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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Injury Lawyer Chicago IL

Physical injury has a domino effect on our ordered lives. After an injury, first comes the pain, then the need for medical care, and later come medical bills.  Hiring a good personal injury lawyer is an important step to discover and secure evidence and to ensure that medical debt does not negatively impact creditworthiness.

The torrent of medical bills begins very soon after medical treatment for personal injury. A visit to the ER typically results in at least two bills: one from the ER and another from the ER physician.  If the ER doctor orders X-rays, the radiologists will send a third bill for reading the films. If the ER doctor needs a consultation with a specialist, the specialist will send the fourth bill for the consultation.  If an ambulance took the personal injury victim to the ER, the ambulance ride will generate a fifth bill for the day.  Further treatment for the injuries brings more and more bills, loss of wages, decrease in credit score, and loss of the peace of mind.  At some point people start feeling helpless and lost and start asking around how to find a good personal injury lawyer to help them sort out the bills, the property damage, the loss of wages.  They search for “injury lawyer near me” and rely on search engines or referral of friends or family to find the best personal injury lawyer.  We often receive referrals from former clients who send us their friends or family to help.

When the Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer meet with injury clients for the first time, we often receive folders or large envelopes stuffed with unpaid medical bills.  We organize the bills chronologically by date of service to determine whether we have a comprehensive picture of the medical treatment to date.  We also start investigating the facts of the accident to determine whether there are witnesses, cameras, or other facts that can help to identify all responsible parties. We research the applicable law, and the responsible parties’ insurance to determine whether there is insurance coverage for the personal injury accident.  Sometimes, insurance companies may have exclusions and finding insurance coverage may become a challenge. Continue reading

Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys

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The Chicago personal injury attorneys with Zneimer & Zneimer note yet another tragic story involving a family pet resulting in the death of two small children.  This tragedy should remind us that dogs are animals with their own whims, needs, and moods.  Most dogs also have significant physical advantage over children, especially strong breeds like Pitt Bull, Doberman, Mastiff, Cane Corso, Rottweiler, and others.   Keeping a strong dog as a family pet where small children live comes with risks to the household of the dog’s owner.  Risks include not just dog bite injuries, but death.  A lot of the fatalities include children.

Dogsbite.org, keeps track of dog bite fatalities and their victims.  According to the 2022 data,  the roster of victims is heartbreaking.  It includes a 3-month old baby (family pet, French mastiff-mix), 7-year old girl (Rottweiler), 1-year old girl (Pitt bull),  4-year old boy (Pitt bull), 7-month old baby (American bulldog-mix) , a 4-year old girl (Pitt bull), and many other children and adults whose encounter with a dog became a fatality.

People love and anthropomorphize their dogs and often forget that dogs are not human, do not follow the law, and do not abide by any commandments not to attack, bite, or kill.  Anthropomorphizing dogs can have detrimental effects   on the dog and the relationship between the owner and the dog.  Attributing human mental and emotional states to a dog may lead to misinterpretation of the dog’s behavior, resulting in a negative effect on the animal’s welfare and behavior. As the sad examples and heartbreaking obituaries of children reveal, wishing that a dog shares the human love for children, in no way means that the dog shares such love or is always safe around kids.  The numerous examples DogBites.org has collected show kids dying at the jaws of family dogs. Continue reading

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The Chicago personal injury attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer have seen an increase in serious car crashes that involve the use of pot. Recently the Chicago Sun Times reported that Illinois traffic deaths increased by 24%.  According to the organization Parents Opposed to Pot, since 2016, when Illinois legalized marijuana, traffic deaths increased from 1078 to 1091 in 2017, to 1038 in 2018. This increase has some people wondering if there is a correlation between the decriminalization of marijuana and the state rising the authorized limit of THC from 0 to 5 ng of THC.

Even though under Illinois law use of marijuana may be legal, driving stoned at any level is not safe.  From young age we learn that drinking and driving is a lethal combination.  We hear commercials and radio advertisements, and see signs deterring us from sitting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol.  Yet there is a paucity of advertisements or signs or warnings discouraging smoking pot and driving.

The fact is that pot-related driving under the influence represents a threat to the citizens of Illinois.  Driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous.  Research shows that marijuana impairs reactions just like alcohol does.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction delay. Several meta-analyses of studies found that the risk of being involved in a crash significantly increased after marijuana use and in some cases, the risk doubled or more than doubled. Continue reading

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As part of National Dog Bite Awareness Week, the United States Postal Service released its dog bite numbers which showed that Chicago ranked second in the nation for dog bites of postal workers, with 59 attacks.  The same survey showed that Illinois ranked sixth in the nation for dog bites of postal workers.  The Postal Service released a list of tips to reduce the number of dog bites for postal carriers.  The dog bite lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer have handled dog bite cases for delivery people and dog bite attorney, Peter Zneimer notes that these tips would apply not only to postal workers but to any person delivering something to a residence, such as pizza delivery people, Door Dash or Uber Eats delivery people,  or Amazon delivery people:

*  If a delivery person comes to the front door, put the family dog in a separate room with a door and close the door.  The dog bite lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer have litigated more than one dog  bite case where the home owner lost control of their dog when a delivery person was at the door and the dog powered through the door crack or pushed the screen door open to bite the delivery person who the dog viewed as a threat.

*  Do not take a pizza, food delivery or package directly from the delivery person’s hands into your own hands with the family dog  in striking range.  The family dog may view this motion as a threat to the dog owner and may bite the delivery person to  protect its owner from the perceived  threat.  This is a common one.  The dog bite attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, are currently litigating two cases where the pizza delivery persons (our clients) were bit by the home owner’s dog while in the the act of handing the pizza to the home owner.

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Alderman Vasquez of the 40th Ward in Chicago has been advocating for snow to be cleared from bike lanes after a protest by bicyclists who complained that the bike lanes have not been cleared.  Surprisingly, there were around 103,000 Divvy bike rides in Chicago according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.  However, bike riders have a much more difficult time riding in the winter, and if the bike lanes are blocked with snow and sludge it makes riding a bike unfeasible and very dangerous.  The injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer note that bike injuries happen at all times of year.  Alderman Vasquez also instructs that bike lanes should be cleared regardless if the lane is protected by flex posts or not.  He continues that if a lane is protected by flex posts then a smaller plow needs to be used to clear the lane.  If the bike lane is delineated by just a painted line, then it is easier to clear with just the regular snow plow.

Bike lanes continue to be controversial in Chicago with bicyclist advocating for more protected lanes and for bike lanes to be maintained while motorist complain that the bike lanes take away scarce parking spaces.  Businesses owners also claim that they lose customers because of lack of parking.  Hopefully, these conflicts can be mediated so that both sides are satisfied.

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With 2,500 new dockless electric scooters, and countless first-time riders on the road, Chicago’s new e-scooter pilot program has gotten off to a rocky start. In the first six days alone since the launch, at least ten people went to emergency rooms for scooter-related injuries, with two of these injuries requiring surgery.

These accidents, ranging from hit-and-runs to cyclist injuries, are a rising threat for people simply getting around in the 50-square-mile testing area outside of the Loop. However, A study by the CDC and the city of Austin, TX (another city in the e-scooter boom) found that 33% of scooter accidents happen during a rider’s first time on a scooter. Another 30% of accidents occurred within the riders’ first ten rides. The data out of Austin combined with the rainy weather during Chicago’s pilot week is a recipe for deadlier accidents than ever. A 2011 study by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society found that the risk of fatal car crashes rises by 34%, the wetter the roads are.  The injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. urge everyone to exercise extra caution given that many first-time and new riders are getting their bearings in the direct line of traffic.

E-scooter riders are relegated to bike lanes, but lack of enforcement by the program vendors finds pedestrians dodging riders and side-stepping e-scooters left in the sidewalks and streets. The CDOT and partner vendors have distributed guidelines, via fliers, to communicate expectations of scooter use, with rules such as “We walk scooters on the sidewalk. We keep our eyes on the road. Be alert and pay attention. We wear helmets. We park scooters with care outside of sidewalk paths and by bike racks where possible. We ride in the bicycle lane. We obey all local traffic laws. They apply to us.” However, once off the bicycle lane, the app-based leaves it up to riders to decide where to park the scooters after use.

Chicagoans who take the eco-friendly approach to transportation by bicycling face daily dangers on busy downtown roads. Cyclists must be especially wary of drivers who suddenly open their doors after parking, without properly checking the oncoming traffic. Beginning January 2019, Illinois has taken a major step into preventing such door crashes by implementing the Dutch Reach into law. It is the 2nd state in the U.S. to implement the method, in hopes of raising awareness of cyclists on shared roads, and reducing door crashes.

The Dutch Reach, so called because of the practice’s origins in the Netherlands, is the method for drivers and passengers to open their car doors using their far hand. By moving your arm across your body, it forces you to twist and face the road behind you, making you vigilant to oncoming traffic.

The passed legislation adds the Dutch Reach to the Rules of the Road handbook that is issued to students and drivers in Illinois. RideIllinois, a nonprofit organization that advocates for cyclists in Illinois, has worked with the Secretary of State to include questions about the Dutch Reach in the driver’s license test. New drivers, along with those renewing their licenses and other adults getting their licenses for the first time, will have to study up on the method in order to pass both the written test and driving test.

Uber has been mired with scandals since its inception in 2009, although its popularity has not waned much, even in light of more competition such as Lyft and Via. Even as lawsuits pile up, and stories of drivers accosting passengers and vice-versa abound, notwithstanding lawsuits alleging sexual assaults, Uber has remained at the top. The constant scrutiny regarding safety has always been present but it appears Uber, and its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, are taking steps towards making both passengers and drivers safer when using this ride hailing platform.

A Chicago Suntimes article has reported Uber hiring a company called Checkr to conduct background checks on its employed drivers, a move that Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) has called an act of “self-preservation” on the part of Uber. Personal injury attorney, Peter Zneimer, finds it reassuring that a company as large and popular as Uber is addressing the growing safety concerns the general public and its consumers believe are pressing issues. Though, Uber is increasingly pressured to subject its drivers through more rigorous background checks, including fingerprinting, as cab drivers have to undergo, they do not intend to do so. Nevertheless, hiring Checkr to perform annual background checks is a start.

Chicago as a busy city uses these on-demand mobile apps heavily especially during the weekends, when ridership is at its highest and when the city is at its rowdiest. Consumers use these for the convenience but safety is of the utmost importance at the end of the day. The lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. believe that in the long run, it will benefit Uber to perform background checks as consumers can at least rely they’re not being driven around by a sex offender or someone with a long, violent criminal history.

 

Your teenager just got a drivers license and is bugging you for a car.   Eventually you agree and begin looking for an old used car, a training vehicle bound to get scratched and bent here and there until your teenager gets more experience.  You settle on an old 1994 Chevrolet Camaro for less than two hundred dollars.  A car-mechanic friend inspects the Camaro and thinks it’s in good shape and will do as a learning vehicle.  You get the key and can’t wait to see the happy face of your teenager.

Chicago personal injury attorney Peter Zneimer warns:  you just put your child in a death trap.

According to CDC,  “six teens ages 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.”

When choosing a car for an inexperienced driver, safety should be the primary concern.  Budget limitations aside, a newer car usually incorporates updated or newer safety technologies.  The best buy would be the newest model that has the best safety features available on the market your money can buy.  The most important features include curtain airbags, electronic stability control, forward-collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.  Having these key safety features may make a difference between life and death.

Older cars have fewer safety features, and some older cars are just too dangerous to drive.  For example, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the Chevrolet Camaro has the highest on-road death, three-times higher than average.  The Chevrloet Camaro is not alone.  Several other cars are just as dangerous.

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The first section of the Lakefront Trail separation project has been completed from 31st Street to 41st.  The separation project will provide separate paths for bikers and pedestrians along the 18 mile trail.  The Chicago Tribune reports that the  two-year project will stretch from Ardmore street to 71st Street and will cost $12 million dollars with money provided by billionaire Ken Griffin.

Personal injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer who is a frequent user of the trail notes that a safety upgrade was badly needed.  Bikers, traveling at all speeds negotiate the trail around joggers, walkers, baby-strollers, roller bladders, along with many people just crossing the path to get to the lake front.   In fact, according the Active Transportation Alliance, an estimated 100,000 people use the trail on weekends during the summer.

It is no surprise that there have been many collisions on the Lakefront Trail between bikers and pedestrians and between bikers and other bikers.  Many of these collisions have resulted in serious injuries and even fatalities.  People even bring small children just learning to ride a bike onto the trail seemly oblivious to the dangers on the trail.  Perhaps one of the greatest dangers on the trial are bicyclists who insist on pedaling at recklessly high speeds totally heedless to the fact that there are a large number of inattentive children and adults present who may wander into their path at any time. The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. hope that the separated lanes may reduce injuries from collisions on the trail.

 

 

 

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