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Study Finds Decline in Successful Medical Malpractice Cases, but Payout Amounts Are Up

Web Admin - Friday, September 08, 2017
Illinois medical malpractice lawyersPursuing a medical malpractice claim is rarely easy. In fact, most are highly complex cases that take months, sometimes years to complete. Even then, there is no guarantee that a payout will occur. In fact, one study recently found that successful medical malpractice cases – or those that result in an award to the victim or their surviving family – are on the decline. However, payout amounts seem to be increasing. Learn more about this trend, including what it could mean for your medical malpractice case.

Rate of Successful Claims Down by Half 

Politicians have been screaming for tort reform – changes to the way that lawsuits are handled – for years. The drop in successful payouts on medical malpractice claims over the last two decades suggests that they have been at least partially successful in their endeavors. In fact, researchers from Harvard Medical School indicate that there are 56 percent fewer malpractice claims today than there were back in the 1992-1998 time-period. 

What does that mean for victims today, and in the future? First, it means that winning a case is becoming more difficult, even for victims that have experienced great harm. Secondly, it means that tort reform advocates are not happy with the already decreased wins for victims. In a time where medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death, it becomes clear that such advocates are not working in the best interest of victims; instead, it appears they would much rather ensure that victims and their families remain hopeless and helpless. 

Payout Amounts Are Increasing 

Although the decrease in successful cases is a discouragement for victims, payout amounts are increasing. With caps being placed on malpractice cases across the country, and more tort reform advocates pushing for additional caps, the increase comes as a welcome surprise for many. It may even encourage severely injured victims to keep moving forward, even if winning seems impossible. Hopefully, those same victims will also take the extra added step of ensuring that they are fully protected during the legal process. 

Contact Our Barrington Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicalla, LLC, we aggressively protect the rights of medical malpractice victims. Understanding to the current plight of your family and dedicated to ensuring you get the most compensation possible, our Barrington medical malpractice lawyers will fight for you. Get the representation and support that you deserve. Call 847-934-6000 and schedule a personalized consultation with us today. 

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.


Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-malpractice-lawsuits-fewer-claims-succeed-payouts-rise/

Understanding Your Rights During an Insurance Claim Dispute

Web Admin - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Illinois insurance dispute lawyersFew things are as frustrating and confusing as a denied or reduced insurance claim payout – but did you know that you can dispute the decision? Additionally, consumers have certain rights, afforded to them by law, when dealing with their insurance companies. Learn more about those rights, and how an experienced insurance dispute attorney can assist with the appeals process, with help from the following information.

Your Right to Appeal a Decision

Regulated by the state of Illinois, insurance companies cannot force you to take a low settlement, nor can they prevent you from appealing their decision to deny a claim. Instead, you have the right to dispute your offer or denial. Typically, this is first done over the phone or in writing. Unfortunately, insurance agents and brokers can make things sound more complicated than they really are, and they may even dismiss your attempts at a resolution. As such, it is highly recommended that consumers turn to someone with an understanding of the complex and nuanced insurance laws - someone like an experienced insurance dispute lawyer. 

Your Right to an Expedient Resolution

Although insurance companies can (and often do) attempt to delay payouts, they are required to expediently resolve your claim. If they cannot do this, they must provide you with a reason for the delay. Of course, insurance companies can give almost any reason for a delay – even a seemingly frivolous one – and expedient under the law may not mean the same thing as a quick settlement after an accident (especially when you are out of work or disabled). As such, consumers are encouraged to seek assistance from an experienced insurance dispute lawyer.

Your Right to Fair Processing of a Claim

While in the process of filing a claim, or when trying to file a dispute, it might appear that the insurance companies are trying to complicate things as much as possible. However, laws forbid them from forcing you into unnecessary steps or paperwork. They also cannot force you to accept a settlement to receive the payout on another one (i.e. if your home and auto insurance are covered by the same company), and they cannot discriminate you based on ethnicity, gender, age, or other protected statuses. If you believe your insurance company is treating you unfairly, you not only have the right to appeal their decision, but you may also file a complaint.

Contact Our Des Plaines Insurance Dispute Lawyers

If you or someone you love is facing a denied, delayed, or reduced insurance claim, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Highly experienced and dedicated to your best interest, our Des Plaines insurance dispute lawyers will fight for the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.


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.naic.org/documents/consumer_state_reg_brief.pdf

https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf

Scientists Say a Cure for Spinal Cord Injury Could Be on the Way

Web Admin - Thursday, August 03, 2017

Schaumburg spinal injury lawyersOf all the injuries that a victim can sustain, those involving the spine are often the most devastating. They can rob a person of their ability to walk, drive, swim, and play sports. Spinal cord injuries can also decrease a victim’s life expectancy by increasing the risk of certain health conditions. Unfortunately, science has had few answers on how to correct the injury once it occurs – until now.

Scientists have recently attempted everything from implants to stem cell treatments and have even found that the body has its own workaround. Could a cure be on the way? Perhaps, but until then, victims should know their rights, including their right to pursue compensation. The following information explains this right, and it provides some up-to-date information on the scientific progress in spinal cord injuries.

Science and Spinal Cord Injuries

Three major studies have been underway for a while now. In one, researchers are using a tiny fiber implant to communicate messages from the brain to the rest of the body. In another, researchers are injecting victims with stem cells, hoping it encourages new cell growth and repair of the spinal cord nerves. In the last, researchers are reconnecting sensory neurons and examining how the body forms new connections.

While all three studies show promise, none have produced the kind of results that scientists are hoping to achieve. Further, even if one does prove successful, it could be some time before a treatment would be available to the public. Still, each step is progress toward a cure or – at the very least – a way to improve the overall quality of life for victims.

Pursuing Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury victims who are harmed by the negligence of another person or entity may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the pursuit of a settlement can be long, arduous, and complex. Furthermore, victims are always at risk of a denied or reduced payout on their claim. As such, it is highly advised that victims seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney.

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we understand the significant impact that a spinal injury can have on the lives of victims and their families. Dedicated and experienced, we aggressively pursue the most compensation possible in every case. Learn more about how our Schaumburg personal injury lawyers can assist with your case by scheduling a personalized consultation. Call our offices 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: http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-now-have-a-better-idea-of-how-we-can-fix-spinal-cord-injuries

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/862775

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2017/05/11/how-tiny-fiber-implant-research-spinal-cord-injuries-neuro-spinal-scaffold/309193001/

Employee Conduct – How Off-Duty Behavior Can Affect Your Business, and What You Can Do About It

Web Admin - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Illinois employment law attorneysAs every business owner knows, an employee’s conduct while on the job can have a negative impact on a company’s image and brand – but what of conduct outside of work? As evidenced by the current investigation into the Chicago water department, sometimes, it more about what your employees do off the clock than what they do while working. Learn how you can mitigate against off-duty behavior issues as an employer, and what you can do if you are ever faced with litigation because of an employee’s on- or off-duty conduct.

The Chicago Water Scandal Investigation

As reported by the Chicago Tribune, state officials are currently investigating the personal emails of a long-time employee, which were purportedly used to send numerous anti-gay, racist, and sexist emails. The public nature of his job, department, and the investigation could have long-term implications on the government entity’s image – even if the allegations turn out to be untrue.

Mitigating Against Both On- and Off-Duty Behavior

Although there are many stipulations, exclusions, and requirements that employers need to be aware of, they can (and should) attempt to mitigate against any unsavory on- or off-duty behavior that may reflect poorly on their business. One of the ways of doing this is the employment contract. In it, you can specify types of behavior that will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the employee is on or off the clock. Further, you may have the right to request access to things like offensive social media posts that may affect your company’s image.

How Our Schaumburg Employment Law Attorneys Can Help

Employers are not required to hire an attorney for the drafting of an employment contract, but it is highly recommended. As previously mentioned, there are some important laws that must be adhered to in such contracts, and any failure or violation could result in litigation against your company. Do not take the risk. Instead, contact an experienced employment law attorney for assistance.

Whether your business is facing litigation, needs help getting started, or is just now expanding to include more employees, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Our Schaumburg employment law attorneys are skilled in all areas of employment law and we will work hard to protect your company and its image. Learn more by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.


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.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-chicago-water-department-emails-capuzi-20170724-story.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2389&ChapterID=68




The Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument: What is It, and Why Do You Need It?

Web Admin - Monday, July 24, 2017

Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneysOne of the more frustrating aspects of estate planning is the risk of probate. In fact, most estate owners will do anything they can to prevent it from happening. They know that it can lower the estate’s overall value, and they would prefer that those assets go to their beneficiaries. If one of the items they want to transfer upon death is real estate, owners can opt for the Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument (TODI). What is this estate planning document, and when should you use it? The following information explains, and it provides details on how to determine if it may be appropriate for your estate planning needs.

What is the Transfer on Death Instrument?

Covered under the Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer Act, TODI documents lets owners transfer real estate property to their beneficiaries upon death, without the risk of probate. It does this through a non-testamentary transfer. Able to be used by single and joint owners, these documents have many of the same requirements as will drafting (owner must be of sound mind and not under duress, document must be prepared by the owner or an attorney, etc.), but they do not necessarily replace a will for owners with expansive estates.

Meeting the Validity Requirements

A Transfer on Death Instrument may be signed either by a single owner, or jointly. Keep in mind that it does not have to be signed by all owners, but it does not remove joint tenancy if another owner has not signed it. A TODI must also comply with all deed requirements, and it must state that the property transfers upon the owner’s death (or owners’, if joint signed). Further, the document must be recorded in the county or counties in which the property is located. Should the owner ever want to revoke the TODI, they are permitted to do so. However, if the TODI is joint signed, both parties must revoke the transfer to be considered a valid revocation.

Should You Use One?

There are many complexities and nuances in estate planning, and any one of them could determine whether a TODI is right for your situation. As such, it is highly recommended that estate owners seek legal assistance with their estate planning needs. Contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. Skilled and experienced, we can help you find the creative solution that is most suitable for your needs. Schedule a personalized consultation with our Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers to learn more. Call 847-934-6000 today.


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.

Source:http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3382&ChapterID=60

IRAs and a Living Trust – What Every Grantor Should Know

Web Admin - Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyersAfter years, perhaps even decades of pouring money into your individual retirement account (IRA), it only makes sense to ensure it goes to the appropriate party if you do not live long enough to receive all the payments. Unfortunately, transferring an IRA to a living trust can be far more complex than most people realize. The following information can help you better understand how to avoid such consequences. You shall also learn where to find assistance with the process.

The Complicated Nature of IRA Accounts

Created under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974, IRAs were originally meant to provide employers with a way to offer affordable retirement benefits to their employees (at that time, most did not have the funds to cover a traditional pension plan). Now they are one of the most common types of retirement plans, and they can even be purchased by individuals with qualifying income and credentials.

Unfortunately, there are many rules, exclusions, limitations, and legalities involved with an IRA account – especially when it comes to the transfer or disbursement of the account. For example, IRAs can only be “owned” by the individual that started it. It cannot be transferred to a trust nor can it be owned by a business or other entity. Still, there are ways to transfer an IRA upon death. It just requires some thoughtful planning.

Transferring an IRA to a Living Trust

While one could simply name a beneficiary for their IRA account, some plan owners prefer the increased accountability of a trust. For example, if the grantor has a special needs child with their ex-wife, they may want to ensure that the funds are used to benefit the child directly. Just keep in mind that disbursement to a trust before the age of 59.5 is considered an early disbursement, which may result in an early payout penalty. As such, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced wills and trusts lawyer before naming a trust or changing the beneficiary on your IRA account. An attorney can also help ensure the right verbiage is used in your estate plan (i.e. “pass through,” “designated beneficiary,” etc.) to reduce the risk of any transfer issues.

Contact Our Mount Prospect Wills and Trusts Lawyers

Known for our creative solutions and personalized touch, the experienced Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can assist you with your estate planning needs. Get started by scheduling a consultation. Call our offices at 847-934-6000 today.


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.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/09/04/iras-and-trusts-what-you-need-to-know/#4fe760a2172b
https://www.wellsfargo.com/help/faqs/investing-ira/http://www.bankrate.com/investing/ira/naming-a-trust-as-your-ira-beneficiary/



Dealing with Emotional Trauma After an Auto Accident

Web Admin - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Des Plaines auto accident lawyersCar accidents can cause more than just physical injuries. In fact, many victims experience emotional trauma in the weeks and months following an accident. Sadly, they may also face a difficulty when trying to cope with heightened emotions amidst the physical ailments and financial troubles that may accompany an accident. Learn how you can deal with emotional trauma after an auto accident, and what it could mean for your personal injury case, with help from the following information. You shall also learn where to find assistance with your claim. 

Why Trauma May Occur 

Most people assume that trauma is directly correlated with the severity of a crash or the injuries sustained. However, nothing could be further from reality. In fact, even minor accidents can cause heightened emotions and trauma. This is because trauma is often caused by fear, a lack of control, and a sudden or unexpected negative event. Car accidents contain all three elements. 

Another reason that trauma is common after an accident is the speed at which the events occur. One minute, you can be driving through an intersection, and the next, you are spinning in the middle of traffic because someone ran a red light and hit you. Your brain may not fully process everything at the time, so it may attempt to do so afterward. 

What Trauma Feels Like 

Trauma is different for everyone. However, most people experience similar symptoms. For example, someone experiencing trauma after an accident might experience: 

- Sleeplessness, 
- Night terrors, 
- Excessive irritability, 
- Mood swings, 
- Depression, 
- Panic attacks, 
- Night sweats, 
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating, 
- Inability to drive, 
- Excessive fatigue, 
- Difficulty relaxing, 
- Helplessness, 
- Social withdrawal or self-isolation, 
- Racing heartbeat, 
- Headaches or migraines, 
- Abdominal pain or discomfort, 
- Exaggerated startle response, 
- Forgetfulness, 
- Muscle tension or pain, 
- Crying spells, or 
- Flashbacks. 

Please note that this list is, by no means, comprehensive. If you experience any strange or new symptoms after an accident, speak with your doctor to determine if it could be related. 

How Trauma Could Impact Your Case 

If you are experiencing trauma after an auto accident, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Unfortunately, proving that the effect was, in fact, caused by the accident can be difficult. As such, victims are encouraged to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney. 

Known for protecting the interests of our clients, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC is the firm to call when you need help with your claim. Dedicated and experienced, our Des Plaines car crash lawyers will fight aggressively to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule your personalized consultation to learn more. Call us at 847-934-6000 today.

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.


Source:

https://www.canstar.com.au/car-insurance/what-emotions-to-expect-after-a-car-accident/

Are You Being “Low-Balled” by Your Insurance Company?

Web Admin - Monday, June 26, 2017

You pay your insurance premium religiously and on time because you know you need to protect your investment. Understandably, you expect your insurance company to pay when an accident or catastrophic incident occurs. Then you file the claim, and the offer that comes back seems low – not just a little low, but really low. What do you do? Hopefully, you recognize that your insurance company is low-balling you, and you reach out for legal assistance.


Low-Ball Offers Are Surprisingly Common

Although insurance companies are infamous for their feel-good, family-like slogans, they are for-profit businesses. They do not make their money paying out settlements. They collect premiums, bank on consumers not needing the policy, and employ various strategies to try and decrease the amount they pay out for each claim.

One of the most commonly used approaches is the low-ball offer. Most often, this strategy is employed by the adjuster responsible for handling your claim. Their hope is that you will take the offer they give you and cash the check. Thankfully, you do not have to accept this offer.

Fighting a Low-Ball Offer

There are many ways to fight against a low-ball offer, but assistance from an insurance dispute attorney is often more effective than facing it alone. Versed in the law and insurance claims, a lawyer can reduce the stress of dealing with the insurance company. They can review your case and ensure you have submitted all the appropriate documentation, which may have affected the offer you were given. Your attorney can also protect your interests and negotiate the most favorable settlement possible, sometimes without ever having to go through litigation.

Unfortunately, even attorneys can experience push-back from insurance companies. Thankfully, they have numerous tools and legal processes at their disposal. For example, your attorney may suggest filing a bad faith lawsuit to increase your settlement. (Bad faith is when an insurance company is failing to do its job. A bad faith lawsuit encourages them to do the right thing.) While it might not be the most appropriate path in every case, it could be an option for those who continue to experience low-ball offers, claim denials, and delayed processing of their claims.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Insurance Dispute Lawyers

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we protect the rights of victims, including their right to pursue full and fair compensation. Dedicated and experienced, our Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers can fight for you. Learn more about how we can assist with your case by scheduling a personalized, no-obligation consultation. Call 847-934-6000 today.


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.


Source:http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-02-02/business/9602020322_1_adjuster-coalition-against-insurance-fraud-state-farm


Pedestrian Accidents – What Every Victim Should Know

Web Admin - Monday, June 12, 2017
Rolling Meadows pedestrian accident attorneysWalking is great for the body and environment, but it can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in accidents each year. Even worse is that pedestrian accidents are often caused by a negligent, drunken, or reckless driver. What can victims do to protect themselves, what sort of compensation might they be entitled to, and where can they find assistance? The following information explains.

Devastating Statistics

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that one pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident every eight minutes. On average, that amounts to about 70,000 injuries each year. Even more concerning is the number of pedestrian deaths – about one every two hours, or nearly 5,000 per year. That means pedestrian deaths account for almost 15 percent of all road fatalities every year. Statistics like this are not just concerning, they are outright devastating – not just to victims, but also their loved ones.

Examining the Impact

While the exact impact of a pedestrian accident will vary from one case to the next, there are some common consequences that victims and their families may experience. For example, those that suffer from an injury may have costly medical bills and they may miss time at work. In some instances, victims are injured so severely that they experience short-term, long-term, or even permanent disability.

When a victim is killed, their families lose the companionship of a loved one. The family may also lose the income of a provider, which can place them at risk for accident-induced poverty. There may also be final expenses that the victim’s family must cover. Examples might include medical bills, burial costs, and other final expenses.

Preventing Pedestrian Accidents

Although it might be impossible to completely eliminate the risk of an accident, pedestrians can protect themselves and reduce the risk while they are out and about. Start by following the rules of the road. Cross only at designated intersections, follow traffic signs, and walk on the sidewalk whenever it is available. If no sidewalk is present, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic. It is also suggested that you avoid using electronic devices while walking and that you wear bright or reflective clothing to increase your visibility.

Pursuing Compensation After an Accident

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Our Rolling Meadows pedestrian accident lawyers are committed to your best interests, and we will fight for the most compensation possible. Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more. Call 847-934-6000 today.

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.cnn.com/2017/05/18/us/new-york-times-square-car-pedestrians/index.html

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812124

https://www.cdc.gov/features/pedestriansafety/

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm

Examining Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Small businesses must overcome numerous obstacles if they wish to be successful. One of the bigger challenges is knowing what time off an employee may be entitled to under Illinois state law. The Illinois’ School Visitation Rights Act falls under this umbrella. The following information can help you learn what the Act covers, how to handle staffing issues that may arise because of it, and what the consequences may be for companies that fail to comply.

What the Law Protects

Employees who have children are typically required to attend a minimum of two parent-teacher conferences per year. Some children may have higher needs, either because of behavioral issues or special needs that require the use of Individualized Education Plans or other educational provisions. The School Visitation Rights Act provides employees with an allotted amount of time for attending these meetings, regardless of their regular work schedule (up to eight hours during any given school year, but no more than four hours on a single day).

Provided the employee follows the seven-day, advance written request requirement, employers must give this time off without retaliation. Further, employees are permitted to make up their time, whenever reasonable, on a different shift or day, during the same pay period. If making up the time is not reasonable, or the employee does not wish to do so, the employer is not required to pay for the allotted time off work. Made up time must be paid at the employee’s regular rate.

Dealing with Staffing Issues

Large corporations often have an easier time at accommodating many of the employment laws. Small businesses are often at a disadvantage – usually because they do not have the staff to cover an employee when the time is requested off. However, there are a few strategies that employers can use to mitigate against the issues.

Cross-training all employees, use of temp services, and filling the hours yourself are all plausible options that allow business to continue as normal. Just be aware of the laws that pertain to overtime pay and temp workers if you choose to utilize these options. Alternatively, the employer may wish to hire another employee on a part-time basis – one who can work as a fill-in when others need time off work.

Contact Our Long Grove Employment Law Attorneys for Your Small Business Needs

Illinois’ employment laws are constantly changing, and that can make staying compliant difficult for small businesses. Drost, Gilbert, Anderson & Apicella, LLC can help. Backed by decades of experience, our Long Grove employment law attorneys can assist with everything from the creation of employee handbooks to litigation. Schedule your consultation by calling us at 847-934-6000 today

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://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/04/14/illinois-employment-law-101/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2409&ChapAct=820%A0ILCS%A0147/&ChapterID=68&ChapterName=EMPLOYMENT&ActName=School+Visitation+Rights+Act.




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