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Recent blog posts

 Distracted Truck Drivers Can Cause Serious CrashesGetting into an accident with a commercial truck can result in devastating injuries to the occupants of a smaller passenger vehicle. Drivers are taught to be cautious around trucks, giving them ample space and being aware of their blind spots. However, an error by the truck driver can create a dangerous situation that other drivers are unable to avoid. Distracted driving is one of the primary causes of driver error in truck accidents. You may be able to receive personal injury compensation if you can prove that a truck driver was distracted leading up to your accident.

How Do Truck Drivers Get Distracted?

Commercial truck drivers are often fighting fatigue and boredom during the long hours they spend on the road. The driver may try to break the monotony by finding other activities to do while driving, such as using their phones or eating food. There are several ways that this can impair their driving ability:

  • Holding the object means at least one of their hands is not on the wheel.
  • They may be looking at the object when they should be watching the road.
  • If they drop the object, their impulse may be to reach for it, further taking their attention away from the road.
  • Even if their eyes are on the road, the activity may be mentally distracting.

Both federal and state laws make it illegal for truck drivers to use a cell phone while driving unless it is with a hands-free device. However, some drivers still do not follow the rules, which sometimes leads to an accident. 

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How Is Selling Drugs Treated Differently From Possessing Drugs?A conviction for possessing a controlled substance is a serious offense in Illinois. Depending on the drug involved and the amount in your possession, you could face years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines. A conviction for selling or delivering a controlled substance is more costly. Both the prison time and fine can be twice as long, and prosecutors are more likely to bring additional charges that are related to the offense. Though you want to avoid a drug possession conviction, it may be the preferable option if the alternative is a conviction for possessing drugs with the intent to deliver.

Proving Intent

Catching someone in the act of selling or attempting to sell a controlled substance shows intent by the person in possession of the substance. However, police can also accuse someone of intending to sell or deliver a controlled substance without witnessing a transaction. They will often cite circumstantial evidence as proof of intent. For instance, the police may deduce that someone intended to sell drugs if they possessed a quantity that is greater than what someone would have for personal use. Equipment used for manufacturing or distributing drugs and electronic conversations that suggest an intended transaction may also be evidence.

Level of Penalties

Just as with possession, the type and quantity of the controlled substance someone is accused of distributing will change the severity of the charge. Illinois categorizes controlled substances into five schedules, based on their potential for addiction and recognized medical benefits. Schedule I and II drugs are considered to be the most addictive and to have the fewest medical benefits. They include drugs such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamines. A conviction for delivering or intending to deliver these substances is severe. It is a Class X felony to sell 15 grams or more of these substances, which includes a fine of as much as $500,000 or equal to the street value of the drug. The possible prison sentence depends on how much someone possessed. You could face:

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When Can You Reduce or Terminate Spousal Maintenance?Spousal maintenance payments are reviewable and modifiable after a divorce unless you expressly say in the agreement that they are nonmodifiable. As the payer, there may come a point when you need to reduce the maintenance payments or terminate them. When are you allowed to modify and when can you eliminate your payments? How would you make this change? Some maintenance agreements have a designated review date, during which the court can decide whether to extend or adjust payments. You can also file a petition for modification of spousal maintenance, in which you must prove that a change in circumstances allows you to reduce or terminate your maintenance payments.

When Can You Reduce Payments?

Modifications to spousal maintenance most often occur because of a change in income for one of the parties. For instance, you may have lost your job or your pay may have been significantly reduced. While you still have some income, you can no longer afford the same maintenance payments while also paying for your living expenses. Another example is if your former spouse gets a new job that increases their income. It is no longer necessary for them to receive the same amount of maintenance because their ability to support themselves has increased. The court will decide whether to grant your modification request based on what it deems to be appropriate for your situation.

When Can You Terminate Payments?

You may be able to stop your spousal maintenance payments altogether if one of the following circumstances applies to your case:

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What Are Retail Employees’ Rights to Workers’ Compensation?Though they may not have the most dangerous job, retail employees have a high rate of work-related injuries. You are less likely to suffer a catastrophic injury while working at a retail store than working for a construction company, but labor studies suggest that retail workers have a higher injury rate than construction workers. If you have suffered an injury from retail work, you have the right to request workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and missed pay from the time you are forced to take off from work. Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Retail Injuries

Many retail stores require their employees to perform physical tasks that can result in injury. For example:

  • A customer has spilled a drink or tracked water into the store, and you slip on the liquid because you did not notice it.
  • The repetitive strain from lifting heavy objects causes chronic muscle pain.
  • You accidentally cut yourself with a knife while opening a box.
  • You are involved in a forklift accident while working in the stockroom.
  • You are hit by a car while collecting shopping carts from a parking lot.

It does not matter who was at fault for your injury or whether you could have avoided the injury. If you are injured while you are working for your employer, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

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Protecting Yourself from Injury While Riding Your BicycleAs the weather continues to improve and the daylight hours extend, more people will be enjoying rides on their bicycles – whether they are going somewhere or looking for recreation. In many situations, cyclists will be sharing the roads with cars. Cyclists know that they are more vulnerable to severe injury if they are involved in an accident with larger vehicles. While a cyclist can file a personal injury lawsuit against a driver who was at fault for the accident, it is always better to try to prevent injury. Here are four safety tips for riding your bicycle this spring:

  1. Using Safety Equipment: Illinois does not have a state law that requires cyclists to wear helmets. Some municipalities have their own requirements, but they may only apply to minors. All cyclists should wear helmets, as well as bright clothing if riding during the day or reflective clothing if riding at night. Bicycles should have reflectors, a front light if you plan to ride at night, and a bell or horn to alert others.
  2. Inspecting Your Bike: If this is the first time you have ridden your bicycle in months, you should look over your bike to see that it is still in working order. Check your breaks, handlebars, and seat so that they are both functioning and comfortable to use.
  3. Obey Traffic Laws: Bicycles must comply with traffic signs and signals in the same way as any other vehicle on the road. The smaller size and increased maneuverability of a bicycle tempt some cyclists to ignore stop signs or traffic lights, which puts them at increased risk of causing an accident. Cyclists have the added responsibility of staying as far to the right as possible and using arm signals when they are turning or stopping.
  4. Practice Defensive Riding: Drivers of motor vehicles may have more difficulty seeing bicycles and may not be expecting to encounter a bicycle on the road. Cyclists can protect themselves by staying aware of other vehicles and assuming that the drivers do not see them. Watch out for hazards in the road and behave predictably.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

Cyclists involved in crashes can suffer serious or even fatal injuries. Taking every reasonable precaution may not prevent an accident if the driver was negligent. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you gather evidence to prove that the driver is liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source:

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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