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Glenview wrongful death lawyerLast month, the governor of Illinois signed the Family Bereavement Leave Act. This new law amends the Child Bereavement Leave Act (CBLA) and expands the scope of unpaid bereavement leave that is available to Illinois workers. This new law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

The previous law only covered the loss of a child or stepchild. Under the new law, however, a two-week, unpaid bereavement leave extends to employees who have experienced a stillbirth, pregnancy loss, and a number of other types of losses.

Unintentional Acts

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 1 and 24 is unintentional injuries. One in five child deaths is a result of unintentional injury.

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Northbrook personal injury attorneyRear-end crashes are one of the most common car accidents that occur. Although many of these types of crashes are considered “minor,” the reality is that the injuries that victims suffer in these accidents can result in long-term or even permanent medical issues.

Common Causes of Rear-End Crashes

In the majority of rear-end accidents, the incidents were preventable and would not have occurred if the driver in the rear had not engaged in some kind of negligent or reckless driving behavior. The most common acts include:

  • Distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone, setting the GPS, fiddling with the radio, talking to a passenger, or eating and drinking

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Cook County Car Crash LawyerGiven how much time we spend in our vehicles, it is not surprising that many people will add personalized touches to them. We add bumper stickers, seat covers, and even sentimental items on the dashboard. Many drivers will also hang mementos and other items from their rearview mirrors, like air fresheners, stuffed animals, and graduation tassels. What many drivers do not realize is that these items can actually obstruct their view, resulting in a serious car accident.

What Does Illinois Law Say?

Having items hanging from a rearview mirror can block the driver’s visibility, which can end up causing a crash. This is one reason why it is illegal under Illinois law to have objects in places that could block the driver’s view. According to the statute:

“No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any objects placed or suspended between the driver and the front windshield, rear window, side wings or side windows immediately adjacent to each side of the driver which materially obstructs the driver's view.”

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Cook County Truck Crash Injury LawyerThe United States has struggled with a drug epidemic for decades. According to national statistics, almost 500,000 people died from opioid overdoses – both prescription and illicit – between 1999 to 2019. Millions of people continue to struggle with an addiction that not only impacts their personal lives but their professional lives, as well. One industry where this has been a significant problem is the trucking industry. Many truck drivers are operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs, putting everyone on the roads with them in danger.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that regulates the trucking industry. In an effort to combat the number of drivers who are using drugs and/or alcohol, the FMSCA created the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a secure online database that provides information about drug and alcohol violations for all commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial learners permit (CLP) holders. The clearinghouse is accessible for truck industry employers, state departments of motor vehicles, and law enforcement agencies.

One of the critical pieces of information the database provides is data on failed drug and alcohol tests. This is one way that trucking companies can find out if a potential new employee has failed testing in the past. Since January 2020, there have been more than four million inquiries to the database.

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Cook County Dog-Related Injury LawyerDogs can be sweet and kind. However, dogs are still animals capable of inflicting serious injuries. Studies show that dog-related injuries are occurring more and more frequently and currently account for over a third of homeowner insurance claims. Illinois is ranked second in the nation for dog bite injury claims.

If your or a family member were bitten by a dog or otherwise sustained injuries because of a dog, you may be able to file an injury claim and recover damages. You could be compensated for medical costs, pain and suffering, and more.

Liability for Dog Injuries

A dog’s owner may be legally responsible for any injuries caused by his or her dog. In Illinois, the owners are liable for dog-related injuries if:

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Cook County Commercial Truck Crash LawyerSemi-trucks and other large commercial trucks allow goods to be shipped from one end of the country to the other and are vital to modern commerce. However, when large commercial trucks are involved in a crash, the results can be catastrophic. Large commercial truck accidents often result in severe injuries including brain and spine injuries, amputations, burns, broken bones, and internal organ damage. Truck accident victims that survive their injuries often require considerable medical care including ongoing rehabilitative treatment. The financial losses associated with a commercial truck crash can be massive, but truck accident victims and their families may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim.   

Legal Responsibility for Truck Accident Injuries

Countless factors can cause a large commercial truck crash. Sometimes, inadequate vehicle maintenance causes problems with the truck’s brakes, steering, or hydraulics which cause or contribute to a serious crash. Other times, the root cause of a truck accident is truck driver negligence. Truck drivers who are too fatigued to drive safely or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can make deadly mistakes behind the wheel. Texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving are also major risk factors.

Improper loading and securement of truck freight can also lead to terrible accidents. When truck cargo is not packed on or in the truck securely, it can shift around and cause the truck to become unbalanced and hard to manage. Cargo may even fall off of the truck and onto the road. Motorists may collide with the fallen cargo or cause accidents trying to avoid colliding with the cargo.

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northbrook brain injury lawyerAccording to national statistics, more than 150 people die from brain-trauma-related injuries each day. One year-long study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that about 1.5 million people suffer a brain injury each year.

The medical definition of a traumatic brain injury is any injury to the head which disrupts or interferes with the victim’s normal brain function. Many of these types of injuries are sustained in accidents that were caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for losses the injury has caused.

For many victims, a brain injury results in permanent life changes. Many suffer from memory loss, chronic headaches, and permanent brain damages. Although a brain injury can occur in any type of accident, the following are the most common.

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glenview nursing home abuse lawyerMany families are forced to make the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home because they have reached the point where they can no longer live on their own and require round-the-clock care and assistance. Nursing home staff are responsible for helping residents with their personal hygiene tasks, such as showering and dressing, as well as making sure they take their medication, eat right, and participate in socializing. The law requires that these duties are carried out with both compassion and care.

But not all nursing home staff obey these laws, and when they fail to comply, the results can result in serious injury or even death for a resident. A nursing home resident who is not physically or mentally able to care for their own needs could forget to eat, take their medication, wander off the facility, or fall because no one is supervising them. It is critical for all families to be aware of any signs that could indicate their loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.

Warning Signs of Neglect or Abuse

There are many ways that nursing home neglect can occur. Residents can be denied food and liquids, denied use of the bathroom facilities, or denied help to take care of their personal hygiene needs. The facility itself can be cluttered, unclean, or there could be environmental hazards, such as medical waste not properly disposed of that could be dangerous for residents.

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glenview injury lawyerWhen an accident victim has suffered an injury, they may not realize that they have been injured. This is because there are many types of injuries that do not present symptoms right away. These injuries can take days, or even weeks, before symptoms began to appear and the victim realizes something is wrong. These delayed symptom injuries can occur in vehicle crashes, slip and fall incidents, or any other type of accidents.

Dealing with Delayed Symptoms

Delayed symptoms are one reason why personal injury attorneys recommend that victims do not settle with their claims with insurance companies right away. It is also why insurance companies do try to get victims to settle quickly. Once you have accepted a settlement, your accident claim is closed, even if it turns out you have suffered a serious injury.

Since there is always a risk in any kind of accidents that injury symptoms may be delayed, it is always recommended that victims get checked out by a medical professional following any kind of incident, even if they do not believe they have been hurt.

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glenview personal injuryThe month of April has been designated as National Youth Sports Safety Month. One of the best ways for children to stay healthy and make new friends is participate in school-related or recreational sports. Although it can be fun for a child to be part of a team and learn about engaging in healthy competition with others, it is important for parents to be aware of the injury risks associated with these activities. It is also important for parents to realize that just as they are responsible for keeping their children safe, so too are the school officials, coaches, and recreational staff who are also involved in these activities.

Sports-Related Injury Awareness

It is estimated that more than 2.5 million children are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports-related injuries in the United States. There are a number of activities that children engage in that can result in serious injuries. Some of the more common include:

  • Baseball

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shutterstock_649067740.jpgIn the majority of vehicle accidents that take place, there is typically one driver who is found to be at fault for the crash. That driver is the one that, under the law, is responsible for the losses the accident causes, such as injuries or damage to property. If the driver who is at fault is a private citizen, then usually the victim files a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. If the at-fault driver was working for a business at the time of the crash, then the victim would typically file a claim against the company’s insurance company. When the crash involves a ridesharing vehicle, determining the at-fault party becomes much more complicated.

How Is Liability Determined?

In ridesharing crashes, the driver’s status at the time of the crash is what will determine how the accident claim will be filed. According to company policies:

If the ridesharing driver was at fault in the accident, did not have the driver app on, and had no passengers in the vehicle, then any accident claim needs to be filed against the at-fault driver’s own insurance company.

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shutterstock_510633088.jpgWhen a drunk driver causes injury to a victim, that victim not only can pursue damages from the drunk driver, but they can also pursue damages from the establishment that sold the alcohol to that driver. This action can be done under the Illinois Liquor Control Act. The majority of these actions occur as a result of drunk driving accidents; however, there are some other scenarios where the law could also apply.

Dram Shop Law

Under the Illinois Liquor Control Act, as referred to as the Dram Shop Act, any person who is injured (or the victim’s family if the victim is killed) due to the actions of an intoxicated individual can pursue legal action against any party licensed to sell alcohol who caused the intoxication by selling or giving alcohol to the individual. Affected parties can be:

  • An establishment, such as a bar or restaurant, that sells alcohol to individuals who consume the alcohol on the premises.

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shutterstock_1144538219.jpgLosing a family member is always heartbreaking, even when that loss was expected, such as old age or a terminal illness. But when their death was caused by the negligent action or behavior of someone else, families are often left devastated by the suddenness and shock of it all. Not only are families left with the emotional devastation, but the victim’s death can also cause financial hardship, especially if he or she was the primary breadwinner for the family. In these types of tragedies, the family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against those parties who are deemed legally liable for the victim’s death.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

According to Illinois law, wrongful death is defined as one that is caused “by wrongful act, neglect or default.” One way to understand what would constitute a wrongful death is that under the same circumstances, had the victim lived, they would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the party or parties that caused the accident that resulted in their injuries.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

The law states that there are only certain survivors of the victim that may pursue a wrongful death action. These include:

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glenview car crash lawyerMost drivers have had the experience of being on the road and suddenly hearing sirens or seeing red flashing lights. We pull over in time to see a fire truck, police cars, or other emergency vehicles go racing by. Emergency responders provide a valuable service and are generally the first on the scene when threatening and tragic events happen but getting caught in front or alongside them on the road can put you in a potentially dangerous situation, making car accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

Emergency Vehicle Accidents

Police, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) workers have the authority to go above speed limits and to disregard traffic signs and signals to protect the public and save lives in potentially dangerous situations. Unfortunately, these driving behaviors are among the leading causes of car accidents and injuries. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that emergency vehicle accidents pose enough of a hazard on roads and highways to warrant additional studies on how these accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them. In addition to the high rates of speed these vehicles travel in carrying out their duties, other factors involved in these accidents include the following:

  • Driver distraction: Emergency vehicles come equipped with the latest cameras and communications technology, allowing them to communicate with dispatchers and other first responders in their efforts to manage a crisis. Unfortunately, responding to communications and using visual aids are a major distraction, which is a leading cause of car accidents.

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IL accident lawyerMost people have busy lives, and it is understandable for a person to want to be able to complete multiple tasks at once, especially when they are engaged in routine activities that do not seem to require their full attention. However, multitasking while driving is not just a bad idea, but it can have deadly results. Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous practices that a driver can engage in, and it is far too common on the roads in the United States. These unsafe behaviors lead to thousands of fatal car accidents every year, as well as tens of thousands of non-fatal injuries. Drivers, passengers, or others who are injured by distracted drivers will want to understand their options for pursuing financial compensation that will address the damages they have suffered.

The Most Dangerous Types of Distracted Driving

While distracted driving can come in many forms, distractions that affect drivers can generally be grouped into three categories:

  • Visual distractions - These include any actions that cause a driver to look away from the road. This can cause a driver to miss important details, such as vehicles that are approaching an intersection, cars that have slowed down in front of them, pedestrians that are attempting to cross the road, or obstacles in a lane of traffic. Inability to notice these details may not allow a person enough time to respond and avoid colliding with a vehicle, pedestrian, or obstacle.
  • Manual distractions - These include situations where a person takes their hands off the steering wheel or takes other actions that cause them to not be in full control of their car. In these cases, a person’s reaction time will increase, since they will need additional time to regain control of their vehicle before they can react to conditions on the road. Even a split-second delay can affect a person’s ability to avoid a collision.
  • Cognitive distractions - Failure to fully pay attention to the road can affect a person’s ability to notice important details and respond correctly to changing conditions. Attention that is diverted to other tasks will result in a narrowed field of vision and longer reaction times.

While each of these types of distractions can be deadly on their own, actions that combine multiple types of distractions are especially dangerous. For example, eating and drinking while driving will often require a person to look away from the road and use their hands to hold food and beverages.

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Il accident lawyerWinters in the Chicago area can be dangerous. Large amounts of snowfall, below-freezing temperatures that last for weeks at a time, and other weather conditions can lead to slippery surfaces that may cause slip-and-fall accidents. These accidents can result in multiple types of serious injuries, including broken bones, dislocated joints such as wrists or knees, whiplash, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, and other forms of bodily harm. In these situations, injury victims will often wonder who was responsible for an accident, and they will want to determine their options for pursuing compensation from a property owner or another party who acted in a way that put them at risk of harm. By understanding how Illinois law addresses these cases, victims can determine their options for seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Liability for Slip-and-Fall Injuries Caused by Snow and Ice

While property owners or managers are often required by city ordinances to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and other walking surfaces, the laws in Illinois provide them with some protection from liability. In most cases, a property owner cannot be held liable for their efforts to clear snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property, and this immunity also extends to property managers, tenants, occupants, or other agents who perform snow removal work. Because of this, property owners are usually shielded from liability in cases where slip-and-fall accidents take place because snow or ice naturally accumulated.

Many cases involving slip-and-fall injuries rest on the question of whether snow or ice accumulated naturally. A natural accumulation may include snow that fell during a snowstorm or ice that formed due to cold temperatures or freezing rain. However, if snow or ice accumulated unnaturally, a property owner may be liable for slip-and-fall accidents. For example, if the gutters on a building were not properly maintained, this may have caused water to drip onto a sidewalk below, causing ice to form unnaturally and creating a dangerous slipping hazard. In these cases, a property owner may be liable for slip-and-fall injuries.

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IL injury lawyerBus accidents have the potential to be very dangerous and injure a lot of people at once. Passengers inside typically lack seatbelts and are vulnerable to being thrown during a crash. Those who were standing on a crowded bus are in particular danger of being seriously injured. Personal vehicles do not stand a chance in a collision with a heavy bus, which puts others on the road at extreme risk when the bus does not operate safely. The responsibility of a bus driver to drive safely is crucial because bus accidents can be so devastating.

Unfortunately, not every driver or every bus company takes that duty seriously enough. If you were hurt in a bus accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as you can so he can begin preserving evidence right away.

What Careless Practices Lead to Bus Crashes?

Buses are not easy vehicles to drive. They are large, cumbersome, and make wide turns. It can be difficult to see well at all times. Driving a bus safely requires focus and proper training. The bus company is also responsible for performing routine inspections and maintenance to ensure that a vehicular failure will not cause a wreck. Common reasons bus crashes may happen anyway include:

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IL injury lawyerDrunk driving is against the law for a very good reason - it is extremely dangerous. Sober drivers who make a mistake can sometimes still correct themselves and avoid an accident. Drunk drivers lack the reflexes to self-correct and are more likely to cause an accident. Plus, drunk drivers often make serious mistakes like going the wrong way on an interstate that sober drivers are less prone to. If you were injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, calling an attorney who can help you recover compensation would be wise.

What Types of Crashes Might Drunk Drivers Cause?

Drunk driving accidents can be more serious than accidents involving two sober drivers. The behavior of a drunk driver can be entirely unpredictable, both before and after the crash. Drunk drivers tend to cause these types of dangerous collisions:

  • Head-on - Drunk or drugged drivers are notorious for going the wrong way. Whether they’ve driven up the off-ramp on a highway, skipped a median, or missed a one-way sign, intoxicated people may cause a head-on collision with a driver who is on the correct side of the street. This presents an enormous danger, as there is little to shield the drivers from the force of the crash.
  • T-bone - Stop signs and stoplights may not have the same significance to a drunk driver that they would to everyone else on the road - it is not uncommon for a person under the influence to fail to notice or yield in time. This can result in t-bone collisions when the drunk driver does not stop and strikes another vehicle that was lawfully in the intersection.
  • Rear-end - Stopping in time to avoid hitting the car in front of you can be a challenge for drivers who are over the limit. Drunk drivers may also fail to take weather-related road conditions, like ice or snow, into consideration when calculating their stopping distance. What is so dangerous about rear-end collisions caused by drunk drivers is that their delayed reflexes may not allow them to hit the brakes and at least mitigate the force of the accident by slowing down. While sober drivers often skid into the vehicle in front of them, drunk drivers may collide at full speed.
  • High-speed - Serious spinal, head, and neck injuries tend to result from high-speed crashes. Drunk drivers are often reckless, operating at dangerously high speeds and taking turns too quickly. This can cause major problems for others on the road who may not be able to avoid an out-of-control vehicle going well over the speed limit.

If you were involved in an accident with a driver who appears intoxicated, make sure to use extra safety precautions after the accident and then contact an attorney as soon as possible.

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IL injury lawyerFew things in life are nearly as painful as losing a loved one. No matter what the circumstances, the loss of a close family member has a devastating impact on your life. When your loved one was killed because someone else acted tortiously, the pain of the loss can be magnified. No settlement will bring back your family member or fully repair the damage that has been done, but a financial award can reduce the harm your family will face. Courts do the best they can to total the monetary losses associated with a wrongful death and to compensate the decedent’s family as fully as possible. An attorney can help you determine what financial hardships you may be eligible to receive compensation for.

What Will a Wrongful Death Award Pay For?

There are a lot of costs associated with a death in the family. Besides the funeral and medical expenses, you are likely going to be impacted by the loss of your relative’s income and support. In a wrongful death action, you could be compensated for:

  • End-of-life costs - Costs associated with holding a funeral and burial or cremation, as well as charges for any medical treatment your family member may have received before passing away are compensable in a wrongful death action. Any pain and suffering your relative was forced to endure before death can also be accounted for.
  • Lost income - If your loved one was the primary breadwinner or you relied on their earnings, you may be able to recover monies to make up for lost income.
  • Emotional distress - Your own pain and suffering over losing your family member in this way is probably significant and you may need counseling to treat your emotional injuries. If you were near your relative when the fatal injury happened and suffered serious mental trauma as a result, the amount of emotional damages you can receive may be higher.
  • Parental guidance - The guidance and moral support a child receives from their parent is impossible to assign a monetary value to because no number would be sufficient. However, when a child wrongfully loses a parent, courts will try to make the child whole again in the only way it can.
  • Punitive damages - In some cases, the court will feel that the defendant’s conduct was so egregious that he should be punished for it on top of paying reasonable compensation to your family.

Adding up the damages can be overwhelming. An attorney will be able to help you calculate the amount you should ask for in court.

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Why Do Hit and Run Drivers Flee?

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL injury lawyerFew things in life are more frustrating than being the victim in a hit-and-run car crash. You are left on the side of the road, injured, and unsure how you are going to recover compensation. Lawyers and police officers have ways of tracking down hit and run drivers - it is more likely than you may think that they will ultimately be caught. No reason is a good enough reason for fleeing the scene of an accident you caused, but there are a handful of very common excuses drivers give to explain their criminal behavior.

If you were hurt by a hit-and-run driver, it is extremely important that you file a police report and then promptly contact an attorney. The sooner an investigation can begin, the more likely it is that the other driver will be caught and you will recover damages from him.

For What Reasons Do Drivers Flee Accident Scenes?

To the surprise of few, most of the reasons why drivers run away after causing a crash involve some kind of illegal activity. Drivers who were generally following the law but made a mistake typically stop. Drivers who were already doing something illegal when they caused the crash are more likely to take off. Here are a few common reasons the driver who just hit you may keep going:

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