girl-3288623_1920-300x200
Walking your dog or taking a stroll after dinner should not be a death sentence. Yet, more and more frequently, walking is becoming hazardous, and deadly, in America.

A recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association has revealed that pedestrian deaths last year reached their highest level since 1990. In fact, an estimated 6,227 pedestrians died in 2018, 35% more than were killed just a decade ago. And these rates are rising even as overall traffic deaths have declined over the last ten years. So, why is this happening?

Experts have pointed to several factors that seem to be contributing to this increase:

basketball-1449465_1920-2-214x300As March comes to a close, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball tournament is in full swing. Brackets are about to be busted, and Cinderella stories are about to be written. College basketball is one of America’s most popular sports, and basketball is the country’s most popular youth sport, played by one million children —450,000 girls and 550,000 boys — each academic year.

With soaring popularity in youth basketball, injuries are on the rise. Basketball is not typically associated with concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, but surprisingly those injuries are more common in basketball than many other sports.

According to the Journal of Pediatrics, basketball accounted for more than 9 percent of concussions among athletes aged 8-19 who participated in youth sports, placing it in second place just behind football at 22%. Soccer ranked third, at 7.7 percent, followed by hockey and baseball, at just under 4 percent each.

semi-trailers-534577_1920-300x225Fatal truck wrecks across the United States are increasing at a rate almost three times that of deadly crashes overall. Among the most dangerous and deadly are rear-end truck crashes. While big trucks collide with cars in a variety of ways, experts say these types of wrecks are among the most devastating and yet perhaps the easiest to prevent with technology. Unfortunately, semi-trucks across the country are not equipped with the latest, and best, crash prevention technology.

In 2016 alone, more than 4,300 people were killed in collisions with semis and other large trucks. That represents a 28 percent increase over 2009, according to the federal government. To put this in perspective, this is equal to a 737 airplane crashing twice a month, killing everyone on board. In Illinois there was a 26% increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks, like semi-trucks, in 2016. So far, in 2019, 15% of all fatal crashes involved a semi or other large truck.

One of the major reasons why deadly truck crashes continue to increase, is the lack of crash avoidance technology being using in trucks. While crash avoidance systems are becoming common in new cars, they are rarely, if ever, used in big trucks.  The auto industry has promised that this safety equipment will be standard on all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States by the year 2020, but makers of heavy trucks have not made a similar commitment. The result is that only a small fraction of semis on the road today have collision avoidance technology.

brain-1845962_1920-300x227A traumatic brain injury or TBI can be caused by a blow or bump to the head. We are familiar with concussions from watching football, but traumatic brain injuries can also be caused by falls, car accidents or other violence. Similarly, many combat veterans have experienced traumatic brain injury from explosive blasts.

Every 23 seconds, on average, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury. Using 2013 data, the most comprehensive data available, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported approximately 2.5 million people were taken to the emergency room with a traumatic brain injury and 282,000 people were hospitalized with TBIs. Further, the CDC estimates that 30% of all injury related deaths are the result of traumatic brain injury.

The difficulty with a traumatic brain injury is that it is an invisible injury. Often, TBI signs do not show up on traditional CT scanning or MRI. It is common for those suffering from a TBI to “pass” commonly used testing like the Glasgow Coma Scale test, and to be misdiagnosed.

Women and girls who enter inpatient rehab facilities with serious addictions or emotional issues need help regaining control over their lives. They are in an extremely vulnerable position, and may even be suicidal. girl-3964270_1920-215x300Unfortunately, the people hired to protect and help them sometimes take advantage of their vulnerability and sexually abuse them. When this happens, the emotional toll can be huge. Women struggling with overwhelming issues now have to contend with being horribly victimized as well. The predators who commit these crimes against vulnerable women and girls deserve serious jail time. At The Collins Law Firm, we believe that the facilities who fail to properly vet staff and monitor their interactions with patients should be held accountable as well. Our sexual assault attorneys can help victims get justice from the institutions who failed to protect them when they were most vulnerable.

The recent sexual assault allegations at Timberline Knolls in Illinois give us a glimpse into how a facility can fail patients and put them at risk of sexual assault. According to news reports, Timberline Knolls waited at least three weeks to contact police after assault allegations surfaced regarding one of their counselors. In addition, the suspect was suspended and then reinstated twice. And despite Timberline’s assertions that the alleged assaults were isolated events, the facility has a reported history of prior incidents, including sex crimes, runaways and missing persons. It would appear that Timberline did not have the proper procedures in place to safeguard the patients in their care. Unfortunately, the allegations at Timberline are not isolated. Our legal experience has shown us that sexual and physical abuse are serious issues for residential treatment facilities.

At first glance many facilities like Timberline Knolls seem like safe havens for desperate families looking for help for their daughters or for women dealing with a crisis, their leafy campuses seemingly bucolic and safe,  but these outward trappings can be deceiving. Often, there is no supervision of staff-patient interactions. Male counselors may have one-on-one counseling sessions with fragile women and underage girls. Safety precautions may be lax, and when allegations surface, the administration often sides with the staff person and fails to take the victim’s complaints seriously. When victims have their allegations dismissed, ignored or flat out disbelieved, they are left without recourse. In other situations, victims are afraid to speak up and so the abuse continues. In every situation, there is an adult abusing the trust of an emotionally fragile person.

There are over 42 million teenagers in the United States.  Sadly, with dramatic increases in diagnoses of depression, girl-1822702_1920-300x200anxiety, eating disorders and addiction, many teens will require some type of residential treatment to address their struggles.  Parents desperate to find help for their kids often turn to these inpatient treatment facilities hoping their children can be helped.  These residential treatment facilities can literally be a life saver for some kids.

Despite the help that can be provided at a residential treatment facility, these vulnerable teens can be taken advantage of and abused or neglected.  For this reason, it is critically important that parents stay alert for signs of abuse or neglect of their children.  Simple things, like:  checking in frequently and at different times; observing for physical injuries; recognizing a change for the worse in your child’s behavior, mood, body language or verbal communication are all things a parent can do while their child is receiving treatment.  Any one of these can often be a red flag and signs of trouble that require immediate intervention.  This is especially true for teens with disabilities who might not be able to easily communicate abuse.  The bottom line is that while you should hope your children will receive help from a residential treatment facility, you must stay vigilant that they are being properly cared for.

snow-thrower-951149_1920-300x200Chicago winters can be brutal. Between the frigid temperatures, snow, and ice, sometimes it seems like spring may never arrive. While the Polar Vortex has gone, the dangers of snow and ice linger on. Chicago sees the majority of its snowfall from New Year’s Day until February, averaging 10 inches of snow per month. Ice and snow can cause falls and other serious injuries. A fall on ice is not uncommon in Chicago winters. But who is liable if you fall on icy sidewalks, driveways or walkways?

With icy conditions on our streets, roads, and sidewalks, falls and serious injuries can become more common. Falls on snow or ice can cause you to break bones, suffer a traumatic brain injury or worse. Illinois law, however, protects property owners and managers in the event of a slip and fall caused by a natural accumulation of ice and snow.

The Snow and Ice Removal Act does not require property owners or managers to clear ice and snow from sidewalks or remove a “natural accumulation” of snow from their property.  The Act also provides immunity to property owners who do shovel but don’t do a great job of removing the snow and ice. Because of this, the Act protects landowners and landlords from liability in many slip-and-fall cases. This can prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. So what should you do if you fall and are injured as a result of snow and ice accumulation?

Many accidents on the road involve more than one car, especially accidents that occur in hazardous winter conditions or on the highway.  Multi-car accidents often involve more serious injuries and bigger liability than two car crashes. In addition, autobahn-837643_1920-300x199once the accident has happened, the danger has not necessarily passed. Moreover, liability—or who is responsible—can be especially difficult to determine. So, how can you figure out who is at fault, and what should you do if you have been involved in a multi-car accident?

Consider Your Safety First

If you have been in a multi-car crash, your first priority should be staying safe. Stay in your car with your seat belt fastened until the police or EMTs tell you it is safe to exit. The biggest risk at this point is getting hit by another car after leaving your vehicle.

Winter is here and accidents are already on the rise. Here are a few basic tips as we navigate the busiest time of year for auto accidents.car-3013041_1920-thumb-300x192-107996-thumb-300x192-107997-300x192

If you’re involved in an accident during a snow storm, you may be asked to file a report at a later time since police may be unable to respond to every auto accident. Do file a report with the police right away and be sure to notify your insurance carrier immediately. In addition, it is important that you seek medical help right away if you’ve been injured. Having a gap or lapse in your medical treatment will prolong your recovery time and make insurance carriers wary of your claim.

If you have been injured and you have group health insurance coverage, you need to use it to pay your medical bills. Your group health insurance has contracts with the medical providers and typically obtains reductions of about 50% from the medical providers. Use your auto insurance med-pay coverage to cover anything your health insurance does not cover!

woman-3602245_1920-thumb-300x200-106626-thumb-300x200-106627-thumb-300x200-106632-300x200
Have you recently seen the news that the Vantage Specialty Chemicals facility in Gurnee, IL has been emitting a cancer causing chemical, called ethylene oxide, into the air for years? Are you questioning whether that toxin may have caused your cancer? Our experienced environmental cancer attorneys can help you answer that question. The Collins Law Firm is now investigating toxic tort lawsuits for people living or working within 1 mile of the Vantage Chemical Specialties plant at 3938 Porett Dr., in Gurnee, IL who have been diagnosed with one of the cancers linked to ethylene oxide exposure.

The Collins Law Firm Can Help You Investigate a Possible Cancer Lawsuit

We are a trusted, environmental personal injury law firm, and we have been representing clients diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to toxic chemicals for years. We are unique among personal injury firms, because we have decades of experience dealing with the complex science that is a part of these “toxic tort” cancer cases. These lawsuits are not typical personal injury cases, like the car crashes or slip and falls, which most personal injury firms handle. They are an environmental lawsuit and a personal injury case blended into one complex case and require the right kind of scientific experts and legal experience.

badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
badge
Contact Information