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Illinois law allows victims who are injured in accidents caused by the negligence or recklessness of another party to file legal action against that party for financial compensation for the losses those injuries cause. These losses can include medical expenses to treat the injuries, loss of income if the victim is unable to work while they recover, pain and suffering, and more. Many accident claims are handled through the at-fault party’s insurance company, such as in car accidents, premises liability accidents, and medical malpractice lawsuits. Unfortunately, the majority of insurance companies will do all they can to get a victim…
If you are a fan of television crime shows, you have likely watched a scene where police characters play the “good cop, bad cop” roles. This is where one officer comes off as aggressive and menacing to the person who is being interrogated, while the other officer acts as their ally, encouraging them to tell the truth about what they know regarding the crime being investigated. Police officers are allowed to use many tactics like this in order to get a suspect or material witness to confess what they know. But just how far is too far and what…
While Memorial Day is traditionally the kickoff of summer season, it is also the beginning of what has been deemed the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” Safety advocates use this term to call attention to the increased dangers teen drivers face during the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. According to national statistics, there are approximately 10 people killed in teen driver car crashes each day during this period. Over the past decade, there have been almost 300 people killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 deadliest days in the state of Illinois. Dangerous Time on the…
In January of this year, the Department of Labor – still under the Trump administration – announced a final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) clarifying the standard for determining whether a worker is an employee versus an independent contractor. The standard that was created by this rule gave a significant amount of control to employers to classify workers as independent contractors, making it difficult for those employees to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits and other benefits the federal government requires under the FLSA. That rule went into effect on March 6, 2021. With a new administration comes…
It is no secret that Illinois and the rest of the country are in the grips of a major drug epidemic. It is estimated that the United States is losing more than 80,000 victims each year to drug overdoses. Because Illinois still treats drug possession of any amount of controlled substances as a criminal offense, victims who are overdosing or friends who are with them at the time may be hesitant to call 911 for help because they are afraid they will be arrested. Fortunately, a new Illinois law may save lives in these situations. Illinois HB 158 Naloxone is…
The warm weather has finally arrived in Illinois after a long, cold winter, and this is welcome news for motorcycle enthusiasts. Every year, the month of May is designated National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, serving as an important reminder to motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles of important safety habits they should follow to minimize the risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Motorcycle Accident Statistics At one time, only “bikers” in gangs drove motorcycles. That has significantly changed over the past several decades, and currently, women and men from all walks of life own motorcycles and enjoy…
Current Illinois state law requires residents to have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card in order to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. Failure to have a FOID card can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances and the criminal record of the individual being charged. However, a recent ruling by an Illinois judge and a new bill working its way through the Illinois legislature could change all that. Court Ruling A White County Circuit Court judge has ruled that requiring citizens to have a FOID card is unconstitutional. The ruling was made in a…
It may come as a surprise to many people that the most dangerous jobs are in the construction industry. Despite only making up approximately 5 percent of the country’s workforce, construction industry accidents are responsible for more than 20 percent of all work-related deaths each year. Recent studies show that these numbers have continued to increase on a yearly basis. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the “Construction Focus Four” as the top causes of construction worker injuries and deaths: Falls Caught-in or caught-between Struck by Electrocution The Center for Construction Research and Training Report According…
There has been much focus in the media and by law enforcement over the past few months about hate crimes directed against Asian Americans. Much of this violence against victims has been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic triggered by the false narrative put out by politicians and organizations that blame the creation of the virus and its global spread on China. One study has estimated that almost 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents have occurred within the past year in the U.S., with the majority of these incidents – almost 70 percent – directed at female victims.    Hate Crime Statistics According…
Senate Bill 72 is on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature after recently passing both the Illinois House and Senate. The new law will allow for plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits to collect interest on the amount awarded in a jury verdict. The goal of the law is to encourage the parties involved in these lawsuits – especially the defendants – to negotiate a fair settlement and avoid bringing the case to trial. In the majority of personal injury lawsuits, the defendant (at-fault party) is represented by an insurance company that covers the expenses…
Springtime marks the start of warmer weather and sunshine in many parts of the country. It also means spring break for students and time off of school. Considered a well-deserved reprieve from lectures, midterms, and homework, some students may go home to see their family and friends. College students also often make plans to travel to warmer destinations or even big cities like Chicago for a week of fun. While most young adults had to put off their spring trips last year due to COVID-19 lockdowns, many are looking forward to letting loose on spring break this year. However, there…
The topic of hate crimes has been in the news more and more over the past few years. In efforts to increase awareness about these types of crimes, police officers and government officials have focused more attention on hate crimes. Time, energy, and resources have been put into thoroughly investigating hate crimes, and legislation has enhanced the penalties for them. In Illinois, those who commit hate crimes are often charged with a felony offense and punished to the fullest extent of the law. To avoid being charged with a hate crime, it is important to understand what actions constitute…
Since they transport goods and supplies such as food, truck drivers are considered essential workers and have been working throughout the past year despite COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns. In many cases, truckers have been working hard to deliver critical PPE or medical supplies to hospitals overwhelmed by the number of coronavirus patients. With increased pressure to deliver products in a timely manner, delivery drivers and trucking companies in general may not be adhering to protocol in regards to their hours of service. Failure to follow rules for driving can lead to tired drivers who then cause truck accidents. FMCSA…
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in many ways, causing a global health and economic crisis. After taking office this year, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders that addressed COVID-19 worker protections. As of now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protocols outlined in the executive orders are guidelines, but it is expected that these guidelines will soon become enforceable. Some of President Biden’s directives to OSHA were concerning COVID-19 guidelines and another was to potentially implement emergency temporary standards to address the hazards that employees face in the workplace. If these guidelines become standards, they will…
Many people think assault and battery are one and the same. However, under Illinois law, they are two separate offenses. The crime of assault in Illinois refers to intentional actions that cause a person to feel afraid of impending violence. Battery in Illinois consists of insulting or provoking physical contact, including intentionally pushing or harming someone, such as hitting and injuring them with a dangerous object. Domestic battery is when battery is committed against a family or household member, such as a spouse, intimate romantic partner, or child. If certain conditions are present during the commission of this crime, it…
Although babies are born every day, complications during childbirth can result in serious to fatal injuries. Even if a woman is not considered high risk and has a pregnancy without any medical issues, problems can sometimes occur during labor and delivery if she is not closely monitored. If delivering at a hospital, medical staff have a duty of care to keep the mother and baby safe. However, when there is a lapse in judgment or training, medical mistakes or errors can be made. This may be considered medical malpractice or negligence if birth injuries occur as a result. If you…