Railroad and train accidents are rare compared to car accidents, but they have the potential to be much more dangerous, even deadly. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released statistics on 2009 railroad crossing accidents.
In 2009, there were 136,041 railroad crossings in the U.S. Although most crossings are equipped with some kind of signs or other safety equipment, not all railroad crossings have the same equipment. For instance, only about 42,301 of the crossings have gates to warn and block traffic. Another 22,039 use flashing lights to warn motorists and pedestrians of an oncoming train. About 1,196 railroad crossings use bells and regular traffic lights.
Despite warning signals, railroad crossings were the site of fatal car-train crashes 1,896 times in 2009, according to the report. These accidents caused 705 injures and 247 deaths. In addition, 431 people died and 343 were injured while trespassing on railroad property, both on the tracks themselves and on railroad property surrounding train yards and other railroad equipment.
Trains are an important part of our nation’s economy, and they also fascinate people of all ages. However, car-train accidents or faulty or poorly-maintained railroad equipment can result in severe injury and even death. Practicing safe habits at railroad crossings and staying off railroad property can help prevent injury accidents. However, if an accident occurs, an experienced Chicago train accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at The Bradley Law Firm, call 1-800-360-5072 today.
Recent water sample tests by the Environmental Working Group have found that Chicago’s tap water contains three times the recommended levels of hexavalent chromium, according to a recent article in The Chicago Tribune. Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, has been linked to high rates of stomach cancer and other diseases.
Hexavalent chromium occurs naturally in small amounts in the environment, but its appearance in drinking water is usually the result of industrial waste discharge or runoff. Officials have not yet pinpointed the source of the hexavalent chromium in Chicago’s contaminated water supplies. One possible source is the group of four steel mills in northern Indiana that discharge their waste products, including hexavalent chromium, into Lake Michigan. Tests of Lake Michigan water have also shown levels of hexavalent chromium that are three times higher than the “safe” limit for drinking.
Although ingesting hexavalent chromium has known health risks, the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet set limits on the amount of hexavalent chromium in drinking water. The few standards that exist have come from California, where the entire town of Hinkley was poisoned by groundwater containing hexavalent chromium. The legal battle that ensued was the topic of the blockbuster movie “Erin Brockovich.”
When manufacturers and other companies do not follow health and safety rules, the results can be devastating. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you navigate your legal rights and options after an injury or illness that you believe was caused by another’s negligence or oversight. At The Bradley Law Firm, our attorneys have the legal resources and real-life experience to build a strong case on your behalf. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call The Bradley Law Firm today at 1-800-360-5072.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently released the toughest crib safety standards in the world, according to The Chicago Tribune. These safety standards include a ban on the sale or manufacture of cribs with drop-down sides.
The CPSC issued the standards in response to the large number of reports they have received that describe children being injured or killed in cribs. Between 2007 and 2010, the CPSC received at least 35 reports of injuries or deaths related to cribs. Nearly half of the deaths were caused by the drop-down side of a crib.
In a crib with sides that drop down, babies can become trapped in the gap between the separated side of the crib and the mattress. This situation makes it easy for a baby to suffocate while entrapped. The new CPSC standards prohibit drop-down sides and require cribs to be sturdy, so that mattress slats or other parts will not create gaps big enough to injure a child.
Beginning in the summer of 2011, crib manufacturers will be prohibited from making or selling cribs with sides that drop down or that do not meet the new strict requirements for durability. These cribs may not be sold in resale shops, such as a thrift store, either. Hotels and child care centers have two years to change to new cribs, giving them more time to budget for and find models that meet the new standards.
Parents trust the products they purchase for their baby or child to be safe, as manufacturers are responsible for designing and creating products that will not inflict harm upon users. Unfortunately, not all children’s products are entirely safe. If your child has been injured because of a product design flaw or defect, the experienced Chicago product liability lawyers at The Bradley Law Firm can help. Call 800-987-6543 today for a free consultation.
U.S. District Judge James V. Selna announced recently that he’s willing to let 51 personal injury and wrongful death cases against Toyota move forward, according to a recent article in The Chicago Tribune. The judge denied Toyota’s motion to dismiss in these cases in a preliminary opinion, but has not yet entered a final order. The cases were filed in response to Toyota’s recent problems with sudden acceleration and brake defects in its Prius line of motor vehicles.
In its motion to dismiss, Toyota argued that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove the acceleration and brake problems were caused by a design defect. Nevertheless, the judge allowed the lawsuits against Toyota to continue. The plaintiffs are suing Toyota for negligence, design defects, failure to warn, and fraudulent concealment, based on the problems with their Prius vehicles and Toyota’s responses to them. Earlier this year, Judge Selna refused to dismiss cases brought by Prius owners who claimed the acceleration problems had ruined the resale value of their cars.
Toyota has recalled over 10 million vehicles during the past year. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received over 3,000 complaints about the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles, the Administration has only been able to confirm that four deaths were caused by the vehicle defect.
Each year, hundreds of products are recalled in the United States. In the worst cases, injuries or sometimes even deaths can be caused by defects in a product. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys at The Bradley Law Firm, P.C. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call our law office today at 1-800-360-5072.
Car accidents are often very frightening and no one ever really expects to be involved in one. Just as you prepare your car for potential emergencies by packing a spare tire, a tool kit, and other supplies, you can also prepare your mind in case a car accident occurs. Consider these tips published by Good Wrench for what you should do if you are in a car crash.
- Check yourself, your passengers, and the people in the other car for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Do not move an injured person unless the person’s life is in immediate danger, such as if the car is on fire.
- Once everyone is safe and you’ve called the police, take some quick notes, make a sketch, and/or take photographs of the accident scene. Jot down whatever you remember about the moments before and during the accident. What color was the traffic light? When and where did you see the other vehicle? What, if anything, did you try to do to avoid the accident?
- Swap names, contact information, and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident.
- Cooperate with police and emergency personnel.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. You may wish to contact them from the scene if possible. Your insurance company will be able to tell you what information they need or may even send a representative to collect information.
Finally, after a car accident, you may wish to consult an experienced Chicago car accident attorney. The lawyers at The Bradley Law Firm, P.C. have successfully handled a wide range of car crash cases and have the legal resources and experience that is necessary to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Call The Bradley Law Firm, P.C. today at 1-800-360-5072 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Winter weather can make for dangerous driving conditions, with snow, ice, and low visibility easily creating conditions for a Chicago car accident to occur. To help keep your family safe on your holiday travels, the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) offers the following safe winter driving tips:
- Check your car’s battery, tires, and windshield wipers before traveling. Also, check your antifreeze levels and use non-freezing windshield wiper fluid.
- Keep a safety kit in your car for emergencies. Include items like a flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, a shovel, a snow scraper, and blankets. If you’re going on a long trip, add food, water, any needed medication, and a cell phone.
- If you get stuck or have to stop, turn on your hazard lights. Keep the area around your exhaust pipe clear of snow in case you have to run the car to stay warm.
- Slow down and increase the space between yourself and the car in front of you. This may prevent you from hitting the other car if you skid during a stop.
- Practice driving on snow and ice in a safe place, like a large parking lot. Drive slowly until you learn how your car behaves in these conditions.
Snow and ice can change road conditions very quickly, and a careless driver can easily cause a car accident in Illinois. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash in Illinois, consider discussing your legal rights with the experienced Chicago car accident lawyers at The Bradley Law Firm. We can help you understand your rights and options after an accident, and we have the resources and experience that is needed to fight hard on your behalf. Call 800-987-6543 for a free and confidential consultation.
A local woman recently filed suit against the estate of her former father-in-law, according to The Chicago Tribune. The lawsuit alleges that the former father-in-law’s negligence in an airplane accident resulted not only in his own death, but also in the death of her two daughters, who were his granddaughters. The accident also injured the woman’s thirteen-year-old son. A fourth teenager, the woman’s niece, also died in the accident.
Earlier this year, the group was attempting to leave Michigan’s Mackinac County Airport when the plane crashed. The grandfather was flying the twin-engine plane, which belongs to his real estate company. He had tried and failed twice to take off; the third attempt resulted in the accident. The mother of the injured boy and two of the deceased girls has filed two separate negligence suits; one against the children’s’ grandfather’s estate and one against his company, which owned the plane. According to her attorney, the lawsuits are the only way the family can receive compensation for the untimely death of the children.
In a personal injury or wrongful death case, a person’s estate can be used to access compensation if an accident resulted in the death of the person whose negligence caused the injury or death. A personal injury or wrongful death proceeding can ensure the estate pays for damages, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
At The Bradley Law Firm, our experienced Chicago wrongful death attorneys understand that a personal injury or wrongful death accident can be very emotional. We will help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for the compensation you need. To learn more or to schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call us today at 800-360-5072.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced recently that it is recalling several million Roman shades and window blinds because the strings attached to the blinds may strangle small children. The CPSC has received reports of nine deaths and fifteen serious injuries caused by the Roman blinds and shades over the last decade.
The CPSC has partnered with a number of businesses that sell the blinds in order to recall them. Retailers like WalMart, JC Penney, Lowe’s and Pottery Barn have all sold the blinds over the last decade. The blinds and shades were sold for prices ranging from $10 to $1,800 per unit, depending on the blind or shade’s style and size.
Children may be injured by the Roman shades and blinds by putting their heads between the strings and the blind or shade or by pulling the strings out of the blinds or shades and wrapping these around their necks. To prevent injury, parents should remove the blinds or examine them carefully for choking hazards. The Window Covering Safety Council recommends making sure children cannot reach the cords on the blinds, either by securing them out of children’s reach or by removing them. The Council also provides a safety repair kit for parents for the blinds, if needed.
No one likes to think a child could be injured by a household product. When such injuries do occur, it can be scary for everyone involved, not just the child. Consulting an experienced Chicago products liability attorney like those at The Bradley Law Firm can help your family receive the compensation you deserve while protecting your child’s legal rights after a product injury occurs. To learn more, schedule a free and confidential consultation with The Bradley Law Firm today by calling 800-360-5072.