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Illinois And Missouri Injury Blog

When a misdiagnosis is a medical malpractice case

Although Granite City residents and those who live on the Illinois side of the Saint Louis area probably tend to think of doctors as the cream of the crop when it comes to having smarts, medicine is still too much of an unknown for even the best doctor not to make a mistake from time to time. Often, these errors entail not diagnosing a patient's true condition promptly.

On the other hand, when an Illinois patient goes to the doctor, he or she goes with the full expectation that the doctor will get the diagnosis right the first time so the patient can get better. If a doctor's mistaken diagnosis leads instead to a missed opportunity to treat a serious medical condition, or even directly causes a patient to get physically worse, then the patient has every right to be upset and want some justice.

What is 'proximate cause' in an Illinois personal injury case?

Those who are hurt in accidents, especially those accidents that occur on public roads, often face a tough period of life after the injuries. Between medical treatment costs, the pain and stress of being injured, the time lost from a job, and the expensive and time-consuming process of physical or occupational rehabilitation, it is easy for such victims to give up hope. However, they should remember that, depending on the circumstances of the accident, they may be entitled to compensation for these and possibly other costs.

We have previously discussed the concept of negligence, and the fact that this theory usually plays a large part in personal injury cases based upon injuries suffered in accidents. Readers may remember that we went over several elements of a negligence case. We've touched on legal duty, breach, and the first part of causation (cause-in-fact) in prior posts. In this installment, we will take a very brief look at the second kind of causation that must be present for a negligence suit to succeed: 'proximate cause.'

Protect yourself from the most common warehouse accidents

You are part of the foundations of commerce. Your job in an Illinois distribution center keeps the wheels moving and consumers happy. Whether you distribute products to stores, through brick-and-mortar ordering or through online shopping, you deal with the demands of time and money.

With the explosion of online shopping, you are likely busier than ever. Your quotas may be increasing and overtime is always available, but that may also mean your paycheck is growing. Whether that money is essential to meet your needs or socked away for a rainy day, you and your family depend on the steady income. What would happen if you got hurt on the job?

Workers injured at Illinois construction site

Several weeks ago, this blog touched on the subject of accidents on construction sites and negligent employers in a general way. Let's turn to a recent example from Illinois to help illustrate how construction and industrial accidents can occur, and what an injured worker may be facing in the aftermath.

The accident occurred on a work site where a pipeline for natural gas was going to be installed. Workers were digging huge trenches for the pipeline. Two workers were approximately 20 feet below ground level when one fell from a ladder, landing on the other one. Both workers suffered serious injuries in the accident.

What is 'cause-in-fact' in Illinois personal injury?

The last few weeks, this space has been covering various elements of Illinois negligence cases, as these are the kinds of cases that are most often seen in the context of personal injury. We've covered the basic structure of negligence cases, and the concepts of legal duty and breach thereof. We also touched on the idea of 'reasonable person' in the context of medical malpractice. The next major part of building a personal injury case based on negligence is causation.

Causation in a negligence case as careful readers may remember, is a two-part inquiry in most contexts. Today, we will discuss the first part of this inquiry, known as 'cause-in-fact' or 'but for' causation. This is usually the simpler of the two types of causation, as it deals generally with determining what are the direct causes of an event or injury.

Medical malpractice requires determining 'reasonable care'

The state of Illinois is home to some of the best medical professionals in the country, if not the world. These doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, for the most part, do a wonderful job saving lives and caring for the sick and injured throughout the state. Unfortunately, however, no matter how well-trained and dedicated, medical professionals are human, and, as such, are susceptible to making errors, for a variety of reasons. When this occurs, an individual who expected to be taken care of and regain their health may end up suffering further injury and require more treatment or have to deal with permanent degradation of health.

Last week, we discussed the ideas of duty and breach within the confines of a negligence theory in a personal injury situation. One method that is used to determine if a legal duty has been breached given a particular set of facts is to apply a 'reasonable person' standard to those facts. That is, the court will ask whether a reasonable person in the defendant's position would have acted differently, thus avoiding the circumstances in which the injuries occurred. This is generally an 'objective' standard, meaning that it takes into account what a fictitious, average, defendant 'should have known' rather than what they did, in fact, know or see.

Unsanitary hospitals put patients' lives at risk

Sometimes the simplest precautions can be the most important in preventing injury or illness. Wearing a safety belt in a car, putting on sunscreen and eating your vegetables are small acts that can save you from suffering a devastating injury or illness. You may include washing your hands on that list, and you would be right to do so. Unfortunately, even hospitals don't always follow this simple rule of hygiene.

If you recently spent time in an Illinois hospital, chances are you came home sicker than when you went in. This is frequently the case when a hospital staff is not diligent about cleaning their own hands and the surfaces you touch. Such oversights often lead to the spread of C. diff bacteria, which is now the deadliest hospital-related infection in the country.

What is duty and breach in an Illinois industrial accident?

We have briefly explored the basics of the concept of negligence in the context of accidents involving motor vehicles. However, the theory of negligence can be used in Illinois in cases above and beyond car wrecks. In the context of an injury related to an industrial accident, for instance, it is quite possible that someone not following the rules, or an employer not being responsible for worker safety in some manner, has led to the situation in which a worker finds themselves seriously injured. In such cases, receiving compensation for their injuries may require a victim to show that the other party had a duty to the victim, breached that duty, and that the breach was both the direct and foreseeable cause of the damage that occurred to the victim.

The first of these above elements, duty, is one of the most important. A legal duty is the responsibility an individual or entity owes to another individual or entity. Usually, this duty requires that the one owing the duty either take an action or refrain from doing so. This duty can be either general or contextual. For example, an employer generally has a duty to maintain a safe work environment for its employees. However, what constitutes 'a safe environment' may vary from industry to industry or site to site, depending on circumstances and personnel.

What is the 'Jones Act' in Illinois maritime injury cases?

The history of the United States is inextricably intertwined with the sea. From the earliest days, the country depended on ships and those who operate them, both for security and the economic advantage that comes from the ability to ship goods over large bodies of water. While many people may not think of Illinois as a maritime state, it is important to remember that the great lakes are, in fact, inland seas, and have been the center of waterborne commerce for two centuries.

The sailors who ply the open waters of the great lakes do so at great risk, as the location of these bodies of water mean they are susceptible to frequent and violent storms. Working on a ship is dangerous enough, but poor weather can make the situation worse. Laboring on a large hunk of steel surrounded by miles of water while attempting to perform one's duties on a pitching, wet deck is often perilous to the health and safety of workers.

Worker injured in construction site accident in Illinois

Even as summer ends and fall begins, construction work is continuing across the state of Illinois. It is understood by most that construction work can be dangerous. Workers often work high above the ground or with heavy machinery. There is always the risk of falls, crush injuries and other on-the-job injuries.

For example, one construction worker recently suffered serious injuries while working on an historic aqueduct in Morris, Illinois. The worker fell from a concrete slab stretching across an area creek, hitting the ground 10 feet below. The construction company was in the process of cutting the concrete slab when it collapsed. The worker had to be flown to a nearby hospital for treatment. He suffered injuries to his back, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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