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How Does Premises Liability Work with Airbnb?For years now, travelers have been forgoing hotels in favor of renting a living space at someone’s home through services such as Airbnb. Vacation rentals can offer better deals, convenient locations, and home amenities that many hotels do not have. As with any business, your host has a duty to keep you safe while you are paying to stay at their home. If you are injured due to the condition of the property, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation through the premises liability law of the state where the injury occurred.

What Is the Duty to Protect?

The owner or operator of a property has a duty to show reasonable care towards the safety of visitors. In Illinois, this means they must make a reasonable effort to:

  • Maintain the property’s condition
  • Detect and repair dangerous conditions in a timely manner once they are aware of them
  • Warn guests about dangers that they may be unable to predict on their own

When staying at someone’s home, dangers could come from uneven walking surfaces, faulty appliances or other areas that the owner has failed to maintain. However, the owner may not be liable for your injuries if you acted in a way that was reckless or that you knew put you at risk of injury.

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Lung Disease from Vaping Can Be Subject to Product Liability LawsuitsE-cigarettes were introduced to consumers more than a decade ago as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco products. Vaping has caught on with younger smokers, partly due to its cleaner image and the variety of flavors. However, it has become clear that e-cigarettes are not as safe as their manufacturers claimed. There are hundreds of cases of e-cigarette users developing lung diseases, with several patients dying as a result. If you have developed a lung disease due to vaping, the manufacturer may be liable for your personal injury if the product did not warn you about the risk.

Dangers of Vaping

While e-cigarettes may contain fewer toxins than normal cigarettes, that does not make them safe to use, particularly for teens and pregnant women. Most e-cigarettes still contain nicotine and chemicals that can cause cancer and lung disease. Long-term vaping is believed to lead to several diseases, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis

The device itself has also been dangerous to consumers because of numerous incidents in which the battery exploded. Because e-cigarette users often carry the device in their pocket, an explosion can cause serious burn and shrapnel injuries.

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How Holiday Decorating Can End in InjuryWhen it comes to holiday-related injuries, people may think of classic comedies such as “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” While the accidents are played up for comedic effect in the movies, holiday injuries are real and no laughing matter for those who are hurt. According to one study, Christmas decorations injured around 173,000 people in the U.S. from 2007 to 2016. Recovering from an injury can put a damper on your holidays, which is why you should be careful when decorating in and around your house. In some cases, a faulty product may cause your injury, which could allow you to seek personal injury compensation from the manufacturer.

Outside Decorations

Decorating your house can be dangerous because you may be installing lights and hanging objects from high places. There is always a risk of electrocution and fire when handling electricity. Climbing up a ladder or onto your roof puts you in a precarious position, particularly if you are dealing with ice and snow. Falling from the top of even a one-story home may cause broken bones, head trauma, and other serious injuries. You can protect yourself while putting up outside decorations by:

  • Waiting for a day with clear weather
  • Removing snow and ice from surfaces
  • Replacing strings of lights that have exposed wires and broken bulbs
  • Testing your ladder to make sure it is stable

Indoor Decorations

The largest decoration hazard inside your home is likely your Christmas tree. Whether you have a real or artificial tree, it can injure you if it falls on you or catches on fire. Broken ornaments can cause cuts, and leaving small ornaments or hooks in the reach of young children could be a choking hazard. Illuminating your tree with lights once again brings risks related to electricity. You can protect your family against indoor decoration injuries by:

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Traffic Fatalities Declining in Most Statistical CategoriesThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that 36,560 people were killed as a result of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2018. While any amount of traffic deaths is tragic, the 2018 number was actually a 2.4 percent decrease from 2017. Though not always steady, the number of motor vehicle fatalities reported each year has decreased by almost 18 percent since 1975. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a third of what it was in 1975, which is more impressive when you consider that the annual VMT has more than doubled since then. In other words, Americans are driving more than ever and still decreasing the number of traffic deaths. There are other findings from the NHTSA report that are worth exploring.

Why the Decrease?

There are several explanations for why the rate of traffic fatalities has decreased in the last 40 years:

  • There have been effective public awareness campaigns about wearing safety belts and avoiding impaired driving.
  • Enforcing traffic laws, such as tickets for not wearing a safety belt, has discouraged the risky behavior.
  • Vehicles are better designed to avoid accidents and protect occupants in the event of a crash.
  • Emergency response systems and medical technology have improved, saving more lives.

Even with an overall decline in fatalities, there are clusters of years when the number of motor vehicle deaths has increased. For instance, the number of fatalities increased by 8.4 percent in 2015 and 6.5 percent in 2016. One possible explanation could be the rising use of handheld digital devices, which increased distracted driving.

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Why Is It Difficult to Resist Distracted Driving?Distracted driving is a hazard that does not seem to be going away, as people continue to be attached to their digital devices at all times. Diverting your attention from the road can cause an accident that results in injuries to yourself or someone else. According to one traffic accident study, nine people die and more than 1,000 people are injured every day in incidents involving distracted driving. As easy as it is to say that you should ignore everything other than your driving, drivers have a difficult time putting that into practice. Why do people allow themselves to be distracted while driving when they know it is dangerous? There are several possible explanations:

  1. The Fallacy of Multitasking: People have become used to constantly checking their phones while performing other tasks, such as working or watching television. You may think of this as multitasking because you are doing two activities at once. However, dividing your attention makes you less effective at both tasks. Looking away from your work for a few seconds to check a text message may do no harm because you are able to stop your work and start again. Looking away for a few seconds while you are driving is dangerous because your driving conditions could change at any moment.
  2. Nagging Alerts: You cannot help becoming momentarily distracted when you hear an alert for an incoming message or call. Answering that message or call will further distract you and increase the risk that you may be involved in an accident. Despite the danger, drivers are often overcome with an urge to know who is trying to contact them. You may be expecting an important call or to hear back from someone you have messaged. You may be worried that the call is about an emergency or an opportunity that will disappear if you do not respond immediately. If you think the message is that important, you should safely pull over in order to check it.
  3. False Safety of Hands-Free Devices: Laws against distracted driving exempt hands-free technology that allows you to answer calls and messages through voice commands or dashboard controls. However, drivers can become cognitively distracted without diverting their eyes or hands from their driving. When you are focusing on a conversation, you are not mentally ready to react to unexpected circumstances that may arise while driving. You are less able to foresee a potential hazard and slower to respond.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyer

Distracted driving can establish negligence in a personal injury case. Another driver may have caused the accident because they were distracted, but you could also share liability for the accident if you were distracted. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can explain how distracted driving may affect the outcome of your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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