Chicago Personal Injury Blog

Watch out for winter hazards when you're driving near semis

The winter is a time of year when ice and snow may cover the roads and make them more dangerous for all drivers. If you're planning to go out, you may be worried about large trucks, too. These vehicles have a harder time stopping under the usual circumstances, but when you add in the risk of ice and snow, there's a real likelihood that a driver could lose control and hit another vehicle.

Since winter is nothing new, the good news is that there is plenty of information about how to avoid crashes. If you're in a smaller passenger vehicle or consumer truck, keep these tips in mind to keep yourself safer.

Chemical restraints are a risk to the elderly

Medication should never be used as a way to control patients. While there are some instances where sedatives are required for people who are out of control, the truth is that some nursing home patients have been put on medications to make them easier to deal with. Some medications make them tired, so they sleep all day and can't be argumentative. Other medications may make them confused or dazed, so they comply with the nurse's or aid's wishes without causing trouble.

This isn't a great way to deal with patients or the elderly in a nursing home's care. Medications have side effects and can lead to serious complications and injuries in the elderly if they're misused. There are risks of dehydration, falls, confusion and other side effects with some medications, which could go as far as to threaten an elderly person's life.

Distractions take lives: Avoid them at all costs

Distracted driving can lead to serious collisions with other vehicles. That's why it's so important for drivers to pay attention to the road. Did you know that around nine people are killed every day as a result of crashes that involved a distracted driver? People know that driving while distracted is dangerous, but many participate in distracting activities anyway.

There are three kinds of distractions, visual, cognitive and manual. Visual distractions take your eyes away from what you're doing. Being distracted manually takes at least one of your hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions take your mind off driving while you think about something else.

Dehydration: Know the signs to protect your loved one

Dehydration is a medical term that refers to when there is not enough water in the body. Dehydration can cause many health problems, and it's likely that you've noticed someone with dehydration develop a headache or feel dizzy from the lack of water or other fluids.

It is important to make sure that your elderly loved one is getting enough to drink each day. Dehydration can become severe and may impact the elderly even more seriously than a younger, healthier individual.

Four reasons to contest a will

If you don't agree with a loved one's will, you cannot challenge simply because you disagree with it. To bring a legitimate challenge to court, there must be a legal reason why the court should declare it invalid. Unfortunately, this is often very hard to do because probate courts in Chicago and across the country consider a last will and testament to be the decedent's final wishes. However, it is still possible to prove that a will is invalid.

In general, there are four legal reasons to contest a will. If one of these applies to your loved one's last will and testament, you might be able to successfully contest it in court.

Slip-and-fall accidents in nursing homes can cause serious injury

If there is one thing that is dangerous, it's having slick floors in a nursing home. The elderly already have difficulty walking in some cases, and they may use canes or walkers to help them get around. With slick floors, it's easy for those helpful medical devices to slip out from under them, leaving them injured on the ground.

When an elder falls in a nursing home, there is a potential to have the nursing home held liable for the conditions that led to the injuries. For example, if a nurse spills a patient's water on the ground and does not mark the spill before running off to get something to clean it up with, then someone may walk across it or slip on the wet area. Blocking off the area or leaving a sign are some of the best ways to prevent falls based on slick areas.

Do you know the signs of bedsores?

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a result of pressure being placed on an area of the skin for a prolonged period of time. When the skin is constantly under pressure, blood and nutrients can't reach the area. That results in cell death, which can lead to a bedsore.

In a nursing home environment, bedsores are most common among patients who are paralyzed, bedridden or unable to move themselves well. Those who are unconscious, unable to feel pain or immobile are most likely to go without realizing that they're developing an ulcer, or they may be unable to move to relieve the pressure they feel on that area of their body.

What are signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?

Nursing home abuse is one of the types of abuse that most people don't expect. After all, the people working in a nursing home knew that they'd be working with the elderly and should have been prepared for the hard work it entails.

Sadly, many nursing homes are understaffed and ill-prepared to look after the elderly. This can lead to serious concerns as accidents and injuries begin to add up.

What should you do to minimize the impact of a crash?

Motor vehicle accidents can be so serious that they quickly lead to permanent injuries and fatalities. Among the most dangerous are T-bone accidents and head-on collisions. Why are they so dangerous?

In a head-on collision, both vehicles may be traveling at the speed limit before hitting. This doubles the force of the accident compared to if the vehicles were heading the same direction. In a T-bone accident, there is less framework between the passengers and the person who is hitting the vehicle, which could mean a direct hit to someone inside.

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