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September 2018

How Much Will Your Speeding Ticket Cost?

Monday, September 24th, 2018

In Illinois, moving violations – violations that are committed in a moving vehicle – are taken very seriously. Most people view speeding tickets as minor and trivial, however, they can lead to severe consequences – such as license suspension, massive fines, and even time in jail.

Most people do not realize the monetary consequence of a speeding ticket. Not only do you have to pay a fine for a speeding ticket, but also your insurance rate increases. Speeding tickets costs vary by county in Illinois. This is because county and city government systems control how much they charge for certain violations. Regardless, the typical cost of a speeding ticket for traveling between one and 20 miles per hour over the speed limit is $120.00. It may seem like a small amount, but the implications of a small offense like speeding can have significant impacts on other areas of your life. Those consequences appear after you have agreed to pay your ticket. After receiving a traffic ticket, the first thing you might realize is that your insurance premium has increased. In some cases, a speeding ticket can result in the cost of your insurance increasing by thousands of dollars each year. In addition, this increase is not temporary – it can stay for years and if you were to receive another one most companies would drop you.

Further, Illinois uses a point system to track moving violations. I’ve discussed this point system in a previous blog, but to reiterate – if you receive 15 points or more as a first-time offender, you could face a license suspension period of two months to one year. If you are a repeat offender – it can result in four to 12 months of license suspension. It is also possible to have your license suspended or revoked for receiving 3 or more violations over a 12-month period. For adults under the age of 21, the rule is two or more over a span of 2 years. In majority of cases, people are not properly notified of their suspension and they continue to go about their business and end up driving on a suspended or revoked license. What they don’t realize is that driving on a suspended license is a Class A misdemeanor, which can lead to a $2,500 fine and up to 364 days in jail.

If you have been given a traffic ticket for speeding, it is important you seek legal representation. Our office is here to help. Appointments may be scheduled through our toll free number at 888-488-4LAW or through our website at https://www.peterferracuti.com

-Attorney Kendall Hodges

It’s Not All in Your Head

Friday, September 14th, 2018

It should come as no surprise that our physical health can have an effect on our mental well-being. If you suffer a worker’s compensation injury and then experience, for example, a diagnosis of depression during your time of disability or psychological side effects of treatment, you may be entitled to benefits connected to that mental injury as well. In worker’s compensation in Illinois, these are called “physical-mental” injuries.

Things work differently if a work injury does not have an obvious physical component. These “mental-mental” claims are necessarily more difficult to connect to employment, and have special requirement in order to be compensable.

There are two types of compensable mental injuries. First, the injury can be the result of a sudden, severe emotional shock traceable to a definite time, place and cause. For example, a bus driver who, while working, fatally hit a pedestrian and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder was found to have suffered an injury compensable in workers compensation. Conditions such as PTSD which are traceable back to specific occurrences and stressors are often the type which can be successfully connected to employment, under both types of mental injuries.

The second type of purely mental injury is one in which a series of work events, while not individually rising to the level of a sudden, severe emotional shock, nonetheless meet the following requirements: (1) The mental disorder arose in a situation of greater dimensions than the day-to-day emotional strain and tension which all employees must experience; (2) the conditions exist in reality, from an objective standpoint; and (3) the employment conditions, when compared with the nonemployment conditions, were the major contributory cause of the mental disorder.

One recent successful claim under this second type of mental injury was a bus driver who suffered a series of incidents involving aggressive passengers, culminating in an instance where a group of youths taunted the driver and threw a brick and a bottle at him. This, the court found, was stress and tension beyond which even a Chicago Transit Authority employee might normally experience. On the other hand, the circumstances must really be unusual in order to fall under worker’s compensation. Arguments with co-workers, disciplinary actions by employers, and even being a witness to a violent altercation have been found to be insufficient in some cases, even if there was subsequent mental health treatment.

Psychological injuries in the workplace can be even more insidious than physical ones, because they aren’t the type of thing you can diagnose with an x-ray or a quick physical with the company doctor. Nonetheless, under certain circumstances they can be just as valid a worker’s comp claim as any other injury.

-Attorney Travis Dunn