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Structural collapses are caused by many different factors, including but not limited to poor structural integrity, design flaws, overloading, improper safety, and negligent maintenance. Structural collapse refers to a building prematurely collapsing, for example, when workers are still inside preparing the building for demolition. Structural Collapse During Construction or Demolition Structural collapse typically occurs in either of two phases: construction or demolition of a building. Structural collapse during demolition is one of the leading causes of construction workers’ serious injuries and fatalities. Collapses during demolition work often occur because the contractor does not follow the principles of how to demolish […]

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers SSI and SSDI benefits, to work remotely which may affect some services, but ongoing payments for existing claims should not be affected. On March 17, the SSA closed its field and hearing offices to members of the public. However, SSA employees are continuing to work on critical cases to ensure that disability claims are reviewed and payments continue. The SSA is prioritizing processing: Applications for claimants who are terminally ill, Wounded Warriors, and other serious cases Changes to direct deposit, reports of death, changes of representatives, and changes […]

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In general, a reasonable settlement offer should compensate a victim for their injuries (i.e., medical bills), property damages (i.e., cost to repair their vehicle), and lost income, as well as ancillary costs related to these injuries. However, for most insurance companies, the outer limit of coverage is the policy limit. Therefore, many settlement offers will be constrained between these two competing goals: (1) make the victim whole, and (2) staying within the policy limit. Illinois Car Insurance Law Illinois law mandates that drivers carry the following minimum insurance coverage: $20,000 for bodily injury; and $15,000 for property damage. Therefore, the […]

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Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation to their Illinois-localized employees. Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage the instant they hire a single employee. Employers are subject to significant fines if they fail to provide insurance. Furthermore, corporate officers can be held personally liable if the corporate entity fails to pay the penalty. Illinois Workers’ Compensation: Covered Workers Workers’ compensation must cover any worker who is Illinois localized. Illinois workers’ compensation laws provide coverage to the following workers: Employees work principally in Illinois; Employee whose work contract was made in Illinois; and Employees who are injured in Illinois […]

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Disability insurance payments (Social Security Disability) are available to anyone who qualifies for payments and is unable to work at the same level or at all. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and, in some instances, can cause permanent damage. Therefore, it is possible that after contracting COVID-19 that some workers may be unable to return to their regular job and will suffer a reduction in income, which should qualify them for disability benefits. What Does COVID-19 do to the Lungs? COVID-19 is a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 is such a problem for public health officials because it has […]

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COVID-19 panic shopping exposed thousands of people to unnecessary risk of infection. Panic shopping is a phenomenon wherein individuals make multiple trips to the grocery store and/or purchase significantly more than the recommended two or three weeks’ worth of food. Grocers all across the country witnesses thousands of people needlessly expose themselves and others to possible infection by taking repeat trips to the grocery store. Experts Recommend Minimizing Large Crowds Public health orders from federal, state, and local governments prohibit large gatherings of individuals. However, grocery stores cannot avoid these limitations. Grocery stores are one of the last places left […]

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Approximately 4,300 accidents occur, over 1,000 injuries are incurred, and 12,000 people are involved in construction work zones every year in Illinois. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these injuries are most likely to occur on Wednesdays, between 12 and 4:00 p.m. These staggering numbers result in a high number of road worker and motorist fatalities. For example, 55 percent of annual road worker fatalities are caused by being struck by a vehicle. Digging into the Numbers These staggering figures hide an unexpected figure that there are approximately ten motorist fatalities for every one road worker. The reason […]

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Non-attorney representatives are limited in their capabilities to advocate for disabled clients when handling SSDI claims. Although non-lawyer disability advocates can assist clients with documentation and claims forms and they can help with appeals at the administrative law judge level, they cannot appeal denied disability claims to federal court. Additionally, non-attorney representatives are not bound by the same ethical and professional standards as attorneys. Therefore, their clients do not have the same protections as attorney-represented clients. Despite the differences, the fees for representation set by the Social Security Administration are the same for disability lawyers and non-attorneys. Non-Attorney vs. Attorney […]

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According to the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), a formerly-secret database now shows that millions of injuries and fatalities were due to medical device malfunctions. The database was composed of approximately two decades of reports totaling approximately 5.7 million medical device malfunctions and caused injuries and fatalities. Indeed, from only 2016 about 1.1 million incident reports were diverted away from the publicly-viewable database MAUDE to an “alternative” repository. What is MAUDE? MAUDE refers to the “Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience” database, which is meant to be a publicly-available collection of reports regarding the efficacy of medical devices. Medical professional […]

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Distracted driving and failing to yield are causing a surge in preventable roadside injuries and fatalities for first responders, department of transportation workers, and others who find themselves working on the side of the road. Illinois is taking proactive steps to protect roadside workers. The Move Over Task Force, which is composed of representatives from state agencies, the legislature, and the governor’s office, is looking for solutions to keep roadside workers safe. However, roadside dangers are still present and workers who operate in these environments must remain vigilant to protect themselves and their colleagues. Roadside Dangers The primary dangers to […]

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