Despite the problems caused the lack of a state budget and the resulting disarray, Illinois has proven unwilling to wait for reform at the federal level, and has joined several other states considering laws that would protect student loan borrowers and heighten penalties against scammers targeting these individuals. With over $1.4 trillion in debt owed by approximately 44 million Americans and the Illinois Attorney General reporting that student borrower complaints have increased dramatically in the last several years, the new law would provide much needed protections.
Illinois is considering passing a Student Loan Bill of Rights law. This law would require loan servicers to obtain a license in the state, which would allow for greater oversight in the state. Additionally, a special ombudsman would be created to act on complaints that residents made. The law is aimed at preventing fraud and abuse from loan servicers.
The state Attorney General has noted that Illinois borrowers often have problems making their loan payments. Her office has received complaints from residents that loan servicers failed to inform them of affordable repayment options, to answer their questions in a consistent manner to follow borrower payment instructions. Due to the lack of information that many borrowers have from their loan servicers, scam artists may set up exploitative mechanisms that make false promises in exchange for large fees. The student loan crisis is being readily compared to the housing crisis.
If passed, the law would require loan servicers to properly process payments, to explain all of the repayment options available to borrowers and when borrowers may be able to get their loans forgiven. A number of more affordable options may be available to borrowers, such as deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness or a repayment plan. Loan servicers would be prohibited from misleading borrowers.
Consumer fraud and protection lawyers may be able to assist individuals who are being defrauded by their creditors. They may pursue action on behalf of clients who receive harassing communications or who need debt relief. For more information on how consumer fraud and protection lawyers, contact us.
Ryan Bradley works with many Illinois and National Consumers to protect their rights from the grasp of big business.
The diabetes drug Invokana (Canagliflozin) could actually be more dangerous than helpful to patients. An initial study of the drug, the CANVAS clinical trials in 2009, concluded that it caused "major adverse cardiovascular events, including CV death".
Although Canagliflozin was approved by the FDA in 2013, many medical professionals had unanswered questions about its safety. A major concern was an elevated risk of stroke within the first thirty days of use.
Cardiologist Dr. William R. Hiatt, who voted against the FDA approval, said
"I feel that if you walk away with 100% voting to put it on the market, that sends a message to clinicians that this drug is okay. I'm not sure yet it's 100% okay, so I voted no."
Seconds Count is a patient education resource about cardiovascular health. The article entitled Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease includes a 50 second video by Cardiologist Dr. Samir B. Pancholy. He shares why diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. He reveals that patients with diabetes have the same risk of having a heart attack as if they'd had one previously. This is called a coronary equivalent.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common complication associated with the drug Invokana. DKA's link to cardiovascular problems has been well-documented for many years, as shown in this medical journal article from 1995.
Considering all the pre-existing medical data available, it appears that the manufacturers of Invokana underreported its cardiovascular risks.
Have you or someone in your family suffered a heart attack or stroke after using Invokana? Personal injury lawsuits have been filed in many states, including Illinois.
Please contact us today to share your story with one of our experienced attorneys. You will be treated with respect. Your medical suffering is important to us. We want to help. 217-337-1400
Tom Koester has been representing those injured by defective drugs and devices for decades throughout Central Illinois and the entire Country.
It's that season again. In Illinois and across the Midwest from Wisconsin and int Texas and Colorado, spring and early summer usher in potentially dangerous weather. While the news usually reports major weather events that end in bodily hard and epic destruction, often times damage on a smaller level is over looked. In no case is this more prevalent than in wind and hail situations.
Hail is a kind of strong precipitation where frozen rain forms into layered pellets and falls in showers from cumulonimbus clouds. The specific balls or irregular swellings of ice produced are referred to as hailstones. Although ice is usually associated with cold temperatures, that is not real for the formation of hail. Hail is possible within two nautical miles of the center of any thunderstorm--making the destructive range very large.
Hail damage is a deceptive and serious danger to property owners throughout the United States and abroad, triggering in excess of $1 billion in damages to property and crops each year. Even the tiniest hail can cause damage to young plantings. To rub salt in the wound, hailstones fall at greater speeds as they grow in size; some can fall as fast as 100 mph and include contaminant.
If you reside in a location susceptible to serious weather and have a low slope or flat roofing system with asphalt shingles, you are in the high threat for hail damage classification. The good news is that a lot of business and specific house owner's policies cover hail damage.
As far as the United States is concerned, hail is most common where Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming meet; a location coined Hail Street. Cheyenne, Wyoming ranks as the number one most vulnerable city in the United States for a hailstorm.
Hail falls many times each year, and has genuine capacity to trigger extreme damage. Airplane, automobiles, crops, physical property, and so on are all susceptible to hail; badly denting, shattering and conceivably even destroying properties.
Among the most substantial hail claims arise from roofing system damage. Roof insurance claims require a lot of knowledge about roofing system construction and history of the roofing in concern. It often leads to litigation because Insurance companies such as State Farm, All State, and Nationwide have thousands of roaming adjusters who are programmed to build cases for the companies to deny claims.
If you or your roofing expert or contractor determines what is necessary to fix the damage from a hail storm, then you should be very apprehensive when an "independent" adjuster for the insurance company determines that the damage is actually less. It is at this point when you should contact an experienced attorney, and we are here to help.
Ryan is a partner at Koester & Bradley and handles the firms property damage claims. He is always available to talk, and consultations are free.
Spring is at long last upon us and as the weather heats up, many cyclists will be hitting the trail. However, before you jump on your bicycle and take off, you need to that your bike remains in an excellent condition.
Whether or not you bike to school or your job, or you merely enjoy relaxing trips through the park, bike maintenance is an important topic. In recognition of National Bike Month, which takes place in the month of May, we've assembled some things you can do to make sure that your bike is really good to go this spring season.
A thorough inspection of your bike is very important to be certain that there aren't any complications when you are riding throughout your Central Illinois or your area, especially if the bike has not been utilized in a while (thanks winter). One thing that you don't want to do is to neglect a small issue until it ends up becoming a big problem that could endanger your safety and security or the safety and security of others on the road or the trail.
Have a fun-- and safe-- bike ride!
Maintain your Rubber
Many cyclists understand the importance of having wheels that are in a good condition before riding. Nevertheless, if your bike has been waiting inside for some time, it is quite likely that the tire may be flat or low on air. You may need to get the pump out.
When pumping up tires, you should buy a high-quality bicycle pump with sizable gauges that are easy to decipher, according to Bike Radar. It is also important to stick to the manufacturer's recommended pressure level to ensure that the wheels perform when riding. It is the same concept that is applicable to car tires and the pressure rating should be visible on each wheel.
Finally, when examining your tires, try to find any gaps or dry rot that may have developed over wintertime and replace the tires as soon as you can. Dry rot can cause your tires to blast mid-ride and you will lose control of the bike. This will rupture the tire tubes and cause a certain wreck.
Balance Your Wheels
The wheels should rotate evenly and not brush against the frame of the bike. If there appears to be an impediment, check the tightness of the spokes by running your hands around them. Tighten any spokes which feel loose or twists easily.
Your bicycle should always move in a fluid motion and not be unsteady or jerky when riding about town in Champaign-Urbana. The best way to inspect the wheels is to turn your bike bottom up and spin the wheels, according to Livestrong.
Get on the Chain
Bicycle chains can create a dangerous situation for you when riding if not appropriately taken care of. If a chain is too loose, it may break while riding and if the chain is too tight, it can make for a difficult ride and damage your gears.
The best way to adjust a bicycle chain is to release the rear wheel nuts on each side and pull the rear wheel back to take slack out of the chain. The bicycle chain movement should not move more than a quarter to half an inch.
Breaks are the Key
Operational brakes can mean life or death for a biker, so it is imperative that you spend ample time making sure that your brakes function properly. This part of the process should be conducted before every ride.
Whenever inspecting your bike's brake levers, make sure they engage both sides of the brake pads on each wheel. If there is a long lag in the lever, loosen the barrel adjuster a few times and test to see if it does what it is supposed to do.
Also, verify that your brake pads aren't loose or wiggle when they press against the bike's rim. If the brake pads are worn or cracked, replace them immediately before taking the bike out onto the street.
Get Lit Up
Visibility on the road is imperative to bike riders and having a broken light can lead to serious personal injuries not only to yourself but to others on the road or path as well.
Your bicycle lights and reflectors should be checked for cracks or breaks before each evening or night ride. Get a friend or family member in order to help you check your headlights and brake lights. Replace any lights that are not functioning or producing a faded light.
Also, if you don't have front and rear lights on your bicycle, it may be best to get them for your own safety. Some states require bicyclists to have working lights while travelling during the dark hours, so don't get fined for not having this essential shield on your bike.
Get Into Gear
Smooth transitions from gear to gear can help to make a bike ride enjoyable. If you experience any weird delays or loud clicks when changing gears, it could signal a problem.
Prior to taking the bike out onto the roadway, run through the gears by spinning the pedals, according to Popular Mechanics. Make sure that the gears hit the shift points evenly with no disruptions. If you need to make adjustments, use a screwdriver to modify the derailleurs. This part of the process does not necessarily have to happen before each ride.
Finally, bear in mind that even by doing everything you can to make sure that you are safe on the road, there may be others who may not share your accident-prevention mindset. If you were involved in an accident because of another's negligence while biking, or if you are struck by a biker not obeying ordinary safety precautions, we may be able to help. To learn what our injury attorneys may have the ability to do for you, please fill out our free case evaluation form right now.
Proper bicycle upkeep may take a while, but the rewards of your labor will show in the form of a nice and exciting ride. You will be ahead of the pack when it comes to being ready this spring season.
Every year, many innocent victims are injured due to the negligence of property owners in Illinois. While the winter time usually receives more attention throughout Champaign Urbana and Central Illinois due to icy and snow-covered conditions, slips and falls are some of the most common types of accidents that befall premises liability victims year round. These cases are confusing, complicated, and difficult to win, but often result in debilitating injuries and financial stress as a victim is forced to miss work while he or she recovers. At Koester & Bradley, Accident victims often have a number of questions about their case, such as:
What Is Premises Liability?
The term "premises liability" refers to the legal liability of a business or property owner that results when someone is injured on his or her property. Illinois law provides accident victims with the right to pursue recovery for the medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages that they sustain due to the negligent actions of the defendant. Negligence is based on the principle that the defendant was responsible for providing a safe environment and failed to provide it, which resulted in the defendant's injuries.
In Illinois the Premises Liability Act governs these types of cases and actually sets the bar very high for the injured. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must prove not only that the property is dangerous, but that the owner of the property knew or should have know about the danger. While this is not impossible, an experienced attorney is usually necessary to overcome this burden. This is because most defendant property owners will simply lie and say that they were unaware of the situation.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?
Illinois law requires the party that is in possession or control of the property to properly maintain it under . This is often the owner of the property; however, this is not always the case. For example, an investor may rent out a commercial space to a tenant that runs a store on the property and the tenant may be responsible for maintaining the property. A premises liability attorney can evaluate the case and determine which party or parties may be responsible for the victim's injuries?
What Duties Am I Owed as a Guest or Visitor?
Illinois law imposes a duty upon those occupying and owning property to exercise reasonable care under 740 ILCS 130. What is considered reasonable often depends on the particular circumstances. However, the duty typically requires property owners to prevent guests and visitors from suffering foreseeable injuries, alerting them to known dangers and repairing known dangers on the premises. If the defendant fails to meet these duties, the victim may be able to recover damages.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Accident victims may be able to recover compensation for the damages that they sustained as a result of the defendant's negligence. The potential compensation varies in each case but generally covers medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The recoveries in the appropriate circumstances can be significant. To find out what recovery you may be eligible for, contact us to discuss your case during a confidential consultation.
On February 15, 2017, the NSC released a report on a safety poll conducted in late January and early February. Such data is frequently collected by the group which is part of the Department of Transportation, and the analysis applicable to this study is relevant to drivers in Central Illinois from Bloomington to Danville and Beyond.
The 2,001 survey respondents were asked a series of questions about automobile accidents and safety. To participate, they had to have unrestricted licenses, live in the United States and drive at least 15 minutes per day. Due to this relative low inclusion threshold, almost all Americans were part of the sample group.
Problem Drivers a Major Concern
Drunk, distracted, drugged and aggressive drivers were the four biggest areas of concern among respondents. Certainly any trip up or down Interstate 57 from Chicago to Memphis will prove that these fears are legitimate. At least 65 percent of the participants cited these types of problem driving as a “major concern.”
No we all know the vague language used in these types of surveys, but the result are convincing.
Respondents strongly or somewhat supported a number of new safety measures, although there was lesser support (58 percent) for lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit to .05. However, there was wide support for prohibiting handheld cell phone use, requiring ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers and more education about impaired driving.
Many in Accidents With Injuries in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Eighteen percent of all respondents said they had been in a crash in the past three years. Almost half of these crashes caused injury or death or both. Ten percent admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol, and 43 percent of those said they had been involved in a crash.
National Safety Council estimates that more than 40,000 people died in crashes in 2016 may energize some safety proposals. The number of traffic deaths is now at its highest level in nine years. While some of this increase may also be due to an increased number of drivers dues to lower gas prices, the results are staggering.
When a motorist’s negligent conduct causes injury, it is possible to seek compensation for a variety of losses, including but not necessarily limited to: medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages and permanent loss of function. This is where experience of an attorney is vital, and where Koester & Bradley excels. The Survivors of those killed may seek monetary damages for pain, suffering, burial expenses and loss of companionship and often these recoveries can be substantial.
If you or a family member is a victim in a crash, we make it possible for you to speak with an attorney free of charge and without obligation. We fight hard to get our clients all the compensation they are entitled to under the law. To learn more, please contact us.
Early morning tweets from the Commander in Chief are not the only interesting news coming out of our Nation's Capital these days. There is a healthy supply of entertaining legal news as well.
Legal news can be amusing, and this time it involves a very young child and a citation for littering. Details are emerging as to how a two-year-old girl from Washington D.C. received a $75 ticket.
Envelope in Alley
According to a report by CBS 12 News, it was the discovery of an envelope with the child's name on it led to the fine. It was allegedly found on the ground in an alley near West Virginia Avenue, in the northeastern section of Washington D.C.
The child's parents related to reporters how they have always taught their daughter not to litter, so they viewed the ticket as quite ironic. In fact, when the citation arrived in the mail, their two-year-old reportedly said, "Littering, that's not good."
Inspector Firm on Fine
After the family received the citation, the girl's mother contacted the Department of Public Works (DPW) inspector who wrote up the report that led to the issuance of the citation. At first, the inspector insisted the ticket would not be rescinded because the girl's name was on it. However, the public official eventually suggested that the ticket could be dismissed if the family provided proof of the child's age.
Official Visits “Scene of the Crime”
Eventually, a DPW official went to the neighborhood to look into the incident for himself. After the visit, he said the family would not have to pay the fine.
The little girl’s parents concluded that the envelope merely fell out of the trash when it was being taken to the dumpster in the alley.
Koester and Bradley, LLP, focuses on personal injury, car accident, product liability and medical malpractice cases. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us. Just remember, if you are going to litter, make sure your name is not on the material (or better yet, don't litter at all). Now that is something we can all Tweet about.
The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident will go a long way toward determining the eventual outcome. This is especially true if you you are not the only one in the care and have passengers. If you wan to protect your safety as well as your ability to pursue rightful compensation, you need to take specific, measured actions to protect your interests as well as those with you.
When multiple people are riding in one car, the insurance coverage for all of the passengers is associated with the vehicle. This means that when it come time to settle the case, or divide a jury verdict, the insurance funds are split among the injured parties. Essentially, when it comes to collecting payment from insurance companies, every person in the car needs to fend for themselves. This is also a consideration if your children are in the car.
Here are some steps to keep in mind when confronting an auto accident involving multiple passengers. (These rules apply not only in Illinois, but across the country)
1. Determine If Everyone Is Okay
Is anyone in your vehicle or nearby injured? If so, call 911. A Good Samaritan may have already done so, but it never hurts to make sure that medical help and law enforcement officers are on the way. Better safe than sorry when someone's health - and maybe life - are at stake.
It is also important to fight the urge to resolve the situation quickly and get home. Even if other people in your care claim not to be hurt, it is wise to insist that an ambulance take them to the hospital or doctor. This is especially true if the passenger(s) is not a member of your family but a friend or associate.
2. Call The Police
Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can lead to big problems down the road. To preserve a potential legal claim down the line you need to get in touch with the police and make sure you file a police report about the accident. Then, make sure you have the other driver's insurance information. A full an detailed police report is the key to successfully achieving an appropriate damage award.
3. Take Care Of Yourself
You may feel fine right after the accident. In fact, you may feel nothing at all due to the adrenaline pumping through your body after such a close call. However, you may start to feel some soreness, stiffness and pain as that adrenaline wears off in the hours, days, and weeks that follow.
It is critical to get checked out by a doctor after your accident to rule out invisible injuries such as internal bleeding, and to create a record of treatment that will help a personal injury claim if you decided to pursue one.
Remember, similar rules apply to those we hear on airplanes where you must put on your own oxygen mask before placing one on your traveling companion. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't help others--even those involved in the wreck.
4. Talk To An Attorney
It will cost you nothing to find out whether you have a viable claim for damages, but going without the legal representation you need could leave you alone to bear the burden of medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don't let that happen. Further, if there are other injured parties involved, generally the first party to retain an experienced local lawyer will receive the greatest amount of compensation and best service. Insurance companies will do their best to withhold payment no matter what the injuries, and it is important to have help from a lawyer. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
One of the early lessons in any good university's journalism program is that "dog bites man" is not a story while "man bites dog" has front-page potential.
Dogs biting people or getting into it with another dog is a common occurrence while the novelty of a man choosing to bite a dog is an interesting story worth telling.
Dog bites may be common, but the victims of these vicious attacks deserve to have their stories told. While it is possible that most dog bit situations are mere nibbles and not and part of playing with dogs, often times the injuries from a dog bite are life-changing. Thus, while it is important to learn form past dog bite cases to prevent future bites, it is also important to realize that those who are victims of bites deserve to be compensated for the damages they suffer as a result of negligent pet owners who contribute to these attacks. After all, the responsibility to properly train and restrain a dog falls to the owner.
Many dog bite victims are children. They face a lifetime of physical and psychological issues and deserve to be supported as they go through the recovery process. These damages can run for the entirety of a child's life and can involve specialized experts to determine the amount of the harm. This is precisely why an experienced attorney is so important.
So How to I pursue a Claim for a dog bit case in Illinois?
People who are injured as the result of a dog bite have the option of pursing financial compensation through a personal injury claim. In Illinois this takes the form of a negligence action--just like other personal injury cases such as automobile accidents and premises liability. The Illinois Animal Control Act can also apply and should be consulted at the outset of a claim. A successful claim can result in a settlement or verdict that provides funds to cover damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost earnings.
To be successful the victim must prove that the owner of the attacking canine had a duty to protect the victim from the attack, that they failed to do so, and that the damages from the attack were the result of the failure.
One of the worries our clients express frequently is a concern about pursuing a claim when it was a family member's, friend's or neighbor's dog that lashed out. This is understandable. The good news is that personal injury claims seek compensation through available homeowners' insurance policies, not by directly going after the financial resources of dog owners. This is why individuals purchase insurance policies and why premiums are paid each month. Filling a claim will likely not impact the cost of the policy either.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how you can protect your rights or the rights of a loved one after a dog bite.
The Syngenta Class Action Has Been Certified. The Time to Opt-Out is Rapidly Approaching. Learn the Facts
If you grew corn at any point in the last three years, you need to act soon to opt- out of the Syngenta Class Action lawsuit. Simply put, a class action is not the way to pursue this issue. Since we all farm differently, it make no sense to be lumped into a class action with fewer options. Still, in this litigation, attorneys in the Kansas City MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) have convinced the Court that a class action is a proper way to resolve the problem and now, whether you have already signed up with Koester & Bradley or another firm, you must opt-out of the class action.
Compounding the situation, farmers wishing to pursue individual claims only have until April 1, 2017 to choose to be adequately compensated for losses related to Syngenta.
We all remember the StarLink fiasco, and the Syngenta Class Action is shaping up to me more of the same. Another agricultural class action developed more recently relating to long grain rice, and the same class actions attorneys, are once again muscling the class through even though individual farmers in the rice litigation made almost $50 million more than those that participated on the class.
Court deadlines are fast approaching, and this is what the class action attorneys want so that as few farmers as possible elect to pursue individual claims. The lawyers that want this case to be a class action filed their motion back on June 15, 2016. Then, U.S. District Court held a hearing on September 13, 2016, to determine how the case would proceed. The court has recently ruled that the case against Syngenta will move forward as a class action.
Koester & Bradley believes individual representation is the best option for farmers and we are basing this opinion on past results. No two farms are exactly the same. Legal representation should not be the same for everyone either. Our team will fight for your farm with integrity, honesty and character, and we have aligned ourselves with other top-notch firms to reach the goal.
We are a group of lawyers that have banded together to take on multinational conglomerate Syngenta® and other companies that are responsible for you losing the China corn market. By uniting and working collaboratively with other firms, Koester & Bradley is able to deliver results on a national level and able to go to battle with large companies such as syngenta.
Our group will be releasing opt out forms and answering questions throughout the entire process, and our motto remains- No Hard Sell, Just the Hard Facts.
Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer by Koester & Bradley
Breaking Legal News with Central Illinois Impact from Koester & Bradley, LLP
Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases.