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How Does Premises Liability Work with Airbnb?For years now, travelers have been forgoing hotels in favor of renting a living space at someone’s home through services such as Airbnb. Vacation rentals can offer better deals, convenient locations, and home amenities that many hotels do not have. As with any business, your host has a duty to keep you safe while you are paying to stay at their home. If you are injured due to the condition of the property, you may be eligible for personal injury compensation through the premises liability law of the state where the injury occurred.

What Is the Duty to Protect?

The owner or operator of a property has a duty to show reasonable care towards the safety of visitors. In Illinois, this means they must make a reasonable effort to:

  • Maintain the property’s condition
  • Detect and repair dangerous conditions in a timely manner once they are aware of them
  • Warn guests about dangers that they may be unable to predict on their own

When staying at someone’s home, dangers could come from uneven walking surfaces, faulty appliances or other areas that the owner has failed to maintain. However, the owner may not be liable for your injuries if you acted in a way that was reckless or that you knew put you at risk of injury.

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Notable New Illinois Criminal Laws Starting in 2020When Illinois passes new state laws, many are scheduled to go into effect at the start of the next calendar year. The legalization of recreational marijuana has rightfully garnered most of the attention among the state’s new laws for 2020. Not only will it make it legal to possess as much as 30 grams of cannabis, but many people have already been able to expunge previous marijuana possession convictions. There are other laws going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, that relate to traffic violations in the state, as well as a law that helps protect the civil rights of people who have been arrested.

Traffic Laws

Driving offenses are among the most common reasons for interaction between police officers and civilians. Illinois often revises its driving laws to address new threats and discourage dangerous behavior by drivers. There are three such laws that will start in 2020:

  1. Watching Video: Illinois is already combating distracted driving by making it illegal to use handheld electronic devices while driving. An update to the law expands the definition to include using devices to watch or stream video. A distracted driving violation will result in a fine and count towards the three traffic tickets in 12 months that it takes to suspend your driver's license. However, distracted driving becomes a Class A misdemeanor if someone is injured and a Class 4 felony if someone dies.
  2. Fine for Passing a School Bus: It is illegal for vehicles in either direction to overtake and pass a school bus that has stopped for the purpose of picking up or dropping off passengers. Illinois has doubled the fines for these violations. A first offense is a $300 fine. A second or subsequent offense is a $1,000 fine.
  3. Scott’s Law: Scott’s Law is Illinois’ new name for the law requiring drivers to yield to emergency vehicles and use caution when approaching a stopped vehicle. Whereas a violation previously required a minimum $100 fine, the minimum fine is now $250 for a first offense and $750 for a second or subsequent offense. A violation that damages another vehicle is a Class A misdemeanor, and a violation that results in injury or death is a Class 4 felony.

Arrest Records

Illinois law has new protections for people who were arrested on suspicion of a crime but were never charged or convicted. The law states that it is a civil rights violation to use someone’s arrest record, juvenile record or criminal record that has been sealed as a reason to deny them:

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Posted on in Divorce

Keys to Changing Yourself After Your DivorceThe primary purpose of filing for a divorce is to find the happiness that you are not getting from your marriage. However, you cannot expect to be much happier if you are stuck in your same marital routines. Change takes effort and can be frightening when compared to what you are familiar with. You have already made a major change by divorcing your spouse. Once you feel settled into that change, there are other changes you can make to your lifestyle, from minor tweaks to reinventing yourself:

  1. Socialize: Up to this point, your marriage has largely defined your social circles. While there is no need to abandon your friends, you should try to expand your social circles by meeting new people. The easiest way to do so is to participate in a group activity, which you can find through local organizations and online meetup groups. Some groups may be geared towards recently divorced people, though you should not feel that you are limited to those groups.
  2. Find What You Enjoy: Were there hobbies or activities that you felt like you could not do while you were married? Now is your chance to try them without worrying about whether your spouse will also enjoy them. It is possible that you will not like some of these activities as much as you thought, while you may be surprised by how much you enjoy other activities. Either way, this is your opportunity to find out.
  3. Consider Uprooting Yourself: For some people, the best way to find happiness after divorce is by redefining themselves. You could look for a new job, start a new career or move to another part of the country. However, drastic changes may be impractical if you have children or are worried about financially supporting yourself. You can still find more subtle or gradual ways to change your lifestyle.
  4. Ease Into Dating: Most people are not ready to start another serious relationship immediately after their divorce, but you will eventually feel more comfortable dating. There is not a timetable for how long this will take. Once you do start dating, it is important that you are honest with yourself and the other person about what you want. It may be that you need a more casual dating experience than looking for someone you may want to eventually marry.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

Finding the courage to change yourself after divorce starts with creating a successful divorce agreement. A McHenry County divorce lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will make sure that you finish your divorce feeling financially secure and emotionally satisfied. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Workers’ Compensation Covers Violence Against EmployeesThe threat of workplace injuries can sometimes come from intentional actions by other people. Acts of violence against workers are not uncommon in jobs that require people to work overnight and frequently interact with the public. Employees at 24-hour fast food and convenience stores are often at risk of being attacked or threatened by robbers or irate customers. As with any work-related injury, you can file a workers’ compensation claim in order to pay for healthcare expenses and reimburse you for lost wages due to time missed at work.

How to Qualify

Workers’ compensation benefits can cover your injuries from a physical attack as long as:

  • You were put in the position to be attacked because of your work
  • You were not the aggressor in the incident

For instance, being attacked while walking from your vehicle to the building where you work would qualify because you would not have been there if not for your job. As for being the aggressor, you are allowed to defend yourself against attack, but the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has denied claims when the worker was injured because they decided to pursue and engage the attacker after the attacker had already withdrawn. In other words, you risk losing your claim if you continue the fight after your attacker has stopped, even though you were not the one who started the fight.

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Lung Disease from Vaping Can Be Subject to Product Liability LawsuitsE-cigarettes were introduced to consumers more than a decade ago as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco products. Vaping has caught on with younger smokers, partly due to its cleaner image and the variety of flavors. However, it has become clear that e-cigarettes are not as safe as their manufacturers claimed. There are hundreds of cases of e-cigarette users developing lung diseases, with several patients dying as a result. If you have developed a lung disease due to vaping, the manufacturer may be liable for your personal injury if the product did not warn you about the risk.

Dangers of Vaping

While e-cigarettes may contain fewer toxins than normal cigarettes, that does not make them safe to use, particularly for teens and pregnant women. Most e-cigarettes still contain nicotine and chemicals that can cause cancer and lung disease. Long-term vaping is believed to lead to several diseases, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis

The device itself has also been dangerous to consumers because of numerous incidents in which the battery exploded. Because e-cigarette users often carry the device in their pocket, an explosion can cause serious burn and shrapnel injuries.

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