Chicago Injury Law Blog

Addressing heat-related illnesses

Illinois summers are known for being quite hot and humid and this year has been no exception to that. For people whose jobs require them to be outside, this can put them at risk of developing a heat-related illness. Most construction workers fall into this category and know firsthand the challenges they experience during the hot weather.

Sadly, the federal government tasked with mandating and managing safe environments for workers has no rules in place governing heat exposure. Instead, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration simply acknowledges the risks and risk factors that may contribute to heat exhaustion, dehydration or other heat-related injuries and illnesses. It provides light guidance on hydration, breaks and time in the sun but that is as far as it goes.

Types of workers' compensation benefits

If you are employed by a company in Illinois, you should be informed about the various benefits that could help you if you ever become hurt in a job-related accident or develop a medical condition due to the environment in which you must perform your job. These benefits are part of the state's workers' compensation program. There is not just one type of benefit associated with this program and you may qualify for different benefits based on your situation.

As explained by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, payment for medical treatment is one of the benefit types offered to ill or injured workers. The program indicates it is responsible to pay for care designated as reasonable in order to provide relief from the effects of an injury or to cure a problem. Your surviving spouse or other family members may be eligible for death benefits if you die due to a work-related situation or incident.

Head-on collision kills Shelbyville resident

Driving is often a routine part of one's daily activities in Chicago. Thus, people technically put their lives on the line every day when they get behind the wheel. Most, however, feel comfortable that their own use of safe driving practices will help them to avoid collisions; they also might assume that others on the road around them will also observe the same techniques. Yet while that may be the case in most instances, there may also be times when avoiding a one who is driving their vehicle recklessly cannot be avoided. 

When such encounters occur, the results are often catastrophic. The fact was evidenced in a collision that recently occurred in Shelbyville. A local man was traveling eastbound on State Highway 16 when a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction suddenly veered into his lane. Both vehicles collided, and neither driver was wearing seatbelts. On top of that, the driver who caused the collision was later charged with driving with a suspended license, failing to have a registered or insured vehicle, and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He was treated for injuries sustained in the accident; the Shelbyville resident died at the scene. 

Dog bite lawsuit names landlord, maintenance man as defendants

It may be tough to blame a dog for biting someone in Chicago, as the animal is likely only acting upon its natural instincts. For this reason, dog owners are deemed to be responsible when their pets attack others. The basis for most dog bite claims is that an owner should know their animal well enough to understand if it has aggressive tendencies (and if it does, an owner should not allow it to be around others). Yet could there also be circumstances where liability could also be placed on someone other than the owner. 

There may be, yet said third party's liability would likely be do something else. For example, a Missouri mother recently filed a lawsuit after her son was attacked by a dog belonging to the maintenance man of the property where she lived. She claims that he brought the dog with him to work one day, and allowed it to roam free while he was doing repairs. The dog ultimately attacked her son. In her lawsuit, she argues that the maintenance man should have known that the animal could be violent, and that his failure to restrain the animal was negligent. 

5 common worker’s compensation claims for flight crews

When you decided to work in the airline industry as a pilot or flight attendant, you probably thought of the adventure, how you could fly from one place to the next and see the world. You may not have wanted to dwell on how you could be injured or even killed on the job.
Yet accidents do happen—especially at busy airports like Chicago O’Hare and Midway. And the most common flight crew injuries are not headline-grabbing. They include the following:

How can construction workers stay safe?

While construction workers must be safe and professional on the job site, their employer must also strive to create a safe working environment for all. This entails many steps, which prevent accidents from occurring and ensure workers are trained in how to adequately protect themselves. Accordingly, ConstructConnect.com offers the following tips. 

Personal protective equipment has multiple uses around a construction site. Workers must wear hard hats to protect their heads from falling debris, while protective eyewear provides protection when sawing or drilling. Of course, this is only a small sampling of the type of gear workers must have at all times. Employers should make sure that gear is easily accessible and that workers are fully aware of the need to wear it while on the job. 

Cook County sees increase in alcohol, speed fatalities

As vehicle technologies focused on safety continue to advance, people in Illinois might believe that fewer crashes should take place or that the injuries experienced in crashes should be less severe than those experienced in older vehicles without today's modern safety features. Unfortunately, even the best technology seems to be unable to prevent drivers from making very poor and negligent choices that put innocent people in harm's way.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of vehicular fatalities involving alcohol and excessive speed have been on the increase in Cook County after a dip in these deaths between 2013 and 2014. In 2013, 97 people died in drunk driving accidents and 119 people died in crashes in which speed was a factor. The following year, those numbers dropped to 85 and 103, respectively.

For road conditions, the little things matter to motorcyclists

Summertime is motorcycle season in Chicagoland, where road conditions and the cold keep winter biking to a minimum.

But road conditions can be a year-round blessing or curse for motorcycle safety. Motorcyclists, legislators, highway engineers and you can all do something to help keep bikers safe.

Factors commonly involved in workers' compensation disputes

If you work in Illinois, it will be important for you to have an understanding of how the state's workers' compensation program operates. Most people never expect to become ill due to a work-related situation or environment or to get hurt at work but this can and does happen. Being prepared and informed is important when it comes time to file a claim for benefits.

Even if you believe your situation is clear and that your injury or illness is work-related, you should learn about some of the factors that may contribute to either a denial of benefits or a dispute about your benefits. As explained by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, the failure to notify an employer within the given timeframe of an injury or an illness is one factor often associated with a dispute or a denial.

What should you do if a dog attacks you?

As an Illinois resident, you probably come into contact with dogs on a daily basis even if you do not have a pet of your own. You may interact with dogs in your neighborhood or at parks and other public places. While most domestic dogs are friendly, attacks still happen occasionally. If you experience an attack or a bite, it is important to know what to do to protect your health and your livelihood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several essential things to do if a dog attacks you. If possible, try to place an object, such as a jacket or handbag, between yourself and the dog. If the dog knocks you onto the ground, you may protect yourself by curling into a ball and covering your head and neck with your arms.

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