Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD

Defining workers' compensation requirements

If one is injured at work in Waukegan, workers’ compensation should help to cover the costs associated with that injury. At least that is the assumption that most have. Yet should workers’ compensation benefits be a hope or an expectation? Many might fear going to their employer after having sustained an injury while on the job and being told that their companies do not offer workers’ compensation benefits (presumably because they are not required to). Knowing, then, exactly who is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees will go a long way in assuaging these concerns. 

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, nearly everyone who is formally hired to provide a professional service should be extended workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a workplace injury (indeed, the organization estimates that roughly 91 percent of the state’s workforce qualifies for such benefits). Many might mistakenly think that companies need to employ a certain number of people to be required to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Yet in a majority of cases, even those who employ only a single employee are likely required to provide such benefits. 

Workers' compensation coverage scope

If you have a job in Illinois, you should be aware of your rights as an employee and how you can protect yourself in a variety of situations. One of these situations may involve after you may be involved in a work-related accident. Another situation that may require your action could be if you develop an illness that is somehow connected to the environment in which you work or the nature of the work you are required to perform. 

These are just some things that may necessitate you seeking assistance from the state's workers' compensation program. Every state has its own program for these benefits and in Illinois, it is good to know that these benefits are extended to an incredibly broad range of workers. As explained by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, all private and public employers are mandated to carry workers' compensation coverage in some manner. This may be via a third-party insurance policy or via their own method to be self-insured.

DUI defense options in Illinois

Being pulled over and asked to perform a Breathalyzer test can be a surprising thing to happen to you, and you will likely be nervous or upset when you have this experience. It may be difficult to recall the events in detail, because the entire episode may feel like a blur. If your Breathalyzer test measured your blood alcohol percentage (BAC) at 0.08% or higher, you will be facing DUI charges.

However, a Breathalyzer test result is not always definitive proof that you were driving over the legal alcohol limit. This is because these tests are notoriously inaccurate. They can malfunction, give false-positive results or be influenced by medical conditions that you have. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol in Illinois, you should understand all of the defense options you have at your disposal.

How does alcohol end up in your breath?

A number that you will hear time and time again associated with alleged DUI offenses in Fox Lake is .08. That is the near-universal blood-alcohol limit assigned to intoxication. That the measurement of the alcohol content of your blood, however, is what determines whether you are driving under the influence might seem confusing, as law enforcement officials do not test your blood after stopping you for suspicion of DUI. Rather, they test your breath. 

This begs the question of how your breath can provide an accurate measurement of the content of your blood. Per the Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, the type of alcohol that you ingest when drinking is ethanol. This is a water-soluble compound that can pass through membrane surfaces in the body through a process known as passive diffusion. Thus, much of the ethanol that you ingest will eventually pass through the lining of the organs of your gastrointestinal tract and into your capillaries, and eventually, your veins. 

Breaking down the Glasgow Coma Scale

When people in Fox Lake hear news oflawsuits being filed after others have been involved in accidents, it might be easy for them to dismiss such actions as simply being vindictive. Yet the reality is that many such incidents can often leave victims requiring intense care for an extended period of time. One need only look at a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury to reaffirm this fact. There should be no shortage of cases to review; per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.87 million people are seen in America’s emergency departments due to brain injuries every year. 

A TBI can easily leave one dependent on around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives; it can also result in a mild concussion from which one might recover in just a few days. How can those whose loved ones have suffered such injuries understand their extent (as such information would likely influence their decisions to seek legal action)? Clinicians have helped by developing an observation test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. 

Is my spouse hiding assets?

It's tough to hear, but many spouses attempt to hide assets during a divorce. When assets are hidden, they'll fail to be included among marital property, which the court divvies up equitably among both spouses. Forbes offers the following tips on how you can locate any assets your spouse may be concealing. 

It's best to begin your asset search as soon as possible. Once the divorce is in progress your spouse may have already begun concealing documentation and other paperwork regarding assets. that's why it's a good idea to take an accounting of your finances and things you own before actually filing for divorce. However, if you fail to act quickly enough there are still methods you can use to locate any marital property that's not being listed. 

Protect yourself at work with these ladder safety tips

Your profession may call on you to use a ladder day in and day out. For example, if you're a roofer, climbing up and down a ladder will soon become second nature.

As helpful as a ladder can be on a job site, it's also a big safety risk. Here are five ladder safety tips to follow at all times:

  • Inspect your ladder before use: Don't assume that your ladder is in good working condition. Instead, inspect it for damage or defects, such as rust or missing rungs, before taking the first step.
  • Place the ladder on firm and level ground: Where you place your ladder is every bit as important as what you do once you're on it. Firm and level ground gives your ladder a solid base for bearing your weight.
  • Don't carry heavy loads: You can carry some items on a ladder, such as lightweight tools, but heavy loads are a no-no. Carrying a heavy item increases the risk of being pulled to the ground below.
  • Watch where you set the ladder: For example, if you set your ladder too close to vehicle or pedestrian traffic, you run the risk of someone or something knocking into it while in use. Do your best to place your ladder in an area that's out of the way.
  • Maintain three points of contact: You have four points of contact, including two feet and two hands. Maintaining a minimum of three points of contact at all times will enhance your safety.

What is defensive driving & does it prevent accidents?

Safe driving prevents accidents from occurring, but it also saves you money in rising insurance costs and fines for traffic violations. Making defensive driving habits a priority is one way to ensure a safe experience on the road, both for yourself and for other drivers. Esurance explains what exactly defensive driving entails and how it benefits you and other motorists. 

Defensive driving includes many different tactics to reduce your risk of a crash. For instance, if you notice an erratic driver ahead, keeping a safe distance is a must in the event the motorist makes a sudden maneuver. In the same token, you should also remain fully alert and aware of the actions of others while driving. Never assume that another vehicle will take the proper steps to reduce accidents or dangers. Even if you have the right-of-way, it helps to take a defensive approach when it comes to the actions of others.

Weighing whether to cash out your portion of a 401k

Your divorce in Fox Lake will inevitably bring with it many changes. These changes can often place a heavy financial burden on you (even with the prospect of you receiving a property division settlement looming). The need to secure housing, complete job training or go back to school to increase your earning potential may be staring you in squarely in the face. One possible solution may be to use the money you have coming from your ex-spouse's 401k. Many come to us here at Soffietti, Johnson, Teegen, Argueta & Bawcum, LTD asking if they should consider cashing out those funds immediately. 

Typically, if you withdraw funds from a retirement account early, you are required to pay a tax penalty (which can be up to 10 percent of the withdrawal amount, on top of income taxes). Yet according to information shared by, a divorce is one of the rare instances where a withdrawal can occur without incurring a penalty. That is because the court issues a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that authorizes payment to be made to an alternate payee (you). Thus, you can conceivably take that money now and only have to pay income tax on it. 

Is it always legal to turn right at a red light?

Making a right turn at an intersection while the traffic light is red is common in everyday driving. Yet sometimes turning right on a red light is not legal. Conducting an illegal turn can pose legal problems for a driver down the road, particularly if the turn results in an auto accident that causes injury. To maintain safe driving, an Illinois resident should know the ways state law forbids right turns on a red light.

According to Illinois law, a posted sign can supersede the legality of turning right on red. In some circumstances, law enforcement may place a sign at the intersection that warns drivers not to make a right turn while the light is red. A driver should maintain proper vigilance while approaching any intersection, including taking note of any signs that are posted at the intersection.

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Fox Lake, IL 60020

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