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Motorcycle accidents are one of the more devastating types of traffic incidents. If you consider the lack of protection a motorcycle rider has, you can understand why the risk of physical harm is so much more significant for a person riding a motorcycle when they are in an accident.

Often, the injuries from a motorcycle crash are much more severe and usually last long-term compared to the passenger in a regular vehicle. When you file a claim for your motorcycle accident, you need an attorney ready to address the long-term consequences of your accident. The compensation you receive needs to look at your medical expenses, and these expenses could add up quickly.

The Long-Term Financial Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident in Chicago

The medical expenses are extreme from the moment the crash happens. Think about the costs of an ambulance, hospital visit, surgery, and aftercare. Then, consider the follow-up appointments, treatments, medications, equipment, and more.

These can add to thousands of dollars. And even if you have excellent health insurance and automobile insurance, it is rarely enough to cover the long-term costs.

Some Injuries Yield Higher Costs

Specific injuries will result in escalating medical costs:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Burns
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries

Most of these injuries are common in a motorcycle accident. Some victims suffer severe road rash, which requires skin grafting, plastic surgery, and may still result in permanent disfigurement.

With these injuries come serious financial obligations and costs that are often long-term as well:

  • Longer hospitalizations and multiple hospital stays for surgeries and follow up treatments
  • Physical, vocational, and psychological therapy
  • Nursing care in-home or at a special facility
  • Medications, including over-the-counter prescriptions
  • Long-term counseling for the emotional trauma
  • Medical or assistive devices such as prosthetics or wheelchairs
  • Long-term, in-home, or specialized care such as care at a rehabilitation center or burn center

Therefore, you can see that not only do you have the initial expenses, you also have the long-term consequences like losing work, missing out on wages, or being permanently disabled. When you have no income, the burden of these medical expenses grows. Your insurance benefits might be exhausted, and you will be paying for these out of pocket if you do not receive a settlement to offset the cost.

Form some victims, this burden lasts a few weeks. But for most catastrophic motorcycle accidents, the burden continues the rest of their life.

If you are permanently unable to work, how would you cover the long-term medical costs that lie ahead? How will you maintain insurance benefits without an employer?

The Physical Consequences That Lead to Higher Medical Costs

When your attorney assesses the long-term medical costs for your claim, they look at the injuries and physical consequences from that accident. All these physical consequences result in a higher medical cost expectation.

Some of the consequences might include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury – A TBI has long-term effects that will vary depending on the area of the brain injured. You may have problems like cognitive impairments, seizures, loss of hearing or vision, chronic pain, insomnia, mood swings, and even periods of lost consciousness.
  • Nerve Damage – Permanent nerve damage can result in numerous surgeries, muscle weakness, paralysis, organ dysfunction requiring machine assistance, respiratory distress, and treatments that attempt to help you regain some function.
  • Neck Injuries – A severe neck injury could result in long-term pain, migraines, vision issues, and even damage to the nervous system that will affect your ability to function.
  • Amputations – Amputations can result in many long-term costs. Not only is there the pain, but there is also the emotional and mental trauma, cost of prosthetics, complications with phantom pains, and the physical therapy needed to help a person learn to adapt to living without a limb(s).
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries can become extremely costly long-term. There is the need for continuous treatment and the victim may require life support. The victim could also lose function of specific bodily organs – like bladder control. They may be permanently paralyzed and need long-term care. Physical or occupational therapy might be required for months so that they can learn to cope with limited mobility.
  • Burn Injuries – Burn injuries may require multiple surgeries. Cosmetic surgery is expensive, and the costs alone will easily venture into the tens of thousands. A burn victim may also need psychological therapy to cope with their new appearance and possibly lower self-esteem. They may undergo treatment for infections, have reduced strength, adopt a range of motion issues, and even more that requires ongoing treatment.

Think of the True Costs

When you receive a medical bill, you see that bill. But, what about the many others soon to come? What about the long-term care that you might not have considered?

Just some of the long-term costs that you want to ensure you receive compensation for include:

  • Surgeries – Surgeries are costly. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you could require multiple surgeries that span over a few months or weeks. These surgeries could be life-saving such as repairing organ damage. Then, you may have other operations to correct cosmetic issues like burns or severe scars. You may need surgeries if you develop an infection in one of your wounds or surgeries to repair nerve damage.
  • Hospitalizations – You might be hospitalized initially after your accident, but then you may continue to be hospitalized after every surgery. If you have complications such as an infection, you could be readmitted. A few days’ stay adds up quickly. And the more you are admitted, the higher your hospitalization costs will get.
  • Prescription Medications – Prescription medications are costly. If you do not have good medical insurance, you may find that you cover most of them out-of-pocket. That could be hundreds in prescriptions plus over-the-counter medications for the rest of your life that you need to consider.
  • Doctor’s Fees – Each time you meet with a physician for a follow-up or diagnosis, you have an office fee that you will pay. For serious injuries, you may have multiple physicians you see throughout the week – quickly adding to your costs.
  • Physical Therapy – You may require physical therapy to help you recover from your injuries, regain mobility, or learn to cope with issues stemming from amputations. These appointments can be several times per week for months.
  • Medical Equipment – Following an amputation, you may need a prosthetic, wheelchair, or need to install assistive devices in your home so that you can live comfortably. All these costs are long-term, and the needs may only increase if you do not get better as time goes on.
  • Diagnostic Tests – It is likely that you will have multiple tests administered – not only for the initial diagnosis, but after treatments and as follow-ups. These can include imaging like CT Scans, X-Rays, MRIs, PET Scans, and more. Also, you have the diagnostic workups like blood work and laboratory analysis.

You Should Not Have to Pay for the Long-Term Medical Costs of an Accident

You did not cause the motorcycle accident, but you find yourself going into debt daily from covering the medical costs of that accident.

Instead of struggling, meet with an attorney from Malman Law.

Our attorneys understand what you are going through. We have helped clients in your position, and we know the long-term costs that you are likely to face. We want to help ensure you not only get the compensation you deserve for past expenses, but also the future expenses that will continue while you recover or live with your injuries.

We are here to negotiate with the insurance company and fight for your right to compensation.

To see how much you might qualify for, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today. We will aggressively fight for your right to compensation for past, current, and future medical costs. We also will work to get you compensation for lost wages, pain, and suffering.

You did not cause the accident, so why shoulder the financial consequences of it?

Meet with an attorney from Malman Law today by scheduling a free consultation at 888-625-6265 or request more information online.

After a car accident, you go to the hospital, receive treatment, see your doctor, get prescriptions, and take some time off work to recover. At the time, you are not worried about the medical bills. As time goes on, however, the bills come in, insurance deductibles drain your bank account, and before you know it, you are overwhelmed with the cost of an accident.

You assume insurance will kick in soon enough, so you keep waiting it out. A few months later, you receive a letter saying your claim was denied, and now you have no way to pay for your medical expenses – let alone everything else.

When it comes to personal injury claims, the delay between receiving payment and the bills sitting in front of you that are due today tends to stretch itself out. The insurance company might act friendly on the phone and even say they are there to help. But they are stretching you until you are ready to take even a low-ball settlement for financial relief.

There is no doubt that paying for medical costs after an accident becomes an overwhelming burden. Therefore, you need to understand who pays for them, how you can receive money, and your options when the insurance company unfairly denies your claim.

Understanding Medical Payments after a Chicago Car Accident

It is a no-brainer to seek medical treatment after a car accident. You did your part and sought treatment only to find yourself facing hundreds (if not thousands) in medical costs. Even if your injuries are starting to heal, you have expenses that came out of pocket and you still have physical therapy and in-home care costs rolling in. The providers of these services do not care that you are waiting for an insurance payout – they want their money now.

Whether you are ready to file a lawsuit or not, you need to understand how the medical bills get paid between the time you are injured and eventually receive a settlement.

Who Pays the Medical Bills?

There is a common misconception that an injury attorney pays for medical costs while you wait for a settlement, but this is not true. Your attorney does track your medical costs, and they ensure that the damages you receive include all the relevant medical expenses. However, they do not pay the bills for you.

Ultimately, you are the party responsible for your medical bills. When you seek treatment, you sign documents agreeing to such. Therefore, you must rely on your insurance or the other party’s insurance to pick up the cost of those expenses for you. Otherwise, you must use your funds to pay for them.

Do Not Take the First Settlement Offer

Even though the other party’s insurance may be liable for those medical costs, you should not take the first settlement they give. Early in the process, especially if it is obvious the other driver caused the accident, you could receive a settlement offer. These tend to come before you have recovered or even have time to assess your injuries.

The company wants you to sign a release of liability and take the money. By signing it, you cannot seek further compensation. They do this hoping that you will be desperate enough for money and not realize that the amount offered is too low for future costs.

Before taking any settlement, you should consult an attorney to see if it is fair. An attorney can evaluate your overall costs and determine if the settlement covers future expenses that you might not have thought about.

Med Pay Coverage Could Help

While you wait for the other party to settle, you may be able to use your own Med Pay coverage in your automobile insurance policy. Note: this is not guaranteed coverage. Instead, you add on medical payment coverage as an option when you sign up. Therefore, if you did not add Med Pay, you will not have payments from your automobile insurance company.

Using Health Insurance to Bridge the Gap

You may be able to use your health insurance to bridge the gap between the time you need medical care and the time you receive a settlement. This process is known as subrogation. Your health insurance does pay for the medical costs, but only until you receive a settlement. Once you have a settlement, the insurance company will receive the portion paid by them to your medical providers. This ensures that you are not double paid for injuries.

Typically, to ensure payment, the insurance company places a lien on your settlement. That forces your attorney to satisfy the lien before they can legally distribute your settlement.

Liens from Other Healthcare Providers

When your healthcare provider knows that you are receiving a settlement, they may place a lien on that settlement just like insurance. In this case, you and your insurance company do not pay them. Instead, they will receive payment for medical services out of your settlement once your attorney receives it. Again, your attorney must first pay the liens; then you receive the remainder.

How Long until Your Medical Bills Are Paid?

Bills that are not covered by your medical or automobile insurance are typically paid once your case settles. The settlement process can take a few months to a few years, depending on how the insurance company defends their side.

Multiple companies will have a hand in your settlement, which may delay the process. Not only do you have the defendant, but you also have the insurance company, billing departments, lawyers, and medical professionals all working to find a settlement – adding unnecessary delays.

Typically, the settlement process starts once your doctor clears you or says that you will not recover any more from your injuries. Your attorney waits for this point because that is the safest point to start seeking compensation. Your attorney does not want to settle before you have reached your full recovery period. If they do, there may be unknown costs in the future that you may have to pay for after settlements are done.

Once you have reached maximum recovery, your attorney will gather all medical costs – and any potential future medical expenses estimated – and work those into their settlement expectations.

Sending Copies of Bills to Your Attorney

One way to ensure that all medical providers are paid, and that you are not obligated to pay out of your pocket later, is to send a copy of the bill to your attorney via mail or email each time you get one. Your attorney will then have a running tally of all medical costs you must have reimbursed in the settlement.

Also, keep copies of medical records and anything you pay for out-of-pocket. This includes:

  • Prescription medications
  • Over the counter medications
  • Medical equipment
  • Gas to travel for medical appointments
  • Copays
  • Deductibles

Avoid Collections

While you are waiting for a settlement, you may not have the funds to pay for medical costs. Do not let these bills pile up and ignore them. Instead, contact the individuals and tell them that you have a settlement in process. Make sure they understand the situation. Because once you go to collections, the other side is not liable for the added fees associated with that. You are still obligated to pay all medical bills regardless.

Some companies will wait for your settlement, while others will accept small payments until you have the debt paid off. Keep records of any payments you make to these companies so that you receive the payment for them instead of the company itself.

So, Why Hire an Attorney?

You might wonder why you should hire an attorney if they are not going to help with your medical bills. While your attorney might not pay for them outright, they are there to ensure you get through the process and receive the settlement you deserve. Furthermore, they speed up the settlement process so that your bills have less chance of going to collections or you find yourself broke from paying the costs.

The attorneys at Malman Law have helped countless victims just like you receive the money you need for your injuries. We understand how the process can be overwhelming and even outright frustrating. We are here to help you lessen the burden, negotiate with insurance companies, and get your medical costs paid so that you are not overwhelmed.

Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today at 888-625-6265 or request more information online about how we can help you.

An older adult in a nursing home or assisted living facility is at risk of being abused or neglected. Sadly, most of these cases go unreported and unnoticed. The signs are not always inherently clear, especially for emotional or financial abuse. This makes it hard for family members to recognize the problem right away.

Emotional abuse comes in many forms. Physical abuse is often apparent from bruising, broken bones, and other outright signs. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is one of the more common and underreported, because the symptoms are not as psychically visible.

Emotional abuse may happen in the nursing home and assisted living facility setting. The abuse itself may come from a caregiver, assistant, volunteer, or family member. It typically involves emotional or psychological distress and pain, which can cause long-term damage.

Exploring the Types of Emotional Abuse Seen in Chicago Nursing Homes

Emotional abuse does not require verbal contact. In some instances, it can be nonverbal gestures. Therefore, it is vital that you understand the ways a person can be emotionally abused so that you better understand how to look out for symptoms of the psychological distress that stems from it.

  • Humiliation: Humiliating or ridiculing a person in front of others or alone.
  • Terrorizing: Making them fear for their lives, submit to demands for food or water, and menacing the victim.
  • Ignoring: Completely ignoring as a punishment.
  • Demeaning: Continually blaming the person, using demeaning behavior, scapegoating, and making the victim feel at fault for the abuse.
  • Intimidation: Using verbal threats, physical cues, or yelling at the victim to intimidate them into acting or doing something. Threats of physical violence if they tell loved ones about the abuse also qualifies.
  • Isolation: Purposely isolating the victim from social activities, friends, and loved ones to control them.

How Common Is Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes?

According to the American Public Health Association, they estimate that 2.5 million elders were victims of emotional abuse in 2006. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is more underreported than physical, so these numbers could be higher. Neglect is the most commonly reported type of abuse in nursing homes, and physical abuse cases often report emotional abuse as well.

Not all emotional abuses cases have physical violence, but a clear majority do.

Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse

Without a physical scar left behind, identifying emotional abuse becomes more difficult. However, there are some common signs a person might display if they are the victim of psychological abuse, including:

  • Lower Self Esteem – Do you notice your loved one’s self-esteem has dropped lately? Do they give themselves little to no credit or put themselves down? They may lose confidence in their ability to do things or undervalue their worth.
  • Avoiding Eye Contact – As emotional abuse increases, the victim may not make eye contact with the abuser. They may also start avoiding eye contact with anyone in a social setting.
  • Stops Speaking Openly – The victim might not talk to friends, family, or other caregivers openly. They may have trouble communicating or seem reluctant to communicate out of fear of retaliation from the abuser.
  • Changes in Eating or Sleeping – A victim might have night terrors or nightmares, be unable to sleep comfortably, stop eating and drinking, or refuse medications as part of their depression or fear.
  • Withdrawn and Depressed Suddenly – If the person is ordinarily upbeat and suddenly becomes withdrawn, depressed, or hopeless, it is a warning sign of potential emotional abuse. They might seem disturbed, scared, on edge, or even have symptoms of anxiety.
  • Suicidal Thoughts or Tendencies – If they seem like they have a desire to hurt themselves or make suicide attempts.
  • Becomes Anti-Social – If they withdraw from social interactions, avoid gathering in the community, or start refusing friends and family members who visit, it could be a sign of emotional abuse.

How Is Emotional Abuse Diagnosed?

The symptoms of emotional abuse can overlap regular depression at times, which makes it hard for the abuse itself to be diagnosed. Sometimes, family members will assume their loved one is depressed, and medical professionals may diagnose and treat the depression without finding the underlying cause.

If you suspect emotional abuse, report those suspicions to the government agency overseeing nursing home care in your state immediately. The state assigns a caregiver advocate who will then investigate the potential abuse. These individuals are trained in diagnosing emotional abuse and neglect. They will ask a series of questions to the potential victim as well as interview caregivers and other residents in the facility to identify whether emotional abuse is occurring.

Treating Emotional Abuse Is Difficult

Emotional abuse, especially abuse that can continue for several months, can cause long-term psychological trauma. A person may fear those outside of their comfort circle, be unable to handle new caregivers out of fear, and suffer from long-term depression or anxiety. Some may even have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their experience.

Once emotional abuse is diagnosed, removing the person from the environment is the first step toward recovery. They will be placed somewhere they feel safe, which might include living with family or attending an adult daycare. Then a counselor will help work with the victim. Physicians may need to prescribe medications to help the victim cope with the distress, recover sleep, and calm anxiety.

Holding Nursing Homes Liable for Emotional Abuse

When a nursing home resident feels helpless, scared, or suffers from emotional trauma in a nursing home, the caregiver and the nursing home itself might be liable for the damage caused.

Emotional abuse is extraordinarily challenging to treat, and the suffering associated with it is often long-term. Victims may be permanently scarred from the trauma, require ongoing medication and care, and might be unable to return to a nursing home. This means family members must take on the costs of caring for their loved one at home.

Victims of emotional abuse in a nursing home have the right to hold the nursing home and associated parties financially liable.

It is best to consult with an attorney if you think you have a case for nursing home abuse, including emotional abuse. An attorney will evaluate the factors in your case and determine what compensation you may qualify for.

Some common types of compensation seen in emotional abuse cases include:

  • Medical Costs – While there may be no physical abuse, there are still medical expenses that stem from emotional abuse. The victim might require hospitalization, medication, and treatments with a therapist. These costs quickly add up and can exhaust their medical insurance benefits.
  • Relocation Costs – From moving the victim out of the nursing home to the cost of finding a new nursing home or relocating back home for in-home care, these costs can be recovered in a lawsuit against the nursing home facility. Furthermore, the victim may receive a payback for fees paid to the nursing home during the abuse period.
  • Lost Wages – Family members who must stop working or miss time from work to care for their loved one after the incident may receive compensation too. For example, an adult child must care for their parent at home because their parent has severe PTSD that prevents them from entering another nursing home.
  • Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering damages are not solely reserved for those suffering physical injuries. The law recognizes the anguish involved in emotional abuse cases. And victims can receive compensation for the mental, emotional, and the ongoing torment they suffer because of their emotional abuse.

Do You Need an Attorney for Elder Abuse?

While you have reported the incident to the state, you may still want to consult with an attorney. The state does not file a lawsuit on your behalf to seek compensation. They may bring charges and fines against the nursing home that caused your loved one’s distress, but to receive personal compensation you must file a claim against the nursing home or caregiver yourself.

An attorney can help you through this process. The team at Malman Law understands what you and your loved one are going through, and we want to help. We hold nursing homes accountable for their negligence, and we ensure that our victims receive compensation for their financial losses so that they can focus on recovering from the trauma of emotional abuse without financial worries looming in the background.

Explore your options today by contacting one of our attorneys for a free, no-risk consultation. You can schedule your appointment now by calling 888-625-6265 or by requesting an interview online.

Personal injury law is a broad category that involves various areas of torts. When you are injured by someone’s negligent, intentional, or unprofessional acts, you have the right to hold them accountable through a personal injury lawsuit for their actions and the injuries they cause.

These injuries can come in many forms and from numerous incidents such as a car accident, slip and fall accident, motorcycle collision, or even medical malpractice. When you suffer an injury, you need to hire an attorney who can represent you against the defendant (the party that injured you) or the insurance company.

Some attorneys practice in numerous areas of personal injury law, while others focus on a specific section of these types of cases. Therefore, when you are looking for an attorney, you need to consider the types of accident and neglect cases they take on and if they fit your injury claim.

What Common Case Types Do Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Take?

Personal injury law can break off into smaller categories, and these categories also hold various accident types and claims.

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents can involve two passenger vehicles, a vehicle versus a semi-truck, or even a vehicle versus a pedestrian or cyclist. These accidents are the most common type of claim that an injury attorney will handle, and they may be simple or complex, depending on the situation.

In a trucking accident case, for example, you may have multiple parties involved in the claim. These parties can include the truck driver, their employer, the company that owned the truck, and even the company engaged in the truck’s maintenance. In a two-vehicle crash, you may only have the two parties involved.

Vehicle accidents can also include the more complicated issues that lead to a vehicle accident, such as:

  • Drunken driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorists

How Does an Attorney Help in a Car Accident?

Car accidents might seem straightforward – until you get to negotiating with insurance companies. The primary goal for the insurance company is to reduce how much they pay. After all, they run a business. And like any business, they want to protect their bottom line.

Insurance companies are notorious for offering lower settlements than what the victim deserves. When you work with an attorney, they ensure you receive a fair settlement for items like:

  • Medical expenses (including any future medical costs you might have from your injuries)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity – when you are disabled and cannot work
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice involves medical professionals (e.g., physicians, chiropractors, dentists, psychologists, nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare workers). When a professional causes injury, the legal system allows you to hold them, and sometimes their employer, liable for those injuries.

Medical malpractice can occur in numerous ways:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis – The art of diagnostics is not easy. However, physicians are held to a higher standard. If they fail to diagnose you correctly or delay the proper diagnosis because of their negligence, you may have a malpractice case against them. For example, a physician determines a diagnosis without running the appropriate tests. Had they run the indicated tests, they would have come to a different diagnosis. You suffer injuries because of this misdiagnosis and therefore may hold the physician liable.
  • Surgical Errors – Surgical errors are surprisingly common and include everything from leaving objects inside the patient to causing injuries during surgery to operating on the wrong side.
  • Medication Errors – Medication errors include things like prescribing the wrong medication, dispensing the wrong dosage, administering the wrong medication, failing to inform a patient, or prescribing a combination of drugs that cause a dangerous interaction.
  • Improper Treatment – Sometimes, the right diagnosis is made but the wrong treatment administered. A doctor might use a treatment not indicated or use an ineffective treatment that forces the patient’s condition to worsen.

If the patient can prove that there was a relationship between the action and the injury, that the healthcare worker had a duty of care, and that the duty of care was breached – the patient might have a malpractice case.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation laws protect workers in the United States. Each state employs laws that require employers to carry proper insurance and dictates how an employee may seek benefits when they are injured during regular employment.

Workers’ compensation is not the same as filing a civil lawsuit. Instead, attorneys are hired to ensure the employee’s benefits are received and that the insurance company does not unjustly deny a claim.

Not all injury attorneys practice in workers’ compensation, because it is a complex area of the law and sometimes may include a private third-party lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of the injury.

Typically, an attorney will help any worker, including:

  • Construction workers
  • Factory workers
  • Union members
  • Railroad workers
  • Truck drivers

Product Liability

Product liability is a unique area of the law. In this case, you are not holding a private party responsible for your injuries or illness. Instead, you are holding a company responsible. Companies have a duty to the public to ensure that their product (regardless of what the product might be) is safe before releasing it. That includes performing tests, conducting in-house quality control, and removing unsafe products once they are identified.

These claims often involve consumer products like:

  • Motor Vehicles
  • Toys
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Food and Drink Products
  • Prescription Medications
  • Power Tools

Product liability claims come in three general forms:

  1. Design Defect – Design defects mean the product was defective from the concept. Even with proper manufacturing, an inherent flaw exists that causes injury or death.
  2. Manufacturing Defect – Manufacturing defects mean the product has a safe design, but something went wrong during the manufacturing process. This might mean a defective component or faulty wiring. Not all items are flawed, but typically a batch will have these defects and cause injuries.
  3. Marketing Defect – Marketing defects involve how the product is marked or how warning labels were provided to consumers. Inadequate warning labels that result in injury or a product marketed for a use it was not originally approved for all fall under this category.

Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents. That includes ensuring they have a safe environment, remain hydrated and nourished, avoid accidents, and the administration of medications or medical care when necessary.

Nursing homes today are overbooked and understaffed. Some fall well below the state standards for safety, which results in serious injuries or deaths.

Common issues that require an attorney’s assistance include:

  • Physical, emotional, or mental abuse by nursing homes and their staff
  • Sepsis
  • Fractures
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Bed sores
  • Wrongful deaths
  • Clogged feeding or breathing tubes
  • Unreasonable use of restraints
  • Financial exploitation
  • Sexual harassment

Premises Liability

Premises liability is a concept in personal injury law where the victim was injured by a defect or unsafe condition present on an owner’s property. In these cases, the property owner, management company, or even a tenant might be liable for the injuries caused.

Premises liability cases typically involve:

  • Slip and falls
  • Snow or slippery walkway conditions
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Negligence security
  • Dog attacks
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Elevator or escalator injuries
  • Fires
  • Water leaks or floods
  • Mold
  • Chemical exposure or toxic fumes

Premises liability accidents happen anywhere, including on commercial and private properties. For example, you might slip and fall on an icy sidewalk in a neighborhood or slip on a wet surface in a grocery store.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when someone’s negligence leads to the premature death of a loved one. All the practice areas mentioned above can funnel into wrongful death, because these acts can take a life.

Attorneys that offer services in wrongful death cases hold parties responsible for causing the premature death. They also ensure loved ones receive compensation for their losses. These accidents and incidents that might lead to a wrongful death case include:

  • Car accidents
  • Workplace injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Defective medication or products
  • Nursing home abuse or neglect
  • Surgical errors
  • Medical malpractice

Typically, a wrongful death case will require that the victim suffered injuries that would have resulted in an injury claim had they survived. Each state has unique laws regarding wrongful death cases, who can file the claims, and how compensation is distributed to loved ones. Therefore, it is best to involve an attorney so that you do not have to try and decode these complex laws yourself.

Injured? Consult with an Attorney to Explore Your Options

If you or a loved one suffered from injuries and you believe that you have a valid claim, speak with a personal injury attorney. The team at Malman Law can meet with you for free to discuss your case. Also, there is no risk in hiring our attorneys because we only collect if we succeed and you receive compensation.

Schedule your free consultation today at 888-625-6265 or request more information online.

Chicago Sex Abuse Attorney

Representing families of sexually assaulted CPS students

Chicago public schools are supposed to be safe zones for your children. Unfortunately, they are the very place where sexual abuse is occurring.

At Malman Law, we represent innocent children — now or in the past–who have been sexually assaulted at school.

The facts are alarming. Over 500 students have been sexually abused by CPS employees over the past decade. Two principals were recently removed from their duties pending investigations into how they handled sexual abuse allegations.

Misconduct takes many forms. But there’s one thing that all these incidents have in common: They happened because someone failed to protect our children.

If you believe a child has been sexually violated, call Malman Law for a free and confidential consultation.  We’ll investigate, at no charge to you.

Call Malman Law at 1.888.307.2051 

Why is CPS responding to this crisis now?

Now, suddenly, after years of sexual misconduct and abuse of CPS students, is CPS taking additional actions to safeguard our children.

Why now?  Because journalists and investigations have shined a bright light on the problem, exposing the lack of safety measures that protect CPS students from sexual predators.

Will this make a difference? Will it stem the tide? What about past students who suffered at the hands of CPS staff members who sexually violated a child, causing lifelong pain and anguish?

Are words enough?

Janice K. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), addresses the matter in a June 2018 letter to parents about sexual abuse in Chicago schools. 

She says, “You entrust us to educate and safeguard your children, and that trust is sacred.”

She then highlights the sexual prevention procedures CPS will now employ.

Betrayed by the People They Trust

  • Conduct background checks for all current employees
  • Develop a framework for investigating and addressing each reported incident
  • Establish an eligibility process for athletic coaches and assistant coaches
  • Propose policies requiring employees to report inappropriate staff-student relationships or signs of “grooming”

But it makes a parent wonder, what was CPS doing before now?

You Are Your Child’s Best Advocate

Predators take advantage of your child’s trust and vulnerability. Your child may be discouraged from reporting abuse, ashamed, tricked into believing that it is normal, or told that he or she consented or “asked for it.”

Only you can protect your child. Stand up and fight for what’s right.

Get Help – Give Your Child a Voice

We will be that voice for you and your child.  Malman Law has represented clients in over 20,000 cases over the past 25 years. We have collected hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. Our litigators have real courtroom experience, and we will vigorously represent your child’s rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

Our approach is methodical, client-centered and proven. We have an incredible 95% case success rate, and we stand behind our work with a zero-fee guarantee–which means, if we do not collect for you, our services are free.

Sexual abuse in schools is intolerable. Your child deserves to be heard. Your child needs healing. It stars here.

Call us now for a free and confidential consultation at 1.888.307.2051   

Have you ever taken a motorcycle out for a ride only to feel like something was off?

Maybe the bike was too high, or it was so broad that you could not balance.

These types of discomforts not only make riding unenjoyable, but extremely dangerous.

Choosing the right motorcycle is critical to your safety and the safety of passengers as well as those on the road with you. You must be in full control of your bike, have a good fit, and enjoy the road ahead.

Tips for Chicago Residents Ready to Buy a Motorcycle

Whether you have ridden bikes for years or you are new to the motorcycle game, make sure you choose the right bike for the correct use.

Riding is all about comfort, feel, and excitement. To get the most out of your experience, you need a motorcycle that fits your budget, height, weight, and riding skills.

Consider Your Riding Experience Level First

Your level of riding experience is by far one of the most crucial factors to picking the right bike. Some bikes are more newer-rider friendly than others. And if you were to choose the wrong bike, you may find yourself at higher risk of severe injuries.

If you are new to riding, you want a motorcycle that features:

  • Lighter Weight Frame – You want a bike that is lighter when you are new to riding. A lighter frame helps you steer, balance, accelerate, and stop with ease. These bikes are also more forgiving while first learning to ride.
  • Lower Seats – A lower seat height lets you put both feet down on each side of the bike when you come to a complete stop or when you are ready to start the bike. This is more reassuring for the novice rider and keeps you balanced when you stop and go.
  • Anti-Lock Braking Systems – ABS systems are not standard on all types of motorcycles. But if you are new to riding, get a bike that has ABS equipped. This ensures you can stop quickly and safely.
  • Affordability – New riders are more likely to crash. While not always a severe accident, you may drop the bike numerous times while first learning to ride – you do not want to do so while riding an expensive bike.
  • No Specialized Use – All-purpose bikes might not be as exciting, but they are more suitable for newer riders. These bikes do everything well, which helps you build a well-rounded riding experience before you pick the type of bike right for you.

Know the Types of Motorcycles

There is no universal agreement on how many different types of motorcycles there are, but there are broad categories of motorcycles – and you should consider these categories before you pick your bike.

Street Bikes

Street bikes are designed for the asphalt and paved surfaces of city streets. They have lighter tread patterns and smooth tires for better handling and include the following types of bikes:

  • Naked Bikes – Naked bikes, also known as standard motorcycles, do not have all the features of others. They are general purpose use bikes. They keep you upright and in a natural seated position on the bike, and they are highly recommended for riders who are new to street biking.
  • Touring Bikes – Touring motorcycles are designed for longer trips, have bigger engines, and include features like high-capacity fuel tanks, luggage storage, screens for wind and weather protection, and fairings. These bikes are incredibly dense and not ideal for newer riders. They are one of the broader styles of road bikes too, which makes them bulkier for smaller riders.
  • Sport Touring Bikes – These combine the slimness of naked bikes with the comfort of touring bikes. As a hybrid, they are sportier but still have more luggage capacity and systems than naked bikes. They also handle turns and curves differently than a touring bike.
  • Sport Bikes – Sport bikes are one you commonly see on the road. They are those compact, sleek motorcycles built around aerodynamics and speed. They have high-performance engines but are also lightweight. The braking and suspension is better than a naked bike, and they are easy to handle for the most part. You are, however, forced to lean forward when riding these bikes; therefore, they are not ideal for long distances.
  • Cruisers – A cruiser or “chopper” is one you see from manufacturer’s like Harley-Davidson. These have riding positions that force the rider to have feet stretched out in front and their hands placed at about shoulder height. These bikes are much harder to handle around tight curves, which is why they are suited for experienced riders over the novice.

Off-Road Bikes

Off-road bikes are just as they sound: designed for off-road use. They have a lighter weight, rugged construction, and the tire treads are thick and capable of handling dry or wet surfaces. The suspension of these bikes is stronger than street bikes. That is because they are designed for uneven terrain.

Generally, an off-road bike can handle everything from grass to sand to dirt.

Hybrid Motorcycles

Hybrid bikes combine street bikes and off-road bikes to create one dual-use motorcycle. These also ensure the bike is street legal, regardless of the surface you are on.

Hybrid bikes are harder to predict because they depend on the manufacturer’s design and what two bikes they are combining into one. Some come as adventure bikes, which are touring and off-road motorcycles combined.

These bikes are harder to maintain, often require higher grade gasoline, and can be difficult to handle if you are new to riding.

Pick the Right Size

You know the types of motorcycles, but do not forget the size.

Bikes are measured out by engine size. An engine size measures in cubic centimeters (CC), which is the volume inside the engine where fuel and air mix to propel the bike. More CCs does not always mean a bike is faster than one with lower CCs.

Usually, engine sizes are designed around the style of bike. However, various styles come with different CC sizes too. For example, a sport bike will come in multiple CCs.

Most motorcycles that require a motorcycle license range from 350 cc to over 600 cc. These are then put into two classes, which are those above the 35 kW/48 HP class and those below.

Typically, a motorcycle with more than 48 HP will have an engine of 600 cc or higher. When looking at bikes, consider this: every 14 to 17 cc equals approximately 1 HP (horsepower). Therefore, the bigger the CC, the more horsepower.

Newer riders are safer going with a bike that does not have a high CC, simply because those bikes are designed for higher performance and speeds – something a newer rider does not necessarily need.

Word of Caution on CC-Only Decisions

Never solely base your selection on CC. Some starter bikes have a higher CC amount than others but are still suitable for new riders. For example, the Yamaha FZ-07 has a displacement of 689 cc but is still equal to another beginner-friendly bikes. One is known as the KTM 390 Duke with a displacement of 373 cc, and the other is the Suzuki DR 200, which only has 199cc but is very user-friendly.

New or Used?

If you are a new rider, it is safer to pick a new bike over a used bike. While you might think that a used bike is more cost-effective for those incidents you might encounter, you cannot predict how a used bike was cared for or how it will perform. Experienced riders know how bikes operate and respond. Therefore, they are more equipped to handle the unpredictable nature of a used bike.

If you do want a used bike, go to a reputable dealership and request the ownership history of that bike – including accident information. That way, you can ensure you are not buying a rebuilt bike or one that might not be street legal.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact an Attorney Today

Accidents on motorcycles happen even for the most experienced riders. If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an attorney immediately.

An attorney can help you receive compensation for your injuries. A motorcycle accident often results in more catastrophic, serious injuries than your average passenger vehicle incident. Therefore, you will need someone experienced in these types of accident claims to help you receive the compensation you deserve for medical costs, lost wages, and more.

Today, vehicle manufacturers are rolling out an entire line-up of vehicles with fantastic safety features. Do not let the endless choices overwhelm you or assume that all safety features are created the same. You can find a safe, efficient vehicle within your price range just by knowing the safety features that are crucial versus those that are more optional.

What Safety Features Do You Want in Your New Vehicle in Chicago?

Some safety features are required by federal law, while others are more of a convenience. Those required include front airbags, stability control, safety belts, and LATCH for child safety seats. Note: side curtain airbags are not required, but most manufacturers offer them standard today.

You can see the full list of required safety features by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

From these required safety features, you come into the optional features. Some optional features are included standard by manufacturers while others require an upgrade, and specific companies only offer an exclusive few.

Blind Spot Detection

Not all manufacturers offer this system standard, but it is indeed one to consider. Blind spot detection will alert you by using a light on your side-view mirror. It will blink any time there is a vehicle or motorcycle in your blind spot – preventing you from accidentally changing lanes and cutting them off or causing an accident.

Some systems are more advanced and will create an audio alert if you attempt to change lanes with something in your blind spot.

Systems today are advanced enough also to detect pedestrians and cyclists – one of the harder objects to see in your blind spot.

Lane Keeping Assistant

Wandering into another person’s lane, whether it is a vehicle or cyclist, can cause a catastrophic vehicle accident. That is why manufacturers created the lane-keeping assistant. This program uses cameras to detect lane markings and keep you centered. Some will only notify you if you begin to drift out of the lane while more advanced systems will take over and put the vehicle back into the center of the line.

These systems disengage when you put on your turn signal, which indicates to other motorists that you are changing lanes or turning.

Lane keeping assistant not only forces you to engage the turn signal, which promotes safety, but it will also keep you from causing accidents by entering another person’s lane unintentionally.

Rear-View Cameras

Only recently were rear-view cameras added to the list of required safety features on cars. Therefore, if you are buying a used vehicle, it may not have the rear-view or backup assist system. Consider purchasing a vehicle with this life-saving safety feature if you can.

Not only does it make life easier when backing into a spot or backing out into traffic, but it can save the life of a small child.

These systems provide you with a camera view behind your car’s rear bumper – an area unseen even if you were to look over your shoulder. Some systems are advanced and have grid lines showing you how close you are to an object (with the red lines meaning you are about to strike the object).

As of May 2018, NHTSA will require all new vehicles sold in the United States to have a rear-view camera system. Therefore, if you purchase a new car, it must have the system equipped as a standard feature.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

NHTSA highly recommends a vehicle with AEB because these systems detect a forward collision and prevent them. First, the system alerts you that you are about to crash and then it will take corrective action if you do not respond by applying the brakes to either stop the collision entirely or reduce the impact.

One reason NHTSA supports this technology is because the dynamic brake support on these systems can potentially save lives and put an end to the hundreds of thousands of rear-end collisions happening in the United States.

According to NHTSA, in 2015, 33.4 percent of police-reported crash incidents were a rear-end collisions. Advanced avoidance programs and automatic braking technology could stop most of these crashes and by compensating for driver inattention – a growing problem in the U.S.

Furthermore, NHTSA states that these systems are already being included as a package on most vehicles, and manufacturers are using a variety of sensor systems. Therefore, NHTSA cannot predict how much this addition would cost, but they still recommend drivers consider it for their next vehicle purchase.

Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB)

Pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) is a frontal pedestrian impact system that stops a vehicle from striking a pedestrian.

The PAEB uses forward-looking sensors and automatically applies the brakes or supplements if a pedestrian is detected and there is a danger of striking that pedestrian. These systems rely on cameras and sensors, including radar detection.

PAEB systems are highly advanced and can help avoid crashes in four different pedestrians versus automobile crash incidents:

  • A vehicle heading straight into a pedestrian crossing the street
  • A car turning right while a pedestrian is crossing the road
  • A vehicle turning left while a pedestrian is crossing the road
  • A car heading straight, and a pedestrian is walking with or against traffic

Right now, NHTSA does not recommend PAEB in their list of 5-Star Safety Ratings, but it may be added in the years to come.

Forward Collision Warning System

Forward collision warning systems (FCW) use monitors and sensors to track a car’s speed as well as the speed of a vehicle traveling in front. It measures the distance between those two vehicles and then notifies the driver of an impending crash if the vehicle gets too close to the other. FCW does not take over nor do they apply the brakes. Instead, it is a warning system that notifies drivers to act.

Heads Up Display

Distracted driving is a severe problem in the United States, and not all instances of it are with ill-intention. Take the GPS system for example. Older vehicles have GPS systems mounted to the center console, which means the driver must take his or her eyes off the road to look at their GPS.

To avoid such a distraction, more manufacturers are creating heads-up display systems. These solve the issue of looking away by putting the information up front – typically on the windshield – so that the driver’s eyes are always on the road.

Luxury vehicles may have options that come in full color that will tell you not only the directions but your speed and the speed limit of the new zone you are about to enter.

Non-luxury vehicles keep it more straightforward by projecting the image of your next turn on the windshield. But regardless of whether it is black and white or color, this system can significantly reduce the number of distractions on the road.

Adaptive Headlights and Windshield Wipers

Technology has advanced far enough to reach the point where headlights and windshield wipers can detect when they are needed.

Adaptive headlights will pivot with the direction of your vehicle, which provides you with added light as you make a turn and improves visibility around sharp curves. Multiple models offer adaptive headlights today, including cars from Acura, Mazda, and luxury vehicles like Mercedes-Benz.

Adaptive windshield wipers are equally impressive. These wipers will automatically turn on when raindrops are detected on your windshield and turn off when they are no longer needed. The technology can be overly sensitive or not sensitive enough, but you have a manual override in case you need to turn off or turn on the wipers – such as in a car wash or when you encounter a light spray.

911 Automatic Notification Systems

Another recommended safety feature by NHTSA is the automatic crash notification system. This system will automatically notify emergency responders if you have been in a crash and provided them with your vehicle’s location. This could be a life-saving technology when a person is unconscious, and there are no witnesses to call emergency responders.

These systems have been shown to reduce the number of accident fatalities and long-term disabilities because they ensure emergency teams reach a car quickly and the victims receive medical care within the hour.

Injured in a Motor Vehicle Crash? You May Qualify for Compensation

Even with all the safety features above, an accident could occur. When someone causes your motor vehicle accident and you suffer significant damages, you can hold that driver financially accountable.

To explore your rights and see if you qualify for compensation, it is best that you speak with an accident attorney. An attorney from Malman Law could help you with your case. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation at 888-625-6265 or request information about our car accident cases online.

Nursing home residents have certain rights and protections under both state and federal laws. Not only is a nursing home in Illinois required to provide residents with their rights in writing, but any violation of these rights can result in an official complaint or lawsuit if there are significant damages.

How Nursing Home Resident Rights Work in Chicago

As a nursing home resident, you are guaranteed protection under the federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law (NHRL). This law is a model that serves as a public policy for residents and nursing home companies.

Under this federal policy, nursing homes must not only protect the rights of residents but advocate for their residents. Nursing homes must meet all federal requirements if they are to participate and receive compensation through Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Some states have their own nursing home rights and regulations too. A nursing home operating in one of these states must adhere to the state’s rights and regulations in addition to the federal standards for compliance.

In Illinois, 210 ILCS 45, Nursing Home Care Act, lists residents rights too. Therefore, we will explore not only your federal rights but those also specific to the state of Illinois.

Federal Nursing Home Resident Rights to Know

Under the federal law, nursing homes must care for their residents and promote a quality of life for those residents.

That includes providing services and activities to ensure the highest degree of mental, physical, and emotional well-being – all that is outlined in an official care plan.

Under the NHRL, residents of nursing homes across the country have the right to:

Information

All nursing home residents must be fully informed about services available to them at their nursing home and the costs of those services. They must also receive a copy of any nursing home rules, regulations, and their federal/state rights.

New residents and current residents must have access to the address and telephone of their Ombudsman and access to any state survey reports.

If the resident does not speak English, the nursing home is required to provide them with a copy of their rights and other important information in the language they do speak – including Braille for those who are blind.

The Right to Make a Complaint

All residents have the right to complain if they feel their rights are being violated. Grievances may be presented to staff and administrators, and the nursing home is federally barred from reprimanding or using adverse actions against that resident for their complaint.

Residents also have the right to send complaints to the state ombudsman program or file a complaint with the state survey.

The Right to Participate in Care Plans

A resident has the right to participate in their care and the creation of a written care plan. Not only must they receive adequate care based on specific needs, but be informed of changes, participate in assessments, and have the right to refuse medication or treatment.

They must also have the right to refuse any chemical or physical restraints and be free from paying out-of-pocket for services covered by Medicare or Medicaid programs.

The Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

Residents of nursing homes have the right to privacy and confidentiality just as a patient expects from a doctor. All treatments, medical, personal, and financial matters must be protected.

The Unique Rights During a Transfer or Discharge

In the event a resident is transferred to another facility or discharged, their rights continue and include:

  • The right to remain in the nursing home until adequate facilities are found
  • Health and safety protections during their transfer
  • Receive a 30-day written notice of a pending transfer or discharge that must include the reason, date, location for transfer, rights to appeal, and the ombudsman contact information
  • Safe transfer or discharge through proper preparation – including instructions or discharge care information

The Right of Respect, Freedom, and Dignity

A nursing home resident must be treated with respect, be free of abuse (including mental or emotional abuse), be treated with consideration and dignity, and have security of personal possessions stored on the premises.

The Right to Visitation

Residents are entitled to on-site visits by a physician, including the personal physician of their choosing. Furthermore, residents have the right to visitation from family, friends, and other individuals of their choosing. Visitors that offer social, legal, or health services are also allowed to visit the resident at their request. Residents equally have the right to refuse any visitors.

The Right to Independent Decision-Making

A resident has the right to make independent, personal decisions, including how to spend their free time or the clothing they want to wear. The nursing home must provide reasonable accommodations based on a resident’s needs. A resident also has the right to choose their treating physician, manage their finances or select a proxy, participate in the Resident Council, and participate in social activities inside and outside of the nursing home.

State Resident Rights to Know

Some of the Illinois nursing home resident rights do overlap federal rights, but they are equally essential to understand. If a nursing home violates state resident rights, you will file your complaint with the state survey agency as well as the Ombudsman.

Protection from Deprivation

Under 210 ILCS 45/2-101, no resident will be deprived of rights, benefices, or the privileges given to them by the law of the state or federal government just because they are a resident of a nursing home.

Financial Rights for Illinois Residents

All residents of Illinois nursing homes are entitled to:

  • Information on spousal impoverishment. Your nursing home must inform you and your spouse of any impoverishment rights upon your admission. Under that impoverishment, Medicaid covers the costs of a spouse’s nursing home expense and allows a spouse to live in the community and keep a specific amount of monthly income and assets.
  • Ability to manage your own finances. You have the right to manage your finances under Illinois resident rights. You are not required to sign over your finances, nor do you have to use a proxy assigned by the nursing home.
  • Management of nursing home accounts. If you wish, you can hold funds in a nursing home account, but the nursing home is required to keep your funds and account separate from other residents. They must also provide you with written records of any transactions, quarterly itemized statements, and allow you to receive funds back with a written request.

Property Rights for Illinois Residents

  • Use of personal property during your stay. You have the right to use personal belongings and clothing unless it is medically necessary or documented in a clinical record that you cannot.
  • Adequate storage space and safeguarding personal items. The state requires a nursing home to give you storage space for personal items, and they must provide you with means to protect personal belongings in your living space too.

Medical Rights for Illinois Residents

  • You have the right to continue using your physician.
  • You must be medically screened before entrance so that the facility can provide a written care plan based on your health needs.
  • You have the right to consult a physician with questions about a care plan, and you can participate in creating the plan.
  • You will not be subjected to experimental research or treatments without consent.
  • Any medical treatment (including medications or restraints used) must be prescribed by your treating physician, and the nursing home staff must review these requests within 24-hours of receipt.
  • You hold the right to refuse medical treatment.
  • You have access to all medical records.
  • You have the right to sign a do-not-resuscitate order, and the facility must honor that order.
  • You will receive annual influenza and pneumococcal vaccination.

Basic Resident Rights

Illinois wants to improve the quality of life for their residents, which is why the Act lists specific fundamental rights including:

  • The right to exercise free speech
  • Your right to practice the religion of your choice
  • Your right to not be discriminated against
  • Your right to room with a spouse in the nursing home
  • The right to access phone, email, mail, and visitation
  • Your right to not be forced to work for the nursing home as part of your keep
  • Your right to not have unnecessary restraints used on you unless the facility meets specific requirements

What If My Rights Are Violated?

If you think that your federal or state rights have been violated or you suspect that a nursing home is abusing a loved one, you have several steps to consider. First, if there is physical abuse, contact local law enforcement and file a police report. Then, contact your state Ombudsman and report the abuse or mishandling of the resident immediately.

Next, contact an attorney that handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases. While there are state and federal rights designed to protect residents, not all nursing homes honor these resident protections.

You have the right to hold a nursing home accountable for their neglect, abuse, and outright ignorance of the law.

Speak with an attorney today from Malman Law, and let our advocates fight for your nursing home rights.

Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys now at 888-625-6265 or request more information about nursing home abuse, rights, or neglect online.

While a person could undoubtedly suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) while wearing a helmet, most studies arguing against their use are ignoring the most critical benefit to a helmet: helmets lessen the severity of these injuries. A person could have a concussion while wearing a helmet, but their concussion is less severe than a person without a helmet.

In fact, one study by the Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine found that helmets lessen the severity of injuries for children skiing. Another published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) states that cyclists were three times more likely to die of a fatal head injury in a bike accident without a helmet than those wearing a helmet.

It is not enough to review a study, because there are just as many studies out there convincing people that helmets do nothing for protection or that they cause further injuries. Therefore, it is essential to look at the science behind helmets, how they work, and what they do to prevent a fatal injury.

How Chicago Residents Can Protect Themselves Wearing Helmets

When you think about it, your head striking the pavement or any hard surface is likely to encounter more injuries without a helmet than if you were wearing a helmet.

Despite the arguments against a helmet, there are no scientific and evidence-based reasons not to wear one. Severe trauma can occur to the brain from impact, which may lead to a concussion or something more severe like a skull fracture. Even what appears to be a minor head injury where the victim does not lose his or her consciousness, can lead to permanent complications such as memory retention issues, concentration problems, or sleep disorders.

A helmet reduces the risk of severe TBI. While it might not prevent a minor TBI, moderate to severe TBIs are what lead to long-term deficits and have a high potential for death. A helmet absorbs most of the impact when a person’s head strikes a hard surface.

One study found that bicycle helmets were protective when it came to head and neck injuries. Wearing a helmet did not increase the risk of neck injury. And even when minor TBIs occurred, these helmets reduced the severity of the injury. In other words, had the person not worn his or her helmet, they would have suffered more catastrophic damage.

The Emotional Impact of Helmets

One reason some studies find helmets ineffective at preventing injuries is because they explore the emotional side of wearing a helmet. If you wear a helmet, you have a sense of protection; therefore, you might put yourself at higher risk for injury, take more risks while riding a bike, and just assume that you are protected and have nothing to worry about – thus increasing the chances for a more serious accident than a person who is not wearing a helmet.

Furthermore, motorists may give more clearance to a bicycle rider they see operating a bike without a helmet.

While there is evidence of a risk compensation for those wearing helmets, that is not a fair argument against helmets.

Not All Helmets Are the Same

Now that we have established the importance of wearing a helmet, we must emphasize the importance of a quality helmet. Wearing a helmet is only half a step; you must also ensure the right helmet is put on the right person for effectiveness.

Also, there are different helmets for various activities. A motorcycle helmet, for example, is not meant to be worn while skateboarding. A snowboarding helmet is not the same as a bicycle helmet.

There are some helmets designed for multi-sport activity, but only wear those helmets if the manufacturer specifies that they are multi-sport and use them for the sports indicated in the manufacturer instructions. Do not assume a multi-activity helmet applies to every activity requiring a helmet.

Get the Right Fit

For a helmet to be useful, it must fit properly. A helmet should:

  • have a comfortable, snug fit to the head.
  • not tilt back or cover too much of the forehead. Instead, it should sit evenly.
  • mot move at all once latched into place.
  • have a buckle that keeps the helmet in place.
  • have the ability to adjust but also remain in place once adjusted.

Never Buy a Size Ahead

When you buy shoes or clothes for your child, you buy a size ahead so that they have something to grow into. While it saves you money and the hassles of repurchasing a few months later, helmets are not the same as clothes. Purchase helmets for the appropriate age, but also ensure it fits before leaving the store. Some helmet models come with pads you can remove to give your child room to grow into the helmet. If the helmet fits with the pads inserted at the time you purchase it, it will last a few years and give them the chance to grow into it.

Check Helmet Fits Regularly

Children and adults should inspect helmets regularly and make sure they still fit, have no visible damage, and are not too old. Helmets will not last forever. If you have been in an accident with your helmet, you must replace it unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise. Some helmets, like a snowboarding helmet, may be used for multiple impacts, but they are designed for that very purpose. Bicycle helmets, on the other hand, are rarely intended for multi-impact use.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions on expiration. Some helmets only last a few years before the manufacturer indicates replacement.

Remember a Helmet Is Only Half the Equation

While a helmet can prevent severe head trauma, you must realize that it is only half the equation for bicycle and activity safety. You have reduced your risk of injury, but that does not mean you or your child should engage in risk compensation behavior such as cutting in front of a car on a bike or taking your bike off a steep drop. Always use caution during recreational activities to reduce the chances of being in an accident in the first place.

Receiving Compensation for a TBI

Whether you are injured in a cycling accident, riding a motorcycle, or snowboarding, you may qualify for compensation if you or a loved one suffers a TBI.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are traumatic injuries that can lead to long-term deficits. When the accident which caused the TBI stems from someone’s negligence, you can hold that person financially liable through a civil lawsuit.

In a civil case, you may receive compensation for:

  • Medical Costs: Medical expenses are by far the highest compensation in a TBI case. TBIs have significant costs upfront but may be long-term if the injury is severe enough. From hospitalizations to surgery to rehabilitation, all these expenses might be included in an injury settlement.
  • Lost Wages: Whether you miss work to care for a child who suffers a TBI or you can no longer work because of your TBI injury, you can receive compensation for lost wages – including loss of earning capacity when injuries cause permanent disability.
  • Pain and Suffering: The emotional trauma, mental anguish, and physical pain associated with a TBI can be extensive. TBIs often exhibit long-term complications, and those complications should be compensated.

What If a Defective Helmet Causes Injury?

Sometimes, the TBI is not caused by a party creating the accident but a defective helmet instead. If you suspect that your TBI or a loved one’s TBI stemmed from a defective helmet, you may have a product liability claim.

Manufacturers in the United States are held to a higher standard when it comes to product safety. When a defective product causes injury, the manufacturer and parties involved in the supply chain can be held liable for those defects.

It is best to consult with an attorney if you suspect a defective product injured you or a loved one. An attorney can review the facts, look for others who may suffer similar injuries, and work toward a settlement with the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer who sold the product.

Speak with an Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact an attorney at Malman Law today. Our attorneys understand the cost, trauma, and anguish that you and your family are going through.

We are here to help you not only navigate through your legal options but also to hold parties responsible for those damages.

Speak with an attorney today by scheduling your free case evaluation at 888-625-6265 or request a free, no-obligation consultation online.

Compassionate Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Offers Advice

Nursing homes are centers that offer care for the elderly, individuals suffering from dementia, and those who need a safe, comfortable living environment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, five percent of the 65 years and older population currently reside in nursing homes. As of 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that there were 15,600 registered nursing homes in the state, housing 1.4 million residents.

As the aging population continues to increase, nursing homes are starting to become overrun. Many have their resources stretched thin, and new facilities are opening their doors to take the overflow. Unfortunately, with so many new nursing homes opening each year, it is hard for state regulators to monitor them or inspect them – thus increasing the chances for injury, improper care, and even wrongful deaths.

Nursing home abuse around the country and in Chicago is becoming more prevalent than ever. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a nursing home, you have rights. You can hold the nursing home responsible for the injury and help prevent the same acts from occurring to other residents.

infographic: nursing home abuse

 

What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Nursing home abuse takes numerous forms:

  • Outright Abuse – Outright abuse can be emotional, physical, or sexual. It involves a caretaker who purposely causes harm to the patient.
  • Physical Neglect – Physical neglect occurs when caretakers deprive their residents of specific needs such as failing to ensure proper hygiene, lack of assistance while toileting, not repositioning the patient’s  bodies, and allowing bed sores to form.
  • Medical Neglect – Providing limited medical care or lack of medical care entirely. This includes failing to give prescription medications, providing poor access to care, or failing to treat an illness or infection.
  • Lack of Assistance – Sometimes negligence focuses on the lack of assistance such as not providing an immobile patient with help eating, drinking, or moving. This also includes failing to answer patient requests for assistance even after a patient cries out for help.

Do You Know the Warning Signs?

Most cases of nursing home abuse go unnoticed. Statistics have shown that 44 percent of residents have been abused during their stay in a nursing home, and not all these cases are reported to law enforcement.

Some signs of abuse or neglect that family members need to be aware of include:

  • poor personal hygiene identified by the resident being unbathed, dirty clothes, dental problems from poor oral health, or rashes from unchanged adult diapers.
  • emotional outbursts or sudden changes in their mental health without explanation.
  • signs of dehydration and malnutrition.
  • unexplained bruises, lacerations, bed sores, rashes, and other injuries.
  • changes in their psychological health, including becoming depressed or anxious for no reason.
  • bedsores present on immobile patients, especially around the hips, ankles, and back.

How Are Nursing Homes Held Liable for Injuries?

Nursing homes must provide the standard of care that is expected of them. These standards are higher than the average person providing care to a loved one, because nursing homes take a fee in return for skilled providers to care for family members.

When injuries occur because of outright abuse or neglect, the nursing home is held negligent under one of the following legal theories:

  • Negligent Supervision and Care – Nursing home caretakers have a duty to their patients. They must not only provide them with reasonable care, but also prevent potential injuries. That means ensuring the premises is safe, giving extra assistance to patients that need it, ensuring proper diet and hydration, and ensuring basic needs are met. When a staff member fails to provide this level of care, the nursing home can be held liable for failing to supervise or care for their patients properly.
  • Negligent Hiring and Retention Practices – Nursing homes are required to hire properly trained staff. They also must monitor that staff, train them when new protocols or regulations arise, and prevent unnecessary amounts of turnover. When a nursing home has a high turnover rate, the chances of abuse or injury increase for the residents.
  • Negligent Maintenance – Sometimes it is not the caretaker, but the facility. Leaving floors wet or slick, having cluttered hallways, not complying with the ADA rules, and other poor maintenance practices could lead to serious injuries. Nursing homes are responsible for ensuring their premises are safe, and that any potential hazards are corrected before they cause a serious injury.
  • Assault and Battery – If a patient is physically assaulted by his or her caretaker, the nursing home and the caregiver could be liable in civil and criminal courts.
  • Contract Violations – When you put a loved one in a nursing home, you sign a contract. The contract ensures that you will pay the nursing home and lists the services and level of care your loved one will receive. When injuries occur because of abuse or negligence, the nursing home almost always has violated these contracts – thus, making them liable.

Who Do You Report Nursing Home Abuse To?

If you suspect abuse or neglect, you need to report it quickly. You have three main avenues to take:

  • Reporting to the IDPH – Report the suspected abuse by filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH is responsible for monitoring and enforcing all nursing home regulations in the state, and they have a hotline specifically for nursing home claims at 800-252-4343.
  • File a Lawsuit – You can also speak with a nursing home abuse attorney and file a lawsuit in civil court. Lawsuits not only open an investigation into the nursing home, but they are the only way that you can recover damages for your injuries or the injuries to a loved one. These damages can include medical costs, returning the costs paid for nursing home care, pain, suffering, and more.
  • Filing a Complaint with the Police – When abuse or a wrongful death occurs, contact law enforcement immediately. The prosecutor may seek criminal charges against the nursing home itself or the caretaker suspected of abuse.

Meet with a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

If you or a loved one is injured by a negligent nursing home, it is imperative you speak with an attorney. Contact Malman Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We handle cases involving nursing home abuse, neglect, and wrongful deaths.

Schedule your consultation now at 888-675-9854 or request more information online.