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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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What Is Your Child's Best Interest During a DivorceParents going through a divorce will often hear the term “best interest of the child.” According to Illinois law, the allocation of parental responsibilities must protect the best interest of the child above all else. Responsible parents will agree on this point but may have different definitions of what their child’s best interest is. As a parent, you may argue that your child’s best interest is to spend as much time with you as possible. This may be presenting your own best interest as your child's best interest. Illinois divorce courts presume a child benefits the most when parents share responsibility. There is not a uniform parenting plan that is in the best interest of all children. Parents and divorce judges must consider each case on its individual merits.

Continued Relationships

Divorce and parenting researchers advocate for shared parental responsibilities because of the importance of children having a relationship with both parents. Following a divorce, children have lost the comfort of their familiar two-parent household. It is vital for their mental and emotional development to continue having two parents who love them and spend time with them.

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Swimming Pool Safety Requires Shared ResponsibilitySummer is swimming pool season for both recreational swimmers and personal injury attorneys. There are numerous potential safety hazards at swimming pools that can cause injuries. In the most serious cases, the victim may drown. If property negligence causes injury, premises liability laws allow victims to pursue damages from the person or entity responsible. However, success in a swimming pool personal injury case depends on the circumstances of the injury and who owns the pool.

Liability

When seeking compensation for a swimming pool injury, you must determine who is liable for your injury. Depending on the responsible party, you may have a greater burden in proving negligence:

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Changes in Child Support Calculations in Illinois, Divorce, Family Law Going through a divorce is a very personal and difficult process. It not only involves the law, but finances and family as well. One of the  most contentious issues when a couple is going through a divorce is child support. Who is going to pay what to help support the needs of any children involved in the divorce? Under the existing Illinois law, child support is calculated based on a certain minimum percentage of the non-residential parent’s net income, regardless of the income of the primary residential parent. The non-residential is the parent who does not have have the majority of decision-making responsibilities or parenting time with his or her child by order of the court. The calculations produced by the law for child support  did not match the needs of the children or reflect accurately the amount of assets the non-residential parent had available. 

What Has Changed?

The new law set to take effect in July 2017 changes the way that the court calculates the amount of money the non-residential party must pay in child support. The calculation is different in that the new law will use an income sharing model.  Potential variables that may be used under the new law include that the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will develop specialized economic tables. These tables will calculate the amount of assets that will be used for child support based on cost of living and the number of children. This is different from the current law which tells courts to base the calculation on a non-residential parent’s net income. The new law tells the courts that the calculation will be based on each parent’s proportional responsibility to fund the child or children’s care relative to the income each parent has. 

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Calculating the Cost of Sever Spinal InjuriesSuffering a catastrophic injury to your spine is a life-altering event. The immediate treatment and long-term effects can take a physical and mental toll on you. It may be hard to put a monetary value on how much a spinal injury will cost you, but you should have an idea if you are seeking legal compensation from the party at fault for the injury.

Immediate Cost

The initial medical fees often are the most expensive part of a spinal injury. Treatment can require surgery, prolonged hospital stays, rehabilitation and use of medical equipment such as wheelchairs. A study found that the average first-year cost for a patient who loses any level of motor function is more that $300,000. The first-year cost escalates, depending on the severity of the injury, including:

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