Illinois Comptroller To Postpone Due Date For Traffic Fines

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced this week that her office will not be deducting past due traffic and parking fines and costs from the tax returns of the poor and moderately income residents. The office of the comptroller has the power to collect past due traffic and parking fees from residents’ tax returns. Her office announced the following: “The Illinois Office of Comptroller will not be deducting any fines or fees from the tax returns of Illinois’ working poor this year…Low- and moderate-income taxpayers in Illinois, who qualify for the state-earned income tax credit will receive their entire tax refund this year.”

It must be pointed out that the $15 million that is past due is not being forgiven. Payment will instead be due next year. The office also pointed out that the grace period could be extended if there is not a significant economic recovery due to the pandemic. This is no doubt a huge relief for many Chicagoans and residents around the state of Illinois who have been hit hard economically the covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully this will provide many with some financial breathing room.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Safe Driving Is More Important Than Ever

Forbes magazine published an interesting article this week stressing the importance of safe driving during these perilous times. The crux of the article was that our healthcare systems cannot possibly keep up with serious injuries and other maladies that may come to their emergency rooms due to things like car accidents. Hospitals in certain parts of the country are already working at capacity due to the coronavirus epidemic. If you are unfortunately involved in a car accident and get injured, then you may need to contact a personal injury lawyer for legal assistance.

According to car accident attorneys, there is a high importance of safe driving during this crucial period where many areas of the country are hitting their peak of coronavirus patients. According to the Global Alliance for NGO for road safety: “Hospitals and emergency services cannot manage road crash victims as they struggle to cope with the pandemic and governments are working hard to contain the virus.” Make sure to be safe out on the road and know which personal injury attorney services you are going to contact if you ever get injured in an accident.

This means that if you must get into your car, put your phone down and focus on the road. And more importantly, do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. According to an auto accident attorney it is incredibly important to be vigilant while driving and to try your best to avoid traffic accidents and injuries if you have to take your car out. Contact a personal injury lawyer if you have unfortunately been injured in a car accident.

The article also pointed out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(“NHTSA”) has cancelled many of their annual traffic safety programs due to the coronavirus including Heat Stroke Awareness, Click It or Ticket, and Distracted Driving campaigns.  They are also postponing National Distracted Driving Awareness month from April to another month later this year. Regardless, I think it is critical that we all take extra precautions when we go out for a drive so that we can help soften the load for our first responders, emergency workers, doctors and nurses. They need our help more than ever and that starts by staying home or, at the very least, being careful behind the wheel, but if you do happen to get injured, then don’t hesitate to call a personal injury lawyer.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Legislator Wants To Increase Speed Limits

Illinois State Senator, Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, has introduced two (2) bills that would increase the speed limit on Illinois interstates and highways. Senate Bill 2565 would raise the speed limit to 75 mph on interstates outside urban areas. Senate Bill 2564 would increase the speed limit on highways outside urban areas to a maximum of 60 mph from 55 mph.

These bills have faced opposition from safety groups and insurance companies, including AAA.

The Institute for Highway Safety found there is an 8% increase in fatal traffic accidents for every 5 mph increase in the speed limit. And the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says speed is a factor in 39% of fatal crashes in Illinois. The national average is 28%. The American Automobile Association, or AAA is opposing the bill releasing the following statement to the media: “This would be a dangerous step in the wrong direction, putting Illinois’ recent gains in traffic safety into serious jeopardy.”

These bills were assigned to the Transportation Committee last month. The bills cannot be voted on until they pass through committee approval before being voted on by the Senate or House. I have not seen any news recently that these bills will voted on or that there is a push to have these measures passed.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an Illinois Traffic Accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Safe Swimming Tips For Young Children

The summer is almost over but it is never too late to discuss safe swimming tips for kids or young children learning to swim. Gold Fish Swim School, which provides swim classes for toddlers and young children recently joined ABC 7 in Chicago, and provided the following safety tips for parents of young children or toddlers just learning to swim. I thought it would be helpful to post those tips and if you or a loved is ever injured, then don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney.

1. Sign your children up for swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are the number one thing you can do to prepare your children for the potential dangers of water.

2. Use a Water Watcher Card. A water watcher card is designated to an adult who is not distracted by a phone, drink, etc., tand is paying close attention to kids who are swimming.

3. Buy your children a USCG (United States Coast Guard) approved life jacket. It’s a mistake to think floaties and pool toys are life-saving devices.

4. Most drownings happen during non-swimming times, so make sure there are appropriate barriers around pools and doors are locked so children cannot get in the water when it’s not a designated swim time.

These are just a few tips. I think the tip to pay most attention to right now is for parents to put their phones down and focus on their children. This is especially true for those with very young children. It’s very easy for all of us to become preoccupied with reading our smart phones. Pools can be incredibly dangerous areas for inexperienced and young swimmers and they need parent’s attention and focus the whole time. If you or a loved is ever injured in an accident, then make sure to get legal assistance from a personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago personal injury accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

U.S. Senators From Illinois Pen Letter to MLB Regarding Protective Netting

The Chicago Tribune U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckwork, both from Illinois, have co-authored a letter to Major League Baseball (“MLB”) asking the league to “collect and report” data on regarding ballpark fan injuries. This letter comes in the wake of multiple incidents of fans being struck by foul balls hit into the stands. Some of the incidents, including one in Houston, have resulted in serious injuries to children.

According to the two Democratic Senators they feel disclosure of the date “will provide a more honest public dialogue and help protect baseball’s biggest — and littlest — fans… Disclosing that information would help inform fans and their families about the safest locations to sit.” 

As of this year all 32 teams have extended their netting to the length of each team dugout. As I wrote a few weeks back, the only MLB team to update their netting and extend it all the way to the outfield was the Chicago White Sox, who implemented the changes over the All Star break in July. Chicago’s other team, the Cubs, have stated publicly that they don not know when or how they will extend the netting at Wrigley Field due to unique architectural issues.

I think this type of letter is a step in the right direction for protecting fans. I hope MLB follows this requests and discloses all of the data to the public. Also, I would like to see other MLB teams follow the White Sox lead and extend the netting bast each dugout. We have seen too many injuries in recent years not to take extra precautions. If teams do not extend netting and the injuries continue, I hope that state courts look at this decision by MLB and start holding teams civilly liable for these injuries.

If you or a loved one have suffered a Chicago personal injury or been injured in a Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago White Sox First Major League Team To Extend Protective Netting

I have written multiple times over the past few years about a number of baseball fans injured by foul balls at major league baseball games. Over the past few years, all the major league teams extend protective netting to the end of each dugout where the players and coaches sit. Despite these extensions over the last few years, fan injuries have continued.

A 2 year old boy was injured in Houston earlier this year, along with a 3 year old in Cleveland earlier this week. Last month a woman was injured at a Chicago White Sox game. This woman’s injury was enough for Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf to take action. He asked his grounds crew overt the All Star break to investigate and eventually install protective netting that extends all the way to the outfield foul pole. The first game with the new netting was this week against the Miami Marlins. The only other team to announce adding the additional netting were the Washington Nationals.

What will the rest of major league baseball do in response to all these injuries? I hope they follow suit and do what the White Sox have accomplished. Obviously the technology is there, and there is no reason for teams to hold off any longer.

The question remains whether injured fans have any recourse against teams and major baseball. The family of the 2 year old has filed suit against the Houston Astros and Major League Baseball. Typically, these types of lawsuits have been dismissed based on an assumption of risk rule (referred to as the “baseball rule”) that protects major league teams. Each ticket sold basically states that they are not responsible for injuries that come as a result of errant foul balls, and courts have held that this should protect the teams and league from liability. But will this hold up when the teams know that the netting they currently have is not enough to protect fans? They are on notice and if they refuse to extend the netting, then I believe a court should refuse to dismiss these types of cases. I hope the case is litigated so that we can see a change in the law.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a Chicago personal injury accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Will Southwest Airlines Passenger Fatality Lead To More Thorough Engine Inspections?

Whether you fly Southwest Airlines or not, it was terrifying to hear about the passenger death occurred last month on that airline while the plain was mid-flight. According to an aviation attorney, the Southwest 737  engine failed, causing a blast the shattered a window and eventually killing one passenger.

Reports have indicated that a cursory inspection of the engine just two (2) days before this incident revealed that the engine seemed to be in perfect working condition.  Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”), said a blade in the engine had broken in two places — where the blade attaches to the main hub and higher up, approximately at the midpoint of the blade. He said that a crack “was on the interior of the fan blade,” and that it was “more than likely not detectable from looking from the outside.”

Days after the incident, investigators are concluding that a simple visual inspection of an engine may not be enough. According to the New York Times, the company who manufactures the engine, CFM International,  recommended that airlines conduct ultrasound inspections of the blades. In the United States, carriers aren’t required to follow manufacturers’ guidelines.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now issuing a directive that all airlines follow CFM’s recommendation to perform the more thorough ultrasound inspection. Unfortunately this is a few weeks too late.

It is important to point out that the NTSB still has not concluded what the root cause of he blade to break apart. It could have been, as suggested above, a lax inspection process. Or possibly a design defect in the engine.

I believe we will see a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased passenger. They will no doubt name both Southwest and the engine manufacturer as defendants in the case. The interesting thing in this case, which does not bode well for Southwest, is that the Plaintiff’s attorney and the engine manufacturer will argue that they recommended ultrasound inspections for all engines over a year prior to this incident. Southwest did not follow these instructions, and that could be viewed as negligent behavior. It could be argued that Southwest had notice of the potential issue and that the time and cost of this more intense inspection were minimal. Failure to do this inspection was negligent behavior that caused this accident. It will be interesting to see what happens and whether a lawsuit is eventually filed.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a Chicago personal injury accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation.