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Cook County Wrongful Death Law Blog

What are some common types of surgical errors?

The prospect of having to undergo an operation, even a minor one, is frightening. Illinois residents may fear that something will go wrong during the procedure or during the recovery period that could lead to complications or even death. Unfortunately, these fears are not unfounded. Sometimes, physician negligence leads to surgical errors that have devastating consequences. Even more terrifying is many of these medical mistakes can be prevented.

For example, according to some studies, as many as 4,000 individuals nationwide who undergo a surgical procedure have a foreign object left inside their body. This commonly includes sponges, but can also include metal objects, such as scissors, scalpels and clamps.

Man loses life after falling out of a party bus in Illinois

A festive evening aboard a party bus recently took a tragic turn when a young man lost his life. Now, questions have arisen as to whether the bus itself was in a safe condition.

The 27-year-old man lost his life when he walked towards the driver's area of the party bus in which he was riding in order to adjust the volume on the bus's radio. At that point in time, the bus was going approximately 70 miles per hour on Interstate 294. The man tripped, tumbled down the stairs, and off the bus entirely. Following that, a black SUV struck the man. The victim died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the bus was subsequently cited for not possessing a valid medical card, as well as for the fact that his commercial driver's license lacked a passenger endorsement.

Construction negligence and the 'Fatal Four'

Construction work is a common sight during the summer in Illinois. Whether they are fixing a road or erecting a building, many people in Illinois and nationwide work in the construction industry. Through the sweat of their brow, these men and women maintain our cities, contributing significantly to the economy as a whole. It is important work.

However, construction work is also dangerous work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that in 2015, 21.4 percent of the 4,379 private industry workplace fatalities were in the construction industry. The agency has named what it calls the "Fatal Four," which are the top four causes of construction worker fatalities. It is estimated that if the "Fatal Four" were eliminated, over 600 lives would be saved annually.

Neglect alleged after man develops bed sores in nursing home

Residents of nursing home are completely dependent on nursing home staff to take care of their daily needs, including their healthcare needs. If a resident's health is not taken care of, his or her condition could quickly deteriorate. These matters may only be made worse if it is believed that the resident's worsened condition was due to an act of negligence or nursing home abuse.

A representative of the estate of a nursing home resident filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court in early May against a local nursing home and other entities, citing negligence. According to the executor of the man's estate, the nursing home did not give the man the necessary care, including sufficient supervision and assistance, to prevent bed sores, which he subsequently developed. The plaintiff in this lawsuit is pursuing over $50,000 in compensation.

Deerfield worker killed in riding lawnmower incident

When a person says goodbye to his or her loved ones as he or she heads out to work in the morning, there is no reason to expect that the person will never return. However, workplace hazards exist in many professions, exposing individuals to danger and the possibility of a work-related death, as one recent incident shows.

An employee at a Northbrook country club recently lost his life after becoming stuck under a riding lawnmower that fell on top of him. The 62-year-old victim was mowing the lawn up an incline when the lawnmower tipped over onto him. The victim was stuck underneath the lawnmower. He ultimately died due to blunt force injuries and traumatic asphyxia. The victim was a contract worker at the Greenacre Country Club. The village of Northbrook is still investigating the incident.

Maternal mortality in the US: We need to focus more on mothers

Parents planning a family rarely have as much excitement as when they first discover they are pregnant. The excitement often shifts to normal concerns like having a healthy pregnancy, making sure the baby is developing appropriately and creating a birth plan. 

That was true for 33-year-old neonatal intensive care nurse Lauren Bloomstein when she became pregnant. As a nurse working with babies, Lauren had more knowledge on the topic than most. But nothing could prepare her or her husband Larry for what was to come when she gave birth to her daughter.

Where to turn after losing a loved one in a fatal car accident

In Illinois, each motorist is tasked with using reasonable care while driving, keeping the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. Operators of semi-trucks must also comply with federal regulations regarding hours of operation, the hiring of truckers, truck maintenance, and other safety measures. However, it only takes a split-second and one act of negligence, such as speeding, running a red light, or making an illegal turn, for a car accident to occur that turns the victim's world upside down.

If the victim survives, which isn't always the case, he or she could still be seriously injured, leading to medical expenses and lost wages, not to mention pain and suffering. Should the victim be killed in the crash, his or her family will be left not only grieving emotionally but also wondering how they will make ends meet financially without their loved one. This is why so many wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits stem from motor vehicle accidents.

Illinois nursing home death results in lawsuit

An Illinois woman is pursuing legal action against a nursing home where her aunt was a resident, the Cahokia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She is seeking over $250,000 in compensation. The woman's aunt passed away while in the care of the nursing home. The woman claims her aunt's death was due to medical negligence, and that her aunt was in extreme pain prior to passing on.

The victim entered the nursing home in 2008. According to the woman, her aunt contracted a serious urinary tract infection and that she was dehydrated. The woman claims her aunt was in pain, which could not be relieved. When her aunt yelled out on April 14, 2015, she was given a sedative. Moreover, at that time no one reached out to the aunt's primary care physician.

What is the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

Expecting parents in Cook County may take every precaution possible during their pregnancy in order to ensure their baby will be healthy. Mothers often eat the right foods, exercise, take prenatal vitamins, and go to all prenatal appointments. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, sometimes these women's children suffer from a fatal birth defect or birth injury.

It is important to understand the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury. Birth defects, in general, are a harm that arises while the infant is still in the womb. Approximately seven percent of all infants suffer from a birth defect. Birth defects can vary, too. Some are barely noticeable while others can be fatal. Some birth defects are genetic, while others could be caused by other factors, such as illegal drug use or alcohol abuse.

The 'doctor-patient privilege' and wrongful death suits

When a person in Illinois is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against a physician or medical center, the issue of "doctor-patient privilege" comes up. Doctor-patient privilege allows a person to have their medical information kept private unless they agree to share it. This means that a doctor cannot share medical information about a patient to others, unless that privilege has been waived by the patient.

Some people maintain that this privilege should be honored even after the death of the patient, while others maintain that the privilege is no longer necessary once the patient passes away. In the end, however, it becomes important when a person's loved ones want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and needs information about the deceased's health or medical care.

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