Illinois Plaintiff's Lawyer Personal Injury Blog- Legal News and Insights from Champaign Urbana Attorneys Koester & Bradley, LLP

Proving Permanent Injuries in Your Illinois Accident Case

12/10/2018

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One of the keys to receiving fair compensation for your injuries in an Illinois auto accident or personal injury case is to prove that your injuries are permanent.
-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Many Injuries from Personal Injuries and Auto Accidents are Permanent--Learn How to Prove It

Koester & Bradley Trucking Accident Lawyers

In Illinois like almost every other state, if you were hurt in an accident and if you can win your personal injury case, you will receive compensation for your injuries. However, if you had to endure very serious injuries, there may come a time where you reach what is referred to as the maximum medical improvement.  Typically, this determination is most often made in workers compensation situations, but it is relevant in automobile wrecks and trucking accidents as well. A determination of maximum medical improvement means that you will not heal anymore than you have already healed, and this determination usually comes from a doctor.

Does maximum medical improvement mean that I have no permanent injuries?

The answer is no.  For example, assume that you fractured your back in an automobile accident.  You undergo surgery and physical therapy.  Finally, after months of treatment your spine surgeon establishes that you have reached your maximum level of improvement.  This determination does not mean that you will not suffer the repercussions of you injury for the rest of your life, but only that you not get any better.

For some, this point of maximum medical improvement comes when they are fully healed. Their compensation stops and they return back to work and normal activities. Unfortunately, for serious accidents, this moment of maximum medical improvement doesn't mean they are fully healed. If you will no longer improve in condition, you will then be considered to have permanent impairment. In some cases, this means that person will never regain full range of motion in their shoulders, or it can be even more serious like a person no longer regaining the use of a limb. If this is the case, a doctor will examine your impairment to see if it will be considered partial disability or full disability. This percentage of disability will affect how much you can receive for the impairment.

If you have reached maximum medical improvement, but still are not fully healed, having your injury labeled as permanent will mean you can continue to collect a certain amount of compensation for that impairment. However, you can't ask for this during your personal injury case. It is something that must be accessed after the healing is done. If you suspect you may have permanent impairment, this means you need to communicate that with your lawyer so the settlement has provisions to provide for permanent compensation just in case permanent impairment does manifest.  Koester & Bradley is an Illinois leader in receiving compensation for permanent injuries and building a case for such injuries.

If you have been hurt in an accident, you hope you won't have long-term injuries, but if you do, you want a settlement that can cover it. If you have been hurt and need help with your personal injury case, contact us today.

By: Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Hidden Dangers in Popular Do-It-Yourself Products

11/13/2018

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All across Illinois every weekend, thousands of unsuspecting home improvement enthusiasts unwittingly put themselves and their families at risk by using common solvents and products.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Methylene Chloride: When DIY Leads to RIP 

Koester & Bradley Consumer Protection Lawyers

You are spending a Saturday afternoon finally stripping the paint off the bedroom floor.  Little do you know that the product you are using to strip those stubborn layers of old paint could kill you.  There lurking on the storeroom shelves are products containing a highly-toxic chemical known as methylene chloride, also called Dichloromethane (DCM).  Methylene chloride identified by its Chemical Abstract Number:  75-09-2 is a volatile, colorless liquid with a sweet-smelling odor.  If the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is advising its workers to avoid products containing methylene chloride, then why does the general public still have access to these products? 

USES OF METHYLENE CHLORIDE

Methylene chloride is a chlorinated solvent used in a variety of industries and applications.  It is primarily used in paint removers but also is used in aerosol formulations, in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, as a degreasing agent, in metal cleaning, in electronics manufacturing and as an ethane foam blowing agent.  The Environmental Protection Agency states that paint and coating removal poses some of the highest exposures among the various uses of methylene chloride.

KNOWN HAZARDS OF METHYLENE CHLORIDE PER OSHA

  • Short-term airborne exposure without proper safety equipment can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, a “feeling of intoxication, and eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Prolonged skin contact without proper safety equipment may cause irritation and even chemical burns
  • Increased airborne exposure without proper safety equipment can cause suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma and sudden death.
  • Animal studies have shown that long-term exposure to methylene chloride may lead to liver and lung cancer, as well as tumors in the breast and salivary glands
  • May lead to early onset heart attacks and arrhythmias in workers with heart disease due to an increase in carbon monoxide.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that if a worker smells methylene chloride, then he/she has already been overexposed because methylene chloride cannot be smelled until the level in the air is higher than OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (25 ppm (parts per million) in an 8-hour time-weighted average or 125 ppm in a period of 15 minutes (short-term exposure limit)). 

WARNING ON PRODUCTS CONTAINING METHYLENE CHLORIDE

Current warning on the product, Goof Off Semi-Paste Pro Stripper

WARNING:  Contains Methylene Chloride.  INHALATION OF VAPOR CAN KILL YOU.  DO NOT USE IN ENCLOSED AREAS such as basements, bathrooms or closets.  SYMPTOMS MAY NOT BE NOTICEABLE.  Avoid contact with eyes or skin, as severe irritation can occur.

DANGER!  POISON.  VAPOR EXTREMELY HARMFUL.  MAY BE FATAL IF USED IN ENCLOSED AND UNVENTILATED AREAS.  USE ONLY WITH ADEQUATE VENTILATION TO PREVENT BUILDUP OF VAPORS. MAY BE FATAL OR CAUSE BLINDNESS IF SWALLOWED.  EYE & SKIN IRRITANT.  Do not use in areas where vapors can accumulate and concentrate such as basements, bathrooms, bathtubs, closets or other small enclosed areas.  Whenever possible use outdoors in an open air area.  If using indoors open all windows and doors and maintain a cross ventilation of moving fresh air across the work area and across floor.  IF STRONG ODOR IS NOTICED OR YOU EXPERIENCE DIZZINESS, EYE-WATERING, OR HEADACHE – STOP! VENTILATION IS INADEQUATE.  LEAVE AREA IMMEDIATELY, AND GET FRESH AIR.  IF THE WORK AREA IS NOT WELL-VENTILATED, DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.  IF used properly, a respirator may offer additional protection.  Obtain professional advice before using.  Cannot be made non-poisonous. 

Methylene Chloride has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.  Reports have associated repeated and prolonged over-exposure to solvents with neurological and other physiological damage.  The risk to your health depends on the level and duration of exposure.  Intentional misuse of this product by deliberating concentrating and inhaling vapors can be harmful or fatal.  Avoid breathing vapors or mist and contact with skin, eyes and clothing.  Do not swallow.

SAFETY DIRECTIONS:  USE OUTDOORS IN AN OPEN AREA.  It is dangerous to use this product indoors.  If you must use indoors, cross-ventilate work area by opening all windows and doors and circulating fresh air through the work area to reduce vapor accumulations.  Always wear chemical-splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves when handling this product.  A dust mask does not provide protection against vapors.

OSHA SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR METHYLENE CHLORIDE

  • Gloves made of polyethylene vinyl alcohol(PVA)/ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), or other laminate materials that are resistant to methylene chloride (required regardless of methylene chloride levels). LATEX, NITRATE, NEOPRENE AND POLYETHYLENE GLOVES DO NOT PROTECT AGAINST METHYLENE CHLORIDE.  BUTYL RUBBER GLOVES DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMNET OF THE OSHA METHYLENE CHLORIDE STANDARD BECAUSE THEY DEGRADE IN LESS THAN 1 HOUR.
  • Outer gloves are also recommended to prevent cuts and tears to the inner methylene chloride-resistant gloves
  • Methylene chloride-resistant aprons, sleeves and boots or shoe covers
  • Chemical-resistant goggles or a face shield
  • OSHA requires workers to wear a full-face atmosphere-supplying respirator when engineering and work practice controls cannot decrease methylene chloride levels below OSHA’s permissible exposure limits.

THE EPA AND METHYLENE CHLORIDE

A 2015 study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity determined that methylene chloride exposure was responsible for approximately 56 deaths since 1980.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted its own risk assessment of methylene chloride in paint stripping uses in 2014 and had proposed to ban the consumer and commercial paint stripping uses in January 2017.  However, in June 2017, the EPA announced that it would not re-evaluate the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride.  An EPA News release of May 10, 2018 announced that: (1) The EPA intends to finalize the methylene chloride rulemaking; (2) The EPA is not re-evaluating the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride and is relying on its previous risk assessments and (3) The EPA is working to send the finalized rulemaking to the EPA’S Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shortly. 

Methylene chloride is one of 10 specific chemicals that the EPA  chose to evaluate for changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act of June 2016.  The new rules would require when a chemical poses an unreasonable risk that the EPA be required to take action within two years, with a possible extension of four years.  If the chemical is assessed as unreasonably dangerous, then phaseouts and bans of this chemical must occur within five years of that assessment. 

METHYLENE CHLORIDE BANS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

On May 6, 2009, the European Parliament passed Decision 455/2009/EC which banned the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers by private persons and commercial entities.  Industrial uses are the exceptions to the decision but all products must be labeled accordingly.

RETAILERS AND METHYLENE CHLORIDE

News media have reported that Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams, Menards, Ace and Truce Value will no longer sell paint strippers made with methylene chloride or N-methyle-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) in its United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America stores and will cease the selling of these products on its e-commerce sites as of February 2019.

By: Thomas Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

How to Avoid Personal Injuries on Pedestrian Roadways

11/07/2018

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An often overlooked cause of injury in Illinois is pedestrian and vehicle accidents.

-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Koester & Bradley Accident AttorneysMany cities across Illinois, including Champaign-Urbana, are taking measures to increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic.  Most pedestrian traffic is centralized in a downtown area, however motorists are well-served to keep a lookout for pedestrians on all roadways.  


If you are someone who often walks places, you have likely see

n that some drivers simply do not pay proper attention to pedestrians.  This problems presents itself in almost every city in Illinois.  While drivers should share in the responsibility of ensuring that pedestrians get to their destinations safely, there are several things that you can do as a pedestrian to decrease your chances of getting hurt.

  • Use sidewalks when they are available. When there are no sidewalks available, walk on the far left side of the road. You will be out of the way of traffic, and you will be able to see oncoming traffic better.
  • Always cross at crosswalks when they are available. When possible, you may even want to cross at a stop light that has pedestrian lights. Do not cross the street until it is safe to do so even if you should have the right-of-way.
  • Make yourself visible to drivers. One of the big keys is that you should never suddenly come out from behind something, such as a parked vehicle or even some bushes by the side of the road. If drivers can't see that you plan to cross the street, they will not know to stop for you. Being visible to drivers also includes wearing bright clothing during the day. At night or during bad weather, you should wear reflective clothing. For extra safety, especially if you are walking in a poorly-lit area, you may want to also use a flashlight.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street, and teach your children to do so as well. 
  • Never assume that a driver has seen you. Even if you have the right-of-way, make sure all drivers have stopped before you attempt to cross the street. You may even want to make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they have seen you and that they know that you plan to cross the street.
  • Consider the weather and adapt accordingly. If visibility is reduced because of rain, snow, fog, or other weather conditions, you will want to be extra careful when crossing the street. Wet or icy roads may also make it harder to safely cross the street. 
  • Get rid of distractions. Yes, that means you should put your cell phone down. You should also avoid walking with headphones on or while reading a book. When walking, you should always be a fully alert pedestrian. 

Unfortunately, some drivers do not always pay attention to pedestrians. Automobile on pedestrian accidents keep hospital emergency rooms crowded in Illinois.  If you are a pedestrian who was injured in an automobile accident caused by an inattentive driver, contact us

By Ryan Bradley, Accident Attorney, Koester & Bradley, LLP

The Consumer Fraud Act and the Distant Buyer Scam in Illinois

7/09/2018

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The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act is aimed at allowing victims of fraud in Illinois to recover monetarily, and to punish those actors who commit fraud.  Recently, Illinois Fraud scams are targeting entrepreneurs.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Requires the Right Legal Team

 Koester & Bradley Illinois Consumer Lawyers

The Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act was implemented to protect product buyers from personal damages. As more citizens in Champaign Urbana and throughout the Illinois are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain additional income or pursue their dream of business ownership, it is becoming more prevalent that entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as individuals are opening themselves up to becoming the victim.  While the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act covers a variety of actions, the so-called distant-buyer scam is beginning to proliferate due to the rise of internet commerce.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE actions considered as fraud under the Illinois consumer fraud act?
  • False advertising across all media channels.  This includes the internet, print, and even the phone.
  • False or misleading statements made by salespeople on the phone, the internet, or in person.
  • False or misleading marketing materials.
  • Concealing relevant information or facts about a particular good or service.
  • A fraudulent or undisclosed commission payment schedule
 

The Emergence of the Distant Buyer Scam In Illinois

 

The eager Illinois entrepreneur that is seeking quick business ideas on a budget often steer towards resale-based business ventures. To begin their customer base, these new business owners hit the internet to promote and sell their products. These inexperienced business owners are often encountered with the distant buyer scam.
 
The distant buyer scam occurs when an unknown buyer sends the business an inquiry on one or more products that it sells. Typically, the product that the buyer wants to purchase carries a high ticket price. The buyer offers to pay more for the product than what the seller is asking and insists on sending their own shipper to pick up the product. In these events the buyer does send a legitimate looking check or money order that increases the level of trust the seller has.  The seller is instructed to send the additional funds to the shipper, often to a P.O. Box. The seller is then out the product and the money as their bank collects the funds from the business or individual’s account to cover the fraudulent check or money order when it doesn’t clear.
 
If you are one of Illinois’ home business owners that suspects you have encountered a distant buyer scammer, Illinois  Consumer Protection and Fraud attorneys can help you. These professionals are able to assist you with reporting the occurrence with the proper authorities and federal agencies. They have the knowledge and expertise to begin research into your case which offers a better chance of finding the culprits that have caused you the loss. Should a suspect or suspects be found in your case, your attorney will begin the necessary proceedings to help you collect the monetary compensation you are due.
 
If you feel you have been victimized by a distant buyer scam:
  1. Save any correspondences you have received from the buyer.
  2. Contact your local state police post and file a victim’s report.
  3. Contact an Illinois Consumer Protection and Fraud attorney.
  4. Do not attempt to cash any check or money order regardless of how legitimate it may seem.

 
If your home business has experienced a loss or you are unsure of the legitimacy of a distant buyer,  contact us and we will help you sort it out. You will have a better understanding of your rights and the scams which are lurking.

By Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

What to Do After A Hit and Run Auto Accident in Illinois

7/05/2018

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Hit and Run Accidents in Champaign Urbana and across Illinois are frustrating and dangerous.  It is vital to stay cool and protect your right to compensation with a local Attorney.

​--Tom Koester, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Illinois Hit and Run Accident Lawyers Koester & Bradley

Car accidents can be a traumatizing experience.  The concentration of major State and National Interstate highways and travelers in the Champaign Urbana and Danville Areas make Central Illinois a hotbed for accidents.  Hit-and-run accidents can be even scarier. After all, the other person, who is often guilty of negligence behind the wheel and also Illinois Vehicle Code Violations, has left the scene, and you might be afraid that you won't get the help that you need. There are several things you should do after a hit-and-run accident both to preserve the safety of yourself and other passengers of the car, and to preserve your right to compensation from the other driver and most importantly, the other driver's insurance company.  Just because the other driver has broken the Illinois law and fled the scene of the accident, it does not mean that the other driver is not carrying an insurance policy which will be legally liable to compensate you or a loved ones for injuries from the accident. These things will allow you to get the help you need and will increase the chances of the culprit being caught.

Stay Put

Yes, it can be tempting to chase after the other driver. After all, you don't want the other person to get away with hitting your vehicle and causing damage and pain and suffering. Chasing after the other driver is not going to solve the problem, though. In your angry state, you may cause another crash.  Furthermore, Illinois law does not allow you to break other rules of the road in pursuing another individual.  Instead, do you best to gather all of the information and details about the other car as you possibly can and write them down as quickly as possible.  You can record these details in your phone, or even do a voice recording and take pictures.  This make the Police's job easier in apprehending the other driver and allowing you to recover.  Stay where you are, and check for injuries to yourself and others. Allow the police to find the hit-and-run driver.

Contact the Police and Your Insurance Company

Call the police as soon as possible after the accident.  Provide them with as much information as you can about the driver and the accident. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents often catch people by surprise. You may not be able to get the vehicle's full license plate number. You may not have a complete description of the driver. Remember as much as possible about the vehicle and the driver as you can, though. Information about the direction the person is traveling will also be helpful to police. Potential damage to the vehicle may also aid the police in finding the hit-and-run driver.  Finally, make sure you have a firm description of the make, model, and color of the other car.  The Police are very good at finding cars and criminals in Illinois and even the most minor detail is often enough for them to do their job.

Additionally, your insurance company may also be liable to assist you financially and to compensate you for your injuries after a hit and run accident in Champaign Urbana or across Illinois even if you do not know the other driver's identity.  Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is purchased for this reason.

Find Witnesses

Even if you are not able to provide adequate information to the police, witnesses may be able to fill in the blanks. If possible, ask anyone nearby who witnessed the accident to stay around and provide a report to the police. Nearby security cameras may also be able to help the police identify the person.  Also, don't forget than any passengers in your car are also witnesses as well as victims.

If you were injured in an accident where the other driver fled the scene,  contact us. We will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.  If you have specific questions, feel free to visit Koester & Bradley's ever-expanding database of Champaign Auto Accident Frequently Asked questions for guidance.  

Consumer Protection and Fraud: The Ongoing Cyber Threat of Ransomware

3/31/2018

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Ryan R Bradley

Illinois Consumer Protection and Fraud Attorney at Koester & Bradley, LLP


​For Illinois Consumers, Equifax dominates the headlines in cybersecurity, but Ransomware is a serious threat as well.


While large data breaches such at Target and  Equifax dominate the headlines, there are other equally frightening threats lurking on the internet that impact Illinois residents.  Illinois Consumer protection lawyers Koester & Bradley are still noticing a large jump in Ransomware attacks on individuals and businesses alike.  In fact, last week the city of Atlanta was attached and information necessary to run the entire city was held for ransom.  Are Illinois cities and consumers next?

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks your screen and prevents access to your computer and its files until you pay a ransom.  Ransomware is not just a problem for large companies and hospitals, it afflicts individual and small to medium sized business as well across Illinois. It has been around in different forms since the mid 2000s and attacks both businesses and individuals with the hackers committing the fraud demanding payment in largely untraceable bitcoin. According to cybersecurity experts Tom Barker and Chris Heuman of Virtual Auditor, unlike earlier ransomware that disabled your computer, recent forms of this malware encrypt your files, which makes their recovery far more difficult. If you don't pay the several hundred-dollar ransom by a certain date, your files will be destroyed.

Champaign Illinois Consumer Protection attorneys Koester & Bradley warn that while there's no guarantee against becoming a victim, there are several measures for Illinois consumers and businesses to take to make an attack less likely and less damaging:

Back Up Your Files
Make frequent file backups to lessen the impact of an attack.  We now know that for Illinois residents, and consumers across the country, it is more probable than not that you will be a victim of cyber crime.  Don't store these files anywhere that's reachable by your computer because the ransomware may find and encrypt them. If you're using an external device for your backups, keep it disconnected from your computer. If you're using cloud services for backup storage, make sure they retain previous versions of your files that you can roll back to in case your most recent files are encrypted.

Backup files make recovery easier because it's just a matter of reinstalling your backups after the malware is removed from your computer and represent the primary way to reduce the damage caused by an attack.

Be Careful With Emails

Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from unfamiliar sources. If the email content from a familiar source seems unusual, it could be ransomware that's exploiting a list of your contacts. When an email is suspicious but plausible, contact the source independently of the email and its attachments.

If you have any questions about an email, even if it is from a send that you do know, verify with the sender and do a Google search for scams that are similar to the email that you received.  

Keep Your Software Updated
Ransomware may exploit known weaknesses of various software. Software providers respond to recently discovered security weaknesses with new version updates that "patch up the hole." Update all software including your firewall and anti-virus.  Additionally, ensure that you computer operating system, usually either Windows of Mac OS, is kept up-to-date.  Moat time you can suet this for automatic updates.

If your computer gets infected, your safest bet is to erase the entire system and reinstall your operating system. After this, scan your computer with an anti-virus that can detect ransomware. Then you can load your files back into your computer from your backups. If your files and backups are infected, don't pay the ransom because you may not get your files back, or the ransomware may attack again. In addition, your money enables the criminal to continue his activities.

The above tips will reduce your risk of becoming a victim and will make recovery from such an attack less painful. If you were impacted by the Equifax breach, keep  these tips in mind to further protect yourself.  Finally, remember that the Illinois Consumer Protection Attorneys at Koester & Bradley are here to help should you become a victim of Cyber Attack. 

Recovering for Personal Injuries From Defective Products and Devices in Illinois

3/12/2018

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There are many Dangerous Products on the Market in Illinois.  Here are the Key Illinois Personal Injury Factors to Remember.

 Each time you shop and make purchases in Illinois and across the country, you are afforded certain rights and protections.  Many of these protections are the result of Illinois State or Federal Laws. If you purchase a product that was defective, dangerous, or improperly made, and caused you to sustain a personal injury, you have the right to file certain claims to receive the compensation and justice you deserve.  Our Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer team at Koester & Bradley will provide you with a brief overview of product liability claims and what you need to know as you go through the process.

Three General Types of Product LIability Claims in Illinois

There are three different types of product liability claims. The first is a pharmaceutical claim. This is when medication contains a harmful ingredient that could cause harm to your health.  Examples of these types of claims are the defective drugs Xarelto and Pradaxa which bad drug lawyers at Koester & Bradley are actively pursuing.

The second is the product manufacturing or design flaw claim. This could be a manufacturing or design flaw that causes injury. For example, a faulty cord on a blow dryer or faulty brakes on your car that caused your injury fall into this category.  Additionally the dangerous and recalled knees and hips produced by DePuy and Stryker are defectively designed and manufactured.  

The third is a marketing defect. This is when a company makes promises about their product that are untrue. This includes inadequate safety warnings, improper labeling or insufficient instructions. If the knowledge you have on how to use a product is incorrect and it causes your injury, the manufacturer or company could be at fault.  The State of Illinois regulates these types of claims as does the Federal Government and the regulations can be very complex.  This is why Koester & Bradley recommends hiring an experienced product liability lawyer locally to assist you.

You May be Entitled to Compensation for your Injuries in Illinois

If you feel that one of the above defects is enough to file a product liability claim, you can commence legal action. It's best to  contact us for more information and set up a consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your incident. There are many components that go into a product liability claim, so it's best to seek legal representation from those who are experienced in  personal injury lawsuits for your best chances of success.

For Once The Government is Right, Shut Up, Stop Texting, and just Drive

1/25/2018

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The Government May not be Correct About Everything, but when it Comes to Distracted Driving in Illinois, it is.

This is not "Fake News." Throughout Champaign Illinois and across the country, distracted driving is rampant; and the many fatalities and injuries caused by cell phone use while simultaneously operating a vehicle caught the attention of employees at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  In November 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  posted a  press release on its website regarding suggested efforts that mobile phone manufacturers and carriers can implement to reduce distracted driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

The Champaign Urbana accident lawyers at Koester & Bradley have seen these startling statistics first-had in representing the victims of auto accidents and their families.

The suggestions call for cell phone manufacturers and carriers to develop smartphones that can link to an in-vehicle system, which darkens the mobile phone screen and disables cell phone features. An effort such as this should prevent a driver from using their smartphone while driving. When a device can’t get paired with an in-vehicle system, the National Highway Safety Administration suggests that mobile phone manufacturers and carriers include a “driver’s mode” function, which allows drivers to disable their phones during vehicle operation.

Automobile accidents and safety efforts affect every driver. Many states are increasingly producing case law whereby proof of distracted driving established prima facie evidence of negligence. The case law in some states even extends to distant third parties who knowingly text a person while they operate a vehicle. Until the technology reaches a point where car manufacturers and cell phone manufacturers can combine their efforts with certainty to reduce distracted driving and increase driver safety, it’s incumbent upon a driver to utilize available technologies to reduce distracted driving.

In Illinois, and particularly in Central Illinois and Bloomington and Decatur, when you get injured in a car accident, and a distracted driver caused the crash it’s important to let an experienced personal injury attorney manage your claim.  This is particularly important  Your injury entitles you to monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.  Contact us, and get the compensation that you deserve.

Beware of these Scams that Target the Elderly

1/22/2018

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Across Illinois, Scams and Cyber Threats are Targeting Seniors.  Here are a few You Should Know About

Scams that target the elderly never seem to end.  With the notice and attention that is given to cybersecurity and crimes such as identity theft, it is important to understand that "conventional" and lower-tech scams are still prevalent--particularly regarding senior citizens in central Ill and across the country.  At Koester & Bradley, LLP, we do our best to monitor all potential threats to our clients and community as Illinois personal injury and fraud lawyers.  Here are some more scams that target senior citizens.  Let us know if you are aware of any others to add to the list.

Fake Anti-Aging Products
Elderly people, especially women, often feel a need to look younger. This is a result of social and peer pressure. Scammers target seniors with fake or low-quality anti-aging products. They may not work, may be overpriced, or may have hidden fees -- for example, they may offer a one-month discount option without disclosing that they will be charged exorbitant fees for monthly deliveries after that.

Fake Prescription Drugs
Similar to fake anti-aging products. These fake prescription drugs are cheap, and can often be found on the internet. They may cost less, but they may not work and may even be dangerous.  There are many drugs and devices that are actually prescribed by doctors that are also dangerous to seniors in Illinois such as Xarelto and Pradaxa, so it is wise to avoid subjecting yourself or a loved one to any drug not discussed with a healthcare professional. 

Grandchild Scam
The grandchild scam involves someone telephoning a caring grandparent and pretending to be a beloved grandchild. They can find out the names of their grandchildren from social media. During the phone call, they'll use low-quality audio to conceal their voice, and they will cry about how they are in trouble or in debt and need money to bail themselves out. They'll often say that they can not call their "parents" because their "parents" will be angry at them.

Other Scams
Elderly people who live alone are especially vulnerable to all kinds of phone, mail and cyber scams, such as fake charity scams, fake lottery tickets, fake antivirus companies and so on. Make sure to warn your loved one about these common scams.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of fraud,  contact us today for legal help.  Finally, remember that it is always worth investigation a scam if you or a loved one were a victim even if not sure of all of the details and the legality of the situation.  This is the way that new law is made.

Heads Up Parents: NuVasive Magec System May Hurt Your Child with Scoliosis

11/19/2017

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Sometimes Medical Devices intended to help actually hurt.  Such is the Case for NuVasive.

Koester & Bradley NuVasive Defect Lawyers

Koester & Bradley, LLP is investigating cases involving a popular, non-surgical, device intended to treat Scoliosis in children.  Parents should be aware of the NuVasive Magec System, which was developed to treat Early Onset Scoliosis in very young children. With seven-million Americans suffering from scoliosis or curvature of the spine, the interest in the device is very high and the manufacturer has launched an aggressive marketing campaign.  Scoliosis is commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 10 to 15, Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS) develops in children before the age of 10.

EOS is a serious medical condition because it occurs when a young child’s skeletal structures are still developing. If the spinal curvature is not treated and becomes severe, it can constrict the child’s thorax or chest cavity causing them breathing issues and restricting the growth of their lungs. Therefore, EOS treatments must control the spinal deformity while also allowing the spine to grow.

The NuVasive Magec System is marketed as an alternative surgical treatment for children with moderate to severe EOS and promises “noninvasive growth modulation.”   It is important to not that in the case of the NuVasive System, the fact that the FDA has "approved" the device, does not guarantee or warranty it safety.  The device is a magnetic controlled growing rod system, which, in theory, expands to help straighten and correct the curvature of the spine as the child grows.

NuVasive Specialized Orthopedics, the company standing to profit from the device, claims its magnetic rod technology significantly reduces the number of surgical procedures EOS patients require compared to traditional treatment options. However, clinical results have shown that this may not be accurate given the increasing complication rates.

Early issues with the NuVasive system are especially concerning given the young age of the patient population. Parents are being led to believe that this treatment option is safe for their child, but researchers and clinicians are seeing major failures with the spinal device and raising concerns regarding the device’s potentially high complication rates.

In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to receive reports of issues with the NuVasive Magec System that include:
  • Rods failing to properly extend or expand
  • Rods not engaging properly
  • Rods bending, breaking or separating
  • Fractures of the pins used to stabilize the rod


NuVasive Specialized Orthopedics, Inc., has the full responsibility to its pediatric patients and their families. The company, in order to comply with Illinois and Federal law,  must ensure these medical devices perform as indicated and do not endanger the health of the children undergoing treatment with these devices.

Due to the large numbers of these devices entering the marketplace and being implemented on children, Koester & Bradley is investigating all adverse events related to the  NuVasive Magec System.  Please reach out to us for a free review of your case and stay up to date on the other defective products cases we are presently handling.


Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP 

Legal News with Illinois Impact from Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP

Authors

Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases form medical malpractice to automobile accidents.

Tom Koester is a civil litigator based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing the injured and victims of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injuries.