Create a survival kit, make a plan and be informed before disaster strikes with extensive interactive resources from the American Red Cross. Don't miss these emergency mobile apps for lifesaving tips. Monitor All Hazardous Weather Conditions Look up conditions anywhere in the United States and learn the facts about weather-related hazards in your area at NOAAWatch from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Avoid Scam Artists After a Disaster There are criminals who prey on the survivors of natural disasters by offering fraudulent services. Learn how to spot and report fraud via the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
By the numbers/ 528 Deaths: Severe weather tallied 528 fatalities and more than $38 billion in combined property and crop damage in 2012. The 10-year average is 640 deaths per year. Source: Summary of Natural Hazard Statistics (download), National Weather Service 14 Minutes: The average lead time from warning siren to tornado is now 14 minutes. An 8-foot by 8-foot safe room averages $6,600 to $8,700 in new construction. Source: Tornado Preparedness Saves Lives, USA Today 6 Inches: Flash flooding is the number one cause of death from thunderstorms. Just 2 feet of water can float most vehicles, and 6 inches can sweep you off your feet. Source: Severe Weather, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
To help you assess playground safety, SafeKids Worldwide offers a checklist for playground safety. Find and rate playgrounds in your neighborhood at Map of Play, part of a national effort to create play spaces near every child in America
Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, recently was interviewed by Dean Gregory Mark of DePaul University College of Law. In the wide-ranging Q and A, Clifford spoke on a number of topics, reflecting on his 30 years since graduating from DePaul Law School. "Tort reform," Clifford's recently being named Person of the Year by Chicago Lawyer magazine and his nearly two decades of sponsoring a two-day symposium at the law school were topics as well as mentoring those who decide to enter the profession. To view the entire interview that appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of Dialogue, the alumni publication of the school, please click here.
By the numbers/ 218,851 Injured Kids: Between 2001 and 2008, an average of 218,851 preschool and elementary-aged children were treated at emergency rooms for playground equipment injuries. Source: Injury Research, National Program for Playground Safety Four-sided Fence: Four-sided fencing around pools decreases the risk of childhood drowning by 83 percent, as opposed to a three-sided fence with the fourth side formed by the home. Source: Unintentional Drowning: Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Every Two Minutes: Every two minutes, a child is treated in an emergency department for an unintentional cycle-related injury. Source: Bicycle, Skate and Skateboard Safety Fact Sheet, Safe Kids USA
The summer months are a great time for children to enjoy their time off from school and play on playground equipment. The only issue is that there are quite a few unsafe playgrounds. Knowing more about playground safety and what that means can better ensure that children continue having fun and parents can worry less. What exactly ensures the greatest playground safety? Playground Safety Checklist The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a checklist of what to look for when around a public playground. Here are some of the important factors to take into consideration when looking for unsafe playgrounds: 1. Make sure there are no sharp edges or hardware (bolts, hooks or the like) that are exposed and pose a safety hazard. 2. Check for wood chips, pea gravel, sand, mulch, or mats made of rubber around the play equipment. 3. Are play structures above 30 inches spaced more than 9 feet apart? 4. Check for guardrails on equipment that help children with their balance while playing. 5. Look for tripping hazards like exposed roots or tree stumps and also check for gaps in the equipment in which children could be trapped. Using the above directions, while also keeping a close watch over children on the playground, can better ensure playground safety and help avoid the dangers of unsafe playgrounds. Have you or someone you know been affected by unsafe playgrounds? Clifford Law Offices handles a variety of personal injury cases including faulty equipment.
Agencies Provide Extensive Motorcycle Safety Resources Check out Motorcycle Safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for background information, the motorcycle safety guide and state-by-state fact sheets. Also visit Motorcycles at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the studies, free brochures and the latest public safety campaign material. Motorcycle Safety Foundation Encourages Rider Courses The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a wide range of training courses for motorcyclists of all skill and experience levels. Review the course list, or take the interactive Motorcycle Challenge. Make Sure You Are Adequately Insured All 50 states require minimum insurance coverage to operate a motorcycle. Be aware, however, that the minimums may not adequately protect you in a serious accident. Read this overview from the Insurance Information Institute, and review this state-by-state listing of minimum requirements.
When flying, many passengers opt to sit as close as possible to the front of the plane, usually for the added convenience of leaving the aircraft first. Still others choose to sit over the wings of a plane with the mindset that this is one of the safest places to sit in the event of a plane crash. Where is, in fact, the safest to sit? Boeing is sure to reinforce the idea that, "One seat's as safe as another," as quoted from the Boeing website. Through further study, it becomes apparent that there is somewhat of a correlation between where passengers sit and their expected survival should their plane crash. What The Numbers Say In July of 2007, Popular Mechanics published results from a study they conducted that included all of the plane crashes in the United States since 1971 that had both fatalities and survivors. It was shown time and again that passengers seated near the rear of the plane were most likely to survive in a plane crash. Of the 20 crashes studied (chosen because seating charts were available for reference), 11 of the crashes showed better survival rates for those in the back of the plane. If broken into quarters, a 37-row airplane has the following survival rates during a plane crash: the first quarter has a 49% survival rate, the middle two quarters have a 56% survival rate, and the final quarter has a 69% survival rate. There is, however, a noteworthy exception: the three fatalities that occurred during Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco this month. We have several articles on the crash, which can be found here. In Conclusion It's shown from the above research that sitting near the back is helpful in certain instances. Robert Clifford, in an article by My Fox Chicago, indicated that it doesn't, in fact, matter where passengers sit in a plane during a plane crash.It seems that the best passengers can do is make sure to understand the safety procedures of their plane before take-off in case of an emergency. How do you choose your seats when you fly?
By the Numbers/ 8 Million Riders: Motorcycle ridership is at an all-time high in the United States with more than 8 million registered motorcycles on the roads in 2010. Source: State Motor-Vehicle Registrations, U.S. Department of Transportation 1,829 Lives Saved: Motorcycle helmets saved 1,829 lives in 2008. An estimated 823 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had been wearing helmets. Source: Motorcycle Facts (download), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 25 Times Cars: Per vehicle mile traveled in 2009, motorcyclists were 25 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupant of an automobile. Source: Motorcycle Q&A, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Question: What legal protection is afforded to Illinois homeowners to assist them in avoiding foreclosure? Answer: The Homeowners Protection Act gives Illinois homeowners who are behind in their mortgage payments a grace period of up to 90 days during which the lender is precluded from initiating foreclosure proceedings. Homeowners are strongly advised to use the additional time to consult with a lawyer or qualified housing counselor to work out a payment plan with their lender. For information about foreclosure prevention counseling, visit here. For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/legal-faqs
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has long forbid the use of most electronics while in flight; however, that may be changing. The agency's recent announcement on in-flight cell phone use has some questioning the impact on flight safety. Changes in Restrictions The FAA announced last year that it was in the process of reevaluating its restrictions on in-flight electronic usage. And while potentially more electronics will be allowed, it has been made clear that full use of cellphones will still most likely be restricted. The approval process for consumer electronics is being carefully considered; the FAA understands that electronics use could have an impact on overall flight safety. For this very reason, the FAA is not currently considering relaxing restrictions on cell phones. Approval Process for Electronics Unfortunately for those wishing to board with new electronics, the FAA testing process is rather inconvenient and time-intensive. Each new version of a phone or other electronic device must be tested with each type of plane, without any passengers on board, before being approved for use. Those who want to learn more about aviation law can visit Clifford Law Offices' site. Clifford Law Offices is one of the premier law firms in Chicago and the nation having gained acclaim for its aviation accident attorneys working towards improved flight safety and its landmark cases in other areas of practice.
For some 10 years, aviation safety advocates have been asking the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to equip all commercial aircraft with low air speed alerts, a technology that warns pilots with a loud oral warning that the speed of the plane is too slow. The FAA has not acted, despite the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) making that recommendation. Senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, Robert A. Clifford, also made the FAA aware of this need through his work in representing many families who lost loved ones on a Continental Connection flight to Buffalo, New York. The issue is raised once again in the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport and Clifford wrote about it in an op ed piece that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper on July 12, 2013. To read the article in its entirety, click here.
After many news reports and a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) video focusing on the July 6, 2013 plane crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, we now know that the pilot who was landing the Boeing 777 logged only 43 hours on that particular aircraft. We also know that the pilot was still considered "in training" on the 777. The question remains, does the amount of pilot flight hours relate in any way to an increased likelihood of a plane crash? This, along with other factors, is what the NTSB continues to investigate this week at the plane crash site located at San Francisco International Airport. Asiana Airlines, based in Seoul, Korea, says it requires pilots to log 60 hours of training in order to man the Boeing 777. More information on the Asiana aviation accident will be available in the days and weeks to come. If you have questions about plane crashes or would like to discuss potential aviation litigation, please contact an experienced aviation accident lawyer at Clifford Law Offices. Our plane crash attorneys have represented victims in every major commercial airline accident in the last 30 years.
Despite the May 2013 ruling in which a Washington State jury reached a 10-2 verdict in favor of Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISI), manufacturer of the Da Vinci surgical robots, other problems with the devices are prompting other product liability lawsuits. In mid-May of 2013, ISI issued an urgent medical device notification stating that particular versions of its 2009 and 2010 cautery monopolar curved scissors may develop microscopic cracks. If cracked, the scissors could then leak electrical energy and burn patient tissue. While not a part of all product liability lawsuits, this alleged defect is the focus of a number of cases. Interestingly, the manufacturer did not recall the crack-prone scissors; instead, it said that it would soon provide replacements. The FDA is reviewing the issues with the monopolar curved scissors, in addition to adverse event reports (AER) associated with the Da Vinci robotic surgical systems. In all, ISI has been named in 26 product liability lawsuits, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 2013 first-quarter financial statement. If you feel that you have been injured or affected by a defective medical product, contact a medical malpractice attorney at Clifford Law Offices. Our experience in product liability cases includes the recalled Sulzer hip devices and a $5 million partial settlement for a woman who was injured after a medical manufacturer failed to provide information to the surgeon about the appropriate use of its medical devices.
As rescue workers and investigators continue to sift through the catastrophic wreckage of 72 tanker cars that derailed in the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, questions continue to be asked concerning potential legal actions that may result from this derailment and explosion. In the wake of the terrible tragedy that has claimed the lives of up to 60 people, Clifford Law Offices has been asked what laws and what courts will be available to those who seek justice against this U.S. railway company. "The tragedy occurred in Canada, but one of the companies involved, Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway Inc., is based in Maine with what has been reported as a parent company, Rail World Inc., which is based in the Chicago area," said Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, which has handled many rail and transportation crash cases across the country. "All potential venues must be examined to determine the forum in which injured victims and those who lost their loves ones can seek justice for this horrific explosion that appears to have been avoidable." Canadian investigators, law enforcement officials and company executives are on the scene of the explosion, sifting through the rubble following the derailment. Edward Burkhardt, CEO of the Chicago-based Rail World Inc. and Chairman of the Board of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, reportedly suspended without pay the engineer who was operating the train as a result of this catastrophe. At this time, it is unclear where his training took place. " Ultimately, the courts will decide what law applies" Clifford said, "but it cannot be ignored that the best venue for a lawsuit may, in fact, be in America. We are looking into all of appropriate venues based upon some inquiry calls we have already received." Clifford Law Offices has extensive experience in rail crash litigation and explosion cases. The firm just received one of the highest verdicts in the U.S. in 2012 for a grain bin explosion case in downstate Illinois. The firm also has successfully worked on cases involving Amtrak, Metra and various train lines crisscrossing the continent. The attorneys at Clifford Law Offices are available to speak on this issue.
Did you know that car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 12 in the United States? Or that 80 percent of child safety seats in Illinois are installed incorrectly? (Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, NHTSA) Combined, those two statistics are a recipe for deadly consequences in the event of a car accident. Fortunately, the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 (Downers Grove, IL) recognized this danger in 2012 and started an event that helped reduce the risk of injury from car accidents through free child safety seat checks. The event is known as Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.). So successful were last year's events that the two organizations are teaming up again this summer to offer more safety seat events throughout Northern Illinois: Saturday, July 13: Discovery Center Museum, Rockford 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 18: Jewel-Osco, Glendale Heights 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 27: DuPage Children's Museum, Naperville 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 3: IKEA Schaumburg 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, September 21: Tollway Family Safety Fair, Downers Grove 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Not only are child safety seats an important way to protect kids in a car accident; they are also required in the state of Illinois.
In a defective product liability claim, it's important to understand filing deadlines. In the state of Illinois, as in all other states, there are time limits on how long you have to file a defective product liability claim. These limits are referred to as the statute of limitations. What is the statute of limitations in Illinois? In the state of Illinois, you can file a claim for product liability within two years of the discovery rule. This means that from the very moment you discover you have a claim you have exactly two years to file the product liability claim in the state of Illinois. Of course, there may be other factors the court will consider, such as when you actually bought the product, the actual date of discovery, and the warranty on the product. Clifford Law Offices is an experienced product liability firm with attorneys who have proven success in these types of cases. For example, a product liability lawyer from the firm reached a $3.1 million settlement on behalf of a client who died from severe burn injuries caused by a faulty barbeque lighter.
Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, was interviewed Sunday by reporter, Stephen Magagnini, of the popular California newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, on the possible causes of the Asiana Airlines crash. In a wide-ranging interview on Saturday's tragic crash that left two young girls dead and dozens more injured, discussed issues from a plausible scenario that could have occurred to the Boeing 777 aircraft that crashed at San Francisco International Airport. His entire interview can be viewed here: http://www.sacbee.com/
Despite all of the chaos, fire and tragedy, officials are now reporting that all 307 people aboard Asiana Flight 214 that was scheduled to land this morning at the San Francisco airport from Seoul, Korea, are accounted for. San Francisco International Airport Fire Chief has confirmed, though, that two people tragically died when the Boeing 777 crash landed on one of the four runways. In addition, dozens were taken to area hospitals, some being admitted. Miraculously, nearly 125 did not require medical treatment. Clifford Law Offices has had a great deal of experience with Boeing aircraft crashes. Check out the firm's website, for details on numerous crashes over the past 30 years, including representing many people in the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash in the Pacific Ocean in 2000 where Clifford Law Offices' partner Kevin Durkin served as a member of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee as well as the Administrative Management Committee. Lawyers at the firm also are working on behalf of several passengers and their families who were injured or killed in the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 at Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands. In that crash, a radio altimeter malfunctioned, causing the auto-throttle to disengage on the Boeing 737, which reduced the throttle level position to flight-idle, thereby allowing the airspeed to decrease. Flight 1951 lost control and crashed into a muddy field about a mile north of the runway. In the Asiana Airlines crash of Flight 214, experts are trying to find the cause of the crash landing at the San Francisco airport. Experts are speculating that among the problems could be radio altimeters, alone or in combination with other factors.