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Preventing Your Business from Ending with Your MarriageWhen owning a small business, your personal income and assets can easily overlap with those of your business. Thus, your business must be accounted for during the division of marital property, even if your spouse does not contribute to it. Divorce can have a negative effect on a small business if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Your spouse may have a right to a share of your business or to marital properties of equitable value. Any loss of assets or revenue can be the difference between a successful business and one that is no longer profitable. You need to make protecting your business a priority during your divorce.

Business Valuation

Once your divorce has started, the crucial first step is to assess the value of your business. Your spouse is likely to use his or her own assessor, so it is important that you bring in an assessor that can determine an accurate valuation of your business. An assessment will consider:

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Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Premises Liability LawsuitAn Aurora, Ill., woman recently received a $4.5 million judgment as a result of a personal injury lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo. The injury took place in 2012, when the woman was walking into a Wells Fargo mortgage retail office in Aurora. A metal door closer unit detached and hit her in the head, causing immediate injury and long-term disability. The judgment included:

  • $1.25 million for her disability;
  • $1.25 million for her pain and suffering;
  • $1 million for emotional distress; and
  • More than $500,000 for medical expenses.

The judgment is reportedly the largest ever awarded for a personal injury lawsuit in DuPage County that was not a medical malpractice case. The jury needed only two hours to reach its decision in the case. Before the trial, Wells Fargo had attempted to settle with the plaintiff by offering $125,000.

Unsafe Building Conditions

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Chemical Exposure Has Long-Term EffectsExposure to hazardous substances is a serious risk that some construction workers face on the job. The immediate danger is most apparent when disastrous events occur, such as explosions. However, chemical exposure can cause medical conditions that may become life-threatening over time. Construction workers must be aware of the long-term hazards of working with toxic substances.

Types of Hazards

Construction projects may use materials that are toxic to workers who come in contact with them. Builders have stopped using some of the most hazardous materials, such as asbestos. However, workers may still need to remove dangerous materials if they are renovating an older building. Workers can also become ill due to exposure to more common substances, such as:

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Gender Roles No Longer Define Men's DivorceEven with the advancements in gender equality, many men and women in relationships cling to the traditional gender roles of previous generations. Men are supposed to be the providers, and women give support at home. These expected roles can give the man power during a marriage and work against him during a divorce. Women in a divorce are more likely to receive spousal maintenance and primary allocation of parental responsibilities. However, gender does not determine the benefits awarded in a divorce. Divorcing men are limiting themselves if they believe their gender predetermines how their divorces will turn out.

Alimony

Some divorcing spouses assume that the man always pays alimony. When a divorce court instead decides that the woman must pay spousal maintenance to the man:

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How Comparative Fault Affects Personal Injury CasesObtaining compensation in a personal injury case relies upon proving the defendant’s negligence. Illinois law defines negligence as failing to act in a manner that a reasonably careful person would or acting in a manner that a reasonably careful person would not. However, both sides can be negligent in a personal injury case. The idea of shared blame is often called comparative fault. If a jury decides that a plaintiff's negligence partially caused his or her injuries, it may award reduced damages or no damages at all.

Comparative Fault

A jury in a personal injury case must first determine whether the defendant is at fault for the plaintiff's injury. If the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff, it moves on to determining how much compensation is owed and whether there was comparative fault by the plaintiff. Illinois law instructs the jury to quantify the plaintiff’s share of the responsibility for the injuries in terms of a percentage:

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