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June 2013 Archives

Bridge Collapse: Illinois' Bridge Quality Takes a Plunge

One in 12 bridges in Illinois is "structurally deficient," according to a report released by Transportation for America (TFA), a non-profit coalition out of Washington, D.C. Could these numbers indicate a bridge collapse story in our future? It's hard to say. The bridge collapse last month on Interstate 5 in the Seattle area was not considered structurally deficient, whereas the bridge in the 2007 Minnesota collapse did carry the label. What we do know is that U.S. bridges are aging and collapses are occurring more frequently. And in Illinois, it is becoming more obvious that the overall condition of our bridges is waning. According to the TFA report: • The number of substandard bridges in IL has risen from 2,239 to 2,311 since 2011; • Illinois is among 16 states that saw an increase in deficient bridges since 2011; • Statewide, 8.7 percent of bridges are rated "structurally deficient"; and • Illinois is ranked 35th nationally for overall bridge condition (1 is worst, 51 is best). As the quality of Illinois bridges continues to decline with age and use (on average, more than 8 million cars travel across Illinois' deficient bridges every day, according to the TFA report), it makes sense that we could see an increase in bridge collapse accidents. Clifford Law Offices has spent decades representing the victims of unsafe premises and structural collapses. In 2012, the firm was hired by the family of a couple who was killed when a bridge collapsed and fell on their car in the Chicago suburb of Glenview. Clifford Law Offices continues to represent the family in the lawsuit.  

Talking with Brian Shallcross

Brian Shallcross talks about why he became a lawyer.  He said he “has always been a person who cheers for the underdog” and helping to level the playing field for the disadvantaged appealed to him.  Listen to him speak about his professional and personal values.

Talking with Keith Hebeisen

Keith Hebeisen speaks on the most memorable case of his long career. He also talks about the best advice he ever gave and the best advice he ever received.  Listen here for more interesting details about Keith Hebeisen, partner at Clifford Law Offices, and how he views the legal profession.

Why doomsday hasn't arrived for malpractice insurer

The state's largest medical malpractice insurance carrier reportedly reached a record $57 million in profits last year, according to an article in Crain's Chicago Business written by reporter Andrew L. Wang.  This comes after ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company predicted the opposite following the Illinois Supreme Court overturning an unfair $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in med mal cases.  ISMIE insures more than half of Illinois' physicians.  The net income it filed with the state is reportedly the highest in two decades, this even after committing $17 million in dividends to its 12,000 members.  Keith Hebeisen, partner at Clifford Law Offices, commented on the story in the news.  To read the full story, click here.

Will hours-of-service updates improve trucking safety?

The compliance date for the Hours of Service Final Rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) goes into effect on July 1, 2013. With new guidelines for commercial driving time and rest breaks, the final rule is poised to create safer roadways for both truckers and commuters. Trucking Safety Then and Now Before the final rule was announced by FMCSA on December 22, 2011, commercial truck drivers were allowed to work up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. As of the July 1 compliance date, the number of hours available per seven-day period will decrease from 82 to 70. Truckers will retain the current 11-hour workday allotment, but will not be able to drive after eight hours without first taking at least a 30-minute break. In addition, those who choose to maximize the 70-hour workweek will be required to sleep from the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for at least two out of the seven nights. The FMCSA announcement claims that these particular four hours are when the "24-hour body clock demands sleep the most." Here's a look at some of the changes: New Rule Old Rule Hours per week 70 82 Hours per day 11, with 30-min. break after every 8 hours 11 Sleep requirements 1 a.m.-5 a.m. at least 2 nights every week None   Additional changes can be found on the FMCSA's Final Rule. Looking at the Numbers According to a statement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities among large truck occupants increased by 20 percent in 2011. The aim of the final rule is to reduce this number going forward, helping to eliminate fatigued truck drivers from our roadways and improve trucking safety for the benefit of all. Clifford Law Offices, a firm of Chicago truck accident attorneys, has represented victims in a number of truck accident cases. In 2004, the firm was responsible for obtaining a $38.3 million verdict in a tragic Illinois highway trucking collision. It was the largest transportation verdict in the country in 2004, according to the National Law Journal.  

Medical Malpractice: Hidden Dangers of Robotic Surgery

Advancements in medicine have led to some miraculous discoveries and treatments, but even the latest technology can have devastating side effects. In a recent medical malpractice case involving robotic-assisted surgery, a 65-year-old male patient experienced a tragic outcome. Robotic Procedures for Prostate Cancer Laparoscopic prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland) is a common treatment for prostate cancer, and the da Vinci prostatectomy is one of the latest procedures being offered to these patients. Its robotic-assisted surgical capabilities make it a minimally invasive technique for eliminating cancer without compromising urinary and sexual function. Unfortunately for the male patient identified earlier, his experience with the da Vinci procedure cost him more than just the prostate gland; it destroyed nearly all of the nerve function in his hands and led to a serious medical malpractice case for the hospital and its staff. Why Risk Medical Malpractice and Patient Safety Due to the alleged inexperience of the primary surgeon in the case, the patient was left in one position for too long while the surgeon consulted with another doctor. This alleged negligence caused multiple compression-related problems, including severe nerve damage in the patient's hands. According to the lawsuit, the primary surgeon did not have the skills needed to perform the robotic surgery in an efficient and satisfactory manner, which directly impacted the patient's safety and the risk of medical malpractice for the hospital. In order for medical organizations to avoid malpractice lawsuits related to robotic surgery, they need to ensure the staff receives the proper training to successfully operate the new equipment. Patients that want to learn more about these types of cases can visit Clifford Law Offices' medical malpractice questions and answers webpage. Clifford Law Offices is renowned in Chicago and throughout the country for its work in medical malpractice cases, including a $16 million settlement for a newborn who suffered brain damage due to hospital negligence.  

Reducing vehicle crashes is a priority.

Here are some websites that offer advice and information on what you can do to make that a reality. New Avoidance Technologies Reduce Crashes Crash avoidance technologies, such as automatic braking systems and adaptive headlights, are preventing accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Read more about these new technologies (download report). Decade of Action for Road Safety The National Safety Council is urging all Americans to get involved in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, an initiative of the World Health Organization. The goal: prevent road traffic deaths and injuries that could take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020. Graduated Driver Licensing for Teens Saves Lives Motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of death for teens. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) reduces the crash risk for new teen drivers 20 to 40 percent by emphasizing experience while minimizing hazards like nighttime driving. Look up GDL laws in your state.  

Some important statistics on road safety

By the numbers / 7,630 Fatalities  - An estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the first three months of 2012, a 13.2 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011. This reverses a historic downward trend in fatalities during the past several years. Source: Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities, First Quarter 2012 (download), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration   1.7 Million  - More than 1.7 million people participate annually - 67 million since 1964 - in the National Safety Council's (NSC's) defensive driving program. Download NSC defensive driving tips. Source: Defensive Driving, National Safety Council 1 in 3 Drivers  - One in three drivers surveyed in 2009 felt less safe compared to five years before. And distracted driving (which killed 5,474 people and injured 448,000 the same year) was cited as the single most common reason for feeling that way. Source: 2009 Traffic Safety Index (download), AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; Distracted Driving 2009 (download), National Highway Safety Administration

Here's What You Should Do After a Road Accident

Keeping a level head after a motor vehicle accident isn't easy, especially if there are injuries involved. First priority: make sure that help is on the way for anyone who needs medical attention. Then take steps to protect your interests. Learn what to do if you are involved in a road crash. Protect Your Interests First 10 Minutes, First 10 Hours After a Road Accident. The key to keeping it together after a crash is to prepare before an accident occurs. Start by assembling an accident kit for your car, and keep it in your trunk. Include basic medical supplies, a pen and paper for notes, a disposable camera, and medical alert cards for any family member with allergies or other medical conditions. First 10 Minutes... 1.  Stay calm - assess the health and safety of your passengers before you do anything else. 2.  Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or anyone else in your car is injured. 3.  Get out of harm's way - if property damage is minor and you can do so safely, move cars and people out of traffic. 4.  Turn hazard lights on to warn other drivers. 5.  Exit your vehicle safely and check on the drivers and passengers in other vehicles for injuries. Make sure help is on the way, if necessary. 6.  Call police even if the accident is minor and there are no injuries. Don't leave until they arrive. 7.  Be polite, don't blame others, and don't admit fault. 8.  Take pictures if you have a camera and if it's safe to do so (remember your cell phone camera). 9.  Exchange information with other drivers: name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver's license number and insurance company details. 10. Ask witnesses for names, phone numbers and addresses. First 10 Hours... 1. Secure vehicle for transport; remove valuables or other personal items. 2. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you were injured, even if you think your injuries are minor. 3. Write notes for your records on everything about the accident, including weather, time, location, statements made, etc. 4. Contact your insurance agent. 5. Revisit the accident scene and take photos. Look for skid marks or anything else that seems important. 6. Photograph your injuries if they are visible. 7. Obtain police reports as soon as they are available. 8. Evaluate damage to your car and get repair estimates. 9. Contact your employer if you cannot work. 10. Contact your attorney ... ∙ If you are injured and/or there is extensive property damage; ∙ Before providing any information to an adjustor from another driver's insurance company; ∙ If anyone is pressuring you into a quick settlement; and, ∙ Before the time period allowed for filing a claim (called the statute of limitations) expires.

Are food safety laws broken?

Human health and food safety compromised despite laws As Americans we want to trust the federal agencies that are designed to protect us, such as the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is charged with developing and enforcing food safety laws across the country. But what happens when these organizations are the ones breaking the very laws they established? Feeling violated In a May 2013 audit from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency reported that although FSIS food safety laws exist they were not being properly enforced. Several swine slaughter plants that were evaluated as part of the report had hundreds of violations; some with repeat offenses. According to the OIG, this is because "FSIS' enforcement policies do not deter swine slaughter plants from becoming repeat violators of food safety regulations." Of the 44,128 noncompliance records issued to 616 plants by the FSIS from 2008 through 2011, only 28 plants were suspended. (A noncompliance record is the first of the FSIS' six-step enforcement program.) Without consequence, these plants were allowed to continue "business as usual". This includes slaughterhouses with reports of fecal matter, urine, and grease smears on processed meat products. It's as if the food safety laws that were put into place don't exist at all. Fighting for Your Food Unfortunately, these food safety violations are not the only ones impacting human health today. At Clifford Law Offices, we have been made aware of numerous legal infractions in the food industry and we are dedicated to righting these wrongs for our clients and the general public. Bob Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, recently wrote a column on food safety and important laws affecting Americans. In addition, he is currently serving as plaintiffs' counsel for Kane v. Chobani, a food mislabeling lawsuit in the Northern District of California.  

Illinois Speed Limit Increase: More Fatalities?

Study into Auto Accidents Could be Clue to Best Decisions for Illinois Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has yet to approve the bill to raise the Illinois speed limit on non-urban interstate highways from 65 mph to 70 mph. But some motorists may already be concerned that an Illinois speed limit increase could be the harbinger of more auto accidents and fatalities. It's a Numbers Thing Whenever new legislation is proposed, it's typical for people to refer to data to justify the need, or the lack thereof, for updated rules and regulations. The case of the Illinois speed limit increase is no different. According to an article by the American Automobile Association (AAA), there was a 39 percent increase in auto accident fatalities involving big trucks in 2010. That was the year Illinois introduced a speed limit increase for big rigs that went from 55 mph to 65 mph for much of the state's highways. The same article confirms that while roadway fatalities in Illinois dropped 12 percent from 2008 through 2011, the fatalities during that time that were due to speeding rose nearly 14 percent. Making a Connection These claims by the AAA could lead one to believe that increasing the speed limit in Illinois is unwise; however, there are many studies and factors to be considered when making such a significant decision. After all, the choice that Governor Quinn will eventually have to make will not only impact travel across the state but also the lives of the millions of motorists who drive these roadways every day.          

Links to Websites Providing Important Child Care Information

Map Shows State-by-State Licensing Information The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education features an interactive map that shows state licensing and regulation information for child care. Is Your Day Care Provider Accredited? Find Out Accredited providers have met child care standards higher than most state licensing requirements. Look up providers through the National Association for the Education of Young Children or the National Association for Family Child Care, two of the nation's largest accrediting organizations. Checklist Rates Care Providers on 38 Indicators Arm yourself with this checklist (download) when visiting potential child care providers. Child Care Aware of America has created a cross reference of 38 quality indicators based on what is important to a child's health, safety and development.  

Some Interesting Statistics on Child Care Safety

By the numbers / 38 States Report - Just 38 states require licensed child care providers to report fatalities to state officials. Child care centers in 12 states and home-based providers in 11 states are not required to report fatalities. There is also no federal reporting requirement. Source: Why Aren't We Outraged? Children Dying in Child Care Across America, Child Care Aware of America   4:1 Staffing Ratio - National standards recommend that there be one care provider for every four children aged 13 to 30 months. Ratios increase as the age of the children increases. Source: Choosing a Child Care Center, American Academy of Pediatrics,  $972 Per Month - Costs vary by location, but parents can anticipate paying $972 per month on average for a baby or toddler at a day care center, and $650 per month for home day care. Source: Childcare Options: Pros, Cons and Cost,

Safety, Cost Challenges to Child Care

Finding affordable and safe day care has become a major challenge for working parents. Recent studies show that child care now exceeds the annual median rent in almost half of all states, straining already tight budgets to the breaking point. But money means nothing if little Johnny or Judy doesn't come home safely at day's end. Serious inconsistencies in licensing, enforcement and training have created dangerous situations where thousands of kids are injured each year - some fatally - while in the care of others Is There a Child Care Crisis in America? First, the stats: According to 2010 U.S. Census data, working parents march off nearly 11 million children under age 5 to child care every week in America. Roughly 40 percent of those are cared for by grandparents or other relatives, another 30 percent are dropped off at a child-care center, Head Start or preschool, and 15 percent go to a family home day care. On average, the children of these working parents spend 35 hours per week in child care. Next, the cost: In the 2012 Report Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, the annual tab for full-time child care for an infant averaged $4,600 to $15,000, depending on location. The bill for a four-year-old ranged from about $3,900 to nearly $11,700. "The cost of quality child care is in the range of what you'd pay for college," said Richard M. Clifford, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute, in a recent article for Parents magazine. Now, the safety: We keep far better statistics on pro sports in America than we do on deaths and injuries in child-care settings. The most recent study - now almost 10 years old - documented 1,362 deaths in child care from 1985 to 2003. There are no federal reporting requirements for child care fatalities, and state reporting requirements vary widely. You might be even more surprised to hear that restaurants, beauty salons and even dog groomers are more regularly scrutinized by inspectors in some states than child care providers. According to a report from Child Care Aware, only eight states conduct inspections quarterly, and 21 once a year or less. Sixteen states either do not license small family child care homes (caring for six or fewer children) or do not conduct inspections prior to licensing. Training and licensing requirements also vary widely. For example, only 21 states insist that caregivers have any child-development training. And just eight states require comprehensive background checks for caregivers, including a review of sex-offender and child-abuse registries. Note too that not all child care providers carry liability insurance. Tools You Can Use to Choose Quality Care. Here are some tips and resources to help you find the best possible care for your child: 1) Start Early No matter what type of services you're looking for, it often takes time to get a child into any day care facility. 2) Make a Call Talk to referral agencies and ask about licensing requirements, complaints, violations, financial assistance programs, etc. 3) Visit and Ask Questions, Ask about adult-to-child ratios, group size, caregiver qualifications, turnover and accreditation. 4) Make an Informed Choice Consider all the options, pros and cons associated with various child care arrangements. 5) Stay Involved You and the caregivers are partners now. Remain an active participant in your child's life at day care.

June is National Safety Month

As personal injury and wrongful death attorneys, Clifford Law Offices is all too familiar with accidents in the home and on the job. The one thing many of them have in common: they could have been prevented. This notion of accident prevention is exactly what the National Safety Council (NSC) seeks to promote each June during its National Safety Month. Along with educating organizations and influencing behaviors that typically cause preventable injuries and deaths, the NSC encourages individuals within organizations to create a safety culture. Clifford Law Offices supports the initiatives of National Safety Month as a way to mitigate accidents, especially those like the downstate Illinois grain bin explosion. National Safety Month Highlights To help facilitate safety leaders across organizations, the NSC has created an introductory video about National Safety Month. Each week, the agency will discuss a different theme from preventing slips and trips to emergency preparedness. Driving safety and summer safety tips will also be featured. For more information or to make National Safety Month a part of your organization, visit the NSC's campaign page.  

Is airline passenger safety in danger...again?

In 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) passed a final rule requiring pilots to get a minimum of 10 hours of rest prior to duty, an imposition that is designed to improve airline passenger safety. The rule was created after federal investigators determined that pilot fatigue was the cause of a Colgan Air crash in upstate New York. Now we're finding it may not be just pilots that need a watchful eye. According to a June 1, 2013 report by the Chicago Tribune, flight attendants are also showing signs of impaired judgment and decreased performance while on the job. Why then, we ask, is there not a similar sleep rule for flight attendants? Risks to Airline Passenger Safety In a 2010 study of flight attendant work/sleep patterns conducted by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), it was shown that: * Flight attendants sleep an average of 6.3 hours on days off, but only 5.7 hours on work days; and * Flight attendants working international operations slept only 4.9 hours on average, and less efficiently than colleagues in domestic operations. Clearly, the average amount of sleep that flight attendants reported is a far cry from pilots 10-hour requirements, which are set to go into effect January 2014. There is potential risk in these findings, as flight attendants are responsible for a significant portion of airline passenger safety, including emergency evacuations. Will the FAA move toward creating a rule for airline crew that goes beyond pilots? Time will tell. In the meantime, we point to the CAMI report, which states, "...fatigue is a pervasive condition across the flight attendant community."

Websites You Should Visit for Vital Information on Prescription Drug Use

Campaign Wants Accountability for Generic Drug Makers. Take Justice Back is fighting to hold generic drug companies accountable when they cause serious injury or death. Listen to Karen Bartlett's tragic story and learn about ways you can help make a difference. Stay Informed About Unsafe Drugs Stay informed with drug alerts and recalls, search for approved drugs, and access educational resources on drugs and generics - including online alerts and podcasts - from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Misuse of Prescription Drugs Kill More than Car Accidents. The abuse and misuse of prescription drugs - especially painkillers - is a U.S. epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and now causes more deaths than car accidents.

Have Recent Maritime Accidents Stifled the Cruise Industry?

Traditionally, cruise lines charge their highest prices during the summer season, but with the Costa Concordia sinking last year and the Carnival Triumph debacle this winter we were left wondering will industry sales be heavily impacted as we head into the warmer months? The survey says yes. In a Harris Interactive Poll, more than half (53%) of those surveyed answered "somewhat agree" or "strongly agree" with the statement "I am less likely to take a cruise now than I was a year ago." That could mean financial trouble if customers sail away from vacations at sea, especially during high season when the industry sees the greatest profit. But the maritime accident victims whose psychological, physical and emotional wounds may never fully heal will feel the deepest losses. Clifford Law Offices, having experience in transportation-related personal injury and wrongful death cases, is no stranger to maritime accidents and the devastation they can leave behind for victims and their families. The firm's maritime injury attorneys represented a suburban Chicago man who was injured when a powerboat rammed his catamaran in Lake Michigan, cutting his watercraft in two. The lawyers at Clifford Law Offices have also worked closely with other attorneys around the world in representing victims of mass disasters, helping secure justice for those whose lives have been impacted by these tragic events.

Some Interesting Numbers on Prescription Drugs

By the numbers / 2 to 4 Million Hurt - Between 2 to 4 million Americans suffered serious, disabling or fatal injuries after using prescription drugs in 2011, based on estimates from data issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Source:  QuarterWatch May 2012, Institute for Safe Medication Practices 80 Percent Generic - Even though nearly 80 percent of all prescriptions written in the United States are filled with generic drugs, the U.S. Supreme Court recently made it nearly impossible to bring suit against generic drug manufacturers when their products cause injury. Source: Generic Drugs, Take Justice Back 2/3 Labeled Wrong - A new study finds that more than two-thirds of generic drugs have some labeling discrepancies. Of more than 1,000 generic drugs reviewed, most had small differences compared to brand-name drugs. However, 9 percent had differences of more than 10 side effects. Source: Inconsistency Seen in Safety Labeling for Generic Drugs, US News & World Report Health

The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Project

 When an aviation disaster occurs, the families of the victims are often left to deal with an array of difficult emotions and circumstances. For one such family member, Jennifer Stansberry Miller, it was a reality that she was not prepared to handle. Unfortunately, as she found out at the time, neither was the aviation industry. The End that Started it All On October 31, 1994, Jennifer's brother, Brad, was killed in the plane crash of American Eagle Flight 4184 in Roselawn, Indiana, an aviation disaster that killed all 64 passengers and 4 crewmembers on board. A series of disturbing events, from receiving misidentified remains to never identifying Brad's body, led Jennifer and her family down a path that would ensure a more compassionate, thorough process for victims' families in the future. She wouldn't have to do it alone; she joined other individuals who had been through similar experiences and were escalating the issue to the United States Congress, where the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996 was put into law. Now, almost 19 years later, Jennifer co-launched an outreach program for victims' family members called the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Project. The objective is to determine whether or not the processes that were put into place in the late '90s are helping people today. Jennifer, along with facilitator, Terri Henry Severin, assembled a lengthy survey to get a better understanding of how well the Act serves victims' families after an aviation disaster. The results of the survey can be found here or by visiting the website for The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Project. The hope is that the work that Jennifer and Terri are doing will help to ensure families are provided the services and care they need after tragic events.

Ruling May Leave You Vulnerable To Unsafe Generic Drugs

You probably never think twice about filling your prescriptions with generic drugs. They are much cheaper than brand-names, and they perform exactly the same as the original, right? But what if something goes terribly wrong like it did for Karen Bartlett when she took a generic painkiller for shoulder pain? Soon after, two-thirds of Karen's skin began shedding off. Or Kira Gilbert, who took the generic Darvocet in advance of knee surgery and never woke up? Because of a startling Supreme Court ruling, generic drug manufacturers cannot be held accountable in court for failing to warn consumers like Karen and Kira about deadly side-effects. Since 80 percent of the 4 billion prescriptions written in America are now filled with generics, You Should Know the facts and what consumer advocates are doing to stop this injustice.  Families seek justice.  

The Shocking Statistics on U.S. Bridge Collapses

Age, Deterioration and Funding Remain Core Problems Eleven percent of the nation's 607,000 bridges were considered "structurally deficient" in 2012, according to the Federal Highway Commission. Just five years prior, the agency reported 12 percent. Not much has changed, even since the I-35 Minnesota bridge collapse in 2007 that prompted massive bridge investigations across the country. Even more alarming is the average age of a bridge in the U.S. is 42 years old. So what does all of this information mean to citizens who travel across these spans of steel and concrete? We should be worried. Not only because of the reports or the ages of such structures, but because we are seeing more bridges collapse as a result of these factors. CBS released this video about the vulnerability of U.S. bridges: The Fall of Washington State and Missouri Bridges an overloaded truck that struck critical portions of the infrastructure reportedly caused the May 23, 2013 collapse of the I-5 bridge in Mount Vernon, Washington, that sent multiple cars into the Skagit River. Just two days later, another bridge collapsed near Rockview, Missouri, this time because of two freight trains that crashed on tracks running beneath the bridge. To those who read the American Society of Civil Engineer's 2013 report on the nation's infrastructure, this news may not be alarming. According to the group, one out of every nine bridges is structurally deficient. Who Will Pay for the Fix With the federal Highway Trust Fund forecast to go broke by 2015, the answers to who will fund bridge repairs remain murky at best. While the federal government designated $27 billion for highway projects under the stimulus program, only about $3 billion went to bridge projects. States are researching ways to raise money for bridge repairs, but with collapses increasing it is hard to imagine the fixes outpacing the disasters. How Personal Injury Lawyers are Handling Bridge Collapses as an experienced team of personal injury lawyers, Clifford Law Offices has represented victims in a number of collapse incidents. For example, the firm represents the family of Burton and Zorine Lindner in a 2012 bridge collapse case. The couple, married 47 years, was killed when a bridge collapsed and fell down on their car in Glenview, a suburb of Chicago. The personal injury lawyers at Clifford Law Offices work on bridge collapse cases because they understand the failing integrity of the national infrastructure and the importance of addressing the situation.

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