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Cook County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Can a drunk driver still be sued if found not guilty?

A previous post on this blog discussed tragic accident which left a young man dead. Police have indicated that they suspect drunk driving and have charged one of the drivers involved in the accident with a DUI.

These sorts of cases raise an important question that some residents of the Chicago area may wonder about. What if, for whatever reason, a drunk driver who causes a fatal drunk driving accident winds up being found not guilty or otherwise escaping a criminal charge? Does this mean that the family of the deceased victim is simply out of luck?

Suburban crash kills 1, police allege alcohol use

Police have charged a man who lives in the suburbs of Cook County has been charged with reckless homicide in connection with a fatal drunk driving accident that took place in Tinley Park, a suburb of Chicago to the southwest of the city. The man also faces a DUI charge and several other charges in connection with the accident, including failure to stop.

The car accident happened in the early morning hours and involved the man now being charged with a crime striking a parked car. One of the vehicle's passengers, a 20-year-old male, died at the scene of the accident because of the injuries he suffered. Both the driver of the parked vehicle and the suspect also suffered injuries and had to be taken to area hospitals. The driver of the parked vehicle is expected to survive the accident.

When is a missed diagnosis a medical malpractice case?

When residents of the Chicago area go to their doctors, they expect that the doctor will promptly inform them of what is wrong and will start a proper course of treatment. When a doctor misses a diagnosis or gets a diagnosis wrong, it can at best be an inconvenience to the patient and, at worst, cause the patient serious medical problems that can even lead to death.

However, a missed diagnosis is not always a case of medical malpractice. To some extent, the practice of medicine remains an art, and it is therefore hard for a doctor to get a diagnosis right all of the time, particularly since many different conditions manifest themselves with the same symptoms.

Experience helping victims of bed sores

Although bed sores are relatively common occurrences in the nursing homes and other assisted living facilities of Cook County and the greater Chicago area, that does not make their occurrence excusable.

These sorts of injuries, which develop when there is too much pressure on one part of the skin, are easily preventable so long as a nursing home gives its patients proper food and drink and makes sure to move them in bed if they are not able to do so themselves.

Bedsore concerns may lead to negligence discovery

When elderly individuals lose their ability to move freely, they often depend on other people for their care. You may have an older loved one who lives in a nursing home or assisted care facility due to this and other health issues. Though you certainly hope that the staff at the facility goes far and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of your family member, certain factors may cause concerns.

A common issue that arises for patients with limited mobility relates to bedsores or pressure sores. These sores can appear in various places on the body and pose different health risks. Though bedsores cannot always be prevented, the often arise due to negligence.

Toll workers fatally injured in car accident

A previous post on this blog discussed how most fatal work-related accidents happen not because of construction negligence but are in fact caused by motor vehicle crashes or other transportation-related accidents. Those who work alongside the road of Illinois put their lives at risk every day, often simply because they need to feed their families.

A grim reminder of this reality happened in the Chicago area quickly when a truck accident took the life of a toll worker. The worker was alongside the road with a colleague trying to remove trash and other items from the road. According to the eyewitness account of the deceased worker's partner, the side of the truck was too close to the workers and brushed against victim, killing the man as he was returning to his own car.

Construction's fatal 4 (or 5) causes of workplace deaths

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which oversees workplace safety in the United States, the lives of over 600 construction workers both in the Chicago area and in other parts of the country could be saved if construction businesses were able to eliminate what OSHA calls the fatal four.

As this blog has reported previously, the fatal four include hazards that are common at construction sites, like falls and electrocution. Interestingly, though, the fatal four do not include car accidents. The reason this is interesting is that, according to one statistic, car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents accounted for 1,766 of 4,547, or more than 38 percent, of all work place deaths.

The government's role in monitoring truck drivers

Thousands of trucks share the roads with other drivers throughout the United States, transporting cargo across the country. These trucks are vital to a productive and successful society. Although a vast majority of these journeys are completed without incident, there are times when trucks are involved in accidents, oftentimes with serious, catastrophic or even deadly results.

The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has several rules in place to try to limit trucking accidents by requiring that drivers log their hours on the road. The administration also requires that truckers take time off the roads to rest. This is important to help prevent drowsy driving, a common cause of truck accidents.

Medical malpractice can happen to anyone

The last thing a person thinks about when visiting with a doctor is the chance that they will walk out in worse shape than when they entered. After all, a doctor's job is to help a patient heal. Yet, each year, thousands of Americans, including many from Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding area, become victims of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice can take many forms. It could come from a surgical error, such as an operation on the wrong part of a person's body or leaving an instrument in the body following the surgery, a missed diagnosis or even improper consultation before a procedure. Issues stemming from a birth injury are not uncommon either.

Understanding the severity of spinal cord injuries

One of the most common forms of injuries resulting from a serious car accident are spinal cord injuries. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, over one-third of all spinal cord injuries in the United States are attributed to motor vehicle accidents.

A spinal cord injury occurs when the discs of bone in the spine, called "vertebrae," are dislocated or shattered following a sudden impact with the spine. This can lead to fragments of bone or ligaments to bruise or tear the spinal cord, which affects the nerves that control movements in the body. Following an accident, blood or fluid buildup as well as swelling can cause further injury.

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