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Cook County Wrongful Death Law Blog

What is 'informed consent' in medical procedures?

Part of receiving medical care is the dialog between doctor and patient. In some cases, other health care professionals, like nurses or similar staff, may step in to answer questions and make recommendations. When a person is ill or has an injury, there is often a few options in terms or care, or there may only be one option. Before a person goes through with their treatment decision, the appropriate healthcare provider must notify the patient of the potential benefits and potential risks of the treatment or procedure.

This is what's known as informed consent. Informed consent is made up on two parts, the first being that the information about the treatment or procedure was communicated to the patient. Secondly, the patient must give consent that they understand the procedure and are willing to move forward. Failure of the healthcare provider to give either the information or to receive the consent could mean that informed consent was not successfully achieved.

Work-related death of loved one could be construction negligence

When you kissed your loved one good-bye this morning, you never expected that would be the last time you'd see them. Sadly, this happens to too many Cook County families, especially construction workers, when they do not return home from a job. There are an infinite number of ways a person can be killed on a job site. For construction workers', a move towards zero work deaths has been an unattainable goal to date.

Construction workers face a variety of safety issues on the job. This is true despite that fact that this is one of the most highly regulated industries in terms of safety, and expectation of employer and employee. Because there is heavy machinery, heights and other dangerous aspects involved with construction work, there are a variety of health and safety risks a construction worker may face in his or her time on the job. Since construction jobs can span a number of different situations, there is no telling exactly the hazards one may have faced just prior to passing away unexpectedly on the job.

In-home care: How to tell the good companies from the bad

When you or your loved one have suffered an injury or health condition that requires additional recovery beyond a hospital stay, you may need assistance from family members, friends or even licensed professionals to function on a daily basis. In-home care is a great asset for many Illinois residents, but not every situation goes well.  

Sadly, many of the nursing neglect problems that are present in assisted living facilities often cause problems in the home care environment as well. A key to avoiding such problems often lies in the research you do ahead of time. It's also important to know where to seek immediate support if a problem arises.  

Studies find car accident prevalence in Illinois State

Despite statewide attempts at increasing driver and vehicle safety, injuries and fatalities appear to be on the rise on Illinois roads. Attempts to get to the bottom of why the increase in driver and passenger injuries and fatalities on Illinois roads have turned up a few clues. However, what this means for all passengers on Illinois roads is unclear and should make those who have been involved in car accidents question the nature of their accident.

Since 2014, the incidences of car accidents, fatalities and injuries have been on the rise. State-wide initiatives, like Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Don't Text and Drive, and Click It or Tick It, aimed at reducing these initiatives have appeared to be unsuccessful in terms of reducing car accident injuries and fatalities. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently shared their findings of car accidents both their causes and results. 2016 was a very dangerous and impactful year in terms of car accidents.

What acts or symptoms might indicate nursing home neglect?

Millions of Americans reside in nursing home, and that number is expected to climb in the coming decades. A nursing home should be a place of safe haven and a place where loved ones can reside in the short or long-term. However, if a nursing home and their staff are not doing their jobs properly, it can quickly lead to instances of nursing home neglect. Nursing home neglect is different from nursing home abuse but can be just as deadly or harmful.

Nursing home neglect is defined as the failure of caregivers to provide adequate food, shelter, medical care, bathing and even the failure to provide adequate supervision. Since adults can be in nursing home facilities for a number of different ailments, the care that each person will need can vary. However, it is the responsibility of the caregiver to ensure that each patient is properly looked after. Failure to do this can result in neglect.

Respond to unexpected loss of loved one in fatal car accident

It's terrifying to think that our loved ones could be here today, gone tomorrow. However, that is the horror that some Cook County families face after a fatal car accident. Fatal car accidents could be caused by any number of factors.

Finding out the events leading up to a loved one's fatal accident can feel necessary for loved ones. Depending on the specifics of the car accident, there are a few places a person can look if seeking answers after a loved one's death. In any fatal accident, a police report will be made available that can shed light on certain specifics about the accident. It's possible that a crash reconstruction is ordered in which authorities will break down the physical details of the crash even further.

Financial implications for worker's family after work accident

Losing a loved one in a sudden, unexpected way can be so devastating to family, friends and more. One way that has and will unfortunately continue to happen to Cook County residents is when a loved one dies in a tragic accident due to construction negligence.

Proving construction negligence is essentially the same as proving any negligence claim. Elements that need to be proven are: duty, breach, causation and damages. Essentially, the negligent party owed a duty to the victim that was breached, and it was the negligent party's action - or inaction - that actually caused the victim's injury. This results in damages for the victim and their loved ones.

Woman alleges item was left inside her after Chicago surgery

Have you ever left for work in the morning, but couldn't shake a nagging suspicion that you had forgotten something? Maybe you think the garage door was left open, or you can't locate one of your credit cards. Either way, it's not a good feeling to have. Well imagine that feeling a person has when they realize something was left in their body after a surgery.

This type of surgical error only occurs in a small percentage of surgeries, but the truth is, items have and will likely continue to be left behind in surgical patients. There are many efforts made on behalf of medical facilities and staff to prevent this type of occurrence, however, one woman alleges an item was left behind after her Chicago surgery. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges she had surgery performed at the defendant's facility in July 2016, and the surgeon left a foreign body inside of her abdominal cavity after completing the surgery.

Could there be more to your loved one's fatal work accident?

Accidents happen, or so they say. However, not all accidents are purely accidental. Some are based on the negligence of another, or the inability to take 'due care' and this directly impacting the well-being of another. When a worker suffers a fatality on the job, there will be an investigation to determine just what happened.

Some work accidents are just that, terrible accidents. However, sometimes a standard was not upheld in terms of workplace safety, a contractor did not check his equipment or some other gross error was made by another that can easily result in an incident that leads to work deaths. For example, construction negligence can happen on the job in which a worker suffers a fatality. Death of a worker in the course of employment can put attention on the employer or other related parties in terms of why the worker died so suddenly.

Malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes. Yes, it happens

The issues of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes were troubling enough to warrant attention from the U.S. Congress. In 1987, Congress passed the Nutrition and Nursing Home Reform Act, which requires nursing homes to "assess the nutritional status" of their residents upon arrival and every three months an individual resides in the facility.

You might think that this would have eliminated these issues in nursing homes, but 40 percent of all nursing home residents continue to suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. The question is why. In addition, if you discover your aging loved one is suffering, what can you do about it?

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