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Gathering Evidence for a Dog Attack Injury ClaimThe injuries you can suffer from a dog attack are painful, whether they are from a bite or being knocked down. As uncomfortable as the situation may be, it is sometimes necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner. Illinois’ strict liability law makes the process easier than in some states because you do not need to prove that the owner was negligent. The only situations in which the owner is not liable are if you provoked the dog or if you were trespassing on the property. Gathering evidence is still important in order to prove the severity of your injuries and to connect those injuries to the dog attack. There are several details you must collect in a dog attack lawsuit:

  1. Owner Information: In order to file a dog injury lawsuit, you need to know who owns the dog. If the owner is not present, you can ask nearby property owners if they recognize the dog. Once you have found the owner, you need the contact information for them and their insurance company, if they have one. 
  2. Police Reports: It may be necessary to call 911 after a dog attack if your injuries are severe or you believe that the dog may be a danger to others. If police or animal control are dispatched to the scene, they will create a report on the incident and the action that they took. You can obtain a copy of that report as evidence of the details of the attack.
  3. Witness Accounts: You should talk to anyone who may have seen the dog attack and ask them to provide testimony during your case. A witness could tell what happened during the attack and refute a claim that you provoked the dog.
  4. Physical Evidence: Having the presence of mind to document and save physical evidence of the attack will be useful during a lawsuit. Have someone take pictures of your injuries, including bite marks. Save clothing that was torn during the attack.
  5. Doctor’s Reports: You should seek medical attention after a dog attack to treat your injuries and check for other injuries that you may not have noticed. Your doctor’s report will establish the extent of your injuries and how they are related to the dog attack.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

You have two years after your dog attack incident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner, but it can be helpful to start the process well before then. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can explain how much compensation you may be able to receive in your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Illinois Expunging Low-Level Marijuana Possession ConvictionsThousands of Illinois residents are already taking advantage of the legalization of recreational marijuana that was enacted at the beginning of the year. Many people had already received a gift before the end of 2019: a pardon of their past marijuana possession conviction. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced the pardons of more than 11,000 misdemeanor marijuana offenses, which are now eligible for automatic expungement. This number is only the beginning as Illinois estimates that there are 116,000 records that are eligible for automatic expungement. The stated goal of expungement is to help people whose opportunities have been limited by the stigma of a low-level marijuana conviction on their criminal record.

Expungement vs. Pardon

The terms “pardon” and “expungement” are being used interchangeably when talking about the Illinois marijuana law, but the two actions are different:

  • A pardon is an executive order to forgive someone for a crime.
  • An expungement is removing an arrest or conviction from someone’s criminal record.

Receiving a pardon is one way to become eligible for expungement. Another would be a court order to vacate a conviction. Expungement is a superior outcome as opposed to sealing a criminal record, which is what most criminal convictions in Illinois are limited to. Sealing limits who can see a conviction on a criminal record, while expungement treats the conviction like it never happened.

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Disagreeing on Whether to Sell Your House During DivorceMany couples going through a divorce will agree to sell their marital home rather than deciding on which one of them will keep it. The size and cost of the house may be impractical for one person, and including the house in the division of property can make it more difficult to equitably divide the properties. By selling the house, the divorcees can more easily divide the money that they receive from the sale. However, what can you do if your spouse will not agree to sell your house? You may have legal remedies that will allow you to sell your home, depending on whether your spouse is being unreasonable in obstructing the sale.

Reasoning

Before trying to force the sale of your marital home, you should consider why your spouse is objecting to the sale. They may have a good reason for not wanting to sell the house or wanting to wait before moving forward with the sale:

  • They may want to settle other financial issues related to the divorce so they will know whether they can still afford the marital home.
  • They may be trying to avoid uprooting your children during the school year.
  • They may have a personal connection to the house if it belonged to a relative.
  • They may believe that you need to make renovations to the home before selling it.
  • They may believe that the housing market will become more favorable if you wait.

Your spouse may also try to prevent the sale for impractical reasons, such as wanting to delay having to move out or being spiteful towards you.

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Cold Temperatures Can Be Dangerous for WorkersThe cold weather that is typical of winter in northern Illinois is more than an inconvenience for workers. Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause severe or even fatal damage. In some cases, people will suffer permanent damage that creates a disability. Workers can take precautions to protect themselves against the cold, but employers also have a duty to protect their employees. If you have suffered damage due to being exposed to the cold while working, you can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Cold Stress Injuries

As your body temperature drops when you are continuously cold, your body will work to warm itself. Your body prioritizes keeps your organs warm and functioning, which means that your extremities receive less blood flow and are at greater risk of cold stress conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and tissue, which can cause neuropathy in or require the amputation of:

  • Fingers
  • Toes
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Ears
  • Nose

Trenchfoot is a less severe form of frostbite that can cause blistering and an itching or burning sensation. Hypothermia is an extreme drop in body temperature that can be fatal if not treated. The long-term effects of hypothermia can cause stress to the heart, which is particularly serious for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

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Recognizing and Guarding Yourself Against Drivers with Road RageAccording to a recent survey of drivers in the U.S., 82 percent confessed to having road rage in the past year. When you are in a bad mood, it is easy for the minor annoyances of driving to make you angry. Problems arise when road rage turns into aggressive driving. People who drive aggressively and fueled by anger are more likely to cause a traffic accident, which may seriously injure someone. It is important to be able to identify aggressive drivers on the road and to know how to protect yourself against them.

Signs of Aggression

Drivers who are experiencing road rage will often travel at high speeds and show little regard for the safety of others. Aggressive driving behavior may include:

  • Tailgating, which is following a vehicle too closely
  • Excessive use of the car horn
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Obscene or threatening gestures and language

In extreme cases of road rage, the driver may target someone and attempt to cause them harm, such as using a weapon or exiting their vehicle with the intent to start a fight.

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