Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered
Wheaton Office  630-462-1980
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Wheaton personal injury attorneysEstimates indicate that some 700 million people in America are transported by bus each year. Whether they are traveling by school bus, public transit bus, charter bus, or a tour bus, these riders count on the driver to help them safely get them from one location to the next. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Accidents do occur, and sometimes they result in serious injury or death for the passengers. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

As with auto accidents, driver error is the most common cause of bus accidents. Other common causes include:

  • Driver fatigue;
  • Poor bus or equipment maintenance;
  • Driving while under the influence;
  • Inadequate training;
  • Improper screening of employees;
  • Improper loading; and
  • Overloading.

Of course, driver error does not always mean that it was the bus operator who made a mistake; it can also apply to other road users. For example, another road user may be intoxicated and swerve into the path of the bus. Alternatively, other drivers may cut the bus off, forcing the bus to either brake or swerve, either of which could potentially cause an accident. If an accident does happen to you or someone you love, it is crucial that an investigation is conducted to determine the exact causes behind the accident. In some cases, there may be multiple negligent parties, which could further complicate an already complex claim filing process.


DuPage County product liability attorneysOur world practically revolves around electricity. It lights our homes, powers our tablets and computers, and even runs the stoplights that help us travel safely from one place to the next. Unfortunately, this powerful tool is also extremely dangerous. Even minimal contact can lead to burn injuries. In severe cases, those injuries can cause death. There are some important things you should about electrical burns caused by defective products, including how to determine if you may be owed compensation.

Causes of Electrical Burns

Electrical burns can be caused in many ways, but those that are related to defective products typically occur at home or at work. A homemaker can turn on their dryer and experience an electrical burn. A worker in the manufacturing industry can go to use the same equipment they have used for years, only to have it malfunction and cause injury. In reality, the possibilities are endless, and they exist in your home, at your job, and in your everyday life.

Types of Electrical Burns

Electricals burns take one of two forms: direct contact burns and arc burns. Direct contact burns can include touching a surface that has been heated by electricity or something that has been ignited by electricity, or by coming into direct contact with electricity itself. Arc burns are caused when electricity travels, or arcs, through the air or in a gap between conductors. Both can result in serious and potentially fatal injuries.


Wheaton brain injury attorneyAccording to federal estimates, about 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year in the United States. This number only includes those who have been diagnosed as having a TBI by a qualified medical professional, so the real number is probably a bit higher. It is almost impossible to estimate with any accuracy the number of Americans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because so few ever seek professional help. Some experts believe that about 8 percent of adults in the U.S. deal with PTSD—a percentage that equates to about 24 million people.

Those who suffer from PTSD are usually those who have suffered or witnessed a particularly traumatizing event, such as rape, assault, or combat. A recent study, however, seems to show that those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are more likely to develop PTSD in the future. If a link actually exists, it could have an impact on accident cases involving head and brain trauma.

Looking at the Relationship

Scientists have long suspected the existence of a link between post-traumatic stress order and traumatic injuries. At one point, researchers looked at military veterans who had been physically close to some type of explosion during a combat deployment. Those who suffered a TBI during their service—not necessarily at the time of the explosion—were twice as likely to show symptoms of PTSD in the future compared to those who did not suffer a TBI. The researchers, however, could not give a reason why.


Wheaton distracted driving accident lawyerBy this point, virtually everyone is aware of the dangers of texting while driving and that texting leads to thousands of car accidents every year, many of them causing serious injuries or deaths. For some reason—and probably for a number of reasons—Americans seem to have trouble putting their phones down and focusing on the road in front of them. It may be easy to convince yourself that sending a quick text message is no more dangerous than adjusting the radio or thinking about a work project. A recent study, however, suggests a driver’s brain is inclined to protect a distracted driver in many cases, but not when the distraction is created by texting.

Small-Scale Study

The study was conducted by a research team from the University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and was partially funded by program established in the wake of a class-action settlement involving Toyota. The researchers looked at the effects of various types of distractions on 59 volunteers as they navigated a stretch of highway on a high-tech driving simulator.


Illinois personal injury attorneyIt is notoriously difficult to pursue a civil case against a government entity at any level. The concept of “sovereign immunity” dates back many centuries, and the idea has been codified in several Illinois statutes. In short, lawsuits against the government are handled under a different set of rules than lawsuits against private individuals, companies, or other entities. Sometimes, unfortunately, the principle is applied too liberally, and injured victims are denied their chance to seek justice. Earlier this month, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a woman whose case was dismissed in 2013 should have the opportunity to be heard and to seek compensation.

A Brief Recap

In 2012, the city of Danville, IL repaired many portions of the sidewalk in its downtown area. Later that year, a Danville woman tripped on an unrepaired slab of sidewalk, fracturing her shoulder and suffering other injuries. About a year later, the woman filed a lawsuit in Vermilion County Circuit Court against the city of Danville seeking damages for the city’s alleged negligence. Her complaint claimed that Danville had breached its duty to maintain sidewalks in a reasonably safe condition.


Wheaton car accident lawyersThe moments after a car accident are unlike anything else. Those who have been struck by another vehicle may be completely overwhelmed and unsure of how to react. It is vital that certain tasks be completed after a car accident in order to help prevent worsened injuries as well as increase the likelihood of receiving financial compensation for the accident.

Always Get Injuries Checked Out By a Medical Professional

Many people who have been injured in car accidents are quick to dismiss their own injuries. They may not want to spend the time and energy getting evaluated by a doctor or may worry about medical bills and ambulance fees. However, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention when you are hurt in an accident. Even injuries that seem minor at the time can quickly become serious medical concerns when left untreated. The hormone adrenaline often called the “fight or flight” hormone, has significant pain-masking properties. When something traumatic like a car accident occurs, the adrenaline released into the victim’s bloodstream can trick them into believing they are much less injured than they actually are. Having a record of injuries becomes invaluable if the injured person seeks financial compensation through a personal injury suit in the future.


Wheaton personal injury attorneyUnderstanding the concepts of negligence and duty of care is vital to a successful personal injury claim. However, there is a bit of confusion in the general public about what exactly negligence means and how you can prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. In the context of the law, negligence refers to an act of carelessness or careless inaction which causes someone damages. Damages can include things like medical bills for injuries, lost wages at work, and pain and suffering. Negligence occurs when a person had a duty of care to act responsibly but did not do so.

Breach of a Duty of Care

You may have seen the term “duty of care” in other information about personal injury lawsuits but been unsure of when someone has a duty of care to others and when they do not. Duty of care can be loosely defined as a requirement that an individual behave toward others with the attention, responsiveness, caution, and forethought that a “reasonable” person in the same circumstances would use. The word “reasonable” in this context means a person with average intelligence, insight, and decision-making skills. The first step in any personal injury claim is identifying the duty of care the negligent person had to the injured person—also called the plaintiff—and how that duty was breached or broken.


Wheaton personal injury attorneyFor many Chicago bicycling enthusiasts, summer is the best time of the year. Riding a bicycle instead of taking a car is one of the healthiest activities a person can do- and it can also be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, riding a bicycle also comes with certain risks. Even the most proficient bicyclist cannot prevent accidents caused by other people. If you have been hurt in an accident while riding a bike, read on to learn what your rights and options are for pursuing compensation.

Bicycle Accidents Responsible for Thousands of Injuries Each Year

It is estimated that 45,000 injuries were caused by accidents involving a bicycle in the United States in 2015. During the same year, 818 individuals were killed in these accidents. A bike offers significantly less protection against motor vehicles than even a motorcycle does. Many people do not wear a helmet or other safety gear while riding a bike, making this particular mode of transportation even riskier. Data shows that while uneven terrain or random falls contribute to many fatal bicycle accidents, the main way individuals are seriously injured or killed while riding a bike is by being struck by a car.


Wheaton product liability attorneyMost of us do not consider the risk we take every time we drive or ride in an automobile. Cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles are such an ordinary part of our lives that we forget just how powerful these machines are. The average car now weighs about 4000 lbs. and can reach or even surpass speeds of 100 mph. Even more impressive than motor vehicles’ size and power is their complexity. Estimates place the average number of constituent parts in a car at around 30,000. Each of these parts must work correctly in order for the vehicle to operate the way it is intended to work. When even just one part of a motor vehicle has a design or manufacturing defect, it can turn a safe vehicle into a ticking time bomb.

Class-Action Lawsuit Brought Filed Regarding Nissan Sentra

A class-action lawsuit persists against Nissan even after the company attempted to have the claims dismissed. According to the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, the continuously variable transmissions installed in Nissan Sentras are not working the way they should. Drivers have claimed that the vehicle experiences sudden and sometimes violent jerking or shaking when the accelerator is depressed. This motion, sometimes called shuddering or juddering, is unnerving to those driving the vehicles, to say the least. The plaintiffs also allege that the vehicles hesitate when drivers attempt to speed up. Some Nissan Sentra owners have even experienced vehicle stalling which could contribute to serious car accidents.


Wheaton car accident lawyersA hit-and-run car accident can be dramatically more challenging to deal with than a regular car accident. When a person is injured in an auto accident and does not have the cooperation of the person who hit them, the injured victim will often have to work much harder to recover compensation for the damages caused. If you have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence during a hit-and-run accident, read on to learn your options for receiving compensation.

Finding Out Who is Responsible for the Accident

Ideally, someone who is involved in a hit-and-run accident will have an opportunity to gather information about the driver responsible for the crash. Making note of the make, model, or color of the vehicle that hit you can help law enforcement find and prosecute the negligent driver. Even a partial license plate number can be beneficial to police as they search for the person who hit you. However, it is very important that you do not attempt to chase or otherwise pursue the other driver in a hit-and-run. Doing so can cause you to be further injured or criminally responsible.


Wheaton medical malpractice lawyersThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 140 million visits to the emergency room occur in the United States every year. These numbers equate to almost 400,000 ER visits on an average day. When a person visits the emergency room, it is usually because he or she is dealing with a relatively serious health problem. The issue is at least serious enough that it could not wait for a family doctor to be available. While there are people who go to the ER for more minor concerns, the vast majority are experiencing a true medical emergency. The severity of the cases coming in the door means that emergency room staff place significant emphasis on treating patients quickly. Going too fast, however, can result in mistakes, and sometimes, those mistakes may be considered malpractice.

High-Pressure Situations

Understaffing is a serious problem in many emergency departments. This means that ER doctors, nurses, and support staff are frequently required to work long hours. To make things worse, they are often underpaid and underappreciated as well. Many ER physicians will see several dozen patients in just one shift, trying to diagnose every one quickly so that they can start treatment and move on to the next patient.


Wheaton personal injury attorneyTraffic accidents that cause injury often involve several vehicles. There may be only one driver who caused the accident, or the actions of multiple drivers could contribute to a crash. In fact, in some cases, several drivers may be found to have partial liability, and in other cases, only one or two drivers will be considered at fault. If you have been in a car accident involving several other vehicles, you may be wondering how can you determine who was at fault for the crash and whether you can still collect compensation for your injuries.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

In the past, accident cases involving unclear liability were subject to a different policy called contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, if the person bringing a personal injury lawsuit, called the plaintiff, was found to be even partially at fault, he or she could not recover any compensation for his or her injuries resulting from the accident. Fortunately, in 1986, the Illinois Supreme Court abolished the contributory negligence rules in favor of the more reasonable doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, also called comparative fault, a plaintiff can still recover compensation for damages caused by an accident even if he or she was partially at fault.


Wheaton pedestrian accident lawyersThe weather is getting warmer in Illinois, and because of this, more and more people are spending time outside. Whether it is though jogging, walking your dog, sightseeing, or simply walking for exercise, it can be fun and rewarding to walk the streets of the greater Chicago area. However, with the increased frequency of pedestrians, there is also an increase in car-pedestrian accidents. Data shows that pedestrian fatalities in Chicago have been rising for the last five years and sadly, 46 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents during 2017. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, there are certain steps you must take to protect yourself financially, medically, and legally.

Get to Safety and Call the Police

Pedestrians can be struck by vehicles for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes the driver is distracted or not looking where he or she is going while other times the driver is impaired by alcohol. Even good drivers can make a mistake which causes a pedestrian to get hurt. If you have been struck by a vehicle, first try to get out of the way of traffic. Secondly, call the police. Ideally, the person who struck you will stay with you and wait until the police arrive.


Wheaton medical malpractice attorneysWhen you go to a doctor, you are assuming that he or she will perform his or her job proficiently and without error. We put a tremendous amount of power and trust in the hands of medical professionals. Unlike many other professions, the decisions that doctors and other healthcare workers make can have life or death consequences. The law, therefore, holds medical professionals to an especially high standard.

Mistakes Diagnosing Patients Can Be Medical Negligence

When a doctor or other medical professional causes a patient injury or harm due to negligence, he or she can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. Medical negligence can include many circumstances, but the most common reason for a medical negligence claim is diagnostic errors. Research shows that about a third of medical malpractice claims from 2013-2017 were related to diagnostic mistakes. Claims related to surgical errors and medical management claims were the second and third most common type of malpractice claims during the same time period.


Wheaton medical malpractice attorneysMedical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, other healthcare professional, or institution does not use reasonable care while treating a patient, causing him or her to be injured or killed. The term “standard of care” is used when talking about what type of behavior is expected of medical professionals. Put simply, the standard of care refers to the actions any other healthcare professional in a similar situation would have taken. Breaching the standard of care is called medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical negligence, you may be eligible for filing a medical malpractice suit.

What Types of Actions Can Be Considered Negligent?

In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice suit against a person or institution, the claimant, or person filing the suit, must prove that the medical negligence resulted in some type of injury or illness. Common examples of medical negligence include:


DuPage County personal injury attorneysAs consumers, we put our trust in manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies every day without even thinking about it. We assume the products that we and our children use are safe and will not cause harm. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Every year, thousands of products must be recalled because they have some type of defect or flaw which has the potential to cause harm. Even though companies often issue recalls, this does not prevent people from being injured in accidents involving defective products. If you or your child has been hurt due to a faulty product, read on to learn how a product liability claim could help you recover compensation for injuries.

Who Is Liable for Injuries?

The laws regarding how companies should be held responsible for malfunctioning products are called product liability laws. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, legal responsibility for dangerous products could lie with:


Wheaton nursing home abuse attorneyAs the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, more and more people are requiring the around-the-clock care afforded by a nursing home. Physical disabilities, as well as cognitive disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, make it hard for many elderly individuals to do the daily tasks of living. Family members who place their relatives in the hands of a nursing home expect that he or she will be treated fairly, kindly, and consistently. Tragically, this is not always the case. Read on to learn signs that your loved one is being mistreated by nursing home staff.

Be on the Lookout for These Signs of Neglect

One of the saddest things about nursing home abuse and neglect is that many of the victims are not able to communicate how they have been wronged. In cases where a nursing home resident cannot advocate for himself or herself, it is up to family members and friends to watch for signs of bad care. Warning signs that your loved one is not being properly cared for in a nursing home include:


Wheaton car accident attorneysWhen a car accident, slip-and-fall, or any other type of injury-causing accident occurs, determining who was at fault is an important element of the case. Assigning fault typically determines which party will be responsible for paying for any resulting injuries or property damages. In some situations, fault is fairly easy to determine. For example, a driver who runs a red light and hits a pedestrian who was legally crossing the street would probably be considered at fault. In other situations, the determination of fault is more complex, as two or more parties may each have contributed to the accident occurring. When fault is shared in an Illinois accident, liability may be shared as well.

Pure Contributory Negligence

In the United States, three basic models of comparative fault are currently in use. Each one addresses how collectable damages may be impacted when an injured victim is at least partly responsible for causing the accident. The first type is known as “pure contributory negligence” and is the least common. Only four states and Washington D.C. maintain pure contributory negligence laws. These laws state that if an injured party shares any of the liability for the accident, he or she may not collect any damages at all. This means that the defendant could be 95 percent responsible for the accident and still avoid paying damages if the victim was found to be just 1 percent at fault.  


DuPage County personal injury lawyersThe cold weather, it seems, is finally behind us. This year’s winter defied the calendar and hung on well into the spring season, but temperatures are rising, and people throughout Northern Illinois are heading outdoors. Springtime also marks the beginning of another riding season for motorcycle owners throughout the region. As riders get their motorcycles out of storage and back on the roads, safety advocates and even government officials are encouraging riders and other drivers to work together to keep the streets and highways safe.

Official Awareness Campaign

In honor of May as Motorcycle Awareness Month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner joined representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) this week to announce the start of the annual “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign. During the kickoff event, Rauner shared a story about a personal friend of his who was recently injured while riding. “A pickup truck didn’t see him,” the governor said. “He’s still in the hospital today.”


b2ap3_thumbnail_airplane-engine-accident-damage.jpgEarlier this month, a 43-year-old woman suffered fatal injuries when a mid-air, catastrophic engine failure caused damage to the passenger cabin of an airplane headed from New York to Dallas. The death was the first accident-related fatality on an American-based airline flight in more than nine years—the longest such stretch in American aviation history. Another passenger on the same flight has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the airline and several other co-defendants seeking damages for physical and mental injuries.

A Scary Situation

The accident occurred during a Southwest Airlines flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Love Field. Preliminary investigations indicate that a short time after take-off, a fan blade in the left-side engine broke and caused a violent chain reaction, which threw debris flying in all directions. A piece of debris shattered a window in the passenger cabin. The passenger nearest to the window was partially sucked out by the air pressure, but other passengers were eventually able to pull her back inside.

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