Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents while boating in Illinois and the U.S. Because this gas is odor-free and colorless, victims may not realize that they are being poisoned while they are inhaling it. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that is produced by gas-powered engines, including boat engines. If boats are not maintained or vented properly, the gas can enter the cabins and seriously injure or kill the victims who are on the boats.
People are unable to see or smell carbon monoxide, and they may breathe too much of it in without realizing it. This may cause them to become very ill or to die. The most common source of carbon monoxide is a running gas-powered engine. On larger boats, there may be rear-venting generators that also can produce carbon monoxide. When they are vented in this way, the carbon monoxide gas may envelop swim decks and other areas of the boat, posing substantial hazards for people on board. Engines that have not been properly maintained may also leak carbon monoxide into cabins and other enclosed areas on boats.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide exposure while boating, boat owners should avoid using rear-venting generators on board that vent towards swimming decks. Carbon monoxide can build up in the airspace beneath the boat’s stern, killing someone in a few seconds. Boat owners should also make certain that they adhere to their regular maintenance schedules and keep their boats’ engines in good working order. Cabins and other enclosed areas on boats should have good ventilation systems installed. When boats travel at slow speeds or idle, carbon monoxide quickly builds up in cabins, on decks, in cockpits or on bridges. When boats are not loaded properly, the backdraft may also cause carbon monoxide levels to build. Boat owners should be sure to load their boats properly, vent them correctly and make certain that there are systems that circulate plenty of fresh air to protect themselves, their families and their guests.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill people suddenly and with little warning. Because of the way in which it affects people, they may become disoriented. When a guest on a boat is sickened or killed by carbon monoxide, a personal injury attorney may help the victim or family to recover damages.
The pervasive use of chemical cleaning agents in homes and workplaces can lead to debilitating disabilities and the development of many forms of cancer. Individuals who have been exposed to chemical cleaning agents can suffer long-term consequences that can include memory loss, loss of mobility, diminished quality of life, and even death.
Chemical cleaning agents are all around and include cleaning solvents, paint thinners/removers, degreasers, bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, pesticides, etc. When used for off-label purposes, in direct contradiction to instructions, or without proper safety protocols and protective equipment, these chemicals can pose a significant danger to those who use them and those who are exposed to them.
Inhalation injuries are common because many cleaning agents are dispersed via pressurized aerosol or spray nozzles. Even once settled, chemical cleaning agents continue to emit vapors that can waft through the air. Inhalation of chemicals like Ammonia, Chlorine, Phthalates, Triclosan, and 2-Butoxyethanol can cause permanent damage to the lining of the lungs, the esophagus, and the nasal cavity. Prolonged or repeated exposure to these chemicals may also lead to the development of cancers and can cause irreparable neurological damage. Scientific studies have indicated that there may be links between chemical exposures and the development of conditions including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Migraines, and Multiple Schlerosis.
Products that contain acids such as Sodium Hypochlorite, Calcium Hypochlorite, Nitric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonia, and many others can cause chemical burns to the skin and can be fatal if swallowed. Chemical burns can lead to permanent loss of sensation and may even make it possible for secondary infections to set in while the burn heals.
Liability for the personal injuries caused by chemical exposures can fall on the individual who applied the chemical, such as the cleaning company that utilized the chemical. The product manufacturer can also be held liable for utilizing unsafe chemicals or producing defective application equipment. An employer who knowingly allowed the cleaning chemicals to be used in areas where employees would be exposed to them can sometimes be liable as well.
A personal injury attorney in Illinois can help determine who is liable and can pursue damages for medical treatment, long-term care expenses, disability, and disfigurement resulting from the exposure lost income, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Over 4,000 children are injured each year on amusement park rides. Most serious injuries and fatalities occur in amusement parks where rides are permanently installed, rather than set up for temporary locations.
From 1990 to 2010, approximately 92,885 children under the age of 18 were rushed to hospital emergency rooms due to injuries from amusement park rides. Over one-third of those accidents occurred at established amusement parks where rides were permanently installed. The most frequent injuries seen by an injury lawyer included broken bones and fractures in the arms, legs, and face, whiplash and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head trauma. Most reported injuries were due to improper ride restraints or insufficient padding that allowed riders to fall out of a contained area or get thrown against hard metal surfaces.
In the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission tracks amusement park accidents and injuries. When accidents occur, law requires that accidents and injuries be reported. From 2001 through 2003, the commission recorded eight amusement park fatalities. Between 1990 and 2004, there were 52 fatalities. In 2011, there were 1,204 injuries associated with amusement park rides. In July 2017, a ride, called the Fire Ball, malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. The ride broke apart, sending two people into the air and throwing others to the platform below. One person died, and seven others were sent to the hospital.
Reported amusement park accidents are typically caused by the following conditions:
Since determining liability for an amusement park ride accident can be complicated, many people who suffer injuries consult an injury lawyer to clarify responsibility for accident and injuries. If a fatality occurs, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed on behalf of the deceased by family members.
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.