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Plainfield elder abuse attorneyWhen families elect to place their elderly loved ones in the care of medical professionals at a nursing home facility, they are putting their trust in the hands of the caretakers, doctors, and staff at the facility. Unfortunately, elder abuse is far more common nationwide than most Americans would like to assume. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as five million elderly Americans face some form of abuse each year. 

The NCOA defines elder abuse as any form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse inflicted upon an older adult. Elder abuse continues to be a problem throughout the United States, in large part due to the fact that many of the cases go unnoticed by family members and are never taken to the proper authorities. In fact, one study estimated that less than 10% of all nursing home abuse cases are reported to police. If a member of your family has been abused by medical personnel, contacting a knowledgeable elderly abuse attorney can help your family find the answers and justice you deserve. 

Is the Problem Poised to Get Worse? 

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Will County drunk driving car accident lawyerEarly this June, a Chicago area rideshare passenger was fatally injured when the vehicle he was traveling in was struck by a drunk driver. The crash was caused when the impaired driver drifted into the other lane and collided head-on with the rideshare vehicle. In all, three victims suffered severe injuries, and one victim ultimately did not survive. The accident is yet another reminder of the on-going dangers of drunk driving. 

Throughout the United States, roughly 29 people die in motor vehicle collisions involving alcohol impairment every single day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,497 Americans died in alcohol related motor vehicle collisions in 2016 alone. If you or a member of your family is injured by a drunk driver in a motor vehicle collision, you should be sure to understand your options for recovering compensation from the person who caused your injuries. 

A National Issue 

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Plainfield elder abuse lawyerRoughly one in ten Americans over the age of 60 face regular forms of abuse. Elder abuse, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), can come in forms of overt physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, but also in the form of neglect. Elderly Americans are frequently victims of abuse due to their unique living situations. At senior living facilities, victims often suffer from social isolation, and they can also be more susceptible to abuse due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other health issues. 

What Can You Do? 

In many cases, nursing home abuse can be hard to detect, especially if a senior is afraid to talk about mistreatment by a staff member. Still, there are a few things you can do to help limit the likelihood of your loved one facing elder abuse: 

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Will County dog bite attorneyThis May, a North Chicago woman suffered a traumatic and violent injury when she was bitten by a neighbor’s dog. The attack happened rapidly according to the victim, who was quickly rushed to the emergency room in the aftermath of the incident. The injuries were severe, as the dog jumped up to bite the woman’s face. The victim suffered serious injuries to her face and mouth requiring stitches and emergency medical attention, and she lost a substantial amount of her lip in the incident. 

The victim is now stable and healthy, but the ramifications of her injury could be lifelong. She now faces medical bills, loss of work hours, and emotional trauma, which is all too common in the aftermath of dog bite injuries

Dog Bites Throughout the United States 

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Plainfield nursing home neglect attorneyAccording to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300,000 Americans over the age of 65 are hospitalized due to a severe hip injury each year. As one reaches an advanced age, the severity of a hip injury increases exponentially. Even a standard hip fracture can bring on serious and even life-threatening complications to those over the age of 65. In almost all cases, hip fractures require surgery and months of laborious physical therapy. 

For senior citizens, hip fractures can occur anywhere, but they are almost always brought on by a fall. The CDC estimates that more than 95% of all hip fracture injuries to those above the age of 65 occur due to falling. In many cases, these falls can occur because of negligence, such as icy or wet sidewalks outside an establishment or neglect by a nursing home staff member

Symptoms and Complications of a Hip Fracture 

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Will County truck accident lawyerPlainfield, IL is home to a convergence of traffic thoroughfares. Highway 59 runs through the city to the north and south, Highway 126 to the west and northeast, and Highway 30 to the northwest and southwest. Each of these three local highways crosses paths with Interstate 55, the mighty freeway that carries commerce and commuters between the Chicago area and St. Louis. If you venture on or near I-55 during morning or evening rush hour, you will doubtlessly see vehicles of every type, including throngs of semi-trucks. 

With so much activity, and so much of it ridden with intensity by the time deadlines and the expectations of drivers, accidents involving tractor-trailer trucks are an unfortunate reality in and around the Plainfield area. Fortunately, Illinois state law allows for truck accident victims to seek financial recourse for the harms and losses suffered in a collision. 

Personal Injuries Sustained in a Collision With a Large Truck May Be Severe 

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Will County bicycle accident attorneyCycling in the Chicago area gives one cause to feel both free and vulnerable. On the one hand, outdoor exercise provides a sense of well-being and allows for enjoyment of breathtaking sights of area life. On the other, the frenetic whir of traffic and daily life presents a sense of ever-present danger. A safety helmet is an unquestionable must-have item for cyclists of all ages and skill levels, but it can only protect the head and brain, leaving other areas exposed. 

When a bike accident occurs, whether with another cyclist or a motor vehicle, the injuries suffered can be severe. The trauma suffered in a bicycle collision can result in substantial medical bills, as well as adverse effects on work responsibilities, educational pursuits, domestic life, and the ability to enjoy recreation and exercise. Fortunately, Illinois state law allows for personal injury victims to recover monetary damages for the harms inflicted by a negligent individual, business, or institution.

The Nature of Injuries Suffered in a Bike Accident

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Plainfield pedestrian accident lawyer“Look both ways before you cross the street.” This is one of the first lessons one is taught in learning how to navigate the social world. Years later, when behind the wheel of an automobile, the paramount instruction is “keep both eyes on the road.” For both pedestrians and drivers, there is the ever-present need to comply with all traffic signs and rules of the road. 

Strangely, however, social norms enter the picture and erode the lessons and systems which have been put in place to maximize personal safety for all persons in the stream of traffic and everyday life. It becomes customary to drive a few miles over the speed limit, and fellow drivers often become aggressive and express frustration with those who simply wish to follow the precise speed limit. Crosswalks with clear “walk” and “stop” signals are often disregarded in favor of a quick jaywalk across the street. A school zone crosswalk or decreased speed limit is quietly ignored when no one appears to be within sight. 

When drivers and pedestrians commit these types of subtle breaches of laws, rules, and regulations, personal injuries become an all too real possibility. For people injured in pedestrian accidents, fortunately, the law is there to hold at-fault drivers responsible for disregarding the duty of safe driving and thereby causing harm to others.

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Plainfield pedestrian accident lawyer distracted walkingEveryone needs to get around, whether they travel by car, by train, by bus, or by foot. Unfortunately, the size and speed of motor vehicles make the roads a dangerous place for everyone who uses them. While many people know the dangers of texting and driving, they may not realize that texting or using a cell phone while walking can also be dangerous. Just as distracted driving greatly increases the likelihood of a car accident, distracted walking makes a pedestrian accident more likely.

Cell Phones and Distracted Walking

The cell phone has grown to become one of society’s biggest necessities, serving as one of the primary ways that people communicate with each other. The ease of sending text messages, looking up information, or performing any number of other activities has led people to use their phones in a wide variety of situations. However, paying attention to a cell phone often takes a person’s focus away from their surroundings. While this is especially dangerous when a person is in control of a vehicle, it can also result in a person being seriously injured or killed when they are on foot, since they may not be able to react in time if they are in danger.

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Posted on in Car Accidents

Plainfield texting and driving accident lawyerIn the past few decades, the use of the phones has greatly evolved in society. While phones used to be large devices connected to the wall with a cord, in which we communicated with others through a mouthpiece, they are now small, powerful computers which we carry in our pockets or purses, allowing us to call others no matter where we are. For many, the ability to send a quick text message through our fingertips is an even faster and more convenient method of communication. However, the constant presence of cell phones and the ease of sending a quick message has led many to attempt to do so while they drive, and this has proven to be a very dangerous activity that can greatly increase the likelihood of a car accident occurring.

What Is at Stake When Texting and Driving?

Many people believe that texting or using their phone while driving is not an issue, since they are so good at multitasking that they can do so without causing their driving ability to suffer. However, this type of distracted driving actually puts both themselves and others in extreme danger. 

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Posted on in Car Accidents

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_652901962.jpgFor many Americans, it is important to have a car to drive places. Being able to say that you can drive can be exciting enough, until you get feel drowsy behind the wheel. Car accidents as a result of sleeping behind the wheel are all too common, and these accidents have caused serious injury and even death. It is important to take action when you feel drowsy behind the wheel, so you can prevent a car accident more easily.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

Drivers who do not get enough sleep or have other outlying medical problems are most likely to drive while drowsy and potentially cause a car accident. Other drivers more likely to drive while drowsy include commercial drivers who have to cover a huge part of the United States in their driving route, drivers who work night shifts or long shifts, drivers with sleep apnea, and drivers who use medications to help them sleep better. 

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Joliet winter car accident injury attorneyThe first months of the year are typically when the Chicago area and Will County experience the most frigid winter weather. Depending on the day, temperatures can range between 40 degrees and well below zero. With these drastic changes in temperature, it is very important for drivers to use extra caution on the road, since winter conditions can often lead to potentially fatal car accidents. One common culprit in winter car accidents is black ice, which can be very difficult to notice when driving in low temperatures.

The Dangers of Black Ice

Black ice forms when the temperature at a road’s surface is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes water on the road to freeze, creating slippery conditions that can be difficult to recognize. When black ice is present, pavement will appear to be slightly darker and duller than other road surfaces. If, when you are driving, the road looks wet, and the tires of the cars ahead of you do not spray water, then there is cause for concern.

Bridges, viaducts, and overpasses are greatly susceptible to black ice, as they are exposed on both the top and bottom, causing them to cool faster and allowing ice to form. Black ice also often forms in areas that are heavily shaded. Roads that are traveled more often, such as major highways and interstates, are less likely to form black ice than rural roads and residential areas.

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Will County car accident injury attorneyWhen you are involved in a car accident, you may receive serious injuries which require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. However, even if you were in a car accident and did not immediately experience any pain or other medical issues, you should be aware of possible side effects that may not make themselves known until months after the accident.

Potential Long-Term Side Effects of a Car Accident

Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of a vehicle collision. The experience is terrifying for everyone involved, and it can cause physical and mental stress in the days that follow. Individuals involved in a car accident may experience the following side effects long after a car accident occurs:

  • Headaches - This type of pain can often develop several days after a car accident, and it can indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood clot in the brain.
  • Whiplash - Rear-end collisions which occur when cars are traveling at less than 14 miles per hour can result in shoulder or neck pain or stiffness. These types of injuries often require extensive physical therapy, and they can cause serious complications if not addressed immediately.
  • Back pain - This type of pain can develop at any time after a car accident and could indicate muscle, nerve, and ligament injury, or even damage to the vertebrae.
  • Abdominal pain or swelling - These symptoms, along with deep purple bruises, dizziness, nausea, and fainting, could indicate internal bleeding, which is a medical emergency that must be quickly treated.
  • Numbness - Loss of feeling in your arms or hands could indicate damage to the neck or spinal column.
  • Changes in personality, thought processes, or physical functions - These symptoms can include impaired memory, movement, problems with vision or hearing, or overall personality changes, and they may indicate that a brain injury has occurred.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Flashbacks and disturbing memories of the car accident can affect people well after an accident has occurred, and children are especially susceptible to these symptoms.

Contact a Plainfield IL Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you should seek medical help immediately, even if you were not hurt at the time of the accident. If you delay medical assistance, then you may develop side effects that can negatively impact your overall quality of life. At Flaherty Law, we understand the medical issues which can result from a car accident, and we are ready to provide effective legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free initial consultation, please call a Will County personal injury attorney at 815-577-7500.

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Plainfield car accident lawyer winter weatherAs we enter the cold winter months, the Chicago area has already begun to see some snow and ice. The winter weather can be unpredictable in Illinois, and before driving, it is a good idea to check the weather and plan ahead. Unfortunately, even when people take extra precautions, the winter weather greatly increases the risk of car accidents, and many serious injuries and deaths occur every year in Illinois as a result.

Winter Car Accident Statistics in Will County

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 13,824 reported car accidents in Will County in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. Winter weather was involved in a significant number of these accidents, including: 

  • Over 1,000 car accidents involved snow. There were no deaths reported, but these accidents resulted in 160 injuries.
  • There were 396 car accidents that involved ice. There were 66 injuries and one death as a result of these accidents.
  • 76 reported car accidents involved sleet and hail. There were no deaths reported, and these accidents led to 16 reported injuries.
  • 2,190 car accidents were reported as a result of wet surfaces. These accidents resulted in six deaths and 482 injuries.

Preventing Winter Car Accidents

In unpredictable winter weather, anything can happen. Be prepared for driving in snowy and icy conditions by checking your car’s battery strength, windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze levels, tire pressure, and the amount of wear on tire treads. It is a good idea to keep at least half a tank of gas in your car to ensure that you have enough fuel to reach your destination and prevent the gas line from freezing. 

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Plainfield winter pedestrian accident attorneyAs we enter the holiday season, the weather is about to get colder, and the roads may start to get snowy and icy. These conditions increase the risk of car accident injuries for everyone who uses the road, but pedestrians are often in the most danger during the winter season. In cold weather conditions, both drivers and pedestrians should take extra care to prevent potential pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

  • In 2015, more than 5,000 Americans were killed in pedestrian accidents. On average, one pedestrian was killed in an accident every 1.6 hours. 
  • In the same year, approximately 129,000 pedestrians were admitted into emergency rooms for injuries related to car accidents. 
  • Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in a car at the time of the accident. 
  • People over the age of 65 accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian accident deaths and 13 percent of all injuries from pedestrian accidents in 2015. 
  • One in every five children under 15 years old who were killed in car accidents in 2015 were pedestrians. 
  • Drivers should be aware that driving at higher speeds increases the chances of a pedestrian being hit by a car and the potential of severe injuries or death. Pedestrian deaths are most likely to occur at night, in non-intersection locations, and in urban areas, so drivers should take care to watch for pedestrians in these situations.

How Pedestrians Can Avoid Accidents During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, pedestrians who are out shopping or attending holiday gatherings should be aware of the danger that winter weather can bring. In order to prevent an injury or death as a result of an accident, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street. Keep looking both ways until safely across.
  • Do not use a phone, headphones, or other technological devices when crossing the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or designated paths to avoid oncoming traffic. If there are no sidewalks available, walk as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Minor children must cross the street with a responsible adult.

Call a Plainfield Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact Flaherty Law. Attorney Daniel Flaherty has over 10 years of experience in personal injury law, and he will provide you with the legal representation you need to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call a Will County pedestrian accident lawyer at 815-577-7500 for a free initial consultation.

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Will County winter car accident attorneyWe are almost at the end of the year, and that means that we will likely be getting at least a few inches of snow within the next few months. During the winter, the snowy and icy weather greatly increases the chances of being involved in a car accident. Here are some tips to take care of your car this winter and to protect yourself from injuries caused by a potential collision:

Extra Time Means Everything

Driving becomes much more dangerous when there is snow or ice on the ground. Before driving anywhere, it is best to take some extra time to make sure defrosters, brakes, and mirrors are in good condition. Spending these extra few minutes to ensure that your vehicle’s systems are in working order can make a huge difference during the winter months.

Defrosting Is a Must-Do

If a car is kept outside overnight, then chances are great that condensation and frost may form on the mirrors and car. It is wise to turn the car on at least five minutes before preparing to drive, and it is also a good idea to keeping a towel available to wipe away condensation and an ice scraper to remove any frost. Checking for snow or frost build-up on the headlight and taillights is a good way to take make sure other drivers can see your vehicle.

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Plainfield train accidents attorneyEvery year, there are always a troubling number of deaths and injuries caused by someone crossing railroad tracks and being struck by a train. Unfortunately, too many people and families must deal with the death of a loved one from a train accident. Furthermore, when someone survives a train accident, they may have to deal with permanent, life-altering injuries sustained from the collision. Understanding the statistics of deaths and serious injuries caused by train accidents can help people avoid these accidents in the future.

Vehicle/Train Crashes By the Numbers

  • In 2015, 265 people were killed by a train in the United States. 
  • A train accident occurs every three hours in the United States, on average. 
  • 50 percent of all train accidents occur at crossings with active warning devices, including bells, lights, and railroad gates. 
  • In 2016, there were 120 train collisions in Illinois, with 22 of them resulting in death and 43 injuries.
  • In Illinois, the six counties in the Chicago area account for about 73 percent of the State of Illinois’ risk of a train/vehicle accident.
  • A train traveling at 55 miles per hour will take approximately 18 football fields to come to a stop. 

Suicide As a Factor in Train Accidents

As of July, there have been as many as 16 people who were killed in a train accident in 2017 in which the death was ruled to be a suicide, according to Metra, one of the largest commuter rail systems in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs and counties. Between 2013 and 2016, there have been, on average, 18 suicides reported each year from train accidents. 

As the awareness of suicide on train tracks has grown, several programs have been put in place to emphasize prevention efforts, with the goal of decreasing the number of suicides resulting from train accidents to zero as quickly as possible. Over 150 Metra employees have been trained in the company’s mental health and suicide awareness program, helping them learn to identify at-risk people at Metra stations or on train tracks and refer them to the appropriate authorities for further treatment.

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Plainfield car accidents and diabetes lawyerThere are nearly 20 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes, with a large percentage of them holding a license to operate a car. Depending on the severity of the person’s diabetes, they may be able to drive a car to work, classes, and social gatherings. In many communities, there are no other means of transportation, and the use of a car is the only option people have. Even though many people afflicted with diabetes can drive, there has been much debate on whether diabetes may be a big factor in determining if some people may or may not be fit for a driver’s license and whether diabetes is a factor in car accidents.

What is Diabetes and How Serious is it?

Diabetes is a medical condition that affects the pancreas. In people without diabetes, the pancreas releases a healthy amount of insulin to help store and use sugar and fat from food. In people with diabetes, however, the pancreas produces little or no insulin, or the body may not respond appropriately to insulin. In severe cases, people with diabetes may be up and walking one minute, and passed out on the ground the minute following. Although there are many ways to manage diabetes, there is no actual cure for the disease. On a day-to-day basis, people with diabetes can manage their blood sugar by avoiding sugary foods, taking medications to offset a high blood sugar level, and exercising.

Requirements for a Driver’s License for a Person with Diabetes

Since there are many different types of diabetes and levels of severity of the condition, there are several ways to determine the person’s ability to safely drive a car. To apply for a driver’s license, a person with diabetes must file a medical report form that is to be completed by a medical doctor. Every time they renew their driver’s license, a medical report form must be resubmitted to the Medical Review Unit. 

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Plainfield car accident lawyer mechanical failuresIt is not always readily apparent why a car accident occurred, but most are attributed to driver error. However, accidents can also be caused by poorly maintained vehicles. It is important to be aware of common mechanical issues and correct any issues that you find. Properly maintaining your car will help avoid accidents caused by mechanical failures, and if you are in an accident, you may be able to prove that you are not at fault and receive compensation for your injuries.

Common Mechanical Failures

1. Tires and wheels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire problems account for 35 percent of accidents where a vehicle failure was the cause of the crash. Tire problems can include blowouts (which are especially common in 18-wheeler accidents) or worn tire treads that impede a driver from maintaining proper control.

2. Brakes. Brake issues comprise 22 percent of accidents where vehicle failure was the cited cause of the wreck. Brake issues include faulty or worn brake lines, Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) malfunctions and worn brake pads that should have been replaced.

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Plainfield Uninsured Motorist Car Accident LawyerIf you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, the insurance policy of the at-fault driver is a key factor in your case and in your recovery. The type of policy the other driver has (or does not have) could limit the amount of money you are able to receive. 

Typically, if the other driver’s insurance policy is insufficient for your injuries, or if the other driver does not have an insurance policy in place at the time of the accident, your own car insurance policy will provide coverage through uninsured or underinsured insurance provisions.

These provisions come with requirements for the injured driver and are technical in nature to invoke. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate these requirements and receive the coverage you need.

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Plainfield, IL 60544

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