Posted On: March 31, 2010

Report Shows that Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) Account for One Third of Injury Related Fatalities

A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has found that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are responsible for around 1.7 million hospital visits and about 52,000 deaths per year. This number accounts for nearly one third of injury related fatalities in the United States. However, the most disturbing aspect of the study was the documented increase in TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizaton. The study, entitled “Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death" determined that traumatic brain injury related ER visits increased 14.4% and hospitalizations increased 19.5% over the course of the 2002-2006 survey period.

The statistics show that the groups most susceptible to traumatic brain injuries include young children, teens and the very elderly. The highest rate of death is seen in seniors over the age of 75 years old. The top cause of TBI injuries are slip and fall situations with the highest rate of falls seen in children under 5 and seniors 75 years or older. Car accidents make up the second leading cause of TBI injuries and also the leading cause of TBI deaths. According to the study, 31.8% of TBI deaths result from serious car accidents.

The statistics were compiled as part of the CDC’s ‘Head’s Up’ program which was implemented to provide information to health care professionals and patients regarding traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries have both short term and long term consequences including altered thoughts, perceptions and emotions.

Posted On: March 26, 2010

Four Injured in Chicago Semi Truck Accident

A three vehicle accident on Chicago’s south side involving two semi-trucks resulted in four injuries last Monday night. The truck accident occurred on Chicago’s busy Dan Ryan expressway around 10:40 p.m. According to reports, the vehicles were southbound in local lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway when a semi truck rear-ended a vehicle as it approached slowing traffic. That semi was then rear-ended by another semi truck. The three vehicle Chicago car accident occurred near the 63rd St. exit according to Illinois State Police. The second semi caught on fire shortly thereafter.

A woman and three men were injured in the Illinois truck accident. One of the accident victims was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL, while another was taken in serious-to-critical condition to the University of Chicago Hospitals. The other two accident victims were taken to University of Chicago Hospital and St. Bernard Hospital respectively. The driver of the second semi truck received a traffic citation for following too closely. The Illinois Department of Transportation crews had cleared the accident scene by about 3:15 a.m.

Expressway truck accidents are often very serious as the accidents occur at high speeds and on busy roads. If you have been injured in a semi truck accident and would like to speak with an experienced Chicago injury lawyer, please click here.

Posted On: March 24, 2010

Report Shows Toyota Warned Dealers of Throttle Surging in 2002

A recently released technical service bulletin provides evidence that dealerships across the country were aware of unexpected acceleration deficiencies in 2002 Toyota Camry vehicles. The document, which was sent to every U.S. Toyota dealership in late August of 2002, stated in part, “Some 2002 model year Camry vehicles may exhibit a surging during light throttle input at speeds between 38-42 mph.” The release of this information comes on the heels of a series of car accidents related to the acceleration malfunction. Safety analysts have documented an estimated 2000 cases in which owners of Toyota vehicles including Camry and Prius models surged to speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Toyota has claimed that the incidents are the result of defective floor mats which can trap accelerator pedals causing car accidents. Toyota has recalled more than 2.3 million vehicles since January. The manufacturing giant claims that independent testing failed to find problems with the electronic throttle controls. However, the document which was released to Toyota dealers, did cite electronic controls as a cause of the acceleration. The document mentioned nothing about defective floor mats.

Most victims of the malfunctioning Toyota vehicles have maintained that the glitch was electronic in origin all along. The released documentation comports with the assertion that the vehicle malfunctions were not caused by faulty floor mats.

If you have been injured as the result of a vehicle defect, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to investigate vehicle defects. To speak with an experienced Chicago area auto defect lawyer, please click here.

Posted On: March 19, 2010

Illinois Conviction for Violating ‘Scott’s Law’ will Result in License Suspension

Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law” requires Illinois motorists to yield and/or switch lanes upon approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights. The law further requires that if changing lanes is unsafe, the motorist must proceed ‘with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, and maintain a safe speed for road conditions.’ The law was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department who was struck and killed by a drunk driver after responding to a crash Chicago’s Dan Ryan expressway.

While the impetus for enacting Scott’s Law may have been justified, the penalties for violation of the law are exceedingly harsh. A conviction under Scott’s Law will result in a fine ranging from $100.00 to $10,000.00 and an automatic license suspension. That’s right, an automatic license suspension. At the outset it would appear that the law is not tailored to combat the harm to which it was intended as the situation that gave rise to Scott’s Law involved an intoxicated driver. Scott’s Law, on the other hand, is applicable to all drivers in the State of Illinois. Furthermore, the license suspension penalty is especially troubling considering the fact that a motorist is expected to make a snap judgment call in changing lanes on (often) busy Chicago expressways. In this way, the law may cause more harm than good as motorists that are aware of the law are likely to make unsafe lane changes in order to protect their driving privileges (and potentially their jobs).

If you have received a citation for violating Scott’s Law, you should contact an attorney immediately to investigate your citation and protect your driving privileges. The Klest Law Firm handles Scott’s Law tickets throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

Posted On: March 16, 2010

Five Vehicle Chicago Car Accident Leads to DUI Charges

A Chicago area driver was charged with DUI following a five vehicle car accident last Sunday night. The man, 46 year old Robert Blake of the 7000 block of Woodward Ave in Downers Grove, IL, was allegedly attempting to park his car on the shoulder of I-55 when the accident happened. According to reports, Blake was southbound on the busy Chicago toll-way when he attempted to pull his car over to park on the shoulder of the roadway. However, the left rear end of Blake's vehicle was blocking a portion of the left lane. Blake was subsequently rear-ended by another car at which point his car spun into the expressway. His vehicle was then struck by a truck, semi-truck and an SUV. In total, five vehicles were involved in the high speed car collision.

Blake and three others were taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital following the accident. All of the Chicago car accident victims were released on Sunday night. The portions of the Chicago expressway that were affected by the accident were briefly shut down while the accident was being investigated. Blake was charged with felony DUI and driving on a revoked license following the accident according to Illinois State Police.

Alcohol is often a contributing factor in serious Illinois car accidents. Victims of DUI car crashes may have legal remedies available that would otherwise be unattainable. If you have been involved in an alcohol related car accident, you should contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer to help investigate and protect your rights. To speak with an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer, please click here.

Posted On: March 12, 2010

Former Suburban Chicago Cheerleading Coach Convicted of Sexual Abuse

A former Naperville cheerleading coach was sentenced yesterday to over three years in prison resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had in 2006 with a 13 year old girl. The coach, 30 year-old Bradley Abraham of Aurora, was part owner of Illinois Cheer Extreme Athletics at 127 Ambassador Dr. in Naperville, IL. He was initially charged in 2008 with eight counts of sexual abuse and assault involving former students of his at the academy. The charges against Abraham resulted from his interactions with both a 13 year old and a 16 year old. According to reports, Abraham had an ongoing sexual relationship with the 13 year old. The alleged sexual conduct with the 13 year old victim occurred in March and April of 2006 in several locations including the gym facility where she trained. Abraham is no longer associated with the athletic facility.

Both of the sexual abuse victims were present in court when Abraham was sentenced. He will now be forced to register as a childhood sexual offender for the duration of his life. Abraham had asked the court for probation noting that he had betrayed his victims’ trust.

The sexual abuse victims may have claims against both the abuser and the facility where he worked. Chicago attorney Joesph G. Klest has almost thirty years of experience handling sexual abuse claims. As a victim’s rights advocate, attorney Joseph G. Klest understands the often sensitive and emotional nature of sexual abuse cases. Additionally, attorney Klest helped co-author the current statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases and has argued the issue in front of the Illinois Supreme Court. If you have any questions, or would like to contact attorney Klest, please click here.

Posted On: March 9, 2010

Illinois Man Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

A Maine Township, IL, man has been charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse following accusations that he repeatedly molested a child. The accused, 43 year old Christopher Johnson of the 9400 block of Bay Colony Drive, is being held on $100,000.00 bond following his arrest on Wednesday. The Cook County Sheriff’s Department has stated that the abuse may have gone on for as long as ten years. The alleged sexual abuse reportedly occurred at multiple locations. Johnson was also arrested in 2000 pursuant to a Chicago Police investigation regarding allegations of child sexual abuse. Johnson was found not guilty of that charge.

According to reports, Johnson worked as a part-time patient care technician and physical therapy aide at hospitals and clinics in the northwest suburbs. The names of these facilities have not been released pending a police investigation. Police are currently investigating whether or not other children may have been subjected to sexual abuse. Anyone with information related to this matter is encouraged to call (708) 865-4896.

Many sexual abuse victims are frightened of coming forward to expose predators. The Klest Law Firm has over 30 years of experience handling cases involving childhood sexual abuse. In fact, the founding partner, Joseph G. Klest, helped write the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in Illinois. To speak with an experienced Chicago area sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

Posted On: March 5, 2010

Chicago Man Killed in Workplace Accident

A Chicago worker was killed on Wednesday following a construction site workplace accident downtown. The fatal accident claimed the life of 39 year-old Michael Gryga. According to reports, the fatal Chicago work injury occurred as Michael and another Peoples Gas employee were testing equipment in the downtown area below street level. The men were working near the Willis Tower around 1:45 p.m. when the tragedy took place. While the workers were testing a gas pipe with compressed air, a section of the pressurized pipe struck them. Kevin Spillers, a Chicago Board of Trade employee who was passing by, jumped to the aid of the injured workers.

Both of the men were taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition according to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department. The workers were helping with the Wacker drive reconstruction project when the fatal accident occurred. The accident is still being investigated by Peoples Gas, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and a federal agency.

If you have been the victim of a workplace injury, you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm handles workers compensation cases for all types of workplace injuries.

Posted On: March 2, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Seriously Injures State Police Officer

An Illinois State Police officer was seriously injured when she was struck by a motorist on Chicago’s Dan Ryan Expressway near 63rd St. last Saturday night around 9:00 p.m. According to reports, the Chicago car accident occurred as the police officer was handling a traffic stop on the busy expressway. The 29 year old female state trooper was conducting a stop near the right shoulder of the expressway when she was struck. The driver, 19 year-old Kimisha Moore, was allegedly using her cellular phone when the Illinois car accident occurred. She was indicted for aggravated reckless conduct with bond set at $50,000. Reports indicate that Moore had been warned of the shifting traffic pattern by a passenger in her vehicle just prior to the collision. Moore reportedly lost control of her car as she attempted to regain control of the vehicle after her passenger grabbed the wheel to steer clear of the stopped officer.

The victim of the accident, who has been identified as Starlena Wilson of the State District of Chicago, was rushed to the intensive care unit of Chicago’s Stroger Hospital following the Chicago car crash. Reports indicate that the victim suffered broken legs and a broken pelvis. She was still under hospital care as of Monday March 1st.

Illinois expressway car accidents can be particularly dangerous as they often occur at very high speeds. If you have been the victim of an expressway car accident and would like to speak with an experienced Chicago injury lawyer as to how to protect your rights, please click here.

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