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Tips Everyone Can Follow to Help Prevent Pedestrian AccidentsAt some point during the day, we are all pedestrians. If you are not in a motor vehicle, you are a pedestrian. During the warm-weather months, the number of people walking from place to place greatly increases. Unfortunately, so does the risk that they will be involved in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2017. Though this is less than the number of pedestrians killed in 2016, pedestrian fatalities still remain a large issue in our country. 

Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, if not death. A 150-pound human is no match for a 3,000-pound car, especially if the vehicle is traveling at a relatively high rate of speed. Fortunately, pedestrian accidents can be avoided with a little effort from both drivers and pedestrians.

Tips for Drivers

In many areas, pedestrians have the right of way, meaning you must yield to them while they are in the street. Even if the pedestrian does not technically have the right of way, you are in a vehicle while they are unprotected; you could cause serious damage to them. Here are a few tips to help avoid a pedestrian accident:

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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests During Illinois DUI StopsBefore police even pull you over for a DUI stop, they will be watching your actions and the way you are driving to determine if a traffic stop is needed. The police officer will be looking for signs of alcohol impairment, such as failing to maintain proper lane position, speeding and braking problems, poor judgment and lack of vigilance. Once the officer believes they have enough evidence to initiate a traffic stop, they will pull you over and may ask you to step out of the vehicle. If the officer suspects that you might be under the influence of alcohol, they will ask you to complete a series of tests, which are called field sobriety tests. These can be standardized or non-standardized, although standardized field sobriety tests tend to hold up better in court because they have been extensively studied. 

Standardized Tests

Standardized field sobriety tests have been studied and determined to be fairly accurate in determining if someone is impaired by alcohol. An officer will ask you to perform these tests during almost every traffic stop for suspicion of DUI. There are three types of field sobriety tests that are considered to be standard:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): During this test, the officer will be looking at the involuntary shaking of your eyeball as you gaze to the side, following the motion of the officer’s finger or pen. This is a phenomenon that occurs when people rotate their eyes at high peripheral angles but is exaggerated and occurs at lesser angles when a person is impaired by alcohol. 
  • Walk-and-turn: This test involves you walking along a line on the ground while maintaining your balance and focus. The officer will ask you to take nine heel-to-toe steps, turn on one foot and return in the same manner. The officer will be watching to see if you can follow directions and how intact your balance is.
  • One-leg stand: During this test, you will be instructed to stand with one of your feet about six inches off of the ground, during which you will be asked to count out loud until the officer tells you that you can stop after about 30 seconds. The officer will be looking to see if you can balance without swaying, putting your foot down or using your arms to keep balanced.

Non-Standardized Tests

The type of tests that officers use typically depends on the specific police department they work for and that department’s policies. Illinois police have been known to use other non-standardized tests during DUI traffic stops, which you may be able to challenge in court. These tests include:

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Exploring Charges and Penalties For Crimes Involving Fake IDs in Illinois For as long as government-issued identification cards have been around, fake IDs are sure to have also existed. Added security measures and other changes are constantly being made to ID cards in an effort to combat fraudulent or fake IDs, but that still does not stop some people from attempting to make them. Many times, crimes involving fake IDs are perpetrated by juveniles who are using the card for things such as purchasing alcohol. Some fake ID cards are nearly undetectable, but using one and getting caught can mean you will face quite a bit of trouble with the law.

Penalties for Crimes Involving Fake IDs

Illinois has strict laws and rather serious consequences when it comes to crimes involving fake IDs. Not only can you face criminal charges and penalties for the use, possession, manufacture and/or distribution of fake IDs, but you can also risk having your driving privileges taken away. The Secretary of State has the authority to suspend your driving privileges for up to one year or revoke your driving privileges for at least a year if you are caught violating laws concerning fake IDs.

You can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if you are caught doing the following:

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Understanding the Construction Industry’s ‘Fatal Four’ AccidentsWhat comes to mind when you think of dangerous workplaces? For many people, construction sites are considered to be extremely dangerous – and they are not wrong. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were more than 4,600 worker fatalities in 2017. Of those fatalities, around 971 of them happened to construction workers. This means out of every five worker deaths that occurred, one of them was a construction worker. There are many reasons why construction sites are dangerous, but OSHA has pinpointed four causes of construction worker deaths.

The ‘Fatal Four’

These four causes of construction worker fatalities were determined to be responsible for nearly 60 percent of all construction worker deaths in 2017:

  1. Falls: Deaths due to falls were responsible for nearly 40 percent of deaths in 2017. OSHA’s classification of falls includes falls and jumps to lower levels and falls on the same level. Typically, falls to lower levels are more serious than falls on the same level because of injuries sustained from the impact between the person who fell and the lower-level surface.
  2. Struck by Object: Around eight percent of deaths occurred because of objects striking workers. These injuries can also be serious because they involve injuries sustained from forcible contact or impact with another object, which can be anything. Workers who died by being struck by an object may have been hit by a vehicle, a rolling object or a falling object.
  3. Electrocutions: OSHA reported that electrocutions were responsible for a little over seven percent of construction worker deaths in 2017. Electrocutions occur when a person is exposed to electricity, whether directly or indirectly. Direct exposure can occur if a person comes into contact with an intentionally electrified object, such as an electric fence. Indirect exposure can involve situations such as a worker coming into contact with water that has been electrified.
  4. Caught-in/Between an Object: Around five percent of construction worker deaths were caused by the worker being caught in or compressed by equipment or other objects. Injuries sustained from these types of accidents can occur when a person or a part of a person’s body is pinched, squeezed or crushed in machinery, stationary or moving objects or wire or rope.

Contact a Cook County Construction Accident Attorney Today

Depending on the circumstances of the situation, you may be able to claim compensation through a couple of different ways. If the person died while they were on the job, you may be able to claim death benefits from a workers’ compensation claim. In other situations, you may have to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you determine the best type of case to pursue to obtain maximum compensation. Our compassionate Tinley Park, IL, construction accident injury lawyers are happy to help you begin your case today. Call our office at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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What You Should Do If Your Teen Has Gotten Into a Car AccidentTeenagers are one of the most car accident-prone groups in the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 3,200 teen drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2017 and more than 2,500 were killed. Car crashes are still the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., with many of the crashes being caused by distracted or other types of impaired driving. A car accident can leave you with thousands of dollars worth of damages and your teenager with serious injuries or even criminal charges, depending on the situation. Here are a few steps you should take if your teen has gotten into a car accident: 

  1. Call Emergency Services Immediately: For many teenagers, their first instinct after they get into an accident is to call their parents. While this can be relieving for you, you also need to make sure that emergency services are called. Either you or your teen needs to call 911 immediately, even if injuries are not serious. Calling 911 will dispatch police and ambulances if needed.
  2. Take Photos: If your teen is able to, you should have them take photos while they are still at the scene. These photos could be crucial to the successful settlement of a car accident case. Make sure they take as many photos as possible, especially of the damages to their car and the other person’s car, any visible injuries they may have, the license plates of each vehicle, the scene of the accident as a whole and any factors that may have contributed to the accident.
  3. Record Information: You should tell your teen to take notes of any other information that might be useful. Important information can include the make and model of the other vehicle, road conditions, weather conditions, the date and time of the accident, the time police arrived, the officer’s badge numbers and any witness information. Tell them to get the insurance information of anyone else involved in the accident before they leave the scene.
  4. Get a Copy of the Police Report: When police are called to the scene of an accident, they will begin compiling information about the accident that will later be written into a formal police report. It will also be helpful to have a copy of the police report when you begin a case with your insurance company or a lawyer. The police report will include information about testimonies given to the officer by both parties involved in the accident, the officer’s opinion of what happened and any witness testimonies, including their contact information. 

A Cook County Car Accident Attorney Can Help

It can be a scary thing to receive the call that your teen has gotten into a car accident. Once you know that your teen is safe, you should begin taking steps to ensure the situation is resolved quickly. Depending on the severity of the accident, your teen could be suffering from serious injuries that could cause them to miss school or lose out on wages from their job. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we understand that injuries from a car accident can be so severe that it will affect your teen for the rest of his or her life. Our compassionate Tinley Park, IL, car accident lawyers can help you fight for the compensation that you and your teen may deserve. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Speeding in Illinois Can Become More Than Just a TicketThough speeding may seem like a victimless crime, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 10,000 people who were killed because of speed-related traffic accidents in 2017. Millions of people each year receive citations for speeding, but there are certain instances in which speeding can become more than just a ticket and a fine that you must pay. In the state of Illinois, aggravated speeding is a crime that can result in misdemeanor charges against you.

What is Aggravated Speeding?

According to Illinois law, aggravated speeding is considered to be any speeding that is 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. If you are speeding 25 mph or less over the speed limit, you will only receive a ticket and you will not face criminal charges, such as these.

  • Class B misdemeanor aggravated speeding: You will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if you are caught going 26 mph or more over the speed limit, but less than 35 mph over the limit. You could face up to six months in prison, up to two years of probation and/or between $75 and $1,500 in fines.
  • Class A misdemeanor aggravated speeding: If you are caught speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in prison, up to two years of probation and/or between $75 and $2,500 in fines.

Jail Time for a Speeding Conviction?

It is within the applicable sentencing guidelines for a judge to sentence you to prison for an aggravated speeding conviction. However, this is rather uncommon. Illinois judges tend to sentence those convicted of aggravated speeding to a period of court supervision, especially if this is the first time a person has ever faced aggravated speeding charges. Court supervision is a rather lenient sentence that allows the charges to be dropped if you do not commit any other traffic violations during the supervisory period. This allows the person to avoid a conviction from appearing on their criminal and driving records.

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How to Determine Negligence in a Car Accident Injury CaseGetting into a car accident can leave anyone feeling shaken up and worried. Even if the car accident only resulted in relatively minor injuries, such as a broken bone, it can come with even more damages, like missing work, medical costs, and repair costs, among others. This is typically when the idea of a car accident injury claim may come in handy. Most car accident injury claims are based around the idea of negligence, which just means the other person involved in the car accident failed to exercise their duty to drive safely on the road. To prevail in a car accident injury case, you must prove the following elements exist:

Duty of Care

When it comes to car accident claims, the duty of care is the responsibility that every driver has to operate their vehicle in a safe manner that is also consistent with traffic laws and other precautions most reasonable drivers would take. Examples of duty of care include:

  • Using turn signals;
  • Avoiding distractions, such as your cell phone;
  • Driving at a safe speed; and
  • Fully stopping at red lights and stop signs.

Breach of Duty of Care

The breach of duty of care is rather important because this pinpoints the action that caused your damages. You must prove that the driver either blatantly violated a traffic law or that he or she committed an action that put you and other drivers in unwarranted danger.

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Exploring Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Death BenefitsIn the blink of an eye, an accident can happen while you are at work. True, there are certain jobs in which accidents are more common, but a workplace accident can occur anywhere, regardless of where you work and who you work for. One of the most devastating outcomes of a workplace accident is the death of a loved one. Not only does this bring on grief and emotional pain, but it can also mean that you are now burdened by the worry of your family’s financial future. Fortunately, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission offers death benefits to families whose loved ones die as a result of workplace accidents.

Eligible Family Members

If a worker is killed on the job, the worker’s primary beneficiaries are entitled to receive the survivor’s benefit. A primary beneficiary is considered to be the worker’s spouse and any children under the age of 18. If the worker did not have any primary beneficiaries, then the benefits can be paid to the worker’s totally dependent parents.

The remarriage of a surviving spouse does not negate any claim to survivor’s benefits for the worker’s children. If the children are eligible to receive the benefit when the spouse is remarried, they will continue to receive the benefit until they are no longer eligible. If there are no eligible children, the spouse is entitled to a lump sum that is equal to two years of compensation.

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Can I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test If I Am Pulled Over for DUI in Illinois?One of the most serious laws you can break when you are behind the wheel of a car is driving while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a police officer spots you while you are driving and thinks that you may be under the influence, he or she will immediately pull you over. Before the officer even walks to your vehicle, they will be assessing you and your behavior to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. They may ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. If you do not do well with them, they may request that you blow into a Breathalyzer so they can determine your blood-alcohol content (BAC) or they may arrest you and request that you complete chemical testing at the police station. Can you refuse to take that chemical test?

Implied Consent Laws

Illinois law states that any person with a state driver's license who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is deemed to have given their consent to have their blood, breath or other bodily substance tested to determine their BAC or whether or not there are any drugs or intoxicating compounds in their system. You do not even have to be conscious to have a chemical test performed on you because you are deemed to have already given your consent. Illinois law states that a person who is dead, unconscious or otherwise unable to refuse to perform a chemical test is not deemed to have revoked his or her consent.

Consequences for a Refusal

Can you refuse a chemical test, despite the implied consent law? The answer to the question is yes – technically. You have the right to refuse a chemical test, but you will face negative consequences for doing so. In Illinois, the first time you refuse to take a chemical test will result in your driving privileges being suspended for 12 months, though you will be eligible to apply for a monitoring device driving permit. You will face a suspension of your driving privileges for three years for the second or subsequent time you refuse to take a chemical test within five years of your first offense.

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Tips to Help Avoid a Motorcycle Accident in IllinoisFor many Americans, motorcycles are a preferred method of transportation during the warmer months. Now that the snow has melted and the sun is shining, there are more and more people who are out enjoying their bikes. Though this is a cherished pastime for some, it can be deadly for others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 5,000 motorcyclists who were killed in traffic accidents in 2017, with tens of thousands more who suffered from injuries. Fortunately, you can lessen your risk of being injured or killed in a motorcycle traffic accident. Here are a few ways you can reduce your chance of being in a motorcycle accident:

  1. Wear Adequate Protection: The first thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to wear clothing and gear that can provide you with protection. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable because they do not have the structure of a vehicle surrounding them, as others do. Before you hop on your bike, you should be sure to wear long pants and long sleeves, ideally made out of leather or heavy denim. You should also be wearing a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation’s safety standards.
  2. Know What You Are Doing: If you are a first-time rider, you should be fully licensed and have taken some sort of a riding course before you begin riding. The NHTSA states that around 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were riding without valid motorcycle licenses. Even if you are not new to riding, you should take a refresher course to ensure you are practicing safe riding habits.
  3. Do Not Impair Your Ability to Ride Safely: Unsurprisingly, more motorcycle accidents – especially fatal motorcycle accidents – happen when the rider is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never ride your motorcycle when you have been drinking or taking drugs. 
  4. Do Not Assume You Are Always Visible: Most motorcycle accidents occur simply because other drivers cannot see you. Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles and can get lost in a vehicle’s blind spots rather easily. You should never assume that another driver can see you or knows where you are. Try to stay out of other vehicle’s blind spots and wear brightly-colored, reflective clothing.

Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? A Cook County Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help

Sometimes accidents happen through little to no fault of yours. If you were in a motorcycle accident that resulted in injuries to yourself, or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to claim compensation for your losses. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you pursue a personal injury claim for your motorcycle accident injuries. Let our knowledgeable Orland Park motorcycle accident lawyers help you – call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Defending Against Assault and Battery Charges: Claiming Self DefenseOne of the most common defenses people use when they are fighting assault and/or battery charges is claiming that they were acting in self-defense. In some situations, this may be a legitimate defense, but many people do not realize that there are certain elements that must be proven if you want to succeed with a claim of self-defense. 

Illinois recognizes that there are certain situations that citizens may be put into that require the use of force against another person. Because of this, there are stipulations in the Criminal Code of 2012 that allow a person to use force against another person, as long as it is legally justifiable. If you plan to use self-defense as your claim against assault and/or battery charges, you need an attorney who has experience with self-defense claims.

Illinois Self Defense Laws

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that people can legally use force against others if they reasonably believe that the use of force is necessary to protect themselves or someone else against a person’s use of unlawful force. This means that you are permitted to use force against another person as long as it was actually necessary and you had no other way of protecting yourself.

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Exploring Juvenile Diversion Programs in IllinoisParenting is hard work. You spend years of your life raising your child from a bouncing baby boy into the strapping young man he is becoming. You would like to think that he has a good moral compass and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. The last thing you want to hear is that your child has gotten himself into trouble with the law. That phone call can be devastating, but now there is one question that keeps running through your mind: what will happen to my child? Depending on what your child has done, he may be eligible to participate in a juvenile diversion program, which is one of the more favorable outcomes of a juvenile offense.

What is a Diversion Program?

Juvenile diversion programs were designed as an alternative to juvenile detention. Juvenile offenders who are convicted of minor offenses can participate in diversion programs. These programs are typically community-based and smaller-scale, which make them more effective at addressing and preventing future delinquency.

The primary goal of juvenile diversion is to reduce the number of juveniles in out-of-home placements after a conviction. Each diversion program is different, but they all have the same end goal: to educate and rehabilitate the juvenile offenders in an effort to prevent future delinquency and mold them into law-abiding citizens. Juvenile diversion programs typically offer services such as:

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How Can an Illinois Order of Protection Affect Me?Unfortunately, domestic violence is a fairly common occurrence in the U.S. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are more than 12 million people who experience some form of domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously in Illinois and is punished accordingly. There are options available to victims of domestic violence to help combat their situations, such as getting an order of protection against the abuser. An order of protection is a legal document signed by a judge that requires the alleged abuser to stop further abuse and to stay away from the victim.

Contents of an Order of Protection

When someone requests an order of protection against you, the judge will decide what kind of stipulations are in the order. There are many things that can be required or prohibited in an order of protection. Orders of protection can prohibit you from:

  • Harassing, intimidating, stalking or abusing the person who requested the order;
  • Entering or remaining in your residence;
  • Being in the presence of the person who requested the order;
  • Going to the person’s school, residence or workplace;
  • Taking, transferring or concealing certain property;
  • Possessing a firearm;
  • Having contact with minor children;
  • Accessing your minor children’s records; and
  • Entering or remaining in your residence while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

An order of protection can also require you to:

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Five Steps You Should Take After You Are Injured at WorkAn injury can happen anywhere, at any time – even while you are at work. Though certain industries and professions can pose more of a risk to employees, any worker can be injured through a variety of ways. Work injuries can range from a superficial cut to loss of a limb and, in some cases, even death. The decisions that you make after you are injured at work can affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim, which is why it is important that you take the right steps. Here are a couple of steps that every injured worker should take if they have been hurt at work:

1. Report Your Injury Right Away

One of the first things you should do after you are injured at work is to report your injury to your employer. While it does not have to be the absolute first thing you do, it is imperative that you report your injury as soon as possible. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits if you do not report your injury.

2. Get Medical Attention

While getting treatment is obvious, the place you go to receive medical attention can impact the benefits you will receive from your workers’ compensation claim. In Illinois, some employers may have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) in place, which is a list of physicians, specialists and other health providers that the employer has approved. If your employer does have a PPP, you must first choose a provider from the list to be seen. First aid and emergency care do not count as a provider and do not have to be from the PPP.

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What Makes an Illinois DUI Charge an Aggravated DUI?In Illinois, any DUI charge that is classified as a felony charge is automatically considered to be an aggravated DUI charge. As the name suggests, aggravated DUI is more serious than a misdemeanor DUI and carries more serious consequences. Aggravated DUI charges can range anywhere from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, depending on the circumstances.

Class 4 Felonies

A Class 4 felony is the least serious classification of felony charges, though a conviction can still carry a sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Examples of Class 4 felony aggravated DUI charges include:

  • A first DUI offense while transporting a minor younger than 16 in the vehicle that resulted in bodily harm to the child;
  • A second DUI offense committed while transporting a child younger than 16;
  • DUI committed while driving a school bus with at least one minor on board;
  • DUI committed while driving a vehicle-for-hire with a passenger inside;
  • DUI resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement;
  • DUI committed without a valid driver’s license; and
  • DUI committed without vehicle insurance.

Class 3 Felonies

A conviction for a Class 3 felony means you will face two to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A DUI conviction is a Class 3 felony if you had a previous reckless homicide DUI conviction or aggravated DUI conviction involving a death.

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How to Prevent Four Medical Errors That Can Cause Serious Injuries or DeathHospitals are supposed to be some of the safest places we can go – they are where we go to be treated when we are sick or injured. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital safety organization, as many as 440,000 people die annually as a result of hospital errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. This makes medical errors the third leading cause of death for Americans, right behind heart disease and cancer. Fortunately, many medical errors are preventable. Here are four medical mistakes and what you can do to minimize the chance that they happen to you:

  1. Medication Mix-Ups: There are a lot of moving parts in hospitals and multiple ways a medication mix-up can occur. Getting the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication can cause you more problems and can even be deadly. Before you take your medication, you should verify that the nurse gave you the correct medication and the correct dosage.
  2. Infections: This is one of the most infamous causes of death in hospitals. With so many people touching you and so many objects being inserted into you, it is easy to pick up an infection while in the hospital. To try to lessen your risk of catching an infection, remind your health care professionals to wash their hands before they touch you. 
  3. Falls: Though this may not seem like a medical mistake, hospital staff are responsible for protecting you from falling. It is important to tell nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and patient aids about your fall risk before you start moving. They might give you a cane or a walker to help stabilize you. Also, you should ask for help before you get out of bed or try walking.
  4. Being Discharged Too Soon: Leaving the hospital prematurely is also a culprit of injuries, accidents, and infections. You may suffer if your health professional discharges you before you are actually ready to go home. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you and your companion both understand all of the discharge instructions, medication instructions and care instructions that are given to you. If you are unsure of something, ask questions.

Get in Touch With a Cook County Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical errors have quickly become a top cause of death in the U.S., which is problematic and disturbing for many reasons. You should be able to trust and rely on your physician and health care team to heal you – not worry that they will harm you. If you think you may have been a victim of a medical error or medical malpractice, you should immediately contact a skilled Orland Park medical malpractice lawyer today. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you recover any damages that you may be entitled to. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Exploring Illinois DUI and Statutory Summary SuspensionsBeing convicted of driving under the influence means you might have to face some rather daunting penalties. Even a run-of-the-mill DUI conviction in Illinois can carry lengthy jail time, hefty fines and a loss of driving privileges. These are all criminal penalties, but unbeknownst to some people, you can also face civil penalties for violations of Illinois’ DUI laws that can affect your day-to-day life in many ways. One of these civil penalties of DUI is a statutory summary suspension, which can cause you to temporarily lose your driving privileges.

What is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

Like all states, Illinois has an implied consent law, which states that all those who are driving on Illinois roads or hold an Illinois driver’s license have given their implicit consent that police may perform a chemical test on their blood, breath or urine if police have reason to suspect that the person was driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The statutory summary suspension policy allows the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office to suspend the driver’s license of any person who fails a chemical test, refuses to take a chemical test or does not finish a chemical test.

Consequences for Failed or Refused Chemical Tests

Failing a chemical test means that you were found to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or a trace of any other type of drug, legal or illegal. Failing a chemical test a first time will result in a six-month driving suspension. Failing a chemical test a second or subsequent time within five years of the first means you will face a one-year driving suspension. 

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Homer Glen car accident lawyerGetting into a car accident is a scary experience. Not only are you probably emotionally rattled, but you may also be suffering from serious injuries. These injuries may be causing you immense pain and prevent you from working, resulting in lost wages and putting a financial strain on your family. Pursuing a personal injury claim can often be worthwhile, but this can also be tricky. You bear the burden of proof in a personal injury claim, meaning you must provide evidence that the collision happened, that you were injured during the crash, and that the injury has caused you pain and suffering, wage loss, or other damages. In order to prove all of this, it is important to gather the correct evidence after a car accident, including:

Photographs

Photos can be an invaluable part of your case in pursuing compensation for your injuries. After the accident, if you are able to, you should try to take photos of each of your immediate visible injuries. Next, take pictures of the scene of the accident, getting landmarks, street signs, street lights, and the vehicles involved in the accident in the photos. Take as many pictures as you can and take them from different angles to capture as much of the scene as possible.

Personal Notes

It can also help for you to take down some notes to record details of the accident. Write down everything that you remember about the collision. These notes should include the time of day when the accident took place, what you were doing immediately before the accident occurred, and any other details about the crash.

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Cook County medical negligence attorneyWhen you are literally putting your life in the hands of another person, you should be able to trust them completely. Unfortunately, the trust between a doctor and patient is sometimes broken. Everyone makes mistakes--even doctors--but medical professionals are held to a higher standard because of the level of responsibility that they have to provide care that protects a patient’s health and well-being. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to meet these standards and causes harm to a patient through their negligence. There are certain elements that you must prove in order to have a case for medical malpractice.

Three Components of Malpractice Cases

To pursue a medical malpractice case, you must show that all of the following occurred:

Violation of the Standard of Care: The most basic element of a medical malpractice case is that your doctor committed an act of negligence, or violated a standard of care. There are certain practices that are considered acceptable in the medical field, and if your doctor deviated from them, you may have a case for establishing negligence. Examples of negligence can include:

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Cook County workers' compensation benefits lawyerBeing injured while you are at work can be a stressful and worrisome situation. Not only are you suffering from a physical injury, but you are probably full of stress and uncertainty about how you will be able to earn money if you cannot work. Thankfully, Illinois requires almost all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This is a type of insurance that is in place for these very situations -- if a worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will cover it. In Illinois, workers’ compensation covers three types of benefits: medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits. 

Medical Benefits

First and foremost, the basic intention of workers’ compensation insurance is to ensure that an employee’s medical care is taken care of in the event they are injured. In Illinois, your employer is required to pay for any and all medical expenses relating to an injury if you received the injury while at work. Expenses that are covered include:

  • Emergency care
  • First aid
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospital care
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Prosthetic devices

Disability Benefits

If you are injured so badly that you are unable to work, then workers’ compensation can help you out. Disability benefits come in a few different forms. Typically, benefits are awarded to you based on whether you are totally or partially disabled and if that disability is permanent or temporary. The four types of disability benefits are:

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