Trust in Your Pilot’s State of Mind

Posted: April 20th, 2015

pilot’s state of mind, Illinois Personal Injury AttorneyMany travelers approach their flight with a slight trepidation, while others are seasoned business travelers. Whatever the case, a smooth, on-time flight is what every person wants.

But what about the faith we place in the crew, and trust that they have the experience, ability, and presence of mind to get us to our destination safely?

Unfortunately, headlines of late have brought to the forefront of our consciousness the concerns of just what can go wrong when those on the flight deck fail us. Incidents of pilot suicide are a real, current concern.

Catastrophic results ensue and families are left reeling. But, know that you can seek legal assistance to help guide and represent you through these toughest of times.

Mental State

Flying a commercial aircraft takes a very high level of training, focus and dedication. The mental demands of the job are high and stress levels need to be managed and balanced effectively. In fact, the pilot evaluation procedure, set out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), involves an investigation of a candidate’s medical records, substance abuse history, hospitalizations, and more that may raise a red flag. Additionally, all airline pilots are required by the FAA to have a first-class medical certificate. Also, pilots must undergo a medical examination and psychological assessment, usually by way of a formal interview.

The mental standards, as outlined by the Medical Standards and Certification Code for a first-class airman medical certificate, state that there may not be an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of any of the following:

  • A personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;
  • A psychosis which may include evidence of symptoms of possible delusions, hallucinations, grossly bizarre or disorganized behavior;
  • A bipolar disorder; and
  • Substance dependence within the previous two years for example, alcohol and drugs.

Self-Reporting

The fear among many pilots is that certain medical conditions, including those conditions over and above mental standards, will force them out of the skies.

So, where does this leave passengers? Traveling to a destination and all that goes along with it—packing, gathering visas, scheduling rental cars, and booking hotels—is a lot to manage. Should pilot competence be an additional consideration?

If the airlines and the FAA made their testing more rigorous, and perhaps encouraged reporting from family, friends, and fellow crew if an issue was detected, tragic pilot suicides may be prevented. Currently, however, there is no requirement that colleagues should, in fact, report anything such as bouts of depression caused by marital, custodial, or substance abuse that would preclude a pilot from the flight deck. Obviously, there are several legal considerations that go along with that and with protecting one’s privacy and the integrity of the profession. In any case, when a passenger plane is used as a weapon or in a pilot suicide with a plane full of innocent passengers, legal recourse must be pursued.

Compassionate Legal Team

The unimaginable tragedy of losing a family member in a plane crash is so much to bear, and discovering that it was an intentional act by a member of the flight crew is devastating. But having a caring, professional Illinois personal injury attorney by your side allows you one less matter to compound your grief. If you have lost a loved one in these horrific circumstances, contact Noonan Perillo Ltd. Based in Lake County, Illinois, we offer representation in personal injury or wrongful death suits and are ready to help you today.

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Road Rage: Still Prevalent on Our Roads

Posted: April 13th, 2015

road rage, Illinois Personal Injury AttorneyBeing an attentive driver takes a fair amount of effort and concentration, and the last situation a driver wants to experience is encountering an aggressive driver while on the road. Recently, media reports have emerged around the country with stories of people hurt in confrontations with other drivers. In fact, over 13,000 cases of road rage are reported every year, and this does not even include the number of cases that go undocumented.

What is Road Rage?

“Road rage” encompasses several traits. It is no longer restricted to a driver yelling and gesticulating from one car to another. Often, the most trivial matter can escalate into something much more, resulting in serious harm.

Today, road rage can mean aggressive tailgating, excessive speeding, weaving recklessly through traffic, improper passing, and reckless lane changing. Each of these disturbing incidents occur all too often on our roads and can lead to catastrophic injuries. In fact between 1990 and 1997, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage. Disturbingly, 37 percent of aggressive driving incidents involved a firearm.

Stressors in one’s life, coupled with the frustration of traffic—whether it be dreaded traffic congestion or just a trivial situation on the road—can trigger behaviors in drivers that lead to road rage. Verbal abuse and hand gestures can evolve into deadly physical altercations between bodies and vehicles.

Awareness and Prevention

Through their outreach programs, however, AAA helps drivers determine their own propensity for anger on the road and how to identify signs of aggressive driving. Eighty percent of drivers understand the seriousness of road rage. Therefore, when drivers can identify the triggers and the potential harm that can ensue, they are increasingly likely to feel more accountable for their actions and will make efforts to prevent them.

Avoiding a Confrontation

If you find yourself on the receiving end of road rage behavior, consider the following tips to help protect yourself from the situation becoming more serious.

  • Attempt to safely and quickly get out of the way of an aggressive driver;
  • Ignore obscene gestures and do not retaliate;
  • Avoid making eye contact;
  • Avoid honking your horn—this alone can set drivers off into a rage;
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up; and
  • Report aggressive drivers to the police. If an angry motorist pursues you, drive straight to a police station or somewhere where you can get help. Never drive to your home.

It is best to NOT engage with an aggressor. A situation rarely ends well when you do.

Legal Assistance

Not only is there a significant psychological impact associated with the intentional and malicious behavior of an aggressive driver in a road rage incident, but the injuries can be devastating and fatal and may include punches, kicks, broken bones, stabbings, gunshot wounds or death. Innocent victims and their families can be left reeling with hurt and grief. If you have experienced injury due to a road rage incident, a knowledgeable and compassionate Illinois personal injury attorney can help. Contact the attorneys at Noonan Perillo Ltd., in Lake County, Illinois, who can provide professional, legal advice and representation in your time of need. Call 847-244-0111 today.

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Why Do Caregivers Neglect Patients in Nursing Homes?

Posted: March 25th, 2015

patients in nursing homes, Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysOne of the most sinister and disturbing trends in nursing homes is neglect. What this involves clearly demonstrates a complete disregard for a patient’s well-being and rights. Negligence can take many different forms, and each is extremely hurtful and malicious. However, neglect and abuse in nursing homes cannot be ignored.

In 2000, a study interviewing 2,000 nursing home residents reported how 44 percent had been abused. Ninety-five percent said they had been neglected or had seen another resident neglected. Every year, patients are essentially forgotten in nursing homes around the country, and throughout the decades ahead, the baby boomer generation will soon be nursing home residents—in the millions.

Neglect—in More Ways Than One

Families may not immediately notice certain symptoms of neglect, but others signs are hard to ignore.

Emotional neglect: This type of neglect is typically sustained mistreatment that may cause a slow introversion in a patient’s demeanor. Family members should be on the lookout for signs of withdrawal. Psychological and behavioral signs may begin to manifest as feelings of shame, anxiety, uncertainty, helplessness, trembling and vagueness.

Basic human needs: Food, medication, and movement are very basic resident-patient needs. When these needs are overlooked or withheld, patients may suffer from—and even die from—dehydration and starvation.

Personal hygiene: Patients that are bedridden due to illness or surgery are prone to bedsores. These skin lesions can occur when caregivers fail to frequently turn and reposition a patient or keep a resident hydrated and on a healthy diet. Infections are also a common occurrence if patients are not bathed on a regular basis.

Falls: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls, however, go unreported. Additionally, around 16 to 27 percent of nursing home falls are a result of preventable hazards.

Reasons for the Neglect

Often, there is not any one overriding factor that contributes to neglect in nursing homes. Perhaps it is a case of understaffing in profit-driven homes, or the neglect of vulnerable, disabled patients who are not valued or respected. Maybe a particular caregiver has his or her own personal stressors or personal crisis. Cultural divisions and opposing belief systems could also lead to a level of intolerance. Whatever the basis, it is completely unfounded and resident-patient rights must be protected.

Prevention

In a joint effort, families and communities can help stamp out and prevent the prevalence of nursing home neglect. Suggested tips to consider include:

  • Vetting prospective nursing homes;
  • Knowing how to detect signs of neglect and abuse and knowing where to report suspicions;
  • Being aware of agencies and organizations that provide resources (protective services/Ombudsman); and
  • Seeking legal advice.

Care and Compassion from Your Legal Team

Urging a loved one to freely communicate with you is a good starting point in helping prevent nursing home neglect. However, if you discover a case of neglect, time is of the essence. Knowing a loved one’s personal safety is compromised is motivation enough to contact a personal injury attorney.

Based in Lake County, Illinois, Noonan Perillo Ltd. has a large practice area dedicated to nursing home neglect. This is a very sensitive subject and legal remedies may be available to you. Please contact our compassionate Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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