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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

Can I Pursue Compensation After Using Baby Powder Containing Asbestos?

Web Admin - Friday, July 12, 2019
Des Plaines defective products lawyer baby powder asbestosAt some point in their lives, most people have probably used some form of baby powder, and this product has been a staple of many American families for decades. However, recent reports have found that what appeared to many to be a safe and useful substance may actually have posed a cancer risk. If you have become ill after using baby powder, you should work with a product liability attorney to determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation.

Reports of Asbestos in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder


Baby powder is typically composed of talc, and depending on the manufacturer, this talc is mined from a variety of places around the world. Talc that has come from some of these sources has been found to contain tremolite, a form of asbestos that occurs naturally. Baby powder manufactured by the company Johnson & Johnson is one such product that has been found to contain asbestos. As a result, the company is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that their product has caused harm. In March of 2019, a jury in California awarded $29 million to a woman who claimed that her cancer was caused by use of Johnson & Johnson’s products, and in 2018, a group of women in Missouri were awarded $4.69 billion because they contracted ovarian cancer after using baby powder.

The Johnson & Johnson case is particularly striking, because investigations have found that the company has known about the potential danger of asbestos in its products for decades. While Johnson & Johnson has claimed that it took steps to ensure that its baby powder is asbestos-free, internal company documents have been uncovered showing that personnel were aware of the risks of asbestos, and data was allegedly misrepresented when reporting the results of product tests to the FDA.

Mesothelioma Resulting from Asbestos Inhalation


Asbestos is known to be incredibly dangerous, and when it is inhaled, it can lead to mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. When asbestos becomes embedded in the lining of a person’s chest cavity, it causes this lining to become unable to absorb fluids. This leads to a buildup of fluid in a person’s lungs, which can cause tumors to grow in the diaphragm and chest. It is also likely to lead to congestive heart failure.

Contact a Schaumburg Dangerous Products Attorney


If you have contracted mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or any other harmful medical condition after using baby powder, the skilled Palatine product liability lawyer at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation. We will work with you to determine the full extent of your damages, establish liability on the part of a negligent product manufacturer, and take legal action to ensure that you recover damages that fully address the harm that was done to you. Contact us at 847-934-6000 for 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.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/
http://fortune.com/2019/03/15/cancer-asbestos-johnson-jnj-baby-talcum-powder-trial/

5 Tips For Non-Traditional Families When Creating an Estate Plan

Web Admin - Friday, June 28, 2019
Barrington estate planning lawyer same sex couplesToday’s families come in many forms. In fact, there are fewer “traditional” families than ever in which two opposite-sex parents are married for the first time and have children together. Since divorce is common, and couples often choose to live together and have children without getting married, many families include step-parents and step-children. In addition, the legalization of same-sex marriage has resulted in complex family arrangements involving biological children and adoptive children. Regardless of how a family is configured, it is important to plan for the future and ensure that all family members’ needs will be met. For non-traditional families, it is important to consider the following during the estate planning process:

1. Update your will - Your last will and testament specifies how you want your assets to be distributed to your heirs after your death and any other last wishes. You will want to be sure that your will addresses your partner, your children, your step-children, and any other family members.

2. Create a trust - In addition to your will, a trust can provide more control and flexibility for how you would like your assets to be distributed to your beneficiaries. A living trust can be changed or modified if necessary, and it can also be used to provide for your and your partner’s needs during your life.

3. Use power of attorney - While married spouses have the right to make decisions for each other, this is not always true for unmarried couples. A power of attorney agreement can be used to ensure that partners will be able to make medical or financial decisions for each other if one of them becomes incapacitated.

4. Consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement - When you get remarried, your new spouse will typically be entitled to receive half of your estate following your death. A prenup or postnup can ensure that certain assets will be set aside for any children you may have from a previous marriage or relationship.

5. Address plans for retirement - If you have any retirement funds saved in an account such as a 401(k) or IRA, you will want to be sure to name beneficiaries who will receive these funds following your death. You can name your spouse or partner as a beneficiary, as well as any children or step-children.

Contact a Kenilworth Estate Planning Attorney


When creating a comprehensive estate plan, you will want to be sure all of your family members will be provided for. Determining how to do so when you are in a non-traditional family can be a complex matter, and an experienced attorney can help you address issues involving same-sex partners, children from previous marriages, adoptive children, or other family members. Contact our Riverwoods estate planning lawyer today 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://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1773&context=sulr

What Are the Top Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Illinois?

Web Admin - Friday, June 14, 2019
Palatine bicycle accident lawyerIn the Chicago area and throughout the United States, many people enjoy traveling by bicycle. Whether they are commuting to and from work, getting exercise, or simply enjoying the outdoors, bicyclists have a right to use the roads, and drivers of cars and trucks should take care when driving around bicycles. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so, and bicyclists are likely to be seriously injured in bike accidents which occur when a bicycle is struck by a motor vehicle. In these cases, victims should work with an attorney to establish liability for their injuries and pursue financial compensation for their damages.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents


Driver negligence is often to blame for bicycle accidents. This negligence can take a variety of forms, including:

- Distracted driving - Even a momentary lapse in concentration can cause a driver to fail to see a bicycle on the road around them. Unfortunately, drivers can be distracted by talking or texting on a cell phone, adjusting a car’s radio or navigation system, talking to passengers, or eating and drinking. Taking one’s attention off the road is a dangerous form of driver negligence that can lead to serious injuries for a bicyclist.

- Drunk driving - Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is a crime, and it can drastically impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Alcohol use affects a person’s coordination, reaction time, and judgment, and it is likely to cause a driver to be unable to avoid striking a bicycle.

- Aggressive or reckless driving - Some drivers do not like to share the road with bicycles, and they may drive too close to bicycles or fail to respect their right of way. In addition, bicycle accidents often occur when a driver proceeds through an intersection without looking or changes lanes or makes a turn without checking their blind spots. Drivers may be held responsible if they injure bicyclists due to their failure to follow the rules of the road.

- Dooring - Bicyclists can be seriously injured if a driver or passenger of a parked car opens their door into the bicycle’s path. This can occur when a bike is in a lane of traffic or a bike lane, and it can cause serious injuries if a cyclist is thrown from their bicycle.

Contact an Inverness Personal Injury Attorney


If you have been injured while riding a bicycle because of negligence by the driver of a car or truck, you may be able to receive compensation that includes the costs of medical treatment, income lost due to disability, and pain and suffering. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can provide you with dedicated legal representation in your personal injury case. Contact a Deer Park bicycle accident lawyer today 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.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety

What Types of Birth Injuries Can Be Caused By Medical Malpractice?

Web Admin - Thursday, June 06, 2019
Des Plaines birth injury attorneyBabies are born every day in hospitals throughout the United States, but while childbirth is a common procedure, it is one that requires extreme care on the part of medical professionals. Newborn babies are especially vulnerable to injuries and infections, and if mistakes are made by doctors or nurses during labor and delivery, both mothers and children can experience serious injuries. If your family has been affected by a birth injury, an experienced attorney can help you determine whether medical malpractice occurred and work with you to recover compensation.

Common Types of Birth Injuries


Although birth is often a routine procedure, minor or major complications can arise during the delivery process, and if patients are not properly monitored or if issues are not addressed correctly, serious harm can come to the mother or child. Some birth injuries that may occur because of medical negligence include:

- Fractures - A newborn baby’s bones are very fragile, and if improper force is used during delivery, a child’s bones may be broken. Some commonly fractured bones include collarbones, arms, and legs. Skull fractures may occur if forceps are used improperly, and they can be especially dangerous, leading to hemorrhaging that puts pressure on the child’s brain.
- Brain injuries - Damage to a baby’s brain can cause lifelong complications such as cerebral palsy. These injuries are often caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain (known as hypoxia), which can result if doctors or nurses do not properly address complications such as placental abruption, meconium aspiration, or a prolapsed umbilical cord.
- Nerve injuries - If a child becomes lodged in the birth canal (a complication known as shoulder dystocia), doctors or nurses may use too much force when extracting them. This can cause damage to the nerves in the shoulders and neck, leading to conditions such as paralysis in the limbs or Erb’s palsy. These types of injuries can also occur when devices such as vacuum extractors are used incorrectly.

Contact an Arlington Heights Birth Injury Lawyer


If your child has been injured during birth, they may experience life-long effects, and the costs related to their ongoing medical treatment or disability will impact your family’s finances for years to come. When birth injuries occur because of negligence on the part of medical personnel, you deserve to be properly compensated for your damages. Contact a Schaumburg medical malpractice attorney to learn how we can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Call us at 847-934-6000 to set up 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.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/causes.html
https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/children-s-health-issues/general-problems-in-newborns/birth-injuries-in-newborns
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=birth-injury-90-P02340

What Types of Charitable Trusts Can I Use in My Estate Plan?

Web Admin - Friday, May 31, 2019
Kenilworth charitable trusts attorneyA trust is a legal agreement created by the owner of assets or property that designates an individual (a trustee) to manage the assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Assets can be distributed either during the life of the person who creates the trust (known as the grantor) or after their death. In many cases, a grantor chooses to pass their assets to relatives or close friends; however, some may also wish to support a cause they believe in by naming a charity as a beneficiary. In these cases, charitable trusts can be used, and they typically fall into one of two categories: charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts.

Charitable Lead Trusts


This type of charitable trust has a time limit tied to the funding that is provided to one or more charities. Once the time period ends, the rest of the assets are given to non-charitable beneficiaries. The process begins with an initial donation to fund the trust. Charitable lead trusts do not require a minimum or maximum charitable payment amount, and a grantor may prefer to make a cash contribution to be eligible for immediate tax deductions. The payments will then be sent to at least one charity of the grantor’s choosing. This must be done at least once a year for a specific number of years or for the remainder of the lifespan of the grantor. Once the trust’s term has ended, the rest of the funds are given to the beneficiaries chosen by the grantor.

Charitable Remainder Trusts


Many will choose charitable remainder trusts because they can provide regular income for the grantor or their beneficiaries in addition to donating assets to charity. This type of trust is almost the exact opposite of a lead trust, with assets being distributed to beneficiaries during the term of the trust, and any remaining assets being donated to charity after the grantor’s death. 

The first step in creating a charitable remainder trust is making a partially tax-deductible donation. This can include cash, stocks, real estate, or private business interests. During the term of the trust or the remainder of the grantor’s life, assets held in the trust may be distributed to beneficiaries, such as the grantor’s loved ones or even the grantor themselves. Beneficiaries can receive income only once per year or as frequently as every month. After the grantor’s death, the selected charity or charities will receive the remainder of the assets. 

Contact an Arlington Heights Charitable Trusts Lawyer


Estate planning is an extremely complicated process that requires extensive attention to detail. While charitable trusts can provide a number of benefits, it is important to ensure that the correct steps are followed when creating this type of trust. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we can help you determine which trusts will be best for you and your beneficiaries. Contact a Long Grove estate planning attorney at 847-934-6000 for 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.fidelitycharitable.org/philanthropy/charitable-lead-trusts.shtml
https://www.fidelitycharitable.org/philanthropy/charitable-remainder-trusts.shtml 


Why Driver Negligence Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents

Web Admin - Friday, May 17, 2019
Arlington Heights motorcycle accident lawyerAs the weather warms up during the spring, more and more people will begin to travel using motorcycles. Unfortunately, the increased number of motorcycles on Illinois’ roads means that more motorcycle accidents are likely to occur. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and during this time, drivers are encouraged to share the road safely with motorcycles.

Unfortunately, many drivers fail to protect the safety of motorcyclists. Negligence by drivers of cars or trucks can be incredibly dangerous for cyclists, and collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are likely to lead to serious or fatal injuries. While motorcyclists can take steps to protect their own safety by wearing a helmet and driving as safely as possible, they are often injured through no fault of their own. Some common forms of driver negligence that can result in severe motorcycle accident injuries include:

- Failure to notice motorcycles - Due to the small size of motorcycles, drivers often do not see them, and this can lead them to collide with a motorcycle when changing lanes or making turns. Drivers should always check their mirrors and blind spots and keep a close eye on all vehicles around them, and failure to do so is considered negligence.

- Failure to respect right of way - A significant percentage of motorcycle accidents take place at intersections, and they often occur because drivers do not follow the traffic laws regarding right of way. In some cases, drivers may not realize the speed at which a motorcycle is traveling, or their view of a motorcycle may be obstructed by obstacles or other vehicles. Regardless of the reason, dangerous collisions can occur when a driver illegally pulls out or turns in front of a motorcycle.

- Distracted driving - When a driver takes their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, or their attention away from driving, they greatly increase the chances of an accident. Some common distractions include using a cell phone to make calls or send texts, adjusting the radio or environmental controls, attending to children in the car, and eating or drinking. These activities can be especially dangerous when driving around motorcycles, since a momentary lapse in attention can cause a driver to be completely unaware of a nearby motorcycle.

- Drunk driving - When a driver is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, their vision, coordination, judgment, and reflexes are all negatively affected. This can cause them to be unable to react in time to avoid colliding with a motorcycle.

Contact a Buffalo Grove Personal Injury Lawyer


If you have been injured in a motorcycle collision, it is likely that a negligent driver was at fault. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, our Inverness motorcycle accident attorneys can help you pursue compensation from those who were responsible for your injuries, and we will fight to ensure that you receive the financial resources you need. To arrange a free consultation, contact us today by calling 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.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/motorcycle-safety
https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety

How Can My Kids Be Injured By Defective Children’s Products?

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Inverness defective products lawyer child injuryAs parents, we go to extraordinary lengths to keep our children safe, and we expect others to do so as well. The manufacturers of children’s products should take care to ensure that these items are safe for children and parents to use, and there are a multitude of laws in regulations in place that are meant to keep dangerous products from entering the market. Unfortunately, some companies fail to follow these regulations, or they commit oversights when rushing a product to market, and as a result, defective or dangerous products are sold to consumers.

Since children are especially vulnerable to harm, they can suffer serious injuries because of defective toys, clothes, baby care products, child safety products, and much more. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates most children’s products in the United States, and when dangerous products are discovered, the CPSC may require the company to recall the product.

Some recent recalls of children’s products include:

- Rocking infant sleepers - Two manufacturers have recalled all models of their infant rocking sleeper beds. Multiple babies died of suffocation after rolling onto their stomachs because they were not properly restrained while in these sleepers.
- Child bed canopies - A light-up canopy for children’s beds was recalled because the lights could overheat and cause the canopy to catch on fire, leading to serious burn injuries.
- Wooden toys - Multiple types of toys made of wood were recalled, because they contained small parts that could come loose and present a choking hazard for children.
- Clothing - Clothing manufacturers have recalled children’s sleepwear and bathrobes because they did not meet standards for flammability, causing the risk of serious burn injuries for children. Other types of clothing, such as jackets, snowsuits, and shoes, were recalled because of choking hazards from zippers or other components that could become detached.
- Bed rails - One company recalled portable rails for children’s beds because they could cause entrapment and suffocation for children.
- High chairs - One manufacturer recalled convertible high chairs because the legs could become detached, causing fall injuries that could result in brain injuries, broken bones, or dislocated joints for children.
- Baby carriers - A child carrier was recalled because of a defective clip that could cause dangerous fall injuries for babies.
- Bath seats - A support seat to use while bathing infants was recalled because it did not meet the standards for stability. The seats presented a drowning hazard because they could tip over, or a child could slip out of the supports.
- Playground equipment - Some playground parts have been recalled because gaps in railings or handholds are too large, presenting a risk of entrapment and strangulation for children.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Product Liability Lawyer


If your child has been injured while using a defective or dangerous product, the attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation from a negligent product manufacturer. We will fully investigate the circumstances of the injury and determine whether can recover damages because the product had a design defect or manufacturing defect or because the proper instructions or warnings were not provided. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Barrington personal injury attorneys 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.fatherly.com/gear/product-recalls-what-parents-should-know/
https://www.safekids.org/product-recalls
https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls

Why Everyone Over Age 18 Should Have a Power of Attorney

Web Admin - Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Barrington power of attorney lawyerA power of attorney is one of the most basic, and yet most important, legal protections that every adult should have. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives another person the authority to act in your place when you cannot be physically present yourself or if you become incapacitated. There are two types of POA, for property and for healthcare. A power of attorney for property authorizes a designated person to handle your financial affairs, while a power of attorney for healthcare empowers your named representative to make medical decisions on your behalf. 

When Is the Right Time to Create a Power of Attorney?


Imagine that you are struck tomorrow by a catastrophic accident or sudden incapacitating illness. If you are married, your spouse should have access to your financial resources to pay for your medical care and the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. But consider what would happen if you are not married or if your spouse is incapacitated at the same time you are. Do you think your immediate family members would agree on who should take charge of your financial affairs and make medical decisions for you? Having a POA in place will head off disputes that could cause long-term rifts in a family.

Young adults often assume that their parents will be able to step in and handle everything in such an event. However, once you turn 18, your parents do not necessarily have the legal authority to access your medical records and bank accounts and to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf. 

Similarly, adults with aging parents may assume they can step in at any time and take over their parents’ affairs. However, why leave it to chance? Do you really want siblings fighting over who is going to take charge? Instead, encourage your aging relatives to sign powers of attorney while they are still competent to make that choice. The POA can be a first step toward creating a comprehensive will and estate plan.

What Does a Power of Attorney for Property Do?


You can create a very limited power of attorney document for a specific situation, such as authorizing your lawyer to handle a real estate closing for you when you cannot be present in person. More commonly, the purpose is much broader. A power of attorney document will specify a list of decisions that your designated representative can make on your behalf, such as selling your home; trading stocks, bonds, and other investments; collecting Social Security and other retirement benefits on your behalf; paying bills from your checking account; managing a trust account; and filing your tax returns.

What Does a Power of Attorney for Healthcare Do?


When you prepare a POA for healthcare, you can specify the powers that your designated representative will have and when those powers will take effect. The medical topics covered in a healthcare POA may include:

- Whether your POA will have full access to your medical records.

- Whether you want extraordinary measures taken to keep you alive as long as possible or instead wish to prioritize quality of life over length of life.

- In what type of circumstances you want life-sustaining treatment to be administered or withheld, or whether you would only like pain-relieving medication to be administered.

- Whether you want to be an organ donor upon your death.

- How you want your mortal remains handled upon your death, e.g., burial or cremation.


Consult a Schaumburg Power of Attorney Lawyer


An attorney can serve as a neutral third party when you need to convince an elderly relative to sign powers of attorney while they are still competent, particularly if you are assisting them with moving out of their home and into some type of assisted living facility. If you need a POA for yourself but are not sure what powers you want to grant your designated representative and when you want those powers to take effect, an experienced Palatine estate planning attorney can explain your options. Call Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000 to set up 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=2113&ChapterID=60
https://www.isba.org/ibj/2015/04/estateplannersadoptandadaptnewhcpoa

Can I Sue a Bar or Restaurant for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

Web Admin - Thursday, April 18, 2019
Des Plaines drunk driving accident attorneyWhen a drunk driver seriously injures another person, the injured person can sue the drunk driver for compensation under Illinois’ personal injury laws. If the at-fault driver became intoxicated in a bar, the injured person may also sue the owner of that bar under state liquor liability laws, also known as dram shop laws. 

What Are Dram Shop Laws?


When a bar serves enough liquor to a patron to cause their intoxication, dram shop laws make the bar owner strictly liable to any person injured by the intoxicated patron. 

What Is the Illinois Liquor Liability Law?


Illinois is one of 38 U.S. states with dram shop laws. The Illinois Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/6-21) states that anyone who is injured in Illinois by an intoxicated person can sue the establishment responsible for that person’s intoxication. That is, the injured person can sue the bar that sold or gave alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. 
 
The intoxicated person himself, however, cannot sue the liquor-serving establishment for injuries to himself or his own property, nor can their family make a claim for the loss of the intoxicated person’s support or society.

The Liquor Control Act also specifies limits on the amount of damages that an injured person can claim. These limits are updated annually based on inflation. For incidents occurring on or after January 20, 2019, the maximum compensation is $70,091.09 per person injured. The injured person’s immediate family can also claim loss of support or loss of society up to a maximum of $85,666.89. Each establishment holding a liquor sales license is required to have liquor liability insurance of at least $225,849.07.

What Do You Have to Prove to Win a Liquor Liability Case?


If you have been injured in a car crash caused by a drunk driver, you will need to prove three key points in order to obtain compensation under Illinois’ liquor liability laws:

- The person who injured you was served liquor at a specific bar.
- That person was served enough liquor at that bar to become intoxicated.
- That person, while still intoxicated, caused the car accident in which you were injured.

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to investigate your case and gather the necessary evidence. 

For example, when police suspect that intoxication contributed to a car crash, they will typically order immediate blood-alcohol testing of the at-fault driver. That will establish the level of that driver’s intoxication. The police may also obtain verbal testimony from the at-fault driver and any passengers they were transporting, which could reveal where they had been drinking and how much alcohol was consumed.

If the police investigation does not reveal where the at-fault driver became intoxicated, a private investigation led by an experienced lawyer may turn up this information. For example, a drunk driver’s alcohol consumption in the hours just prior to a car crash could be documented through credit card transactions, cell phone tracking, security camera video, or eyewitness testimony from other patrons of the bar.

Consult an Aggressive Palatine Personal Injury Lawyer


If you or a member of your family have been injured or killed in a car crash involving a drunk driver, you may be able to claim compensation from more than one source. For a free initial consultation on your case, call an experienced Schaumburg personal injury attorney. Contact the law offices of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC 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.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=023500050HArt%2E+VI&ActID=1404&ChapterID=26&SeqStart=8200000&SeqEnd=13600000
https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/News/Pages/2018-Dram-Shop-Liability-Limits.aspx


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