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personal injury judgment, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyerWith the New Year, most people are concerned about filing their taxes. However, for an individual who has suffered an injury and received a settlement, there may be a concern about paying a large amount in taxes based on the settlement.

Generally speaking in Illinois, money received as a result of a judgment or settlement in Illinois is not taxable as gross income. This is because these funds are considered to be received by the injured person as compensation. Therefore, sums received to pay for medical care and other associated costs which directly address the underlying loss are not taxed. However, funds awarded as a punishment to the defendant, that is, punitive damages, are taxable because they do not directly affect the injured party's loss. Another notable exception is for funds received for lost income or wages because the injured party's regular income or wages would have been taxed.

Under federal law, whether or not you pay taxes on compensation received depends on the kind of injury sustained and on what the compensation is based. Compensation that stems from physical injuries or sickness is generally not taxable depending on whether or not the taxpayer previously deducted his or her medical expenses. If a person receives compensation for emotional distress as a result of a physical injury or sickness, the funds are not considered taxable income either.

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reversing jury verdicts, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysThe feeling of relief, jubilation, or shock that a plaintiff in a personal injury case may experience upon being awarded a large verdict by a jury can quickly diminish if the verdict is reduced by a judge shortly after. The plaintiff may be surprised to learn that this is within the court's power, especially when he or she was relying on the jury to make the right decision.

In some cases, the reduction of an awarded jury verdict may be because there is a finding that the plaintiff was at fault in the incident that led to an injury. This is because Illinois is a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction. In Illinois, if a jury finds a plaintiff partially at fault, then it can reduce a verdict by the percentage of the fault attributable to the plaintiff. A plaintiff who is more than 50 percent at fault cannot recover damages at all.

In other cases, a plaintiff's jury award may be reduced where an appeals court determines that an award is excessive for one reason or another, including an improper award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded by a judge or jury to essentially send a message to the defendant and the public at large that the defendant's behavior was unacceptable. There are some cases in which punitive damages cannot be awarded. For example, punitive damages cannot be awarded in cases against a governmental entity. Awards of punitive damages in cases where a court finds that as a matter of law or policy they should not be awarded, it is likely that the award will be reversed.

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employer liability, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysIt is generally accepted in most states that an employer can be held responsible for the acts of an employee who causes personal injuries to others. In cases where an employer is found to be responsible for an employee's actions, it is based on the theory that the employer controls the employee. Therefore, everything the employee does in the course of his or her employment was done on behalf of the employer and for the employer's benefit.

There are some key considerations when determining whether an employer can be liable for the employee's actions. An initial examination may look at whether the act that causes injury to another was done in the course of the employee's job. If an employee is driving a car when he or she gets into an accident, whether or not the employer is liable may depend on whether he or she was headed to work, coming from work, or doing another task for the employer. Just because an employee is driving a company car does not automatically mean that the employer is liable if the employee gets in an accident. If the employee was on an errand for him or herself or for his or her own benefit, it is unlikely that the employer would be found liable.

An employer's liability can extend to the criminal acts of an employee if those acts are committed within the scope of the employee's employment. A court is unlikely to find most criminal acts to be within the scope of an employee's employment because a criminal act, such as a battery, assault, or theft, is for the benefit of the employee, not the employer.

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Posted on in Personal Injury
airbag recall, Takata airbags, Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneysIf you have airbags in your vehicle made by the Japanese manufacturer Takata Corporation, do not ignore the recall warnings. Various airbags made by Takata are dangerously defective and deploy with excessive force. When the airbag has an explosive release, shrapnel and metal fragments shoot throughout the surrounding area—you do not want that area to be the inside of your vehicle. To date, eight deaths and over 100 injuries have been linked to the airbag defect. To see if your vehicle is affected by this recall (or any recall), please check to see if your VIN number is listed on the recall list. The Basics

Nearly 34 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled due to these dangerous and defective airbags—the largest automotive recall in United States history. On November 3, 2015, the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) imposed the largest civil penalty ever on any company against Takata for its violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. At least 19 million vehicles in the United States are affected. The NHTSA has ordered Takata and the affected vehicle manufacturers to speed up the rate of repairs.

What is the Cause of the Defect?

The reason for the airbag recall is the defective inflator devices manufactured by Takata that sometimes deploy improperly during a crash. Metal fragments are shot into the vehicle and injure the occupants. The most commonly reported injuries include burns, lacerations, permanent scarring, blindness, and severe bleeding. Takata has known about the airbag issue since 2004, but never notified anyone.

What Vehicles are Subject to Recall?

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department store slip and fall, slip and fall case, Crystal Lake Personal Injury LawyersSlip and fall accidents are consistently one of the most common causes of personal injury in the United States. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Safety Council indicate that slip and fall accidents are responsible for almost nine million emergency departments each year. When slips, trips, or falls that result in injury are caused by someone else's negligence, injured victims are often legally entitled to financial compensation under Illinois law.

In order for people hurt in slip and fall accidents to recover, however, they must be able to establish that their accident was the result of someone else's negligence. In many cases, this requires the gathering of a significant amount of evidence. For this reason, it is critical for slip and fall victims to retain an attorney familiar with representing the legal rights of people hurt by the negligence of others.

There are several instances of property owner negligence that could potentially result in a serious injury-causing slip and fall accident. Some of the most common include the following:

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