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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