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Boating Safety

Boating Safety

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

With summer just around the corner, many Illinois residents will take to the water.  Individuals with families enjoy boating and other water activities, such as riding a wave runner or tubing.  Unfortunately, the number of boating accidents also rises when the heat does.  Unfortunately, water accidents often lead to permanent injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.  If you or a family member were injured due to the actions of a negligent boat operator or watercraft operator, it is imperative that you get the legal help from an experienced Chicago boat accident attorney.

At Kaveny + Kroll, we are a leading personal injury firm in the Chicagoland area and have achieved outstanding results in water accident cases.

How do Water Accidents Occur?

While boats are generally safe as a result of increased technology and state of the art safety features, a system can malfunction or be used improperly.  Here are some of the common types of boating accidents we see:

  • The operator’s inability to follow boating laws.
  • Collision with a swimmer.
  • Collision with an individual tubing.
  • Collision with another watercraft or stationary structure.
  • Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.

Whenever a collision or an operator’s inability to follow boating law occurs, the boat operator will most likely be at fault.   Safe operation of a boat, or other watercraft, requires care to avoid a collision causing harm to others.

Illinois Boating Laws

The best way to familiarize yourself with the current Illinois boating laws would be to go to www.boat-ed.com and search for Illinois boating laws.  For example, under Illinois law, these operating practices are illegal:

  1. Careless operation – careless operation of a boat is operating a boat in a careless manner that causes danger to any person or property, or operating at speeds greater than which allow the operator to bring the boat to a stop within a clear distance.
  2. Reckless operation – reckless operation of a boat or the manipulation the boat to impact water skiers or similar device which causes danger to life, limb or property of any person. For example:
    1. Weaving your boat through congested waterway traffic.
    2. Waiting until the last minute to swerve and avoid a collision.
    3. Operating a boat in a manner that creates hazardous wave or wake conditions.
  1. Operating in a restricted or “no wake” area.
  2. Failure to follow navigation rules.
  3. Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Boat towing persons on water skis or other devices must display a skier-towing flag from the highest point so that it is visible from all directions at all times while a person is being towed.

If you are injured in a boating accident, you should immediately seek help from experienced boating accident lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll.  The attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll understand and appreciate all the latest developments with boating in and around the Chicagoland area and throughout the state of Illinois.  We can protect your rights and pursue all necessary means of compensation for you.  Call for a free consultation today at 312-761-5585.

Minimizing Fall Risks in Nursing Homes

Minimizing Fall Risks in Nursing Homes

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Unfortunately, millions of people aged 65 and over experience falls every year.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of these adults who experience falls will suffer injuries.  What is equally frightening, the rate of falls is close to twice as high for nursing home residents as it is for others. Yet, there are several ways nursing homes can minimize fall risks for their patients.

The Chicago Nursing home lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll are dedicated to keeping your family members or loved ones safe. We can discuss how nursing homes can and should minimize fall risks. We can also discuss what to do if the nursing home fails to meet their responsibilities.

Most falls at nursing homes are caused by a combination of various risk factors.  The risk factors may be due to medical issues, maintenance issues or other related issues.  For example, the following can and often will contribute to nursing home falls:

  • Loose carpeting or flooring
  • Throw rugs
  • Tripping hazards
  • Foot pain or foot problems
  • Poor footwear
  • Balance or walking difficulties
  • Medications which could impact balance
  • Slippery floors
  • Lower body weakness

Many of these risk factors can be reduced or eliminated by paying careful attention to them.  Whether they like it or not, nursing homes have a legal duty to keep their residents safe.  Nursing homes will typically have protocols, rules, and various policies to address fall risks and minimize the likelihood of such injuries.  A nursing home can be liable to prevent a fall when they fail to implement certain procedures such as:

  • Removing clutter from the floor
  • Quickly cleaning up after spills
  • Failing to install grab bars in resident rooms and bathrooms
  • Conducting a fall assessment when a new resident arrives at a nursing home
  • Failing to provide residents with walkers or wheelchairs, when required
  • Failing to properly identify residents with fall risks and closely monitoring them
  • Failing to closely monitor residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia

Nursing homes may be liable for a resident’s injuries due to a fall when it is due to their negligence. This includes not providing adequate safeguards for its residents or failing to correct a known or foreseeable hazard. There are several scenarios which could result in the nursing home being found responsible for a resident fall, including, but not limited to:

  • Failing to properly train staff members
  • Failing to properly monitor residents
  • Understaffing
  • Fail to safely transfer a patient
  • Medication errors

If a family member or loved one has sustained a fall in a nursing home that you believe was caused by the nursing home’s conduct, the nursing home attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll are here to help.  We can conduct a detailed investigation to determine which factors may have contributed to the injuries and attempt to hold all responsible parties accountable for their conduct.

The Same Tragedy Over and Over

Distracted Driving

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

We don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve gone through,” said Jamie Bolognone, following the death of her fiancé Gerardo Marciales from a bicycle accident on DuSable Lake Shore Drive on February 28th of this year. The happy couple who lived in Lincoln Park, met prior to the pandemic. They were due to marry September 3rd, but their dreams were dashed when a driver blew through a red light and proceeded straight into a turning lane at an intersection where he admitted pedestrians and bicyclists did not have enough time to cross. The driver, a 26-year-old man, was cited for disobeying lane markings, police said.

Ever the devoted family man, Marciales had moved to Chicago from Venezuela in 2019 but continued sending money back to the family in his home country.

“This type of incident is far too common on the streets of Chicago,” says Jeffrey Kroll, partner with Kaveny + Kroll Trial Attorneys, located in Chicago. “So many young people (Marciales was 41) are robbed of the prime of their life by inadequate safety laws and driver misconduct.” Jeffrey Kroll won a verdict for $5.25 million when a 25-year-old Divvy bike rider was struck and killed in a Chicago area intersection when she was sideswiped by a truck, the first shared bike accident in North America. “These stories are the public ones, but the truth is, far too many innocent bicyclists are injured or killed by motorists not abiding by the laws,” says Kroll. “We need to call for safer streets, tougher laws and a stronger system for fighting those incidents that go awry.

Distracted Driving

Distracted Driving

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Harmful products which are designed or manufactured by large corporations, even something necessary like cow’s milk formula, are often the cause of catastrophic injuries and deaths.  Often times, individuals harmed by a product may have called a telephone number they saw on television and had been put in touch with a law firm which submitted their case to be part of Multi District Litigation (“MDL”).

What does an MDL mean?  An MDL is a very specific process wherein federal cases with the same or similar facts are transferred to one federal court to be handled by one, specific judge.  Once the transfer occurs, all cases identified by the federal court and the parties as having some type of common fact pattern which would benefit from being part of the consolidated case, will be coordinated and consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

The following types of cases commonly qualify as an MDL:

  • Cow’s milk formula
  • Mass disasters
  • Medical devices
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Other product liability claims.

An MDL case will involve multiple lawsuits which are filed by several parties.  The goal is to allow for an individual client’s needs to be addressed during the MDL.  This is different than a Class Action.  On the other hand, a Class Action involves a single lawsuit filed by a large group of people.  In a Class Action, the claims of all those people are consolidated into one legal action.

At Kaveny + Kroll, we have experience in handling cases that are heading toward an MDL or have been placed into an MDL by other courts.  At Kaveny + Kroll, we evaluate each case and treat each client no different than an individual case.  If you have a case in an MDL or want to discuss how we can assist you further, please do not hesitate to give our Mass Tort Lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll a phone call at 312-761-5585.

How can trucking companies contribute to a collision?

How can trucking companies contribute to a collision?

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

When someone hears about a truck accident, they immediately think of the negligence of the truck driver and the truck driver’s conduct as to the cause of the collision. Yet, trucking companies can and often will be found directly responsible for truck accidents or can often be responsible for at least contributing to these collisions.

Let’s face it, in today’s society, trucking companies assume and accept responsibility when it comes to their tractors, trailers and drivers. If a truck accident was caused by someone else’s negligence and you or a loved one were injured, contact an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney to have all of your questions answered.

Trucking is a lucrative industry that is fueled by the economy.  Sadly, when a company or industry chooses profits over safety, safety often takes a back seat. When it comes to truck accidents, a trucking company can assume a significant degree of responsibility under any of the following circumstances:

  • Failing to implement and follow policies that adhere to not only all State trucking rules, regulations and restrictions, but Federal as well.
  • Failing to oversee an insurer that loads are correctly and safely placed on trailers it sends out on the roads.
  • Failing to hire and train truck mechanics
  • Failure to maintain the tractor/trailer in a safe working order
  • Failing to hire and train truck drivers who have the required Commercial Driver’s License according to the federal motor carrier safety administration

These companies have a responsibility and duty to the public to send out trucks that are in a good working condition and operated by safe and experienced drivers.

When you think about it, a fully loaded tractor trailer typically weighs about 80,000 pounds.  A car will typically weigh 4,0000 pounds.  Thus, one can easily see that a truck accident can result in deadly injuries on our roadways.  Trucking companies bear responsibility and can be deemed liable under many circumstances.  If a truck driver or a truck company’s negligence leaves you injured or causes the loss of a family member, accomplished Chicago accident truck attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll are well prepared to help.  Please do not hesitate to schedule your free consultation by contacting us today at 312-761-5585.

Spotlight on Mental Health’s Benefit to Everyone

Spotlight on Mental Health’s Benefit to Everyone

by Elizabeth A. Kaveny

(CHICAGO, IL)…

Simone Biles’ exit from the women’s gymnastics team events of the Tokyo Games brought great global attention to mental health. In the weeks and months following, the story generated more than 2 million social media interactions, with supporters praising her brave decision to admit the intense pressure and stress were affecting her mental health and ability to perform. Critics found nothing brave or heroic about quitting, but rather it to be the selfish decision of a weak person.  Regardless of which viewpoint you share on Biles’ exit, or Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open citing long bouts of depression, the athletes’ actions have drawn great attention to the topic of mental health.  That focus can only serve to benefit the whole.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression leading to suicide is an immense public health concern and among the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.  Join that with the recognition of medical errors as the third leading cause of death across the board, and it becomes necessary to examine how mental health issues and suicide are being handled medically.

“As horrific as any suicide is, those committed while being treated inpatient for depression and suicidality are particularly inexcusable,” comments Elizabeth A. Kaveny, Managing Partner of Kaveny + Kroll Trial Lawyers (www.kavenykroll.com), “In-patient suicides have been recognized by the National Quality Form as a never event. Never events are errors so egregious that they should never happen to a patient under any circumstances and are recognized as such by medicine and the law.

Elizabeth Kaveny obtained the largest verdict from a Cook County jury for a patient’s attempted suicide while inpatient at the behavioral health unit of one of Chicagoland’s premiere hospitals.  Citing violations of its own policies and procedures, such as failing to check on the patient every 15 minutes while on suicide watch, and giving the patient access to a knife, Kaveny was able to show that the hospital was so egregiously negligent to warrant a substantial remedy in his behalf.

Kaveny has become known in Illinois for her representation of both inpatients who attempt or successfully commit suicide, as well as the families of individuals who were identified as high-risk for suicide yet discharged without the appropriate level of oversight and care.

“One of the major myths of suicide is that if a patient wants to kill themselves, they will,” says Kaveny. “Medical studies show that’s just not true.”

Rather, with the right treatment plan consisting of medication, therapy and time, individuals can learn to live with depression and obtain the coping skills needed to respond when their depression rises to an unbearable level. Perhaps one of the more public figures in this arena is another Olympian Michael Phelps. Phelps has been public about his continuing battle with mental health and has discussed the suicidal tendencies that still exist and how he, his family and his medical team work together to keep them at bay.

“Whether an Olympian or an everyday person, we are all entitled to receive appropriate medical care to address our health issues. That includes our mental health as much as our physical,” says Kaveny. “When that doesn’t occur, it’s my job to step in and show the inadequacies of care. That is my mission and commitment.”

What is Multi District Litigation?

What is Multi District Litigation?

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

Harmful products which are designed or manufactured by large corporations are often the cause of catastrophic injuries and deaths.  Often times, individuals harmed by a product may have called a telephone number they saw on television and had been put in touch with a law firm which submitted their case to be part of Multi District Litigation (“MDL”).

What does an MDL mean?  An MDL is a very specific process wherein federal cases with the same or similar facts are transferred to one federal court to be handled by one, specific judge.  Once the transfer occurs, all cases identified by the federal court and the parties as having some type of common fact pattern which would benefit from being part of the consolidated case, will be coordinated and consolidated for pretrial proceedings.

The following types of cases commonly qualify as an MDL:

  • Cow’s milk formula
  • Mass disasters
  • Medical devices
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Other product liability claims.

An MDL case will involve multiple lawsuits which are filed by several parties.  The goal is to allow for an individual client’s needs to be addressed during the MDL.  This is different than a Class Action.  On the other hand, a Class Action involves a single lawsuit filed by a large group of people.  In a Class Action, the claims of all those people are consolidated into one legal action.

At Kaveny + Kroll, we have experience in handling cases that are heading toward an MDL or have been placed into an MDL by other courts.  At Kaveny + Kroll, we evaluate each case and treat each client no different than an individual case.  If you have a case in an MDL or want to discuss how we can assist you further, please do not hesitate to give our Mass Tort Lawyers at Kaveny + Kroll a phone call at 312-761-5585.

MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISON

MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISON

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

If you have recently been involved in a motor vehicle collision, you likely have numerous questions and concerns running through your mind.

A simple car accident can sometimes turn into a complex problem. While attorneys focus on cause of the collision and seeking out all potential reasonable parties, you need to focus on your recovery. The motor vehicle collision attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll can help you during these confusing times so you can focus on what is most important.

Having handled car accident cases and tried several to verdict, I have seen first-hand how a motor vehicle accident can have a rippling effect on a family.  For example, following a collision, it is not unusual for one to be experiencing some or all of the following problems:

  • Shoulder, neck and/or back pain: Pain in these areas of the body is not uncommon due to the force of the impact. Often, these injuries do not manifest at the time of the collision and can take hours, days, or even weeks to develop. Pain in these areas of the body can results from tissue damage, injuries to muscle, tendons or even joints.
  • Swelling: Swelling often results from tissue damage. Once again, swelling may take days to fully manifest itself.
  • Bruising: Bruising will also potentially develop in a delayed manner following the occurrence of a soft tissue injury.
  • Dizziness: Often times, dizziness will occur with the shaking of the head. Following a collision, dizziness can be a sign of a whiplash injury or even a concussion. Often, it is accompanied by blurry vision.
  • Abdomen or chest pain: It is not uncommon to experience abdomen pain or chest pain following a collision as a result of wearing a seat belt. Persistent pain in this area can be a sign of internal bleeding and should be immediately brought to the attention of a healthcare provider.

The injuries resulting from a car accident often depend on the nature of the accident. If any of these symptoms persist, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The questions pertaining to insurance, the severity of your injuries and potentially the claims process can add unnecessary stress for you while trying to move forward from this life altering event. When questioning who is at fault for the crash and the cause of your injuries, it is advisable to consult with a car accident lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Learn how the car accidents attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll might be able to help by reaching out for a free consultation today.

SAFETY TIPS FOR RIDING MOTORCYCLE IN THE RAIN

SAFETY TIPS FOR RIDING MOTORCYCLE IN THE RAIN

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

With the weather finally getting warmer, motorcycles will be back on the roads, however rainfall remains a safety hazard for motorcyclists. By being fully prepared for inclement weather, a motorcyclist can stay safe on Illinois roads.

 

WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR

Wearing the right gear is an important precautionary measure and can help motorcyclists stay safe in less-than-ideal weather. When riding in potentially wet conditions, motorcyclists should consider the following attire:

  • Water-resistant clothing
  • Helmets – Although is not required by law in Illinois, a full-face helmet with an anti-dash fog visor and breath guard provides excellent protection and visibility while driving in rain.
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Waterproof riding boots

A motorcyclist should be fully aware of the dangers wet roads present. For example, wet roads may cause reduced traction, hydroplaning and even a decrease in visibility. Similarly, it will take longer for motorcyclists to stop on wet pavement compared to dry pavement.

Riding a motorcycle in the rain or on wet pavement is not the same as operating a motorcycle in dry weather. Not only is visibility impacted, but rain brings changes to the road service. Therefore, reduction of speed and adjusting your riding technique is imperative for not only your safety, but the safety of others.

Even if you take all necessary safely precautions, a motorcycle accident can still occur. If your accident was caused by another person’s negligence, the skilled motorcycle personal injury attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll can help.

MOTORCYCLE BLIND SPOTS

MOTORCYCLE BLIND SPOTS

by Jeffrey J. Kroll

As the weather starts to get nicer in the Chicagoland area, motorcyclists will take to the roads. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents occur when a car or truck fails to see a motorcycle in their blind spot. Truck and car operators must know where blind spots are and how to stay safe on the roadways.

If a motorcycle accident does occur, it is important to seek the services of Kaveny + Kroll; we can guide you through the legal process and are available answer any questions you may have.

 

HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY A BLIND SPOT?

It is almost impossible for a driver to know where the blind spots are on their vehicle unless you know how to look for a blind spot. While in the driver’s seat, you can gauge where blind spots are in a vehicle by looking over your shoulder and identifying what you are unable to see in your mirrors alone. Blind spots are especially dangerous when trying to see a motorcyclist, as a motorcycle is much smaller and less visible to other drivers on the road. Whenever possible, a motorcyclist should change lanes to avoid traveling in other motorists’ blind spots.

 

TIPS FOR CARS AND TRUCKS

There are serval actions a motorist can effectuate to avoid an accident with a motorcycle. For example, operators should adhere to these simple tips:

  • Check and adjust all mirrors to increase visibility around your vehicle before driving.
  • Look before turning, changing lanes, or passing other vehicles. This includes checking your mirrors and looking over your shoulder, if need be.
  • Avoid driving while distracted so you are fully aware of your surroundings, including your blind spots.

If you are injured in a blind spot motorcycle accident, it is important to seek the assistant of a skilled Chicagoland motorcycle injury attorney at Kaveny + Kroll.  We are here to help answer your questions and assist with a financial recovery.