We are committed to providing our clients with exceptional, uninterrupted service while also protecting the health and safety of our staff, clients, and the community. So, for the time being, in response to Covid-19, we will be meeting with new and existing clients by phone or videoconferencing.

When You Need a Lawyer Who Will Fight for You

car-accident-1538175_1920-1024x683When you’re injured in a car crash, medical treatment can be expensive. One of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States is medical debt. You shouldn’t have to worry about struggling to afford the treatment you need. The problem is that between an ambulance, emergency room and other treatment following a crash, your bills can be in the thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars.

Before we talk about who will pay your bills, however, it’s important to talk about who is not going to pay your bills. Most people assume that the driver who caused the crash is going to pay for their medical bills. They talk with the at-fault driver’s insurance and that insurance company tells them that they will cover the bills, but at the end of the day, this could not be further from the truth. Even if the other driver is clearly at fault, the law does not require him or her to pay your medical bills as they come in. When you win your personal injury case, the other driver will have to pay your damages, including your medical bills, but in the meantime, you need to pay the bills yourself.

There are several ways to make sure that your bills are paid and you are protected when you’re in a car crash. A lawyer can guide you through this process and make sure that you are protected. The three primary ways your medical bills can be paid are through private health insurance, medical payments insurance (also called “MedPay”), or through health care provider liens. Each of these types of payments has advantages or drawbacks.

surgery-1807541_1920-1024x676The stress of a serious injury or illness can be heightened by not knowing which hospital is the best choice for your care. To make that process a little easier for people, the Leapfrog Group–in conjunction withThe Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety–publishes Hospital Safety Grades twice each year for thousands of hospitals across the country. These hospital ratings are the only ones that focus exclusively on patient safety, scoring hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from injuries, infections, accidents, and errors. The Hospital Safety Grades are a valuable tool that you can use to make sure you or a loved one is getting the safest care available when confronted with health issues.

The grades, which are peer-reviewed and published, rely on a panel of safety experts, national performance measures, and surveys to assign a grade to each hospital. The letter grades represent the hospital’s overall performance and ability to keep patients safe from preventable injuries and medical errors. The A, B, C, D, or F grades give consumers a quick way to choose the best hospital for their medical care.

Why is this so important? Because preventable hospital errors are a huge cause of death in the US. Depending on which study you look at, between 160,000 and 400,000 people die each year from preventable hospital mistakes. And patients at D and F hospitals face a 92% greater risk of dying from safety problems than patients at an A-rated hospital. While most hospitals do have a safety grade, they are not required to have one. If a hospital does not have enough safety data to supply Leapfrog with, they will not be given a grade. To find out how your safe your hospital is, see the list below.

winter-sport-1024x683Winter is upon us; bringing with it lots of holiday spirit, warm drinks, and outdoor sports. As fun as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling may be, these activities can be extremely dangerous for both beginners and those who are more advanced. When people are properly trained and are using safe practices, winter sports injuries are fairly easy to prevent. However, sometimes an accident is caused by another person’s behavior. If you are injured in an accident that is the fault of another skier or snowboarder, you may be able to sue them for negligence or recklessness and recover compensation for your injuries. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you through this stressful and often painful time and fight for your rights in the legal system.

During the 2017-2018 winter season in the United States, 14,000 injuries and 37 fatalities occurred in connection with skiing or snowboarding. These accidents can happen in a number of ways, but typically they are caused by skiing too fast in heavily populated areas, not giving another person their right of way, or stalling in areas that are designated trails. The severity of the resulting injuries can range from broken bones to brain injury, and even death.

With snowmobiling, approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries occur each year. Considering that a snowmobile typically weighs around 500 pounds and can travel at a maximum speed of 200 miles per hour; these numbers are not surprising. These accidents usually happen due to intoxication, untrained drivers, poor judgment, exorbitant speed, or vehicle defects. If you are injured in a snowmobiling accident due to someone else’s fault, you may have a personal injury claim. In the saddest scenario, if your loved one is killed in one of these accidents, your family may have a wrongful death claim.

snow-3916172_1920-300x200Winter is a time many people look forward to every year. It can be beautiful outside and cozy inside, with warm nights spent by the fire with good food and better company. However, getting to those warm nights can be a slippery slope. Snow, ice, and sleet can make for a disastrous day when it comes to driving.

Seventy percent of the roads and the population in the United States are in snowy regions and 17% of all crashes occur during winter weather. Research done by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that almost half a million crashes and 2,000 road deaths are caused every year by poor road conditions or bad weather conditions in the United States. With scary statistics like that, it is important to take as many precautions as possible to keep yourself safe during these bad weather months. So, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you avoid a serious winter car accident.

Do:

CBS-Hinsdale-storyThe Collins Law Firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of six former teachers at Hinsdale South High School who have been stricken with cancer. The lawsuit claims that the teachers’ cancer was caused by their exposure to Sterigenics’ ethylene oxide during the time they worked at Hinsdale South. Moreover, attorney Shawn Collins, claims that Sterigenics knew that their emissions could cause health risks to neighbors before they began operating. For coverage of the national news story on CBS, click on the link below:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/illinois-sterilizing-plant-caused-cancer-lawsuit-claims/

 

 

autobahn-837643_1920-300x194Some of the most deadly and dangerous accidents on the roads are caused by large commercial trucks. A shocking number of people– 4,102 total– died in large truck crashes in 2017. Many of these truck wrecks could have been prevented if drivers, shippers, and operators addressed some of the common causes of truck accidents and worked to fix them. The most common causes of truck crashes include:

Speeding and Driving too Fast for Conditions

Shippers promise fast delivery, often guaranteeing overnight or same-day delivery for packages. And consumers now expect packages to be delivered quickly, which is why Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery guarantee is so popular. With promises of fast delivery come pressure on drivers to drive faster despite road conditions or traffic conditions. This can lead to an increase in accidents.

smog-219x300In the summer of 2008, the Chinese city of Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. The event has frequently been called the most polluted Olympics ever and many remember seeing the images of Beijing skyscrapers barely visible through a thick layer of hazy smog. What many Americans may not know, however, is that the same type of air pollution from Particulate Matter emissions has been linked to the premature deaths of many women and men right here in the United States.

According to a study published this year, more than 30,000 deaths in the United States in a single year may have been caused by exposure to Particulate Matter air pollution. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine, examined deaths in 2015 to determine how many could be attributed to exposure to Particulate Matter air pollution. Researchers estimated that Particulate Matter pollution was responsible for the deaths of 15,612 women and 14,757 men in 2015 alone. The risk of premature death was greater in areas with lower income and higher poverty rates than in wealthier counties. Communities of color and communities where fewer residents had completed a high school education were also at greater risk.

What is Particulate Matter?

walking-4555769_1920-225x300From the time they begin walking, children are in danger of being injured as pedestrians. According to some very sad statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, one in five children under the age of 15 killed in traffic accidents was a pedestrian. Children are less experienced with road safety, less aware of the danger that cars pose, more impulsive, and harder for drivers to see. Too many children are injured or killed every year by distracted, intoxicated, speeding or negligent drivers. When that happens, families are left reeling, devastated by the aftermath– physical, emotional and financial—of these tragic accidents.

Adults can help protect children by being aware of the scenarios that are especially dangerous for children and by knowing what to do after a child has been struck by a car or truck. The child pedestrian accident attorneys at The Collins Law Firm can guide you through the legal process after an accident with care and compassion. Knowing the most common situations that lead to pedestrian accidents can help prevent them in the first place.

How do Children Get Injured in Pedestrian Accidents?

breast-cancer-1-3-300x215October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual health campaign that raises awareness and support for the 1 in 8 women in the United States that will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Bringing awareness to this disease is important because breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Sadly, on average a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer every 2 minutes. Breast cancer also impacts men, though it is rare.

Breast cancer treatment and chances for survival can vary greatly depending on the type of breast cancer and when it is diagnosed. As the more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today are well-aware, treatment may include surgery to remove the cancer (lumpectomy), to remove lymph nodes, or even to remove the breast entirely (mastectomy). Breast cancer treatment also frequently involves some combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy drug therapy, and immunotherapy.

Although death rates have decreased since 1989, nearly 42,000 women in the United States are expected to die in 2019 from breast cancer. The decrease in death rates is believed to be the result of advances in treatment and research, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness of the disease and its risk factors.

crossing-801713_1920-2-300x198Serious pedestrian accidents in Chicago and the suburbs continue to be a problem for a number of reasons: more people walking to work, an increase in traffic on the roads, and drivers failing to look out for pedestrians. Increasing cell phone usage and distracted driving are also putting pedestrians at risk. Tragically, two pedestrians in Naperville and St. Charles have been seriously injured and pedestrians in Bloomington, Morton Grove, and Chicago have died after being struck by cars recently. Municipalities need to address this problem by analyzing where and why pedestrian accidents happen and taking measures to prevent these tragedies from occurring.

In the meantime, how can victims and families be compensated for these terrible accidents? If a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver is usually –but not always—found to be at fault and his or her insurance compensates the pedestrian. That is because most states have laws requiring drivers to be alert to their surroundings and to hazards in the road, which would include pedestrians. If the pedestrian is following the rules of the road and is struck by a motorist who is speeding, fails to yield, is disobeying traffic signals, or is otherwise impaired or distracted, the driver is at fault and their policy must compensate the victim. Even pedestrians who are not in the crosswalk may get compensation from the driver’s insurance if they were paying attention, did not act irresponsibly and did not run into the road to try to beat traffic.

But what happens if the responsible driver is not insured?  If the at-fault driver has no insurance or very little insurance, then the pedestrian’s own uninsured and underinsured coverage in their auto policy can compensate them for injuries sustained even if they were not driving at the time. Most people are not aware of this.

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