Illinois Plaintiff's Lawyer Personal Injury Blog- Legal News and Insights from Champaign Urbana Attorneys Koester & Bradley, LLP

Winter Time Premises Liability (How to deal with winter time slip and fall cases)

3/06/2019

0 Comments

 
Winter time in Illinois is certainly the high point for slip and fall and premises liability cases.  Follow these tips to keep yourself safe.

 shutterstock_321697181

It's early march in Illinois and we know one thing for sure--winter is not over yet.  As Central Illinois and the Chicago Illinois area alike experience nearly 100 degree temperature fluxuations, ice and bitter cold are here for at least a few months.  Residential home and business owners should take care to prevent weather-related accidents and injuries. Accidents happen, but often weather-related accidents can be avoided by careful observation of your property and surrounding area.

What types of injuries happen during winter time in Illinois? 

  • Broken Bones
  • Muscle Strains 
  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Concussion


Sidewalks and Entryways 
Many homeowners are unaware that they are responsible for clearing the sidewalk adjacent to their home. While the your local government is often charged with clearing roads, typically, it will be the homeowners obligation to clear and salt the sidewalk. If you live in an apartment building, it will be the building owner's obligation to clear the areas of ingress and egress.


Business owners should take care to clear and salt outside entryways. Moreover, customers often carry water, snow and icy on their shoes and clothes that end up on the entryway floor. The business owner should take care to monitor the entrance area and make sure it is routinely cleaned and mopped to avoid slip and falls. Customers should also be alerted to the possible danger with a caution sign. 


Awnings and Covered Areas
Another area that poses risk to passersby is awnings and other covered areas. In cold temperatures, icicles hang from buildings. As temperatures rise, falling icicles may result in injury. Larger icicles falling from 30 feet or higher may result in serious injury or even death but even small icicles can cause harm. If your home or business has a covered area or awnings, you should take particular care to safely remove icicles. Individuals should take care to observe their surroundings while passing by buildings to prevent injury due to falling icicles.


Hopefully you can avoid injury as winter winds down. However, if you are injured because a home or business owner negligently failed to clear ice, snow, or icicles, from their premises, please contact us for a free consultation.  

By: Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Defenses to Mortgage Fraud in Illinois

2/26/2019

0 Comments

 
One take away from the recent financial crisis is that BOTH borrowers and lenders are capable of fraud--which can put us all at risk.

 

Koester & Bradley Illinois Litigators

Mortgage fraud in Illinois and across the country covers a wide range of crimes, all pertaining to funding for a home. While an individual may falsify information to get a mortgage that they otherwise might not be able to afford, professionals also can be guilty of mortgage fraud. Real estate professionals can flip houses and work with appraisers to increase their own profits. Mortgage professionals can give loans out, knowing that the people shouldn't be approved for a loan.

Because the crimes are so different, there are many defenses that come into play with mortgage fraud. Here are some common defenses that you and your lawyer may want to consider for your case.

  • False identity. Since many people steal other people's information in order to buy or sell a home, your lawyer may fight that you didn't know what was going on. Your identity could have been stolen or you might have been framed so there is no way that you knew about any illegal happenings that took place using your identity.
  • If someone else gets convicted because they stole your identity, they may also be accused of theft, along with mortgage fraud.  
  • Property owner gave consent. Since most mortgage fraud cases are performed by professionals, you might be able to fight that the owner of the property gave their consent and you had good faith intent.
  • The property owner might be held accountable for mortgage fraud, instead of you.
  • Entrapment. Entrapment is another commonly used defense. Your lawyer must have evidence showing that you wouldn't have committed mortgage fraud, unless you were forced to do so.

If you are looking at a case of mortgage fraud, you need an experienced lawyer to fight for you and your rights. A good lawyer will help you go through your options and potential defenses so together you can decide the best way to proceed. If you don't have a lawyer on your side, you are leaving your fate in someone else's hands. This can be a big mistake.

We are dedicated to protecting your money and identity. Don't hesitate to  contact us for any questions that you may have about identity and mortgage fraud.

By: Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Snowball Fights Are Legal! At Least in Parts of Colorado

2/11/2019

0 Comments

 
According to the New York Times, snowball fights are now officially legal again in Severance, CO. 

 

Koester & Bradley Snowball Fight

Snowball fights have been a childhood pastime for as long as winter and children have existed. Apparently the exception, at least for the past century, has been the town of Severance in Colorado. Its law against throwing snowballs was incorporated in the town charter sometime in the 1920s for reasons that are unknown to history, according to the New York Times. The law has never been enforced, and no one knew what the penalty was for tossing a snowball at someone.

However, whether the law was enforced or not did not sit well with a nine year-old third grader named Dane Best. During a class trip to the Severance City Hall, the mayor of the community of 6,000 mentioned that some laws, such as the ban on snowball fights, are on the books for no discernible reason. Dane, understanding that the law had made him and just about every child in the town technically a criminal, decided to do something about it.

In due course, Dane presented his case at a recent meeting of the Severance Town Board, accompanied by 20 letters of support from his classmates and teacher and a PowerPoint presentation. Dane made the case that the law was outdated and that young children needed an incentive to abandon their computer games and go play outside, The Town Board, duly impressed by the young man's incisive legal logic, unanimously voted to make snowball fights legal for the first time.

As an award for his successful fight against City Hall, Dane Best was presented with a plaque and a gift certificate to buy a snowball machine. He was also presented with a snowball that had been preserved in a freezer, which he duly tossed into the air in triumph.

And who would be the target of Dane's very first legal snowball? Why his little brother, of course.

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, Medical Malpractice, or you were hit with a snow ball with a rock in the middle, you’re probably entitled to more compensation than you think. Make sure to contact a law firm that has your best interests in mind, so that you’ll get the highest compensation possible.

By: Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Accident Avoidance for Winter Driving in Illinois

1/17/2019

0 Comments

 
Illinois receives a wide range of winter weather from snow to freezing rain, to sheets of ice.  How can you protect yourself in the event of an accident?  Follow these tips.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Illinois has some of the Most Severe Weather in the Midwest.  Here is How to Stay Safe on Winter Roads. 

 

Koester & Bradley Illinois Accident Lawyers

Winter is here, and Illinois is seeing its share of snow, sleet, and ice. When driving in that type of weather, it’s crucial to be prepared. Here are some tips on safe driving and how to avoid auto accidents while driving in the snow.  You may have heard these before, but they bear repeating.  When we counsel clients about auto accidents that take place in the winter, and especially in inclement weather, we hear the same types of stories repeatedly.

  • Try not to use cruise control when driving on icy roads.  This may seem like common sense, but cruise control causes accidents across Illinois in the winter and insurance companies will try to use the fact to pay less on your injury claim.
  • Speed up and slow down slowly and with caution.  Keep your head up and give yourself plenty of time to react.
  • Double your normal following distance. Usually, it should be around four seconds. When the roads are slippery, increase it to around eight seconds.
  • When going up a hill, make sure to get the inertia going before you reach the hill. Don’t try to power up the hill right when you reach it. When you reach the top, slow down and go down the other side with caution.
  • Never drive when you’re fatigued.  You don't have to be tired to be fatigued and be a dangerous driver.  Unfortunately this is a major problem in the trucking industry where drivers routinely drive tired and are forced to do so by their companies.
  • Keep the temperature in your car comfortable, so that you’re able to concentrate.
  • Always keep your gas tank half full. In addition, keep a safety kit with warm clothing, food, and drink. You will have a place to stay if you get stranded.  ALso, make sure you have an ice scraper. 
  • Keep your local AAA or towing company's number in your contacts.
  • Never turn on the car until you make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow or mud. This can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the car.
  • Keep up with your local weather forecast. Avoid going on long trips if snowfall is predicted.

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident, you’re probably entitled to more compensation than you think. Make sure to contact a law firm that has your best interests in mind, so that you’ll get the highest compensation possible.

By: Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Opioids: Are Doctors Liable?

1/15/2019

0 Comments

 
In the United States, Opioids officially kill more Americans automobile accidents.  It is safe to say that Opioids have reached epidemic proportions.
-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Drug Manufacturers and Distributors share the Greatest Amount of Blame for the Opioid Epidemic

 

Koester & Bradley Illinois Opioid Lawyers

In the United States, opioid abuse runs rampant, and in truth large drug companies such as Purdue Pharma and distributors such as Cardinal shoulder the bulk of the blame.  Still, in certain circumstances, doctors have some responsibility as well.

Despite knowing that opioid pain relievers are addicting, the companies responsible for making and marketing the drugs continued to supply them liberally for years.  During this time, these companies told doctors that the powerful narcotics were not addictive.  Thus, many doctors were victims as well and this resulted in huge amounts of dependency.

However, the country is just starting to acknowledge our massive opioid problem and they are looking for someone to blame. If you have a loved one that got wrapped up in opioid addiction after being legitimately injured, can the doctor be held to blame?

It is a doctor's duty to take the best possible route of care for all their patients, and if they breach this duty, then it can be considered a medical malpractice case. There have been cases in other states where doctors, and more specifically their insurance companies, have had to pay millions of dollars in damages for the over-prescription of opioids. These cases often take a long time and a lot of evidence, investigation and money to fund.  Additionally, it is incredibly rare that only one doctor was prescribing opioids.  Most individuals who are seeking narcotics visit many doctors and even cross state lines to do so before turning to illicit drugs and heroin purchased on the street.  Most of the time the individual doctors are actually unaware for the amount of opioids that the addicted patient is actually taking.

In order to recover damages for a medical malpractice case of this nature, you would need to prove that the doctor prescribed a gross amount of opioids over a period of time and that the prescription kept being filled for longer than the injury needed. In cases where the doctors have been held responsible for opioid addiction, it was discovered that they fed the addiction for years without pursuing other, less addictive means of treatment.  These cases represent only a small portion of the problem as the federal government and local law enforcement has worked tirelessly to shut down so-called "pill mills."  THis means that most of the time the prescribing doctor has to rely on an accurate medical history from the compromised patient and other objective forms of determination such as drug testing.  This has put a great deal of strain on the system and made it very difficult for doctors, most of which are honest and diligent, to treat pain.

At Koester & Bradley, we believe that the manufacturers and distributors of opioids are truly the responsible parties in this epidemic.  This is why we are representing counties and municipalities in Illinois along with our co-counsel firms.  However, we are here to provide guidance to the families of opioid victims as well in every way we can.

Do you or a loved one need help?  If you believe that it was your doctor's fault that the addiction got so bad because they continued to wantonly prescribe you pills, then contact us today. We may be able to help you pursue a case of medical malpractice against your physician or provide some insight and closure about the issue.  If you are a member of a county board, or part of the law enforcement community in an Illinois County or municipality, also feel free to reach out and we will meet with you about the pending litigation. This can help you recover damages so you or your loved one can get the treatment that they need.

By: Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Proving Permanent Injuries in Your Illinois Accident Case

12/10/2018

0 Comments

 
One of the keys to receiving fair compensation for your injuries in an Illinois auto accident or personal injury case is to prove that your injuries are permanent.
-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Many Injuries from Personal Injuries and Auto Accidents are Permanent--Learn How to Prove It

Koester & Bradley Trucking Accident Lawyers

In Illinois like almost every other state, if you were hurt in an accident and if you can win your personal injury case, you will receive compensation for your injuries. However, if you had to endure very serious injuries, there may come a time where you reach what is referred to as the maximum medical improvement.  Typically, this determination is most often made in workers compensation situations, but it is relevant in automobile wrecks and trucking accidents as well. A determination of maximum medical improvement means that you will not heal anymore than you have already healed, and this determination usually comes from a doctor.

Does maximum medical improvement mean that I have no permanent injuries?

The answer is no.  For example, assume that you fractured your back in an automobile accident.  You undergo surgery and physical therapy.  Finally, after months of treatment your spine surgeon establishes that you have reached your maximum level of improvement.  This determination does not mean that you will not suffer the repercussions of you injury for the rest of your life, but only that you not get any better.

For some, this point of maximum medical improvement comes when they are fully healed. Their compensation stops and they return back to work and normal activities. Unfortunately, for serious accidents, this moment of maximum medical improvement doesn't mean they are fully healed. If you will no longer improve in condition, you will then be considered to have permanent impairment. In some cases, this means that person will never regain full range of motion in their shoulders, or it can be even more serious like a person no longer regaining the use of a limb. If this is the case, a doctor will examine your impairment to see if it will be considered partial disability or full disability. This percentage of disability will affect how much you can receive for the impairment.

If you have reached maximum medical improvement, but still are not fully healed, having your injury labeled as permanent will mean you can continue to collect a certain amount of compensation for that impairment. However, you can't ask for this during your personal injury case. It is something that must be accessed after the healing is done. If you suspect you may have permanent impairment, this means you need to communicate that with your lawyer so the settlement has provisions to provide for permanent compensation just in case permanent impairment does manifest.  Koester & Bradley is an Illinois leader in receiving compensation for permanent injuries and building a case for such injuries.

If you have been hurt in an accident, you hope you won't have long-term injuries, but if you do, you want a settlement that can cover it. If you have been hurt and need help with your personal injury case, contact us today.

By: Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Hidden Dangers in Popular Do-It-Yourself Products

11/13/2018

26 Comments

 
All across Illinois every weekend, thousands of unsuspecting home improvement enthusiasts unwittingly put themselves and their families at risk by using common solvents and products.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

Methylene Chloride: When DIY Leads to RIP 

Koester & Bradley Consumer Protection Lawyers

You are spending a Saturday afternoon finally stripping the paint off the bedroom floor.  Little do you know that the product you are using to strip those stubborn layers of old paint could kill you.  There lurking on the storeroom shelves are products containing a highly-toxic chemical known as methylene chloride, also called Dichloromethane (DCM).  Methylene chloride identified by its Chemical Abstract Number:  75-09-2 is a volatile, colorless liquid with a sweet-smelling odor.  If the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is advising its workers to avoid products containing methylene chloride, then why does the general public still have access to these products? 

USES OF METHYLENE CHLORIDE

Methylene chloride is a chlorinated solvent used in a variety of industries and applications.  It is primarily used in paint removers but also is used in aerosol formulations, in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, as a degreasing agent, in metal cleaning, in electronics manufacturing and as an ethane foam blowing agent.  The Environmental Protection Agency states that paint and coating removal poses some of the highest exposures among the various uses of methylene chloride.

KNOWN HAZARDS OF METHYLENE CHLORIDE PER OSHA

  • Short-term airborne exposure without proper safety equipment can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, a “feeling of intoxication, and eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Prolonged skin contact without proper safety equipment may cause irritation and even chemical burns
  • Increased airborne exposure without proper safety equipment can cause suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma and sudden death.
  • Animal studies have shown that long-term exposure to methylene chloride may lead to liver and lung cancer, as well as tumors in the breast and salivary glands
  • May lead to early onset heart attacks and arrhythmias in workers with heart disease due to an increase in carbon monoxide.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that if a worker smells methylene chloride, then he/she has already been overexposed because methylene chloride cannot be smelled until the level in the air is higher than OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (25 ppm (parts per million) in an 8-hour time-weighted average or 125 ppm in a period of 15 minutes (short-term exposure limit)). 

WARNING ON PRODUCTS CONTAINING METHYLENE CHLORIDE

Current warning on the product, Goof Off Semi-Paste Pro Stripper

WARNING:  Contains Methylene Chloride.  INHALATION OF VAPOR CAN KILL YOU.  DO NOT USE IN ENCLOSED AREAS such as basements, bathrooms or closets.  SYMPTOMS MAY NOT BE NOTICEABLE.  Avoid contact with eyes or skin, as severe irritation can occur.

DANGER!  POISON.  VAPOR EXTREMELY HARMFUL.  MAY BE FATAL IF USED IN ENCLOSED AND UNVENTILATED AREAS.  USE ONLY WITH ADEQUATE VENTILATION TO PREVENT BUILDUP OF VAPORS. MAY BE FATAL OR CAUSE BLINDNESS IF SWALLOWED.  EYE & SKIN IRRITANT.  Do not use in areas where vapors can accumulate and concentrate such as basements, bathrooms, bathtubs, closets or other small enclosed areas.  Whenever possible use outdoors in an open air area.  If using indoors open all windows and doors and maintain a cross ventilation of moving fresh air across the work area and across floor.  IF STRONG ODOR IS NOTICED OR YOU EXPERIENCE DIZZINESS, EYE-WATERING, OR HEADACHE – STOP! VENTILATION IS INADEQUATE.  LEAVE AREA IMMEDIATELY, AND GET FRESH AIR.  IF THE WORK AREA IS NOT WELL-VENTILATED, DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT.  IF used properly, a respirator may offer additional protection.  Obtain professional advice before using.  Cannot be made non-poisonous. 

Methylene Chloride has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.  Reports have associated repeated and prolonged over-exposure to solvents with neurological and other physiological damage.  The risk to your health depends on the level and duration of exposure.  Intentional misuse of this product by deliberating concentrating and inhaling vapors can be harmful or fatal.  Avoid breathing vapors or mist and contact with skin, eyes and clothing.  Do not swallow.

SAFETY DIRECTIONS:  USE OUTDOORS IN AN OPEN AREA.  It is dangerous to use this product indoors.  If you must use indoors, cross-ventilate work area by opening all windows and doors and circulating fresh air through the work area to reduce vapor accumulations.  Always wear chemical-splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves when handling this product.  A dust mask does not provide protection against vapors.

OSHA SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR METHYLENE CHLORIDE

  • Gloves made of polyethylene vinyl alcohol(PVA)/ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), or other laminate materials that are resistant to methylene chloride (required regardless of methylene chloride levels). LATEX, NITRATE, NEOPRENE AND POLYETHYLENE GLOVES DO NOT PROTECT AGAINST METHYLENE CHLORIDE.  BUTYL RUBBER GLOVES DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMNET OF THE OSHA METHYLENE CHLORIDE STANDARD BECAUSE THEY DEGRADE IN LESS THAN 1 HOUR.
  • Outer gloves are also recommended to prevent cuts and tears to the inner methylene chloride-resistant gloves
  • Methylene chloride-resistant aprons, sleeves and boots or shoe covers
  • Chemical-resistant goggles or a face shield
  • OSHA requires workers to wear a full-face atmosphere-supplying respirator when engineering and work practice controls cannot decrease methylene chloride levels below OSHA’s permissible exposure limits.

THE EPA AND METHYLENE CHLORIDE

A 2015 study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity determined that methylene chloride exposure was responsible for approximately 56 deaths since 1980.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted its own risk assessment of methylene chloride in paint stripping uses in 2014 and had proposed to ban the consumer and commercial paint stripping uses in January 2017.  However, in June 2017, the EPA announced that it would not re-evaluate the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride.  An EPA News release of May 10, 2018 announced that: (1) The EPA intends to finalize the methylene chloride rulemaking; (2) The EPA is not re-evaluating the paint stripping uses of methylene chloride and is relying on its previous risk assessments and (3) The EPA is working to send the finalized rulemaking to the EPA’S Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shortly. 

Methylene chloride is one of 10 specific chemicals that the EPA  chose to evaluate for changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act of June 2016.  The new rules would require when a chemical poses an unreasonable risk that the EPA be required to take action within two years, with a possible extension of four years.  If the chemical is assessed as unreasonably dangerous, then phaseouts and bans of this chemical must occur within five years of that assessment. 

METHYLENE CHLORIDE BANS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

On May 6, 2009, the European Parliament passed Decision 455/2009/EC which banned the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers by private persons and commercial entities.  Industrial uses are the exceptions to the decision but all products must be labeled accordingly.

RETAILERS AND METHYLENE CHLORIDE

News media have reported that Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams, Menards, Ace and Truce Value will no longer sell paint strippers made with methylene chloride or N-methyle-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) in its United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America stores and will cease the selling of these products on its e-commerce sites as of February 2019.

By: Thomas Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

How to Avoid Personal Injuries on Pedestrian Roadways

11/07/2018

0 Comments

 

An often overlooked cause of injury in Illinois is pedestrian and vehicle accidents.

-Ryan Bradley, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Koester & Bradley Accident AttorneysMany cities across Illinois, including Champaign-Urbana, are taking measures to increase bicycle and pedestrian traffic.  Most pedestrian traffic is centralized in a downtown area, however motorists are well-served to keep a lookout for pedestrians on all roadways.  


If you are someone who often walks places, you have likely see

n that some drivers simply do not pay proper attention to pedestrians.  This problems presents itself in almost every city in Illinois.  While drivers should share in the responsibility of ensuring that pedestrians get to their destinations safely, there are several things that you can do as a pedestrian to decrease your chances of getting hurt.

  • Use sidewalks when they are available. When there are no sidewalks available, walk on the far left side of the road. You will be out of the way of traffic, and you will be able to see oncoming traffic better.
  • Always cross at crosswalks when they are available. When possible, you may even want to cross at a stop light that has pedestrian lights. Do not cross the street until it is safe to do so even if you should have the right-of-way.
  • Make yourself visible to drivers. One of the big keys is that you should never suddenly come out from behind something, such as a parked vehicle or even some bushes by the side of the road. If drivers can't see that you plan to cross the street, they will not know to stop for you. Being visible to drivers also includes wearing bright clothing during the day. At night or during bad weather, you should wear reflective clothing. For extra safety, especially if you are walking in a poorly-lit area, you may want to also use a flashlight.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street, and teach your children to do so as well. 
  • Never assume that a driver has seen you. Even if you have the right-of-way, make sure all drivers have stopped before you attempt to cross the street. You may even want to make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they have seen you and that they know that you plan to cross the street.
  • Consider the weather and adapt accordingly. If visibility is reduced because of rain, snow, fog, or other weather conditions, you will want to be extra careful when crossing the street. Wet or icy roads may also make it harder to safely cross the street. 
  • Get rid of distractions. Yes, that means you should put your cell phone down. You should also avoid walking with headphones on or while reading a book. When walking, you should always be a fully alert pedestrian. 

Unfortunately, some drivers do not always pay attention to pedestrians. Automobile on pedestrian accidents keep hospital emergency rooms crowded in Illinois.  If you are a pedestrian who was injured in an automobile accident caused by an inattentive driver, contact us

By Ryan Bradley, Accident Attorney, Koester & Bradley, LLP

The Consumer Fraud Act and the Distant Buyer Scam in Illinois

7/09/2018

0 Comments

 
The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act is aimed at allowing victims of fraud in Illinois to recover monetarily, and to punish those actors who commit fraud.  Recently, Illinois Fraud scams are targeting entrepreneurs.
-Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley LLP

The Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Requires the Right Legal Team

 Koester & Bradley Illinois Consumer Lawyers

The Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act was implemented to protect product buyers from personal damages. As more citizens in Champaign Urbana and throughout the Illinois are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain additional income or pursue their dream of business ownership, it is becoming more prevalent that entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as individuals are opening themselves up to becoming the victim.  While the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act covers a variety of actions, the so-called distant-buyer scam is beginning to proliferate due to the rise of internet commerce.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE actions considered as fraud under the Illinois consumer fraud act?
  • False advertising across all media channels.  This includes the internet, print, and even the phone.
  • False or misleading statements made by salespeople on the phone, the internet, or in person.
  • False or misleading marketing materials.
  • Concealing relevant information or facts about a particular good or service.
  • A fraudulent or undisclosed commission payment schedule
 

The Emergence of the Distant Buyer Scam In Illinois

 

The eager Illinois entrepreneur that is seeking quick business ideas on a budget often steer towards resale-based business ventures. To begin their customer base, these new business owners hit the internet to promote and sell their products. These inexperienced business owners are often encountered with the distant buyer scam.
 
The distant buyer scam occurs when an unknown buyer sends the business an inquiry on one or more products that it sells. Typically, the product that the buyer wants to purchase carries a high ticket price. The buyer offers to pay more for the product than what the seller is asking and insists on sending their own shipper to pick up the product. In these events the buyer does send a legitimate looking check or money order that increases the level of trust the seller has.  The seller is instructed to send the additional funds to the shipper, often to a P.O. Box. The seller is then out the product and the money as their bank collects the funds from the business or individual’s account to cover the fraudulent check or money order when it doesn’t clear.
 
If you are one of Illinois’ home business owners that suspects you have encountered a distant buyer scammer, Illinois  Consumer Protection and Fraud attorneys can help you. These professionals are able to assist you with reporting the occurrence with the proper authorities and federal agencies. They have the knowledge and expertise to begin research into your case which offers a better chance of finding the culprits that have caused you the loss. Should a suspect or suspects be found in your case, your attorney will begin the necessary proceedings to help you collect the monetary compensation you are due.
 
If you feel you have been victimized by a distant buyer scam:
  1. Save any correspondences you have received from the buyer.
  2. Contact your local state police post and file a victim’s report.
  3. Contact an Illinois Consumer Protection and Fraud attorney.
  4. Do not attempt to cash any check or money order regardless of how legitimate it may seem.

 
If your home business has experienced a loss or you are unsure of the legitimacy of a distant buyer,  contact us and we will help you sort it out. You will have a better understanding of your rights and the scams which are lurking.

By Tom Koester, Partner, Koester & Bradley, LLP

What to Do After A Hit and Run Auto Accident in Illinois

7/05/2018

0 Comments

 
Hit and Run Accidents in Champaign Urbana and across Illinois are frustrating and dangerous.  It is vital to stay cool and protect your right to compensation with a local Attorney.

​--Tom Koester, Koester & Bradley, LLP

Illinois Hit and Run Accident Lawyers Koester & Bradley

Car accidents can be a traumatizing experience.  The concentration of major State and National Interstate highways and travelers in the Champaign Urbana and Danville Areas make Central Illinois a hotbed for accidents.  Hit-and-run accidents can be even scarier. After all, the other person, who is often guilty of negligence behind the wheel and also Illinois Vehicle Code Violations, has left the scene, and you might be afraid that you won't get the help that you need. There are several things you should do after a hit-and-run accident both to preserve the safety of yourself and other passengers of the car, and to preserve your right to compensation from the other driver and most importantly, the other driver's insurance company.  Just because the other driver has broken the Illinois law and fled the scene of the accident, it does not mean that the other driver is not carrying an insurance policy which will be legally liable to compensate you or a loved ones for injuries from the accident. These things will allow you to get the help you need and will increase the chances of the culprit being caught.

Stay Put

Yes, it can be tempting to chase after the other driver. After all, you don't want the other person to get away with hitting your vehicle and causing damage and pain and suffering. Chasing after the other driver is not going to solve the problem, though. In your angry state, you may cause another crash.  Furthermore, Illinois law does not allow you to break other rules of the road in pursuing another individual.  Instead, do you best to gather all of the information and details about the other car as you possibly can and write them down as quickly as possible.  You can record these details in your phone, or even do a voice recording and take pictures.  This make the Police's job easier in apprehending the other driver and allowing you to recover.  Stay where you are, and check for injuries to yourself and others. Allow the police to find the hit-and-run driver.

Contact the Police and Your Insurance Company

Call the police as soon as possible after the accident.  Provide them with as much information as you can about the driver and the accident. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents often catch people by surprise. You may not be able to get the vehicle's full license plate number. You may not have a complete description of the driver. Remember as much as possible about the vehicle and the driver as you can, though. Information about the direction the person is traveling will also be helpful to police. Potential damage to the vehicle may also aid the police in finding the hit-and-run driver.  Finally, make sure you have a firm description of the make, model, and color of the other car.  The Police are very good at finding cars and criminals in Illinois and even the most minor detail is often enough for them to do their job.

Additionally, your insurance company may also be liable to assist you financially and to compensate you for your injuries after a hit and run accident in Champaign Urbana or across Illinois even if you do not know the other driver's identity.  Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is purchased for this reason.

Find Witnesses

Even if you are not able to provide adequate information to the police, witnesses may be able to fill in the blanks. If possible, ask anyone nearby who witnessed the accident to stay around and provide a report to the police. Nearby security cameras may also be able to help the police identify the person.  Also, don't forget than any passengers in your car are also witnesses as well as victims.

If you were injured in an accident where the other driver fled the scene,  contact us. We will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.  If you have specific questions, feel free to visit Koester & Bradley's ever-expanding database of Champaign Auto Accident Frequently Asked questions for guidance.  

Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP 

Legal News with Illinois Impact from Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP

Authors

Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases form medical malpractice to automobile accidents.

Tom Koester is a civil litigator based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing the injured and victims of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injuries.