Flaherty Law
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Will County Personal Injury Attorney
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Will County workers' comp benefits attorneyWhile every business that employs workers in the state of Illinois is required to follow Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws, many businesses and their insurers will try to fight against paying an injured worker just compensation. Companies looking to resist making large workers’ compensation payments routinely engage in disputes with injured employees about whether the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment and the extent of the injury. If you suffer an injury in the workplace, it is important to contact a quality legal representative as soon as possible. 

Types of Workers’ Compensation Payments 

When a workplace injury occurs, Illinois law states that the employer is responsible for compensating the injured employee for the loss of work hours, medical expenses, and disability payments. The amount an employer must pay can depend on a number of issues, including the severity of the initial injury and the duration of persisting symptoms. 

The types of disability payments an injured employee is eligible to receive will fall into one of two categories:

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Plainfield office worker workers' comp lawyerWhile most people think of workplace injuries as serious accidents involving falls or electrocutions, the majority of on-the-job injuries occur in the office while working on repetitive tasks. These injuries are referred to as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), and they account for approximately 33% of all workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), MSDs are one of the most common causes of loss of work time. If you have been injured at your workplace, or if you have begun suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder, you should understand your options for receiving workers’ compensation benefits. 

The Most Common Musculoskeletal Disorders

While musculoskeletal disorders do not come with the fatal consequences of a disastrous accident, their chronic nature can have life-changing implications. Even the most common of musculoskeletal disorders can lead to loss of work hours, chronic pain, and costly medical care. Common MSDs include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Also referred to as median nerve compression, carpal tunnel syndrome is incredibly common throughout the United States, impacting more than three million Americans each year. These injuries are caused by the repetitive movement of the hand and wrist. The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain in the hand or arm, numbness in the hand, a tingling sensation, and general hand weakness. 
  • Tendinitis: The repetitive motions performed in the workplace can put stress on certain tendons. Tendinitis is caused by the inflammation or irritation of a tendon. The most common forms of tendinitis occur in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. In the vast majority of cases, tendinitis requires a combination of rest and physical therapy. If untreated, tendinitis can lead to a ruptured tendon, which usually requires surgery to repair. 
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries: These injuries can come with chronic pain and lingering health complications. Whether they are caused by lifting heavy objects or another form of shoulder strain, rotator cuff injuries can have a long-term impact on one’s well-being. The most common types of these injuries are rotator cuff tears, which occur when the tendon connecting the muscle to the bone tears. Receiving immediate medical attention is critically important to avoiding chronic shoulder pain. 
  • Trigger Finger: This type of injury, which is also referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis, is caused by the repetitive movement of a finger, and it can ultimately result in the stiffening of the finger, as well as the possibility of the finger remaining in a bent position. Common symptoms include finger stiffness, a popping or clicking sound, and the inability to straighten the finger. 
  • Lower Back Injuries: Back injuries are alarmingly common in the workplace. These injuries can be caused by the lifting of heavy objects or simply by sitting in a manner that strains the lower back. An injury to the lower back can be chronic and lead to additional injuries moving forward. Much like the injuries above, receiving immediate medical attention can be critically important to a speedy recovery. 

Contact a Will County Workers’ Comp Attorney

No one should have to face the consequences of a workplace injury alone. At Flaherty Law, we understand the impact that a workplace injury can have on your overall health and your ability to earn an income. Even the most minor injuries can result in loss of work hours, expensive physical therapy, and long-term pain. When you are injured at work, you are eligible to receive benefits that address your medical care and compensate you for temporary or permanent disability. To set up a free consultation with a dedicated Plainfield workers’ compensation lawyer, call our office today at 815-577-7500. 

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Will County wrongful death claim attorneyThe pain of losing a loved one can be incredibly traumatic. The tragic loss of a spouse or a family member can be especially difficult when the loss was caused by someone else’s negligence. While finances are often far away from the forefront of one’s thought process after a tragedy in the family, losing a family member, especially a spouse or parent, can have a monumental impact on one’s financial security. If you believe your loved one was fatally injured by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you should understand your options for pursuing compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. 

The Wrongful Death Act

Here in the state of Illinois, a death in which a party is liable is defined by the state’s Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180). According to Illinois law, wrongful death occurs when the death of a person is caused by neglect or a wrongful act that would normally constitute a personal injury suit if the injuries suffered were not fatal. Common situations involving wrongful death include fatal injury suffered in a car accident, death in a workplace accident, or the negligence of a nursing home employee ultimately leading to the death of a resident.

The Survival Act

While the Wrongful Death Act addresses the damages caused to a victim’s family members, another law, the Survival Act, allows for a victim’s estate to pursue compensation from the person responsible for their death. A lawsuit filed under the Survival Act can seek to recover damages caused by the negligent party to the victim, such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Any compensation recovered will be paid to the deceased person’s estate, and it will then be distributed to their next of kin according to the terms of their last will and testament.

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Plainfield dog bite lawyerIn the state of Illinois, one in every three households owns a dog. While dogs are known as our loyal friends, they actually can be quite dangerous. In 2016 alone, 31 Americans were killed by dog bites. While the amount of fatal dog attacks remains fairly low, dog bite injuries are quite common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 Americans are hospitalized for dog bites each year. If you or are a family member are bitten by a dog, it is important to contact medical personnel as quickly as possible. 

The True Impact of a Dog Bite

While the vast majority of dog bite wounds heal within a matter of weeks, some injuries can be incredibly severe and even fatal.

Injuries to Children: Due to their small stature and inability to recognize behavioral cues, small children face increased risk of severe injury in dog attacks. Approximately 42% of all Americans killed by dog bites in 2016 were children nine years of age or younger. Additionally, infants between the ages of three and six days old made up 31% of all fatal dog bite victims. If your young children are in the presence of a dog, it is crucial to keep a watchful eye. 

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Joliet workers' compensation lawyerEvery year, thousands of American workers suffer serious injuries while at work. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately 5,190 American workers lost their lives in on-the-job accidents in 2016 alone. The vast majority of workplace injuries are non-fatal, but they can come with monumental financial implications, including chronic pain or disabilities that impact one’s ability to continue working and earning an income. 

Fortunately, with the help of a quality legal team, people that suffer injuries or contract illnesses while at work can receive benefits in the form of workers’ compensation. Below, we discuss some common workplace injuries, some of the nation’s most dangerous fields, and facts about workers’ compensation in the state of Illinois. 

The Most Common Workplace Injuries

According to research compiled by the Insurance Information Institute, the vast majority of workplace injuries fall under a small number of categories. Most notably, on the job injuries often occur from vehicular collisions, falls, and exposure to harmful substances. These three types of injuries are also some of the most common forms of workplace fatalities. In fact, 40% of all 2016 workplace fatalities occurred in vehicular collisions. An additional 849 workers died from falls in 2016, as well as another 579 that were fatally injured through contact with harmful substances. 

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Joliet nursing home neglect and abuse attorneyTo this day, elder abuse continues to be one of the greatest medical catastrophes throughout the United States. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), as many as one in every 10 people in the U.S. over the age of 65 face some type of elder abuse, while roughly five million elderly Americans are abused each year. 

Elder abuse is defined as any form of physical, sexual, or emotional harm conducted against an elderly person. The most common perpetrators of elder abuse include assisted-living facility workers, medical personnel, and family members. Despite the extensive research conducted on the impacts of elder abuse, we still have a limited understanding of the long-term impacts of emotional abuse against an elderly person. 

Emotional abuse is defined as abuse coming in the form of verbal attacks, harassment, or threats of future physical attacks. While emotional abuse does not come with the easily noticeable symptoms of physical abuse, such as skin lacerations or bruising, substantial changes in behavior can be a sign that this type of abuse has occurred. If you believe that an elderly family member is facing abuse, it may be time to seek out legal representation. 

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Plainfield elder abuse attorneyAfter recent studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical experts found that elderly Americans are at an increased risk of depression when compared to other age demographics. For many older people, depression symptoms may be a sign of something more: elder abuse. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), roughly one in every ten Americans over the age of sixty have faced some form of elder abuse. 

Elder abuse can range from physical harm, financial exploitation, or emotional abuse, to even sexual misconduct. If your elderly loved one lives in an assisted-living facility, they may be facing an increased risk of suffering nursing home abuse. Maintaining a strong relationship with your elderly loved one can help you identify common symptoms of elder abuse. 

Preventing Elder Abuse

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Will County slip and fall injury lawyerEvery eleven seconds, an elderly American is hospitalized due to a fall injury, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Fall injuries are now the sole leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among Americans over the age of sixty five. Throughout American hospitals, an average of 2.8 million people are treated after suffering severe injuries due to falls on an annual basis. Equally concerning is the fact that fall injuries alone account for an average of more than 27,000 deaths each year. 

While fall injuries are concerning for all Americans, elderly men and women are among those who face a higher risk of suffering severe injuries due to falling. Recent studies concluded that falls account for roughly 87% of all bone fractures among those over the age of sixty five. If you or a loved one suffer a fall injury, contacting a competent personal injury attorney can be critical in receiving the help and legal guidance you deserve. 

Most Common Fall Injuries 

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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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Plainfield, IL 60544

Phone: 815-577-7500

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