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Recovering Personal Injury Damages After Hearing LossCatastrophic injuries often cause severe injuries that can be permanent or last for a long time. Deafness in one or both ears is one of the most frightening consequences you may suffer from an injury. There is no ignoring it when you have lost your hearing – you are forced to adjust every aspect of your life. If you are fortunate, your hearing may recover over time or hearing aids may allow you to function. Those who are less fortunate may be permanently deaf, forever impairing their ability to work, perform certain tasks and enjoy life. No matter the extent of your hearing loss, you deserve compensation if another party was at fault for the injury that caused your deafness.

Common Causes

Hearing loss injuries are most commonly associated with workplace injuries, such as being exposed to loud noises over an extended period. These cases fall under workers’ compensation law, which is separate from personal injury law and has more limits on the compensation you can collect. However, a hearing loss injury can also fall outside of workers’ compensation law, allowing you to file a lawsuit against someone other than your employer. For instance:

  • A third-party manufacturer may be liable for a faulty product that damaged your hearing or failed to protect you.
  • A negligent party may have caused an extreme noise that damaged your hearing.
  • Ear and brain injuries during a collision, such as a car crash, can cause hearing loss.

It can be difficult to connect your hearing loss to a specific incident because the effect may be delayed. You also must prove that you did not lose your hearing naturally with age or due to factors that are separate from the incident.

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Protecting Your Digital Information During DivorceCybersecurity should always be a priority because of the sensitive personal information that we have on our digital devices and on the internet. Think of the damage that someone could do to your life if they had unfettered access to your computer or knew the passwords to your private accounts. If you have not made an effort to strengthen your cybersecurity, during your divorce is a good time to start. Your spouse – not an anonymous hacker – may be the person most interested in accessing your digital information. You cannot rely on the same security methods as during your marriage.

Passwords

You should change the passwords or personal identification numbers for accessing your digital devices and accounts, even if you never shared them with your spouse. There are several reasons to do this:

  • Your spouse may have seen your passwords written on a piece of paper or within a digital file;
  • Your passwords should not include any personal information that your spouse may be able to guess; and
  • Your spouse could have learned an encrypted password if they had access to your digital device.

Knowing your passwords could allow your spouse to spy on your private messages and access your individual financial accounts. It might not even be illegal if you shared a password with them and never changed it. A two-factor authentification process is a simple way to improve your password security. The account will notify you if someone attempts to log in from an unrecognized device and will send an authentification code to your phone or email.

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Compensation Options for Pedestrians Injured by HIt-and-Run DriversHit-and-run incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians are unfortunately common occurrences. A driver who strikes a pedestrian may be more prone to panic and flee the scene because they know that the pedestrian has likely suffered a severe or fatal injury. A pedestrian who has survived a hit-and-run incident often needs emergency medical treatments and lengthy rehabilitation. It is common for these incidents to cause permanent disabilities and emotional trauma. As an injury victim, you need compensation from the driver or your insurance provider.

Compensation from the Driver

The driver responsible for the hit-and-run could turn themselves in after they have calmed down and listened to their conscience. If the driver does not come forward, the police will try to identify the driver and bring them to justice. Your attorney can track the status of the case so that you are prepared to take civil action against the driver if they are found. To prove your injury claim, you can use evidence from the police report and witnesses, such as showing that:

  • The defendant was the driver of the vehicle that struck you;
  • The driver was at fault for the accident; and
  • The accident caused your injuries.

It is important to remember that decisions in criminal and civil cases are independent of each other. Illinois uses comparative fault when deciding whether to award damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Motorist usually must yield to pedestrians when there is a question about the right-of-way, but a pedestrian may share fault for the accident if they were behaving recklessly. The driver could be guilty of a hit-and-run charge but not liable for your injuries if you were more than half at fault for the accident.

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Three Questions That Help You Decide on Your Marital HomeIt can be difficult to choose whether you should keep or sell your marital home during a divorce. Keeping a home can be expensive, but selling it would be losing possibly your most valuable asset. To know the right answer to this dilemma, you need to know the right questions. Other aspects of your divorce and your personal life will likely determine whether you should keep your home. Here are three important questions to answer about your marital home:

  1. How Much Would It Cost to Keep the Home?: Keeping your marital home may be impractical if you cannot afford it. Homeowner expenses are more than making mortgage payments. You are also responsible for paying utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. A homeowner tax exemption or spousal maintenance could offset some of the cost. You also must consider what you will be giving up during the divorce in exchange for the home. If your home is the most valuable property from your marriage, your spouse will need to receive assets of similar value. Losing those assets could diminish your ability to afford your home.
  2. How Much Value Would You Receive from Selling the Home?: You should always appraise the value of your marital home as if you were planning to sell it. You need to know your home’s actual value, whether you are selling it or including it in the division of property. Your home’s assessed value will tell you how much money you need to receive in a sale to make selling your home worth it. The housing market and location of your home can affect how much potential buyers are willing to offer for your home. It may be wiser to hold onto your home if you cannot receive acceptable value for it.
  3. Are There Reasons to Keep the Home That Are Not Money-Related?: Finances are not the only consideration when making property decisions during a divorce. Your children may benefit from staying in their family home. You may have a personal history or emotional attachment to the home. Looking for a new home on top of your divorce may be overwhelming. Whatever the reason is, you must weigh whether it is worth the cost of keeping the home.

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

You should decide whether to keep or sell your home only after you have discussed the consequences of both decisions. A Barrington, Illinois, divorce attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can assess your situation to help you reach a decision. To schedule a consultation, call 847-381-8700.

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How Your Landlord Is Liable for Negligent SecurityA rental property owner is not always liable if you are the victim of criminal activity, such as an assault or battery. There are some incidents that unfortunately could not have been foreseen or prevented. However, the property owner is responsible for providing reasonable security if it should know that a lack of security would put you in danger. Its burden increases if you live in an area with high levels of crime. You may be able to collect personal injury compensation from your landlord if you can show that your landlord had a duty to protect you and that a lack of security enabled an act of violence against you.

Failed Promises

Landlords will often include a list of property security measures within their leases, such as:

  • Locks on doors and windows;
  • Lights in parking areas and at entrances;
  • Security cameras; and
  • Security guards.

Landlords are not required to provide all of these security measures but create a legal obligation to maintain them once they have promised them in a contract. They should not allow lights or cameras to fall into disrepair and should act quickly to fix them once they realize that there is a problem. They are also responsible for the professionalism of security guards on the premises. If there is a system for contacting security in the event of an emergency, you should expect an immediate response from someone trained to help you.

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