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Joliet car crash attorneysIllinois state law requires that truck loads be secured in a safe fashion to reduce the risk of debris injuries among other road users. Federal regulations that govern the trucking industry have this same requirement - but not all loads are carried by federally regulated vehicles. Anyone can haul a load of furniture or a dishwasher across town, and if they fail to secure it properly, it can lead to devastating injuries for other road users.

Unsecured Load Accidents Extremely Common in the United States

According to statistics from the American Automobile Association (AAA), truck debris was a factor in more than 200,000 crashes over a four-year period. Two-thirds of those accidents were involving improperly secured loads. That is just for the federally registered vehicles on the road.

Pickup trucks, vans, suburbans, and cargo vehicles carry unsecured loads as well.

Statistical information may not be available for these types of accidents, but the rate is undoubtedly higher among them. Drivers of these vehicles may get a ticket for an unsecured load, but they are not at risk for losing their right to drive. They also lack the same training as federal truck drivers, so they may not even know how to properly secure a load.

Injuries Caused by Unsecured Load Accidents 

If you have ever had a rock hit your windshield, you know the force that an object can have when it hits your windshield at high speed. Now, imagine a trash can flying out of the truck in front of you. What is your first reaction? Most people will attempt to swerve. If you are lucky, there are no vehicles around you and you avoid the truck.

Sadly, this best-case scenario does not always occur. Some parties crash into the vehicles around them. Others do not manage to avoid the falling debris, so it makes impact with their vehicle. Sometimes, the force is so great, the object goes through the windshield and into the cab of the vehicle. In short, there are numerous injuries that one may sustain in an accident involving an unsecured load, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Lacerations and abrasions,
  • Broken bones,
  • Facial fractures or disfigurement,
  • Impalement,
  • Soft tissue injuries (including whiplash),
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • Amputation or dismemberment,
  • Spinal injuries, and
  • Death or permanent disability.

The one thing that these injuries all have in common is that they create a substantial loss for the victim. Perhaps they are injured to the point that they are no longer able to work, and as a result, their family faces a financial hardship. Maybe the party suffers a severe mental health injury and can no longer drive their own vehicle, and as a result, they have had to completely change their career. Then there are the lost days at work, the cost of medical treatment, and the burial costs when a wrongful death occurs. All these losses - as well as many others - are often compensable.

Contact Our Joliet Unsecured Load Injury Lawyers 

Unsecured load accident victims deserve an advocate that is willing to fight for the most favorable settlement possible. Seasoned and experienced, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. are the ones to trust. Call 815-666-1285 for information about free consultations with our Plainfield, IL cargo accident lawyers today.


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Will County domestic violence defense lawyerA number of crimes fall under the blanket of domestic violence in Illinois law, including physical abuse, harassment and threats, and more. In order for charges to qualify as domestic violence, the crimes must have been committed against someone with whom the alleged perpetrator has a close relationship, like a spouse or former spouse, a parent or child, or a current or prior live-in partner.

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You should not talk to police on your own. Instead, wait until you have proper legal representation before engaging in any conversation with law enforcement about the matter.

First Steps in Dealing with Domestic Violence Charges

The first move after being accused of domestic violence may seem obvious, but it is all too often ignored. Ideally, you should cut off communication with the alleged victim as much as possible. The situation is no doubt a tense one, whether you committed a violent act or not, so it is best to avoid any additional problems.

Do not spend too much time talking to police, at least not until you can have an attorney present. Be careful about volunteering too much information and seek experienced legal counsel right away. Once you have secured an attorney, follow his or her advice on how to proceed. Whether you did or did not commit an act that could be considered domestic violence, you will need help in making your side of the story known.

Domestic violence charges can come with some serious punishments. Even if the charges against you are false, dealing with the accusations can be a nerve-wracking experience, to say the least, and your reputation, career, and personal relationships can be affected. Keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the police and prosecution team. Many cases involving domestic violence charges boil down to one person's word against the other's.

It can help if you are able to gather character witnesses like friends, family members, and neighbors who are willing to vouch for you in court. If you have any evidence that can prove your innocence or help your case, let your attorney know as soon as possible.

A Skilled Attorney Can Help You Beat the Charges

Do not try to handle a domestic violence charge on your own. An experienced Will County domestic violence defense lawyer will be able to help you determine your best defense strategy. Call 815-666-1285 to set up a free consultation in which you can discuss your options for minimizing the legal and personal ramifications of domestic violence accusations.


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Will County Estate Planning and Divorce LawyerWhen you are going through divorce proceedings, the property and assets that you and your spouse shared will have to be divided. In addition to myriad other legal ties that need to be broken, something you may not have considered is what will happen with your last will and testament. After all, the will you had drawn up during your marriage most likely does not reflect your wishes now.

Illinois law dictates that after a divorce is finalized, neither party will hold legal claim to anything that the former spouse had designated for him or her in their will. However, during the divorce, before the marriage is officially terminated, is a different story. If you were to pass away in the midst of your divorce proceedings, your spouse would still be entitled to whatever your current will states. Therefore, it is important to make needed changes as soon as divorce is filed.

What Revisions Should Be Made?

Experts say a divorcing party should revise his or her will and any other estate planning documents to ensure that any children or other family members are taken care of, along with any charities or organizations that they wish to include. If a spouse was previously named as the executor, that should also be changed. Parents should also name the person or people they would like to take custody of any minor children in the event of their death.

Can a Spouse Contest Will Changes?

It is possible for a spouse to fight against will revisions made during a divorce. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, another option is for the divorcing party to create a trust. While a spouse may be able to renounce a new will if their former partner dies before the divorce is finalized, allowing them to take over one-third of their soon-to-be-ex's estate, spouses are not able to renounce a trust. Putting assets in a trust will ensure that the former spouse would not get any percentage of these assets. However, the trust must not be in the divorcing party's name, and it must be funded prior to that party's death.

Taking Steps to Protect Your Assets During Divorce

Every case is different, and the Joliet, IL family law and estate planning attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help you determine what is best for your individual situation. Call 815-666-1285 to arrange a free consultation and discuss your options for protecting your assets during your divorce.


Joliet felony DUI defense lawyersWhile the courts tend to be fairly lenient on first- and even second-time DUI offenders, typically classifying them as misdemeanors and offering the defendant the option of court supervision, fines, and community service in lieu of jail or prison time, they are not so understanding toward repeat offenders. Drivers who commit a serious crime while intoxicated, such as killing someone in a hit-and-run accident or driving with a minor child in the car, may also face heightened penalties in court. These situations, and others, are examples of situations that may lead to a felony DUI in the state of Illinois.

What Constitutes a Felony DUI in Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, a third or subsequent DUI is considered a felony - and the more DUIs you have, the more severe the penalties typically are. For example, a third or fourth offense DUI typically results in a Class 2 felony charge, while a fifth DUI is generally classified as a Class 1 felony. The latter typically results in heftier penalties for those who are convicted of their charges. Other situations that may lead to a felony DUI include:

  • DUIs committed in school zones while the speed limit is restricted;
  • DUIs that reseal in great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement;
  • DUIs committed without a valid driver's license, insurance, or registration;
  • DUIs that result in the death of another person;
  • Second (or subsequent) DUI committed while transporting a child under the age of 16;
  • DUIs committed while driving on a suspended or revoked license;
  • DUIs that occur after a reckless homicide conviction; and
  • DUIs committed after a conviction for aggravated DUI involving the death of another person.

Examining the Potential Consequences of a Felony DUI Conviction 

While the penalties of a felony DUI conviction will vary, depending upon the exact circumstances of each case, individuals can be almost certain that there will be jail time involved. In fact, the courts will generally impose a sentence of 3 to 7 years of prison time for a third DUI conviction - potentially even longer if there are aggravating factors in the case (i.e. driving a school bus, driving with a minor in the vehicle, causing death or severe bodily harm to another person while committing a DUI, etc.). By the time a person reaches their sixth or seventh DUI, they could be looking at up to 30 years in prison - if not more.

Our Joliet DUI Defense Lawyers Provide Aggressive Legal Defense 

When you are facing the possibility of a felony and the resulting consequence of jail time, you need an aggressive DUI defense lawyer to work in your favor. Skilled and experienced, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. offer the personalized, solutions-based services that you need. Schedule a free consultation with our Plainfield DUI defense attorneys by calling 815-733-5350.


Joliet alimony attorneysThe number of divorce cases involving spousal maintenance have declined significantly over the last decade. Still, some divorcing parties may need financial assistance from their ex-spouse to achieve a self-sustaining future. Disabled parties who may not have previously qualified for social security because their marital income was too high, stay-at-home parents with little to no recent job training or experience, and financially disadvantaged spouses incapable of maintaining the lifestyle that their marriage afforded are a just a few examples.

Starting January 1, 2019, the tax laws that currently apply to spousal maintenance (which have been in place for more than 70 years) will be completely annihilated. What might this mean for you in your Illinois divorce, and how might it impact your future financial well-being? Learn more in the following sections, and discover how our seasoned divorce lawyers may be able to help mitigate the issues in your case.

Understanding the Changes to Spousal Maintenance Tax Laws 

Spouses who pay alimony have long relied on the tax law that made their spousal maintenance payments tax deductible. Spouses who received alimony had to claim their maintenance payments as taxable income at the end of the year, but it did not always impact them at tax time, as few receive a high enough payment to change their tax bracket. A direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's passage earlier this year, these changes will impact spousal maintenance laws, nationwide.

New Law is Expected to Leave Less Money for the Family Unit

Parties who expect to pay alimony in their divorce have long dreaded the turning of the calendar because they know it means they will likely have less money at the end of the year. What was not initially clear was how receiving spouses would be impacted. Sadly, their fate could result in downright disturbing financial consequences.

The reason for this is simple: The tax cut often dropped a paying spouse into a lower tax bracket at the end of the year, which gave them more discretionary spending money. As a result, paying spouses were often more likely to agree to a higher maintenance payment during divorce negotiations.

Joliet alimony attorneysBecause spousal maintenance payments will no longer be deductible, the payer's tax responsibility at the end of the year will remain the same, even if they pay alimony. If they were held to the same payment standard as before, they might end up with even less discretionary spending money (the amount a party has after their bills and expenses are paid) than the spouse to which they are making payments. Since the law would not allow this to happen in most situations, the paying spouse's maintenance obligation will likely be lower under the new law - so receiving spouses are getting less money. To make matters worse, paying parties may be less likely to even negotiate an alimony payment, as they are not receiving any benefits for paying. If ordered to pay, some parties still may refuse to do so, as there is no benefit for them.

How Our Joliet Divorce Lawyers Can Help with Your 2019 Divorce 

At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we work hard to protect the financial interests of our clients. Whether you expect to pay support or receive it in 2019, our seasoned Plainfield, IL divorce lawyers can help to mitigate the issues that may threaten your financial well-being. Call 815-666-1285 today.


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