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April 2014 Archives

When Workplace Accidents Involve More than Workers' Compensation

15815507_s-300x200.jpgEmployees who are injured on the job are entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but did you know that injured workers may also be entitled to additional compensation, as well? Under workers' compensation laws, injured workers are generally entitled to workers' compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In exchange for workers' compensation benefits, injured workers are prohibited from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer even if the employer was negligent or responsible for the workplace accident. There are circumstances, however, in which an injured worker may be able to bring a third-party claim to recover personal injury damages following a work-related accident. Unlike workers' compensation benefits, which are limited to a percentage of the injured workers' salary, personal injury damages can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Moreover, personal injury damage awards are not limited by the employee's salary. For instance, many jobs require that an employee operate a motor vehicle while on the job. While operating a vehicle is the primary job duty for delivery drivers and truckers, other occupations may also require that an employee drive a car while on the job. For example, a salesman may occasionally need to drive to other locations on business trips or a plant supervisor may need to drive to another factory site to oversee operations. If a worker is injured in an auto accident while on the job, he or she may also have a personal injury claim against the negligent motorist. Similarly, if a worker is injured as a result of defective machinery or equipment, the injured worker may have a product liability claim against the product manufacturer, or if a worker's injuries are exacerbated as a result of medical error, the injured worker may also have a medical malpractice claim against the treating doctor or hospital.

How Personal Injury Damage Awards Are Determined

10739684_ml-300x200.jpgEstablishing liability is just the first part of any personal injury lawsuit. Once liability is assessed against the defendant, the court must then determine the appropriate amount of damages. Personal injury damage awards are determined by taking into account a number of factors, such as the specific legal claim, the circumstances of accident, the victim's injuries, and the laws of the jurisdiction involved. Personal injury damages may include the following compensatory damages:

Rights and Options of Hit and Run Accident Victims

21810631_s-300x200.jpg Any traffic accident is upsetting and confusing, but a hit and run accident can be particularly upsetting. In addition to suffering from physical injuries and lost wages, you may be angry and confused about your legal rights. Rest assured: hit and run accident victims do have legal rights and options, but it is important to act quickly to protect those rights following a hit and run accident. Hit and run accidents include any traffic accident that results in damage to another person, vehicle, or property when the negligent motorist flees the scene of the collision without providing information about their identity. If you are in a hit and run accident, the first thing that you should do is get medical attention and contact the police. You should file a complete accident report and provide as much information as possible about the motorist that fled so that the police can attempt to locate the offender. In some situations, the police may be able to rely on surveillance footage in order to determine the motorist that fled the accident scene. Even if the negligent party cannot be determined or located, you may still be able to obtain financial recovery. Most auto insurance policies provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, insurance companies - even your own - are sometimes difficult to deal with and they often take a formulaic approach to determining the amount of damages. Accordingly, it is helpful to contact an auto accident lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance companies and is well-versed in handling hit and run accident claims.

Prevalence of Preventable Nursing Home Injuries

9841759_s-300x200.jpgMillions of Americans currently reside in nursing homes and, although nursing home facilities are supposed to provide adequate medical care to their residents, sadly many of them do not. In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, a study conducted in 2000 found that approximately 44% of nursing home residents had been abused and 95% had been neglected or seen another resident neglected while in a nursing home. Not only are many nursing home residents abused or neglected, they often suffer injuries and physical harm as a result. In fact, a February 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) - entitled "Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries" - provided some rather dire information regarding the prevalence of preventable injuries in nursing homes. The OIG reported that approximately 22% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event - or harm resulting from medical care - while in a skilled nursing facility. The OIG classified the adverse events into one of the following three categories: medication errors, ongoing resident care errors, and infections. Medication errors and ongoing care errors both accounted for 37% of the adverse events, followed by infection injuries at 26%. Perhaps most alarming, however, is that the report revealed that the majority of adverse events were preventable, with many of the adverse events caused by substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and the failure or delay in necessary care. Additionally, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, a 2010 study conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that some nursing homes are misusing medications, with more than 17% of nursing home residents throughout the country given more than the required amount of antipsychotic drugs on a daily basis. In some states, the problem is particularly troublesome. For instance, in California alone, the study showed at least 25% of all statewide nursing home residents receive more than the required amount of a medication and in Florida the study revealed that an alarming 71% of the state's nursing home residents were being overdosed with antipsychotic medications. Given that most nursing home patients are taking prescription drugs - and, in many cases, patients are taking several prescription drugs - it is imperative that nursing homes properly administer the medications to their patients. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not properly administer patient medications, which can result in additional illnesses and injuries. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home patients and ensuring that they and their families get the compensation they deserve in the event that they are the victim of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that you or a loved one was the victim of a preventable medical error at a nursing home, contact our office at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish  ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (800) 784-0150 or (312) 782-1386.

Bicycle Safety Tips

18198546_s-300x200.jpg Now that spring has arrived in Chicago and the weather is warming up, more and more people are using their bicycles to commute to work, to exercise, to get around the city, or just to have fun. The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are dedicated to keeping bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists safe, and the following are some bicycle safety tips to keep in mind:

What Happens in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

10422524_s-300x199.jpgWhen clients come to us after an accident or injury, they often have a number of questions about their legal rights and what happens in a personal injury lawsuit. While each personal injury case is unique, and there are no guarantees about the way the case will play out, the following is a general description of what happens in a personal injury lawsuit.

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