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Joliet car accident lawyers, car accident insurance forms, medical authorization release form, release of liability, property damage release formIf you have been hurt in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, there are several forms you may receive from the responsible party’s insurance company. Even though the insurer will encourage you to sign these forms, you should refrain from doing so until you consult an experienced car accident attorney. Below are three of the most common insurance forms you will likely encounter following a car accident.

1. Medical Authorization Release

A medical authorization release form is compliant with HIPAA regulations and can give the insurance company access to your medical records. By signing this form, you allow the insurer to search for evidence of previous complaints that may explain the injuries that you believe were caused by the car accident.

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Will County truck accident attorneys, defective truck parts, defective airbags, truck accidents, truck accident injuriesWhen the parts on a truck are defective, they pose a serious danger to their drivers and other motorists. Unfortunately, defective truck parts are not always visible and can lead to truck accidents and injuries if they are not overlooked. Let us take a closer look at some of the most common defective truck parts that often cause accidents.

Faulty Brakes

There are many warning signs that signify an issue with the brakes on a truck. These warning signs include vibrations, screeching sounds, fluids on the ground where a truck was parked, and dash lights. Truck drivers should monitor their brakes and watch for these signs on a regular basis so they can avoid serious repairs and keep the roads safe.

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Joliet car accident lawyers, distracted driving, distracted driving accidents, driver negligence, distracted driversDistracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the country. Even though it can be avoided, some drivers disregard safety precautions and direct their attention away from the road. Fortunately, there are several technologies that have been designed that make the roadways safer and reduce distracted driving accidents.

Types of Distractions

When drivers are focusing on something other than driving and the road ahead of them, they may fail to stop on time or hit or sideswipe a vehicle. Some of the distractions that can easily be avoided but often lead to serious accidents, injuries, and fatalities include:

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Posted on in Personal Injury

commercial truck accidents, sleep apnea, truck drivers, Will County truck accident attorneys, truck driver safetyOne of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents is driver fatigue. Often times, a medical condition known as sleep apnea leads to fatigued driving and impairs a truck driver’s ability to safely operate a truck. Let us take a closer look at what sleep apnea is and how it can affect truck drivers and cause commercial truck accidents.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and occurs when someone involuntary stops breathing for brief periods of time while he or she is sleeping. It can cause someone to wake up frequently throughout the night.

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Will County slip and fall attorneys, slip and fall accident, slip and fall injuries, premises liability claim, retail store negligenceAll businesses, including retail stores, have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. If you slip and fall while you are shopping at a nationwide retail store or a local independent one, you should know that you may have a valid premises liability claim. To ensure your rights are protected and to determine if you do have a claim, it is in your best interest to follow the following six steps.

1. Document the Incident

Right after you slip and fall, use your cell phone to take pictures of the area the fall took place. If you do not have a phone at your disposal, ask someone else to take pictures with their cell phone and send them to you.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

seat belt safety, Joliet car accident attorneys, pregnant driver, car safety tips, pregnancy complicationsIf you are pregnant, you should never drive without wearing a seat belt. A seat belt can reduce your risk of a car accident and save your life as well as the life of your baby that is yet to be born. For this reason, the March of Dimes promotes seat belt safety to pregnant women.

How a Car Accident Can Affect Your Pregnancy

A car accident can increase your risk for serious pregnancy complications including:

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Joliet car accident attorney, road safety, IOS 11 update, improve road safety, car accident fatalitiesDistracted driving leads to thousands of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities each year. One of the main causes of distracted driving is cell phone usage. Although some states have made it illegal to text while driving, drivers often disregard this law and continue to use their phones and take their focus away from the road. Apple is aware of this issue and has implemented a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature in their iOs 11 update.

How the iOS Do Not Disturb While Driving Feature Works

When the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature is turned on, it will silence any call or text message notifications. The feature will also silence any updates from social media apps such as Facebook and game apps.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-33.jpgAccording to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 116,800 people are injured and over 1,300 are killed every year due to vehicle accidents that occur on snowy, slushy, or icy roads.

Now that we are in the midst of the winter season, you should practice extra caution while driving as ice and snow can increase your chances of getting into a car accident. In order to keep yourself and other drivers safe all winter long, you should make an effort to avoid these six dangerous winter driving habits.

  1. Braking Too Late. When roads are slippery, you should brake earlier than you would on dry roads. By paying attention to changes in traffic as well as the lights ahead and braking early, you can avoid a winter accident. 
  2. Speeding. Although speeding is always dangerous, it becomes even more hazardous on winter roads. Be sure to drive slowly on snowy and icy roadways and allow yourself more time to get to your destination.
  3. Distracted Driving. Since winter driving requires your undivided attention, you should avoid any activity that takes your eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel. Texting, eating, applying makeup, fumbling with your radio controls, and talking to other passengers can lead to a serious accident. 
  4. Refraining From Turn Signal Use. Using your turn signals becomes even more crucial in the winter because it makes drivers who need more time to stop or slow down to be aware of your intentions. 
  5. Following Too Close. One of the most effective ways to avoid a rear-end collision in the winter is to allow more distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you. If you are traveling at 35 miles per hour, you should allow 180 feet or more on a snowy road, 600 feet or more on an icy road, and 120 feet or more on a wet road.
  6. Failing to Clear Windows. Prior to getting behind the wheel this winter, you should always clear your windows of snow and ice. Doing so will ensure you have optimal visibility on the road. 

Contact Our Joliet Car Accident Attorneys

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-26.jpgIt can be a difficult and emotional experience to go to court for a child custody hearing. If you will be going to court in the near future for a child custody hearing, there are several ways you can prepare yourself to increase your chances of winning custody of your child.

Understand Child Custody Laws

Child custody laws can be complicated. Therefore, you should do some reading and work with your lawyer to become familiar with the laws in Illinois. If you come across any confusion or questions, be sure to find clarity prior to your hearing.

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Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-5.jpgOne of the most difficult aspects of divorce is dividing up marital property. All assets and debts that have been acquired during a marriage are considered marital property. Tangible items such as houses, cars, cash, and household goods as well as intangible items such as stock options and debts like medical bills are all examples of marital property. Marital property does not include any property acquired before a marriage, gifts or inheritances to one spouse, or any property acquired by a spouse after legal separation.

In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably or fairly rather than equally. If possible, a couple should figure out how they will divide their property through divorce mediation or another method of alternative dispute resolution. By doing so, they can avoid a great deal of emotional trauma and have more control over how their assets and debts are divided.

If a couple cannot agree on how to divide their marital property, a judge will step in and decide how it should be divided. There are a number of factors a judge will look at prior to making a decision. Some of these factors include:

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Posted on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design.jpgAccording to Illinois law, when parents are unmarried, the mother has custody of the child until legal paternity is established. This means that the mother has the right to make all decisions for the child and is not obligated to allow the father to have any time with the child. If an unmarried father would like custody, he must take legal action and will not have any rights to the child until legal paternity has been determined. 

How is a Legal Father Defined in Illinois?

In Illinois, a man is the legal father of a child if one of the following circumstances is true:

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Will County truck accident attorneysTruck accidents can be devastating, and that can make it difficult to determine what caused the crash in the first place. Truck accident investigations can provide answers, but what happens during this process, and why does it matter? The following information explains. It also provides details on how you can protect your rights after a truck accident, and that includes your right to pursue full and fair compensation for any losses that you or your family may have experienced.

Truck Accident Investigations

When law enforcement arrives on the scene of a truck accident, they treat victims, secure the area, and begin to take notes on what they see. They look for things like vehicle fluids, tire skid marks, debris (both from the vehicle itself and the victim), and other evidence that can be used to reconstruct the scene. Done using scientific data, such as engineering and physics, specially trained professionals then try to determine what, exactly, caused the accident.

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Joliet family law attorneysAlthough there is little information on the rate of domestic violence in divorce, the overall statistics are both well-known and shocking. However, it is not just the intimate relationship that is dangerous to victims. Leaving can also place them in harm's way. As such, victims of violence need to know they have tools they can use to protect themselves and advocates who are willing to walk them through each step.

One prime example is the way that family law attorneys help domestic violence victims through the divorce. Able to provide you with resources and legal advice, they can help victims obtain orders of protection while they assist with the divorce process. The following information explains why you may want to obtain one in your divorce, and it explains how our attorneys may be able to further assist in your divorce case.

Why Obtain an Order of Protection?

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Will County car crash lawyersIt has been 20 years since Illinois imposed its 0.08 drunk driving limit, and since that time, the number of deaths from drunk driving crashes has decreased. Unfortunately, it is still a pervasive issue throughout the state. Learn more about your rights as a victim in a drunk driving crash, and discover how an experienced attorney can help.

How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents?

In 1997, when Illinois first implemented its drunk driving laws, there were a total of 534 drunk driving deaths in the state. Twenty years later, that number is down by approximately 43 percent, which is excellent news. Unfortunately, when one takes a closer look at the death toll for 2015, the statistic seems to come up short. Over 300 people that year failed to come home to their families, and all because someone drove while they were intoxicated.

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Will County family law attorneysOn July 1, 2017, Illinois’ child support laws changed. Now, instead of calculating support using a percentage model, the courts and the Department of Health and Family Services will use an income shares model. Parenting time, or the amount of time that a paying parent spends with their child can also have an impact on a supporting parent’s child support obligation. How might these changes affect your current situation (if at all), and where can you find assistance with your child support modification case? The following explains.

An Overview of the Changes

Prior to the changes, child support was calculated using hard percentages and figures were based on the number of shared children and the income of the paying parent. Now, child support laws calculate the income of both parents before determining the amount of support that should be paid. Paying parents that have their children for at least 146 nights out of the year also have an additional credit, which may reduce their overall child support obligation.

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Joliet brain injury lawyersEach year, an estimated 1.7 million people experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Of those, approximately 52,000 suffer fatality, and another 275,000 are hospitalized and ultimately released. The rest are treated in emergency rooms and then released home to heal. What makes the difference between these three groups of people? Sometimes, it is the severity of the injury itself (severe injuries can swell quickly, causing fatality in a very short amount of time), but being able to recognize the early signs and symptoms can also be crucial in both the short- and long-term prognosis of a victim.

Why Early Detection is Crucial

In situations involving a severe brain injury, time can mean the difference between life and death. However, even in cases of mild or moderate TBI, early detection can be important. It ensures that the victim does not do things they should avoid (i.e. tasks that involve concentration and activities that can result in a secondary injury). Early detection can also ensure that victims receive proper treatment.

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Will County divorce attorneysDivorce can be a stressful and contentious matter – and not just because of the impending split. Financial matters are also particularly important in divorce, and they can have a lasting impact on each party’s quality life. If you are planning on filing for divorce or have recently been served, beware of these money issues in your case and learn how an experienced divorce lawyer may be able to help protect your interests and financial future.

Housing and Living Expenses

When couples split, one typically leaves the family home. The other may stay, or the couple may agree to sell the home and both may vacate the premises. Regardless of the living arrangements that they agree to, parties are encouraged to prepare for an increase in living expenses. Couples should also consider how a decrease in income – an inevitable side effect of divorce – may impact their financial situation. As an example, consider downsizing early, before the proceedings begin, when maintaining the family home is not an option.

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Will County auto accident lawyersAlthough there are many injuries that a victim may sustain in an auto accident, some are more severe than others. Potentially life-threatening, and often life-altering, these severe injuries can result in extreme financial losses and may even cause financial devastation for the victim and their family. Learn more about these injuries, including how you can recover the most compensation possible, with help from the following information.

Severe Head Injuries

Of all the head injuries that a victim may sustain, traumatic brain injury is the most common. It can also be extremely deadly since it is easy to overlook. Victims may not have an open wound, bruise, or bump. In fact, they may not have even hit their head since traumatic brain injury is caused by a sudden jarring of the brain, not necessarily a blow to the head. If you notice symptoms of confusion, loss of consciousness, persistent headaches, or other strange symptoms, contact a healthcare professional immediately. Victims may also sustain a skull fracture or a penetrating head wound, both of which could be fatal – especially when not promptly treated.

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Will County divorce lawyersWhen it comes to health complications, divorcees have the odds stacked against them. In fact, studies have linked divorce to everything from weight gain and depression to an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack. Granted, an increased risk does not mean you will experience a stroke, nor does it mean you should avoid divorce if it truly feels like the right path for your life. However, it does suggest that divorcees should know how to protect their health and mitigate against the risks.

Examining the Possible Link

Nearly anyone who has endured divorce can tell you it is an emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically trying experience. Thankfully, the stress usually diminishes over time, but the damage could already be done by the time things calm down. In fact, experts now believe that stress may be the driving factor behind all the health condition links. It certainly makes sense when you consider what stress does to the body.

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Distracted Driving Leads to Fatal Accidents For Teen DriversDriving can be a dangerous activity, especially for teens who have little driving experience. A recent AAA study found that teen drivers aged 16-17 are nine times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in a car accident and three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident.

This study analyzed data from recent years and found that deadly accidents involving teen drivers are on the rise. In 2015, the number of teen drivers in fatal crashes increased by more than 10 percent from the previous year.

The summer months are an especially dangerous time for teen drivers, with the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day seeing a 15 percent increase in the number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers. Over the last five years, car crashes involving teen drivers resulted in more than 1,600 deaths during this time of the year. 

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