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Central Illinois Law Blog

Understanding Illinois prescription drug DUI charges

Most people understand that consuming alcohol before driving can result in DUI charges. However, there is some confusion about how DUI charges work when based on drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

If one consumes an illegal drug, charges can ensue if chemical testing reveals any amount of it in one's system, even if there is no evidence the substance affected one's driving. In such a case, providing proof one was legally entitled to take the drug can serve to defend against these charges.

Limiting liability in slip and fall accidents

If a person slips or falls in an Illinois home or business, the owner of the property is generally liable for damages the victim incurs. There are many dangers that property owners should keep an eye out for such as torn carpeting or poor lighting. Wet floors and slippery sidewalks could also pose an injury hazard to those who encounter them. It is important to note that a business owner is not automatically at fault if a customer gets hurt.

First, it needs to be shown that the victim was injured because of a dangerous condition. It also needs to be shown that an injured victim exercised care before getting hurt. For example, running into a pole while on a cellphone may not be grounds for a premises liability case. If a business owner or operator wouldn't or couldn't have known about a potentially dangerous condition, he or she may not be held liable for a person's injuries.

Injuries may go unnoticed after a car accident

When people in Illinois are hit by another car, they may not be aware of all of their injuries right away. The adrenaline rush, emotional trauma and excitement of the crash may obscure some of a person's injuries. In other cases, the physical effects of the crash may not be felt until several days later. While the effects may be delayed, that does not mean that these injuries are less serious; in some cases, delayed injuries may include traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. This is one reason for people to seek medical attention after a car accident, even if they think that they are uninjured or that they know the extent of the damage.

Headaches can be red flags after a car accident, especially when they begin a few days after the crash. It could indicate that a person has a head or neck injury, a blood clot on the brain or a severe concussion. A headache isn't the only sign of a traumatic brain injury after a crash. Personality changes can also be signs of a previously undiagnosed concussion.

What is court supervision in terms of a DUI conviction?

Your driving record is vital, but if you have a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol, your record will reflect this activity. However, there are legal options to think about, especially if this DUI is your first offense. For example, you may be eligible for court supervision.

What it means

Tesla safety report met with skepticism

Tesla recently released a document that it proclaims to be a safety report. However, those who have seen the report believe that it lacks the proper context to make the types of claims that it does. For instance, it says that Illinois drivers and others who use the Tesla Autopilot feature get in fewer crashes than those who turn it off or don't have it at all. However, it doesn't say why a driver would turn the feature off or otherwise not use it. It could be because a person is using the car in an environment where Autopilot isn't meant to be used.

Tesla also refused to go into greater detail about incidents in which vehicles equipped with Autopilot were involved in accidents. For example, it refused to say how severe the accidents were or if anyone suffered serious injuries. There was also no mention of whether an accident was caused by a drunk driver or if it occurred during the day or at night.

Assessing and treating dog bites

Every year in Illinois and across the U.S., 1 in 775 people seek emergency care for dog bite injuries, most of them boys between five and nine years old. Dog bites tend to be around the head and neck in children under the age of 10, resulting in lacerations, punctures, avulsions or crush injuries. Those who are injured will want to immediately wash the wound and seek medical attention, as signs of infection will appear within 24 hours.

Nurses and other healthcare providers can assess dog bites, looking for damage to tendons, ligaments, nerves and bones and checking for proper motion and neurologic function. They will also note patient data like previous rabies and tetanus immunizations, drug allergies and conditions that may have increased the patient's risk for injury.

Injured skateboarders might have premises liability claims

Skateboarding is a popular activity, sport and mode of transport in Illinois, but it can also be dangerous. According to a skateboarding enthusiast and instructor, the risk of injury is part of the draw of the pass time. When people get hurt while skateboarding, though, the owner of the property where they were hurt might have liability.

Premises liability is a legal claim whereby the owner of public or private land may be found liable for injuries that occur on the property. It is more likely that the landowner will be found liable if the event that led to injury was foreseeable. Premises liability applies to cases where the injured party was invited onto the property and it may also apply where a person is hurt in an area that is tempting for skateboarders, even if they were not invitees.

Frequently asked questions about Illinois DUI laws

In Illinois, drunk driving laws are strict. Even if you do not face a DUI conviction, you may face a suspension of your license if you refuse a chemical test. 

While it is obvious that driving under the influence is illegal, there are some things you may not know about DUI laws in Illinois. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Illinois drunk driving laws:

How to avoid or mitigate the consequences of hydroplaning

Illinois drivers may know what hydroplaning is, but they may not have given it much thought. While slowing down and avoiding large puddles can usually prevent hydroplaning, there are other times when it's unavoidable. Drivers should especially be cautious during the first 10 minutes of rainfall when water and the oily residue on the road mix together to form a slippery surface. Afterwards, most but not all of the residue will be washed away.

Hydroplaning occurs when the tires, encountering more water on the road than they can handle, push the water underneath them and create a thin layer of water between them and the road. The tires thus lose traction and may cause the car to slide or skid uncontrollably. Hydroplaning can result in serious crashes.

Greyhound, big rig in deadly crash

Some Illinois residents might have heard about a Greyhound bus accident on Aug. 30 that resulted in the death of eight people. The accident, which happened in New Mexico, happened when a semi-trailer hit the bus.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. It has been reported that the truck had lost the tread on a front tire and that the tires will be looked at further. The agency has the bus and semi-trailer's electronic data recorders and has spoken to crash survivors. It is trying to get an interview with the semi-trailer driver as well as toxicology reports and medical records for both the bus and semi-trailer driver. The truck is owned by a company in California.

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