FireworksFourth of July typically means barbecues, picnics, parades and fireworks, but every year amateur fireworks do more than just entertain. According to the National Fire Protection Association, they cause thousands of serious injuries and fires every year. In fact, in recent years, fireworks have been one of the leading causes of injuries serious enough to require a trip to the hospital, resulting in 12,900 emergency room visits in 2017 alone.

Fireworks can result in severe burns, fractures, scars, loss of vision, disfigurement and even death. In addition, fireworks related fires are responsible for an average of $43,000,000 in property loss annually, with many of these fires involving bottle rockets or other fireworks rockets. Even sparklers can reach temperatures of 1000 degrees or more.

Unfortunately, our personal injury attorneys at The Collins Law Firm see the results of the careless use of fireworks. We recently settled a case for a woman who suffered burns and a serious head injury when she was hit by a neighbor’s bottle rocket, an accident which could easily have been avoided.

Keep Motorcyclists-Safe.jpgNow that the warm, summer weather is here, more and more people are on the roads, taking a ride on their motorcycles. However, this enjoyable summer pastime is not without danger.

Because motorcycles are less stable and visible than cars or trucks, they are-unfortunately–more likely to be involved in a crash. And when motorcycles crash, riders are more likely to be injured or killed. In fact, the federal government estimates that per miles travelled, motorcycles are 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident than a car. According to the NHTSA, 5,286 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2016 alone.

Because of their lack of protection, motorcyclists are also more likely to be severely injured in a crash. At The Collins Law Firm , we see first-hand the devastation that these motorcycle accidents can cause. We are currently representing a man who was seriously injured when his motorcycle was struck by a pickup truck. 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for headache-1540220_1920.jpgPatients undergoing major surgery or those dealing with chronic pain are often prescribed opioid medications. These opioids have given rise to a crisis of massive proportions. Opioid addiction and overdose deaths are increasing dramatically. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all fatal opioid overdoses involve a prescription. Furthermore, for every one of these opioid overdose death, experts estimate nearly 130 people abuse or have a dependency on these drugs.

In Illinois, opioid use is rampant. According to Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) data, there were 1,826 opioid-related deaths in the state in 2016. This represents an increase of over 70 percent from the number of opioid-related deaths reported in 2013 and a 32.1 percent increase over the 1,382 opioid-related deaths reported by IDPH in 2015.

Once people begin taking opioids, many of them become hooked on these highly addictive drugs. Often it is the result of patients obtaining prescriptions from “pill mills”, where doctors perfunctorily write opioid prescriptions without first examining the patient.

Thumbnail image for EPA 2428323462_b1d7b53238_o.jpgAccording to a recent Washington Post article, the EPA has lost a tenth of its criminal investigators since Trump has been in office.

The reason this is good news to polluters is that the special agents in the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division are responsible for investigating the most serious criminal violations of the nation’s anti-pollution laws–violations which can result in prison time for those convicted.

The result is: less investigators, less referrals to the Justice Department for prosecution. In 2017, only 206 criminal cases were referred to the Justice Department compared to 228 during the previous 12 month period under President Obama. Not surprisingly, the number of referrals in 2018 is on pace to drop even lower.

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If you need another reason why Scott Pruitt should be removed from his position at the EPA, just look at the recent news about some paint strippers that contain a deadly chemical called methylene chloride.

Methylene chloride can kill within minutes and long-term exposure has been linked to liver cancer and lung cancer. Over 60 families have lost loved ones because of this chemical. In the last days of the Obama administration, the EPA proposed banning methylene chloride, but after Scott Pruitt took over at the EPA, the agency reversed course and pulled back from that position. Now apparently, it plans to lightly regulate the chemical instead of banning it.

Meanwhile, unsuspecting consumers are dying after buying and using paint strippers. The solvent in the paint strippers, methylene chloride, can cause heart attacks and turn to carbon monoxide in the body. It is supposed to be used with a respirator and special gloves, but even these precautions did not protect Drew Wynne, a 31 year old from South Carolina who died last October after being overcome by fumes while refinishing a floor. He is not alone. Since 1980 more than 50 accidental deaths have been linked to methylene chloride exposure.

Darcy at football game 1.jpgCheerleading has long been a popular sport for girls, with football games and cheerleading being a Friday night staple in this country. Recently, a lot of focus has been put on the dangers of concussions in football, but very little attention has been paid to the concussion dangers involved with cheerleading. And that may be putting our children in danger.

Today’s cheerleading is very different from that traditional image of sideline cheering on a Friday night under the lights. As competitive cheer grows in popularity, it is changing the face of the sport. More and more, cheerleading is becoming a serious athletic sport, combining expert level gymnastics, dance, high-flying jumps and technically difficult stunting and basket tosses. And that is making cheerleading more dangerous.

Just how Dangerous is Cheerleading?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that results from damage to the brain. CP can lead to problems with movement, posture and muscle coordination. Additionally, CP can shorten the lifespan of a child and require that the child have around the clock care.

Thumbnail image for little-girl-1381471_1920.jpgCerebral palsy is often caused by insufficient oxygen to the brain, also known as hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen to the body, known as asphyxia. Premature delivery or trauma during birth have also been known to cause CP. This life-altering condition can be caused by medical malpractice. If a doctor, nurse or hospital fails to properly monitor or treat a mother and her fetus, significant damage can occur.

However, just because a baby is born with cerebral palsy, it doesn’t always mean that medical mistakes have been made. There are times when doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals act with the greatest care while attending to mother and baby, and there are still negative outcomes.

surgery-880584_1280.jpgAbout 80 times each week, patients undergoing surgery experience mistakes that safety advocates say never should happen. They’re called “Never Events,” but these events are happening far too often and costing patients significant pain and suffering. The types of surgery errors being made include:

· surgical instruments such as sponges or needles are unintentionally left behind in the patient;

· the wrong procedure is performed;

dependent-441408_1280.jpgBy 2050, people age 65 and older will make up 20% of the total U.S. population. The fastest growing group of American’s are those 85 years old and up. According to the last census in 2010, there were 5.8 million age 85 or older. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be 19 million people aged 85 years or older. Moreover, 1 in 8 people age 85 or older resides in a nursing home or long-term care facility. As the need for skilled nursing home care grows, so does the rate of elder abuse and neglect.

As the population ages, more and more Americans are needing long-term medical care. Annually over 8 million people receive support from the following long-term care services:

1. Home health agencies (4,742,500);

supermarket-949913_1920.jpgSlip and fall accidents in stores or restaurants can be more than just embarrassing, they can lead to very serious injuries. These falls can be caused by uneven surfaces, dangerous flooring materials or spills on the floor. Stores and restaurants have an obligation to keep you safe from dangerous conditions on their property. Many times, the restaurant or store knew about the dangerous condition that caused your fall but did nothing to keep you safe.

If you slip and fall in a store or restaurant, here is what you should do to make sure that you are protected:

Call an Ambulance or Seek Medical Attention

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