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Chicago, IL Personal Injury Law Firm Blog

A day of meaningful regulatory reform

This coming Monday will be a meaningful day for federal regulatory reform. According to the respected publication The Hill, Monday’s edition of the Federal Register will contain numerous new rules that will hopefully impact Americans for the better. Specifically, they will help to ensure that young children and motor vehicle travelers will be able to be safer than they were before.

First, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is formally announcing its new safety requirements for frame-based child carriers on Monday. Frame-based child carriers are often used by hikers and by parents attending events where they will need to stand with their children for lengthy periods of time. Unlike frameless slings, frame-based carriers are used to carry babies and young children in a backpack-like structure where children are allowed to sit upright on their own.

Report indicates that patient safety is a pressing global issue

The World Innovation Summit for Health recently released a report which essentially confirms the fears of many. Despite numerous advances in patient care and safety, preventable medical errors remain a pressing public health issue on a global scale.

One of the most significant contributors to this trend is the fact that many preventable medical errors have long been treated as inevitabilities. However, the very nature of preventable medical errors confirms that they are not inevitable but are, in fact, preventable. And yet, these preventable occurrences are now widely cited as the third-leading cause of death in the United States and a major public health threat worldwide.

Understanding strict liability

While watching a movie or television show featuring attorneys, you may have heard the term “strict liability” thrown around. Or perhaps you have stumbled across this term while reading or watching the news. You may be wondering what this term means and why it matters. Strict liability is a fairly straightforward idea that tends to be applied in complex and nuanced ways.

When an individual suffers harm as a result of another party’s negligence, recklessness or intentional actions, that individual may be able to hold the other party accountable for the harm that he or she has suffered. When the victim files a case in civil court, the victim’s attorney may advance his or her claim in a variety of ways. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the harm caused, one of the legal theories that the attorney may use to advance the claim is strict liability.

Why you need to research the supplements you purchase

When you purchase a prescription medication, you can generally trust that the medication has been tested and approved for sale by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA only approves medications for certain uses and certainly medications may prove to either be dangerous or defective even after being subjected to a rigorous testing and approval process. However, the fact that the FDA has done what it can to ensure that the medication is safe and properly labeled should allow you some justified peace of mind.

However, when you purchase a supplement from a pharmacy, nutritional store, retailer or online, you may not be allowed this kind of peace of mind. Supplements are often exempt from scrutiny by the FDA. As a result, these potentially dangerous pharmaceutical products may be stocked on store shelves despite the fact that they may be harmful. In addition, even supplements recalled or banned by the FDA may remain on store shelves despite these regulatory actions.

Chinese company and the CPSC cooperating on product safety

For better and for worse, many products sold in the U.S. are imported from other nations. These nations may or may not have stringent product safety standards. American regulators make significant efforts to shield consumers from the importation of dangerous products. However, many unsafe foreign goods do find their way past safety checks and into the hands of Americans.

In an effort to protect against the importation of dangerous consumer products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced that it is now cooperating with the prominent Chinese e-commerce corporation Alibaba. Alibaba and the CPSC are working together to ensure that unsafe Chinese products are rooted out of shipments to the U.S.

The concussed brains of boys and girls differ

Sustaining a traumatic brain injury is a serious event for anyone. However, it is important to understand that TBIs may differ in their severity and in their consequences. For healthy adults, a mild concussion may not lead to any significant long-term consequences. However, for infants, children and teens, even mild concussions may significantly affect their developing brains.

According to a recently published study, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries may also affect the brain differently depending on whether the concussed brain belongs to a young male or a young female. Specifically, young girls may be affected by concussion-related consequences that young boys may be spared. The new study indicates that young girls may be more susceptible to behavioral problems in the wake of TBIs.

Why is powdered caffeine insufficiently regulated?

Many Americans remain unaware of how dangerous caffeine can be. In very small amounts, caffeine can be relatively harmless, provided that anyone ingesting it does not have a medical condition that could be exacerbated by caffeine and is not taking any drugs which could interact with caffeine. However, because caffeine is indeed a drug, it can cause potentially harmful side effects and is dangerous in large doses.

The Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate many different kinds of pharmaceutical products. As a result, the FDA may regulate the caffeine content present in medications, as well as the caffeine content of food and drinks. However, this government agency is not currently empowered to strictly regulate the sale of pure powdered caffeine.

One age group is increasingly at risk for motorcycle accidents

Many Americans will receive the exciting gift of motorcycles this season. Hopefully, these gifts will be accompanied by helmets, protective clothing and pre-paid safety courses as well. Because as exciting as motorcycles can be, they can also be dangerous if not treated with respect.

Unfortunately, riding motorcycles can be a dangerous adventure even if the act of riding is treated with respect. Distracted drivers, intoxicated motorists, dangerous road conditions and other factors can inspire injurious and even fatal motorcycle accidents. According to The Wall Street Journal, approximately one dozen Americans die while riding motorcycles in the U.S. on a daily basis.

Do I have a case if I have been negligent too?

Accidents happen. Sometimes accidents seem to occur from out of nowhere. You are driving along, minding the speed limit and paying close attention to the task of driving. Suddenly, a vehicle beside you veers out of control and slams into the side of your vehicle. In these “out of nowhere” kinds of accidents, you cannot be held responsible for any wrongdoing.

However, other kinds of accidents often occur that involve more than one negligent party. You are driving along, minding the speed limit and texting on your phone. You look up in time to realize that you need to brake but you don’t have quite enough time to brake fully before hitting the car in front of you. You hit the back of the vehicle, which is being operated by a motorist who is also texting and had to slam on his brakes because he was not paying attention either. In these kinds of personal injury cases, both parties are negligent. But that does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover damages simply because you were negligent too.

Think twice before buying these gifts for children and teens

‘Tis the season to shop for kids of all ages. Holiday shopping can be very enjoyable, but it can also be a highly stressful experience. It can be difficult to find just the right girl for everyone on your list. It can also be uniquely difficult to shop for kids and teens, as many children’s products are ultimately proven to be unsafe. If you are concerned about shopping for safe gifts for kids and teens, you are not alone. And thankfully, keeping a few guidelines in mind will likely aid you in your quest.

First, make sure that the gifts you are purchasing are age-appropriate. The exact same gift could be a wonderful choice for a nine-year-old but potentially dangerous if given to a five-year-old. Most children’s products will indicate a safe age range on their packaging.