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Springfield Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

Don't blame nature for the crash, no matter how bad the weather

Anyone who drives around Central Illinois in winter knows it can sometimes be treacherous out there. Weather can wreak havoc and major vehicle accidents that lead to serious injuries or death are always possible.

However, if drivers who are responsible for such accidents try to cast the blame for the wreck on the weather, victims should know that such claims aren't likely to survive legal challenge. Nor should insurance companies be allowed to slough off fulfilling their duty of care because of road or weather conditions.

OSHA's goal: Preventing deaths and injuries

Providing a safe and healthful environment for work is not just nice to have. It's a requirement. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 establishes that employers have the obligation to make sure work sites are safe. Should any accident occur that results in injury or death, state laws in Illinois and the rest of the country require benefits to cover medical expenses for treatment, recovery and rehabilitation.

Anyone who has been in the workforce for any number of years, though, knows that environments are changeable. Research is always being done to identify best practices and federal regulators – meeting their obligation on behalf of workers – update the standards. The goal is to make sure that employers are doing all they should be to prevent avoidable injuries and death.

Annual brake safety check put 20% of trucks out of service

Most people would probably agree that there are at least some government rules worth doing away with. Though it's unlikely to ever happen, it might interesting to see what the regulatory and economic landscape might look like if every person with a deregulatory desire got their wish.

Rules are in place for good reason. We don't live in isolation. Our lives intersect. This is particularly true on the highways of Illinois. When someone fails to meet regulatory standards, risks of car and truck accidents increase. Serious injuries or deaths can result.

Death provides object lesson on farm safety awareness

Defensive driving is something that good instructors try to teach their pupils. If all Illinois drivers adopted some very simple practices early on, such as maintaining a long- rather than short-distance view of the road, it would lower the risk of deadly or debilitating accidents on the road.

The same principal applies off the road on the farm. As we have mentioned often in this blog, agriculture is an industry fraught with hazards. The powerful equipment and heavy machines create conditions that can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. That farms are often family owned and operated only makes such incidents harder to face.

Nursing home abuse: Legal definition is broad for good reason

Individuals receiving care in Illinois nursing homes are there for many reasons. Some residents are recuperating after a serious health situation. They are unable to care for themselves because of age or disability. They are among the most vulnerable in our society because, very often, they can't report when they suffer abuse or neglect in the many forms it can take.

As we observed in a previous post, there can be many sources of abuse in the nursing home setting. Sometimes it is from other residents incapable of controlling emotions due to dementia or other mental issues. This kind of abuse is unacceptable, but if home staffing is inadequate, it can happen and go unnoticed and unreported. If home standards are lax, the source of abuse can be employees themselves. It can be mental as well as physical.

Is harvest time as safe as it could be, should be?

The nation's Corn Belt, including the region across central Illinois, is in the midst of one the busiest times of the year. Harvest time. As we have noted in previous posts, safety should be one of the top priorities for those working on area farms. However, too often such issues take a back seat to getting the job done. The result can be catastrophic or even fatal accidents.

The tools used are on a par with some of the heaviest equipment and devices used in any industry. In addition, weather conditions can make fields hazardous and put added pressure on hands to take shortcuts that put them at risk. The risks can extend to the public as well.

Tesla's 'autopilot': A car safety feature in need of a rebrand?

Ask a commercial airline pilot about using autopilot and you will likely get a thumbs up sign. What's not to like? It's like cruise control in your car, only better. You don't even have stay at the wheel of the plane's controls.

That's the dream many carmakers are striving to make come true, but as we noted in one previous post, fully autonomous vehicles remain something of a bridge too far for now in Illinois and elsewhere. As that post related, questions of safety remain unanswered. 

Who says sleep apnea is a trucking safety issue?

If you listen to the radio or scan online news services, you probably came across advertising about the health problem of sleep apnea. Many in Illinois might think this is really a non-issue. But anyone who has had to sleep in close proximity to someone who suffers from this condition knows that it's a serious matter.

Loud snoring is one of the most notable symptoms that sleep apnea may be a problem. Other signs that someone might have sleep apnea include gasping or choking during sleep or disturbed sleep. The problem, of course, is that the sufferer often doesn't know he or she has any of the symptoms. They're asleep.

Might the federal government step in on workers’ comp?

Currently, here in America, the general workers’ compensation system is state-based. There are no federal standards in place for state workers’ comp regimes.

So, each state has its own particular rules regarding workers’ comp benefits and the process for applying for such benefits. This is why, when a worker here in Central Illinois suffers a workplace injury, they may want guidance from a legal professional with deep knowledge of Illinois’ workers’ compensation system.

Providing broad scope of personal injury legal experience

We live in an era of specialization. Football teams have special squads. In health care, there are insurance plans that seek to manage the care process in hopes that costs can be kept under control. Just what the level of management should be and how well it works remains the subject of a lot of debate here in Central Illinois and across the country.

In general terms, if an attorney graduates from law school and passes the bar, he or she is deemed qualified to practice. But the law has its areas of specialty, as well. One attorney might focus on estate planning; another on family law. Yet another might provide criminal defense services. Personal injury law encompasses such a broad range of potential issues that protection of client rights warrants special commitment.

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