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Recent Blog Posts

EOBR Rule Aims to Keep Truckers Honest

 Posted on March 31, 2011 in Articles

More than half of the commercial vehicle drivers who responded to United Safety Alliance, Inc.'s online survey admitted to deliberately violating federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Those regulations aim to keep highways safe by limiting driving time so commercial vehicle drivers get enough rest.

Currently, HOS compliance is monitored through paper logs and supporting documentation such as toll receipts. However, paper logs allow for falsification. For that reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is looking to shift to an automated means of monitoring compliance.

On January 31, 2011, the FMCSA published its electronic onboard record (EOBR) rule that will require certain motor carriers to install EOBRs to track drivers' HOS.

While many carriers already use EOBRs, the current law under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act (HMTAA) still requires those carriers to maintain Records of Duty Status (RODS) documents to verify a drivers' time behind the wheel. Under the proposed rule, use of an EOBR would reduce the number of required RODS to substantiate driving time.

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Major Workers’ Compensation Issues to Affect Employers and Employees in 2011

 Posted on March 23, 2011 in Articles

Among the key budgetary issues legislatures will have to address this year, workers' compensation is one that can have lasting implications on employers, employees and insurance providers alike. Preston Diamond, Director of the Institute for WorkComp Professionals, identified a number of issues that are certain to affect these groups in 2011 and in years to come. This article will highlight a few of these issues and identify what employees may do to protect themselves.

Integration of Health and Wellness Programs

Healthy workers are less likely to be injured and they tend to return to work sooner. While this may be the prevailing norm, many employers have not made the connection between workplace safety and employee wellness. Mr. Diamond notes that the combination of new research, court rulings, and tighter budgets have led to more executives considering how health and wellness programs can benefit workers. Essentially, workers can benefit from participating in employer-sponsored wellness programs that could lower their health insurance premiums.

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Nursing Home Abuse is Widespread and Takes Many Forms

 Posted on March 21, 2011 in Articles

Elder abuse has become a growing problem nationwide. The government estimates that between one and two million Americans over age 65 have been injured or mistreated by caregivers.

According to the Illinois Department of Aging, it is estimated that more than 76,000 Illinois residents over the age of 60 are elder abuse victims each year. This November the state closed the Orchard Court Nursing Home for failing to comply with safety regulations. The state may potentially revoke the licenses of six other long-term care facilities.

The true scope of nursing home abuse is difficult to grasp because of underreporting. Elderly victims often do not communicate the suffering they experience. For some older individuals this is a result of diminished capacity or intimidation from the caregiver responsible. Others are ashamed about what happened and embarrassed to discuss it with family. It is important that family members remain actively involved in a loved one's care so they can be alert for signs of neglect or abuse.

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Proposed Illinois Budget Cuts to Affect Farmers

 Posted on March 14, 2011 in Firm News

Reports on state budget cuts continue to be a popular subject for nationwide media outlets as the economy continues to lag behind in recovery. A recently proposed budget cut in the state of Illinois would affect farmers.

Currently, Illinois has implemented a statewide program (called AgrAbility Unlimited coordinated through a partnership of the University of Illinois Extension, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and Central Illinois Easter Seals) that assists farmers and agricultural workers who have suffered injuries or disabilities in farm accidents.

The program was originally formed in 1990 thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but later turned over to individual states to handle. The Illinois AgrAbility Unlimited is one of about 20 state programs in the country.

But in 2009, $100,000 in funding for farmers was eliminated, cutting the program budget in half. Since then, AgrAbility Unlimited has tried to cover the loss by seeking private and corporate donations. This year they are hoping for a federal grant of up to $175,000.

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Attorney Gets People Talking in Bloomington

 Posted on March 10, 2011 in Firm News

Attorney Larry Apfelbaum wrote a letter to the editor at the Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill. and really got people talking. Follow this link  to read the letter and see the discussion.

 

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Understanding Falls on Ice and Snow in Illinois

 Posted on March 08, 2011 in Firm News

As this past winter has repeatedly and dramatically demonstrated, snow and ice accumulation are a fact of life in Illinois. Unfortunately, so are the painful, life-altering injuries that can result from a hard fall on ice or from tripping over a snow covered defect on the ground. The insurance companies have successfully lobbied government officials to shield businesses (and their insurance policies) from fairly compensating people injured by their own failure to clear ice and snow. As a result, it is generally the rule in Illinois that there is no duty for a business to clear snow or ice, even if a municipal ordinance requires them to do so. There is also no general duty to warn patrons of natural accumulations, including when water and ice is tracked into stores. Currently, there are only three situations in which a person can recover for a fall caused by snow or ice, however the attorneys at Kanoski Bresney  are well versed in all three.

The first situation in which recovery is possible is when an unnatural accumulation of ice and/or snow causes the fall. What is an unnatural accumulation? An unnatural accumulation can be caused by inappropriate construction or design, by improper snow clearing activities, or by shoddy maintenance. For example, an unnatural accumulation may be caused when runoff from a clogged gutter refreezes somewhere unexpected, when a plow piles snow which melts and refreezes where it normally would not, or when an unnatural depression in a parking lot fills with water and freezes. When an unnatural accumulation causes a person's injuries, that person must also prove: 1) That the landowning business knew or should have known about the unnatural accumulation and the risk it posed, 2) That the business knew or should have known that its customers would not be able to detect the risk or protect themselves against the risk, and 3) That an unreasonable action (or failure to take reasonable precaution) by the business caused the fall.

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Workers' Compensation Laws -Don't Let the Changes Happen

 Posted on February 22, 2011 in Firm News

The General Assembly's recent fall veto session saw a flurry of activity that included proposed wide-ranging "reforms" to the Illinois workers' compensation system. Motivated by an apparent desire to secure Republican votes on other issues, Democrats entertained a variety of changes that included giving employers and insurance companies control over which doctors injured workers could see and what treatment they could receive; limiting supplemental wage payments to disabled workers forced to take lower-paying jobs due to permanent injuries; decreasing payments that doctors and hospitals can charge for treating injured workers; and, reducing compensation injured workers receive for potentially life-changing injuries.

While the proposed changes were designed to make Illinois more "business friendly," they would strip away rights Democrats and labor have earned over decades of hard-fought negotiations and legislative battles with Republicans and business. The workers' compensation laws were last reformed about five years ago in an effort to lower insurance costs but the rates kept going higher. Truth is, there are more than 300 insurance companies writing workers' compensation insurance in Illinois, a fact that shows the market is certainly profitable. Maybe it is time our lawmakers consider insurance reforms before they take away more worker rights.

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Federal Statistics Highlight the Dangers of Rural Roads

 Posted on February 14, 2011 in Car Accidents

According to federal traffic statistics, the likelihood that you will be involved in a fatal car accident depends largely upon where you live in the country. People living near and driving on rural roads are far more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes than their urban counterparts.

This may seem counterintuitive. One might reasonably assume that more sparsely populated areas would have fewer fatal car accidents, as drivers on rural roads encounter fewer vehicles with which to collide.

Several factors, however, contribute to the overall disparity in fatality rates between urban and rural areas.

  • Urban roads employ a number of strategies to improve road safety that are not frequently present in rural areas, such as lower speed limits and divided highways. Collisions at high speeds and head-on collisions often result in serious injuries, and may result in fatalities.
  • It is often easier to access medical treatment in a timely manner in urban areas than rural areas, as the collisions are likely to be discovered more quickly and medical facilities will likely be closer. With serious accidents, timing can be everything.

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Welcome to the Springfield Illinois Personal Injury Blog

 Posted on February 09, 2011 in Firm News

At Kanoski & Associates, we are committed to helping people who have been injured. Whether you need experienced legal representation for a personal injury, medical malpractice or product liability case, we can help.

We want you to know that you are not alone. While we have handled multimillion-dollar claims, we represent accident victims in cases of all sizes -- not just the high-dollar-value cases. Regardless of the severity of the injury, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.

As part of our commitment to helping accident victims, we are starting this blog. We hope you will find the information on this blog helpful and inspirational. We will update our blog throughout the year, so please return often to see our most current updates and comments.

If you would like to talk with a representative at our firm, please contact us. Call (888) 826-8682 today to schedule a free consultation at one of our eight central Illinois office locations. You are also welcome to contact us by e-mail. We are ready to help.

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