Surviving the Big Jump in Trampoline Injuries

Jumping on trampolines is a popular summertime activity that sends hundreds of thousands of people to the hospital each year. From 2010 to 2014, the number of trampoline related injuries increased more than 1000% due in large part to the proliferation of trampoline parks across the country.

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Trampoline Injuries and Statistics

The most common trampoline related injuries are broken bones, concussions, head and neck injuries, bruises, and sprains/strains.

Many of these injuries are the result of users bumping into one another while they jump. It is estimated that up to 20% of spinal cord injuries and 75% of all injuries occur in this manner.

From 2002 to 2011, nearly 1 million people were treated in emergency rooms and hospitals for trampoline related injuries. Nearly 300,000 of these involved broken bones.

Younger children and teenagers are at greatest risk for suffering bone fractures. Nationwide, 93% of fractures occur to children under the age of 16.

Based on hospital data, one in every 200 injuries, mostly caused by falling off the trampoline, will result in permanent neurological damage.

Keeping a Watchful Eye on Trampoline Parks

There are hundreds of trampoline parks in the United States and it is estimated that six new parks open every month. In 2010, 580 children were injured on trampolines operated by trampoline parks. By 2014, that number had risen to over 7,000.

Nationwide, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 children will visit emergency rooms this year for trampoline related injuries. Of these, it is estimated that nearly 1 in 10 will receive their injuries while jumping at a trampoline park.

Liability for Trampoline Related Injuries

Responsible parties for a trampoline related injury can include:

  • The trampoline manufacturer if the steel breaks, joints fail, or the fabric fails below stated weight limit specifications can provide reasons for a product liability claim.
  • The owner of the trampoline if they fail to provide adequate supervision while the trampoline is in use.
  • Another user if their negligent actions cause an individual to fall off the trampoline or otherwise injure themselves.
  • The company that maintains it for entertainment purposes (such as a trampoline park) if they do not provide adequate supervision and safety protections including pads and safety nets.

Parents of children who have been injured on a trampoline should consult with a personal injury attorney to determine their options. Depending on the circumstances, they may be eligible to file a claim for premises liability, product liability, or negligence.

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700 U.S. Deaths per Day Caused by Medical Errors

A new analysis shows that more than 250,000 deaths each year in the United States are caused by medical mistakes – an eight-year study that totals nearly 700 deaths per day because of medical error. The deaths caused by medical error involve a wide range of medical mistakes, from the administration of the wrong prescription drug to operating on the wrong patient or body part. Thousands of medical malpractice cases each year have put the healthcare industry in the spotlight. Any victim of medical malpractice in Illinois’ largest city may contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to learn how to seek justice for these life-changing and sometimes fatal mistakes.

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Medical Error Third Leading Cause of Death
The results of a study were recently released reporting the main causes of death in the United States. The study was conducted between 2000 and 2008 by researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics at Johns Hopkins University. The top cause of death during that eight-year period was reported as heart disease, followed by cancer and thirdly medical error. Medical error totaled an annual amount of around 9.5% of all deaths in the United States, or more than 250,000 deaths per year. That number is larger than deaths caused by major diseases like Alzheimer’s and Diabetes or even common causes like strokes and accidents. Although researchers were able to report the number of deaths caused by medical error using a wide variety of sources, the exact cause of those deaths was not commonly reported in detail by medical professionals.

Medical Malpractice – A Topic That is Not Discussed
Medical malpractice is a topic frequently swept under the rug by the healthcare industry and medical professionals. The fact is that medical errors are not required to be described in detail by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention leaves a vast collection of vague “medical error” data reports. As the Johns Hopkins study revealed, deaths due to medical error were rarely reported in detail. Compared with earlier studies of medical mistakes, research has also shown that the numbers have not changed much. In a world of developing technologies and life-changing medical advances, one might think that cases of medical error would have fallen in the past decade. But, research has shown the opposite.

These Mistakes Can Cost the Lives of Patients
These “not talked about” medical mistakes can cause not only major health issues for patients, but even severe injury or death. Medical malpractice is defined by Illinois law as an injury or death that results from the breach by a medical professional or institution from their normal standards of care. That “breach of normal standards” could be anything from a misdiagnosis to a misguided surgery. If a healthcare provider or hospital is responsible for an injury, a medical malpractice case may be viable. If death results from the medical error, the family of the victim may bring a wrongful death case against the medical provider. Without the right amount of data available, it is hard to determine the leading causes of medical error. But, many cases have been brought in to the public eye, reporting medical mistakes such as birth injuries, surgical mistakes and misdiagnosis.

Some common types of reported medical mistakes can include:

  • Birth injuries, some resulting in cerebral palsy
  • Eye surgery or Lasik surgery errors
  • Senior Abuse or Nursing Home Abuse
  • Emergency Room Accidents & Hospital Malpractice
  • Improper Administration of Anesthesia
  • Surgical or Operation Errors
  • Diagnostic Mistakes
  • Prescription of Wrong Medication
  • Unauthorized Medical Procedures
  • Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Breaches

These are just a few examples of common cases of medical malpractice. There are likely many other instances where medical error has not been reported correctly or where victims have not sought out financial compensation for their injuries. From misdiagnosis to surgical injuries or the administration of the wrong medication, medical mistakes in Illinois are a serious problem that should be addressed by the healthcare community. For the victims of medical malpractice and their families in Illinois, a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can advise the right course of action.

The world of medical malpractice is wide. Although researchers have now compiled data showing the number of medical error cases in the United States per year, there is little data showing the exact causes of these errors. By researching past lawsuits, reviewing common medical mistakes and consulting with a professional attorney, victims of medical malpractice can determine if their specific case is grounds for legal action against a medical professional or healthcare institution. Any victims of possible medical malpractice in Illinois’ largest city may seek advice from a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to learn how to proceed. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can help an injured patient seek financial aid for their disability, compensation for their medical bills, or help a grieving family seek damages for their tragic loss.

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Post-Crash Documentation Important Tool In Proving Damages

After a car accident, Chicago drivers may suffer from debilitating head and body injuries. As time passes, it becomes more difficult to remember the details of the accident. By the time the case goes to trial, the loss of details and lack of documentation place a heavy burden of proof on the victim to show the extent of their injuries.

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A post-accident journal is an effective way for victims of a car accident in Chicago to keep track of their injuries, treatment, and the effect their injury has on their quality of life. This information is essential in proving non-economic damages, and securing adequate compensation for the injury.

Starting A Journal

Accident journals are more than just a collection of writings about the crash; they are a collection of documents and information that show the progress of an injury over time. The first thing victims should do is obtain a copy of the police report and any photographs of the accident scene to be used as evidence of the accident.

Next, victims need to write their own recollection of the events, including the date, time, and conditions surrounding the accident. It is important to note weather conditions or any other extenuating circumstances that may have contributed to the accident, and not just the position of the vehicles.

With the spread of mobile technology, there is no need for the victim to keep a handwritten journal. Smartphone and tablet apps can track medical symptoms on the go, while word processing programs allow victims to write more in-depth information. The apps even provide reminders for the victim to complete their daily and weekly writing assignments.

Daily Tasks

On a daily basis, victims need to keep track of several items:

  • Physical discomfort—Economic and non-economic damages in an accident are directly related to the type and extent of the victim’s injuries. Journal entries detailing daily levels of physical discomfort and pain show how the injuries affect the victim’s ability to function normally. Assign the pain level a number, usually between 1 and 10. The numbers provide a point of reference that can be used to compare pain levels across different days.
  • Mental state—The mind is just as affected by an accident as the body. Victims should note instances of depression or changes in mood, as these might be signs of a serious medical condition.
  • Work function—Time lost at work is a large factor in determining damages. Victims should write down as much information as they can about the tasks they were unable to complete, and the effect that had on their job and co-workers.

Once a victim starts writing on a daily basis, it is essential to continue the habit. Failure to do so might look like the victim is embellishing their discomfort.

Weekly Tasks

On a weekly basis, victims should take note of the bigger picture:

  • Doctor’s visits—Every trip to the doctor should be covered in detail with the weekly tasks. The victim needs to write down any discussions that occurred with the doctor, as well as comments the doctor made about the healing process. Sessions with a physical therapist must be covered in the same way.
  • Medications—During the week, victims need to detail the medications they are taking, especially for pain or mental/emotional distress. It is important to note any side effects or negative changes to the victim’s physical or mental state while on the medication, so they can share that information with their doctor. The journal should make special note of any changes to the medication regimen.
  • Weekly summary—It is easy to get lost in the minutiae of day-to-day activities, but a Chicago car accident attorney needs insight into the bigger picture to make their case. A victim should include a few paragraphs once a week to detail the impact their injury has had on their ability to enjoy their normal activities and their ability to provide adequate care for their family.

The Journal At Trial

The purpose of the journal at trial is to show the non-economic impact an injury had on the victim’s life. Economic damages cover the cost of medical care and expenses, and those damages are determined by the doctor’s assessment of the injuries.

Non-economic damages provide assistance for the pain and suffering a victim experiences after a car accident in Chicago. Juries and judges can award non-economic damages for mental anguish as a result of an accident, or to compensate a victim for the loss of pleasure from daily activities. Finally, the non-economic damages pay for lost earnings the victim suffered with the loss of time at work.

A Chicago car accident attorney can help victims keep up with their post-accident journals and ensure victims have the proper documentation to prove the extent of their injures at trial.

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Illinois Highway Safety Laws

Driving on highways is a fact of daily life for many Illinois residents. The laws that govern the operation of cars, trucks and motorcycles are constantly evolving, in an attempt to keep drivers safe. Illinois has several laws that are applicable to highway drivers. While it is not necessary to know each and every law, knowing the basics can help drivers avoid accidents and traffic tickets.

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Distracted Driving

Illinois has a ban on hand-held devices, such as cell phones, while driving. This means no texting, speaking on the phone or utilizing GPS devices, unless they are hands-free.

Distracted driving is a factor in over one million crashes across North America each year. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a moment, it can have devastating consequences.

The Illinois State Police suggests the following, for driving distraction-free:

  • Pull over in a safe location to take a phone call, answer a text or send an email.
  • Adjust radios, seats and climate control before hitting the road.
  • Don’t multi-task while driving.
  • Park in a safe place to care for children.
  • Don’t eat or drink on the road.

Child Safety

All passengers in Illinois cars are required to wear seat belts. There are also specific laws that apply to children.

  • Children under one year of age and weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing infant car seat or convertible seat.
  • Once they have grown out of a rear-facing seat, children must sit in a forward-facing seat with a harness system, until the weight limit is reached.
  • A belt-positioning booster seat must be used for children ages 4-8 or until the appropriate weight and height requirements are met.

Driving Under the Influence

Drunk and drugged driving is responsible for hundreds of deaths, along with hundreds more serious injuries, in Illinois each year. Illinois has specific laws regarding driving under the influence. Operating any motor vehicle while drunk or under the influence of drugs is not permitted in Illinois. Certain prescribed medications are included in these laws. Even if a blood-alcohol level is not above the legal limit in Illinois, a driver may be cited for a DUI, based on their behavior.

  • A first offense could lead to a one-year loss of driving privileges, a one year prison sentence, and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • A second offense could lead to a five-year loss of driving privileges, a mandatory five day imprisonment or 240 hours of community service, possible imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • A third offense is considered a Class 2 felony and could come with a ten-year loss of driving privileges, mandatory 18-30 month prison sentence, possible imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of up to $25,000.

Illinois does conduct sobriety checkpoints at a rate of several hundred per year.

Driver’s Licenses

Driver’s licenses are required for anyone operating a motor vehicle on Illinois highways. The minimum age for a learner-stage license is 15, and licensed drivers must be 16 years of age. Illinois has implemented a graduated driver licensing program for first-time drivers under the age of 18. This law gives teens increasing driving privileges as they reach specific ages and complete mandatory education and practice requirements.

Speeding

Violation of speed limits is a major safety concern. Illinois has specific speed limits for highway driving, including:

70 mph on rural interstates

65 mph on urban freeways and divided roads

55 mph on divided roads

30 mph in residential areas

Special speed limits may be in place for construction, school and hospital zones. Speed limits for these areas are strictly enforced. Driving over the speed limit in Illinois can lead to traffic citations, fines, license suspension or arrest. Speed monitors, such as red-light cameras are governed by local ordinance.

Motorcycle Laws

Illinois does not have a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders, however, helmets are recommended. There are some specific legal requirements for motorcycle riders.

  • Protective eyewear is required, unless the vehicle is equipped with a windscreen.
  • A footrest and passenger seat are required for motorcyclists carrying passengers.
  • At least one rear-view mirror must be installed on the vehicle.
  • Headlights are required, day and night.
  • The handlebar height is required to be below the shoulders.
  • Motorcycle drivers must pass a separate written and road exam, based on the classification of their vehicle.
  • Like cars, motorcycles must have valid license plates.

While some highway laws in Illinois are consistent across the state, some local areas have individual laws with separate court costs and surcharges attached. Violations of state traffic laws could lead to a suspended or revoked license, hefty fines and even jail time. Those who have been injured in an accident due to violation of a highway law may consult with an Illinois car accident attorney to help determine if a liability case exists.

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