Night driving is often the most dangerous time to drive, Koester & Bradley share tips to make it safer.
Darkness triggers melatonin production, which tells the body that it's time to sleep. This causes drowsiness. Furthermore, people aren't nocturnal creatures by nature and therefore their vision is poorly suited for the dark. These facts mean that the hours after sunset is a dangerous time to drive. While headlights and tail lights make driving possible, they're a poor substitute for sunlight. Here are five tips for making your night driving a safer experience:
Check Your Lights
Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. Shine your car's headlights on your garage door and note the beams' reflections. If they point up, down, or off to the side, have your mechanic adjust them. Replace headlights, tail lights, and brake lights that are burnt out or appear dim. Keep them clean.
Keep Your Windshield and Glasses Clean
Dirt and grime covered glass scatters light. This produces glare when light passes through dirty windshields and glasses. Keep the inside and outside surfaces of both clean. Consider getting an anti-reflective coating on your glasses, which dramatically reduces glare.
Avoid Looking at the Headlights of Oncoming Traffic
The glare of oncoming headlights can cause temporary night blindness. To avoid this, look at the right side of your lane to guide your steering and use your peripheral vision to track oncoming traffic.
Get Plenty of Rest
Get seven or eight hours of sleep the night before a long road trip. Avoid driving at night when you feel physically or mentally exhausted. Therefore, hard manual labor or running a marathon should be avoided before your trip. This is also true for lengthy exams, interviews, and similar experiences that tap out your mental energy.
Drink Coffee When Needed
If you start feeling fatigued during your night drive, get off at an exit and drink a cup of coffee. If you're at a rest stop, a coffee works especially well after a 20 minute nap. While occasional coffee consumption is effective, don't rely on it too heavily. Your body will develop a caffeine tolerance that renders it less effective. At some point, even coffee won't prevent falling asleep at the wheel when your fatigue is sufficiently extreme.
If another's reckless or negligent driving injured you in an accident, our experienced lawyers can help. Contact us today at Koester & Bradley, LLP.
A Young Girl Like to Litter--Or Does She?
Legal news coming out of our nation's capitol involves a very young child and a citation for littering. Details are emerging as to how a two-year-old girl from Washington D.C. received a $75 ticket. But things are not always what they seem. Was this just "fake news."
Envelope in Alley
According to a report by CBS 12 News, it was the discovery of an envelope with the child's name on it led to the fine. It was allegedly found on the ground in an alley near West Virginia Avenue, in the northeastern section of Washington D.C.
The child's parents related to reporters how they have always taught their daughter not to litter, so they viewed the ticket as quite ironic. In fact, when the citation arrived in the mail, their two-year-old reportedly said, "Littering, that's not good."
Inspector Firm on Fine
After the family received the citation, the girl's mother contacted the Department of Public Works (DPW) inspector who wrote up the report that led to the issuance of the citation. At first, the inspector insisted the ticket would not be rescinded because the girl's name was on it. However, the public official eventually suggested that the ticket could be dismissed if the family provided proof of the child's age.
Official Visits “Scene of the Crime”
Eventually, a DPW official went to the neighborhood to look into the incident for himself. After the visit, he said the family would not have to pay the fine.
The little girl’s parents concluded that the envelope merely fell out of the trash when it was being taken to the dumpster in the alley.
We focus on personal injury, car accident, product liability and medical malpractice cases. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us. While Koester & Bradley enjoys looking at the lighter side of the law, we take recovering for our clients very seriously.
Fight the Urge to just say, "I'm Fine," after a fall (unless you know it's true)
Human beings. If nothing else we are creatures of habit, especially in the Midwest where it is not uncommon for someone to say "sorry" when somebody else gets in their way. We don't want to be a burden, and we sure don't want to inconvenience folks.
During the winter months, even unusually warm ones, it is not uncommon to encounter slippery conditions. Outside there is no shortage of snow and ice throughout our long winter, and moisture is often brought inside due to melt from people's shoes, or already there due to spills and leaky pipes.
When we fall we tend to get up as quickly as possible and say "I'm fine" when someone shows concern. Most of the time we are fine and the fall is nothing more than a momentary embarrassment, but sometimes severe damage arises.
But what if you're not fine?
What happens when you slip and fall, but you are not fine? What if you begin showing symptoms of a debilitating injury after your fall? What if you are unable to work?
That is why we have premises liability laws in Illinois and around the nation. Property owners, including business owners and homeowners, are responsible for maintaining safe premises.
These laws and statutes are not always clear-cut, and often involve the interpretation of intersection state statutes, common law, and local ordinances and guidelines. For instance, in Illinois, property owners are actually NOT liable for the "natural accumulation" of ice and snow on or near their premises. There are a number of pertinent exceptions to this rule, but an attorney is frequently necessary to navigate these complicated waters.
Additionally, inside a building, property owners must have had the knowledge of the slippery floor or other dangerous condition in order to be found liable. Again, exceptions exist, and an experienced local lawyer well-versed in personal injury cases will be necessary to prevail again savvy and disingenuous insurance adjusters.
Translation: if property owners are aware of something, it is their responsibility to take care of it quickly or at least notify people about the danger. This could mean mopping up a spill and placing a "wet floor" sign in the area, it could mean fixing a wobbly stair rail, or taking measures to avoid ice build-up on the sidewalk in front of the store. Proving the knowledge is a difficult part of the equation.
The law allows for premises liability suits because innocent people should not be left to bear the burden of another's negligence, but the insurance industry and internal company policies often make handling these cases without an attorney frustrating, if not impossible. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. No hard sell, just hard facts from an experienced attorney.
Stay safe while driving during flood conditions in Champaign Illinois and Beyond.
With little rain in Illinois over the last few months, you must drive with extra caution when the sky actually opens up. Recent floods caused the deaths several people, including some trapped in their car by water. Therefore, we want to provide you with tips about Automobile Accidents and Safety during floods.
The Attune Knee Implant is the Next in a Long Line of Defective Products from Johnson & Johnson
Just like the DePuy ASR metal on metal hip, and the Pinnacle metal on metal hip, the Attune Knee made by DePuy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been linked to failures related to instability. This mode of failure of the popular and heavily marketed knee prosthesis is serious and painful.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received an unusually high number of incident reports indicating early failure in the DePuy Attune® Knee Replacement System. These failure report are generally submitted to the FDA directly from the doctors and care providers that implant the device.
These failures are occurring one month to two years after initial implantation, and patients are reporting loosening and pain. Loosening and pain are just the tip of the iceberg however as a full-on failure is the likely result. To add to the problem, the knee was very popular and implanted in heavily in Central Illinois as well as across the country. Koester & Bradley is at the forefront of the litigation.
The DePuy Attune® Knee Replacement System came on the market in 2013 under the 510 (k) process and did not likely undergo a full FDA review. Furthermore the release of the knee implant was right on the heels of the major ASR recall, so Johnson & Johnson certainly knew of the problems associated with implants. The device was intended to last for 15-20 years, which was a major selling point for the DePuy company, but many patients have reported failure within one month to two years after the implantation.
If you or a loved one has experienced trouble with any knee implant, simply get in touch with us and we can determine if you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Koester & Bradley will continue to provide updates on this developing story.
With the recent hacking of Equifax, personal information of over 143 million Americans were compromised. Identity thieves gaining access to an individual’s credit report allows them to open new accounts in the victims’ names. A credit freeze is a security method that restricts access to an individual’s credit report. New creditors would not be able to see your file and therefore would not be able to approve a new account and extend credit. Under a credit freeze, existing creditors and debt collectors would still be allowed access to your credit report. Government agencies may also have access to your frozen credit report with the use of a court or administrative order, a subpoena or a search warrant.
A credit freeze will not prevent an identity thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You should continue the process of monitoring all credit card, bank transactions and insurance statements to screen for fraudulent transactions. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score and will not prevent you from acquiring your free annual credit report. A credit freeze will also not stop you from opening a new account, applying for a job, buying insurance or renting a home but you will be required to lift the freeze temporarily for a specific time or to specific parties in order for these actions to be approved. A credit freeze will not stop an individual from getting pre-screened offers of credit. To opt out of pre-screened offers of credit for 5 years or permanently, you can call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or access the following website, www.optoutprescreen.com.
You can place a free on your credit reports by contacting nationwide credit reporting companies such as Experian (1-888-397-3742) and TransUnion (1-888-909-8872). You will be required to provide your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, current address and other personal information. The fee associated with placing a credit freeze is between $5 to $10. Each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter for your freeze request containing a personal identification number (PIN) or password. You will need the PIN or password if you choose to lift the freeze at a later date.
A credit freeze will remain in place until you request the credit reporting company to temporarily lift or completely remove it. The cost of lifting a credit freeze varies by state. The freeze must be lifted no later than 3 business days after the credit company receives your request.
CREDIT FREEZE VS FRAUD ALERT: There is a major difference and trade off between protection and convenience.
We have compiled the most relevant differences to keep in mind when taking action
As with any issue relating to credit and cyber security, being proactive and moving quickly is vital. Attorneys are investigating the matter and are always here to answer questions.
Despite the problems caused the lack of a state budget and the resulting disarray, Illinois has proven unwilling to wait for reform at the federal level, and has joined several other states considering laws that would protect student loan borrowers and heighten penalties against scammers targeting these individuals. With over $1.4 trillion in debt owed by approximately 44 million Americans and the Illinois Attorney General reporting that student borrower complaints have increased dramatically in the last several years, the new law would provide much needed protections.
Illinois is considering passing a Student Loan Bill of Rights law. This law would require loan servicers to obtain a license in the state, which would allow for greater oversight in the state. Additionally, a special ombudsman would be created to act on complaints that residents made. The law is aimed at preventing fraud and abuse from loan servicers.
The state Attorney General has noted that Illinois borrowers often have problems making their loan payments. Her office has received complaints from residents that loan servicers failed to inform them of affordable repayment options, to answer their questions in a consistent manner to follow borrower payment instructions. Due to the lack of information that many borrowers have from their loan servicers, scam artists may set up exploitative mechanisms that make false promises in exchange for large fees. The student loan crisis is being readily compared to the housing crisis.
If passed, the law would require loan servicers to properly process payments, to explain all of the repayment options available to borrowers and when borrowers may be able to get their loans forgiven. A number of more affordable options may be available to borrowers, such as deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness or a repayment plan. Loan servicers would be prohibited from misleading borrowers.
Consumer fraud and protection lawyers may be able to assist individuals who are being defrauded by their creditors. They may pursue action on behalf of clients who receive harassing communications or who need debt relief. For more information on how consumer fraud and protection lawyers, contact us.
Ryan Bradley works with many Illinois and National Consumers to protect their rights from the grasp of big business.
The diabetes drug Invokana (Canagliflozin) could actually be more dangerous than helpful to patients. An initial study of the drug, the CANVAS clinical trials in 2009, concluded that it caused "major adverse cardiovascular events, including CV death".
Although Canagliflozin was approved by the FDA in 2013, many medical professionals had unanswered questions about its safety. A major concern was an elevated risk of stroke within the first thirty days of use.
Cardiologist Dr. William R. Hiatt, who voted against the FDA approval, said
"I feel that if you walk away with 100% voting to put it on the market, that sends a message to clinicians that this drug is okay. I'm not sure yet it's 100% okay, so I voted no."
Seconds Count is a patient education resource about cardiovascular health. The article entitled Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease includes a 50 second video by Cardiologist Dr. Samir B. Pancholy. He shares why diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. He reveals that patients with diabetes have the same risk of having a heart attack as if they'd had one previously. This is called a coronary equivalent.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common complication associated with the drug Invokana. DKA's link to cardiovascular problems has been well-documented for many years, as shown in this medical journal article from 1995.
Considering all the pre-existing medical data available, it appears that the manufacturers of Invokana underreported its cardiovascular risks.
Have you or someone in your family suffered a heart attack or stroke after using Invokana? Personal injury lawsuits have been filed in many states, including Illinois.
Please contact us today to share your story with one of our experienced attorneys. You will be treated with respect. Your medical suffering is important to us. We want to help. 217-337-1400
Tom Koester has been representing those injured by defective drugs and devices for decades throughout Central Illinois and the entire Country.
It's that season again. In Illinois and across the Midwest from Wisconsin and int Texas and Colorado, spring and early summer usher in potentially dangerous weather. While the news usually reports major weather events that end in bodily hard and epic destruction, often times damage on a smaller level is over looked. In no case is this more prevalent than in wind and hail situations.
Hail is a kind of strong precipitation where frozen rain forms into layered pellets and falls in showers from cumulonimbus clouds. The specific balls or irregular swellings of ice produced are referred to as hailstones. Although ice is usually associated with cold temperatures, that is not real for the formation of hail. Hail is possible within two nautical miles of the center of any thunderstorm--making the destructive range very large.
Hail damage is a deceptive and serious danger to property owners throughout the United States and abroad, triggering in excess of $1 billion in damages to property and crops each year. Even the tiniest hail can cause damage to young plantings. To rub salt in the wound, hailstones fall at greater speeds as they grow in size; some can fall as fast as 100 mph and include contaminant.
If you reside in a location susceptible to serious weather and have a low slope or flat roofing system with asphalt shingles, you are in the high threat for hail damage classification. The good news is that a lot of business and specific house owner's policies cover hail damage.
As far as the United States is concerned, hail is most common where Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming meet; a location coined Hail Street. Cheyenne, Wyoming ranks as the number one most vulnerable city in the United States for a hailstorm.
Hail falls many times each year, and has genuine capacity to trigger extreme damage. Airplane, automobiles, crops, physical property, and so on are all susceptible to hail; badly denting, shattering and conceivably even destroying properties.
Among the most substantial hail claims arise from roofing system damage. Roof insurance claims require a lot of knowledge about roofing system construction and history of the roofing in concern. It often leads to litigation because Insurance companies such as State Farm, All State, and Nationwide have thousands of roaming adjusters who are programmed to build cases for the companies to deny claims.
If you or your roofing expert or contractor determines what is necessary to fix the damage from a hail storm, then you should be very apprehensive when an "independent" adjuster for the insurance company determines that the damage is actually less. It is at this point when you should contact an experienced attorney, and we are here to help.
Ryan is a partner at Koester & Bradley and handles the firms property damage claims. He is always available to talk, and consultations are free.
Spring is at long last upon us and as the weather heats up, many cyclists will be hitting the trail. However, before you jump on your bicycle and take off, you need to that your bike remains in an excellent condition.
Whether or not you bike to school or your job, or you merely enjoy relaxing trips through the park, bike maintenance is an important topic. In recognition of National Bike Month, which takes place in the month of May, we've assembled some things you can do to make sure that your bike is really good to go this spring season.
A thorough inspection of your bike is very important to be certain that there aren't any complications when you are riding throughout your Central Illinois or your area, especially if the bike has not been utilized in a while (thanks winter). One thing that you don't want to do is to neglect a small issue until it ends up becoming a big problem that could endanger your safety and security or the safety and security of others on the road or the trail.
Have a fun-- and safe-- bike ride!
Maintain your Rubber
Many cyclists understand the importance of having wheels that are in a good condition before riding. Nevertheless, if your bike has been waiting inside for some time, it is quite likely that the tire may be flat or low on air. You may need to get the pump out.
When pumping up tires, you should buy a high-quality bicycle pump with sizable gauges that are easy to decipher, according to Bike Radar. It is also important to stick to the manufacturer's recommended pressure level to ensure that the wheels perform when riding. It is the same concept that is applicable to car tires and the pressure rating should be visible on each wheel.
Finally, when examining your tires, try to find any gaps or dry rot that may have developed over wintertime and replace the tires as soon as you can. Dry rot can cause your tires to blast mid-ride and you will lose control of the bike. This will rupture the tire tubes and cause a certain wreck.
Balance Your Wheels
The wheels should rotate evenly and not brush against the frame of the bike. If there appears to be an impediment, check the tightness of the spokes by running your hands around them. Tighten any spokes which feel loose or twists easily.
Your bicycle should always move in a fluid motion and not be unsteady or jerky when riding about town in Champaign-Urbana. The best way to inspect the wheels is to turn your bike bottom up and spin the wheels, according to Livestrong.
Get on the Chain
Bicycle chains can create a dangerous situation for you when riding if not appropriately taken care of. If a chain is too loose, it may break while riding and if the chain is too tight, it can make for a difficult ride and damage your gears.
The best way to adjust a bicycle chain is to release the rear wheel nuts on each side and pull the rear wheel back to take slack out of the chain. The bicycle chain movement should not move more than a quarter to half an inch.
Breaks are the Key
Operational brakes can mean life or death for a biker, so it is imperative that you spend ample time making sure that your brakes function properly. This part of the process should be conducted before every ride.
Whenever inspecting your bike's brake levers, make sure they engage both sides of the brake pads on each wheel. If there is a long lag in the lever, loosen the barrel adjuster a few times and test to see if it does what it is supposed to do.
Also, verify that your brake pads aren't loose or wiggle when they press against the bike's rim. If the brake pads are worn or cracked, replace them immediately before taking the bike out onto the street.
Get Lit Up
Visibility on the road is imperative to bike riders and having a broken light can lead to serious personal injuries not only to yourself but to others on the road or path as well.
Your bicycle lights and reflectors should be checked for cracks or breaks before each evening or night ride. Get a friend or family member in order to help you check your headlights and brake lights. Replace any lights that are not functioning or producing a faded light.
Also, if you don't have front and rear lights on your bicycle, it may be best to get them for your own safety. Some states require bicyclists to have working lights while travelling during the dark hours, so don't get fined for not having this essential shield on your bike.
Get Into Gear
Smooth transitions from gear to gear can help to make a bike ride enjoyable. If you experience any weird delays or loud clicks when changing gears, it could signal a problem.
Prior to taking the bike out onto the roadway, run through the gears by spinning the pedals, according to Popular Mechanics. Make sure that the gears hit the shift points evenly with no disruptions. If you need to make adjustments, use a screwdriver to modify the derailleurs. This part of the process does not necessarily have to happen before each ride.
Finally, bear in mind that even by doing everything you can to make sure that you are safe on the road, there may be others who may not share your accident-prevention mindset. If you were involved in an accident because of another's negligence while biking, or if you are struck by a biker not obeying ordinary safety precautions, we may be able to help. To learn what our injury attorneys may have the ability to do for you, please fill out our free case evaluation form right now.
Proper bicycle upkeep may take a while, but the rewards of your labor will show in the form of a nice and exciting ride. You will be ahead of the pack when it comes to being ready this spring season.
Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP
Legal News with Illinois Impact from Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP
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.