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Central Illinois Law Blog

History of vaccine court

Attorney Peter Beard of Holley, Rosen and Beard recently won an award of over $10 million in damages in federal "Vaccine Court" for a client.

Following is a history of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Man dies after spending time at theme park

Those who go to Illinois theme parks expect that reasonable safety measures will be put in place for their protection. However, this may or may not mean that warning signs are posted in languages other than English. According to a lawsuit against Universal Resort Orlando, a lack of bilingual warning signs constitutes negligence on its part. The suit claims that the resort should have known that many who go there don't speak English.

According to the lawsuit, a 38-year-old man suffered a heart attack while on a ride called Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Signs posted in English did say that anyone who had a heart condition should avoid the ride, and pictures accompanied the text to further describe potential hazards. The lawsuit also claims that the resort was negligent in delaying aid to the man prior to his passing.

Understanding a DUI and a Statutory Summary Suspension

Other than the possibility of going to jail, a motorist arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be most concerned that the police will take his or her driving privileges away.

If a law enforcement officer stops you on suspicion of DUI and requests that you submit to chemical testing, you may consider refusing. If you do, you put yourself in Statutory Summary Suspension territory.

Bad accidents with dump and concrete trucks on the rise

Ready-mix concrete delivery trucks and dump trucks travel the roads of Illinois every day and service many types of industrial and construction projects. From 2015 to 2016, dump truck accidents that required towing jumped by 9 percent for a total of 8,206 accidents. Although the growing problem has prompted insurers to raise their premiums, dump and concrete truck operators have yet to solve the problems linked to careless driving habits.

Dump truck accidents that resulted in injuries went up by 2.7 percent during the same time period with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recording 5,483 injury-causing crashes in 2016. As for accidents with concrete mixing trucks, the agency reported an increase of 9.6 percent for the same year. Concrete trucks also produced an elevated number of fatalities that year with the loss of 38 lives compared to 33 deaths in 2015.

External air bags could improve driver safety

Drivers in Illinois may be interested in learning about new developments in the field of external airbags. These safety features are designed specifically to lower the risks of side impacts. According to research by the manufacturer ZF, external airbags could reduce the severity of car accident injuries by up to 40 percent.

An external airbag deploys on the side of the vehicle. Just like its internal counterparts, external airbags will deploy when sensors in the vehicle detects that a crash is imminent. The technology will rely on cameras, radars and ultrasonics. While advancements have been significant, there is still more work that needs to be done to improve the accuracy of a car's sensors before external airbags become commonplace on vehicles.

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.

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