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A Basic Guide to Illinois Hit-and-Run Laws

Published on Oct 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm in Car Accidents.

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is a traumatic and frustrating experience. You don’t have the other party involved in the accident to own up to what they did, and the accident may have caused injuries and property damage. The good news is that you don’t have to face insurance companies alone. Commiting a hit-and-run accident is a crime, and legal help is available.

Let’s start by going over some basic information that’s vital to understand about hit-and-run accidents, what actions to take after you’re involved in one, and what the legal ramifications of such a crime are:

What Is a Hit-and-Run?

A hit-and-run accident occurs when someone causes a car accident and then leaves the scene. The accident can be with another car, a cyclist, a pedestrian, or even a fixed object.

People usually commit hit-and-runs because they’re afraid of what will happen if they stay and have to own up to the accident and deal with insurance. Those without insurance may flee the scene because they know they won’t be able to afford it. But committing a hit-and-run has many more negative consequences and could affect the rest of your life forever.

How Will Federal Trucking Regulations Affect My Truck Accident Claim?

Published on Sep 27, 2018 at 9:42 pm in Truck Accidents.

No matter where you live, there are bills in place that establish basic traffic laws. Stop signs, yield signs, and lane markers are recognizable throughout the country. All vehicles are required to follow these laws for the benefit of themselves and others.

Separate laws, however, exist for larger trucks and commercial vehicles. There are additional federal and state laws that regulate what trucking companies, truck drivers, hiring managers, trainer, supervisors, managers, and dispatchers can and cannot do. These laws are in place to save lives.

In Illinois in 2015, there were a total of 11,769 crashes involving tractor trailers, accounting for 38 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the state. Of those accidents, 9,775 resulted in property damage, 2,284 resulted in injury, and 80 resulted in death. A high percentage of those crashes occurred in urban areas. The laws put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Illinois’ Department of Transportation (IDOT) exist to prevent those accidents.

How Are Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction Different?

Published on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:11 pm in Personal Injury.

When you have a personal injury case, you’re probably wondering how it’s going to be resolved. While most personal injury cases reach a settlement and don’t go to court, there may be some instances where this is necessary. Settlements only work if both sides agree on the final settlement. Factors like the time it takes for court cases to take place and the money it would cost to take a case to court are usually enough to encourage both sides to reach a settlement. However, there could be a situation where the defendant refuses to agree on a fair settlement.

You deserve to have fair compensation. Your personal injury lawyer may advise you to take your case to court. There is a new set of steps to take when you’re taking the case to court, and one of them is what kind of court your case will be resolved in. Criminal and civil jurisdictions are separate and have their own parameters for what they deal with. Your personal injury lawyer will know what court your case will be heard in and will be able to answer any questions or concerns that you have.

Prince Law Firm takes great pride in getting justice for our Illinois clients. We understand how daunting it can be to be facing a claim on your own. Your rights will be protected by our Marion, IL personal injury lawyers. You can give yourself peace of mind by hiring a skilled and experienced lawyer who has had successful cases similar to yours in the past. We will do everything possible to get you the compensation you need. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our offices today and schedule a free consultation to go over your case.

Higher Illinois Fines for Texting and Driving Take Effect in 2019

Published on Aug 30, 2018 at 9:13 pm in Car Accidents.

The Illinois General Assembly has amended Statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. Under the amended law, individuals caught texting while driving will face stiffer penalties.

The current law took effect in 2014. Under that law, there are fines for the first, second, and third texting while driving offenses; however, the first offense does not affect a person’s driving record or result in a moving violation. Those consequences are not doled out until the second offense.

Under the new law, which will take effect on July 1, 2019, drivers caught texting while driving will be issued a moving violation, and the violation will go on their driving record. In addition to receiving a fine of $75 to $100, the reported moving violation is likely to increase the cost of your auto insurance. Anyone convicted of three moving violation in a consecutive 12-month period may have their license suspended.

Mark Prince Issues Statement on Governor’s Amendatory State Care Veto

Published on Aug 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm in Firm News.

In a recent press release, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Mark D. Prince issued a statement following the state Governor’s amendatory veto of a measure that would have allowed families whose loved ones are injured or die while under the care of the state to file a civil claim against the state. This veto would put a strict leash on the abilities that Illinois victims and their families have to obtain justice when it is due and fight back against unfair and unsafe conditions and care.

Here is the statement that was issued by Mark Prince:

“Senate Bill 2481 is meant to ensure access to adequate and fair compensation for victims and their families when the state is responsible for their injuries or death. Despite the support of strong, bi-partisan majorities in the House and Senate, the Governor’s amendatory veto creates yet another artificial legislative hurdle for our veterans and their families, and put vulnerable children, the elderly, and other future victims that are injured or killed under the state’s care into peril.”

New Illinois Car Seat Law Taking Effect in 2019

Published on Aug 23, 2018 at 7:21 pm in Car Accidents.

Effective January 1, 2019, children under the age of two in Illinois must ride in rear-facing car seats. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill that established the law in August 2018.

While there are no exceptions to this law, children taller than 40 inches or weighing more than 40 pounds are allowed in front-facing car seats. The new law leaves the penalties at the discretion of authorities. Illinois State Police say violators could face a $75 fine for a first offense and up to a $200 fine for a second offense.

This new law coincides with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations. It is estimated that 59 percent of children’s car seats are used incorrectly. It’s important for parents and guardians to choose the right car seat for their child, install the seat correctly, and understand their car seat’s warranty. According to the AAP, parents should take the following guidelines into consideration when transporting their children:

  • Infants and toddlers up to age two should ride in rear-facing car seats.
  • Young children, until at least age four, should ride in a car seat with a five-point harness. Weight and height should be taken into consideration and compared to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • School-age children, until at least the age of eight, should ride in a booster seat to ensure their seatbelt fits properly.
  • Children should ride in the back of a vehicle until at least age 13.

Mark Prince Responds to Lawsuit Reform Efforts

Published on Jul 25, 2018 at 9:36 pm in Firm News.

In June 2018, Mark Prince, one of our attorneys at Prince Law Firm, spoke with WSIL 3 and gave his thoughts about the calls for lawsuit reform in Illinois.

Prince is the president of the Illinois Trial Lawyer Association (“ITLA”). The ITLA is an organization of over 2,500 attorneys, whose main mission is to protect the rights of individuals who have been harmed by the wrongdoings of big corporations.

While organizations like I-Law want to perpetuate the notion that the legal system is broken, this is not the case. Prince says these notions revolve around the politics of fear. Those organizations want people to believe lawsuits are negatively impacting Illinois in areas like unemployment. The statistics, however, disagree.

Worker’s Compensation vs. Personal Injury: What is the Difference?

Published on Mar 8, 2017 at 5:53 pm in Workers' Compensation.

With the Governor of Illinois pressing for significant worker’s compensation “reform,” I have been giving a great deal of thought to the many and varied differences between a worker’s compensation claim and a personal injury claim in Illinois.  Many people, including legislators in Illinois, really do not understand the significant differences between the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act and a Personal Injury case.  The differences are astonishing in terms of proving a case and the types of damages that are recoverable.  If one understands just how limited and restricted damages are in a worker’s compensation claim, then maybe, just maybe, the Governor and General Assembly will not be so quick to enact additional reforms that further reduce the injured worker’s rights under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.

Let’s look at the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.  This Act was enacted as a result of many significant compromises between labor and business.  The main compromise was that business (the employers) agreed that liability would be easier to prove in exchange for labor (employees) agreeing to limit the amount and types of monetary compensation that could be recovered.  Put another way, the employers agreed to lessen the burden on an employee to prove he was entitled to receive compensation.  For this promise, the employees agreed to limit the amount of money they could obtain as compensation.  Business now is looking to change this bargain by making it harder for an injured employee to prove that he is entitled to an award and if he is entitled to an award to further limit the amount of it.

In essence, under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, the employee has to prove that his injury was the result of an on-the-job accident.  The employee does not have to prove “fault” on the part of the employer.  He does not have to prove that the employer caused his injury.  Rather, he has to establish that the injury occurred while he was on-the-job doing what he was supposed to be doing.  With certain exceptions, if an employee can prove this then he is entitled to receive an award under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.  If he cannot prove this, then he is not entitled to make a recovery under the Act.

Legalese: Make sure your lawyer talks to you in plain English!

Published on Feb 28, 2017 at 5:55 pm in Client Relations.

Legalese.  Sounds like a bad disease, doesn’t it?  In a way, it is.  It is a disease, to paraphrase the warden in Cool Hand Luke, that all too often results in a “failure to communicate,” the ultimate disease that can doom an attorney-client relationship.  A lawyer’s ability to communicate clearly and concisely is the linchpin to a successful attorney-client relationship, success in the courtroom, and success with opposing counsel.  A “failure to communicate” is the death knell to success.  In order to best represent you, your lawyer has to be able to communicate.

Too often lawyers will speak “legalese” without thinking twice.  There are many reasons why a lawyer may talk like a lawyer instead of like a real person, none of which are particularly good.  Let’s look at some of  them.

Attorneys will sometimes use it as a shortcut to express a more complex legal concept.  While that may be fine when your lawyer talks that way to opposing counsel, the opposing insurance claims adjuster, or the Court, it is not acceptable for him to speak that way to you, the client.  Most people without legal training will not understand the “legalese.”  I know how frustrated I get when my doctor speaks “medicalese” to me.  What is wrong with me?  What is he telling me?  Am I dying?  Just what the heck is going on?  I want to know what my medical condition is, not the label for it.  You, as a client, have a right to understand what is going on with your legal case, not just the label.

Car Crashes: Do I have a case?

Published on Feb 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm in Car Accidents.

Unfortunately, many of us will at some point be injured in a car accident.  Afterwards, especially if you think that the other drive was at fault, you might wonder “do I have a case?”  Let’s look at the legal requirements for “having a case” and then let’s talk about them the way real people talk.

In legal jargon, in order to make a legal recovery in an automobile accident, the injured person has to establish the following:  1.  The other driver was negligent.  2.  That other driver’s negligence proximately cause harm to you.  3.  You suffered actual harm.

What does all this actually mean?  Negligence simply means that someone did something he or she should not have done or did not do something that he or she should have done.  We have all taken driver’s education in high school and have studied the Rules of the Road.  The Rules of the Road is one of the most important resources for determining if a driver was “negligent.”  For instance, did the other driver run a stop sign?  Did the other driver turn left in front of you as you were approaching the intersection?  Was he speeding?  Talking on his cell phone?  If you can demonstrate that the other driver violated the Rules of the Road, you are on your way to showing that he was negligent.

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