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Why you don't hear more about Illinois bedrail injuries

Poorly designed or manufactured products that harm children make Illinois headlines quickly. Many elderly adults are just as vulnerable to defective product injuries as children, although society tends to concentrate more heavily on victims with potentially long futures.

Safety rails are supposed to keep elderly people from accidentally rolling out of bed. The products aren't always as safe as they're advertised to be, especially for patients struggling with physical and mental limitations. While child product makers are carefully watched by the U.S. government, manufacturers of adult bed rails are not.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 37,000 emergency room injuries and 155 adult bedrail deaths in the decade leading up to 2012. Eighty percent of the victims were older than 60. More than 500 deaths among bedrail victims were recorded since 1985.

Hospitals, long-term care facilities and private caregivers have reported instances of older patients becoming pinned between bedrails and mattresses. Frail victims are often suffocated in the struggle to breathe and free themselves.

Federal officials issued an alert 18 years ago about the hazards of adult bedrails. The government didn't go as far as forcing manufacturers to paste injury and death warning labels on them.

Victim-blaming allows injuries to go unreported. Hospitals and nursing homes may be motivated to hide evidence of safety flaws or blame patients' health conditions for bedrail injuries. Lawsuits brought against bedrail manufacturers frequently end in fault-free settlements that include clauses to prevent victims or families from talking about the liability claim.

Society's attitude toward the elderly may be the reason defective bedrails aren't front-page news when victims are old and infirm. Without public pressure, strong government regulations for bedrails can be dismissed.

Plaintiffs still have the opportunity to resolve product liability matters personally in Illinois courts. Compensation is available for injury victims of any age or families whose loved ones die in defective bedrail accidents.

Source:  union-bulletin.com, "Bedrails can be deadly to older adults" Lindsay Wise, Oct. 11, 2013

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    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

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    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

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    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

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    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

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    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

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    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

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