Illinois Strikes Time Limits to Criminally Prosecute Sexual Abuse of Minors

In August 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into the law SB 189, an amendment to the criminal code regarding sexual abuse of minors. The new law allows for prosecution of sexual abuse of children at any time, basically completely eradicating the statute of limitations for criminal cases. Previously, the victim had 20 years after attaining the age of majority at 18 to come forward for a criminal prosecution to take place. This law is hailed as progress and an achievement for individuals who have been childhood victims of sexual abuse. Some of these people harmed as minors do not understand what happened to them as young children, or they have repressed the memories. This new law allows police and prosecutors to pursue criminal perpetrators of sexual abuse without time limitations, and reads as follows:

(j)(1) When the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, a prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, or felony criminal sexual abuse may be commenced at any time.

Note that this new law affects criminal prosecutions of sexual abuse of minors in Illinois, not civil actions. However, Illinois does have an extended time period to file a civil lawsuit for personal injury for childhood sexual abuse victims. Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 735, § 13-202.2(b) allows a victim 10 years after discovering the injury and that the injury was caused by child sexual abuse:

§ 13-202.2(b): An action for damages for personal injury based on childhood sexual abuse must be commenced within 10 years of the date the victim discovers that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred and that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse.

Anyone thinking about disclosing their childhood abuse in criminal and civil court should have a personal injury attorney evaluating the situation and offering legal advice and options. Individuals who speak out against these horrific crimes need support to shine a bright light on these criminal behaviors.

Is Florida Deporting Undocumented Immigrants Who File Workers Comp?

Generally, all injured workers whose employer has workers’ compensation or is required by the state to have workers’ comp insurance have the right to file a claim after being hurt on the job. All states allow this, as the states know that whether they like it or not, undocumented immigrants are an important part of the United States economy. Many employers, whether right or wrong, rely on this labor in the hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, the construction industry and more. No matter how someone feels about this reality, states recognize that it is essential for an injured person to have access to medical treatment and a portion of lost wages after a job accident. However, Florida immigrants are facing a large problem due to a loophole in this law that is allowing police officers to use the workers’ comp filing against them for deportment proceedings.

In the Florida workers’ comp law, it is a crime to file a claim using a false identification. Insurance companies that review workers’ comp claims have actually been turning people into the police to avoid having to pay out workers’ comp benefits. This is not only terrible for the employee, who is already injured and will have other difficulties, but the employer, who has lost an employee and the economy as a whole. Further, many of these immigrants have their own families in this country that they support through their employment. Deportation of the breadwinner will seriously harm these remaining family members, who may fall into poverty and then become even more dependent on the states for assistance.

Undocumented workers and immigrants already have enough to fear in today’s political climate without having to further worry about being deported after being seriously injured at work. Anyone injured at work, whether a citizen, resident, work permit holder or undocumented immigrant should always speak to a lawyer after being hurt. A consultation with a lawyer is 100% confidential, and the attorney can guide the person towards their best options moving forward.

Illinois Revamps Child Support Calculations

New child support regulations will be implemented on July 1, 2017. Prior to this overhaul of the calculations, child support was generally determined based upon the payor’s income and number of children. For example, a person who was obligated to pay child support (generally the non-custodial parent) had to pay 20% of his or her net income for one child, and higher percentages for more children.

This model of child support calculations seems to be dated, however, as most states now use the dual income model, where both parents’ income is used together to determine what the correct amount should be. Further, non-custodial parents can get credit if they have custody of the child for over 146 days per year. Although this is generally seen as fair to parents, others worry that parents might further fight over custody if one parent is trying to reach the 146 day threshold to lower the child support payments.

Another issue that arises is whether many parents are going to try to modify their child support payments if the new calculation results in a lower payment. However, the modification of child support is still generally going to be based on whether there has been a substantial change of circumstances that would justify the court reviewing the child support calculation. This could be 10% or more difference in payment either up or down.

What Should I Do If I Experience Gender Discrimination at Work?

According to Rueters, two former female employees of Goldman Sachs have filed a lawsuit against the bank for gender discrimination and are seeking class action status for the case.

The news outlet reported that the case is seeking status on behalf of all female associates and vice-presidents in the company’s investment bank, investment management and securities divisions. The women involved in the lawsuit accuse the bank of fostering a “boys club” atmosphere, where employees were urged to binge drink and meetings were held at strip clubs.

Gender discrimination can take many forms: disparate treatment or pay, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment. All people have a right to work in an environment that treats everyone fairly and is not a hostile work environment. If the plaintiffs in this case can prove these allegations as fact, they likely have a good case for gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Why Does Texas Give Employers the Option to Provide Workers’ Comp?

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) says that the first workers’ compensation laws in Texas came in 1913. At the time, the legislators believed that employers should have the freedom to decide if they want to provide workers’ comp to their employees.

They feared that government run programs would limit the property rights of an employer since there was no due process of the law.

However, in 1917, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to require employers to participate in workers’ compensation programs.

If an employee is injured on the job and the employer does not carry any compensation coverage, the employee is the one who will suffer. The only way for an employee to be compensated for their injuries is to hire an experienced lawyer who can fight for their right to fair compensation.

Allison & Ward – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorneys  

 

Is Testosterone Therapy Safe for My Heart?

As men grow older, hormone fluctuations could cause fatigue, lower libido, depression and other symptoms. Despite documented health risks, aggressive marketing campaigns have encouraged the notion that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a “cure-all” for the effects of normal aging.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation into testosterone therapy after receiving reports of heart attack, stroke and premature death in older men.

In November 2013, a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that men who received TRT had a 30 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death. The average participant in the study was about 60 years old, and a large percentage had underlying heart conditions.

In 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine had to stop a similar study before it was completed, because subjects showed an increased rate of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.

Testosterone levels can be raised naturally through changes in diet, increased exercise and vitamin supplements, but drug companies continue to market TRT to people who are most vulnerable to the drug’s harmful side effects. Business is booming, and consumer health is secondary to their bottom line.

Proffitt & Cox – South Carolina injury lawyers

Why Are Women Safer Drivers than Men?

San Diego women drive more safely than men, according to data released by San Diego County.

From 2000 to 2009, men died in car accidents three times more often than women did. The driver who survived the crash was four times more likely to be a man as well.

Men are more likely to commit traffic violations like speeding, failing to yield and running red lights. Women are still involved in their share of accidents, but on average men engage in more risky driving behaviors.

The study also showed that alcohol use is the distinguishing factor between male and female car accidents. Men are responsible for 80 percent of drunk-driving fatalities in San Diego.

San Diego’s study provides important insight into male and female driving habits, but more importantly it shows the impact of driving while intoxicated.

Drunk drivers are dangerous regardless of gender, because they are less coordinated, have trouble maintaining speed and react more slowly to changes on the road. As soon as drunk drivers get behind the wheel, they risk their own lives and the lives of every other motorist.

Dudek Law Firm, APC – San Diego Personal Injury Attorney

Does Indiana have Laws on Fireworks?

Indiana does have laws on the use of fireworks. Below are some provisions of the Indiana fireworks law:

  • A person must be 18 years or older to purchase fireworks
  • An individual 18 years or older must be present when a minor is using or possessing fireworks
  • Fireworks can only be used in the following areas:

o  On the property of the user

On the property of someone who is allowing users to discharge fireworks

o  An area designated by the Indiana State Fire Marshal for discharging fireworks

  • On Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and New Years Eve, fireworks can only be used between 9 a.m. to midnight
  • Except for the holidays mentioned before, fireworks can be used every day, but only between 9 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Violators of this law can be charged with a class C infraction. A person who recklessly or intentionally misuses fireworks can be charged with a class A misdemeanor if there is property damage.

Additionally, a person could face a class D or C felony if his or her reckless use of fireworks caused someone serious injury or death.

Indianapolis injury lawyers

 

What Does the Medical Community’s Resistance to Change Mean for Medical Malpractice?

From a both a medical and societal perspective, change has long been needed in the medical community. Still, the medical community seems as resistant as ever to implementing innovative safety measures. Below we will look at some startling medical malpractice statistics.

The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 20,000 healthcare organizations, showed that:

  • Only 33 percent of the 3,300 Joint Commission-accredit hospitals have achieved what the organization calls its “top performer” rating.
  • Around 2,400 hospitals operating in the U.S. are not even accredited.
  • Around 98,000 people die in hospitals each year because of avoidable errors.
  • Each year, around 300,000 people are injured in hospitals because of avoidable errors.

Formal complaints have gone unheeded, even by formidable figures in the medical community. Until hospitals and medical associations take it upon themselves to implement changes, medical malpractice suits are the only remedy that victims have in our civil system.

Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

Vidant Medical Center Penalized for Infection Rates

Photo of doctors performing surgeryA 60-year-old woman from Greenville sustained a massive infection and had to be placed in a medically induced coma after a surgeon pierced her bowel during a hernia operation. After her surgery, doctors did not notice the infection for several days.

Starting in October, Vidant Medical Center and hundreds of other hospitals will lose one percent of every Medicare payment they receive. The year-long penalty is part of a national crackdown on patient care to encourage hospitals to prioritize patient safety.

Medicare uses dozens of metrics, including bedsores, hip fractures, and medication errors, to determine which hospitals are giving the best care. The government agency also considers the infection rate for patients receiving intravenous treatment and patients using catheters.

Critics of the law believe that some hospitals could be at an unfair disadvantage, including academic centers and hospitals serving a higher volume of patients. Others believe that hospitals trying to be vigilant could be penalized for reporting higher rates.

 

Edwards & Edwards, L.L.P. – Greenville Personal Injury Attorneys