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What is loss of consortium?

Should one of your close relatives die in Illinois as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you can sue the person responsible for your loved one’s untimely and wrongful death. One of the things you can sue for are damages to compensate you for loss of consortium.

The phrase “loss of consortium” originally referred to the loss of marital relations a surviving spouse suffered when his or her spouse died. Per FindLaw, however, this term now includes all kinds of intangible losses you may suffer due to your loved one’s death. However, in order to file the suit and collect the damages, you relationship with the deceased usually must have been one of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sibling

When motor carriers compel truck drivers to speed

Motorists in Springfield are likely aware of how much more difficult it becomes to control their vehicles at high speeds. One can only imagine, then, how hard a truck driver must work to control that semi-traveling on a freeway or highway. Most might assume that truck drivers would avoid struggling with keeping their vehicles under their complete control and avoid speeding altogether. Yet according to information shared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speeding is listed amongst the most common causes of truck accidents. 

One might view a truck driver's decision to speed as a clear sign of negligence and indifference to the safety of others. Yet could there be scenarios in which a truck driver feels compelled to speed? Any working professional who has felt the pressure that comes with meeting the standards of on-the-job performance might understand such a feeling. 

Which type of divorce is most applicable to your situation?

No matter how long you and your spouse have been married, if you decide to file for divorce in an Illinois court, you must resolve numerous issues before the judge can finalize your case. Since your situation is not exactly the same as any other couple's, the course of action you pursue may be different than the one your friend, relative or co-worker chose when he or she divorced.

Understanding the different types of divorce and how each may or may not apply to your particular situation can help simplify and expedite proceedings. It's also possible that you may choose option that doesn't work out then have to switch courses midway through the process. The good news is that you can reach out for added support as needed as you prepare for divorce and lay the groundwork for a new lifestyle.

Which diseases can you get from dog bites?

If you receive a bite from a dog in Illinois, whether a pet or a stray, you are at risk for contracting a number of different diseases. The scientific name for these conditions is "zoonoses" because they can transmit between animals and human beings. 

Zoonotic diseases may result from either bacteria or viruses present in the dog's mouth. The Centers for Disease Control identifies a number of possible infections that can result from a dog bite.

Attorney sentenced in fatal drunk driving crash

Many people in Illinois may hear about how strict the law is when it comes to drunk driving, especially if a serious accident occurs due to the actions of an impaired driver. The definition of strict may well be subjective as some people may think that the laws are not strict enough or perhaps that they are not always evenly applied. The reality is that it can be difficult to assign a value on a human life which makes it difficult to determine an appropriate penalty for someone who makes a decision that ends up claiming the life of another person.

In the summer of 2018, two college friends were attending a reunion when they decided to leave the party together. As they drove near the county line of Shawano and Oconto Counties, the man who was driving apparently lost control of his vehicle according to a report by the Green Bay Press Gazette.

A look at joint-custody: What is best for kids

When parents decide to terminate their marriage, there are a host of factors to negotiate. One of the most stressful may be that of child custody. The judge presiding over the case will make the decision based on what is best for the kids. Traditionally, people thought children favored best when kept in the sole custody of one parent. That way, kids were not tracked back and forth from home to home and were able to spend the majority of time in one home. Yet studies show that kids who are raised in joint-custody homes may have advantages over those who are kept in sole-custody situations.

The idea is that children who spend a significant amount of time with both parents show less emotional and behavioral problems. This was found in a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology. Researchers compared children living in sole-custody, joint-custody and traditional family arrangements. They found that kids in joint-custody households faired better in school, received higher grades and had a higher self-esteem. These children also had stronger relationships with friends and family.

Traffic crashes and road construction workers

Road construction workers encounter a number of hazards every day. Not only can this be a physically demanding job, but they may also be exposed to extreme temperatures and other job-related hazards. Moreover, they may find themselves in the middle of a traffic accident, which could occur for various reasons. Whether they are struck by one of their co-workers who is operating a truck, or they are hit by a negligent driver, someone who works on a road crew may be injured or even killed in a traffic collision.

Sadly, these accidents keep happening for an array of reasons. For example, a careless driver may fail to notice that road work is present, and they may drive through a work zone at high speeds. Or, a driver may become aggressive because they are impatient while waiting to be allowed through, which could cause them to speed, pass other vehicles in a dangerous manner or even try to get around road blocks. Many of these accidents occur because a driver is distracted, driving under the influence, angry or simply careless. However, road workers who are involved in these collisions should immediately explore the legal options that might be available to them.

Fathers, child custody and fighting for rightful parenting time

When parents divorce, it is often the children who experience the most significant impact. Naturally, you want to protect your kids from experiencing undue hardship and emotional trauma, and one way you can do this is by providing your children with a sensible custody plan. Kids benefit when allowed regular access to both parents and as much continuity of lifestyle as possible.

For some Illinois families, providing children with a smart custody situation comes in the form of joint custody. While many parents choose this arrangement for themselves, courts are now more likely to prefer this type of arrangement over other options. As a result, it is now more likely for fathers to get equitable parenting time, but it is still common for a dad to have to fight for a final order that is reasonable and sustainable.

What Illinois courts consider when awarding spousal maintenance

Divorcing your spouse in Illinois leads to inevitable change, and while you might welcome some of those changes, you may have concerns about how you are going to support yourself, post-divorce, if you have not been a part of the workforce for some time. If this describes your situation, you may be thinking about pursuing spousal maintenance as a method of getting by and maintaining your standard of living. At the Law Office of Kerley & Associates, we understand the types of factors courts consider when awarding spousal maintenance, and we have helped many clients navigate this and numerous other divorce-related issues.

According to the Illinois General Assembly, some of the things you can expect a court to consider before making decisions about spousal maintenance include the current income and the realistic future earning potential of each party. The courts will also review the current standard of living both parties enjoy, and they will also typically take into account whether one party put his or her own career on hold for the sake of the other party, or for the family unit in its entirety.

Are drivers ready for autonomous vehicles?

If you are like a lot of people in Illinois, you may be watching how many vehicle manufacturers and technology companies are racing to get fully autonomous vehicles on the roads and wondering just how ready consumers really are. One might assume that consumers are becoming more comfortable with these vehicles but a newly completed survey by AAA suggests the opposite is actually true.

A report in Gizmodo shows that roughly two years ago at the beginning of 2017, 78 percent of people said they would have been too scared to be a passenger in a fully self-driving car. By the end of that year, trust seemed to increase as only 63 percent of people said they were too afraid of riding in an autonomous vehicle. Instead of that trend continuing, the latest survey shows that now the number of consumers scared of being passengers in these vehicles has increased eight percent to 71 percent.

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Law Office of Kerley & Associates
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Springfield, IL 62704

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