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Car Accident Injuries Are Not Always Immediately ObviousA major car accident can be one of the scariest moments of a person’s life. Car crashes can happen in the blink of any eye and may leave a person unsure of what has even happened. In the chaotic moments after a traumatic event such as a traffic accident, a person may be in shock. “Fight or flight” hormones are coursing through his or her bloodstream increasing heart rate and masking the feeling of pain. Many people do not realize the extent of the injuries they sustained in a car accident until days or weeks later. This is one reason that it is so important to get medical care immediately following a major accident.

Whiplash Symptoms Might Not Appear for Days After an Accident

One of the most common injuries people suffer in a car accident is whiplash, which occurs when a sudden, forceful movement causes the muscles, ligaments, or bones of the neck to be damaged. Violent acceleration or deceleration from a car crash is a common cause of whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash often include neck pain, stiffness, numbness or tingling, weakness, reduced mobility, headache, and shoulder and back pain. In some cases, a person suffering from whiplash can also experience vision problems, dizziness, tinnitus, emotional changes, memory and concentration problems, and fatigue. These symptoms may be unnoticeable or very minor immediately following an accident and then get worse and worse over time.

Traumatic Brain Injuries May Take Time to Notice

More than half of all traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are sustained during traffic accidents. TBI can be caused by an object such as a shard of skull piercing the brain as well as non-penetrative damage. Many TBI occur when a powerful blow to the head causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull. If a person hits their head on the windshield of their car during an accident, for example, they may suffer a TBI. The only outer indication that a head injury even occurred may be a small cut or bruise. The injured person may not realize how serious the inner damage to the brain is unless they get checked out by a doctor. TBI can cause long-term problems with memory, balance, sight, communication, and mental wellbeing.

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3 Ways to Remind Your Child That Your Divorce Is Not Their FaultWhen faced with the reality of divorcing parents, many children internalize the struggle between the parents. They are usually not privy to the countless closed-door disagreements and difficulties that may have existed for years. Instead, children will often turn inward, blaming themselves for their parents’ inability to get along and, ultimately, for the divorce. While you and your spouse may understand that it is not your child’s fault, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child understands as well.

#1: Talk Openly, But Carefully

If possible, you and your spouse should talk to your child together about your impending divorce before it becomes a reality. The two of you need to make clear that the divorce is based on issues between the adults. Your child did not cause it, and your child cannot fix it. It is also important to be age-appropriate when considering what details to share with your child. For example, the challenges of raising children may have, in fact, contributed to the breakdown of your marriage. Your first-grader, however, may interpret that as being to blame by nature of his or her existence.

#2: Invite Communication

Once your child knows about your divorce, it is important not to place expectations on him or her regarding how to handle the news. Everyone — adults and children — will need to deal with the situation in their own ways. Do not ask your child to keep secrets; instead, share only as much as you would be comfortable with other people knowing. Do not demand that your child talks to you. Instead, provide a safe environment for him or her to express feelings and concerns without judgment or consequences.

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What Are the Risks When Refusing a Breath Test in Illinois?As the state of Illinois continues to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, more and more people are starting to venture to the state’s bars and restaurants once again. This means that patrons again have access to establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. If you decide to go out and enjoy a few drinks with a small group of friends, you should know that police departments around the region are on the lookout for drunk drivers. As a result, you could be stopped and asked to take a breath test to make sure that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit. Regardless of how much you have had to drink, refusing a breath test under certain circumstances could lead to serious consequences.

Illinois’ Implied Consent Laws

When you drive on the public streets and highways of Illinois, state law presumes that you have given your “implied consent” to submit to BAC testing. In the course of a traffic stop, the officer may request a preliminary breath test as part of his or her efforts to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI). If the officer establishes probable cause and arrests you, you will be asked to submit to an evidentiary BAC test.

There is an important distinction between the two types of testing. Preliminary BAC testing is not generally admissible as evidence in court, and you can refuse a preliminary BAC test with no formal consequences. Of course, your refusal is likely to make the officer look a bit harder for other indications that you are intoxicated. Once you are arrested, however, things change dramatically. If you refuse an evidentiary BAC test subsequent to an arrest on suspicion of DUI, you will almost certainly lose your driver’s license.

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How Can I Protect Myself From Uninsured Drivers?Any driver knows that he or she assumes certain risks by getting behind the wheel. A driver with a history of safe driving often believes those risks to be fairly well minimized. After an accident, however, even the best drivers may find themselves financially impacted by the actions of others, especially if those others are underinsured or uninsured drivers.

Uninsured Drivers

There are an estimated 32 million vehicle owners in the U.S. currently without auto insurance. This means that nearly 13 percent of drivers on the road have no protection in the event of an accident, and in some states, the number is closer to 25 percent. Industry estimates suggest that more than $2 billion is paid annually on uninsured driver claims, not including fatalities or claims of permanent disability.

Insurance industry experts recognize that uninsured drivers usually struggle to afford the cost of insurance premiums. Many drivers who are able to maintain coverage often buy only the minimum coverage required in their states, which, in many cases, is insufficient for serious accidents. Consumer Reports found that the average cost of medical care for a “non-incapacitating injury” after an auto accident was $23,400, higher than the minimum bodily injury requirement in 14 states.

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McHenry County family lawyerWhen a couple gets married, it is not at all uncommon for a spouse to take her partner’s last name as a symbol of their union. Some partners choose to hyphenate their surnames so as to keep their own identity while adding their spouse’s name to theirs. When a marriage comes to an end, it is relatively easy—and usually part of the standard divorce paperwork—for a spouse who changed her name to change it back during the proceedings. But, what about the children of a divorcing couple? It turns out that changing the name of a minor child in Illinois may be more complicated than most people realize.

What Does the Law Say?

Most legal details surrounding marriage and divorce are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5), but name changes are typically made in accordance with the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5). The statute provides that changing the name of a minor child will only be approved if the court finds “by clear and convincing evidence that the change is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.” A separate provision in the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46) allows for a child’s name to be changed if both parents agree, though this law is typically utilized in cases of unmarried parents or when parentage is in question.

Considerations of the Court

According to the law, when considering a name change for a minor child, the court is required to take into account all of the relevant factors of the case, including:

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