Stuff in the ‘Chicago Illinois’ Category
Deaths of bicyclists and occupants of large trucks rose sharply last year even as total traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949 according to federal safety officials. Bicyclists deaths jumped 8.7 percent and deaths of occupants of large trucks increased 20 percent while overall traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent.
The increase in bicycle deaths may reflect more people riding bicycles to work and for pleasure according to Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association which represents state highway safety agencies.
For example, in Washington D.C. there has been at 175 percent increase in bicyclists during morning and evening rush hours since 2004.
The increase in large truck accidents in death may be more difficult to ascertain. The NHTSA is working with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to gather more information to better understand the reason for the increase. Industry officials suspect there may be a connection between states increasing their speed limits and the increase in deaths. Texas has increased the speed limit to 85 mph on Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio with a correlating increase in accidents.
Grazian and Volpe cannot stress enough the need for bicyclists to obey safety laws. where protective gear and use equipment and clothing that is lighted and/or visible in all weather conditions.
Remember-it is always better to stay safe and avoid accidents but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe – Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
The largest personal injury award in the county’s history was awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit to the husband and family of a woman who was killed by a falling power line in her backyard. The woman burned for more than 20 minutes while in mother-in-law and two young daughters watched helplessly until utility crews arrived to turn off the electricity. The victim’s mother-in-law attempted to help but was burned in the process and unable to render aid. The victim had several fingers severed from her left hand and her left arm was amputated by doctors in an attempt to save her but she died three days later in a local hospital.
Evidence was presented showing that the power company failed to properly train workers for years before the accident and after the victim’s husband told the company that he was concerned for his family’s safety because the spliced power line in their backyard had failed twice before.
It was shown that the power company did not properly train its workers to use a wire brush to clean the power lines before they were spliced. This failure caused the splices to rust which leads to overheating and failure of the lines. The victim had gone outside to call the power company because she saw a tree burning to the overheated wire, cutting power to the house.
This was the most tragic of premises liability injuries and the jurors were justly incensed by the wanton nature of the power company’s response to this safety issue and deliberated less than two hours.
As summertime approaches and more adults and children venture outdoors, Grazian and Volpe advises that all be aware of the presence of power lines and their conditions. Fallen and impaired power lines should be avoided and reported and children taught safety awareness in the presence of these lines-especially where lakes or pools are present.
It is always better to avoid accidents and stay safe but if you can’t stay safe-stay with Grazian & Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
If you are injured at work, do not be bullied by your employer into choosing the company doctor. Doctors are hired by companies to put you back to work and the horror stories abound where employees are sent back to work before they are fully healed.
Don’t be bullied.
When you are injured in the workplace your employer may compel you to see the company doctor or industrial clinic. However, you may and should see the doctor of your choice. The doctor chosen by your employer was chosen because he or she renders treatment and diagnosis that are most favorable to your employer. This means they may advise less beneficial, cheaper treatments and are focused on getting you back to your employer’s workplace as soon as possible. In addition and most disturbing is that the doctor recommended by your employer is not liable for any malpractice that they commit during the course of treating you! Your employer can compel you to see the company doctor or industrial clinic of their choice. However, if you are not satisfied with that treatment, you can and should insist on seeing the doctor of your choice.
Your employer won’t tell you that you can choose your own doctor and will encourage you to remain with the company doctor or preferred industrial clinic. Remember, you have the choice! Choose the doctor that will work for your best interest and not your employers. Many employees worry that insisting on their rights may result in losing their job however this is retaliatory discharged and not permitted under the law. If your employer fires you because you insist upon your rights, they will face additional liability and you will be entitled to additional compensation (see blog, Grazian and Volpe, July 27, 2011 Workers’ Compensation and Machine Guarding).
We have been writing about the effect of the new changes to worker’s compensation on our Chicago Injury Attorney and South Chicago Accident Lawyer blogs since the Illinois Legislature finalized the rules. It is not more important then ever that an injured worker confer with their worker’s compensation attorney, most beneficially with a law firm that combines the expertise of workers’ compensation and personal injury(See Grazian and Volpe Blog dated 8/3/2011 Workers’ Compensation May Not Be All).
Grazian and Volpe has been Chicago’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years and we are dedicated to advocating on the behalf of all injured plaintiffs whether the accident occurred in or outside the workplace. Remember to call Grazian and Volpe as soon as you are able. When injured in the workplace look for a firm that combines expertise in workers compensation and personal injury.
As warmer weather approaches, parents brace for the advent of outdoor play and the dangers associated with young children running in parks and neighborhoods located in areas surrounded by local streets. The increase in the number of car and pedestrian accidents involving children is an unwelcome and tragic feature of summers in Chicago.
The lawyers at Grazian and Volpe dread the inevitable and tragic calls we receive from parents when their child has darted out from between two cars or neglected to heed a street sign when engaged in a game or chasing a friend.
More than 13,000 children, ages 5 to 9 are struck and injured by cars while crossing the street in the U.S. every year according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. A recent study sought to determine why children are so vulnerable. Researchers at the University of Idaho compared traffic-detection skills in 35 adults ages 19 to 50 and 50 children ages 6 to 9. Participants listened on headphones to 24 recordings of a car approaching at 5, 12 and 25 miles per hour, from both directions, and pressed a computer key when they detected the vehicle, identified its direction and thought it had arrived at their location.
The results were stunning. Adults detected the car significantly earlier than children, though 8 and 9 years old heard the car before 6 and 7 years. Adults detected the vehicle traveling at 5 miles per hour at a distance of about 48 feet compared with 3 feet for younger children and 41 feet for older children.
The accident lawyers at Grazian and Volpe hope this new study is informative in helping to prevent car accidents involving children. Adult drivers should be aware that children simply lack the perceptual skills to interpret important pedestrian safety cues and never assume that a child is aware of a presence of a moving car.
It is always better to stay safe and prevent accidents but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicago’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
Sixty-one percent of bed rail injuries occur at home and twenty-five percent occurred at a nursing home or assisted living facility. So states a report of bed rail deaths and injuries issued in December 2012 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report cites 155 wrongful deaths due to bed rails from the period of January 2003 through September of 2012. While 37,000 thousand people were treated for serious personal injury sustained in a bed rail accident during the same time period.
The Commission found that nearly half of those who died in bed rail accidents had medical problems, such as dementia, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease and occurred when the person became stuck in the bed rails, mainly by his or her neck.
Consumer safety advocates have long campaigned for federal regulators to study bed rail deaths and injuries. Advocates state that oversight remained on of the biggest issues because there are unanswered technical questions about which rails are medical devices and which are consumer products.
Unfortunately, hospital records or doctor’s notes do not indicate the manufacturer of the offending bed rail making it difficult to track a defect in a design or its implementation.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission will use this report to effect better coordination between federal regulators, namely consumer and drug agencies as well as the Federal Trade Commission. The hope is that Congress will enact a task force to address the regulation of bed rails and bed systems, specifically rails that blur the line between being medical devices and consumer products.
Grazian and Volpe has represented hundreds of victims of hospital and nursing home abuse and negligent. We advise loved ones to be ever vigil in noting and addressing lapses in care and the condition of the patient. Bed rail safety appears to be another area that the bedridden and their loved ones need to be cognizant.
Remember it is always better to stay safe and avoid injury, but if injury finds you, call Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
The N.F.L. has been plagued by a rash of litigation involving thousands of former players alleging that the N.F.L. knew of connection between head injuries sustained on the field and long-term cognitive impairment.
In response, the N.F.L has altered rules and fined and suspended players who hit opponents in the head. The N.F.L. has also contributed millions of dollars fort he study of head and traumatic brain injuries.
The league recently announced that independent neurological consultants will be on the sidelines at every game to help detect head injuries and concussions.
In addition, the new initiative with General Electric represents the N.F.L.’s most aggressive collaboration in pursuit of resolutions to some vexing player safety issues: determining if some players are predisposed to head and brain trauma; diagnosing and gauging the extent of brain injury and detecting the chronic effects of concussion; as well as improving equipment to insulate the brain during play.
These efforts will benefit the public at larger by determining those most vulnerable to brain trauma and diagnosing the trauma and long term effects. These tools will help doctors recognize brain trauma earlier and provide treatment that may prevent long term cognitive impairment. The improvement in helmets will aid bikers, skiers, construction workers and all persons engaged in activities that may threaten a head injury.
The lawyers at Grazian and Volpe caution all their clients to wear protective head gear where ever appropriate. We know that prevention of injury is always the best course, but it you can’t prevent an injury and accident, call Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Leading Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
While gas is cheaper than electricity when it comes to powering homes and commercial properties it does carry the rare but always present risk of explosion.
Ameren recently settled such a case with the daughters of elderly parents in wrongful death lawsuit. The explosion occurred at the couple’s home in March of 2008.
According to an investigative report filed by the responding fire department was powerful enough to thrust the walls of the house outward several feet. The front door of the house was blown into the yard across the street, and the first floor collapsed into the basement. Further investigation revealed that 1,800 cubic feet of gas had flowed into the basement of the home on the morning of the explosion. In the weeks prior to the explosion, no more than 700 cubic feet of gas per day had been pumped into the home.
The theory of the wrongful death lawsuit alleged that Ameren had “superior knowledge” of the gas distribution system that carried natural gas into the home and that it was the company’s responsibility to act in a timely manner to shut off the excessive gas it had been pumping into the home.
Ameren countered that it did not willfully cause the accident and was acting according to government regulations. They argued that defendants did not respond to the distinctive “rotten eggs” odor which occurs when even a small amount of gas is released. Ameren also claimed that the decedents failed to maintain their gas appliances.
It is important that all homeowner’s be aware of the risks of gas utilities and be vigilant in reporting any smell of gas in the home. Decedents in this wrongful death suit may have been too elderly to recognize the warning signs and utility companies need to be aware of infirmities of their consumers and monitor closely the flow of gas into all buildings.
Remember, it is always better to stay safe and avoid injury-but if you can’t stay safe-stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
A new study of driving behavior finds drowsy drivers responsible for 730 deadly motor vehicle accidents and an additional 30,000 crashes that were nonfatal.
Even being tired and sleep deprived without actually nodding off can be a serious problem on the road. Fatigue slows reaction times and can lead to poor judgment. Studies show that going without sleep for 20 to 21 hours and then getting behind the wheel is comparable to having a blood alcohol level of about .08%, which the legal limit in most states. In fact, going without sleep for 24 hours is equal to a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent which is higher than the legal limit in all states!
Studies show that people who fall asleep at the wheel may do it so quickly-and briefly-without registering the lapse. Warning signs included having trouble remembering the last few miles that you’ve driven, or missing an exit.
Many people who find themselves groggy while driving resort to blasting the radio or rolling down the window but those measures are largely shown to be ineffective. Drinking a caffeinated beverage may help, but effectiveness depends largely on an individual’s physiology or tolerance to caffeine.
Experts advise finding a safe place to pull over and drift off for a few minutes. Alertness can be restored by a short nap and a cup of coffee keeping you and other drivers safe from your drowsy driving. Remember is is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years!
Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe have been adamant in informing the public against the dangers of serious injury due to car accidents that occur when a driver is texting. We are pleased to see that a prominent carrier is raising awareness on this issue and the message is personal and starting at the top.
Randall L. Stephenson, the chairman and chief executive of AT&T, spoke at a conference in New York to hundreds of major investors, including Fortune 500 executives. The topic was the state of the telecom businesses, but he began with a request on a different topic: Please don’t text and drive.
Mr. Stephenson said that a few years ago someone close to him caused an accident while texting. As he has become more vocal about texting and driving, he said people were coming up to him and writing him with their own stories of tragedy, including admissions that they caused accidents.
The smartphone “is a product we sell and it’s being used inappropriately.” For him, that means the company he runs has to get involved in a public awareness campaign. “we have got to drive behavior.”
While safety say that history shows that public service campaigns have had limited success on issues like drunken driving or seat belt use unless they are paired with strong laws and that is something Mr. Stephenson opposes.
David D. Teater, senior director of the National Safety Council, had a son killed by a driver talking on her phone. He states that he is pleased to see telecommunications companies no longer lobbying against laws aimed at curbing driver distraction caused by electronic devices.
“We’d love their support on the legislative side,” he said of AT&T’s position. “But the fact they’re are not opposing us is good.”
Currently 39 states ban testing while driving. Research shows that the activity sharply increases the risk of crash, even beyond the risk posed by someone with a .08 blood alcohol level, the legal limit in many states. Yet researchers say that there is no indication drivers are less incline to text and drive, and there is some indication that the behavior is increasing.
Drivers need be aware of the dangers of mobile devices while driving and not ignore the dangers because this activity is not prohibited by legislation.
Remember, it is always better to stay safe but if you can’t stay safe, stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.
Chicagoland’s Injury Lawyers at Grazian and Volpe strive constantly to educate their clients as to the dangers of distracted driving. Child safety experts now cite the rising number of non-fatal injuries to children under age five between 2007 and 2010, after falling for much of the prior decade.
The question is whether high-tech gadgetry is effecting the ability of adults to provide proper supervision to young children. Emergency doctors see the growing use of hand-held electronic devices as a plausible explanation for the surprising reversal of a long slide in injury rates for young children.
Child safety experts attribute the previous slide in injury rates starting in the 1970s to the implementation of safer playgrounds to baby gates to fences around swimming pools. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “The injuries were going down and down and down” noting that the recent uptick is “pretty striking.”
Statistics from the government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission, which tracks injuries by product type, show children are getting hurt more, including serious falls, during activities and at ages that would warrant close supervision.
While casualty has not been well documented, emergency room doctors cite the well-proven connection between driving while distracted and the rise in smartphone use. They state it is logical and born out by statistics to apply the same dynamic to parenting and smartphone use. Complicating the picture is that people tend to under-report the amount of time they spend on mobile devices. Barbara Morrongiello, a psychology professor at the the University of Guelph in Canada studies the relationship between child-supervision and injury and states that most people do not realize how much they are distracted by devices.
In fact a recent incident wherein a woman was watching a friend’s two-year-old son when another friend texted her illustrates the point perfectly. The child slipped into the pool, flailed for about a minute, drifted toward the deep end, then sank. The woman was looking at a photo on a smartphone. About three minutes after fiddling with the cellphone, she dropped it and then noticed the young boy underwater. She plunged in and pulled him out. The whole event was documented on a security camera. The woman told an emergency technician that she had taken her eyes off the boy for only 20 seconds. The security-camera footage shows she did not look at the boy for more than 3 minutes!
Ms. Morrongiello says that information she has collected from 62 families with two-year-old children revealed that 67% of injuries occurred when a parent wasn’t supervising and only 10% occurred when a parent was watching.
Grazian and Volpe blog about this subject in the hope that all parents and caregivers will pay heed to this recent spate of evidence and try to avoid mobile device use whenever caring for young children or any person entrusted to their care. It is always better to stay safe, but if you can’t stay safe-Stay with Grazian and Volpe, Chicagolands Injury Lawyers for over 30 years.