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IL work injury lawyerFrom time to time, everyone can get sick. However, if it is more than just a common cold, a person may need to seek medical attention. In some cases, a work environment may be the reason for an employee falling ill. An occupational disease is defined as an illness or harmful condition that is directly caused by job duties or is aggravated by hazardous conditions in the workplace. These dangerous conditions are not common to the general public. Depending on the industry, protective gear or safety precautions must be followed at all times. If these safety measures are not taken by an employer, a worker may be at risk of suffering from a serious illness or life-threatening disease. It is important to understand how workers’ compensation laws apply to these illnesses if they are caused by employment in the healthcare field.

Diseases and Illnesses Common to the Medical Profession

Healthcare workers face a wide variety of hazards on the job, including harmful exposures to chemicals, drugs, and radiation. In addition, doctors, nurses, and administrative staff can be exposed to many germs on a daily basis. Many viruses or infections are transmitted through the air in healthcare facilities.

Some of the infectious diseases for which employees in the medical field are most at risk include:

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IL accident lawyerAnyone who watches the news knows that our nation’s roadways can be dangerous. Statistics show that approximately 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. There can be many causes for a vehicle crash, including inclement weather, negligent drivers, and poor road conditions. However, improper or incomplete maintenance on automobiles can also contribute to causing accidents. In some cases, an auto repair shop or the dealership may put in a faulty part from the manufacturer. In other situations, an untrained employee may not install a piece of equipment properly, putting a driver at risk for significant injury. Still more scenarios involve negligent drivers who disregard notices to replace recalled parts or do not properly maintain their cars.

Routine Service Affects Road Safety

It is important for vehicle owners to inspect their cars and perform regular maintenance, or they may be held responsible for collisions that are caused by failure to keep their vehicle in safe and proper working order. For example, a tire that does not have enough tread can cause a driver to slide on ice or snow and hit another vehicle or a pedestrian. A tire blowout can lead to a motorist losing control and sending his or her car careening into oncoming traffic.

A few common examples of issues that can cause a car to malfunction:

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IL accident lawyerWalking is considered a great form of exercise for the cardiovascular system. Many people also commute by foot on a daily basis, whether going to school or their job if they live close enough. Pedestrians often walk in all kinds of weather: sunshine, snow, rain, fog, and sleet. The air temperature and outside conditions can affect the roadways and sidewalks, causing them to become icy and slippery, especially in an Illinois winter. This can impact both drivers and pedestrians alike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, there were 6,283 pedestrian deaths caused by traffic collisions. Weather-related factors may be a contributing factor to pedestrian accidents, but there are also other reasons, such as distracted driving. Because pedestrians do not have the same type of protection as someone in a vehicle, their injuries are often catastrophic or fatal.

Factors That Can Lead to Pedestrian Injuries

The rules of the road are put in place for everyone’s safety. When these regulations are not followed, drivers and pedestrians can be at significant risk of injuries. Although Illinois is known for having more extreme weather compared to other states, some of the following apply to any state, directly leading to a pedestrian accident with serious injuries:

  • Distracted driving: Texting, talking to passengers, applying makeup, and eating are all examples of activities that take a driver’s attention away from the road ahead of him or her. Looking away even for a few seconds can cause a motorist to swerve onto a sidewalk, striking a pedestrian.
  • Speeding: Speed limits are enforced for a reason. Also referred to as reckless driving, traveling at a high rate of speed does not allow a driver enough time to come to a complete stop if a pedestrian suddenly appears in a crosswalk.
  • Intoxicated driving: Regardless if it is due to alcohol or drug use, studies show that impaired drivers’ reaction times are greatly reduced, as well as their reasoning skills and ability to make accurate judgment calls behind the wheel.
  • Failure to stop or yield: In many cases, pedestrians have the right of way and if a driver does not stop or yield before turning onto a street, he or she may hit a person in the designated crosswalk.
  • Inclement weather: Fog, blowing snow, freezing rain can all make it hard for a motorist to see, especially at night. Drivers must account for slick pavement so they do not lose control of their vehicles and collide with another car or pedestrian.
  • Left-hand turns: Drivers who are turning left at a busy intersection may only be focused straight ahead at the oncoming cars and not notice bystanders who are trying to cross the road.
  • Backing-up accidents: A common occurrence in parking lots, many drivers may not check their rearview mirror or back-up camera and accidentally hit a person walking by.

It is important to note that Illinois, along with several other states, follows the “modified comparative fault” rule regarding personal injury claims. Under this rule, a pedestrian who is considered to be more than 50 percent responsible for causing his or her own injuries is not allowed to recover any damages from a negligent or reckless driver.

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IL accident lawyerFor many drivers, traveling by car is an easy way to get from point A to point B. However, the statistics on automobile accidents are alarming. Studies show that in 2017, there were 311,679 crashes involving vehicles in Illinois. Collisions with injuries made up 21.5 percent of these crashes. Every state has rules of the road that are meant to ensure the safety of everyone traveling on the roadways. Most people know that a motorist must pass a written exam as well as a behind-the-wheel test in order to obtain a driver’s license. However, many Illinois citizens may not know that the state recently passed several new driving laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. As a driver, it is important to become familiar with this new legislation to avoid a traffic violation as well as a car accident with injuries.

Passing a Stopped School Bus

One of the new laws that will affect Illinois drivers in 2020 involves going around or passing a stopped school bus. These are instances where the bus has its stop sign out and lights flashing while it is stopped to pick up or drop off children while on a two-lane road. This also applies to one-way streets regardless of the number of lanes of traffic. The fines for this illegal maneuver doubled starting on New Year’s Day, from $150 to $300 for a first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Scott’s Law Violations

Scott’s Law requires drivers to slow down, switch lanes, and pass with caution to allow more room for disabled cars or emergency vehicles on the side of the road when their hazard lights are flashing. Commonly referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law was enacted in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was killed by a drunk driver who was speeding and hit him.

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IL work injury lawyerWorking in a warehouse can be a challenging job. This field typically requires a lot of physical activity. For example, a worker might be required to lift heavy objects or move large pieces of machinery or equipment. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an employee is injured at work every seven seconds. Further research by the NSC found that in 2017, the highest number of preventable fatal injuries was in the construction industry, followed by transportation and warehousing. In many cases, prevention can spare workers unnecessary pain and suffering caused by a workplace injury. However, an employee is eligible for financial relief through a workers’ compensation claim.

Common Dangers Associated with Warehouse Work

A warehouse can involve many people working at a fast pace with a large inventory of products and many machines, including forklifts, conveyor belts, and pallet racks. Even if certain safety precautions are taken, accidents can and do happen. A few of the typical hazards that can lead to warehouse accidents with injuries include the following:

  • Large equipment/heavy materials
  • Slips and trips
  • Falls
  • Fires/explosions
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Moving parts
  • Falling objects
  • Lack of training/proper safety measures

In some of the above cases, a faulty part breaks and comes loose from a machine, hitting a worker. Falling from a ladder can result in broken bones or significant head trauma. This can lead to temporary or permanent brain damage depending on the impact and how high up a person was when he or she fell.

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IL car accident lawyerObtaining a driver’s license is something that most Illinois teenagers look forward to when they turn 16. Studies show that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. The first year after teens get their license are the most dangerous. During this period, new drivers are four times more likely than adult motorists to get into an auto accident. Besides the lack of experience behind the wheel, other reasons can include distracted driving or driving while intoxicated. These types of crashes can lead to minor or serious injuries depending on the circumstances. In certain cases, parents can be held liable if they were negligent in by not properly supervising their child, which resulted in actions that caused the accident and any subsequent injuries.

Contributing Factors to a Collision

Statistics show that even if a motorist takes his or her eyes off the road for a few seconds, this can lead to a rear-end collision or other type of crash, often with devastating consequences. In addition, when a motorist is intoxicated, his or her reaction time is much slower than when sober. Going over the posted speed limit also presents a major risk since the time needed to stop if the car ahead brakes is much greater.

Some of the most dangerous teen driving behaviors that can cause a crash include the following:

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IL accident lawyerPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a frightening experience. A person may suffer from PTSD after being directly involved in a terrifying incident or even after simply witnessing it. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 39 percent of car crash victims develop PTSD.

A motor vehicle crash can be a sudden and devastating event for a driver and passengers to go through. The aftermath of a car accident may include injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, or whiplash. However, victims can also exhibit characteristics of PTSD in the days, weeks, or months following the crash. This can significantly affect their day-to-day living. That is why it is imperative to seek medical treatment and legal guidance for pain and suffering, especially if the accident was due to the negligent behavior of another driver.

Symptoms of PTSD

Many people who are involved in automobile accidents are able to recover from their injuries in a few weeks. For example, a fractured or broken leg can be fixed by wearing a cast for approximately 30 days. It is normal to feel some anxiety after being involved in an auto collision. Some crash survivors, however, suffer emotionally and mentally for an extended period of time due to the traumatic nature of a crash.

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IL injury lawyerThe back and neck are some of the most complex areas of the human body. A person’s back is made up of an intricate system of bones, nerves, and tissues. The spine is made up of small bones called vertebrae, which form a column. The neck is the start of the spinal column and spinal cord. Blunt force trauma or the impact from a fall on these parts of the body can range from minor to serious injuries. Immediate and long-term effects for a victim can include surgery, physical therapy, chronic pain, loss of motor function, or even paralysis. In some cases, a back or neck injury may be the direct result of an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence.

Accidents That Can Result in Damage to the Spine

Many injuries to the neck or back region are caused by being involved in some type of accident. One of the most common is a car crash. When an automobile suddenly brakes and the car behind it rear ends the vehicle, it can force a passenger’s head to move back and forth rapidly, leaving the person with what is commonly referred to as “whiplash.” Unnatural twisting of the neck or spine due to hitting the dashboard or being thrown from a car can also lead to significant injury.

A pedestrian could also be struck by a vehicle and suffer similar damage to the back or neck. In other cases, a person who is walking may slip and fall, landing on his or her back, which can shatter the vertebrae or damage the spinal cord. This may be due to uneven pavement or icy sidewalks or staircase.

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IL injury lawyerDuring the holidays, delivery trucks are out in full force, distributing gifts and packages to homes across the country in time for Christmas. In Illinois, winter weather can wreak havoc on road conditions. This can put truck drivers at risk for possible accidents that may result in serious injuries. However, snow and ice are not the only contributing factors to a crash, as negligent behavior by other motorists or even a trucking company can also cause a collision due to faulty or improperly maintained equipment. Delivering goods can also be a physically demanding job, especially if drivers are transporting heavy cargo that they are lifting on a constant basis. Regardless of how an Illinois delivery driver might suffer an on-the-job injury, he or she may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to seek damages.

Typical Risks to Delivery Drivers

Due to the nature of the job, truck driving can take a toll on the driver’s body. Movements such as lifting, turning, and pushing may not seem like they could cause that much damage, but after repeatedly performing these actions, a trucker may experience significant pain. The following are a few of the most common types of injuries for delivery truck drivers:

  • Muscle sprains and strains from carrying heavy packages
  • Back and neck pain due to long periods of sitting
  • Broken or fractured bones due to falling from the truck bed or cab
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome from steering the truck
  • Shoulder/rotator cuff damage from lifting large materials
  • Joint damage from climbing in and out of the truck

Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

Illinois companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of benefit is meant to protect both the employee and the employer. Workers’ comp can help with a worker’s medical bills and lost wages. In order to file a claim as a truck driver in Illinois, an important factor involves jurisdiction, or where the injury took place. Since truckers may travel outside of Illinois state lines, they need to understand how that can affect the chances of receiving benefits.

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IL injury lawyerYou may have heard someone say, “I threw out my back” in reference to him or her turning the wrong way or lifting a heavy object and “tweaking” it slightly. However, back injuries can be serious and life-altering. These types of injuries can occur in a car accident, in the workplace, or even outside. Debilitating back pain can even lead to months of physical therapy or surgery.

A person may not be able to work or even walk. It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of adults experience a back injury in their lifetime, with roughly 10 percent suffering a re-injury. If you were involved in an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

Common Types of Back Injuries

The back is one of the largest and most complex parts of the body. It is made of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from the neck to the pelvis. A few of the most common kinds of injuries to the back include:

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IL accident lawyerMany people may not think a wrist injury would be that serious. Injuries sustained to the hand or wrist are not typically considered life-threatening. However, any injury to a body part can have devastating consequences. For example, if a person breaks or fractures his or her wrist, he or she may not be able to continue working depending on the industry or profession. Someone who uses his or her hand every day to perform essential job duties will likely not be able to return to the same occupation after a wrist injury. Some of the more common causes of wrist or hand injuries include falling or car accidents. Regardless of how someone suffers such an injury, it may be possible to seek damages for medical bills or lost wages.

Incidents That Can Cause a Wrist Injury

Wrist pain can be caused by sprains or fractures as a result of an accident, but it can also be due to repetitive motion or use. Because the wrist is a joint, it can take a long time to heal and may require extensive physical therapy or even surgery. In some cases, muscle or nerve damage can be permanent. Below are the ways in which a person can suffer a serious hand or wrist injury:

Car accident: During the impact of a car crash, a driver’s hand can become pinned in between the steering wheel and dashboard, crushing the bones of the wrist.

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IL accident lawyerThe winter holiday season is a time for special family and friend gatherings. Whether they are Christmas shopping or traveling to visit relatives, more people are on the roadways, which can wreak havoc on traffic. In addition, this time of year also brings inclement weather, especially in Illinois and throughout other parts of the country. Snow, sleet, and wind can cause blizzard-like conditions that can make it difficult for drivers to see in front of them. These “white-out” factors often result in chain-reaction crashes and multiple-vehicle pile-ups. This is why it is especially important to remember basic safe driving tactics to avoid serious injuries due to a car accident.

How Traffic and Weather Can Impact Travel

Regardless if you are making a long-distance trip to visit relatives or just heading across town, you should follow the rules of the road. However, you should also be aware of how weather and holiday traffic can affect your route. Here are some helpful strategies for driving during the busy and chaotic holiday season:

  • Plan ahead: Before embarking on your trip, make sure your vehicle is in proper working order for extended travel. This can include installing snow tires and making sure your windshield fluid and antifreeze fluids are full. You should also keep an emergency kit in your vehicle in case your car breaks down or traffic comes to a standstill.
  • Stay awake and alert: Make sure you get plenty of sleep before a long drive that may take you across state lines. If you are driving drowsy, you risk falling asleep behind the wheel and crashing into other cars, medians, or even buildings.
  • Reduce your speed: Give yourself plenty of time considering long traffic delays and lower speeds due to snowy or icy conditions. When precipitation hits the pavement and freezes, it will take a car longer to brake and come to a complete stop. Although you may be in a hurry to get from place to place, slowing down can save being involved in an accident.
  • Drive defensively: Be aware and alert of other drivers on the road. Other motorists may not be paying attention or could be intoxicated and therefore driving recklessly. Never assume what another driver is going to do, but be prepared for sudden lane changes or turns ahead of you.
  • Do not drive impaired: It is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol in every state. It is the time of year for office Christmas luncheons or New Year’s Eve parties, where alcoholic beverages may be served. If you choose to drink, call an Uber or appoint a designated driver who is sober.
  • Avoid distractions: Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. Glancing at your phone, eating, applying makeup, or changing the radio station all take your eyes and attention off the road. Even just a few seconds of distraction can greatly reduce your reaction time if the car in front of you suddenly stops.

Contact a Bloomingdale Personal Injury Attorney

When winter weather hits, Illinois motorists need to adjust their driving habits. Even if you are careful about your behavior behind the wheel, other drivers may not be as diligent. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a vehicle collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost wages. A skilled DuPage County car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. will examine the details of your case to determine if negligence played a role. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 630-665-5678.

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Il workers comp attorneySome occupations are considered to have an increased risk of head injuries, such as athletes or construction workers. However, anyone can suffer a head injury if they fall and hit their head or if they are hit by a piece of equipment. In Illinois, all companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This is in the event a worker gets hurt on the job. In certain cases, a person may sustain life-altering complications that may require extensive rehabilitation or even a career change. Due to the complex nature of head injuries, symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after an accident. That is why it is imperative to know your rights regarding filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Athletes, as well as their parents and coaches, are more cognizant of the risk of concussions these days, which has led to an increased awareness of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, TBI results from a blow or jolt to the head or body. It can also be caused by an object that penetrates the brain tissue.

This type of injury can also occur in the workplace, regardless of the type of occupation. Falls from a ladder or down a flight of stairs are the most common cause of TBI overall, which can occur in different work environments.

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IL truck accident lawyerThere is no denying that the Midwest has some of the most extreme weather, from hot and humid summers to bitter cold winters with a rainy season in between. Illinois winters have a reputation for exhibiting some of the worst conditions. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on traffic and cause serious problems for motorists. Truck drivers need to be extra cautious due to the size and volume of their vehicles. It is a proven fact that it takes longer for a truck to come to a complete stop than a car. In blizzard-like conditions, a truck accident can result in serious to severe injuries for the truck driver as well as the occupants of a car after a collision.

Safety Measures for All Drivers

When the seasons change, Illinois motorists need to change their driving habits. Regardless if you are operating a semi-truck or a compact car, precipitation of any kind warrants slowing down and taking other measures. Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when traveling in hazardous weather on the highway:

  • Stay calm: If you feel yourself panicking behind the wheel, try to relax and take deep breaths to calm yourself down.
  • Slow down: Drive only as fast as your abilities and the capabilities of the vehicle permit for the road conditions.
  • Control your actions: Your behavior on the roadway needs to be controlled and deliberate. Maintain a consistent speed, create more space between you and the car ahead in case that vehicle stops unexpectedly. Do not slam on the brakes, and steer gently.
  • Turn on your headlights: Make sure to turn on your headlights even during the daytime if the weather is bad so other motorists can see you better.
  • Use your turn signals: Do not make lane changes without alerting other drivers of your upcoming movements by signaling first. When getting off at an exit, for example, put on your turn signal before you start slowing down.
  • Be aware of tire spray: Be aware of water spraying from a truck’s tires. A significant amount of spray means the roads are wet. If the pavement appears wet, but there is not a lot of spray, the precipitation is turning to ice. If the road looks wet but there is minimal to no spray, that could mean black ice.
  • Watch other drivers: Pay attention to what the truck drivers are doing and if they are slowing down, you should too. This will help avoid a pileup in the event you have to brake suddenly.
  • Do not stop: If visibility is poor, do not stop in the middle of the road because you will be hit from behind since the driver behind you cannot see either. Proceed along slowly until you can safely move your car off to the shoulder. Wait out the storm until you can see clearly ahead of you.

Even when the above safety tips are followed, accidents involving a truck can and still do happen. In some cases, another driver may have been distracted or intoxicated, which led to the crash. It is important to contact an experienced attorney to determine who is at fault in order to seek compensation for damages.

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IL injury lawyerWhen a person falls or is struck by an object, the resulting injury can range from minor to severe. Shoulder injuries are very common regardless of an individual’s age. This type of injury can occur if someone slips and falls and lands on his or her shoulder, causing a fracture, broken bones, or torn ligaments. Damage to the arm and shoulder can also be the result of an automobile, motorcycle, or bicycle accident. This is especially common in cases where another driver or rider was distracted or operating his or her vehicle recklessly. It is imperative to know your rights to compensation if your shoulder injury was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person.

Damage to the Rotator Cuff

Torn rotator cuffs are some of the most common shoulder injuries. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, keeping the top of your upper arm bone secured in the socket of the shoulder. Torn rotator cuffs can begin with a dull ache, but if they do not heal properly, they can require surgery to repair and significant rehabilitation.

A tear in the shoulder’s rotator cuff can be caused by repetitive motion, or it can result from a sudden and unexpected impact or trauma.

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IL accident attorneyWith fall upon us and winter approaching, parts of the country are already experiencing inclement weather. Heavy rains and winter storms can wreak havoc on driving conditions and pose a real danger to Illinois motorists. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, more than 5.8 million vehicle crashes occur every year. Approximately 21 percent of those involved hazardous weather. Slippery or icy roads can lead to a driver losing control of his or her vehicle, resulting in car accidents with serious injuries or even fatalities. That is why it is even more important for everyone on the road to be extra alert during bad weather and drive responsibly in order to avoid a potential collision.

Weather Factors That Can Lead to Crashes

There are various conditions that bad weather causes, and it often depends on the temperature outside. Based on how warm or cold the air is, precipitation can result in fog, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. If the air temperature drops, water on pavement can turn to ice, a significant driving hazard. Below are some of the major weather conditions that occur in Illinois, which can increase the chances of an auto accident:

  • Rain and flooding: The average automobile can be swept off the road in one foot of moving water. In addition, streets covered by water can collapse. Attempting to drive through water can also stall a car’s engine, possibly leaving you stranded.
  • Snow and ice: Icy pavement lacks friction and vehicle maneuverability, increasing crash risk. It can take up to 10 times longer to stop on an icy road as it does on a dry one. Experts suggest allowing 20 seconds of time behind the car in front of you.
  • Low visibility: Foggy conditions reduce the distance a driver can see ahead of the car.
  • Strong winds: Higher vehicles are most affected by high winds, but sudden gusts can blow any automobile off course. Also, striking any type of debris that is blowing in the wind at a high speed could be fatal, so it is imperative to travel at a slower speed.

Driver Behaviors That Can Cause Collisions

Today’s traffic enforcement patrols promote safe driving techniques in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents. From posted speed limits to DUI checkpoints to electronic signage alerting drivers of slow-downs ahead, they are all meant to keep our highways safer.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_workers-comp_20191014-234946_1.jpgPeople in all different lines of work have the right to a safe environment while performing their jobs. According to Illinois employment law, all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is the government agency that handles workers’ compensation claims between employees and employers. If a worker is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to benefits for any damages as a result of the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages. However, the process of seeking compensation can be complicated if an employee aggravates a pre-existing health condition because of a workplace incident.

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

There are many different kinds of health conditions that a person could have because of a previous accident or disease, whether it be from a car crash, a sports injury, or if it is hereditary. A medical illness or injury that someone has before he or she is injured or diagnosed with another health issue may be considered a “pre-existing condition.” Diabetes, emphysema, and cancer may be examples of pre-existing health conditions, which tend to be chronic or long-term.

A fine line exists between proving that a brand-new injury occurred and a new accident caused a previous injury to become worse. In some cases, falling or exposure to toxic substances can re-injure or re-aggravate the same body part, and therefore cause further damage. For example, an employee who had knee replacement surgery for a non-work-related injury could aggravate it by slipping and falling at work due to unsafe work conditions. Another instance may be an employee suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who works at a factory and is exposed to airborne chemicals and then suffers a recurrence of the emphysema.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_pedestrian.jpgSome people may think walking is a safe way of getting to and from places. However, a pedestrian traveling down the street or in a designated crosswalk can be at risk of being struck by a vehicle, motorcycle, or even a bicycle. The sheer force of the impact in any type of pedestrian accident can result in serious injuries or possibly death. The majority of pedestrian deaths take place on local streets at night, suggesting the need for safer road crossings, signage, lighting, in addition to distracted driving prevention measures. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nighttime collisions made up more than 90 percent of the total increase in pedestrian fatalities in the last 10 years.

Types of Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian accidents can occur when someone is going for a run, taking a stroll, or simply standing on a sidewalk. Regardless if a pedestrian is struck by an automobile, motorcycle, bus or truck, injuries suffered are likely to be much more severe than if the person was a passenger in a car. For a pedestrian, there is no protection between the body and the vehicle to soften the blow. In some cases, a victim may need surgery, extensive rehabilitation, or even amputation. A person is often unable to return to work because of chronic pain or brain damage, which results in hardship due to lost wages. The most common types of injuries a pedestrian can suffer after being struck by any type of vehicle or cycle include:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Neck injuries resulting in whiplash or fractured vertebrae
  • Back/spinal cord damage or paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to joints, shoulders, or knees

Causes of Pedestrian Injuries

The risk of a pedestrian accident is heightened at night compared to daytime. The increase in nighttime pedestrian fatalities may be attributed to poor street lighting or a lack of traffic enforcement patrols. There are many dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding or distracted/impaired driving that can also put pedestrians in harm’s way.

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IL injury lawyerTraffic laws, such as maintaining an appropriate speed, wearing seat belts, and not operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be followed by elderly drivers compared to younger motorists. Furthermore, elderly drivers often avoid difficult driving conditions, like rush hour, driving at night, or driving in poor weather conditions.

According to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 2016 recorded 41.7 million licensed drivers over the age of 65. Breaking that down, out of the 221.7 million licensed drivers in the United States, almost one in five drivers are 65 years or older. While elderly motorists are considered to be safer drivers, they are at a much higher risk of car accident injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, an experienced lawyer could advise you on the best course of legal action.

Why Are Car Accident Injuries More Common for Elderly Drivers?

As our bodies continue to age, certain vulnerabilities start to become more prevalent and noticeable. The act of operating a motor vehicle requires quick reflexes, increased awareness of your surroundings, good vision and hearing, and the ability to make immediate decisions. As the aging process continues, several factors can contribute to an increased risk of car accident injuries:

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IL car accident lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States. Victims of car accidents often injure themselves by hitting the windshield or dashboard of the vehicle. They can also be thrown from the vehicle if they are not properly restrained. Today’s automobiles feature much more advanced safety features compared to cars in the past. In addition to seat belts, airbag restraint systems are placed throughout the vehicle. These devices can protect occupants by “cushioning” the impact or force when jolted in a crash.

Common Types of Car Crash Injuries

Injuries are not just sustained in high-speed car accidents. Even a collision at a lower speed can cause a driver’s or passenger’s head to hit the windshield, a side window, or the steering wheel. Unsecured objects in the car can also become airborne and hit occupants. A few of the typical injuries passengers suffer in a vehicle crash include:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Whiplash
  • Cracked ribs
  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Lacerations
  • Internal bleeding

Seat Belts

Seat belts have been around for a long time, but they are still the most basic and important restraint device. When they were first put in cars, seat belts only went across a person’s lap. Now, seat belts have two parts: A lap belt that goes over the individual’s pelvis, and the shoulder belt, which extends over one shoulder and across the chest.

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