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Central Illinois Law Blog

Safety technology in trucks could save lives

Every year, many people are killed in crashes involving large trucks in Illinois and around the country. The size and weight differences between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles make trucking accidents much more dangerous than other types of collisions. Large truck crashes are likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities to occupants of other vehicles.

Despite the dangers of large trucks sharing the roads with smaller passenger vehicles, little has been done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make trucks safer. Forward collision avoidance technology and automatic emergency braking are both available, but the NHTSA has not mandated their installation in large trucks.

Why is 0.08 percent the legal limit for drunk driving?

Alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way. A lightweight woman will have a higher BAC than an overweight man even if all the other circumstances (such as type and quantity of drinks) are the same. Physical traits, from food intake to age to overall health, influence how fast and how much each person metabolizes alcohol.

With so many factors involved that make everyone have varying BAC levels, why is the legal limit 0.08 percent? What is so special about that number?

Statutes of limitation in personal injury cases

In the state of Illinois, a person has two years to file a lawsuit in a personal injury case. An individual has five years to file a lawsuit in the event that personal property was damaged. The statutes of limitation are designed to ensure that cases are processed in a timely manner and while evidence is still reliable. In most cases, the statute of limitations clock starts when an injury occurs.

However, it is possible that the clock won't start until after a person discovers the injury or should have done so. A statute of limitation could also toll for a variety of reasons such as a victim being mentally incapacitated. If an individual is younger than 18 when an injury occurs, the limitation clock may stop until he or she reaches age 18. A contract between two parties may also modify the statute of limitations to take legal action.

GHSA issues report on speeding and traffic fatalities

Illinois motorists may not be surprised to hear that speeding accounts for nearly one third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities. What's worse is that the numbers are not going down and that many consider speeding to be culturally acceptable. The Governors Highway Safety Association has a report out on how the issue can be addressed at a deeper level.

The report shows that speeding increases the risk for fatalities, especially among pedestrians and bicyclists. Conversely, reducing one's travel speed can lower crash and injury severity, saving lives in the process. Some urban areas, like New York City and Boston, have successfully lowered travel speeds by altering speed limits.However, the GHSA points out that more speeding-related fatalities occur in rural and suburban areas than in cities and calls for more attention to be paid to these. In 2016 alone, there were more than 5,000 speeding-related deaths on rural roadways.

Mistakes to avoid after a DUI arrest

If this is your first time getting arrested for a DUI, it is essential for you to stay calm and be mindful of your actions. What you do leading up to your court date could potentially impact the outcome. The law takes a strict stance against alleged offenders. That is why a thoughtful defense is so important when facing a DUI charge.

Penalties can significantly impact your life

A first-time DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction can result in your license being revoked for a minimum of one year, in addition to hefty fines. You must then have a hearing before the Secretary of State to reinstate your driving privileges, which adds more time. 

To lessen the chances of this poor outcome, keep in mind the following mistakes to avoid.

Rental car crash? Follow these steps

Millions of tourists flock to Illinois every year. 2018 set a new record, with 114 million tourists visiting the state from all around the world. 

Tourists need to get around somehow, and many utilize rental cars. Plenty of locals rely on rental cars when they need to leave their vehicles in the shop for a few days. In the unfortunate event you end up in a car crash in a rental car, it is critical you follow specific steps to protect yourself in a possible court case. 

Compensation for animal bites

In many cases where a dog or other animal bites a human, the victim doesn't want to seek compensation from the owner if, for example, the two are friends. Owners of animals in Illinois, however, are not always the parties who pay for compensation to the victim. Insurance companies may cover the costs of bites, even court fees, meaning the owner doesn't have to pay anything out of pocket.

Homeowner's insurance often covers animal bites that occur on the owner's property. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are about 16,000 dog bite claims filed every year with an average amount of about $30,000. Some policies may cover much larger amounts. Usually, insurance only covers the first animal bite. Any subsequent bites will be the responsibility of the homeowner.

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.

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