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Contesting a Hit and Run Criminal ChargeAny person involved in a vehicle accident that results in property damage or personal injury has a duty to remain at the scene and report the incident. Police must arrive at the scene to document the incident, and parties involved must exchange contact and insurance information. Leaving the site of an accident prematurely – commonly known as hit and run – is a criminal offense. The charge can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving only property damage is a class A misdemeanor;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which a person was injured is a class 4 felony if the offender still reports the accident within a half hour;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which a person was injured and not reporting it within a half hour is a class 2 felony; and
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which a person died is a class 1 felony.

It can be difficult to defend against a hit and run charge because there are few circumstances in which it is appropriate to leave the scene of an accident. There are a couple of ways to successfully argue against the charge:

  1. Mistaken Identity: The person accused may be uninvolved in the incident. Witnesses can make mistakes when identifying a vehicle. Someone other than the owner of the vehicle may have been driving it.
  2. Moving to Safety: Drivers involved in an accident must try to move their vehicle out of the path of oncoming traffic. If the driver does this while the police officer is at the scene, the officer may mistakenly believe that the driver was trying to flee.
  3. Not Aware: Though difficult to prove, a driver may not have known that he or she struck a vehicle and injured a person. The defense will need to show whether it was reasonable for the driver to have been unaware of the accident.
  4. Emergency Situations: A driver in a rush to transport someone to the hospital may cause an accident. A court may excuse someone leaving an accident site due to a medical emergency, as long as that person made a reasonable effort to report the accident later.
  5. Involuntary Intoxication: Being under the influence of an intoxicating substance is not a defense against leaving the scene of an accident. However, someone who was drugged against his or her will may not be responsible for his or her decisions.

Figuring Out Your Defense 

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Client Efforts Can Help Save Money on DivorceLegal fees can accumulate when you are going through your divorce. For each meeting you hold and legal action you request, your divorce attorney will add work hours to your bill. Attorneys are a necessary expense during a divorce because their legal knowledge is irreplaceable. Trying to handle your divorce on your own could be more expensive because of the hours you would need to devote to it and the risk of making mistakes. Still, some clients incur unnecessary legal expenses during their divorces. There are ways to save money on your divorce while still having high-quality legal representation.

Be Prepared

There are certain financial details that any divorce attorney will need to know before you start negotiations. When you do not provide the information yourself, your attorney will spend many billable hours researching that information. You can save your attorney time and yourself money by coming to your initial divorce meeting with:

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Suing a Third Party for a Workplace InjuryThe Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act was created in part so that injured workers would not need to file personal injury lawsuits against their employers. As long as the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the employer can cover the worker’s medical expenses without a direct cost to itself. By collecting the workers’ compensation benefits, the worker is not allowed to sue the employer for additional damages. However, an injured worker can file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was responsible for the injury. The worker may seek the damages in addition to his or her workers’ compensation.

Benefits of Lawsuits

Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to pay for the medical expenses needed for a worker to reach maximum medical improvement. Workers may also be compensated for lost pay if they are disabled and unable to fully return to work. Workers can receive greater compensation with a personal injury lawsuit because they can also request money for:

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Winter Puts Pedestrians in Peril of Vehicle AccidentsPedestrians and drivers, alike, need to be aware of each other during winter weather. Each tends to focus on navigating snow and ice accumulations to avoid their own accidents. While distracted, they may not see each other until it is too late to avoid a collision. It is necessary for both sides to use greater caution during the winter in order to prevent a pedestrian injury.

Sidewalks and Streets

Illinois law states that pedestrians may not walk along the side of the road if there is an available sidewalk. However, snow can pile up on sidewalks because of a property owner not clearing it or a plow truck pushing snow from the street and onto the sidewalk. If the sidewalk is impassable, the pedestrian may need to walk in the street to continue forward. Pedestrians are instructed to stay on the edge of the road, so as to avoid vehicles. In this scenario, determining fault after a vehicle-pedestrian accident can vary:

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Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Law on Weapons Possession Near Public ParksIn the interest of public safety, Illinois restricts the areas in which people are allowed to carry weapons. Police may arrest a person who caught in possession of a weapon within 1,000 feet of a:

  • School;
  • Public park;
  • Courthouse;
  • Public transportation facility; or
  • Public housing complex.

It is a class 3 felony to carry a firearm near any of these locations unless the firearm is dismantled or unloaded and in a case. Allowing laws such as this must be weighed against a person’s constitutional right to carry a weapon for self-defense. The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that the weapons ban for 1,000 feet around a public park is unconstitutional.

Recent Case

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