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Belleville Illinois Legal Blog

Road rage deaths climbing

Anger may be deadly on the highway. Road rage incidents and personal injury are rising according to a study performed for the National Highway Safety Administration. Deaths from motor vehicle accidents attributed to aggressive driving rose from 80 occurrences in 2006 to 467 in 2015. This is almost a 500 percent rise in ten years. Events across the country in one week in June reveal its danger.

According to reports, a veteran was killed while trying to apologize after he cut off another driver. A former police officer and a gang member were arrested after a road rage incident involving fired shots and a fistfight. A teenager was placed in a headlock and dragged for over a mile at 40 mph after confronting another driver.

EEOC may not be doing on the job

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has the duty of enforcing federal laws against workplace discrimination. But a recent review of EEOC complaints indicates that it is taking insufficient steps to pursue violations of employment law banning discrimination.

The EEOC did not act upon 87 percent of the approximately 1.9 million cases filed by discrimination victims from 1999 to 2018. This information came from a review performed by Paychex, Inc., a New York-based company that provides various human resource services to small and mid-sized businesses.

Electronic health records and malpractice

Electronic health records were intended to apply information technology to the necessary task of documenting patient care. The percentage of physicians using EHRS grew by 15% since 2009. But the number of personal injury claims involving these electronic records also rose.

According to the medical malpractice insurer, The Doctors Company, the number of its paid malpractice claims rose from seven in 2010 to an average 22.5 claims in 2017 and 2018. Over the last eight years, 216 EHR related claims were closed.

Supreme Court to rule on LGBTQ workplace rights

The protections provided for same-sex marriage have not necessarily meant that there are workplace safeguards for a person's sexual orientation or gender identity in this country. The US Supreme Court will make a major employment law ruling on whether federal civil rights workplace protections apply to members of the LGBTQ community.

The Court will hear oral argument in Oct. in three cases. Two appeals address sexual orientation. These involve a gay man who was terminated from his Georgia child welfare services job and a gay man who was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor in New York.

Complex regional pain syndrome can be devastating to patients

There are many long-term issues that can come with various injuries. For some people, living with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is possible. This condition has to do with damage to, or a malfunction of, the central nervous system or the peripheral nervous system.

CRPS isn't the same for all patients. Some who have more minor versions might eventually return to normal. Others may have a long-term disability. There are two forms. However, the treatment is fairly consistent between the two.

Pub fights lawsuit for patron's death

Business owners, particularly restaurants and bars, have a duty to protect their customers and other people against harm from other patrons. In one case, the family of a homicide victim outside a bar filed a personal injury lawsuit against that establishment for failing to meet this legal responsibility.

According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the purported operator of a Galesburg bar bartending on April 1, 2018. The suit claims that she knew that a patron had a firearm and saw him throw a bar stool at another customer but did not call the police.

New sexual harassment law takes effect in Illinois

Workers in Illinois had insufficient protections or recourse against sexual harassment in the workplace. But a recently-passed bill strengthened the state's employment law by requiring annual sexual harassment training, restricting arbitration clauses and adding additional protections for consultants and contractors.

The bill was sent to the Governor in June, signed into law and will take effect on January 1, 2020. It will restrict the use of contracts that are intended to prevent workers from reporting harassment, discrimination and retaliation. These include non-disclosure agreements, arbitration requirements and non-disparagement terms.

Illinois law prevents pay history questions

A job applicant's pay history often restricted wage increases for new employees and led to wage inequality based upon gender. A new Illinois law will prevent employers from asking job applicants or their former employers about their salary history. It is hoped that this employment law will prevent a form of wage sex discrimination.

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law on July 31. It will take effect 60 days later.

Misdiagnosis is leading culprit of malpractice actions

Medical negligence has many causes. For instance, inaccurate or delayed diagnosis was alleged in 34 percent of medical malpractice claims where a patient died or received serious disability. This information, contained in a peer-reviewed paper published in the July 11 edition of Diagnosis, also showed that diagnosis errors were involved in 28 percent of payouts in these personal injury claims.

This study covered a review of 55,377 closed medical malpractice claims that were filed from 2006 through 2016. It revealed 11,592 alleged diagnostic errors in these claims.

The danger of falls in the workplace and elsewhere

One of the most deadly injuries a worker can suffer on the job is a fall from height. The higher the height, the more deadly the fall. Falls from 100 feet or more are almost universally fatal except for some notable exceptions where the victims lived. Most of those rare survival stories were due to an unusually soft landing on snowdrifts or newly tilled earth. In some cases, the velocity of their falls was reduced by other factors that aided in their survival.

Worldwide, 420,000 individuals die from falls, making falls the number two cause of death, exceeded only by car accident fatalities. Here in the United States, there are 32,000 deaths attributed to falls each year.

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