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January 2017 Archives

Lawsuit asks Apple to add safety locks to iPhones

Illinois residents who have been injured in accidents in which a driver was distracted by a cellphone phone may be interested to learn that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple. The plaintiffs are asking Apple to install a safety lock feature in all new iPhones sold in the state of California and to update older phones with the feature. Apple has had the technology since 2008 and patented the safety lock in 2014.

Pursuing civil remedies after a swimming pool accident

Swimming pool accidents claim the lives of about 1,000 children each year, and thousands more are left with injuries ranging from contusions and broken bones to permanent paralysis and brain damage. Some of these accidents take place at public facilities or business locations that feature swimming pools like hotels or health clubs, and many more occur at private residences across the state. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by the negligent actions of an Illinois swimming pool owner or manager, you may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience with these sometimes complex and challenging cases.

Recent Illinois Supreme Court Decision Clarifies Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act

On December 1, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its opinion in the case of Pamela Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc., et al., 2016 IL 120394. The case arises out of a claim by the Plaintiff, Pamela Murphy-Hylton, that she slipped and was injured while walking on the sidewalk outside her condominium. Ms. Murphy-Hylton alleged that a defective condition and negligent maintenance of the property created an "unnatural accumulation of ice" that caused her to fall. The trial court initially granted judgment in favor of the Defendants, Lieberman Management Services, Inc. and Klein Creek Condominium finding that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act (745 ILCS 75/0.01) provided protection and immunity to the defendants. On appeal, the judgment was reversed. The matter was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, who has agreed with the appellate court.

What Entitles Me To My TTD Benefits?

When you sustain an injury that arises out of and in the course of your employment, you are generally entitled to, at the very least, 3 basic rights under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act ("Act"). You are entitled to 100% coverage of your medical bills, compensation for lost wages resulting from the work accident, and a settlement at the end of your case. If you do in fact have an injury that your doctor feels temporarily but completely incapacitates you from working, you are eligible for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. Your period of temporary and total disability continues until your treating doctor(s) have determined that you are at Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Being placed at MMI means that you have recovered as much as the permanent nature of your injury will permit, and no further treatment will provide any benefit to you. The Illinois Supreme Court has determined that the dispositive inquiry regarding TTD eligibility is whether or not you have reached MMI. Interstate Scaffolding, Inc., v Illinois Workers' Compensation Comm'n, 236 Ill.2d 132, 142, 923 N.E.2d 266 (2010).

Cellphone makers asked to help curb distracted driving

Modern cellphones are marvels of technology, but they have also been linked with a surge in the number of distracted driving accidents in Illinois and around the country. Studies have found that young people find it especially difficult to tear themselves away from their cellphones while behind the wheel, and just a brief glance away to read a text message or look at a photograph can lead to tragedy. In late 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a set of guidelines designed to tackle the problem, and they include a request to cellphone makers to include features that are designed to keep drivers focused on the task at hand.

Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Issue Involving Snow and Ice Removal Act

In December 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a ruling that on some cases, limits the immunities provided to residential owners and operators by the Snow and Ice Removal Act. In doing so, it expands a plaintiff's right to claim damages for injuries resulting from some types of slip-and-fall cases involving snow and ice.

Accidents and Workers' Compensation Claims

We have recently come across a problem that is affecting several of our clients and potential clients. We have had several situations of cases where potential clients are being told by their employers to report to their medical providers that an accident that occurred at work actually occurred at home or some other place that has nothing to do with the work place. The employers are attempting to do this in order to avoid making a workers compensation claim against their insurance or other coverage. However, in our experience most of the employers who are taking these kind of actions generally have some kind of problem with their workers compensation insurance or they make empty promises about how they will pay any medical bills that are generated from workers comp related medical treatment out of pocket instead of turning it into insurance.

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