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Peoria Personal Injury Law Blog

Auto accidents happen closer than most drivers think

When Illinois drivers plan to go on long road trips, they tend to prepare for the dangers of foreign roads. According to accident statistics, however, most crashes and collisions tend to take place just 25 miles from home. It so happens that drivers who do not venture far from their homes are more likely to fall into behavioral patterns that are not conducive to road traffic safety; in other words, drivers tend to get too relaxed within their own communities.

The "muscle memory" that comes from repetition and motor skills is more predominant when drivers are close to home. On the other hand, deductive reasoning and heightened state of alert is more likely to be triggered when drivers venture beyond 25 miles from their homes. When they are within their own neighborhoods, drivers tend to fall into a comfort zone that may prompt them to leave their safety belts unbuckled or engage in dangerous practices such as texting and driving.

Increased visibility leads to fewer crashes

Although drivers in Illinois and other states may be unaware of the correlation, studies show that increased visibility results in lower motor vehicle crash rates. Costing drivers very little additional expense, regular daytime headlight usage could significantly reduce the number of catastrophic injuries and fatalities that occur on roadways across the nation. The research has caught the attention of some lawmakers who favor legislation that would require drivers to use their headlights at all times.

Data collected following the implementation of such laws in a number of European countries appear to support this argument. In Canada, multiple vehicle collisions have reportedly been reduced by 11 percent since the new law went into effect. In Denmark, left-turn-related incidents are believed to have been reduced by more than 37 percent while the number of multiple vehicle crashes has also been lowered.

Business survey shows unaddressed slip and fall risks

The biggest threat to worker safety in Peoria could be slip and fall accidents. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed same-level slips, opposed to slips on inclined walkways or steps, as the primary culprit of workplace injury. Of course, the same areas posing extreme risks for an employee injury can also cause a customer injury. A New Pig survey found that a large part of the problem is lack of risk awareness.

Most property managers understand that entrances are common areas for slip and fall accidents. They use floor mats in these locations to increase traction, but the survey found that the majority of businesses and other organizations go on to ignore nine other high-risk areas. Making matters worse from a liability standpoint, the survey specifically noted that some respondents failed to place floor mats even after falls on customer walkways.

Research shows collision avoidance systems prevent accidents

Collision avoidance systems have the potential to significantly decrease accidents rates for drivers in Illinois and throughout the country according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study examined accident data from 2015 along with data on cars that had lane departure warning systems and blind spot alerts. It found that cars with the collision avoidance systems had 11 percent fewer single-vehicle, side swipe and head-on collisions and 21 percent fewer injury crashes of that nature. The organization said that there would have been over 55,000 fewer injuries in 2015 if all vehicles had lane departure alerts installed.

Other studies that same year looked at data for Volvos in Sweden and trucking fleets in the United States. These studies suggested that accidents rates could be cut approximately in half with lane departure warning systems installed. The IIHS said that looking at the three studies also suggested that some drivers may be turning their systems off if they emit a beep, which irritates some drivers, instead of a seat vibration.

Recall of popular insulin pen highlights defective product risks

When you rely on a medication to keep your body healthy and functioning properly, any mistake can become a serious issue. Diabetes is a chronic, potentially life-threatening medical condition that requires regular monitoring, medical care, and prescribed mediation.

In order to maintain healthy digestion and prevent a build-up of sugars in the bloodstream, testing and insulin are often both necessary. Now, a major company is recalling a popular insulin pen because it may not function properly.

Driverless cars may not be as popular as imagined

Driverless vehicles are touted as being able to keep Illinois roadways safer than they are now. Proponents say that fewer accidents will occur because machines won't make the same types of errors that people do. They also won't drive drunk, tired or while distracted. However, they may not take to the streets as quickly as some may think. In fact, the driverless car hype is similar to the hype surrounding electric vehicles several years ago.

It was predicted that there would be 280,000 electric cars sold in the United States by 2015, and Barack Obama said that 1 million would be on American roads by 2016. However, there were only 119,000 sold in 2015, and there were only 380,000 on American roads in 2016. Just like the electric cars, autonomous vehicles face technological hurdles to their development. They also face regulatory hurdles that may or may not be removed in the near future.

Governor Rauner's Veto of Hb 2622 Hurts Small Businesses Save on Work Comp Costs

PRESS RELEASE: LETTER TO EDITOR

Governor Rauner, on August 18, 2017, vetoed House Bill 2622, which was designed to help small businesses reduce workers' compensation insurance premiums. HB 2622 would have created a not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company charter by the State of Illinois. Governor Rauner's reasons for veto of HB 2622 were released as follows:

  • "Today I veto House Bill 2622 from the 100th General Assembly, which will create a state-sponsored workers' compensation insurance company. This bill will also require the Department of Insurance to provide a loan of $10 million out of the operations fund of the Workers' Compensation Commission to capitalize the new organization. Illinois currently has the most competitive market for workers' compensation insurance in the country with over 300 participants. Maintaining this state of affairs is in the best interest of every employer and job creator required to purchase this insurance.
  • This legislation would instead disrupt the functioning market by inserting new and unnecessary layers of government interference due to an unfounded belief that the current competitive system is broken. Furthermore, this bill would divert needed funds from the Workers' Compensation Commission, which could impact the backlog of cases and increase the cost of claims. The $10 million loan that this legislation demands of the Commission is not likely to have any meaningful impact in providing better access to affordable insurance.
  • This bill does nothing to address the actual cost drivers and broken aspects of our workers' compensation system, which are significant contributors to the flight of businesses and jobs from Illinois and obstacles to the efficient and effective system that injured workers deserve. Instead, it directs attention at a fabricated problem.
  • Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 2622, entitled "AN ACT concerning regulation," with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety."

The impact of lesser-known factors in trucking crashes

Drivers who believe that safety on the roadway is paramount may be interested in knowing more about factors that play a role in the number of commercial trucking accidents that occur nationwide. In Illinois and other states, day of the week, time of day and speed limit have been recognized by at least one online publication as contributing factors to an increasing number of fatalities related to large commercial trucks and their drivers.

Although the general public may be more familiar with factors such as distracted or drowsy driving, those involved in the trucking industry do recognize these lesser-known contributors. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, approximately 475,000 big-rig crashes result in more than 140,000 injuries and 5,000 fatalities each year. One independent highway safety advocate reports that certain factors are often at play in these accidents and suggests that drivers of standard vehicles may be unaware of them.

Woman sues for $2 million after eating tainted chicken

Imagine stopping by your favorite supermarket to pick up your groceries for the week. You grab a few things to cook, some other essentials, and some chicken salad from the deli. Unfortunately, after eating the chicken salad, you wind up in the hospital with organ failure.

This is exactly what happened to one young woman in Utah who ate Costco's chicken salad that was tainted with E. coli. After eating the chicken, the woman began to suffer from severe health issues including kidney failure, epilepsy and diabetes. This case stems from an October 2015 event in which 19 people across seven states fell ill after eating chicken salad that they had purchased from Costco.

DePuy Attune® Total Knee Replacement Patients Reporting Implant Loosening and Implant Failures

Numerous reports and complaints have been recently emerging relating to patients who have suffered significant complications with their total knee replacement implant(s). Specifically, alarming reports are emerging of numerous patients experiencing severe loosening of the tibial (lower leg) component(s) of the implant which has caused severe pain, and required a revision surgery to repair or replace the affected implant components.

Many consumers may already be familiar with DePuy, as the company was involved in a significant recall of metal-on-metal hip devices that were experiencing much higher than expected failure rates. The hip implant failures led to 1,000s of lawsuits being filed against the company alleging injuries related to the failed hip implants.

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