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Peoria Illinois Personal Injury Law Blog

What does Illinois law say about snow removal?

With winter only about half over for this year, you likely already are more than ready for spring. You hate the thought of any more snow, ice, below-zero wind chills, shoveling, and all the other things that go along with an Illinois winter. Nevertheless, you persevere in removing the snow from your sidewalks and steps so no one will fall on them and sue you for the injuries they receive. You fervently wish everyone else did the same.

It may surprise you to learn that Illinois law does not require individuals and businesses to remove the snow and ice on their property. Furthermore, Illinois law does not automatically allow you to recover damages in a slip-and-fall lawsuit if you fell because of snow and ice. Why? Because, as Mondaq.com points out, rather than following the “reasonable care” rule, Illinois still follows the “natural accumulation” rule.

Here's how to stay safe when driving in ice and snow

Safe driving in ice and snow may be difficult, but it is possible. There are specific steps you can take to lower the odds that you get into an accident. Nothing guarantees you'll never crash, of course, but that's true all year around. You do not have to fear winter driving if you simply take the time to understand how it is different and how you can approach it.

Watch out for shade

Why are so many pedestrians killed in accidents?

Walking and running are generally considered to be activities good for one's health. They can also provide positive, environmentally friendly alternatives to driving. Sadly, they seem to be putting more people in harm's way. New data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that pedestrian fatalities across the United States have skyrocketed in recent years.

According to a report by CNBC, the U.S. recorded more pedestrian deaths in 2018 than in the prior 27 years. The rise in the number of people on foot who have been killed in vehicular accidents rose a tragic 41% between 2008 and 2018. While accident fatalities among pedestrians has grown, overall fatalities have reduced. This highlights the severity of the issue faced by pedestrians.

Marijuana is legal in Illinois, but not while driving

Marijuana was legalized in the state of Illinois earlier this month, but according to the 2020 DUI Fact Book, published by the Illinois Secretary of State's Office, driving while impaired by marijuana is still prohibited. Much like with a DUI stop for alcohol use, if an officer stops a vehicle and sees signs that the driver is under the influence of marijuana (e.g., red eyes, drowsiness, etc.), the officer will request that the driver submit to field sobriety tests. Based on the results, the officer may arrest the driver and take him or her into the station, where they will be asked to submit to a blood, breath or urine test within two hours of the traffic stop. If the driver is found to have more than 5 nanograms of THC, the main active chemical found in marijuana, per milliliter of blood, or more than 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of any other bodily substance, they could lose their license and face criminal charges. However, there is concern that these results may not be solid proof of driver impairment as THC can remain in someone's body long after the effects have worn off.

Motorists who drive under the influence may be charged criminally, but their actions can also be the basis of a civil lawsuit. For example, if one were involved in an auto accident caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, they may file a civil lawsuit against them for damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. If the driver was convicted of a DUI in criminal court, that can help the victim's case in civil court. Keep in mind that the standard of proof is much higher for criminal cases than civil cases though, so even if the driver was not convicted, an accident victim may still have a good chance to recover damages civilly.

Workers' comp is intended only for workplace-related injuries

If you are working for a company in Illinois, there is always a chance that you might suffer an injury while you are on the job. Anyone who suffers an on-the-job injury or illness stemming from their employment may apply for workers' compensation benefits to help support themselves and their family during their recovery when they are unable to work.

Contractors, seasonal workers and other workers who are not classified as employees by their companies will generally not be covered by workers' compensation insurance. It is also important to remember that workers' compensation insurance will only cover injuries and/or illnesses that occurred within the scope of your employment. Pre-existing medical conditions that were exacerbated as a result of a workplace accident, or injuries stemming from even alcohol provided at a company event could be covered.

Steak N Shake invitee files lawsuit after slip and fall

Stores and restaurants have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe for customers. If someone is eating at a restaurant and slips and falls due to an unsafe condition on the premises, the restaurant could be held liable for the injured party's damages. An Illinois Steak N Shake is being sued by a restaurant patron who was injured in a slip and fall accident at the restaurant.

The restaurant patron reportedly entered the men's restroom at the Steak N Shake when he slipped and fell on a puddle of water that was on the restroom floor, near the door. The man claimed that he suffered disabling injuries as a result of the incident, and that he suffered a loss of normal life.

Claiming workers' compensation for stress as a nurse

Many jobs carry a certain level of stress. While some professions have the potential to be more stressful than others, the way that managers structure their employees' working environment can play a big part in minimizing stress. The experience of stress is normal to some degree, but when a person is dealing with high levels of stress, it can affect their health and make it difficult for them to lead normal lives.

If you are dealing with high amounts of stress due to your occupation as a nurse, it may be necessary for you to seek medical attention and to take time off work to recover. Doing these things, however, will impact you financially, and this is why it is important to seek workers' compensation.

Dog bite injuries can lead to serious infection

We think of dogs as lovable, happy animals, so it can be difficult to picture them causing serious injury. However, an estimated 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and approximately half of them are reportedly small children.

In the best-case scenario, a dog bite doesn't break the skin, and only requires you to wash the injured area, apply antibiotic cream and cover the area with a bandage. However, when a dog bite breaks the skin, there is a possibility that bacteria from the dog's mouth will enter the person's body through the wound, causing infection, including capnocytophaga infection, sepsis, rabies or tetanus. Washing the wound immediately may help you avoid getting an infection.

Nearly half of adults drive while drowsy

Americans are working harder than ever before, trying to juggle families, multiple jobs and countless errands. As a result, many people are getting too little sleep, and engaging in drowsy driving as a result. Drowsy driving typically refers to driving while exhibiting common signs of sleep-deprivation, including yawning, head dropping, having trouble remembering the last few miles driven and making careless driving mistakes (e.g. missing road signs, failing to maintain speed, swerving from lane to lane).

In September 2019, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine surveyed just over 2,000 U.S. adults about their driving habits. The results showed that 45% of the adults surveyed admitted to driving while drowsy. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has estimated there were 300,000 accidents in 2018, and that 10 percent of all accidents were caused by a drowsy driver. The AAA apparently came to this conclusion by conducting a study of over 3,500 drivers and monitoring their behaviors via in-vehicle cameras and other equipment.

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