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Illinois Focuses New Campaign on Distracted Driving Accidents and Deaths

A new survey shows that 94 percent of adult drivers are concerned about distracted driving, but an astounding 20 percent of them think their driving skills are good enough to drive while texting or talking on the cell phone. Yet the statistics show a different story – more than 500,000 are injured each year due to distracted driving says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Department of Transportation, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association have recently launched a campaign to end distracted driving called “Decide to Drive”. Even one of Extreme Makeover’s episodes earlier in the year focused on a family who lost their daughter, Alex Brown, as she was texting and crashed her truck. The family’s charity, the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, has enlisted the help of Justin Bieber, Emma Roberts, and NASCAR’s Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards to raise awareness about distracted driving and underscore the serious consequences it can have. Alex was one of 5,500 people to die from distracted driving that year.

In Illinois, texting while driving has already been illegal for more than a year. Shockingly, though, 40 percent of Illinois Tollway drivers had no idea that it is against the law to text or email while driving in Illinois. Drivers under 19 years old are banned from using a cell phone while driving, unless it is an emergency, as outlined in the Illinois graduated driver’s license guidelines.

Illinois’ “Drive Now. Text Later.” campaign puts the perils of distracted driving into perspective. Taking your attention off the road for four to six seconds at 55 mph equals being distracted for up to two football field lengths. The likelihood of a crash goes up by 2,200 percent when people text when driving, says the NHTSA. The Illinois Tollway system has seven unique Oasis stops throughout the tollway where drivers can stop and catch up on any calls, texts or emails before they get back on the road.
Distracted driving isn’t just texting and yapping away on the phone. Distractions are anything that causes visual, manual, or one’s cognitive attention to be diverted.

    Top Driver Distractions
    Changing radio station, CD, or MP3 player
    Eating, drinking, or smoking
    Writing a note or reading a map
    Putting info into GPS system
    Picking up something on the car floor, seat, or from the glove compartment
    Cleaning the inside of the windshield or rearview mirror
    Doing your nails, makeup, shaving, putting in contact lenses or using eye drops
    Talking to passengers or baby in a car seat
    Texting, emailing or chatting on cell phone

Up to 8,000 auto accidents happen every day in the U.S., according to the NHTSA. The Chicago accident attorney Robert I. Briskman, Esq. sees the aftermath of grisly car and truck accidents that occur due to distracted driving. Briskman Briskman & Greenberg use their decades of experience to pursue an individual’s and family’s right to fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs involved in the auto accident. Their Chicago accident lawyers have a comprehensive new website to help their clients research and recover from all the issues they are dealing with after an auto accident.

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878)

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street #810 ChicagoIL60654 USA 
 • (312) 222-0010

Sleep Apnea Compromises Truck Driver Safety and Potentially Other Driver’s Lives

An estimated one-third of commercial truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea, the University of Pennsylvania noted in a study. The study, which was sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations, found age and being overweight were the biggest causes of the disorder.

People with sleep apnea may fall asleep at abnormal times and experience daytime tiredness, morning headaches, lack of concentration and memory, as well as irritability and depression. Stanford University Medical School found that “drivers with untreated sleep apnea did worse on performance tests than healthy alert subjects whose blood alcohol concentrations was above the federal limit for driving a commercial motor vehicle.”

Truck accidents caused by sleep apnea are an unfortunate reality. Whether the driver was asleep, did not react quickly enough, or had problems focusing, individuals who need their questions answered after being involved in an accident should turn to competent legal counsel. FMSCA rules state that drivers with medical conditions or a history of a diagnosis that would hamper their ability to drive safely should not be allowed to drive a commercial vehicle. But because medical standards differ between states, it can be hard to ensure that the driver is healthy enough to be on the road.

The FMSCA’s latest safety facts show that 5,000 trucks drivers were in deadly crashes and 400,000 in accidents a year. And 200 hazmat trucks caused fatalities and 5,000 accidents. As the economy starts to recover, more goods are being bought and shipped by semi trucks and 18-wheelers. Compliance with safety standards becomes that much more important and driver adherence to maximum driving hours is vital. Electronic on-board recorders are being proposed by the FMSCA to ensure more compliance with the work hour maximums versus the current paper logs. Current logs must document hours driving, off-duty time and miles travelled.

As National Transportation Week kicks off on May 15, the Association for Global Logistics and Transportation (NDTA) will hold events around the country to highlight new transportation, travel and security processes as well as promote safety and improvements in the industry. Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation should be addressed. And those individuals affected by sleep apnea deserve to get the help they need to correct the issue.

But when faced with the aftermath of a truck accident, whether you are dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one, knowledgeable legal counsel is key. In Illinois, Chicago truck accident attorney Paul A. Greenberg, Esq. will vigorously defend his clients’ rights to recover full compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as lost wages. The Briskman Briskman & Greenberg team of Chicago truck accident lawyers will research liability, the truck’s inspection history, service violations, and previous claims of negligence. In addition to being adept at taking on complex cases, they also counsel truck drivers in crashes caused by another driver’s negligence.

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg serves individuals and their families in the Chicago metro area and throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. They handle accidents that occur on highways such as the I-94 Tri-State Tollway, the I-90 Kennedy Expressway, the I-290 Eisenhower Expressway, and the I-55 Stevenson Expressway.

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878)

National Construction Company Named in Multiple Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Chicago, Ill. – The death of a Chicago ironworker has affected his family and the International Ironworkers Union. In February, Kenneth Puplava was hit by a metal beam while working at the site of a new medical building at Glenbrook Hospital. The construction project is a part of the hospital’s $100 million expansion that includes a new emergency room, and expanded radiology and cancer treatment facilities.

Pepper Construction Company and the LeJeune steel company have been charged with maintaining unsafe working conditions and defective welds, and causing the collapse that killed the worker. Puplava worked as a subcontractor for Pepper Construction and had been a part of Ironworkers Union at the Local 1 division in Chicago for 12 years.

Three months ago, Pepper Construction was also charged with the death of a hospital housekeeping worker in Libertyville, Ill. The employee died after drywall collapsed on her, pinning her to the ground. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Chicago has begun investigating both incidences involving Pepper Construction.

“Even though construction and steelwork can be a very demanding job, employers are still obligated to provide safe conditions, proper equipment and parts,” said Chicago wrongful death attorney Paul A. Greenberg, of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg.

Companies have a duty to their workers to provide jobsite safety, warnings about inclement weather conditions, and proper supervision to prevent accidents and fatalities. When these important obligations are ignored or dismissed, individuals and their loved ones can take legal action. In a wrongful death lawsuit, they can seek to get adequate compensation for loss of companionship, direct expenses such as medical bills and funeral costs, and loss of benefits and future earnings. In addition to seeking compensatory damages, a wrongful death lawsuit can also assert a claim for punitive damages. These damages, which are meant to punish a defendant, can be effective in preventing future injuries and deaths by forcing a construction company to correct its unsafe practices.

The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg has decades of experience fighting big businesses and construction firms in wrongful death lawsuits. Their leading Chicago wrongful death lawyer Paul Greenberg recently was named a 2011 SuperLawyer for his professional achievements, high ethical standards, and peer recognition. The firm is accomplished in negotiations and lawsuits involving scaffolding, ladder, and crane accidents as well as falling from roofs and falling objects.

“We are not afraid to take on complex cases and fight for your rights,” Greenberg said. “We treat you like a part of our family, and give your case the attention it deserves.”

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878)

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654

Death and Serious Violations Undermine Quality of Life at Alden Facilities

A 10-year history of death and chronic neglect prompted Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to push for the closure of Alden Village North, a Chicago health facility for kids and young adults. Madigan also is reviewing the entire Alden nursing home chain’s history of complaints.
Working in conjunction with the Department of Public Health, Madigan will push to identify and discipline the healthcare professionals who mistreated Alden’s patients.

Last July, a 14-year-old Alden resident with mental disabilities started to breathe rapidly. Alden’s staff tried contacting the teen’s doctor numerous times, and 19 hours later his doctor got back to them. State inspectors said that given the teen’s serious condition, Alden should have contacted its own medical director rather than wait to hear from the teen’s physician. Two months later, the boy died.

In 2009, Alden Village North was fined for the death of a 9-year-old boy with severe disabilities. After two days of neglect, the boy died of shock, infection and bowel obstruction. The state fined Alden $22,750.

This is not the first time that the Alden chain has faced charges of causing harm to its residents. Last August, one of Alden’s senior facilities, Alden Park Strathmoor Nursing Home, had a surprise “Operation Guardian” visit from Madigan’s office. The visit led to two arrests as Alden had failed to conduct background checks on residents with felony convictions.

When a loved one’s life is lost because of negligence or carelessness, the family has a right to pursue legal action to get just compensation, including loss of companionship, direct expenses such as medical bills and funeral costs, and loss of benefits and earnings. A wrongful death lawsuit can also seek to correct a health care facility’s and its workers’ behavior through punitive damages so that the wrongdoing does not happen again. In the case of Alden Village North, Attorney General Madigan has had enough and is taking the steps to close the facility.

It is crucial to contact a Chicago wrongful death attorney if your loved one has died as a result of someone else’s carelessness. An experienced attorney will help with the investigation, preserve evidence, and make sure an appropriate lawsuit is brought.

The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg has experience in wrongful death lawsuits and provides top-tier representation for families who have lost loved ones. They understand the challenging nature of your case, as well as the emotional and financial toll it is taking on your family. Their team of Chicago wrongful death lawyers are experts at taking on big health care facilities, doctors and health care professionals, and their insurance companies.

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878

Be Cautious with all the Road Construction Work on the Jane Addams Tollway

Chicago, Ill. – The Jane Addams Memorial Tollway is getting a long overdue resurfacing and bridge renovation work. But some drivers feel the tollway, also known as I-90, should get a total reconstruction with wider roads. The rehabilitation is estimated to cost $65 million and will last five to seven years. Total reconstruction would cost $1.9 billion, which is unobtainable with current funding deficits. The construction is part of the “Open Roads for a Faster Future” initiative that strives to decrease travel times, convert toll plazas to open road tolling and extend specific highways.

“Oh, the tollway needs repairs badly,” said Wendy Kissee in The Chicago Tribune. “It’s very rutted from the semis. I know they did a lot of pothole patching last year, but you can feel it: Bum-bum-bum-bum. I think they’ve just been piecing it together for the last two years.”

Traffic will be shifted to the shoulders and some lane closures will happen at nonpeak traffic hours. Crews having been setting up temporary barriers to redirect traffic. An estimated 308,000 vehicles use I-90 every day. The tollway is 58 years old so major work is definitely needed on the road. Chicago car accident attorney and 2011 SuperLawyer Paul A. Greenberg, Esq., of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, cautions that, “It is very important for I-90 drivers to be mindful of slower speed limits, different traffic patterns, and heavy construction equipment.” He also warns that, “Using cell phones and sending text messages is particularly hazardous in this setting and should be avoided.”

Recent deadly accidents on the tollway remind drivers to be cautious as construction gets fully underway. Sometimes car crashes don’t involve just two vehicles. Recently, a man was tending to his vehicle in the median following a crash when another car struck the driver, which sent him flying over the median into opposing traffic. A third vehicle crashed into the car and the driver was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene.

Expert legal counsel helps individuals and their families overcome all the challenges to get adequate compensation for their auto damage, injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The car accident lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg have more than 20 years negotiating with insurance companies and achieving settlements and verdicts in their clients’ favor.

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg serves individuals and their families in the Chicago metro area and throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. They handle car and truck accidents, motorcycle crashes, auto and pedestrian accidents, and auto and bicycle accidents.

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878).

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654

Work Injuries Still Under-Reported Amidst Illinois Debate at Ending Workers Comp

Arise Chicago Worker Center (ACWC) reports that 41 percent of workers they surveyed never received job safety training and 30 percent never reported their injuries for fear of retaliation. These alarming statistics indicate that worker safety is not being valued and that worker productivity and morale are undoubtedly suffering as a consequence. The ACWC study focused on Chicago immigrant workers in construction, maintenance, cleaning and restaurants.

A staggering 59 percent of workers were neither aware of their rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act nor of OSHA-mandated equipment and safety practices. “Job ghettoes, where foreign-born groups seeking employment provide a steady stream of workers to jobs that are undesirable to U.S. born workers – in residential construction, agriculture, and service – tend to be the most hazardous jobs and the jobs that fly below the radar of wage and hour regulation,” said the Arise Chicago study.

Non-fatal workplace injuries could be under-reported by 80 percent, says the Government Accountability Office. Unsafe and unhealthy working conditions in low-wage jobs deserve as much attention as white-collar job environments. ACWC’s report suggests, “Increasing penalties for health and safety violations, which now often amount to little more than a slap on the wrist.” The report also recommended that OSHA reach out to worker centers and community groups, and that the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division work more in tandem with OSHA.

Illinois is at the center of a heated debate to dramatically weaken the state’s workers’ compensation. Recently, some have even called for the end of the workers’ compensation system. The state’s ultimate decision on workers’ compensation can greatly affect how employers view the program as well as how states around the nation look at their own policies. Illinois lawmakers are pushing to audit state employees workers’ compensation claims and also bar employees who have been convicted of reckless homicide, forcible felony and aggravated DUI from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Federal prosecutors are also investigating Illinois’ program after newspaper reports detailed hundreds of prison employees receiving workers’ compensation awards.

“It’s important that any changes in the state program should uphold the protection of workers hurt on the job,” said Anders Lindell, the spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Every worker deserves the right to seek workers’ compensation if their claim is valid, no matter if they are a legal immigrant, or low- or high-wage worker.
Workers injured on the job are still currently entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. When a claim is denied, a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney will explore the individual’s options to get the medical treatment and financial support they need. Sometimes even vocational rehabilitation is critical to restoring an individual’s ability to work.

The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg is known for their successful track record of winning workers’ compensation lawsuits. Robert I. Briskman, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience helping workers fight claims against their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company throughout Chicago, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Edwin Reyes, also one of their Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, has received the prestigious Chicago Bar Association “Vanguard Award” for making the law and legal profession more accessible to and inclusive of the community.

To learn more, visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com or call 877-595-HURT (4878)

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The Chicago Illinois personal injury law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg represents injured people throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the Chicagoland area, Joliet, Waukegan, Cicero, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Wheaton, Bolingbrook, and Naperville, as well as other cities within Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County and McHenry County.
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