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What Is the "Prudent Investor Rule" in the Illinois Trust Code?

Web Admin - Thursday, January 23, 2020
Inverness estate planning attorney Illinois Trust CodeThe Illinois Trust Code (ITC) went into effect on January 1, 2020, replacing the former Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act and implementing a number of changes that affect trust makers, trustees, and beneficiaries. One notable adjustment is known as the “prudent investor rule,” and it affects a trustee’s ability to make investment decisions regarding the assets in a trust. Before any investment actions are taken by a trustee, it is important to review and understand the rights and responsibilities defined in the ITC.

Understanding the Prudent Investor Rule


Trustees are responsible for investing and managing the assets of a trust, and they have the duty to act prudently when making investments. This includes considering the purpose and terms of the trust, the distribution requirements, and other relevant information. Under the ITC, a trustee may also consider the environmental and social impact of investment decisions, as well as the governance policies of entities where assets are invested. Before making an investment, a trustee should consider:

- The economic conditions that may affect the investment
- The possibility of inflation or deflation
- The anticipated tax costs and consequences of the investment
- How a specific investment can affect the overall portfolio
- The anticipated total return
- The duty to sustain only feasible and suitable costs
- The need for liquidity, regular income, and preservation of capital

The ITC does allow a trustee to examine whether a trust asset has a relationship to the purpose of the trust, or to one or more of the beneficiaries, in order to help determine what to do with the asset. For example, if a trustee believes that real estate property held in a trust is of no value to the trust itself or the beneficiaries, he or she may suggest that the property be sold. A trustee is not eligible to become a beneficiary for the purpose of protecting his or her good faith in connection to the trust.

Contact a Mount Prospect Trust Attorney


The ITC has put a wide variety of rule changes in place. For trustees who manage the assets of a trust, it is imperative to understand how the prudent investor rule affects the decisions they make. To protect against liability or any other legal issues, all trust makers and trustees should seek legal counsel to determine how the ITC will affect them. At  Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our knowledgeable South Barrington estate planning lawyers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and address any concerns you may have as a trust maker, trustee, or beneficiary. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 847-934-6000. 

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.
 
Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61

How Is Exculpation of Trustees Addressed Under the New Illinois Trust Code?

Web Admin - Monday, December 30, 2019
Mount Prospect estate planning lawyer Illinois Trust CodeAs the new year begins, many trust owners (grantors) and trustees are familiarizing themselves with the Illinois Trust Code. As of January 1st, 2020, Illinois has adopted a new set of governing rules over trusts that will be linked to the Uniform Trust Code (UTC). This law involves many changes and updates to the rules surrounding trusts, and one area that has been affected is the modification of exculpation clauses. Moving forward, both grantors and trustees should consult a legal professional to either create, adjust, or better understand their trusts. 

What Does Exculpation of a Trustee Mean?


An exculpatory clause is a provision that can be added to a trust that would relieve a designated individual from responsibility for certain actions. Under the Illinois Trust Code, the exculpation of a trustee would relieve him or her of any liability for a breach of the trust. However, trust relieving will be unenforceable if it is determined that the exculpatory term:

- Absolves a trustee of liability that is committed with deceitful intentions or with carelessness to the purpose of the trust or the interests of the beneficiaries.
- Was inserted because of a trustee’s abuse of a legal or confidential relationship with the grantor. 

Unless the trustee can prove that the exculpatory term was justified under the current situation and that it was adequately communicated to the grantor, the term will be found invalid. For example, if a trustee purposefully acted in a way that was determined to be against the trust in an effort to benefit themselves, that trustee could be responsible for his or her actions.

What Is Changing?


Under previous Illinois law, a grantor of a trust was able to exonerate a trustee from personal liability by including an exculpatory clause into the trust. Although exculpatory clauses can still be used under the Illinois Trust Code, there is now a presumption that they will be found invalid if the trustee created or forced the clause to be added. In order to prove that an exculpatory clause is legitimate, a trust maker should be represented by a third-party counsel during the drafting of the trust.

Contact a Riverwoods Estate Planning Attorney


Due to the significant changes that have been implemented under the Illinois Trust Code, it is important for trust makers and trustees to understand the new policies. If you wish to add an exculpatory clause, or if there has been a breach in your trust, you should work with an attorney to determine your legal options. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our experienced Barrington trust lawyers can work with you to ensure your trust meets the requirements of Illinois law. For a free consultation, call our office today at 847-934-6000.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61

What Is a Nonjudicial Settlement Agreement in Relation to the ITC?

Web Admin - Thursday, November 07, 2019
Riverwoods estate planning lawyer trustsA trust can provide a person with the ability to protect and manage their assets and distribute them to beneficiaries either before or after their death. When a person creates a trust, they will name a trustee who will be responsible for controlling and managing the property or assets held in the trust. These appointed agents are legally required by the Illinois Trust Code (ITC) to fulfill the duties authorized to them, such as distributing possessions or managing an estate. If disputes arise between a trust’s beneficiaries, a trustee, or any other interested persons, the parties may enter into a nonjudicial settlement agreement to modify the terms of the trust. Before any actions or alterations are enacted, it is important to speak to an experienced trust attorney.  

What Can Be Resolved By a Nonjudicial Settlement Agreement 


Under the ITC, a nonjudicial settlement agreement can address the following subjects:
- The lawfulness and clarification of the terms attached to a trust.
- Approval of a designated agent’s actions.
- The powers which can or cannot be exercised by a trustee, as long as they do not conflict with the purpose of the trust.
- Concerns relating to property held by the trust if the settlement does not conflict with the purpose of the trust.
- The act of removing or appointing a trustee, advisor, or any other delegated representative of financial or nonfinancial powers. This may also include choosing a new successor trustee. 
- The financial compensation that can be provided to a trustee.
- The transfer of a trust’s principal place of administration.
- Accountability of a designated agent for his or her actions relating to the trust.
- The actions taken to resolve disputes related to the administration of the trust, the distribution of assets, or other relevant issues.
- A modification of the terms that relate to the administration of the trust. 
- If a trust is severed into two or more trusts, determination of whether the aggregate interests of each beneficiary are equivalent to their interests before severance.
- The termination of a trust, which can only occur if a court finds that the continuance of the trust is not necessary to achieve the trust’s purpose.

Contact a Long Grove Trusts Attorney


Before the ITC is enacted on January 1st, 2020, it is critical for trust settlors, trustees, and beneficiaries to discuss any possible changes that may need to take place. In order to make sure that your rights are protected, you should work with an experienced attorney who understands the laws regarding trusts in Illinois. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, our Kenilworth estate planning lawyers can provide clarification in your specific situation. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 847-934-6000.  

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61

4 Steps to Follow After a Car Accident Injury in Illinois

Web Admin - Thursday, October 17, 2019
Palatine car accident attorneyBefore a motorist or passenger gets into a vehicle, the possibility of a car accident must be taken into consideration. Victims of a fender bender may need to deal with pain and suffering, financial repercussions, and medical complications. If the crash can be attributed to the negligence of another individual, compensation may be owed to the injured parties. A lot of confusion may result after an accident, leaving the wounded parties unsure about how to proceed. These steps can provide guidance and clarity to anyone involved in a car accident: 

1. Think About Safety


Immediately following an accident, the safety and well-being of yourself and your passengers should be addressed. If a serious injury has occurred, try to remain still until medical assistance arrives. If possible, try to move your car to the side of the road with your hazard lights on, and the use of cones, warning markers, or flares could provide additional safety. After addressing your own safety concerns, you may want to check on the welfare of others involved in the accident.

2. Seek Help


Whether the crash is a minor accident or a major collision, you should contact the police to report the incident. Police officers will come to the scene of the crash and provide an incident report that can help establish who is at fault. Additionally, the presence of law enforcement may deter the person responsible for the collision from fleeing the scene.

Visiting a hospital or seeing a doctor following a collision can ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment, and it can provide insight about how the accident may affect your long-term well-being. Car crashes can result in serious injuries that might remain dormant for an extended period of time. Seeking medical help will create a record of your injuries that can determine how your life will be affected.

3. Exchange Information and Gather Evidence


While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, the following information should be exchanged between everyone involved in an accident:
- Names and contact information
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year)
- License plate and driver's license numbers
- Insurance information

You should also obtain any evidence that could be used to determine fault for the collision, including:

- Eyewitness contact information and statements
- Pictures of the scene
- Pictures of any damage to vehicles
- Pictures of any injuries sustained
- The police officer’s name and badge number

Furthermore, it is important not to sign any documents other than what is requested by the police. Do not accept payment from another driver or sign any statements regarding fault for the accident.

4. Contact a Schaumburg Personal Injury Lawyer


While you will likely be able to make an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company or under your own policy, you should contact an attorney before speaking to an insurance company. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can help you determine the full extent of your damages, and we can negotiate a settlement with insurance companies to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and damages. If necessary, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. 

A car accident injury can result in loss of future wages, unforeseen medical expenses, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence, our experienced Palatine car accident attorneys will work with you to seek the compensation you are owed. For a free initial consultation, contact our office today at 847-934-6000. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
https://www.allstate.com/tr/car-insurance/in-case-of-a-car-accident.aspx
https://www.statefarm.com/claims/claims-help/auto/how-to-handle-an-accident

How Does the Illinois Trust Code Affect Trustees and Beneficiaries?

Web Admin - Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Long Grove estate planning lawyer Illinois Trust CodeMany people utilize trusts to protect and manage their assets and ensure that these assets are properly distributed to their beneficiaries either before or after their death. However, the laws regarding trusts are changing. Effective January 1st, 2020, the Illinois Trust Code (ITC) will be replacing the current Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act. The ITC is linked in certain ways to the Uniform Trust Code (UTC), which is an arrangement of laws designed to establish consistent trust laws between different states. Before the ITC is implemented, trust makers and trustees may need to review their current trusts and determine how the changes to the law may affect them. 

New Default and Mandatory Rules


When a person creates a trust, they place their assets in the control of a trustee, who will oversee the process of managing these assets and distributing them to the beneficiaries according to the terms defined in the trust. The ITC specifies a number of rules that must be followed regarding trusts. While a trust may provide a trustee and beneficiaries with certain rights, powers, duties, limitations, and immunities, the ITC states that:

- A trustee must act in good faith.
- The trust must be lawful and cannot violate public policy.
- A trust may nominate one or more people to serve as the designated representative of a qualified beneficiary, and this representative must act in good faith in the best interests of the beneficiary.
- A trust may not be enforced for more than 21 years.
- The court is granted the power to modify or terminate a trust.
- Spendthrift provisions can be authorized by the court.
- A person who is acting as an agent in a power of attorney must have express authorization in order to act on behalf of a trust settlor. 
- The court may adjust the compensation provided to a trustee if it is deemed to be too high or low.
- A trustee must notify each qualified beneficiary of the trust’s existence, the beneficiaries’ right to a copy of the trust, and whether the beneficiary can receive or request trust accountings. 
- A trustee must send an annual trust accounting to the current beneficiaries.
- A trustee must send a trust accounting to all of the beneficiaries upon the termination of a trust.
- If a trust contains terms waiving a trustee’s liability for breaching the terms of the trust, these terms may be unenforceable.

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Lawyer


The ITC may have significant implications for currently-established trusts, as well as for trusts that are created in the future. Before the ITC is enacted, discussing your questions and concerns with an experienced Arlington Heights trusts attorney could help ensure that your rights as a trustee or beneficiary are protected. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can help you address any legal issues related to trusts, or we can help you create a trust to protect your assets and distribute them to your beneficiaries. To further discuss your specific situation, contact our office today at 847-934-6000 for a free initial consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61

How Does Illinois Law Address Wrongful Death?

Web Admin - Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Barrington wrongful death attorneyThe death of a loved one can be very difficult, and it can affect an entire family. In addition to causing a great deal of emotional pain, the death can have a large financial impact as well, and family members may struggle to pay for medical care that was needed for their loved one, address funeral and burial expenses, and meet their own ongoing needs after the loss of an income provider. These issues can be hard to overcome in any circumstances, but they can be even more challenging if the death could have been avoided. A wrongful death may occur because of improper acts or negligence by others, and in these cases, family members may choose to seek financial damages from the party who was responsible. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that in 2017, nearly 170,000 people died from unintentional injuries. The most common types of injuries are accidental poisoning, motor vehicle accidents, and falls. While not all of these cases may have been considered wrongful death, a large portion of them could have been prevented, and negligent parties such as drivers, product manufacturers, or property owners may have been responsible. In addition, a study by Johns Hopkins Medicine concluded that more than 250,000 people die each year because of medical malpractice. In these cases, family members may be able to pursue compensation for a death that occurred because of the negligence of medical professionals.

How Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Illinois?


The Illinois Wrongful Death Act allows surviving family members of a wrongfully killed individual (typically a spouse or next of kin) to pursue monetary compensation from the person or company that was responsible for the death. A civil lawsuit may be filed, and if the defendant is found liable for the death of the victim, damages may be awarded to the surviving family members.

The compensation provided to the family members may include multiple types of damages. In addition to paying for the actual costs surrounding the death, such as any medical treatment received and expenses for the victim’s funeral or burial, the defendant may also be required to repay the family for the income lost because of the death, the loss of companionship, and the grief, sorrow, and mental suffering they have experienced. If compensation is awarded by the court, or if the parties reach a settlement agreement, the amount recovered will be distributed by the court to the surviving spouse and next of kin. 

Contact a Deer Park Wrongful Death Lawyer


If you are coping with the loss of a loved one that occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you should be sure to understand your options for pursuing financial compensation. The compassionate attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can provide you with the legal help you need during these difficult times. Our experienced Crystal Lake personal injury attorneys will work to ensure that you receive the compensation that addresses the emotional and financial harm your family has suffered. Contact our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free initial consultation. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059&ChapterID=57
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/accidental-injury.htm
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us

Can I Pursue Compensation if I Am Injured on Someone Else’s Property?

Web Admin - Thursday, September 12, 2019
Rolling Meadows property owner liability attorneyA property owner is responsible for taking reasonable care to protect the safety of those who are allowed to be on their premises. If a personal injury occurs because of a property owner’s negligence, the victim may be able to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered. Potential premises liability claims may range from a broken seat causing trauma at a movie theatre to a person being injured in a slip and fall accident at an individual's home. An injury sustained from an unsafe or defective condition on someone else's property is the root cause for a premises liability claim. 

When Is a Property Owner or Occupant Liable?


According to Illinois law (740 ILCS 130/2), a property owner or tenant has a “duty of care” to ensure that those who enter their property are safe from harm. This duty applies to people who are legally allowed to enter the premises, and a property owner may be liable for injuries or damages which occur if they did not take reasonable care to correct hazards or provide warnings about potential dangers. However, the owner or tenant is not required to: 

- Provide warnings about conditions on the property that are already known by the guest or which are “open and obvious.”

- Alert visitors about hazards that unknown to the owner or occupant.

- Advise visitors of any threats resulting from the improper use of the property or protect against injuries that occur as a result of this type of misuse.

Steps to Take After an Accident


If an injury occurs at a business or another person's residence, victims should take steps to protect their ability to pursue compensation. If possible, the injured party should document the area in which the incident took place. This may include taking pictures or videos or getting statements from any witnesses. Gathering evidence as soon as possible is crucial, because the property owner could try to correct the hazard after the incident in order to avoid being held liable. 

Victims should refuse any payments or compensation offered by the liable party at the time of the accident, because these payments are likely to be far less than the actual costs of medical treatment and other damages resulting from the injury. It is also important to receive medical care for an injury as soon as possible. This will provide evidence of the full extent of the injuries, ensuring that proper compensation can be recovered.

Contact an Arlington Heights Premises Liability Lawyer


If you have been injured while on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover compensation by showing that the owner or tenant’s negligence was the direct cause of your damages. The knowledgeable Inverness personal injury attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can investigate the circumstances of your injury and help you determine your best options for receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free initial consultation. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

 
Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2048&ChapterID=57

What Should Be Included in a Living Will?

Web Admin - Thursday, August 15, 2019
Schaumburg living will lawyerWills are part of the estate planning process, an area of law that is sometimes underused or is not completed before emergency strikes. Generally, wills come into effect after a person passes. They outline how an individual’s estate and assets will be divided, who will carry out their last wishes, and who will take on the responsibility of caring for their minor children. Living wills are also meant to plan for emergencies, but they work in a different time frame and serve a different purpose.

Why Create a Living Will? 


Living wills are created to address what should happen in the case of a terminal illness or life-threatening injury. This type of will comes into effect when someone cannot make medical decisions for themselves, has a terminal condition, or is in a vegetative state. In other words, a living will is effective during a person’s lifetime, not afterward. Because such traumatic events are unpredictable, many individuals will formulate a living will which allows them to make decisions about the medical treatments they do or do not want to receive, and they can make these choices when they are still mentally and physically capable of doing so. These legal choices and directions are also known as advance medical directives, and they tell physicians and family members what to do in emergency situations.

What Can a Living Will Decide?


Living wills outline what type or level of care a person would like in the instance of medical emergencies. These options typically include:

- Use all treatments available to try and save their life;

- Try all treatments, but stop them if they do not work within a certain time period;

- Only utilize treatments that do not cause discomfort or pain; or

- Only provide care to help ease the pain, but no treatments that are intended to save or prolong the person’s life.

While almost every type of treatment can be addressed in a living will, there are a few specific treatments that are included in most living wills because they greatly impact a person’s quality of life. Individuals often decide whether or not they would like to allow tube feeding, life support, and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Those who do not wish CPR to be used can also sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order and add this to their living will. This will ensure that no artificial means of resuscitation will be used, even if it would be necessary to live. A power of attorney is another legal document that can be tied to a living will. This grants a person the permission to carry out the legal decisions that they have outlined when they are unable to make these decisions for themselves.

Contact an Arlington Heights Attorney


Creating a living will should not be left for times when you are facing health difficulties. Instead, it should be done while you are physically and emotionally capable of doing so. Estate planning may seem like an area of law that should be left for the future, but medical emergencies can never be predicted. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our lawyers have experience with all areas of estate planning, and we can help you keep your present and future best interests a priority. If you are considering creating a living will, contact our Palatine, IL estate planning attorneys at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Sources: 
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/livingwill.asp
https://www.drugs.com/cg/living-will.html
https://work.chron.com/power-attorney-do-9474.html

How Can Construction Site Fall Injuries Be Prevented?

Web Admin - Friday, July 26, 2019
Inverness constrution site injury lawyerSome occupations are inherently more dangerous than others. Workers in the construction industry face some of the highest risks of suffering on-the-job injuries; in fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that more than 20% of the work-related fatalities that occurred in 2017 were suffered by construction workers. Of those deaths, nearly 40% occurred in falls. 

Due to the risk of fall injuries at construction sites, OSHA has put a wide variety of regulations in place to help protect workers. Employers are required to follow these standards when implementing fall protection systems. The three most common systems used when a person is working at least six feet above a lower level are:

1. Protective barriers - Guardrails may be installed at the edges of walking surfaces or roofs, and the top rail of a barrier should be 42 inches above the surface where a person walks or works. A guardrail must be able to withstand at least 200 pounds of force.

2. Harnesses - A worker may use a fall arrest system that consists of a harness that is connected to an anchor point, and these systems must keep a worker from falling more than six feet or coming into contact with a lower level. Any snaphooks or connectors used must prevent a worker from becoming disengaged from the harness or the anchor point.

3. Nets - Any safety nets used should be installed as close as possible below a working or walking surface, up to a maximum of 30 feet below the level. Depending on the vertical distance below the working level, a net should extend 8-13 feet horizontally from the edge of the working surface. Nets should be regularly tested, inspected, and kept free of tools or materials.

Other fall protection systems that may be used include:

- Warning lines - A barrier made of ropes, wires, or chains may be installed around all sides of a roof to warn workers that they are approaching the edge of the roof or to designate an area in which workers are not required to use guardrails, harnesses, or safety nets.
- Hole covers - Any holes in working or walking surfaces, including skylights, should be covered to prevent a worker from falling into the hole. Holes should also be protected by guardrails, or workers should use safety harnesses.
- Controlled access zones - Certain types of work may be allowed to be performed in areas where traditional fall protection systems are not used. Control lines should be used around the boundaries of these areas, and only approved workers should be permitted to access these areas.
- Safety monitors - In areas where low-slope roofing work is being done, a person may be designated as a safety monitor, and this person will provide warnings to workers when they are acting unsafely or are unaware of fall-related hazards. This person should be on the same walking or working surface as other workers and be able to communicate with them verbally, and they should not have any other duties which distract from their function as a safety monitor.

Contact a Buffalo Grove Workplace Fall Injury Attorney


Workers who have suffered fall injuries at a construction site may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, and they may also be able to pursue compensation from any responsible third parties through a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in a fall while working at a construction site, the attorneys of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you determine whether you are eligible to file a workers' comp claim. Contact our Barrington workplace injury lawyers at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3146.pdf

Why Distracted Driving Can Lead to Serious Car Accident Injuries

Web Admin - Friday, July 19, 2019
Buffalo Grove car accident attorney distracted drivingThe risk of getting in a car accident is something that affects everyone who uses the roads throughout the United States, and because of the potential for serious injuries or death, it is important for everyone to drive carefully and follow the laws. Unfortunately, distracted driving is one way in which many people threaten the safety of others, and this practice is alarmingly common and dangerous.

The Dangers of Multi-Tasking While Driving


Driving a car or truck is a common, everyday activity for most people. Adults who have spent a large amount of time behind the wheel may slip into “autopilot” and stop paying close attention to what is happening on the road around them. This problem is compounded if they attempt to do other tasks while driving, such as making a phone call, reading or sending a text message, looking up information on a smartphone, checking a navigational system, changing stations on the radio, adjusting climate controls, eating or drinking, or talking to passengers. 

While people may believe that they can safely “multi-task” and divide their attention between driving and other activities, this can be incredibly dangerous. Any distractions can cause a driver to miss important signals that could help them avoid danger. Multi-tasking while driving is dangerous for the following reasons:

- Performing two activities that require thinking greatly increases a person’s reaction time. For example, if a person is talking on the phone while driving, a significant part of their brain is focused on the conversation rather than on the road. The time it takes for the brain to switch between talking and reacting to sensory input will result in an increased reaction time. Even a difference of a split second can cause a driver to be unable to react in time to avoid colliding with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
- Talking on a mobile phone reduces a driver’s field of perception. Studies have shown that when a person is speaking, even if they are using a hands-free device, their visual field is reduced by up to 50%. This could result in them not seeing pedestrians, traffic lights, or obstacles on the road.
- Even if a driver only uses a cell phone or other electronic device while they are stopped at a red light, this still can cause dangerous distractions. Studies have shown that when someone sends a text, this causes them to be distracted for up to 27 seconds after doing so. By this time, the light may have changed, and other vehicles or pedestrians around the vehicle may have begun moving. Mental distractions that occur while navigating an intersection can lead to serious injuries.

Contact a Des Plaines Car Accident Lawyer


Even though the dangers of talking on a phone or texting while driving are well-known, many people continue to risk the safety of those on the road around them. If you or a member of your family have been injured by a distracted driver, contact our Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney today by calling 847-934-6000 to schedule a free consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/tools-resources/infographics/great-multitasking-lie
https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving


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