Articles Posted in Personal Injury

aggressive-dog-300x200Many of us love our furry friends and would never expect a dog to hurt us. Unfortunately, however, dog attacks do happen, and the resulting injuries can be serious. So, who is liable when a dog bites someone? In many states, owners are only responsible if they have a reason to believe that their dog might hurt someone, for example, if their dog has bitten someone before. In Illinois, however, dog owners are liable if their dog hurts someone, regardless of whether the owner had any forewarning that their dog might be dangerous.

What Does Illinois Law Say About Liability in a Dog Attack?

 When it comes to dog bites, Illinois is a strict liability state, which means that a dog bite victim does not need to prove that the dog owner acted negligently. Under 510 ILCS 5/16, “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be, the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages.” A dog owner does not need to believe that their dog might be aggressive. If their dog bites someone, even if it is the first time this has happened, they are liable. This would not apply if the victim provoked the dog or was on the dog owner’s property illegally.

water-bottle-g82d7e38e6_1920-300x241We have all been told about the benefits of drinking water out of a reusable bottle. It’s convenient, better for the environment than single-use bottles, and increases your daily water intake. However, if your reusable water bottle is made out of plastic, it may be more damaging to your health than it is beneficial. In a recent study,  chemists at the University of Copenhagen discovered that tap water that gets stored in reusable plastic bottles contains hundreds and sometimes thousands of chemicals; many that are damaging to human health, and many more that have unknown toxicity.

The chemists tested three different types of popular plastic water bottles, two of which were biodegradable. The researchers stored tap water in both used and new bottles for 24 hours. Some of the bottles had been machine washed, some had not, and some had been rinsed 5 times with tap water. They then tested the water in the bottles for a variety of chemicals.

Shockingly, after just 24 hours, the researchers found hundreds of substances present in the tap water stored in the new bottles—including substances that had never been found in plastic. Worse still, they discovered THOUSANDS of substances in the water stored in bottles that had been through a dishwasher cycle. And even the tap water stored in thoroughly rinsed bottles contained a significant percentage of toxic and unknown substances. More than 400 of the substances were derived from plastic and 3500 from dishwashing soap.

Baby-feeding-bottle-g6789f2148_1920-300x225The product liability attorneys at The Collins Law Firm are investigating claims from the parents of premature infants who were fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula while in the hospital and then developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

What is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious intestinal illness–typically affecting premature infants—that can cause permanent damage to a baby’s gastrointestinal system. The word “Necrotizing” refers to cell damage and death. “Entero” means the intestine, and “Colitis” means inflammation of the colon. NEC typically happens after the first 2 weeks of life in premature babies who are fed cow’s milk-based formula instead of breast milk. NEC develops when the tissue in the large intestine becomes inflamed due to a bacterial infection. The infection and inflammation cause sections of the intestine to become necrotic and die. When this happens, it can create a perforation (or hole) in the intestine which allows bacteria to escape into the abdomen and pass into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, NEC usually strikes suddenly and can progress rapidly. If not treated immediately, it may put a baby’s life in danger.

French-fries-300x200On April 21st, 2022, Best Buy issued a recall of nearly 775,000 Insignia air fryers and air fryer ovens due to multiple consumer reports of the devices catching fire, burning, or melting. The fryers, which have the brand name Insignia on the top or front of the appliance, were sold in the U.S. and Canada between November 2018 and February 2022.

These air fryers pose a potential risk to consumers and may cause severe injury if something goes wrong. If you are currently using an Insignia air fryer, you should stop using it immediately and register here (or call Best Buy at 800-566-7498) to return the appliance and receive a Best Buy credit.

The devices that are being recalled are:

woman-at-work-gc15debff2_1920-300x202At long last: A victory for women in the workplace.

H.R. 4445, a bill banning the forced arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims in the workplace has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting President Biden’s signature to become law.

The bill, which is called the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act “would allow sexual harassment and sexual assault survivors to elect to file a case in a court of law rather than be subject to mandatory, forced arbitration provisions in cases involving sexual harassment or sexual assault disputes.”

car-accident-fatality-300x2002021 saw a record number of traffic fatalities in the United States. The rise has become so concerning that transportation leaders are calling it a crisis. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 31,720 people died in traffic accidents in the first 9 months of 2021, an increase of approximately 12% from the 28,325 fatalities in the first nine months of 2020. This is the highest number of fatalities since 2006.

Illinois fared even worse than the national average, showing an 18.4% increase in traffic fatalities, with 993 people dying in car accidents in the first 9 months of 2021 compared to 839 during the same months in 2020. In total, more than 1350 Illinoisians died in traffic accidents in 2021, the highest number since 2005.

One of the reasons for the increase in fatalities was an 11.7% increase in miles traveled over 2020, as well as declining seatbelt use.

car-maintenance-auti-repair-gda26c20ff_1920-300x200Are you quick to get needed car repairs or do you tend to put them off? The majority of people say they maintain their car and get repairs right away, but the reality is not so rosy.  Over 90% of car owners admit they’ve put off maintenance or repairs longer than they should. For most, the delays were less than a week, but some drivers admit to delaying essential maintenance or repairs for 30 days or more. Unfortunately, this behavior makes you more likely to have a car accident and puts other drivers at risk.

Procrastinating when it comes to car maintenance can be dangerous and even fatal. In 2019, there were 6,756,000 car crashes in the United States, with 1,916,000 of these accidents resulting in injuries, and 33,244 causing fatalities. according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Two percent of these motor vehicle accidents are typically caused by vehicle failure or degradation, mostly tire or brake failures. That works out to 38,320 injuries and 664 deaths related to vehicle failure a year. The majority of these are caused by drivers failing to maintain or repair their cars so they are in proper working order.

Drivers may hold off on repairs because they don’t feel they have enough time or money to replace their old tires or get the brake pads changed. But even minor issues can affect a driver’s ability to stay safe on the road. Failing to address the following maintenance and repair issues can lead to a car crash.

Taking an evening stroll should not cause you to fear for your life, but the sad reality is that this scenario is becoming more common, as pedestrian accidents become a growing safety issue in the U. S. The fact that these accidents tend to result in more serious, life-threatening injuries and fatalities than other kinds of car accidents, combined with the fact that they have risen significantly in recent years, is extremely concerning.Pedestrian-accident-1024x683

Pedestrian Deaths Are on the Rise

 Between 2010 and 2019, pedestrian deaths increased a shocking 45% in the U.S.,  with 53,435 pedestrians being hit and killed by vehicles. The last four recorded years, 2016 through 2019, were the deadliest years on record, with more than 6,000 people killed in each of those years. That breaks out to more than 16 deaths a day, which is unacceptably high.

Pantene-300x225Procter & Gamble has issued a voluntary product recall of more than 30 aerosol spray dry shampoos and dry conditioners, warning that the products could contain benzene, a cancer-causing chemical linked to leukemia.

Benzene has been classified as a “known human carcinogen” by the EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer based on sufficient evidence that it causes leukemia. It has also been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

The recall includes aerosol spray products from Pantene, Herbal Essences, Aussie, and Waterless, in addition to several discontinued aerosol dry shampoo products from Old Spice and Hair Food. The products are being recalled by Procter &Gamble after benzene was detected in some products.

hamburger-gb0d465128_1920-300x225It’s common knowledge that fast food isn’t the most nutritious dining option, but you should at least be able to expect that the hamburger or chicken nuggets you are devouring are nontoxic. That may not be the case, say researchers at George Washington University. A new study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology has revealed that most of the food items at popular fast-food restaurants are full of chemicals known as phthalates that have been linked to a host of health problems. This is the first study to measure phthalates directly in fast food and contributes to the scientific evidence linking fast food consumption to higher levels of phthalates.

What Chemicals Did the Researchers Find?

Researchers at George Washington University bought 64 popular menu options from Burger King, Chipotle, Domino’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell and tested them for 8 common phthalates and 3 replacement plasticizers. 10 of the 11 chemicals were present at high levels in nearly all of the samples. 81% of the samples contained DnBP and 70% contained DEHP; both phthalates have been linked to fertility and reproductive issues as well as increased risks of behavioral, learning, and attention disorders in children. 86% of the samples contained DEHT, a plasticizer that is being used as a replacement for phthalates. Overall, samples that contained meat had significantly higher levels of phthalates than vegetarian options; but phthalates were still present in both types of food.

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