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On August 11, 2023, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 219 which amends both the Illinois Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180) and The Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5/27-6) to allow for punitive damages in wrongful death and survival claims. Under Public Act 103-0514, punitive damages are now expressly allowed in wrongful death claims and survival claims. As noted in Public Act 103-0514 and the Wrongful Death Act, punitive damages still may not be claimed in certain types of claims, including medical malpractice claims, legal malpractice claims, and certain claims against state and local governments. Continue reading

Trucking company Paccar, who manufactures Kenworth and Peterbilt semi-trucks, has recently issued a recall for more than 47,000 trucks due to a risk of loss of steering control in the trucks. According to Paccar, the steering assemblies may have been incorrectly assembled, with fewer recirculating balls than are required for the steering mechanism. Due to the missing recirculating balls, there is a chance that the semi-truck drivers affected may lose their ability to control steering and crash.

Vehicle recalls are common, and millions of recalls happen every year. In fact, in 2017, 42 million commercial and personal vehicles were recalled. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a recall is issued when a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a vehicle, equipment, car seat, or tire creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety requirements. Manufacturers often recall vehicles prior to the NHTSA’s involvement because of the safety risks associated with the vehicle defects. Often, defective and incorrectly assembled products can cause serious injuries and may even result in a fatality.

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Across the country, hundreds of people are getting injured as a result of glass shower doors shattering and exploding. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 500 people are injured yearly as a result of being injured by a shattered glass shower door. During the time period of 2016 through 2020, the CPSC estimates that 4,900 people visited the emergency room due to an exploding glass shower door. The problem has been highlighted by the CPSC since 2016, when it requested that glass shower door manufacturers make their products safer.

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After being injured in an accident, one of your first thoughts may be whether you should hire an attorney and when. If you are coping with the devastating effects of a serious personal injury or the tragic loss of a loved one, it is important to hire an attorney that possesses the necessary level of skill as a trial lawyer and who will devote his or her time, energy, and resources to resolve your injury claim. Hiring an attorney after your accident will allow you to focus on your health and recovery.

Research has shown that people who hire attorneys receive larger settlements than people who handle personal injury claims on their own. A study that was initially published by the Insurance Research Council in 1999 and has since been updated, found that accident victims who hired an attorney to help them pursue their claim received 40% more in settlement than accident victims who did not hire an attorney. A study published by the All-Industry Research Advisory Council likewise found that accident victims who retained an attorney received more in settlement ($1.59 per dollar of loss) as compared to accident victims who did not hie an attorney ($1.26 per dollar of loss). Continue reading

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur annually in the United States. Every year, the number of dog attacks increase. For example, between 1993 and 2008, there was an 86% increase in the number of dog bite hospitalizations. To combat the rise in dog attacks, cities and counties across the nation have enacted ordinances to protect individuals that have been attacked by dogs. These ordinances can provide information about what happens after you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog.

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For instance, under Article 6 of the Kane County Animal Ordinance, the owner of a dog or other animal that attacks or injures any person without provocation is liable in damages to the injured person to for the full amount of the injury sustained.

The City of Aurora has enacted an ordinance about bites and attacks from vicious animals, specifically, about what happens to the animal after a bite or attack. Under the ordinance, any animal that bites or attacks a person, without provocation, will be declared a nuisance and may be impounded by the Animal Control Manager or Animal Control Office. The ordinance states that the Animal Control Manager may allow the owner to retain ownership but only with restrictions placed on the owner in writing. Restrictions include having a sign posted that the dog is dangerous, restrictions on taking the dog out of the home, requiring that the dog be spayed or neutered, and requirements that the dog owner carry homeowners insurance in excess of a certain amount.

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A Naperville motorcyclist was killed after crashing into a vehicle in west suburban Lisle on April 8, 2021. According to the DuPage County Coroner’s office, 55-year-old Thomas Martino was riding his motorcycle westbound on Maple Avenue when he struck a vehicle turning from Spring Bay Drive onto Maple Avenue. Martino passed away at the scene and the driver of the vehicle was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. No citations or charges were filed in the ongoing investigation, according to Lisle Police Deputy Chief Kevin Licko.

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On February 13, 2021, two people were killed after their vehicle plunged at least 70 feet off the Stevenson Expressway, landing on the roadway below. The vehicle was driving inbound on the Stevenson at about 4:00 a.m. when it lost control near Ashland Avenue. The car landed on the street below at Archer Avenue and Robinson Street. Both occupants of the vehicle succumbed to their extensive injuries following the collision.

According to Illinois State Police, two other individuals were also injured in the crash. A 21-year-old woman and 25-year-old man were transported to Stroger Hospital in Chicago in critical condition. While it is unknown what caused the crash, a preliminary investigation by the Illinois State Police shows the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and likely struck a snow bank that was present where the car had lost control. The car also struck a light tower and knocked out the lights on the Stevenson in both directions between Ashland and the Dan Ryan Expressway.

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On January 26, 2021, a 30-year old woman and her 9-year old passenger died after a crash involving a semi-trailer on I-88 near Lisle, Illinois. According to Illinois State Police, Ashley Skrobot, of Lisle, was operating a 2009 Honda Accord in the westbound lane of I-88 near the Route 53 exit when she lost control of her vehicle. The Honda hit a median and then traveled back into the flow of traffic where it was hit by a semi-trailer.

Paramedics from the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Department arrived on the scene to find two people trapped inside the heavily damaged Honda Accord. The crews were able to extricate both of the occupants where they were categorized as having life-threatening injuries. Ashley Skrobot was transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where she eventually succumbed to her injuries. The 9-year old passenger was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Unfortunately, the child, whose name was not released, also succumbed to her life-threatening injuries two days after the crash.

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Toro recently recalled snowblowers that were sold between November 2020 and January 2021 due to a risk of amputation. The recalled snowblowers, also called snowthrowers, were sold nationwide and online at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Toro-authorized dealers. According to Toro, the auger (the rotating corkscrew device) may fail to disengage when the control lever is released. Several reports made to the company have indicated that the auger did not stop spinning when the control lever was released. To date, no injuries have been reported, but a high risk of injury and amputation can occur with continued use of the recalled snowblowers.

Defective products, like the Toro snowblowers, can cause serious injuries. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, snow blower operators suffer more than 500 amputations and more than 5,000 emergency room visits annually. Since 1992, there have been 19 deaths involving snow blowers. Most of the injuries suffered by slow blower operators occur when trying to clear snow and ice from either the auger or the discharge chute. The likelihood of a clogged auger or discharge chute increases based on several factors, including heavy, wet snow, temperatures higher than 28 degrees, and snow accumulation greater than six inches. Continue reading

Mopeds and motor scooters have become an increasing favorite among many urban commuters. The gas efficiency, coupled with their compact size, makes it the most efficient and economic choice for those living in congested areas. However, just like its faster motorcycle counterparts, motor scooters leave riders vulnerable to injury during an accident.

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