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Pit bulls are considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds across the country. We hear stories every day about a pit bull or similar breed attacking a person and causing serious personal injuries. For more information on the most dangerous dog breeds, visit our page on dog bites and animal attacks HERE and our previous blog HERE.

To combat the dog attacks by pit bulls and similar dangerous dog breeds, many cities across the country have enacted breed-specific legislation, banning dangerous breeds, including many cities in Illinois. In Barry, Illinois, the local city ordinance completely bans pit bulls within the city limits.  The ordinance defines a “pit bull dog” as any (1) bull terrier breed, (2) Staffordshire bull terrier, (3) American pit bull terrier, (4) American Staffordshire terrier, and (5) any dog mixed with the listed breeds. Under the ordinance, a person found possessing a pit bull within the city limits is subjected to a fine of up to $750.00.

Similarly, the Village of Buffalo Grove “restricts” two dangerous breeds – pit bulls and rottweilers in its local city ordinance. Under the ordinance, the owner of a pit bull or rottweiler must install a “special enclosure” and keep the dog in the enclosure at all times the dog is not inside the owner’s residence. Furthermore, the owner must display signage on their property warning the public of the dog’s presence. Continue reading

In the last couple of years car accidents involving pedestrians have steadily increased. A report by the National Public Radio (NPR) released in 2017, stated that pedestrian fatalities had increased by over 11 percent in a single year, putting the number of fatalities to nearly 6,000 deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated 5,376 pedestrians were killed in 2015 and 4,884 pedestrians were killed in 2014. Based on those numbers, NHTSA estimates that on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car accident.

The CDC states that high vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and the severity of the pedestrian’s injury. In NPR’s report, the deputy executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, interviewed by NPR, stated that, “If a pedestrian is struck at 20 miles an hour, they have a 10 percent chance of dying. If they are struck at 40 miles an hour, they have an 80 percent chance of dying.” Continue reading

Part Two: What is a Dangerous or Vicious Dog?

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is imperative to know your rights as a dog bite victim. For more information on the overall process of declaring a dog dangerous or vicious, visit Part One of our series on dangerous and vicious dogs HERE and visit our page on dog bites and animal attacks HERE. Part Two of our series on dangerous and vicious dogs, below, focuses on the factors used in determining whether a dog is dangerous or vicious.

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What is a Lien?

In personal injury cases, a lien is a right of a creditor to get paid from a personal injury settlement. A lien allows the injured party to not have to worry about paying their medical bills until the case has settled. Once the personal injury case has been settled, the creditor will be paid from the personal injury settlement. In order for a lien to be valid, the creditor (called the lienholder) must notify both the injured person and the at-fault person (call the tortfeasor) of the lien. The lien must contain the name and address of the injured person, the date of injury, the name and address of the lienholder, and the name of the tortfeasor. 770 ILCS 23/10(b).

There are several types of liens that can be placed against a personal injury claim. The first type of lien is a healthcare lien, governed by the Health Care Services Act. 770 ILCS 23/1. Under the Act, a hospital, doctor, or physical therapist that has provided services to the injured person may place a lien against that person’s personal injury claim. For more information on how healthcare liens work, see our previous blog HERE. Continue reading

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Antonicelli v. Rodriguez, a personal injury car accident case involving multiple defendants. In the case, the plaintiff, Angela Antonicelli, was a passenger in a car traveling on Interstate 88. Antonicelli v. Rodriguez, 2018 IL 121943, ¶ 3.  Defendant Karl Browder was operating a semi-truck directly behind the vehicle Ms. Antonicelli was a passenger in. Id. Defendant Daniel Juan Rodriguez, while under the influence of cocaine, made an improper U-turn and struck Ms. Antonicelli’s vehicle. Id. at ¶ 4. Mr. Browder’s vehicle then slammed into Ms. Antonicelli’s vehicle. Id. As a result of the multiple collisions, Ms. Antonicelli suffered severe permanent injuries. Id.

Ms. Antonicelli brought a lawsuit against both Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Browder (as well as Mr. Browder’s employers) to recover medical expenses and damages for her injuries. Id. at ¶ 6. Prior to the case going to trial, Ms. Antonicelli and Mr. Rodriguez entered into a settlement agreement for $20,000, the policy limits of Mr. Rodriguez’s insurance policy. Id. Mr. Browder then filed a counterclaim against Mr. Rodriguez for contribution, alleging that Mr. Rodriguez’s intentional conduct was the causation of Ms. Antonicelli’s injuries. Id. at ¶ 7. Continue reading

Part One: The Process

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you will need to know your rights in having that dog declared dangerous or vicious. Determining whether a dog is deemed dangerous or vicious is governed by both the Animal Control Act and by local city and county ordinances. For more information about the Animal Control Act, visit our previous blog HERE. In DuPage County, Chapter 5 of the DuPage County Code of Ordinances governs dog bite investigations.

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Every year, thousands of people across the country are injured in car accidents by distracted drivers. Studies have shown the number one cause of distracted driving is cell phone use. As cell phone technology advances, so too does the risk of distracted driving. The Illinois State Police Department estimates the use of a cell phone while driving increases the chance of getting into a car accident by 400 percent. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2015 alone, approximately 3,477 people in the U.S. died in crashes that involved a distracted driver, and 391,000 people were injured. Here in Illinois, there were over 1,000 fatal crashes in 2017. This trend seems only to be continuing. In the month of January, 2018, there had already been over 60 fatal crashes with 66 fatalities in Illinois.   Continue reading

Instances of dog bites are on the rise in Illinois and across the country. In 2016, a woman was found dead in Illinois after being attacked by dogs. Last year, a pit bull brutally attacked and killed a 77-year-old woman in Alsip, Illinois. The pit bull was a pet in the woman’s home.  In 2015, 34 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in the United States. In comparison, from a period of 1979 to 1994, 279 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in the United States. That comes down to an average of 18 dog bite-related fatalities occurring annually during that time period. During 1995-1996, at least 25 people died as the result of a dog bite-related injury. Many more dog bites have occurred without a fatality resulting. According to the Centers for Disease Control, studies found that there were approximately 4.5 million dog bite victims per year in the United States. Of these annual dog bites, 885,000 dog bites (1 in 5 bites) are serious enough to require medical attention. In 2001, an estimated 368,245 people were treated by emergency room physicians for dog bite-related injuries. In the United States, Illinois is the 2nd highest state for Dog Bite Complaints. In 2015, insurance company State Farm paid out over $118 million in dog bite claims. Continue reading

As a main artery for commuters in Naperville and Aurora, Illinois Route 59 has been a constant source of frustration for DuPage County drivers. More than 50,000 vehicles travel Route 59 each day. Heavy traffic often leads to delays of up to thirty minutes. Congested traffic along Route 59 has also led to numerous motor vehicle accidents, with as many as 400 traffic accidents recorded each year.

Kane County and DuPage County have seen extensive growth and urbanization in recent years, which has led to increased traffic along Route 59 and the surrounding corridor. To increase traffic flow and improve roadway safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun a construction project along Route 59 between Ferry Road and New York/Aurora Avenue in Naperville. The construction project began April 21, 2014, and is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2015. Plans include the construction of new concrete retaining walls, additional noise abatement walls, and full reconstruction of the Interstate 88/IL Route 59 interchange, making passage through this area quicker and safer.
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