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Dram Shop Law Allows Drunk Driving Victims to Sue Alcohol ServersMotor vehicle accidents involving intoxicated drivers can cause serious injuries and death. The victim in a drunk driving crash can sue the driver for personal injury compensation and the loss of a loved one. There is a third-party liability in Illinois that can extend to businesses that serve alcohol to drunk drivers. Illinois’ dram shop law allows a victim to receive additional injury compensation by filing a lawsuit against an alcohol vendor that is deemed partially responsible for a drunk driving incident.

Proving Liability

Illinois’ dram shop law applies to restaurants, clubs, retailers, and hospitality businesses. In most cases, an individual serving alcohol at a social gathering is not liable. For a successful lawsuit against a third-party alcohol vendor, the victim must prove that:

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Consider Long-Term Investments in Divorce SettlementYou are likely to take an immediate financial hit after going through a high asset divorce. You are required to equitably divide your marital properties with your former spouse, leaving you with roughly half of the marital assets you previously possessed. If you have a greater income, you may be responsible for child support and spousal maintenance. Even if you are a shrewd negotiator, a divorce court may not approve a settlement that clearly takes advantage of your former spouse. You need foresight when creating your divorce settlement to prepare for financial recovery and ultimate stability.

Choosing Properties

Most marital properties are measured by their current value when determining an equitable division. For some properties, it is important to consider their future values. Examples include:

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Avoid Talking to Insurance Companies Before Your Personal Injury AttorneyThe initial conversations you have with an insurance company after an injury can determine how much the company will cover your health expenses. The goal of an insurance adjuster is to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries so that the company can save money. That is why the insurance company may contact you immediately after a vehicle accident or other injury when you are least prepared to talk to them. There are several reasons why you should not conduct a recorded interview with an insurance adjuster without consulting your personal injury attorney:

  1. Delayed Symptoms: If an insurance adjuster calls you the day of your accident, you may honestly answer that you do not feel injured. However, you may not notice some of your injuries until a couple of days after the incident. Once the adjuster has your statement on record, the insurance company can use it against you when determining your claim.
  2. Lack of Information: Even when you know you have been hurt after an accident, you will not know the full extent of your injuries until seeing a medical professional. You should not speculate about your injuries because your statement may contradict your official diagnosis.
  3. No Condition to Talk: Insurance adjusters contact you as soon as they can after an accident because they know you are vulnerable. You have just been through a traumatic experience that may prevent you from thinking clearly. You do not want to be held accountable for statements you made when you were upset or exhausted.
  4. Letting Your Guard Down: Many insurance adjusters come off as being personable and sympathetic during conversations. Friendliness is a tactic to get you to feel comfortable talking to them. With your guard down, you may inadvertently admit to fault in the accident or inaccurately portray your physical health.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

An insurance adjuster may try to pressure you into giving an immediate statement, saying that it is needed to start your claim. However, it is more important for your claim to accurately cover your medical needs than be expedient. The insurance adjuster cannot force you to say anything or record you without your permission. You can respond to immediate phone calls by saying that you need time to consult with your attorney before making any official statements that may affect your claim. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can advise you on what you should tell an insurance company to make sure you receive the coverage you need. Schedule an appointment by calling 847-381-8700.

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Posted on in Divorce

Understanding Trends in Divorce RatesIt is too early to have complete statistics related to marriage and divorce in the U.S. for 2017. Researchers have had enough time to compile their 2016 data and get a snapshot of what the 2017 data may be. For decades, people in the U.S. have shown increasing social acceptance of divorce. That change would suggest that the number of divorces is increasing, especially among younger people who have grown up in a time when divorce is normal. However, divorce statistics have shown an opposite reaction:

  • The divorce rate in 2016 was a relatively low 3.2 per every 1,000 people, as opposed to a peak of around 5 in the early 1980s; and
  • Divorce among couples age 55 and older, known as gray divorce, is the only age demographic that has increased, having doubled since 1990.

The statistics may initially seem counterintuitive, but additional context can help explain it:

  1. Younger Couples Are Waiting Longer to Marry: Marriages that begin when people are in their late teens or early 20s face obstacles against sustainability. Young couples are less mature and more likely to experience financial hardships that put a strain on their marriages. By waiting until their late 20s or 30s to marry, couples have more stability in their lives and a better understanding of what they want in a relationship.
  2. Marriage Rates Are Down: Many couples are foregoing marriage in favor of cohabitation, even when they have children. These couples do still separate, which may require them to go to court to determine parental responsibilities and child support. However, they will not count towards divorce statistics.
  3. Gender Equality Is on the Rise: Women from previous generations were more likely to marry because they were seeking men to provide for them. Instead, many of them have had profitable careers. Now approaching the age of retirement, these women feel more confident in their ability to support themselves after leaving their marriages.
  4. Generations May View Divorce Differently: The spouses involved in gray divorce today were also part of the married demographic when divorce reached its peak levels in the 1980s. They were the first generation in which divorce became more socially acceptable. Younger generations, who experienced their parents’ divorces during peak years, may be making a greater effort to avoid divorce.

Trends in Divorce

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Watching for Child Injuries After Car AccidentsBeing involved in a car accident can become a nightmare if you have a child with you in the vehicle. Your immediate concern will be to check for any visible injuries on your child, followed by medical attention. As with adults, some injuries that children suffer in car accidents take longer to develop or notice. However, children are different from adults because they are not adept at explaining their problems. As a parent, you must carefully watch your children for symptoms of longer-lasting trauma or injuries resulting from the car accident.

Head Injuries

Concussions are serious injuries but harder to identify than scrapes or broken bones. Symptoms of an internal head injury may manifest in your child’s behavior, such as:

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