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Workplace accident numbers is related to work zone awareness

March 24 marks the beginning of National Work Zone Awareness Week in Illinois and other states. The concern of this event is for the substantial numbers of workers on road construction and highway work crews that are struck and killed by vehicles each year. This kind of workplace accident does not necessarily get the attention of other kinds of more visible and publicized incidents, but it does account for many deaths each year in the nation's workforce.

Sometimes, the danger to these workers is from co-workers or other companies that negligently operate various kinds of machinery at the job site. The danger can also come from the driving public, with impatient and reckless drivers sometimes causing tragic consequences at highway work sites. Bereaved family members of the deceased workers are coming together for local commemorations of their loved ones in communities nationwide this week.

A truck accident may spawn injury or wrongful death tort claims

The vast majority of truck drivers who die on the job do so as a result of  a motor vehicle crash. A recent vital signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that in 2012, about 65 percent of on-the-job deaths of truck drivers were the result of a truck accident. The statistics represent average nationwide numbers that would apply to Illinois as well as in other states.

Fatal accidents involving truck drivers often involve the deaths and serious injuries of passengers and other motorists as well as the truck drivers. When the question of fault arises in such events, one or more injured or deceased drivers or passengers may have a wrongful death claim against the at fault driver. In some instances where multiple parties are involved in a crash, an innocent victim may have a claim against two or more negligent operators.

Illinois car accidents: Man hit by a car while running from fire

When car accidents or other vehicular issues occur, it is not only those who were involved who are at risk but also those in the immediate vicinity. Similarly, when car accidents occur or vehicles become disabled, the risk to the individuals involved and those in the area is not over. This continued risk was made evident after a recent pedestrian accident in Illinois.

The accident occurred in mid-March on Interstate 55. At about 1 p.m., a car that appears to have been traveling in the outside lane caught on fire for a reason that is unknown. The driver apparently managed to get the car onto the shoulder. He fled the car and was apparently going for help when he was struck down by another car that did not stop after striking the man.

Medical mistake prevention will greatly reduce malpractice claims

Medical malpractice claims in Illinois and all other states are the source of continuous complaints from the medical insurance industry, which mostly take the form of calling for limitations on the manner and amount of such claims. Although these efforts have successfully restricted patients' rights, the number of injured and deceased patients continues to grow, and much of the medical industry continues to neglect the real issue. When health care providers stop spending so much time denouncing patient grievances and spend more time working on medical mistake prevention, the true cause of the problem will begin to be addressed.

The number of injuries caused by medical errors each year is mind-boggling and registers in the hundreds of thousands. According to the group Public Citizen, many of the medical errors behind the large number of injuries could be avoided by increasing the usage of evidence-based protocols. For example, Public Citizen recently published a report on obstetric safety that asserts the point that medical mistakes can be minimized by some simple common sense measures.

2 high school students enroute to game die in truck accident

A tractor-trailer accident is not always the truck driver's fault. When a properly operated truck is involved in a collision with an at-fault automobile operator, there will likely be no civil claims for monetary damages filed against the truck driver. However, in Illinois and most other states, when a truck accident involves partial negligence by both drivers, injured passengers may be able to collect from both drivers.

Two high school students died in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on March 10 on fog-covered Illinois 38, according to the Illinois State Police. The police reported that two 17-year-old students and four 16-year-old students were in a 2005 Acura on their way to a high school basketball game. The operator of the Acura reportedly failed to stop for a red light and collided with a tractor-trailer that was attempting a left turn.

Fatalities from car accidents on rural roads see steep increase

Traffic deaths were up 600 percent in Feb. 2015 from a year ago, according to the Illinois State Police. The state police attribute the main causes to alcohol, not wearing seat belts, and disobeying traffic signals. Rural blacktops and state routes have apparently seen a significant increase in car accidents, and the State Police District 7 has pledged to step up patrols on those roads.

The District 7 Commander indicated that the traffic laws are designed to save lives, and that there will be an enhanced effort to enforce them. He pointed to a steep increase in fatal accidents on rural Illinois roads in 2015 as compared to last year. He indicated that the focus on the interstates will not be let up, but that there will be an increased presence on the rural roads.

Workplace accidents among Spanish-speaking employees

As Illinois residents may know, more workers are foreign language speakers whose lack of ability to understand safety training instructions may prove hazardous. Although the number of accidents in the workplace has been falling generally, the number of accidents involving Latinos has been increasing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2013, there were 4,405 fatalities in the workplace, out of which 797 were Spanish-speaking employees. That represents a 7 percent increase of workplace fatalities compared to the previous year. It is particularly noticeable in the construction business where almost one-quarter of workers are Latino. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Latinos represented almost 29 percent of the deaths associated with workplace fatalities in 2013.

The role of informed consent in medical malpractice

When a doctor recommends a procedure or treatment that could be potentially dangerous to the patient, the doctor will commonly go through the process of informed consent. This means making the patient fully aware of the various risks and complications associated with the planned procedure and obtaining their agreement to proceed. Since nearly all surgeries or other invasive procedures come with risks, informed consent procedures are very common in Illinois and throughout the country. If informed consent is done improperly or is skipped, this can be the basis for negligence in a medical malpractice claim.

It is important to understand the many legal components of informed consent. Some healthcare professionals reduce the process to the simple signing of a consent form. While the consent form with signature is critical, it is not the entire process. It is the professional's responsibility to fully disclose risks and answer any and all of the patient's questions about the procedure prior to even offering the form. At minimum, informed consent involves disclosing risks, benefits and other options and giving the patient time to consider the information. The signature is simply a statement from the patient that this process has been carried out. It is important to never sign a consent form until satisfied.

Nursing home investigation in woman's death ongoing

A resident of an Illinois nursing-care facility died one day after she and five other residents fell ill. The Medicare fraud investigators, the Department of Health in Illinois, as well as police from South Holland and a criminal unit, are investigating the occurrence. As of the time of report, criminal charges have not been made, and toxicology tests were pending.

The nursing home accident occurred on Feb. 3 when six residents of the Holland House nursing facility became ill. The residents experienced cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms. They all lived in the same unit, and authorities initially checked for a gas leak or carbon monoxide. This was ruled out quickly, and the medical examiner could provide no plausible reason for the woman's death. In order to determine the cause, toxicology tests were drawn on the residents who became ill.

Failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy leaves woman in coma

Illinois residents may be interested to learn of a case in California; a 36-year-old woman who had an ectopic pregnancy ended up in a coma after doctors failed to diagnose it. Reportedly, the woman, who is married and is the mother of seven other children, went to the hospital after experiencing significant abdominal pain.

According to reports, the emergency room doctor performed an ultrasound on the woman, who was 12 weeks pregnant at the time. The doctor reportedly told her baby was fine, prescribed her with some painkillers and sent her away. Her husband left her in the car while he ran into the pharmacy to pick up the prescription. When he returned to the car, he found his wife unconscious and not breathing.

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Seidman Law Offices | Personal Injury Attorney | Chicago, IL

The Chicago personal injury and workers compensation attorneys at Seidman Law Offices handle car and truck accident claims, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation. Call us at 312-781-1977 or visit http://www.seidmanlaw.net.

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