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How is Permanent Partial Disability Workers’ Compensation Calculated in Illinois?Each year, there are an estimated 200,000 work-related accidents that occur in Illinois, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Though most of these incidents do not result in a workers’ compensation claim, there are still quite a few claims filed each year. The latest information available from the Commission states that there were more than 38,000 workers’ compensation claims filed with the Commission in 2017. There are different types of workers’ compensation benefits that can be awarded to a worker, one of them being permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits that kick in when an employee is permanently injured.

What is Permanent Partial Disability?

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, PPD benefits can be awarded to an employee who experiences:

  • Complete or partial loss of a part of the body
  • Complete or partial loss of use of part of the body; or
  • Partial loss of use of the body as a whole

Technically, there is no specific definition of “loss of use” that is determined by law, but it typically means that a person is unable to do things that they were able to do before the injury. To receive PPD benefits, you have to first reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) as determined by a doctor.

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What Are My Rights If I Am Pulled Over During An Illinois Traffic Stop?Traffic stops are one of the most common ways that police come into contact with the general public. According to data from the Stanford Open Policing Project, there were more than 12.7 million traffic stops conducted by state police in Illinois between 2011 and 2017. There are dozens of reasons why a police officer would want to pull you over. Maybe your tail light is out or you forgot to signal a lane change. Maybe the officer noticed that you were on your cell phone while you were driving. Maybe the officer suspects you are driving under the influence because your driving was erratic. Whatever the reason, there are certain rights that you have when you are pulled over by police.

Police Must Have Reasonable Suspicion

If an officer pulls you over, they must have a reason for doing so. It is not lawful for an officer to perform a traffic stop for no reason. It is a violation of your Constitutional rights if they perform a stop without having reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime.

You Do Not Have to Offer Up Information

When you are pulled over, the police officer will almost always ask for your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. This is information that you are legally required to give to the officer if he or she asks for it. During the stop, the police may also ask you other questions, such as where you are going to or coming from or if you have had anything to drink that night. These are questions that you do not – and should not – answer. Offering up any sort of information could be used against you later.

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What Are My Options For Driving After an Illinois DUI Arrest?If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, you will lose your driving privileges. In fact, you can lose your driving privileges before you are convicted if you fail a chemical sobriety test by having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) greater than 0.08 or if you refuse to take the test during your arrest. This is called the statutory summary suspension and is an administrative driver’s license revocation that is separate from your criminal case. The amount of time that your license is suspended for depends on the nature of your arrest. For example, if you refuse to take a chemical test, your license will be suspended for longer than if you had simply just failed the test.

The Illinois Secretary of State is the governing body that is responsible for the administrative driver’s license revocations. The Secretary of State understands that not being able to drive can create hardship for some people, which is why they have provided a way to allow those with suspended licenses to still be able to drive. If your license is suspended because of a DUI charge, you have two options: a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RPD).

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP)

For most first-time DUI offenders, an MDDP is the favorable option. To receive an MDDP, you must have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed onto your vehicle. A BAIID is a device that requires you to provide a breath sample before you can start your vehicle and periodically while you are driving. An MDDP allows you to drive anywhere at any time – as long as you are driving a vehicle that has a BAIID equipped. Only people without a previous DUI conviction are eligible to receive an MDDP, but not those who are under the age of 18 or caused death or great bodily harm during the DUI.

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Understanding Marijuana DUI Charges in IllinoisMany states across the country have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, with Illinois following suit. For Illinois, the beginning of the year brought the legalization of recreational marijuana, but it also brought concerns about marijuana-related DUI’s. Illinois now permits adults who are age 21 or older to purchase and consume cannabis, though the drug still remains highly controlled. Adults are only permitted to purchase and possess certain amounts of marijuana and are only permitted to ingest the drug in certain places. Like alcohol users, marijuana users are subject to charges if they are caught driving while under the influence.

Illinois’ Marijuana DUI Laws

The 2020 Illinois DUI Factbook states that drivers in Illinois are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs such as cannabis, whether it was used for medical or recreational purposes. Like alcohol, the state has placed a limit for what is considered to be a legal amount of THC (the intoxicating compound in marijuana) in a driver’s blood. While the intoxication limit for alcohol is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the intoxication limit for THC is no more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of another bodily substance.

The issue with marijuana-related DUI’s is that they are not as clear cut as alcohol-related DUI’s. One of the reasons why marijuana-related DUI’s are a bit of a gray area is because there is no 100 percent accurate way of determining how intoxicated a person is when under the influence of cannabis. When it comes to alcohol, most people are impaired when their BAC is 0.08 or more. When it comes to the legal THC limit, some people can feel intoxicated with less than 5 nanograms of THC in their blood, while other people may sincerely not be intoxicated with more than 5 nanograms of THC in their blood. There is also the issue that traces of THC remain in a person’s body for weeks after using marijuana.

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What to Do If in a Car Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?Getting into any type of car accident can be a very unpleasant experience. Depending on the situation, you could be facing extensive damage to your vehicle or even serious injuries to yourself or your passengers. If you are in an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, the complexity of your situation increases quite a bit. Every driver in the state of Illinois is required to have a certain amount of coverage for collisions that are their fault, but not every driver obeys that rule. According to a 2017 study from the Insurance Information Institute, around 13 percent of drivers in the United States did not have any type of car insurance. This can be problematic for everyone involved in an accident, especially if you are a victim.

Dealing With an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Usually, when you are in a car accident, the insurance company of the driver who is found to be at fault pays for the costs associated with the accident. When you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance, it can become a problem when trying to get your own insurance company to pay for damages. Even if a driver does have insurance, they may not have the right amount of insurance or enough to cover the costs of the damages. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You Should Immediately Call Emergency Services: Obviously, you should call 911 if anyone involved in the accident is seriously injured. However, it is always a good idea to call the police to the scene – even if there were no injuries – so that the accident can have an official record.
  2. Get the Other Driver’s Contact Information: If the motorist stops after the accident, you should ask them for their insurance information. They may or may not tell you if they have insurance, but even if they do not, you should get their contact information such as their name, address and phone number.
  3. Begin Gathering Evidence: This step can be crucial in any claim that involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist. You should collect as much evidence as you can when you are still at the scene of the accident. Try to take photos of any obvious injuries to yourself or others, any damage to your vehicles, their license plate number and vehicle, and the surrounding area.
  4. Consult with an Attorney Before Talking to Your Insurance Company: Before you contact your insurance company, you should contact an attorney. Your attorney will be able to provide you with all of the available options for obtaining compensation after your car accident, even if there was an uninsured or underinsured motorist involved.

Our Cook County Car Accident Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Getting into a car accident can be devastating, but things can be even more stressful when the other driver involved in the accident does not have insurance to cover your damages. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how difficult it can be to obtain compensation for your injuries, even in situations in which the other driver does have insurance. Our skilled Tinley Park, IL, car accident injury attorneys will work with you and your insurance company to help you get the most out of your claim. Call our office today at 708-942-8400  to schedule a free consultation.

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How Does the Use of Weapons Change Illinois Assault and Battery Charges?Some of the most serious types of crimes are those that involve harming another person in some way, such as assault or battery. Some people may think they mean the same thing, but they are actually two different charges that are often committed together. As with many other crimes, assault and battery charges can change in severity depending on whether or not weapons were used in the commission of the crime. In almost all cases that involve the use of a weapon during an assault or battery, the crime is considered to be “aggravated” and the consequences are increased.

Weapons and Aggravated Assault

Assault occurs when you do something that causes another person to believe that you will physically harm them. When the assault involves the use of a weapon, this is considered an aggravated assault. If you use a weapon during the assault and you do not discharge that weapon, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. If you do discharge the weapon, you will be charged with a Class 4 felony, which can result in up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Weapons and Aggravated Battery

Battery occurs when you actually cause bodily harm to another person or you make physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. When battery involves the use of a weapon, it is considered to be aggravated battery. If you use a firearm during the battery, you will be charged with the most serious of felonies, a Class X felony. Depending on the circumstances, you could face up to 60 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, if you used a weapon other than a firearm during the battery, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony, which carries up to five years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

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What is the Difference Between Burglary, Theft, and Robbery?Most of us know that it is wrong to take something from someone without asking. Not only is it not nice, but it is also illegal. You have heard the terms “theft,” “robbery,” and “burglary” before, but many people use them interchangeably. In reality, these words are three different things in the legal world. They each have their own definitions and their own punishments if you are convicted of them. While these three crimes all do involve the unlawful taking of property, the differences lie in the circumstances around how the property was taken.

Theft

General theft is a crime that occurs when a person obtains control over property without the authorization of that property’s owner. Theft crimes vary in seriousness depending on the value of the property taken and where it was taken from. For example, property that was taken that is valued at less than $500 is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If that property was taken from a place of worship or belonged to the government, the crime is elevated to a Class 4 felony. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, theft can carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Robbery

Robbery is similar to theft but involves the taking of property from a person using force or the threat of force. Robbery can be charged as up to a Class 1 felony, which carries as long as 15 years in prison and as much as $25,000 in fines. Armed robbery occurs when a person commits robbery and uses or is armed with a dangerous weapon or firearm. Armed robbery is charged as a Class X felony, meaning the person faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

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Understanding Personal Injury Claims for Catastrophic InjuriesSuffering an injury is a stressful experience, no matter the injury you have sustained. Many everyday situations such as car accidents, work accidents or even freak accidents can cause multiple types of injuries, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to more severe injuries such as brain or spinal injuries. Whatever the accident, there is always the risk of a more serious, catastrophic injury, which is much more consequential than something you will recover from completely. Depending on the situation, sustaining a catastrophic injury may allow you to recover compensation from the responsible parties.

What is a Catastrophic Injury?

The definition of a catastrophic injury varies depending on the source you are getting your information from. For the most part, catastrophic injuries can be considered injuries that have serious consequences and permanently alter the person’s life or quality of life. Examples of catastrophic injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations or loss of limb
  • Crush injuries
  • Severe burn injuries

What Types of Compensation Can Be Recovered?

Most of the time, if you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you will need medical care or specialized care for an extended period of time. In some cases, you may need specialized care for the rest of your life. Also, in many catastrophic injury cases, your ability to work is diminished or taken away completely. Here are a few examples of costs and the types of compensation you can recover by filing a lawsuit for a catastrophic injury:

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Important Things You Should Know About Carrying a Concealed Weapon in IllinoisThe right to own firearms is part of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution and cannot be taken away by the government. However, lawmakers in each state have the authority to make their own laws pertaining to the use, sale, distribution, and ownership of firearms and to legally restrict certain people from owning one. In Illinois, owning a firearm is legal and even carrying a concealed firearm can be legal. If you are a firearm owner, there are a few things you should know about carrying a concealed weapon in Illinois.

You Must Possess the Proper Licensure

In the state of Illinois, if you want to carry a concealed weapon with you, you must first obtain both a firearm owner identification (FOID) card and a concealed carry license (CCL). Everyone in the state who owns a firearm must possess a FOID card, while only those who wish to carry a concealed weapon must also have a CCL. To be eligible for a CCL, there are a variety of requirements, such as:

  • Possessing a current and valid FOID card
  • Not being convicted of more than two DUI charges or misdemeanor or felony charges involving violence
  • Successfully completing the required firearms training

Carrying a concealed weapon without having a CCL or having it in your possession can result in serious criminal charges.

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How Do Consequences Change for DUI If There Is a Child in the Vehicle?If you have a child, you know that your first priority is making sure they are safe at all times. Even though we strive to keep our children out of harm’s way, sometimes things happen that cause our children to be put in danger, whether it is our fault or not. Having a child in the vehicle when you are arrested for driving under the influence is a serious situation. Not only do you face consequences if convicted for driving while under the influence, but that could be just the beginning of your worries. Illinois law has provisions for what happens when a person is arrested and convicted of DUI when there is a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle with them.

Consequences for First-Offense DUI with a Child in the Vehicle

Consequences of being convicted of a DUI for a first offense can vary depending on the judge, but there is a good chance that you can receive court supervision as a sentence, which could keep a conviction off your criminal record. As long as you follow the rules of your court supervision, which typically include attending drug/alcohol counseling and/or community service, your case will be dismissed at the end of the supervision period. However, if a child was with you in your car during your first DUI, you face a minimum fine of $1,000 and at least 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

Consequences of Felony DUI with a Child in the Vehicle

There are some situations in which you could be charged with a felony because you were carrying a child in the vehicle when you were arrested for DUI. If you got into a car crash while driving under the influence and a child was injured, you can be charged with a Class 4 felony, which comes with the possibility of up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. In addition to that, you face a mandatory fine of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children. Penalties increase for second or subsequent offenses.

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Can I File a Lawsuit if I Get Sick from Eating a Food Product?When you purchase food at a restaurant or grocery store, you should be able to expect that the product is safe to eat. Even though there are stringent inspection processes for food in the United States, sometimes there is still food on the market that can pose a health threat to those who consume it. There are hundreds of different types of foodborne diseases that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, most of which can be prevented through proper storage, handling and cooking. If you get sick from consuming food from a restaurant or grocery store, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or supplier responsible.

Recent Listeria Outbreak Prompts Recall

Last week, Almark Foods issued a recall on all of its hard-boiled egg products over concerns of listeria contamination. The Food and Drug Administration linked the hard-boiled egg products that were produced from the company’s Gainesville, Georgia, plant with a listeria outbreak that affected people from five different states and killed one person in Texas. The egg products were sold under various brand names and at various retailers, including Trader Joe’s, Giant Eagle, Kroger, and Walmart.

What is Listeria?

Listeria is a foodborne illness that can affect anyone but can be particularly severe in newborns, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. The symptoms of listeria vary depending on the person and the part of the body that is affected. In adults who are over the age of 65, listeria can cause infections in the bloodstream and brain. Women who are pregnant with a listeria infection often experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle ache, but their babies can get extremely sick and even miscarry or die at birth.

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Three Things You Should Know About Your Miranda RightsIf you have ever seen any of the various law enforcement shows on TV, you have probably at least heard of your Miranda rights. The 1966 Supreme Court case Arizona v. Miranda further enforced that a police officer is required to notify you of your constitutional rights when you have been taken into custody. The case involved a young man, Ernesto Miranda, who was a suspect for rape and kidnapping. Before police informed him that he had a right to an attorney and the right to remain silent, he confessed to the crimes. This was a landmark case in the Supreme Court that is still upheld today and affects the way all criminal cases take place now. Here are a few things you should know about your Miranda rights:

  1. Your Miranda Rights Are Your Constitutional Rights: The U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens certain rights, some of which are the basis of your Miranda rights. You always have the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination and the right to seek legal representation. There is no situation in which you do not have the freedom to exercise your Miranda rights. 
  2. The Police Are Legally Required To Inform You of Your Rights: This is one of the areas that the general public is often misinformed on. Police are required to inform you of your Miranda rights, but only after you have been arrested and before you are questioned. After they read you your rights, they must also get a response from you that you have acknowledged that you were read your rights and you understand them.
  3. Any Information Gathered Before You Are Read Your Rights Might Be Inadmissible as Evidence: If police begin to question you prior to your arrest and you offer up information, this can be used against you if you are prosecuted. However, if you have been arrested and you were not read your rights, any information that is gathered from you will most likely be inadmissible as evidence in court. Likewise, if a police officer uses force to get information from you, this will also be inadmissible as evidence.

Contact a Tinley Park, IL, Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away

Your Miranda rights are rights that are given to you by the U.S. Constitution. If you are taken into police custody or you are questioned by police, you have the right to request legal representation from a skilled Cook County criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you exercise your rights and provide you with the legal advice that you are entitled to. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation. 

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Three Ways You Can Help Prevent a Dangerous Winter Car AccidentAs Old Man Winter stretches his legs across the United States, cold temperatures and snowfall begin to appear in the weather forecast. While snow makes for a pretty landscape, it can be deadly for drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 17 percent of all car accidents occur during times when winter weather conditions are present. Wintery roads bring about many dangers to drivers, such as slippery surfaces, snow, wind, black ice, and slush. Though weather conditions are out of drivers’ control, drivers are still responsible for their actions, especially when a traffic accident occurs. Here are a few ways you can be proactive this winter to help you avoid a car accident:

  1. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is In Good Condition: The first thing you should do when the cold weather rolls around is to perform a maintenance check on your vehicle or take it to a mechanic who can perform a check. It is a good idea to make sure all of your headlights, taillights, and blinkers are working. It is also a good idea to make sure your car battery is in good condition and has a decent charge. Be sure to check the tread on your tires and their air pressure.
  2. Stay Alert While Driving: It is important that you are more alert than usual when you are on the road in the winter. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, so it is crucial that your eyes, ears, and mind are all focused on the task at hand. Be aware of other drivers around you and always yield to others, even if you do not have to.
  3. Avoid Risky Driving Behaviors: It is also extremely important that you do your best to minimize any risky driving behaviors during the winter months. You should never be texting and driving, but it can be especially dangerous in the winter. Do not speed; the ice and snow can make it difficult to slow down suddenly if a car is stopped in front of you.

Have You Been Injured in a Winter Weather Car Accident? Contact Our Will County Personal Injury Lawyer

Though most people hope for a white Christmas, snow and ice can make for dangerous driving conditions. If you have been injured in a winter-weather car accident, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable Joliet, IL, car accident injury attorney for assistance. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how serious car accident injuries can be and we are confident that we can help you get the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 708-942-8400.

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Understanding Illinois Hate Crimes and Their ConsequencesIn the past couple of years, law enforcement officers and legislative officials have focused more attention on hate crimes. More time, energy and resources have been put into thorough investigations of hate crimes, and laws have been made even more strict than before. In Illinois, officials do not have a tolerance for hate crimes and often punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Though every situation is different, a hate crime committed in Illinois is charged as a felony offense, which means you face serious consequences if you are convicted. Dealing with accusations of a hate crime can be daunting, which is why retaining counsel from a skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney is crucial.

What is Hate Crime?

In simple terms, a hate crime occurs when a person commits a crime against another person or group of people because of that group or person’s perceived race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Often, the type of actions that are committed against people in a hate crime is violent in nature and can include crimes such as:

  • Assault or aggravated assault
  • Battery or aggravated battery
  • Intimidation
  • Stalking
  • Theft
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment through electronic transmission

Illinois Sees Rise in Hate Crimes, Despite National Drop

Sadly, hate crimes are not uncommon in Illinois. In fact, Illinois saw an increase in the number of hate crimes that occurred between 2017 and 2018, while national statistics saw a slight decrease. Nationally, hate crimes dropped from 7,171 in 2017 to 7,120 in 2018. Illinois, however, saw an increase from 89 hate crimes committed in 2017 to 125 in 2018.

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Illinois Industries With the Highest Number of Non-Fatal InjuriesSince the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970, the U.S. government has placed an increased focus on decreasing the number of injuries happening in workplaces across the country. Today, OSHA still pushes for workplace safety and adequate training and precautions to try to prevent as many workplace injuries as possible. Unfortunately, workplace injuries are still common. According to the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were an estimated 132,400 workplace injuries recorded throughout the state in 2017. Though an injury can happen in any workplace, there are certain industries that have more workplace injuries than others.

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance: Most of the time, people think that the most dangerous industries to work in are those that use heavy machinery such as construction or factory work. In reality, the health care industry is typically the industry that has the highest number of workplace injuries. In Illinois, there were an estimated 21,300 injuries in this industry in 2017. Workplaces in this industry commonly include nursing and residential care facilities and hospitals.
  2. Manufacturing: While it is not the industry that has the most workplace injuries, manufacturing still ranks rather high when it comes to being hurt on the job. In 2017, an estimated 18,100 injuries occurred in manufacturing. This category covers most types of manufacturing, including plastics and rubber manufacturing, food manufacturing, textile mills, computer and electronic manufacturing and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.
  3. Retail Trade: Working in retail trade also has the possibility of being dangerous. An estimated 14,400 injuries were recorded in Illinois in 2017. The retail industry includes general merchandise stores, food and beverage stores, clothing stores and furniture and home furnishing stores. Many times, injuries recorded in this industry are overexertion, falls or trips.
  4. Transportation and Warehousing: The transportation and warehousing industry consists of nearly all types of transportation, such as air, water, rail and truck transportation, pipeline transportation, postal service and couriers and messengers. Around 10,900 injuries were recorded in this industry, with the majority coming from truck transportation.
  5. Entertainment and Hospitality: There is a wide range of workplaces that are included in the entertainment and hospitality industry, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, amusement parks, and museums. An estimated 10,700 injuries were recorded in 2017, with the foodservice industry carrying the majority of the injuries.

Have You Been Injured on the Job? A Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Being hurt while you are at work can change the course of your and your family’s lives forever. Not only can a workplace injury plunge you into financial distress, but you could also be facing the effects of your injuries for the rest of your life. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we will protect your interests at all times and aggressively pursue every source of compensation possible. If you have been hurt on the job, do not wait – call our skilled Tinley Park, IL, workers’ compensation lawyers today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Can I File a Malpractice Lawsuit Against My Doctor for a Misdiagnosis?Medical malpractice can envelop a variety of different physician behaviors and actions. One type of medical malpractice that can get overlooked is the misdiagnosis of a patient. According to a study published in the medical journal “BMJ Quality & Safety,” around 12 million adults are misdiagnosed each year, which is roughly equal to one out of 20 patients. Misdiagnosis is dangerous not only because it leaves people not getting the correct treatment, but in some cases, the treatment itself can cause harm. Sometimes, a misdiagnosis can be an innocent error on the doctor’s part, but sometimes it can be the result of a careless and negligent physician.

What is Misdiagnosis? 

There is more than one way you can be misdiagnosed when you present your doctor with your symptoms. In any case, a misdiagnosis can be dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening. Here are the three forms of misdiagnosis that you can experience:

  • Missed Diagnosis: A missed diagnosis occurs when your physician tells you that you are healthy when you really do have a condition that he or she should have been able to diagnose you with. A missed diagnosis can be detrimental to your health because the proper course of treatment is not being given.
  • False Diagnosis: A false diagnosis occurs when your doctor incorrectly diagnoses you with a disease that you do not have. One of the main things that we expect physicians to be able to do is correctly diagnose a patient based on presented symptoms. A false diagnosis is harmful because some treatments can be harmful to your health and you are not receiving treatment for the condition you actually have.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: A delayed diagnosis is often the result of one or many missed and/or false diagnoses. Typically, a delayed diagnosis occurs when a significant amount of time has passed between your initial visit with your physician and when you were correctly diagnosed. Some conditions get worse over time, especially if they are left untreated; a delayed diagnosis can exacerbate that. 

A Will County Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You Form Your Case

We hold doctors to a high standard and for good reason – they are partially responsible for the health and wellbeing of the public. It is not unreasonable to expect your doctor to correctly diagnose you if you are having unusual symptoms. If you think that you have been misdiagnosed, you should get in touch with a skilled Joliet, IL, medical malpractice lawyer. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how damaging a missed diagnosis, false diagnosis or delayed diagnosis can be. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Do Not Get Caught Driving With a Suspended or Revoked LicenseIllinois law provides for a variety of ways that you could lose your driving privileges, some of which may not even be related to driving at all. Fleeing from a police officer, incurring too many traffic violations, not paying traffic tickets or even not paying child support can result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Perhaps one of the most common reasons why a person loses their license is because they were arrested or convicted of driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Illinois, DUI convictions are serious and the penalties are too. Not only do you face jail time and expensive fines, but you also face losing your driving privileges. What can be just as serious, however, is driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

Criminal Charges for Driving With a Suspension or Revocation

Many people believe that driving while your license has been suspended or revoked is punished simply as a traffic ticket. In reality, if you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will be charged with a criminal offense, which is much more serious than just getting a ticket. If your license is suspended or revoked because of a DUI charge, the following penalties apply:

  1. First Offense: This is classified as a Class A misdemeanor and requires offenders to serve a minimum of 10 days in jail or 30 days of community service. Offenders can face up to $2,500 in fines and mandatory court costs, and their driver’s license will be subject to a suspension that is double the original suspension period or an additional year of revocation if their license was originally revoked.
  2. Second Offense: A second conviction is charged as a Class 4 felony unless the original suspension or revocation was due to DUI, reckless homicide, refusing a chemical test or leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury or death, in which case a second offense is charged as a Class 2 felony. Fines can be up to $25,000 and the offender must serve a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service.
  3. Third Offense: A third offense is charged similarly to a second offense; it is a Class 4 felony carrying a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service. If the original suspension or revocation was due to DUI, reckless homicide, refusing a chemical test or leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury or death, it will be charged as a Class 1 felony.

Avoid a Criminal Charge by Contacting an Orland Park, IL, Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney

Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked because of a DUI charge can be frustrating, but the worst thing you could do is to keep driving without getting a driving permit. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you apply for a monitoring device driving permit or a restricted driving permit. When you are eligible, we can also work to have your driver’s license reinstated. Contact our Cook County driver’s license reinstatement attorney today by calling the office at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Pursuing Compensation After an Illinois Car Accident Involving a Drunk DriverIt is illegal in all states to operate a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yet, this does not stop people from doing just that. Driving while you are intoxicated increases the chance that you will get into a car accident and unfortunately, DUI-related traffic accidents are common in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths caused by drunk driving accidents in 2018, accounting for around 29 percent of all traffic deaths that year. Even if you are not killed in a drunk driving accident, you can be seriously injured. The state of Illinois gives you a few options when it comes to pursuing compensation after a drunk driving accident.

The Illinois Dram Shop Act

In Illinois, it is possible to pursue compensation from different responsible parties. Not only can you pursue compensation from the drunk driver themselves, but you may also be able to pursue compensation from the establishment that served the driver his or her alcohol. The Illinois Liquor Control Act (also known as the Dram Shop Act) is the legislation that allows bars, restaurants, and other establishments to be held liable for damages and injuries caused by a drunk driver that they served.

Pursuing a Case Under the Dram Shop Act

In order to prevail in a case where you are holding an establishment responsible, you are required to prove certain elements. The burden of proof lies with you, meaning you must convince the court that the establishment was responsible. To do this, you must prove the following is true:

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Common Causes of Trips, Slips, and Falls in the WorkplaceAccidents happen; we all know this. Accidents at work are not uncommon occurrences, especially when it comes to slips, trips and/or falls. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that were reported in 2017. Of those injuries, the second most common type of injury was slips, trips, and falls. Like any injury, the severity of injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls can range from minor, such as pulled or strained muscles, to major injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or broken bones. The key to preventing these types of injuries is identifying the causes. Here are the most common causes of trips, slips, and falls in the workplace:

Substances on the Floor

When there are wet or dry contaminants on the floor, it can cause workers to lose their footing easily. Having substances on the floor is perhaps one of the most common causes of slips and falls in the workplace. Slippery substances that pose a danger can include:

  • Dust, powder or other granules
  • Water
  • Grease
  • Soap
  • Floor wax

Poor Lighting

Though it may not seem to pose a very obvious danger, a lack of sufficient lighting can also be the cause of a trip, slip or fall in the workplace. When employees cannot adequately see where they are walking or stepping, this can mask dangers that are present on the floor. Poor lighting is typically an issue in areas such as hallways, closets, parking garages, and storage rooms.

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Dealing With Instances of Juvenile Retail Theft in IllinoisWhen it comes to teens and crime, there are certain types of crimes that are rather popular with teens, such as underage drinking and drug use. One of the more common crimes committed by those under the age of 18 is retail theft. According to the latest statistics from the FBI, there were more than 93,000 juveniles arrested in 2017 for committing theft or larceny. A juvenile is defined as someone who is under the age of 18, but the state of Illinois does not prosecute all juveniles the same. If a juvenile is at least 17, they can be prosecuted as an adult if the crime is serious enough. Juvenile court is different from adult court, but consequences for retail theft can be serious either way.

Consequences for Retail Theft 

In general, retail theft is a crime that occurs when a person intends to deprive a merchant of the benefit or retail value of their merchandise by:

  • Taking possession of it
  • Carrying it away
  • Transferring it from the store
  • Aiding someone in any of the previous actions. 

If the value of the stolen merchandise does not exceed $300, the crime is classified as a Class A misdemeanor which carries up to one year in jail, up to $2,500 in fines and up to two years of probation. If the merchandise exceeds $300, the charge is elevated to a Class 4 felony which carries one-to-three years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines and up to 30 months of probation.

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