Dog bite Injuries – Denver TV Anchor’s Is Bitten In The Face During Interview

February 16, 2012

Approximately 800,000 dog bite attacks occur each year in the United States that require medical treatment. Children account for many of these dog bite victims. Each year, thousands of children are either killed or seriously injured by dog bites injuries. Dog bites can cause serious and disfiguring injuries that may have life changing and life long effects on a person. The effects are catastrophic all the way around: the victim will have to live with the effects of his injuries and the dog, more often than not, will have to be put down.

The story below is just an all too familiar story about an all too trusting individual who simply fails to assess the real dangers of getting too close to an animal with which she is unfamiliar.

A veteran Denver television anchor was injured Wednesday after she was bitten in the face by a dog while doing a live broadcast about a dog rescued by a firefighter. Kyle Dyer was interviewing Michael Robinson — the owner of an 85-pound Argentine mastiff that fell into a lake on Tuesday while chasing a coyote in the city’s Lakewood area — and firefighter Tyler Sugaski, who put on a wetsuit and rescued the dog, when the attack occurred. According to KUSA-TV, firefighters, paramedics and animal control officials were called to the station after the attack.

The station posted a statement on its Facebook page that Dyer was “getting medical attention due to the injury” and the station was waiting to find out the extent of her injuries before issuing further information. A station spokeswoman was not available for comment. The station showed video of Dyer petting the dog, but cut off the video before the attack and said they would not show it. A station spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment. Julie Lonborg, spokeswoman for Denver Health hospital, said in a statement that Dyer was in fair condition and being evaluated by a trauma team. The hospital said she was awake and visiting with family. KUSA-TV said she may go home as soon as tonight.

Megan Hughes, spokeswoman for the Denver Environmental Health department, said no decision has been made on what will happen to the dog.

via Dog bites Denver TV anchor’s face during interview – CBS News.

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Wrongful Death – Mother: Cop, Not Ex-Boyfriend, Deserves Prison Time

February 1, 2012

At what point negligence becomes willful and wanton disregard for a person’s safety?

This is the question that the alleged facts of the case below raises for me. The alleged facts are generally that the boyfriend was drink and calls on his girl to drive hum home. She has a suspended driver’s license and has no babysitter on call. So she puts the baby in the safety seat, as she should, and get the drunk boyfriend. On their way home, they are stopped by a police officer. Upon realizing that the girl friend’s license is suspended, he arrests her, and gives the keys to the car and the baby in the back seat to the drunk boy friend to go home. On their way home, the drunk boy friend crashes the car killing the baby.

Police officers have immunity from the negligent acts they commit while in the performance of their duties. However, police officers are still responsible for willful and wanton acts they commit that causes harm to others. That is, while a police officer may not be held responsible for running into a bystander while chasing a bad guy, he can be held liable if he runs into the bystander on purpose or the chase he has entered into is so dangerous and so unreasonable that it becomes tantamount to a willful and wanton act.

In the case below, the police officer allegedly gives the keys to a drunk person allowing him to drive the vehicle along with the baby in the backseat. Is this an act of negligence that is tantamount to a wilful and wanton disregard for the safety of others, namely the baby in the backseat? I suppose if the case does not settle, twelve jurors will be able to tell us the answer.

“This police officer might have prevented this offense, but he did not cause it,” stated Burmilla.

However, LaFond’s attorney, Mark Horowitz, countered that Officer Felicetti bears all of the responsibility.

“He controlled the situation. He’s the one that pulled her over. He could have ‘A’ told Kathie to drive the child home. He could have given her a ticket roadside. He could have said go home, don’t let me catch you out again,” he said.

via Mother: Cop, Not Ex-Boyfriend, Deserves Prison Time | NBC Chicago.

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Consumer Issues – Legal Wrinkle Creates Debate Over ‘Debtors’ Prisons’ in Illinois

January 26, 2012

debtor prisonGenerally, when there are summons or a subpoena for you to appear in Court, you must do so if you have been served with those papers. Either yourself, or a legal representative on your behalf has to show up. Failure to show-up, may result is a warrant for your arrest to be issued. Now, that is a Rule of Law that is helpful in many instances in order to get those who have done harm or have important information about an incident such a witness to come to Court and help in the implementation of Justice.

What I fail to understand, is that in a collection proceeding, if the defendant has been properly served, and he or she does not show up in Court, the common sense result would be the entry of a judgment in the amount asked in favor of the plaintiff and against the missing defendant. The defendant then may begin collection activities which may include freezing bank accounts, wage garnishment, ceasing property and such. It behooves us to think that a person who owes money, and has not paid it as he or she was supposed to, would suddenly come up with funds to pay the debt holder if he or she would appear in Court. It is utterly void of any sense whatsoever, for a Judge to enter a body attachment order and issue an arrest warrant in a debt collection proceeding. It is simply void of any practical sense and/or common sense and/or legal sense.

Yet, the example below is one amongst many that I have heard taking place as of late. This causes a Court to play into the hands of low-life debt collectors who have found a new weapon to harass and harm otherwise good and law abiding citizens who are down on their luck. No one should be sent to jail because they cannot pay their debt. That is a sound principle that a Judge should be able to work through when a debt collector’s representative requests the Court to issue an arrest warrant when the defendant fails to show. Under normal circumstances, the failure should simply mean that the defendant does not have any defense nor is disputing the existence of the debt or his or her obligation to pay it. What more can be obtained by placing the person in jail, possibly causing more economic harm and making it even more difficult to pay back, even if they had such an intention.

This sort of behavior is expected of debt collectors-but it is surprising and sad to see Judge’s who are willing to go along with it.

“Robin Ebersohl left her job at a Wal-Mart in Montgomery County to drive back to her home in Livingston. During the trip, she was stopped by police. “I knew my muffler was bad, but I just kind of chanced it,” Ebersohl said. “He pulled me over, and I thought I would just get a fix-it ticket or something.” What Ebersohl didn’t know was that a warrant had been issued against her in Macoupin County for failure to appear in court on a debt collection issue. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to appear to,” said Ebersohl, who said she never got a notice that she was due in court.

Instead of going home that day, she was taken to jail. Ebersohl said she spent the night in the Montgomery County Jail and then was transferred to Macoupin County, where she spent three more days in jail.”

via Legal wrinkle creates debate over ‘debtors’ prisons’ in Illinois – Springfield, IL – The State Journal-Register.

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Wrongful Death – Father Knows Best – Son’s Death in Salt-truck Was Avoidable

January 24, 2012

When a company designs and manufactures a product, the Law requires that manufacturer and/or designer to make sure that the designed product is reasonable safe for its intended use. Too often, it is the personal injury legal battle that brings about those simple changes, that were they implemented to begin with, the injury for which the lawsuit was brought would not have happened. It was the amputated leg of a homeowner whose legs were badly mangled up under his lawnmower when he felt and it back over his legs that prompted manufacturers to put that kill switch on the mower’s handle. It was the McDonald’s case that prompted car manufacturers to equip their cars with cup-holders. It was the avoidable death of several drivers that prompted car manufacturers to use the three-point seat belts. These simple modifications added to the cost of manufacturing, but has prevented additional injuries and death.

In the example below, and the wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed, the same principle is again at play. A simple cut-off switch and/or a protective panel could have prevented the death of a young man? The Jury will make that finding in due time I suppose.

“A suburban father filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday, one month after he made a horrific discovery at the family’s business: His son had fallen on a salt-truck auger, and the younger man’s clothing had been pulled in to the mechanism, strangling him.

David Pittas filed the suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court against the manufacturer and others tied to the sale of the salt spreader that killed his 26-year-old son Timothy Pittas. The younger Pittas would still be alive today had the salt-spreader been equipped with an emergency shut-off device or at least if the auger — the metal device that spins and spreads the salt — had a guard around it.

“The only reason we’re doing this is so no other person has to go through what I’m going through, or what my wife is going through or my [other] son is going through or my daughter is going through,” a choked up David Pittas told the Sun-Times, referring to his wife Mary and their two surviving children. “It’s wrong to bury your son, and it’s wrong that we had to. If I can save one other person’s life with this then Tim didn’t die in vain.””

via Father says son’s death in salt-truck accident didn’t have to happen – Chicago Sun-Times.

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If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

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Wrongful Death – Personal Injury – Frivolous lawsuits Are Not The Issue – Carelessness Is.

January 3, 2012

We have heard so many tales of woes about how medical malpractice lawsuits are ruining the medical health of this country by making healthcare expensive for all and by causing the exodus of doctors from the so-called “judicial hellholes” (of which Illinois is supposedly one) toward States where there are limits on justice that a victim of a doctor’s carelessness can hope to obtain.

The problem with that proposition is that it is simply not true. What causes medical malpractice lawsuits are not patients and/or juries and their verdicts or lack of caps on those verdicts, but medical malpractice. The best way to prevent a lawsuit based on medical malpractice is to not commit carelessness.

Note that here, we are not talking about things that may go wrong in the natural progression of a treatment: there are times when a treatment goes wrong through no fault of the medical provider and/or the attending physician. Things may go wrong because Medicine is an art. What we are talking about here are actual damages caused to individuals that are the direct result of carelessness–that is different from simply not getting the intended result. For example, damages that could cause for failure of a doctor to simply read objective tests that are performed and that are ready to be reviewed but the doctor simply decides not to avail himself f the useful information those tests provides him. That is when medical malpractice lawsuits may be expected.

NYT: Doctors at Harlem Hospital Didn’t See Most Reports

Nearly 4,000 tests for heart disease performed over the last three years at Harlem Hospital Center – more than half of all such tests performed – were never read by doctors charged with making a diagnosis, hospital officials acknowledged Tuesday.
The echocardiogram tests, a type of ultrasound used to evaluate heart muscle and valve functions, were ordered by doctors at the hospital. The tests were stored on a computer and basically forgotten, officials said. The lapse occurred because the cardiology service at the hospital had developed a system by which technicians were given the responsibility to scan all tests and flag any that looked abnormal, so that they would be given priority when doctors read them.

It appears, officials said, that the tests that were not flagged were put aside and forgotten.

The city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the public hospital system, including Harlem Hospital, and Columbia University, whose medical school supplies the cardiologists who work at Harlem Hospital Center, acknowledged the problem in a joint statement on Tuesday, after being asked about it by The New York Times.

“While the process the doctors followed may have alerted cardiologists to those echocardiograms that were most likely to be abnormal, the failure to read the echocardiograms in a timely manner is inexcusable and may have placed patients at risk,” Alan D. Aviles, hospitals corporation president, said in the statement. It was unclear who developed the screening system, hospital officials said.

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New Law – Back-seat Riders Required to Buckle Up

January 2, 2012

A good law is now in effect. If one is ridding in a moving vehicle, there are no reasons why all passengers should not be belted in and secured in their place. All unrestrained objects in a vehicle can become deadly projectiles in an accident and cause various levels of personal injuries if not death to themselves and/or others. It only makes sense that this law was passed.

One thing that is not clear, why passengers in taxi cabs and/or motor buses are exempt. Will the laws of physics not apply to those passengers if involved in a motor vehicle accident?

Just like unrestrained front-seat riders, back-seat passengers who aren’t buckled up during an accident can suffer head, chest and abdominal trauma.“ And they can be thrown from the vehicle,” said James Doherty, medical director of trauma and critical care programs at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Back-seat passengers also can become human projectiles during a crash, injuring or even killing others in the vehicle, he said.

Beginning Sunday January 1, 2012, Illinois will require all passengers, including previously exempt back-seat riders 18 and older, to buckle up. “It’s a good law,” New Lenox police Deputy Chief April DiSandro said. “It makes sense. If you have to be belted in the front seat, why not the back?

”The bill, which was sponsored by state Senate President John Cullerton D-Chicago and the late state Rep. Mark Beaubien R-Barrington Hills, was signed into law during the summer. It allows police officers to stop a car if they spot an unbuckled rider. Fines start at $25 but can be more, depending on court costs.

via Back-seat riders required to buckle up starting Sunday – Joliet Herald News.

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Tips & Tricks – Tis The Season: Snow-Shoveling Injuries Appear Early

December 29, 2011

Dr. Peretz offers simple tips to get you through the winter without injury:

1. Warm up before you dig in: Youll do your back a favor if you warm up for five to ten minutes before shoveling or any strenuous activity. Get your blood moving with a brisk walk, jogging or marching in place, or running up the stairs. Then stretch your lower back and hamstrings the large muscles in the back of the thigh with some gentle stretching exercises.

2. Use the right shovel: The basic snow shovel hasnt changed much since it was invented over 100 years ago. Hand grips are often lacking and the shovel length is typically too short for most people, forcing the user to bend and twist while heaving snow. Also, the traditional steel shovel is heavy, adding to the weight – as much as 20 pounds per shovelful of snow – you are lifting. Newer, ergonomic snow shovels take some of the effort out of snow removal. They are typically made of lighter materials such as plastic or lightweight aluminum and feature a curved handle or adjustable handle length to reduce or eliminate bending.

3. Use proper shoveling technique: Whenever possible, push the snow aside instead of lifting it. If you must lift, follow these guidelines:

  • Bend your knees and lift with your leg muscles – not your back!
  • Avoid twisting; pivot your whole body to change direction.
  • Do not throw snow over your shoulder.
  • Keep each load light.
  • If you must lift a full shovel, grip the shovel with one hand as close to the blade as comfortably possible and the other hand on the handle.
  • Walk to a new location to deposit the snow; do not reach or toss.

4. Clear early and often: Its easier to clear a light layer than to wait until all the snow has fallen and its packed and heavy. In deep snow, remove a few inches off the top at a time rather than attempting to shovel the full depth at once.

5. Stay on your feet: Wear shoes or boots with good treads and spread sand, rock salt, or kitty litter on your sidewalk or driveway to increase traction and reduce the likelihood of slipping.

6. Take it easy: Take a break every 10-15 minutes; stand up straight, walk around, and drink water to avoid dehydration and overheating. Listen to your body; when it says “stop” STOP.

7. Consider a snow blower: When used correctly, a snow blower puts less stress on your lower back than shoveling. Use the power of your legs to push the snow blower while keeping your back straight and knees bent.

via Tis The Season: Snow-Shoveling Injuries Appear Early.

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Personal Injury – Soft Tissue Injury: Conditions & Common Causes

December 28, 2011

By far the most common type of injuries we encounter are soft tissue injuries resulting from automobile car accidents, slip and falls, trip and falls and other traumatic events causing personal injuries in Chicago or Evanston.

Soft tissue injury is damage to four different types of tissue: muscles, ligaments, tendons or nerves.

Common causes

Soft tissue injury is caused by direct or indirect trauma. Direct trauma may happen in connection with sports or other accidents, being struck by an object or falling. Indirect trauma commonly stems from overuse of the tissue. For instance, assembly line or factory workers often suffer from this type because of the many repetitive movements they have to do many times a day.

Types of soft issue injury

Soft tissue injuries include ligament sprains e.g. sprained ankle, tendon strains, repetitive stress injury and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment

Immediately after the event causing the injury, you should use ice packs, rest, bandaging and elevation. You should see your doctor if you can’t move normally or if the pain and swelling are still present after a couple of days.

Treatment options might include:

  • Physiotherapy exercises to promote healing, strength and flexibility
  • Electrotherapy
  • Manual techniques such as mobilization and massage

Information via Soft Tissue Injury: Conditions & Common Causes.

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