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Springfield Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

Employer safety obligations start before work injuries happen

Anyone with a measure of experience with construction knows it can be dangerous. On-the-job injury may be common across the central Illinois region, though regulators would argue that wouldn't be the case if employers fulfilled safety obligations to their workers from the outset of every project.

Unfortunately, that doesn't occur all the time. In some cases, it's not a matter of a one-time oversight. Sometimes, the problem can be chronic. That's the allegation the Occupational Safety and Health Administration makes against one Belleville roofing company.

Crashes due to drowsy drivers can't be called accidents

The way we talk about collisions on the road is misleading. We discussed this in a post back in June. The position we offered then is that, in most cases, what we call accidents are really disasters caused by someone's negligence or reckless behavior. As such, seeking compensation for victims and holding someone accountable isn't merely justified. It's demanded.

Vehicle crashes are major causes of catastrophic injury and death in central Illinois. Contributing factors can be many. Agriculture is big business here and large machines lumbering slowly along are common. Their presence can lead drivers to get antsy at the wheel and make deadly decisions. Speeding, drunk driving, texting and other forms of distraction are problems, too.

Why should we in Illinois care what happens in another state?

The concept of interstate commerce might not be something most people around Springfield give much thought to. Routines might be restricted to waking up, getting the children to school, getting to work and getting everyone home safely at the end of the day. It's only when extraordinary events occur that we might have to confront broader issues.

Truck accidents involving interstate haulers certainly would seem to fall into that category. Crashes with semitrailer trucks typically injure or kill individuals in the smaller vehicle. And the process required to hold all the possible liable parties to account can be complicated if there are multiple entities from many different states involved. Recovery of due compensation could take the skills of an experienced attorney.

How common are work deaths among truck drivers?

When a car and a tractor-trailer truck collide, one generally expects the car and its driver to come out on the wrong end of the stick in terms of injuries or death. Statistics suggest that expectation is reasonable. And when you think about workers dying on the job, most in Illinois probably don't put truck drivers high on the list.

That is not how the U.S. Department of Labor sees things. While many might see firefighting, police work or even construction as the leaders in terms of risky businesses, officials say truck drivers deserve to be counted. By the DOL's numbers, truckers account for one in six of all deaths among U.S. workers every year, and the rate of trucker fatalities is generally on the rise.

Nursing home abuse is abuse, no matter the source

Controlled environment -- if ever there is a phrase that ought to describe what we should find in an Illinois assisted living or nursing home setting that would probably be it. These are places we depend on to provide care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. When that trust is violated and a loved one suffers neglect or abuse, seeking remedy is a right. It can sometimes be a challenge to obtain.

Unfortunately, the abuse in nursing homes isn't as uncommon as we would like it to be. Home employees can be one source of the problem. But what if the source of the abuse is not home employees? What if the perpetrators of the abuse are other residents?

Workers' comp success can hinge on solid medical opinion

Anyone in Illinois who is injured on the job has a right to expect to have their medical treatments and related health care needs covered by workers' compensation benefits. That's why the system exists. However, the science behind the medicine sometimes can come into question. When it does, the result can be a denial of benefits can result.

Every case is going to be different. That's why a detailed assessment of the facts and the circumstances in any given situation is crucial. The importance of having a skilled attorney working on your behalf can't be overstated.

Does workers' comp apply if I'm injured in a workplace assault?

If we really took time to think about all the ways we could be hurt or killed in everyday life we might never get out of bed. That would not be good for the Illinois economy or our own well-being. We have to work. Indeed, as social animals, there's a certain instinct for us to engage with the world somehow.

No, most of us want and need to be active. Still, life has its risks and injuries in the workplace are bound to occur. When they do, workers' compensation insurance is the means by which individuals are supposed to get the treatment they need and to get back on their feet, without any delay due to disagreements about who might be to blame.

'Dog days:' Ancient phrase with meaning for farm workers today

It's hot out. That's to be expected. It's summer across the country, including here in central Illinois. Folks often call these the "dog days." While it's commonly thought that the phrase came into being to describe days so hot that even dogs couldn't bring themselves to stir, its roots are actually more astronomical.

To the ancient Greeks, the hottest days of the summer were marked by the appearance in the heavens of Sirius, the Dog Star. When it appeared before the sun's rising, it meant the arrival of the hottest season and raised fears of fevers and catastrophe.

Who's liable in Tesla-involved crash that claimed a life?

The question above might not one many in central Illinois ponder. Anyone familiar with the automotive world knows that owning a Tesla is not something the average motorist can aspire to. The all-electric, high-tech cars are nothing if not expensive.

Experts generally agree that what makes a Tesla costly is its power plant. Another element may be that the technology features of the cars are not tried and true. You may ask what does any of this have to do with a legal blog focused on car accidents. The answer has to do with addressing who is liable when someone is injured in a crash involving a Tesla.

Texting While Driving: The Dopamine Defense.

You see them every day, people looking down at their phones instead of at the road. They sit idle while the light changes or are puttering along much slower than the posted speed limit. Or worse yet, they drift from one side of their lane to the other, oblivious.

Most, if not all of us, like to drive safely. Yet our roads are plagued with drivers texting at the wheel.

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