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Recent blog posts

Does Not Wearing a Safety Belt Hurt Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?Buckling up while in a car is not only the law but potentially a life-saving practice. According to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration, 47 percent of the people who died in vehicle crashes in 2017 were not wearing a safety belt. Not wearing a safety belt or wearing it improperly puts you at risk of being thrown out of the vehicle during a crash or hitting your head inside the vehicle. In Illinois, all drivers and passengers age 8 and older are required to wear a safety belt, with a violation being a $25 fine. There is a separate car seat requirement for passengers younger than 8. Can you file a personal injury lawsuit if you were injured in an accident while not wearing a safety belt? Illinois law does not allow a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit to use the plaintiff’s lack of a safety belt as evidence that the plaintiff was negligent.

Seatbelt Defense

Illinois uses comparative fault to determine how much compensation a plaintiff will receive in a personal injury lawsuit. If the plaintiff was liable in part for the accident, their award in a lawsuit will be reduced. The percentage they receive from the award they request in the lawsuit will be equal to the percentage of fault that the defendant shared for the accident. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, they will receive nothing.

In some states, the defendant in a personal injury case is allowed to argue that the plaintiff’s negligence in not wearing a safety belt was partially responsible for their injuries. However, Illinois is one of the states that does not allow the “seatbelt defense.” Illinois’ law requiring safety belts includes a section stating that a violation of the law is not evidence of negligence and cannot limit someone’s ability to receive:

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Crystal Lake Criminal Defense LawyerOn March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), was passed by Congress and signed into law. 

The CARES Act is the largest economic bill in U.S. History, calling for nearly $2 trillion in spending, in part as an economic stimulus package to benefit small businesses and individuals.

Leaving aside provisions within the CARES to assist businesses, while the unemployment assistance program has been a prominent feature in the landscape of various coronavirus relief programs, there are a number of other such programs that may offer financial assistance for individuals, including:

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Posted on in BGL Law

By: Brian K. Stevens

McHenry County Criminal Defense Lawyer“But I was never read my rights!”

I probably hear this statement from at least one out of every three clients when they first come into my office.  And rightly so.  TV and movies often portray (incorrectly) situations where a suspect is not read their “rights” – and the next scene, after the commercial break, they are being released from jail with their charges dismissed. Let’s explore the issue of those “rights” in this article.

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How Illinois Residents Can Be Charged With Resisting ArrestThere are some laws in Illinois that are meant to punish people who interfere with a police officer who is performing their job. One such criminal charge is resisting arrest, which is when a person knowingly obstructs an officer’s efforts to detain them. Resisting arrest is often an additional charge, on top of the charge for which the person was arrested. A conviction in Illinois will result in a minimum of 48 hours in jail and 100 hours of community service. It is possible to contest a resisting arrest charge, but the law’s broadness makes it difficult.

What Counts as Resistance?

The law does not specify the actions that meet the definition of resistance or obstruction. This allows police officers to interpret various behaviors as “resisting arrest,” such as:

  • Fleeing from an officer
  • Not responding to the officer’s orders
  • Struggling when the officer is putting handcuffs onto the suspect

The fact that the police officer is often the aggressor during arrests makes avoiding a resisting arrest charge more difficult for the arrestee. When a police officer suddenly grabs or tackles you, your natural reaction is to protect yourself. You may believe that you have the right to resist the arrest if you have done nothing wrong and the police officer has no reason to arrest you. Unfortunately, you can be convicted for resisting arrest when the arrest was unlawful as long as you knew that you were under arrest.

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Care Act

The cornerstone of federal legislation for small business relief is the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). 

The CARES Act set aside $349 billion for government-guaranteed loans for small businesses, to cover eight weeks of payroll and other expenses.

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