Holder Law Group strives to protect both the physical and financial interest of Champaign Urbana and Illinois. This is why we will be launching out Consumer Protection Alert series of posts dealing with Illinois consumer protection issues that impact not only the residents of Central Illinois, but the entire country as well.
We have all heard of phishing and how scammers are trying to steal your information via email. But scammers have another trick up their sleeve: Smishing. Smishing refers to trying to scam people by sending them SMS text messages. According to Forbes, one of the best ways to avoid a smishing scam is to use two-factor authentication which involves both a password and another way to verify your identity. Here are some tips to avoid being a victim of smishing.
1. Be wary of any text messages from numbers you do not recognize, especially if they come from a strange area code. Be especially wary of messages that come from a four-digit or five-digit number.
2. If a text message claims to come from your bank, do not believe it. Call up your bank first and provide them with information about the text to help them identify if they really sent the message.
3. Be wary of clicking links in text messages. They may cause your phone to download malicious software, viruses, malware, adware and spyware. Not only shouldn't you click on a strange link from a strange number, but you should delete the text message as soon as you can. If possible, do not even open the message.
4. Be aware that scammers can sometimes make a message appear as if it is coming from one of your contacts. If you receive a weird, odd, and strange message from your friend with a suspicious-looking link, ask them if they really sent it.
5. Do not reply to text messages from strange numbers, especially if they ask you personal information, tell you that you won a prize, or tell you that you need to reply urgently. In addition, do not call the number that sent the message.
6. Make sure to install an antivirus app on your phone. There are many services available such as Knox, McAfee, and Lookout, and all of these will provide guards against smishing.
If your personal information has been stolen, contact us immediately to see if we can help. Do you have a smishing story? Feel free to let us know.
There is a general misunderstanding among many people that pregnancy and childbirth are not major occurrences in a woman's life, and that the risks associated with both are rather benign. This could not be farther from the truth. Conventional childbirth, even with no complications, has a significant amount of risk,. and when the birth process is complicated, and a caesarian section is necessary, the risks increase even further.
Given the complicated and inherently dangerous nature of childbirth, when doctor and nursing error occurs, the risks to both mother and child increase even further. Here are few issues to remember regarding medical negligence and birth injury.
When is a Birth Injury the Doctor’s Fault?
Giving birth should be a joyous time, but while many births go perfectly smooth, sometimes there are complications. Birth injuries that occur to the mother, or worse, her newborn can be traumatic and life-altering. However, something strange occurs when a birth injury happens. For some strange reason, it leaves new mothers blaming themselves. Was it something they did? Was it something they didn't do while gestating their child? Could they have done it different or better?
The truth is that a birth injury is rarely the fault of the parent and certainly not the child. However, in order to better protect themselves, your doctors may infer that it was something you did or didn't do. Yet, you had nine months to create that new life, and your OBGYN had nine months to figure out the risks, tell you about them, and do everything in their power to mitigate them. If your doctor did none of those things, then no matter what they tell you, they are responsible for your birth injuries.
Whether it was from negligence or pure malpractice, common birth injuries include:
Additionally, the causes for these errors are sometimes more difficult to identify than one would initially think. The most common medical errors that are difficult to identify in regard to childbirth cases are:
All of the above can fall into the realms of medical malpractice, but so much more can be considered as part of it as well. If you or your child suffered traumatic injury during the birthing period, contact us today to see what we can do for you.
We have heard the story before. A car accident happens and there is little damage to either of the vehicles. What's more, after the accident, the driver of the car that was not at-fault declines to go to the emergency room because her or she feels okay at the time. Then, days, weeks, or even months later, the accident victim begins to develop headaches, soreness, and pain. It is called a soft tissue injury and it happens every day across Central Illinois and Champaign County.
Whiplash injuries can be serious injuries that are frequently caused when an automobile is struck from behind. Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.
Common Misconception About Whiplash Injury
A common misconception about whiplash injury is that if the vehicle does not sustain damage in a low speed impact, then whiplash injury to the occupant does not occur.
In reality, low impact collisions can produce correspondingly higher dynamic loading on the occupants because the lack of crushing metal to absorb the forces results in a greater force applied to items or occupants within the vehicle
Whiplash is an injury to the cervical region of the spine when a great force causes the neck to go beyond its normal range of motion. The spinal vertebrae, ligaments, and muscles may be injured by this force, causing neck pain, headaches, neck stiffness, and/or cognitive difficulties such as dizziness or trouble concentrating. These symptoms may appear immediately or after a few days.
Cognitive and higher center dysfunction. In some instances, whiplash may affect the patient's mental functioning, possibly leading to difficulties concentrating, as just one example.
Faulty movement patterns. It is believed that the nervous system may change the way in which it controls the coordinated function of muscles as a result of a barrage of intense pain signals from the whiplash injury.
Chronic pain. While often resulting in minor muscle sprains and strains that heal with time, more severe whiplash injuries may produce neck pain and other symptoms that are persistent and long-lasting (chronic).
Disc herniation. A whiplash accident may injure the discs between the vertebrae, lead to small tears and cause the inner core of the disc to extrude through its outer core. If the disc's inner core comes in contact with and irritates a nearby spinal nerve root, a herniated disc occurs, with symptoms possibly including sharp, shooting pain down the arm and even neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling and muscle weakness.
Joint dysfunction. As a result of the whiplash, one of the joints in the spine or limbs may lose its normal resiliency and shock absorption (referred to as the joint play), possibly leading to restricted range of movement and pain.
Additional information Regarding Whiplash Injuries
One of the most devastating injuries that anyone can sustain in an automobile accident is a traumatic brain injury. So called TBI injuries can totally alter the way in which accident victims live their lives. Furthermore, traumatic brain injuries are often overlooked immediately after an accident due to the fact that the victim may appear healthy and not develop symptoms until days or week after the wreck. Here is what to know.
Types of Injuries Common in Car and Motorcycle Accidents:
Head Injuries and Post Concussion Syndrome
Car Accidents are one of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) 50,000 people die annually from TBIs, while 230,000 people are hospitalized and survive, and an estimated 80,000-90,000 people experience the onset of long-term disability as a result -- currently, over 5.3 million people are living with disabilities resulting from a TBI. Post Concussive Syndrome is a type of Brain Injury resulting from a Concussion and common in automobile collisions where a driver or passenger in a vehcile or driver of a motorcycle has suffered a blow to the head.
Many TBIs are not initially diagnosed and do not result in hospitalizations.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
A TBI is an injury to the brain that results from an external force, or trauma, to the head. In other words, it's a head injury that causes damage to the brain. The "external force" can be a direct blow to the head such as striking the steering wheel in a car accident.
Even though the skull is not penetrated or fractured, the force can cause the brain to be injured in a number of ways. Or, the "external force" can be a rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head that shakes or rotates the brain. Examples of this are whiplash in a car accident or Shaken Baby Syndrome. As the BIA definition states, the "external force" damages the tissues and cells of the brain causing temporary or permanent impairment in the cognitive, emotional and physical abilities of an individual.
Most TBIs are Closed Head Injuries (CHI), where trauma to the head sets the brain in motion inside the skull. Depending upon the degree and direction of the forces applied, the brain can be damaged in many different ways. These include surface contusions of the brain from a coup-contre coup (an initial blow followed by a rebound against the opposite side of the skull) and twisting and stretching from rotational force which damage fine structures like axons.
Obviously, not all TBIs are equally serious. They range from catastrophic to subtle. However, even subtle brain injuries can have significant, permanent, life-altering consequences for the patient. TBIs can be caused by whiplash.
COMMON Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms:
· muscle spasticity
· double vision, blurred vision or low vision, even blindness
· loss of smell or taste
· speech impairments such as slow or slurred speech
· headaches or migraines
· fatigue, increased need for sleep, and
· balance problems.
· short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss
· slowed ability to process information
· trouble concentrating or paying attention for periods of time
· difficulty keeping up with a conversation, and other communication difficulties such as word finding problems
· spatial disorientation
· organizational problems and impaired judgment
· inability to do more than one thing at a time, and
· a lack of initiating activities, or once started, difficulty in completing tasks without reminder.
· depression and mood swings
· impulsive behavior
· more easily agitated, and
· egocentric behaviors, difficulty seeing how behaviors can affect others.
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF YOU THINK YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM A BRAIN INJURY.
The Holder Law Group, LLP understands the severity of brain injuries including Post Concussion Syndrome and the difficulty in proving them at trial or, in the alternative, getting insurance companies to accept them as substantial injuries. Appropriate medical treatment and documentation for these injuries is crucial for your case.
Additional Information Regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries
How well do you know your automobile insurance policy??
One of my first cases as a young attorney involved a tragic automobile accident where I represented the estate of a University of Illinois student from China, who had perished in an automobile collision. The other 4 people in the car survived with massive injuries, including a girl with a fractured pelvis. This was a hit and run and the later detained defendant did not have insurance and was out on parole for previous felonies. There was a $100,000.00 under insured motorist policy to be split 5 ways. I found myself, through a translator, attempting to explain to the Chinese parents of this young girl, who was their only child, that they would recover very little monetarily as a result of their daughter's death. I was pregnant with my own daughter at the time and have since learned two things. First, as an attorney who works in personal injury, no matter how much you attempt to disconnect emotionally, there are cases that will haunt you every day throughout the litigation process and long after its conclusion. Second, I learned how crucial it is to have good automobile insurance coverage.
When purchasing automobile coverage, we tend to focus on liability coverage, which means how much coverage a person has if they injure another person or person's property. The state minimum for automobile coverage in Illinois is grossly insufficient as it requires a person to only have $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per incident of coverage. This means, that if there are multiple people in the car, the maximum amount that can be recovered by all injured people combined is $50,000.00 Rarely do we ask, what happens if I am injured? Because we cannot control the amount of insurance that drivers whom we share the roadways with may (or may not) have, there are ways to protect yourself.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you directly. This coverage pays if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver or a driver who does not have auto liability insurance. This coverage, in effect, takes the place of the liability insurance that the other driver should have purchased but did not. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the other driver is at fault and whose limits of liability are lower than the damages you sustained. Your underinsured motorist coverage will pay you an additional amount up to your policy limits. In Illinois, your underinsured/uninsured policy limits are equal to your liability insurance.
Taking into account that a trip to the emergency room can easily cost $15,000.00 if you have to have complex imaging, it is important to be properly insured. I am not an insurance salesperson, but as a lawyer who has worked with countless automobile policies and recoveries for my clients, I have gained a bit of knowledge in the area. I strongly urge everyone out there to get a substantial Umbrellas insurance policy coverage plan.
A personal umbrella policy is a type of insurance that provides liability coverage over and above your automobile or homeowners policy. It can also provide additional coverage for your own injuries resulting from an under insured or uninsured driver in a collision. Usually, the amount of money to include this type of coverage is ever so minimal compared to the value it has if you are in a serious accident. Call your insurance agent or company today if you don't have this coverage or are unsure of what sort of coverage you have.