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  • August 2014 Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation Law Round-Up

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    Here’s what other personal injury and worker’s compensation lawyers have been talking about during the month of June:

    • Californians to Vote on Revising Caps on Medical Malpractice Judgments(Protect Patients Blog).In November, voters in California will decide whether to adjust the damage caps on medical malpractice judgments for patients injured by medical error. As the author of this article points out, “the argument in favor of correcting a gross injustice is complicated by tangential medical oversight measures that have been included in the ballot proposition.”

    California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) – which was passed 39 years ago – was designed to address a perceived “malpractice insurance crisis” that resulted in higher insurance premiums and drove doctors out of the state. Under MICRA medical malpractice damages were capped at $250,000, without being indexed to inflation. If it had been inflation-indexed, the current cap would be $1.1 million.

    Last month, the advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog reported that the medical malpractice insurance industry and hospitals are subsidizing a campaign to defeat Proposition 46, which seeks to adjust the state’s damage cap, require doctors to check the state’s prescription drug database before prescribing certain addictive drugs to new patients, and require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors. According to Consumer Watchdog, the medical malpractice insurance industry and hospitals have already spent more than $27 million to oppose Proposition 46.

    • Chicago and 2 California Counties Sue Over Marketing of Painkillers. (The New York Times). The City of Chicago and two California counties have filed two separate lawsuits that alleging that “aggressive marketing” by five companies has “fueled an epidemic of addiction and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in insurance claims and other health care costs.” According to the article, the Chicago lawsuit estimates that about 1,100 emergency room visits in the city in 2009 are attributed to opioid abuse and overdose, with the city paying $9.5 million in insurance claims for prescriptions since 2008 and much more in related health care costs.

     

    • OSHA Sanctions Chicago Company With $325,700 in Fines for Safety Violations  (Workers Compensation Law Blog). Chicago manufacturer A. Finkl & Sons Co. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited with 26 safety violations at the company’s Chicago facility, including two willful violations that involve failing to provide fall protection around open pits and rectify multiple hazards found in crane inspections. The potential penalties total $352,700. According to this article, OSHA initiated an inspection in February after receiving a complaint that cranes had malfunctioning hoisting brakes and powered industrial trucks were being operated by untrained workers.

     

    The Chicago accident and injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on handling personal injury and workers’ compensations cases. Because we focus on representing accident victims, we are able to provide efficient and effective legal counsel that is catered to our clients’ unique situation and personal needs. Contact us today at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago injury attorneys.

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • Most Prevalent Auto Accident Dangers Today

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    Motor vehicle accidents injure millions of people and kill thousands more each year. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle accidents caused 3.9 million injuries in 2012, costing a total of $276.5 billion. Moreover, as we recently reported, motor vehicle crashes one of the primary causes of unintentional personal injury deaths.

    Car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents can happen for any number of reasons, but the following are the most prevalent auto accident dangers:

    • Lack of seat belt use. More than half of the passenger vehicle occupants that were killed in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt.  When seat belts are used properly, they are shown to reduce the risk of death to front-seat passengers by 45% and reduce the risk of injury by 50%. Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists.
    • Drunk driving. In 2012, 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving accidents – an increase of 4.6% from the previous year. National Safety Council reports that male drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 are most likely to be involved in a fatal crash involving alcohol. The cost of alcohol-related crashes was estimated to be $31.9 billion. All states and the District of Columbia current make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
    • Speeding. According to the National Safety Council, speeding was a factor in approximately 30% of all traffic fatalities in 2012, killing an average of 28 people each day. The total number of speeding-related fatalities was 9,176. Young drivers are even more susceptible to speeding-related deaths, with 39% of traffic fatalities involving young drivers between the ages of 15 and 19.
    • Distracted driving. Recent studies show that cell phone use while driving increases the risk of getting into an accident by four hundred percent. The National Safety Council estimates that approximately 25% of all motor vehicle accidents involve drivers talking on a cell phone or texting. Moreover, studies show that there is no significant difference between handheld and hands-free cell phone use in terms of driving safety. In fact, cell phone use while driving lengthens a driver’s reaction time by about 0.25 seconds, regardless of whether a handheld or hands-free phone is used. Nonetheless, 12 states – including Illinois – and the District of Columbia have implemented bans on handheld cell phones while driving. Moreover, a National Safety Council poll found that 73 percent of respondents favor stricter laws regarding texting while driving and 52 percent of respondents supported a point system that could lead to the loss of a driver’s license or higher car insurance costs for violations. About half of respondents supported large fines, and half said there should be different levels of penalties for first and repeat offenders.
    • Large commercial trucks. In 2012, more than 3,900 traffic fatalities involved a large truck, with the majority of the deaths involving occupants of vehicles other than the truck. Moreover, large trucks are more likely to be involved in a multi-vehicle crash than cars or other passenger vehicles.
    • Motorcycles. Fatalities involving motorcycle riders and passengers increased by 33% from 2003 to 2012, and motorcycle injuries increased by approximately 44% over the same period. Even though Illinois does not require motorcyclists wear a helmet, it is highly recommended that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet since one five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injuries, which could be reduced by the proper use of an approved helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to die from a head injury if in a motorcycle crash than a motorcyclist who was wearing a helmet. The CDC estimates that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and, in 2008 alone, more than 1,800 lives were saved by the use of helmets.
    • Young drivers. Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for U.S. teens, with young driver fatalities per miles driven three times higher than that for all drivers of passenger vehicles. Moreover, fatalities of young drivers account for more than two-fifths of overall motor vehicle fatalities. The most common cause for car accidents involving teen drivers is driver error.
    • Pedestrians. About 6,100 pedestrians were killed, and another 170,000 injured, in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. Almost half of pedestrian injuries and deaths involved no fault on the part of the pedestrian, but approximately 20% were caused by the pedestrian darting into the street.

    Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

    If you were injured in a car accident or a loved one died in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to recover money damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Many car accident victims wonder if they should accept an insurance settlement or pursue legal action by filing a personal injury lawsuit, and a personal injury lawyer can help you decide whether it makes sense to accept an insurance settlement or to pursue legal action. It is important to consult a car accident lawyer as soon as possible, however, since there are time limitations on when a claim can be filed.

    The Chicago car accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on representing the victims of auto accidents and we can help you obtain maximum financial recovery following a motor vehicle accident. Contact our office at (800) 442-6546 today for a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.

    For more information on car accident claims:

     

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • Top Causes of Personal Injury Accidents

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    Millions of people are involved in personal injury accidents each year. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, in 2012, 38 million people – or about 1 in 8 – sought medical attention for a personal injury accident. The economic impact of these injuries is significant, to say the least. In 2012, nonfatal unintentional injuries amounted to $793.8 billion, which is about $6,000 per household.

    Top Causes of Nonfatal Personal Injury Accidents

    Data provided by the National Safety Council reports that the following are the top causes of nonfatal personal injury accidents that required a visit to the emergency department:

    If you were injured in a personal injury accident that involved negligence, such as a car accident or slip and fall accident, you may be able to recover money damages for medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and other damages in a personal injury lawsuit. It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident involving negligence since there are time limitations on when a personal injury claim can be filed.

    Top Causes of Fatal Personal Injury Accidents

    According to the National Safety Council, more than 100,000 people are killed in fatal unintentional injury accidents each year. In fact, unintentional injury deaths increased by 3.2 percent in 2012 to approximately 127,000. The following are the top causes of unintentional injury deaths:

    • Motor vehicle accidents
    • Poisoning
    • Falls
    • Suffocation
    • Drowning
    • Fire and burn injuries
    • Natural or environmental injuries

    When a personal injury death involves negligence, the deceased’s family may be able to recover money damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for the following: medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future income, loss of society, emotional distress, pain and suffering of decedent prior to death, and possibly even punitive damages.

    Like any personal injury claim, however, there are strict time limitations – or statutes of limitation – on when a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed. The statute of limitations varies depending on applicable state law and the specific cause of the death. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for most wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of death.

    Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

    If you were injured or a loved one died in personal injury accident, the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC can help you get money damages. Because we focus on representing accident and injury victims, we will provide you with efficient and effective legal counsel that is catered to your unique situation and personal needs.

    Contact us today at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago personal injury attorneys.

    For more information on personal injury accidents:

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • What Drivers Are Most Likely to Get in Car Accidents?

    auto accident lawyerAlthough car accidents can happen to anyone, some drivers are more likely to get into an accident than others. The following list identifies some of the drivers who are most at risk of an accident:

    • Teenagers. Teen drivers are among the most likely to get into an auto accident. Statistics show that, per mile driven, teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely than drivers over the age of 20 to be in a fatal auto accident. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in this country. In 2010, motor vehicle accidents were responsible for 7 teen deaths every day. In 2012, 71 teens died in Illinois auto accidents.

     Teenagers are also more likely to engage in dangerous driving behavior, such as speeding. The percentage of young drivers in speeding-related crashes is greater than in any other age group, with 11 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 reporting at least one speeding-related crash in the past five years, compared to 4 percent for the population as a whole.

    • Drunk drivers. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Drunk driving slows reaction time, alters vision, decreases concentration, and reduces coordination.
    • Speeders. Speeding accounts of one-third of all fatal auto accidents in this country, taking close to 10,000 lives each year. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly half of drivers surveyed say speeding is a problem on America’s roadways, with one in five drivers surveyed admitting that they “try to get where [they are] going as fast as [they] can.” 
    • Tired drivers. Driving while drowsy, tired, or fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the mental impairment of being awake for 18 hours is similar to that of having a BAC of 0.05%; after being awake for 24 hours, the impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10% – higher than the legal limit in all states. Specifically, sleepiness or fatigue can cause impaired reaction time, judgment, and vision; problems with information processing and short-term memory; decreased driving performance; and aggressive driving behaviors.
    • New parents. A 2013 study found that 10 percent of new mothers have had an accident with a baby in the car – an amount that is about three timesthe average for all drivers. The study also found that two-thirds of new parents find it difficult to concentrate on a single task since having kids; 78% of moms talk on the phone and 26% email or text while driving with a baby in the car; and most new moms drive on less sleep than truck drivers (an average of 5 hours and 20 minutes for new moms versus 6 hours and 50 minutes for truck drivers).

    The Chicago car accident attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC are committed to keeping motorists safe on Illinois roadways and holding negligent drivers responsible for the accidents that they cause. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident, contact our office at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury | Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents
    Chicago Wrongful Death | Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • Steps in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

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    If you have been injured in a personal injury accident – whether a car accident, slip and fall accident, or medical error – you want financial recovery as soon as possible. It is important to understand, however, that there are a number of steps that go into a personal injury lawsuit and getting money for your injuries.

    The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on guiding clients through a personal injury lawsuit from start to finish. The following details some of the key steps that go into getting money damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

    • Contact a personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one was injured in a personal injury accident, the first critical step is contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you get the medical treatment that you need, communicate with insurance companies on your behalf, advise you of your legal rights and options, and fight to get you maximum financial recovery.
    • Decide whether to accept the insurance settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit.There are things to consider when deciding whether to file a lawsuit or accept the insurance settlement. Although it make take longer to obtain financial recovery in a personal injury lawsuit, there are several reasons why you may want to do so, including the following:

    (1) You may get additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Insurance companies are limited by the amount of coverage that the insurance policy provides, but in a personal injury damages award is not necessarily limited to the limits of the insurance policy and you may be able to recover additional sums from the negligent driver, especially if he or she has significant assets.

    (2) Insurance companies – even your own – may not have your best interest in mind. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and, as such, they often provide a formulaic approach to insurance settlements and offer less than your claim may be worth.

    (3) You may be able to collect compensation for future medical bills. In many cases, a person injured in an auto accident will incur medical and rehabilitation services that may continue for several months or even years. Accordingly, your medical treatment may not be complete at the time the insurance company offers a settlement. A personal injury lawsuit allows a successful plaintiff to recover for all medical bills – including any future medical bills – as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

    (4) You may have multiple causes of action against multiple parties. If there is more than one party at fault, insurance companies often point the finger at each other in an attempt to reduce or eliminate the amount of the claim. By pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, complex issues of liability and comparative negligence can be sorted out by the court.

    If you do decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to do so in a timely manner in order to comply with the applicable statute of limitations. In Illinois, most personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the accident or injury.

    • The case will be investigated and, assuming the case has merit, the Complaint will be filed in the appropriate jurisdiction. Thereafter, the defendant will have an opportunity to provide an Answer.
    • Discovery will be conducted over the course of the next several months. During discovery, each party has an opportunity to submit written questions and request documents for review. Depositions of the parties, witnesses, and experts will also be conducted.  During the deposition, the parties’ lawyers will ask questions of a party or witness, while under oath, prior to the actual trial. The deposition serves several purposes, including: (1) to find out what a party or witness will say at trial; (2) to obtain information that was not obtained in the written interrogatories; (3) to assess how the party or witness may be perceived by the jury; and (4) to preserve the record for testimony given at trial.
    • Settlement negotiations may take place, which can take several weeks or months.
    • If there is no settlement, the case will proceed to trial. In order to be successful, the plaintiff will need to establish liability by proving the following to the judge or jury: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached his or her duty of care; (3) the plaintiff suffered injuries; and (4) the breach of the defendant’s duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
    • If liability is assessed against the defendant, the judge or jury will then determine the appropriate amount of money damages to be awarded to the plaintiff. The amount of personal injury damages will depend on a number of factors, such as the specific legal claim, the circumstances of accident, the extent of the victim’s injuries, the impact of the victim’s injuries, and the laws of the jurisdiction. Personal injury damages may include compensatory damages, including: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and emotional distress.

    Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

    Although the downward trend in traffic fatalities is a significant improvement, even one traffic death is one too many. At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago car accident lawyers are committed to helping the families of those killed in a fatal car accident obtain financial recovery for their loss. Money damages in a fatal car accident lawsuit can include: medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future income and benefits, loss of future inheritance, loss of parental guidance (if decedent has minor children), loss of spousal companionship, emotional distress of surviving spouse and next of kin, and pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death.

    The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are committed to helping motorists and passengers stay safe, and to protecting the rights of car accident victims. Contact our office at (312) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.

     

    Other Helpful Links:

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • Second Jobs Increase Workplace Injuries

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    Moonlighting – or holding a second job – has become increasingly more common in recent years, particularly given the shaky economic situation. But while a second job can provide some much-needed additional income, it can also be detrimental to a person’s health and safety.

    In fact, according to a recent article in Safety & Health Magazine, people who work two or more jobs may be at an increased risk for fatigue and injury. A study from the Center for Injury Epidemiology at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety analyzed data from 2003 to 2011 using statistics from the Census Bureau’s American Time Use Survey and found that those who have more than one job – which accounted for approximately 9.8 percent of more than 76,000 adults surveyed – faced “large differences” in how they spent their time.

    Specifically, researchers concluded that those workers who had more than one job may be at an increased risk for fatigue compared with single-job holders because of a combination of the following factors:

    • Long work hours concurrent with multiple shifts
    • Longer daily commute time
    • Less time for sleep
    • Less time for household and leisure activities

    Moreover, researchers found that people who worked two or more jobs on the same day averaged more than two additional work hours than single-job holders, averaged less sleep (45 minutes on weekdays, 62 minutes on weekends), and were more likely to work odd hours between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

    Simply put, less sleep and more work means increased accident and injury risk. For instance, health experts say that drowsiness alone can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 56,000 crashes a year are attributed to driving while drowsy. Sleep deprivation can also create an unsafe work environment. In fact, one study showed that workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents, and reported more sick days per accident as well.

    Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

    Injured workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In other words, whether you are a permanent employee or a temporary worker, injured on your full-time job or part-time job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

    At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago work injury lawyers are dedicated to helping injured workers obtain maximum workers’ compensation benefits and other money damages to which they may be entitled. If you were injured in a work-related accident, contact our office at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers.

     

    Additional Information:

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • Beware the Risks of an Unnecessary C-Section

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    More woman than ever are delivering babies via cesarean section (C-section) than ever before. In fact, according to Healthline, in 2011, one in three U.S. births was born by C-section – a 60 percent increase from 1996. But while C-sections can be life-saving in some situations, medical experts are warning that the rapid increase in C-section rates in the United States indicates that the procedure is “overused without clear evidence of improved maternal or newborn outcomes.”

    Earlier this year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) released a new consensus guideline urging women and their doctors to be more patient during labor instead of rushing to a surgical delivery. Moreover, the two organizations called on physicians, organizations, and governing bodies to conduct research that provides additional information to guide decisions about C-section delivery and to encourage policy changes that would safely lower the rate of C-sections as a primary delivery method.

    According to a press release issued by the organizations:

    “Evidence now shows that labor actually progresses slower than we thought in the past, so many women might just need a little more time to labor and deliver vaginally instead of moving to a cesarean delivery,” said Aaron B. Caughey, MD, a member of The College’s Committee on Obstetric Practice who helped develop the new recommendations. “Most women who have had a cesarean with their first baby end up having repeat cesarean deliveries for subsequent babies, and this is what we’re trying to avoid. By preventing the first cesarean delivery, we should be able to reduce the nation’s overall cesarean delivery rate.”

    While C-sections must be performed in a timely manner when necessary, it is important to remember that C-sections are a major surgery, during which the mother is given an anesthesia so that the baby can be delivered through an incision in the belly. As with any major surgery, there are significant risks involved. For instance, some babies are affected adversely by the anesthesia and other babies have more breathing difficulties than those babies who born vaginally. A C-section can also present risks to the mother, such as increased bleeding, infection, blood clots, and placenta problems in subsequent pregnancies.

    Conversely, if the obstetrician, treating doctor, or medical staff fails to perform a timely C-section when necessary, there could be an increased likelihood of fetal distress and oxygen deprivation, which can result in brain injuries such as cerebral palsy. Accordingly, it is important that doctors use the appropriate level of care when determining whether to deliver a baby by C-section.

    Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    If you suspect that you were subjected to an unnecessary C-section – or, alternatively, your doctor failed to perform a timely C-section – and you or your child were injured as a result, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney about a possible legal claim. The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on representing the victims of medical malpractice, including children and mothers who were injured as a result of an unnecessary or untimely C-section.

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    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

     

  • Prescription Medications May Increase Risk of Car Accidents

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    Drowsy driving is one of the most common driving hazards, with new data highlighting just how dangerous it really is. Research shows that drowsy driving is as dangerous as driving while drunk. A study conducted by researchers in Australia found that being awake for 18 hours causes driving impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of .05; after 24 hours awake, the a driver is impaired as much as if he or she had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10, which is considered to be legally drunk in all states.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that each year 100,000 car crashes are caused by drowsy driving, resulting in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.

    An obvious causes of drowsy driving is lack of sleep, but there other causes of drowsy driving as well. For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public last year that certain sleep medications, specifically those containing zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, and Edluar), are known to cause next-morning impairment. As a result, last year, the FDA recommended that the warning labels of these drugs be revised to include the FDA’s new recommendation that patients taking extended-release zolpidem drugs (either 6.25 mg or 12.5 mg) “should not drive or engage in other activities that require complete mental alertness the day after taking the drug because zolpidem levels can remain high enough the next day to impair these activities.”

    When the FDA first notified the public regarding the drowsy driving risks associated with certain sleeping aids, it made the following statements in a press release:

    “To decrease the potential risk of impairment with all insomnia drugs, health care professionals should prescribe, and patients should take, the lowest dose capable of treating the patient’s insomnia,” said Ellis Unger, M.D., director, Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Patients who must drive in the morning or perform some other activity requiring full alertness should talk to their health care professional about whether their sleep medicine is appropriate.”

    “Over the years FDA has received spontaneous adverse event reports of driving impairment and motor vehicle accidents associated with zolpidem, but these reports lacked the information necessary to fully understand whether and how zolpidem affected people’s mental alertness and ability to drive,” said Dr. Unger. “Recently, data from clinical trials and other types of studies have become available, which allowed FDA to better characterize the risk of next-morning impairment.”

    As we recently reported, certain other drivers seem to be more prone to drowsy driving. For instance, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that drowsy driving is more prevalent among men, younger drivers, binge drinkers, and those who do not always wear a seatbelt.

    Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

    The Chicago car accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to keeping Illinois roads safe, promoting safe driving habits, and helping the victims of car crashes obtain maximum compensation for their injuries and damages. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that clients don’t pay unless they collect money damages. If you were injured in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago auto accident lawyersat Ankin Law Offices at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible car accident claim.

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • The Risks Involved with Handling Your Own Auto Accident Claim

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    Most people will, at some point in their life, be involved in an auto accident. In fact, according to Forbes, most people file an insurance claim for a traffic collision once every 17.9 years and more than 2 million people are injured in car crashes each year with the average claim for injuries rising to more than $23,000.

    If you were in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need a lawyer. There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to retain a lawyer, but it is important to be aware of some of the risks involved with attempting to handle a car accident claim without the help of a lawyer.

    1. Without the help of a lawyer, you will be left to deal with the insurance companies on your own. It is very important to understand that insurance companies – even your own – may not have your best interests at heart. Insurance companies are in business to make money and, accordingly, they want to settle car accident claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. Without the help of a car accident lawyer who can “talk the talk” of the insurance companies and fight to get you the most money possible, you may end up settling for less money than you deserve. An auto accident attorney can communicate, negotiate, and advocate on your behalf with the insurance companies in an effort to get the most favorable claim settlement possible.
    2. You may end up providing information, signing documents, or giving recorded statements to the insurance company that could hurt your claim. A car accident lawyer can help you understand your obligations with respect to insurance companies so that you do not forfeit any of your rights.
    3. It may be necessary to file a car accident lawsuit in order to get the money that you deserve. While it is possible to file a lawsuit yourself, pursing a legal claim in a court of law can be incredibly difficult and overwhelming without legal representation. A car accident attorney will help you file a complaint in the appropriate court, ensure that procedural requirements are met, and advocate on your behalf for maximum money damages.
    4. A car accident lawyer can help you get the medical treatment that you need. Because car accident lawyers focus on representing accident and injury victims, they often have a network of doctors and other professionals that can help their clients get the care that they need.
    5. You may not be aware of all the funds to which you are entitled. For instance, subrogation is the process by which an insurance company can recover funds that it paid to its policyholder on claims for which someone else was liable. If you don’t have a lawyer, you may end up losing out on money that is available to you under principles of subrogation. For instance, if your auto accident claim is $10,000 and you have a deductible of $1,000, you will want to ensure that you receive your $1,000 deductible funds as soon as your insurance company receives payment from the negligent party through subrogation. Subrogation is a difficult concept to understand, but an auto accident lawyer can help you understand how it applies to your car accident claim and help you obtain all funds available through subrogation.

    The auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC focus on helping clients injured in auto accidents pursue an auto accident claim. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that clients don’t pay unless they collect money damages from the auto accident claim. If you were injured in an auto accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Offices at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible car accident claim.

     

    For more information on car accident claims:

     

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

  • How Is Workers’ Compensation Different from a Personal Injury Claim?

    personal injury damages

    Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo

     

    Work injuries can wreak havoc on a person’s life and livelihood, but you are not without legal options and financial remedies. First and foremost, under workers’ compensation laws, injured workers are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefitsfor all work-related injuries and illnesses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

    In addition, in some situations, an injured worker may also be able to recover additional money damages in a third-party personal injury lawsuit. Although injured workers cannot sue their employers for work-related injuries, depending on the circumstances, they may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. For instance, if an employee is injured in an auto accident while on the job, he or she may be able to sue the negligent motorist for personal injury damages in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

    There are several differences between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages, however, so it is important to understand them both.

    One of the primary differences between workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages is that workers’ compensation benefits are based on a percentage of the injured worker’s salary, whereas personal injury damages are awarded based on the extent of the injury and its impact on the injured worker’s life. For instance, depending on the extent of the work-related injury, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides for the following worker’s compensation benefits:

    • Medical expenses, including doctor visits, follow-up visits, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
    • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits equal to two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount, if you are unable to work while recovering.
    • Permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits based on a percentage of your pre-injury wage, up to a weekly maximum payment amount.
    • In some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits such on-the-job training, schooling, or job placement assistance.

    Conversely, personal injury damages may include compensation for medical bills (past and future), lost wages (past and future), emotional distress, pain and suffering, and disability. The amounts are not limited to a percentage of the injured party’s salary.

    Another key difference is that workers’ compensation benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance company (or the employer itself if it has received permission to self-insure). Conversely, personal injury damages are paid by the negligent party.

    Contact a Work Injury Lawyer

    If you were injured in work accident, the attorneys at Ankin Law Office, LLC can help you get maximum workers’ compensations benefits, as well as any personal injury damages to which you may be entitled. Because we focus on representing injured workers, we will provide you with efficient and effective legal counsel that is catered to your unique situation and personal needs.

    Contact us today at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys.

    For more information on workers’ compensation and personal injury claims:

     

    Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

    ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC

    Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury
    Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents | Chicago Wrongful Death
    Chicago Social Security Disability | Chicago Class Action Lawsuits

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Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.