Personal Injury News & Developments

Accident Frequency in Chicago Hurts AllstateAllstate is being squeezed by rising accident rates and more severe auto related injuries throughout the Chicago area. In Chicago alone, 130 vehicular fatalities were reported and the average number of accidents reported across Illinois each day has risen to almost 800. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have noticed a corresponding increase in the number of cases we’ve taken on as a result and are concerned by current statistical trends. In addition to costing victims more money for expensive medical care, the increased accident rates are forcing insurance companies like Allstate to make adjustments to their business models to remain profitable.

Falling Gas Prices Reflect Rising Death Rates

Gas prices have plummeted over the last few years, prompting more people to purchase vehicles and to drive more frequently. This is one of the contributing factors to the increase in accidents over this time period, but other factors have equal weight. New technologies provide additional distractions to drivers and when combined with increased traffic volume, create a recipe for more accidents and more severe injuries.

Warnings on Birth Control DeviceWomen looking for a simple alternative to traditional methods of sterilization have turned to the Essure Permanent Birth Control System, which is marketed and sold by Bayer. The contraceptive device was originally developed by Conceptus Inc. and approved in 2002. Bayer purchased Conceptus and the rights to the Essure System in 2013 and is now under fire for numerous complications that women using the system have suffered. These complications are so severe that the FDA has implemented a black box warning for the devices— which requires patients to sign a waiver stating that they have been notified of the risks associated with the devices prior to use.

How the Essure System Works

The Essure Permanent Birth Control System is a non-hormonal birth control method that prevents pregnancy through sterilization. Two flexible coils are inserted into the fallopian and over time, scar tissue develops around the coils and causes permanent infertility by creating a barrier that prevents eggs from reaching the uterus. The simple outpatient procedure has made the system an attractive alternative to tubal litigation and the devices can be inserted without any need for anesthesia.

Crane Accidents and Crane SafetyNew crane safety regulations are now in place for New York City following a tragic crane collapse on February 7th that took the life of an unsuspecting victim who had been on his way to work and injured three others. The accident that resulted in his death is thought to be directly linked to high winds, and the crane collapsed as workers were in the process of securing the crane and diverting traffic. Precautionary measures proved futile as the crew was unable to prevent the crane from falling onto the street below. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by tightening regulations and increasing the amounts of fines to be assessed against offenders.

New Prevention Measures in Place

The new regulations now require all crane engineers to pull their cranes down the day before any forecasts that call for winds in excess of 20 mph and all operations must be halted at once any time unexpected wind gusts exceed the same speed. Other precautionary measures include closing off walkways and streets in areas that crane activity poses a threat to in the event of a collapse in order to reduce the chances that a pedestrian or motorist will be involved in any accident that results.

Increased Visibility Can be Positive in Helping Truck DriversDrivers wishing for x-ray vision when attempting to overtake large trucks may now benefit from a technology that is just as effective. Samsung has developed a transparent Safety Truck equipped with cameras and weatherproof monitors working in tandem to provide trailing drivers to see around or through the leading semi-tractor trailer prior to making the decision on whether to overtake the truck. This could prevent many of the accidents that result when motorists drive to perform passing maneuvers on two lane highways and save countless lives in the process. It can also provide insight into the view that truck drivers have of the road and the distance vehicles should maintain ahead of a truck before moving into its lane.

Extensive Testing to Take Place in Argentina

Following the creation of a prototype last year, Samsung has received the go-ahead to expand its testing program. It will begin by testing numerous Safety Trucks over the next four months to determine whether they effectively reduce the number of accidents resulting from vehicles overtaking trucks. If the tests are successful, Samsung will begin making the Safety Truck available in markets across the world, including in the United States.

Driving Laws in IllinoisMost new traffic laws and ordinances go into effect unnoticed and drivers are not aware of the new rules until they are caught breaking them. 2016 saw numerous changes that enact important safety measures designed to reduce the number of accidents seen on Illinois’s roads. Our Illinois car accident attorneys have already studied these laws and their implications on future cases and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your rights if you have been injured in an accident. Understanding the new laws in place will also help you avoid liability due to noncompliance and help make the roads safer.

More Chances for DUI Offenders

In what may be considered a step in the wrong direction, DUI offenders are now offered additional chances to get their act together and reinstate their licenses following DUI convictions. A law went into effect on January 1 of this year that paves a path for those convicted of this offense to return to the roads. Those who have been convicted of multiple offenses may have their licenses reinstated, but must purchase a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device for five years before they receive a full reinstatement. In the past, drivers were only required to use the device for a single year, making this new law more restrictive than in the past, but another provision in the law now provides additional opportunities for drunk drivers to return to the roads despite numerous offenses.

Hip Implants Sets Tone for FutureFive lawsuits filed against DePuy over its Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant were consolidated into a single trial that began on January 8, 2016 and the trial is the second major bellwether trial that has been heard since numerous injuries have been linked to the device. The result of this trial will have an impact on thousands of cases yet to be heard, and if things do not go DePuy’s way, it could open the door for a settlement program to compensate those who have suffered injuries or required revision surgeries after receiving the devices.

DePuy Had Knowledge of Potential Concerns

Evidence brought forward for the trial suggests that DePuy was aware of manufactural defects and safety concerns related to the Pinnacle hip replacement as early as in 2008, but delayed the recall of the device to the detriment of thousands of patients. One of the reports details an error in the measuring techniques used to ensure that the metal-on-metal components of the hip implants would not wear excessively or present a risk of metalosis— a condition that occurs when heavy metals such as chromium and cobalt reach the blood stream. Additional evidence shows that DePuy reduced its investment in quality control measures in 2006 and continued to spend less time inspecting its products despite the concerns that surfaced in 2008.

Children Hurt in Bus AccidentsNine children were taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a truck rear ended a bus on January 21, 2016 and pushed it into the semi-trailer ahead of it. The accident occurred on Green Bay Road near Major Avenue in Beach Park and 56 children needed to be evaluated by school officials before being sent home with their parents. Children being transported on buses tend to be more vulnerable in the event of an accident due to limited protection and a lack of restraints. Many of the injuries suffered are the result of children striking the seat ahead of them or falling to the ground following a sudden jolt.

Truck Driver Subject to Multiple Citations

Authorities discovered that the driver responsible for the accident had failed to reduce his speed prior to the collision and has multiple citations for speeding on his record. He was cited for failure to provide proof of insurance and not having a driver’s license on him at the time of the accident. It is unclear whether he using the vehicle for the purpose of work at the time of the accident. His employer may share liability for failure to ensure that he was in compliance with all applicable driving and work laws prior to being allowed to work.

Hip Fracture Blamed on NegligenceA patient recovering from hip surgery fractured her hip again when nursing staff at Brentwood Nursing Home failed to supervise her and she fell from her wheelchair. Her daughter has now filed a lawsuit against the facility, citing neglect, negligence and violation of the Nursing Home Care Act as the causes of her mother’s injuries. The incident occurred on May 4, 2014 and the lawsuit was filed on February 3, 2016 in the Cook County Circuit Court. In addition to the cost of medical bills, the plaintiff is seeking damages for the pain and suffering her mother endured because of her injuries.

Injuries Suffered in Under a Month of Care

Rosie Pigrum was admitted to the Brentwood Nursing Home on April 11, 2014 and reinjured her hip in a fall on May 4th— less than a month later. Her stay at the facility was short lived due to concerns her daughter had over neglect, lack of supervision and negligence. She was moved from the facility by August 13, 2014 and Rosie’s daughter alleged that she suffered medical complications and undue pain and suffering due to the incident. Damages being sought in the case exceed $50,000 and include the cost of litigation and attorneys’ fees.

Lowering Blood Levels for DrivingDespite increased efforts to raise awareness to drunken driving concerns, alcohol related accidents remain the cause of around one third of all automotive related fatalities in the nation. The National Transportation Safety Board is suggesting a further restriction on the amount of blood alcohol content needed to deem a person drunk behind the wheel as one possible solution. The proposal comes as data from other nations that have implemented similar restrictions shows a decline in drunken driving accidents and a reduction in alcohol related deaths. A reduction in the legal limit will ultimately motivate more drivers to stay put or seek rides from sober drivers if they have been drinking, which may be the reason the measure has seen success abroad.

Current Laws Modeled After NTSB Recommendations

Most states have followed past recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board when setting legal blood alcohol content levels— which is why the limit is often at or near .08 across the entire country. The NTSB is now suggesting a limit of .05 instead, which would equate to no more than two drinks within an hour for an average male of 160 pounds. Since alcohol affects each individual differently, it is difficult to determine at what point the average individual can be considered impaired.

Nurses and Medication ErrorsThe Chicago medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers frequently handle cases involving complications that have arisen due to medication errors. While the causes for these errors can vary greatly, one thing remains consistent— nurses are always going to be the last line of defense between an incorrect medication or dosage and the administration of that medication to the patient. Whenever a nurse fails to ensure that a patient is receiving the exact medication and dosage that he or she should be receiving, the incorrect administration of medication occurs, resulting in the potential for serious complications that could be life threatening.

Understanding How Medication Errors Occur Can Help Prevent Them

When a patient is given the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage, the error needs to be traced back to where things initially went wrong. In order for a patient to receive medicine, a doctor must first write a prescription for the medication and indicate a dose and method of administration. This includes how frequently the medication must be provided, at what time during the day and which route it needs to be provided by. The next step is the fulfillment of the prescription by a pharmacist, who reviews the instructions provided by the doctor and then provides the medication in the correct dose.