Swimming pools are a deadly attractive nuisance that claims an average of 390 lives each year. Young children are at greatest risk and nationwide drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. In fact, 76% of drowning deaths in the US involve children under the age of 5. When an individual drowns or is injured in a private swimming pool at a home or apartment, the property owner can be held liable for personal injuries or wrongful death.
Data collected by the CDC shows that out of every four children that drown in private pools, five more receive treatment in an emergency room. Moreover, 47% of these injuries take place in pools located at private homes or apartments. The reasons private pools are so dangerous include the facts that lifeguards or individuals trained in CPR are rarely present and children are often left unattended while they are swimming.
Drowning deprives the brain and organ systems of the oxygen they need to function. This can cause permanent disabilities including long-term learning difficulties and mobility issues. Even prompt treatment from qualified emergency medical personnel does not guarantee that these outcomes can be avoided. The cost of long-term treatment and care for survivors of drowning injuries can range between $250,000 – $5.5 million over the course of the individual’s lifetime depending on the severity of the injury that was sustained. This includes the cost of therapy, adaptive aids, monitoring, as well as loss of income and quality of life.
Pool owners in Illinois are required to take reasonable measures to protect the public from attractive nuisances including swimming pools. Under the doctrine of premises liability, pool owners in Illinois can be held liable for not installing adequate fencing and security measures such as locking gates and alarm systems to prevent unauthorized access to the swimming pool.
Further, pool owners are also responsible for the injuries their pool may cause to invited guests. For example, the property owner allows young children to use the pool during a BBQ and then fails to supervise the children while they are swimming. Should an individual drown or suffer an injury, a personal injury attorney in Illinois can help establish the chain of events that led to the accident and the individual(s) responsible for causing the injury.
According to statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), fatalities and serious injuries from trucking accidents have continued to rise around the country. In 2014, over 3,600 people died in truck-involved crashes, representing a 16 percent increase over the last four years. In Illinois, a Chicago injury lawyer can provide important legal help for victims of trucking accidents that involve injuries and fatalities.
Trucking Accident Statistics
Although trucks are involved in fewer collisions per mile than passenger automobiles, they account for one in eight of all fatal accidents. Passenger vehicles are especially vulnerable to large trucks with dangerous blind spots, greater ground clearance, and weight that’s often 30 times more than passenger vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, occupants in passenger vehicles account for most fatalities in large truck crashes. In 2014, truck-involved collisions resulted in over 3,600 fatalities. Statistics show:
Trucking Safety Reforms
Due to the rising number of trucking accidents in America, major reforms and updated regulations are needed in the trucking industry. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the overall costs of truck-related crashes has a $99 billion impact on the U.S. economy. Despite these estimated costs and alarming personal injury and fatality statistics,Congress has consistently resisted tougher restrictions on trucking companies.
Federal regulators have proposed safety measures for the trucking industry, but Congress has pursued several steps to limit them. They have pushed to allow truckers to work 82 hours a week, instead of 70 hours over eight days which is the current regulation. They have suspended a rule that requires truck drivers to take a 34-hour rest break over two nights before restarting their work week. They also moved to lower the minimum age for drivers of large trucks that operate across state lines from 21 years to 18 years of age. These measures are intended to put fewer trucks on the road, but they don’t address current problems with truck driver fatigue which pose increased risks of accidents. On Chicago freeways, truck driver fatigue contributes to many accidents that require a Chicago injury lawyer for personal injuries.
Across the state of Illinois, dog bites are a continued issue. Illinois law contains a specific statute that refers to dog bite injuries. Because the law states that an owner can be found liable, even if not aware of any aggressive tendencies, legal cases are often filed.
Unfortunately, some Chicago employees are particularly susceptible to dog bite injuries, on the job. Utility company Ameren Illinois was recently forced to publicly ask its customers to be mindful of their pets. The latest incident happened in January of 2016, and over the last five years, more than 40 field workers were treated for dog bite injuries.
The United Parcel Service was recently granted summary judgement in a suit filed by an injured delivery driver. The driver’s claims that his back was injured from preventing a dog bite while delivering a package. After the employee sued, the owner of the dog filed suit against UPS stating that the company failed to properly train the injured worker or provide proper equipment.
In Illinois dog bite cases, in order to prove that a dog or other animal owner is liable for a bite, the injured party must prove that:
Illinois law covers injuries caused by animal bites and also injuries caused by other animal behaviors. If, for instance, someone is walking on a public sidewalk and a dog runs out of its yard and jumps on the person, causing an injury, this injury would be covered.
It is important for those injured by a dog bite seek consult quickly with a Chicago injury lawyer. There is a statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit in Illinois. A suit can be filed up to two years from the date of the bite. If the case is not filed within the two year limit, it will not be heard in court. Illinois is considered a “strict liability” state, so an animal owner cannot argue that he or she had no previous warning that the animal would display aggressive behavior.
With winter storms blanketing Illinois in snow and ice, slip and fall accidents are on the rise. Unfortunately, walking on slick surfaces like ice coated sidewalks and parking lots can result in traumatic, and sometimes life altering injuries. In an effort to prevent cold-weather slip and fall accidents, manufacturers are developing new safety products, including detachable cleats which slip over shoes, to combat winter safety concerns.
When the weather gets cold and the ground gets icy, accidents increase and the offices of slip and fall attorneys become more crowded. Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common, accounting for over 1 million emergency room visits in the United States, annually. Winter boots protect feet from snow, but their rubber tread is not particularly effective against slippery ice. Recently, Consumer Reports tested several devices that slip over shoes to prevent slip and fall accidents.
The price range for detachable cleats range from around $8.00 to the hundreds of dollars, with plenty of alternatives in-between. The Consumer Reports test focused on several brands ranging from $8.00 to $100.00. Devices were tested in an area resembling a homemade skating rink, on both flat surfaces and at various angles.
The detachable cleats were tested while walking and running. It was determined that each device tested improved traction on icy surfaces, but there were notable variations in performance levels. The best-performing devices fell somewhere in the middle of the price range, with some of the less expensive devices providing better results than higher-priced alternatives. The most effective brand sells for around $70.00 on Amazon.com.
Manufacturers continue to work toward the development of new winter safety products to prevent dangerous slip and fall accidents. More and more companies are producing shoes that do not rely on the smooth, rubber soles most closely associated with slipping. In the coming years, shoe manufacturers hope to create a formal traction rating system for winter footwear.
In the meantime, experts suggest employing winter weather safety tips, such as wearing sunglasses to prevent glare and wearing bulky coats, which can shield from falls. Picking the right footwear is also extremely important and for those who chose not to purchase detachable cleats, opting for shoes with soles made from non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are the best pick.