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Illinois and Missouri Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Mesothelioma suffers may file workers' compensation claims

Every year, numerous Illinois residents are diagnosed with cancer. Those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma may have workers' compensation claims on their hands, even if they are no longer in the job force. This particular type of cancer, which typically results from exposure to toxic substances, can take years to develop or for a person to become symptomatic. So, someone may be exposed decades before they become sick.

What is mesothelioma? It is a cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, which is the thin tissue layer that surrounds most internal organs. There are different types of mesothelioma, but the most common is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs. The symptoms of this cancer include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Noticeable lumps on the chest

Recent motorcycle crash claims the life of a motorcyclist

As the warmer months arrive in Illinois, more and more residents will use motorcycles as a source of transportation. Motorcycles are economical and are a fun and enjoyable way to get around. However, traveling by motorcycle can also be incredibly dangerous, especially on crowded city streets. Since motorcycles have a smaller profile, they can sometimes be difficult for other drivers to see. A recent tragic motorcycle crash in Chicago claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

The accident happened during the afternoon hours in Avalon Park on the 1200 block of East 83rd Street. According to reports, the driver of a minivan attempted to make a left turn into a driveway. Reportedly, the van pulled into the path of a oncoming motorcycle, causing a collision.

Drunk driving-related accidents a real issue in Illinois

Every year, numerous Illinois residents suffer injuries or lose their lives in accidents caused by impaired drivers. The losses suffered by surviving victims, their families and the families of those who fail to survive can be significant. Thankfully, following drunk driving-related accidents, victims and/or their loved ones may be entitled to seek compensation through legal means.

How bad is this issue, really? According to the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 47% of all auto accident fatalities occurring in the state can be attributed to alcohol use. Again, that is just fatalities. Many more people suffer injuries in crashes involving drunk drivers.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

There is a certain population of motorists in Illinois and elsewhere who seem to be forgotten by other drivers. Motorcyclists are often found out and about, yet they seem invisible to most people with whom they share the road. As May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, it seems an appropriate time to go over a few stats, as well as some suggestions to help keep these vulnerable motorists safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes nationwide. While this is a decrease from the year previous, it is still a concerning number. Of those riders who survive collisions, the injuries they suffer are often severe and tend to have long-term consequences.

Injured in a no-contact motorcycle accident?

Every day, drivers in Illinois fail to see or yield the right of way to motorcyclists. As a result, motorcyclists are forced to react quickly in order to avoid collisions. Unfortunately, sometimes, in their effort to do this, they crash and suffer injuries, all without ever coming in contact with other vehicles. If you were injured in a no-contact motorcycle accident, you might feel there is no way to recover your losses, but that may not be the case.

Finding the drivers responsible for no-contact motorcycle accidents is difficult. Most of them do not even know what they did and leave the scene, ignorantly unaware of the damage they have caused. These drivers are often referred to as phantom drivers. Sometimes, phantom drivers can be identified if the victim or witnesses can provide police with vehicle information -- such as model, color or license plate number. However, the vast majority of phantom drivers are never found.

Determining negligence following bicycle accidents matters

Every day, numerous Illinois residents are seen out and about, riding their bikes -- particularly when the weather is nice. Some people use their bicycles as their primary form of transportation, while others use them for recreation. No matter the reason one chooses to ride a bike, doing so can be a dangerous affair. Auto versus bicycle accidents happen all too often, and the victims of such incidents may experience significant, if not fatal, injuries.

Following a bicycle accident, the victim or -- in the event of fatality -- his or her surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for any losses suffered. To do this, filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim in civil court may be necessary. Some of these cases may be settled through out-of-court negotiations, while some may require litigation. Either way, establishing negligence is needed for one's claim to be successful.

Car accident: Cell phones not the only sources of distraction

So much is said about the dangers of texting and driving that Illinois motorists might overlook several other distractions that could have devastating consequences. Law enforcement can check the cellphone of an alleged negligent driver to identify activities that can prove distractions that led to a car accident. However, many other distractions are much more difficult to prove.

Studies have shown emotions like anger, sadness or agitation significantly increase crash risks. In another study, researchers determined that drivers who listen to their favorite music at excessive volumes make far more driving errors than those who listen to more soothing and softer music while driving. Many drivers do not realize that using hands-free technology for talking and sending emails or text messages with voice commands is as distracting as using a hands-on cellphone.

Mediated settlement includes waiver of workers' compensation

In some cases, injured workers have grounds to pursue damage recovery through the civil justice system. One such case in Illinois, due to go to trial in June, was recently concluded when the injured worker accepted a mediated settlement of $1.2 million. A $750,000 workers' compensation lien held by the injured worker's direct employer was waived as a part of the process.

The case arose as the result of severe injuries suffered by an employee of a contractor during a renovation project in the elevator lobby of a Chicago building. Reportedly, one of three wall panels of tiles weighing 300 pounds became detached and fell onto the worker's shoulders and neck. The construction worker's injuries reportedly included herniation of two cervical discs, a torn rotator cuff and a torn left knee meniscus.

In a car accident because someone ran you off the road?

Single-vehicle collisions occasionally happen on Illinois roads. These accidents can happen for several reasons. One reason not commonly talked about is being run off the road. This happens more often than people think, and the victims of such events may suffer in a variety of ways. Anyone involved in a car accident after being run off the road by someone else may need assistance seeking compensation for their losses.

Sharing the road with other drivers can be a scary thing. It is impossible to trust what they will do when behind the wheel. For example, many drivers get distracted by things like electronic devices, passengers and food -- among other things -- and they can cause accidents without even knowing it. Distracted driving is believed to be the reason behind many run-off-the-road accidents.

Illinois workers' compensation: Occupational diseases

Every day, millions of Illinois residents get up, go to work and hope they make it through their shifts without incident. Unfortunately, some end up getting hurt or sick while on-the-job or as a result of their job. When an employee is injured on the job, filing for workers' compensation benefits seems to be a no brainer, but few people tend to think about applying for these benefits if they get sick. Certain occupational diseases are covered under workers' compensation.

Every state determines what it deems an occupational disease. In Illinois, an occupational disease is defined as any illness that can be directly linked to one's employment or hazardous conditions in the workplace. Generally speaking, it cannot be an illness one can easily get outside of work -- such as a cold or the flu.

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