safety. Furthermore, companies also need to provide buses that are operational, inspected, and in proper working order. Where a company and employee fail in these regards and cause injury to passengers, they can be held liable for negligence in a lawsuit.

Premises liability law not only includes keeping people from danger and injuries by remedying a known injury on the land and warning invitees, but it includes knowing of potential dangers in advance. For event organizers and property owners, this can be done by devising a plan in advance by observing the likelihood of injuries based upon the organizer’s past experience and present knowledge on the probability of dangers. In this way, the property owner takes steps to prevent invitees from suffering injuries by stopping injuries before they occur. When organizers and properly owners fail to do so and patrons fall victim to injuries that could have been foreseen, the organizers and owners can be held liable for negligence under premises liability law.

According to a recent article by CBS, this was an issue with a recent Beyonce concert in Chicago, where two concertgoers suffered injuries that arguably could have been prevented with proper planning and supervision over attendees. Two Chicago women purchased general admission tickets for a Beyonce concert at Chicago’s United Center and arrived hours early to obtain their spots in advance. However, when fans were finally allowed into the venue, the women were trampled in a stampede of fans. The rushing mob left them unconscious and with broken bones, among other injuries. They have now filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against The United Center, Live Nation Entertainment, and Beyonce. The lawsuit alleges that each party contributed to the confused and disorderly crowd that gathered outside the venue before the show.

The victims described how they arrived hours before the gates would open so that they could secure a good seat. They stated that as hours passed, the crowd continued to become larger, more dense, and anxious. People were not aware of when the gates would open and where they were supposed to enter. The venue’s personnel finally opened the gates without any instruction or system to allow for an orderly entrance. As a result, the women were trampled and they argue that the parties did nothing to prevent or discourage a mob from rushing inside when the gates were opened, but instead encouraged this to occur by its lack of system, set-up, and no effort for control.

As we have discussed before, accidents involving large vehicles, such as buses and trucks, can be extremely dangerous due to their large size, both in height and weight. When a collision occurs with these vehicles, the damage is more often than not greater than a collision with a regular-sized passenger vehicle. As a result, the potential for serious personal injuries is even greater.

However, there are times when collisions with large vehicles can actually be even worse. While such collisions are already dangerous, the propensity for serious and permanent injuries, or even death, heightens when such a collision turns into a rollover accident. According to www.safecar.gov, a website by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover accidents are dangerous and have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes. In fact, rollover crashes account for 33% of all motor vehicle accident passenger fatalities. More than 10,000 people are killed in rollover crashes each year. Such accidents are more likely to occur with tall and narrow vehicles.

According to recent reports by the Quincy Journal, a recent rollover bus accident sent 27 people to the hospital. Out of 30 students on the bus, 26 required immediate medical attention. As of now, 6 of them are still hospitalized. The injuries ranged from minor to so severe, that some victims had to be transported to the surgical floor, which exemplifies how serious accidents, particularly rollovers, involving large vehicles can be.

It is always extremely disheartening to hear of fatalities caused by negligent driving. The worst part of such reports is knowing that the accidents were preventable and that the death should not have occurred at all. From these crashes, it is evident how much increased caution and safe driving can really save lives. If more people avoided negligent driving and devoted their attention and energy to safety, the death toll from motor vehicle accidents would be drastically lower.

According to recent news by Crown Point a motor vehicle accident took the life of a Bourbonnais, Illinois woman, and two others were injured. This fatal crash occurred near 109th Avenue and Iowa Street near the Interstate 65 interchange. One driver was driving east on 109th street and crossed his car over the center line, and hit the car driven by the now deceased victim. The impact caused her car to leave road, where it landed on its roof in a nearby field. Police reported that the accident caused the victim to die from blunt force trauma. A third vehicle was also involved in the crash as well, but both other drivers received non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigations are still continuing around this accident. For now it is uncertain as to whether or not negligent actions such as speeding, impairment or distraction caused the driver to lose control of his vehicle and cross the center line. However, police and local authorities have said that they will be looking into the accident and calculating vehicle speeds, as well as any other potential factors that may have contributed to the crash.

As our readers know, customers have the right to be safe and free from injury when shopping at local commercial entities, such as grocery stores. Under tort law (the area of the law which covers personal injuries), customers are called invitees and are owed the highest duty of care from store owners, as they are people invited onto the property to do business and benefit the owner. For that reason, it is the duty of those who operate the store to keep it free from dangers, warn of known dangers, and immediately remedy any dangers when they discover them.

According to an article by the Cook County Record, a Frankfort, IL Jewel-Osco is being sued for negligence in a slip and fall accident. A man filed this suit after he sustained injuries when falling over an item that was left on the ground in the aisle of the Jewel-Osco. The complaint elaborates that he tripped on a broken and loose refrigerator plate on the floor, which caused him to fall and become injured. He is now seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

In court, the plaintiff in a slip and fall accident must show one or more of three factors to be successful in the lawsuit. First, the plaintiff must show that the property owners failed to maintain the property. In this way, the plaintiff would present evidence that the plate was loose and damaged and had not been maintained by the store. Second, the plaintiff could show that the property owners created unsafe conditions, which caused the injury. In this way, the plaintiff may argue that the store was the cause of a dangerous condition that caused injury. Third, the plaintiff could argue that the property owners knew about the dangerous premises but did not alert visitors to this knowledge. Here, the plaintiff would argue that this was an open and obvious hazard that the store would have known about but failed to remedy it or warn others, such as by blocking it off, closing the aisle, etc.

A lot of the time when we discuss slip and fall accidents, they occur at the site of a commercial building where the owner or manager is easily ascertained by the location. For instance, when someone falls inside of a grocery store as a result of dangerous conditions and suffers serious injuries, they may be able to hold the store’s owners accountable in a lawsuit. However, consider when someone falls outside on the pavement. Many people do not realize that in these instances there is still an entity, such as a city, who owes them a duty of care to maintain safe premises.

In a recent case discussed by the Cook County Record, a woman is suing the city of Chicago for the injuries she sustained after she fell over a partially removed parking meter. In her complaint, she alleges that she suffered injuries as the result of a poorly maintained parking meter, and thereby, that it was the duty of the city to maintain the meters and keep them hazard free. In her complaint, she describes how last March she tripped and fell over a parking meter that was partially removed near the intersection of Armitage and Western in Chicago. The plaintiff elaborates that the city did not entirely remove the meter, and with this knowledge, failed to warn people that the base was still present. The exposed base of the meter caused her to trip and she injured her head, shoulder, and teeth when she fell. She is now seeking damages over $50,000 plus court costs.

As a reminder, in slip and fall cases, the plaintiff may be able to hold a company or entity legally responsible for their injuries, but the victim must prove that the entity’s negligence led to the injury. As in this case at hand, these slip and fall cases would entail proving that an injury was foreseeable, that the entity had knowledge of the hazard, and that the hazard was under the control of the entity and not another.

When a patient visits a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider, that patient deserves the utmost care that can be provided. That means using caution and safety practices as to not cause further injury to the patient. When this is not done and injury results, a patient may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

When patients are injured or killed by careless or intentional acts of healthcare providers, they can file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law that concerns when medical errors, including harmful actions or failing to act that results in harm, causes injury or death to a patient. Medical malpractice claims can include missed or delayed diagnosis, lack of informed consent, nursing home abuse or neglect, medical device errors, and medication or pharmaceutical errors, among other types of healthcare provider negligence.

According to a report by the Cook County Record, one woman is suing an Advocate nurse for injuries she received during a colonoscopy exam. According to the victim’s complaint, she suffered injuries while at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a colonoscopy on February 27th when a nurse walked by her bed , catching her wrist and thumb. The victim filed the civil lawsuit the next day and is seeking over $50,000 in damages.

Slip and fall accidents are an unfortunately common yet often preventable when property owners take proper precautions. Despite the knowledge that one needs to protect visitors on property from known dangers or foreseeable harms, our attorneys frequently file lawsuits involving slip and fall accidents on behalf of injured clients.

Premises liability tort law surrounds the rule that landowners are liable for the injuries of visitors or customers (legal invitees) suffered on the property, and that landowners have a legal duty to make the premises safe, warn of dangers, and immediately fix and remedy known dangers. Also, this legal duty is not new but has been knowledge to landowners since the middle of the 20th century. The legal standard for negligence and premises liability comes from a federal case from 1947 called United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Judge Learned Hand created the famous standard and balancing test of negligence in this case, known as the “BPL Test,” in which a landowner must weigh the burden (B) to fix a known danger on the land, the probability (P) that injury will occur, and the actual injury that occurs (L). This algebraic formula measures liability: If B is less than L multiplied by P (ex: B < PL). In this balancing test, if a landowner's burden is less than the cost of injury and the probability of an injury's occurrence, then the landowner has not met the legal standard of care owed to invitees. For example, a pot hole in a parking lot, or a cracked tire is a much lesser burden to repair than the ultimate cost and probability of someone falling from the known danger.

According to recent reports by the Cook County Record, a suburban bar is being sued for allegedly breaching this legal duty of care and causing a slip and fall injury. The Cook County bar, Celtic Corner, is the subject of a lawsuit after a man suffered injuries after falling over a board in the bar. The victim tripped and fell down in the walkway of the bar in Elmwood Park. According to the claims, bar patrons were playing a game in which a board with a hole is propped up on the ground, and he alleges that the board was left sitting after a game, which caused his fall.

Our attorneys consistently stress the importance of safe driving on the roads. However, safe driving begins with a vehicle that is fully operational. If a company fails to manufacture a vehicle that is safe for people to drive, no one can be free from injuries. No matter how safe and cautious of a driver you are, you cannot keep yourself or others safe on the roads if you are in a vehicle that is, not to your knowledge, dangerous and defective. For instance, no matter how much you watch your speed and following distance, how can you avoid a collision if your brakes fail you because of a manufacturer’s negligence?

Products liability law puts a legal obligation on manufacturers to put safe goods in the marketplace for consumers to purchase. When a consumer purchases something and it is not to their knowledge that it is dangerous and suffers injury, a manufacturer has breached their duty to consumers. It is the duty of manufacturers to fully inspect all items and goods, such as vehicles, that they manufacture, and not to place dangerous or defective products into the marketplace, thereby putting consumers at danger.

According to the Claims Journal, Mazda, a Japanese car manufacturer, is currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The CX-9 model is currently being investigated for a safety issue concerning its brakes after the NHTSA received seven consumer complaints. Reduced brake effectiveness has been an issue for approximately 62,319 Mazda CX-9 vehicles for the years 2010 and 2011. Consumers reported that brake pedals have felt hard and have required more effort than before to stop their vehicle. Several other consumers have reported hearing a hissing noise when using their brakes. It is possible that loss of power assist to the brakes reduced their effectiveness.

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