BLOG

American Law Firm, P.C. Blog

By 7019105660 23 Oct, 2017

  We’ve all seen people and their cars on the shoulder of the road or blocking the intersection and the police are there investigating and directing traffic around a collision. There are three times having an Attorney assisting you in dealing with a collision and helping you recover for losses to your property and your well-being.  Here are some tips on what your attorney can do for you at each of the stages of an auto collision claim.


JUST AFTER THE COLLISION:

  • Helping you get your information organized as to your insurer, the traffic collision report, and contacting the other driver’s insurer. Getting to get yourself checked out by a healthcare provider if you weren’t treated at the scene of the collision or at the Emergency Room that night. You might not realize that the stiffness and pain could only arise after your body’s adrenaline is gone.
  •  Helping you at the first contact with the other driver’s insurer as they can ask what seems like a simple question to get you to waive your claim. An example; asking you if you were hit by a Ford F-150 and you’re not a truck person so you don’t know how to answer. Your attorney will ask if they mean the vehicle belonging to their insured (the other driver) and then their little trick has failed.
  • Negotiating on the property damage to your vehicle; either insurer (yours or theirs) will try to minimize the damages and value of your vehicle. Your attorney will be able to make sure your vehicle is safely repaired or if the vehicle is “totaled” negotiate the best car value to enable you to replace your vehicle.

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO NEGOTIATE:

  •  Insurance companies make their money by not paying claims; they stop being a good neighbor and put those good hands in their pockets and keep them there. Your attorney will have a detailed and organized settlement demand which incorporates your medical records and bills. The attorney may have a doctor or other expert witness review your records, examine you and prepare a summary report of your condition or event which could help prepare an eventual law suit if no settlement is reached.
  • When the insurer makes an offer to you; your attorney will be able to advise you whether it’s a fair offer or not. The attorney must tell you about any offer as it is your case. You will also be advised whether or not to stand by the demand or make a counter offer based on what your case may be awarded at trial and what might happen if an award is made at trial and would the insurer delay payment by pursuing an appeal of the award

WHEN THE CASE GOES TO COURT:

  • If you have not been able to negotiate a settlement of your claim and within the two (2) year statute of limitations to bring an action for the property damage and personal injuries from the collision the attorney files your suit and serves the other driver.
  • After the suit is filed your attorney will guide you through the pre-trial process of “discovery” where you be asked written questions, to produce records, and possibly give live testimony in front of a court at a deposition. Your attorney will prepare you for likely questions they will ask and be sitting right next to you and advising you on your answers if you are unsure how to answer the questions.
  • At trial the attorney will be there to present evidence on your behalf and object to evidence presented by the other driver’s insurance company provided attorneys.
  • When the jury awards you damages the attorney will help you minimize claims for medical bills and prepare a defense for a possible appeal by the insurance company. Sometimes the award even begins a second cycle of negotiation when an appeal is used as leverage.

  Insurance companies hire lawyers in battalions; you are at a major disadvantage if you are unrepresented at any stage as the insurer’s goal to keep all the money they can. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or Corporations are involved is your best move.

 

  Thanks for reading,

A Law Office of Crosby and Associates, P.C.

By 7019105660 06 Oct, 2017

   So many children are from divorced families some extra efforts need to be made to have both parents in the loop on their children’s education. The Court says you’re divorced from each other but you’re still mom and dad. Here are some tips on giving your children the support of both parents when mom has a house and dad has a house.

WHEN IT’S TIME TO REGISTER FOR SCHOOL:  

  • If you are the parent who the children “officially” live with make sure the school knows the address and phone number of the non-residential parent as well as your own to enable the school to forward all school event and grade information to both parents.
  •  Meet the teachers and directly let them know there will be times to contact the residential non-residential parent for open houses and parent teacher conferences.
  • Share the supply list with the non-residential parent as soon as you get it so you can share the amount needed to buy the supplies so you both know what your children need and each are a part of the “Back to School” experience.

WHEN IT IS AWKWARD BETWEEN THE PARENTS:

  •  If you and your ex-spouse are having issues make sure to have your issues outside of the school so it is place where the children the focus and not either of you.

COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY:

  • Communicate everything; sometimes hearing the ex-spouse’s voice can be the problem so let your fingers do the communicating. Whether it is by text message or e-mail you will never lose by simply sharing what’s happening at school for the children.
  • Never use the children as messengers: they are not supposed to be in the middle and putting them there; even if they are teenagers, will only lead to them getting dragged into taking sides.

    If you are divorced and have children try to work things out. If you can’t reach an agreement with your ex-spouse you need advice on the latest state of the law. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is your best move.

 

 Thanks for reading,

A Law Office of Crosby and Associates, P.C.


By 7019105660 13 Sep, 2017

  There are a lot of dinner table debates on whether it is better to refuse a breathalyzer test if you’ve been stopped by the Police when you’ve been driving after drinking. This article is intended to give you the straight facts on Illinois Law on the subject and take all the myths out of your mind should you face this problem.

  First driving is a privilege; not a right. You don’t license rights. When you apply for and receive a driver’ license in Illinois you give an implied consent every time you drive or take physical control of a motor vehicle on the public highways of Illinois as stated in the Illinois Compiled Statutes in Chapter 625 at Section 5/11-501.1. It further states in of that statute that if an officer has probable cause to believe you are under the influence of alcohol the officer will request you take chemical testing. If you take the test and the breathalyzer discloses an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher you will receive a statutory summary suspension for six (6) months from the forty-sixth day after your receive the notice of your statutory summary suspension. . And on the forty sixth day means at 12:01 AM on that day so don’t think you can drive during that day. The duration of the suspension is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes in Chapter 625 at Section 5/6-208.1. Later in that same statute it tells you what happens if you refuse or fail to complete the requested chemical test you face a twelve (12) month summary suspension. Makes you think twice about the anecdotal advice to always refuse, doesn’t it?

  This issue has come before the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Wegielnik, found at Volume 152 of the Illinois Reports Second Series at page 418 decided in 1992 (152 Ill.2d 418). The Supreme Court faced a defendant who was not a native speaker of English and claimed he couldn’t read or write English and that the summary suspension should be vacates since he was not given his warnings in his native language. The Supreme Court said the implied consent statute promotes highway safety by assisting officers in determining whether drivers are under the influence of alcohol. It further stated that there is no due process right to understand the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer test and made the comparison to severely intoxicated persons making the same claim of not understanding and eliminating the deterrent effect of the implied consent.

  If you hoped to follow anecdotal advice and refuse to take the breathalyzer test; get ready lose the privilege of driving for a longer period than if you had simply taken the test and disclosed you were above the statutory limit. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is your best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

 

By 7019105660 16 Aug, 2017

This is the second of two articles on protecting your property if you are advised to file for Bankruptcy. I decided to begin with the exemptions protecting real estate. Now we can discuss personal property. Some information I will repeat here for those who have not read the first article as basic information. I have been doing Bankruptcy cases since 1990. I have seen several significant changes. When I started there was no means test. I was living and working in Peoria, IL then and the local office of the united states’ Trustee (Sort of a Bankruptcy Prosecutor) did motions to dismiss Bankruptcies where they felt a debtor (person petitioning for Bankruptcy) could afford to pay at least 10% over a three (3) year period under a Chapter 13 reorganization plan Bankruptcy. That eventually became our current means test.

                The Trustee; separate from the US trustee’s office, is usually a local private attorney who contracts with the U.S. Government to review each case and liquidate (sell) non-exempt assets of a debtor to share among the creditors. When I started the percentage kept by the Trustees was less than Five percent (5%) of the value of an asset so not a lot of seizures happened due to the low level of profit available to the Trustee for the effort involved. That all changed in 1995; the Trustees were then and now able to retain Twenty Five percent (25%) of the first Five Thousand dollars ($5,000.00) from a seized asset and then Ten percent (10%) on any assets above Five Thousand dollars ($5,000.00) up to Fifty Thousand dollars ($50,000.00). This turned your friendly neighborhood Trustees into wolves attacking all assets of the debtors.

                I practice in Illinois and Illinois has its own exemption statutes. Some states use a set of exemption which are part of the United States Code (Federal Statutes) but as each state was allowed to choose to use the exemptions from the United States Code or their own statutes, Illinis chose to use its own. The statute in Illinois providing for exemption (protection) of a debtor’s equity (value) in personal property is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes at Chapter 735 Section 5/10-1001 (735 ILCS 5/12-1001).

                The personal property exemptions cover pretty much everything you have that isn’t nailed down. Your necessary clothes, bible, school books, and family pictures are completely exempt. Your exemption in one motor vehicle is Two Thousand Four Hundred dollars ($2,400.00, when I started it was only One Thousand two Hundred dollars, $1,200.00) for a single debtor. Your work tools, books, and special equipment come in at One Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($1,500.00 up from Seven Hundred and Fifty dollars, $750.00). And there is also a general catchall exemption for your house hold goods and furnishings of Four Thousand dollars ($4,000.00). There are a lot of specific exemptions for distinctive items which would be better covered at an office consultation.

                This sounds simple on its face but there are a lot of pitfalls that lie for the unwary. If you have more than the exempt amount in equity in your vehicle as a sole debtor it is ripe for liquidation by the trustee and you get a check for the exempt amount unless you buy your car back. There’s a benefit of the trustee and you get a check for the exempt amount unless you buy your car back. There’s a benefit of being married here; Joint debtors can combine their motor vehicle exemptions to protect a vehicle worth more than Two Thousand Four Hundred dollars ($2,400.00) but you can’t “stck” (add to the amount) your general catchall exemption of Four Thousand dollars ($4,000) to protect the car according to the Court’s Opinion in INRE Johns: (1984) 39 B.R. 488. In the Late 1990’s I had a client who I had to convince to go for a Chapter 13 Repayment plan because he had a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sedan which was worth Twenty Thousand dollars (20,000.00) to prevent his car from being seized.

                If you hope to get Bankruptcy Relief and keep your “stuff”, carefully checking values and making sure only your “stuff: fits into one of the exemption categories is a thorny issue. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is you best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 06 Jul, 2017

  This is the first of two articles on protecting your property if you are advised to file for Bankruptcy. I have decided to begin with the exemptions protecting real estate. I have been doing Bankruptcy cases since 1990. I have seen several significant changes. When I started there was no means test. I was living and working in Peoria, IL then and the local office of the United States’ Trustee ( Sort of a Bankruptcy Prosecutor) did motions to dismiss Bankruptcies where they felt a debtor (person petitioning for Bankruptcy) could afford to pay at least 10% over a three (3) year period under a Chapter13 reorganization plan Bankruptcy. That eventually became our current means test.

  The Trustee; separate from the US Trustee’s office, is usually a local private attorney who contracts with the U.S. Government to review each case and liquidate (sell) non-exempt assets of a debtor to share among the creditors. When I started the percentage kept by the Trustees was less than Fieve percent (5%) of the value of an asset so not a lot of seizures happened due to the low level of profit available to the Trustee for the effort involved. That all changed in 1995; the Trustees were then and now able to retain Twenty Five percent (25%) of the first Five Thousand dollars ($ 5,000.00) from a seized asset and then Ten percent (10%) on any assets above Five Thousand dollars ($ 5,000.00) up to Fifty Thousand dollars ($ 50,000.00). This turned your friendly neighborhood Trustees into wolves attacking all assets of the debtors.

  I practice in Illinois and Illinois has its own exemption statutes. Some states use a set of exemption which are part of the United States Code (Federal Statutes) but as each state was allowed to choose to use the exemptions from the United States Code or their own statutes, Illinois chose to use its own. The statute in Illinois providing for exemption (protection) of a debtor’s equity (value) in a residence is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes at Chapter 735 Section 5/12-901 (735 ILCS 5/12-901).

When I started it was Seven Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($ 7,500.00) for a single debtor and Fifteen Thousand dollars ($ 15, 000.00) for two spouses filing a joint petition. Now it is Fifteen Thousand dollars ($ 15, 000.00) for a single debtor and Thirty Thousand dollars ($ 30,000.00) for two spouses filing a joint petition.

  This sounds simple on its face but there are a lot of pitfalls that lie for the unwary. If you have more than the exempt amount in equity in your home it is ripe for liquidation by the trustee and you get a check for the exempt amount. It also only applies to the property you use as a residence. In the late 1990’s I had a client whose mother had thought she had prepared a deed on her home to avoid probate by deeding the house to my client and his siblings. That deed was supposed to have retained the right for the mother to live in the house for the rest of her life and then it became her children’s. However the deed was not correctly drafted and the land was the actual property of my client and his siblings. We had to arrange to buy back my client’s share of his mother’s home to keep it from being sold.

  If you hope to get Bankruptcy Relief and keep your home, carefully checking values and making sure only your residence is at issue is as thorny issue. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is your best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 29 Jun, 2017

I’ve been an attorney for Twenty-Eight (28) years. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’re aware I’ve seen some action and worked in a lot of areas. In my Peoria days I did a lot of Estate planning work and handled a fair amount of Probate. Due to a few twists and turns from 2003 through 2015 I handled little or no Estate planning or Probate Work. When I started where I am now in 2015 I became aware of a new Estate Planning document which had only been authorized by statute since 2012. This “new” document is the Transfer on Death Instrument or TODI; you find the statute in the Illinois Compiled Statutes at Chapter 755 Section 27/20 and later sections (755 ILCS 27-20 et. Seq.).

                This was developed to help ordinary people avoid Probate Court to transfer what is usually the only significant asset they own at the time of their passing; being their home.

                Prior to the TODI there were ways to avoid Probate Court and pass your home on to your heirs (people who are considered the “natural objects of your bounty”; usually your children or other relatives) or legatees (people you want to take from your estate but not your “natural heirs”). One of these is a Living/Land Trust. The Living/Land Trust is a topic so vast it will be the subject of its own article in the short-term future. Another example was the Life Estate Deed; this is a special deed recorded where the grantor (owner of the property) signs a deed to the grantees (heirs/legatees of the owner) granting (giving) them the property subject to the right of the grantor to live in the property for the remainder of their life (the Life Estate). The problem with the Life Estate Deed is in the drafting. In the late 1990’s I had a bankruptcy client whose mother had thought she had prepared a Life Estate Deed on her home to avoid probate by deeding the house to my client and his siblings. That Life Estate Deed was supposed to have retained the right for the mother to live in the house for the rest of her life and then it became her children’s. However, the Life Estate Deed was not drafted correctly and the land was deeded immediately to my client and his siblings. We had to arrange to buy back my client’s share of his mother’s home to keep it from being sold by the Bankruptcy Court. Scary stuff at the time.

                The TODI changes all this. Under a TODI an owner may transfer residential real estate by a transfer on death instrument to one or more beneficiaries as owners, concurrently or successively (meaning at the same time or one after the other) upon any contingency (meaning you can set a condition such as a beneficiary being married or having children) effective on the owner’s death. The statute also describes the TODI as non-testamentary (not part of a Last Will and Testament) and being subject to all the law related to non-testamentary documents. Every TODI must contain the same basic information you need to include in a deed, be executed (signed) by the grantor, witnessed (usually only by two (2) witnesses and a notary public), state the transfer to the beneficiary takes place on the grantor’s death, and most critically; the TODI must be recorded before the death of the Grantor with the Recorder of Deeds’ Office in the County where the land is located. There is no requirement of notice to the beneficiary in the grantor’s lifetime, no requirement of delivery to the beneficiary in the grantor’s lifetime, requirement of acceptance by the beneficiary in the grantor’s lifetime, and no consideration (payment to the grantor) by the beneficiary in the grantor’s lifetime.

                The beneficiary may choose not to accept the transfer after the death of the grantor for various reasons: there could be environmental issues with the land, there could be a public aid lien on the land from the time the grantor spent in a nursing home, or any other reason the beneficiary deems appropriate.

                If you just want to pass your home on to your heirs/legatees and help them avoid the financial and emotional stress of Probate Court; the TODI may be your way to go. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government’s involved is your best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 22 Jun, 2017

  This article is not intended to take a position in the debate on Gun Control; but to show how that debate effects ordinary people dealing with ordinary problems. Selling the gun collection from an estate was something more focused on getting the most value for the heirs until now. Illinois Senate Bill SB 1657 which has passed the Senate as the “Gun Dealer Licensing Act” makes individuals; including executors, dealers if they sell more than Nine (9) guns in a year.

            This means as an executor you might need to obtain a State Gun Dealer’s license if you have more than Nine (9) guns to sell for an estate. It could require you to perform background checks on purchasers, keep records on the sales for a long period of time, and risk liability for misuse of the guns by a purchaser. To keep from having to get the license an executor might need to keep the estate open longer to sell more than Nine (9) guns.

            The act provides that licenses auctioneers or licensed pawnbrokers can sell without needing license under the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, but again there is a license and a fee to pay for each of these job titles. These titles have their own licensing requirements which could be expensive and involved beyond filling out a form and paying a fee.

            If you hoped to close the estate of a loved one including selling a gun collection in a reasonable time at a reasonable cost; financially and emotionally; this act could complicate matters if it passes into law. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is your best move.

  Thanks for reading,

Joe sparacino

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 15 Jun, 2017

  The warranty protections in this article apply to any goods you purchase but for some reason cars seem to generate most of the un-happy consumers. I worked a long time in Peoria and got to know the car dealers in a way where they weren’t fans of mine.


  One client had a matter where the Express Warranty provision of the Uniform Commercial Code found at Chapter 810 Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/2-313 applied. He was buying a used car and was concerned about and specifically asked whether it was or wasn’t a former rental car. He did not want to buy a former rental car due to the wear they endure. The dealer said it was not. In this was in the pre “CARFAX” era but the client actually was able to track the title history of the car and it was a former rental car. The dealership’s statement on the rental car question was as the statute says an affirmation of fact made by the seller to the buyer which relates to the goods (the car) and becomes a basis of the bargain. My client wanted out of the deal. We set a meeting with the dealership less than a week after receiving the vehicle. We went in and when I introduced myself as an attorney within an hour we got the original car back, returned the former rental car and got the load repaid to the lender.


  The “Implied Warranty of Merchantability” is found the Uniform Commercial Code Section found at Chapter 810 Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/2-314. This “Implied Warranty of Merchantability” in plain English is if you buy a car from a dealer the car should be “fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used”. Meaning if you’ve done nothing to damage the car yourself it should be drivable.


  Another statute provides a specific statutory warranty for the Power Train of the Vehicle purchased found at Chapter 815 Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 505/2L. This is the Consumer Fraud Act and it provides for a thirty (30) post purchase period of liability to the car dealer for a percentage of the cost of repairing a damaged Power Train. The percentage goes down with the age of the car, if it is less than 2 years old it is fifty percent (50%) and by the time we are dealing with a car over 4 year old there is no liability.


  A recent Illinois Supreme Court case on the issue of used car purchases is Mydlach v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation, 226 I11. 2d 307 (IL S. Ct. 2007). The plaintiff; a woman named Mydlach, purchased a used car from a dealer in Elgin, IL that was about 2 years old. It was still covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles whichever comes first. At purchase the car had about 1 year or 10,000 miles left under the warranty. Theere were repeated unsuccessful repairs for a fluid leak and Miss Mydlach wanted to “revoke her acceptance”, in plain English return the car and get her money back. She chose to sue the manufacturer instead of the dealer. The trail court entered orders in favor of the manufacturer based on the claim that the warranty was not made to Miss Mydlach but to the original buyer. The Appellate Court found the trail court was in error. The manufacturer appealed to the Illinois Supereme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court in Mydlach v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation said she was able to proceed on the remainder of the warranty and attempt to revoke the purchase.


  So when you purchase cars, boats, and other durable goods and you are not getting the new item value you hoped for and need to get out of the deal; consulting an attorney is your best move.

 Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 08 Jun, 2017

  More from the US Supreme Court to help ordinary people dealing with ordinary problems. In a recent decision the US Supreme Court helped 2 former defendants in Colorado who paid substantial fines and costs and wanted their money back after their convictions were overturned. These former defendants had costs and wanted their money back after their convictions were overturned. These former defendants had to bring a civil action which eventually became Nelson v. Colorado, 137 S.Ct 30 (S.Ct 2017). The plaintiffs in Nelson v. Colorado were originally told they had to sue the state under it “Exoneration Act” which required the former defendants to “prove they were actually innocent to get their fines and costs back”. The State of Colorado further claimed in its argument that “the presumption of innocence only applies in criminal cases and not civil claims”. The US Supreme Court said this turns American Justice on its head; violating the long standing presumption of innocence for all accused. The US Supreme Court held that the presumption applies in any claim involving the government.


  This seems that it only helps on fines if you limit the use of the decision. But it also branches out to the various claims for forfeitures of property to the government. I’ve handled several forfeiture cases over the years. Two cases come to mind: one a forfeiture of an automobile in a drug related case and a seizure of a rifle in an alleged “poaching” case.


  In the automobile case the automobile was seized when my client was on his way to High School and picked up a friend. The car was stopped and the 2 boys searched. The friend of my client had marijuana in his back pack and my client’s car was seized under Chapter 720 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 550/12. It took a civil action and 11 months of regular Court appearances to get the automobile returned when I was able to show that my client had committed no crime. The “poaching” case involved a client who had taken a new hunting dog out to train out of season and the Conservation Police found him with a rifle and 3 cartridges while training the dog. He was strip searched by the Conservation police for the alleged raccoons he had “poached” and his rifle was seized under Chapter 720 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/36-1. The problem for my client was that while the rifle was only worth about $40.00, the scope on it was worth about 500.00. So he wanted it back. Again in this pre- Nelson v. Colorado situation we had to spend a lot of Court time to get the property back.


  The Nelson v. Colorado decision provides a new way to get the fines, costs, and property back of people accused of offenses who are found to be not guilty. If you are accused and property is seized or bond is paid we can get you money or property back more easily now. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or the Government is involved is your best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 02 Jun, 2017

            In practicing law throughout the State of Illinois for over 28 years I’ve represented some folks who’ve purchased cars, boats, and other durable goods on retail installment contracts. One couple I worked with bough a boat which had nearly every system repaired and/or replaced but only got 5 days of use out of it over a 2 year period. This case reminded me of the Uniform Commercial Code class I took in Law School. My professor taught us of the “shaken faith” doctrine where you can revoke acceptance of an item if it is so defective that it’s “non-conformity” substantially impairs its value to the buyer. In regular English there have been so many warranty repairs that you no longer trust the item and want to return the item for a refund.

            The case the professor used to teach us of the doctrine was Blankenship v. Northtown Ford , 95 I11. App. 3d 303 (4th District 1981). This is a case which went to the Appellate Court in Springfield, IL out of Macon County, IL. The Blankenships purchased a “new vehicle” fro m the dealer in September 1978, the vehicle went back to the dealer or repairs for the first time less than two (2) weeks after receiving the vehicle. And there were ten (10) more occasions for repairs until the Blankenships returned the vehicle in January 1979. The types of problems were ones that shouldn’t have occurred: at 740 miles the shock absorber came loose, the drive shaft broke less than one (1) month after receiving the vehicle, and there were more problems ending with another broken drive shaft in January 1979.

            The Appellate Court applied the Uniform Commercial Code Section found at Chapter 810 Illinois compiled Statutes Section 5/2-608 where the language about a non-conformity comes from The Stature also requires a revocation be in a reasonable time the problem was obvious. The Court found for the Blankenships and they got their money back. My clients with the boat also got their money back. My professor who I ran into at a 10 year reunion was pleased with the result.

            So when you purchase cars, boats, and other durable goods on retail installment contracts and you are not getting the new item value you hoped for and need to get out of the deal; consulting an attorney is your best move.

 

Thanks for reading,

Joe Sparacino,

Attorney at Law

By 7019105660 17 May, 2017

I’ve practiced law throughout the State or Illinois for over 28 years; I’ve represented a lot of ordinary people dealing with ordinary problems. Selling you home seems like a situation where everything should go fine since you’ve kept your house up and it nothing needs repair at the moment. Well, unfortunately there is a form you have to fill out which could lead you on the path to the Courthouse. This form is the Residential Real Property Disclosure report form; it is part of every residential real property transaction in Illinois and has been since 1994.

            You’ll be asked about everything from whether you’ve occupied the house within the last twelve (12) months to the presence of radon gas in the property and even if there are underground fuel storage tanks.

American Law Firm, P.C. Blog

By 7019105660 23 Oct, 2017

  We’ve all seen people and their cars on the shoulder of the road or blocking the intersection and the police are there investigating and directing traffic around a collision. There are three times having an Attorney assisting you in dealing with a collision and helping you recover for losses to your property and your well-being.  Here are some tips on what your attorney can do for you at each of the stages of an auto collision claim.


JUST AFTER THE COLLISION:

  • Helping you get your information organized as to your insurer, the traffic collision report, and contacting the other driver’s insurer. Getting to get yourself checked out by a healthcare provider if you weren’t treated at the scene of the collision or at the Emergency Room that night. You might not realize that the stiffness and pain could only arise after your body’s adrenaline is gone.
  •  Helping you at the first contact with the other driver’s insurer as they can ask what seems like a simple question to get you to waive your claim. An example; asking you if you were hit by a Ford F-150 and you’re not a truck person so you don’t know how to answer. Your attorney will ask if they mean the vehicle belonging to their insured (the other driver) and then their little trick has failed.
  • Negotiating on the property damage to your vehicle; either insurer (yours or theirs) will try to minimize the damages and value of your vehicle. Your attorney will be able to make sure your vehicle is safely repaired or if the vehicle is “totaled” negotiate the best car value to enable you to replace your vehicle.

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO NEGOTIATE:

  •  Insurance companies make their money by not paying claims; they stop being a good neighbor and put those good hands in their pockets and keep them there. Your attorney will have a detailed and organized settlement demand which incorporates your medical records and bills. The attorney may have a doctor or other expert witness review your records, examine you and prepare a summary report of your condition or event which could help prepare an eventual law suit if no settlement is reached.
  • When the insurer makes an offer to you; your attorney will be able to advise you whether it’s a fair offer or not. The attorney must tell you about any offer as it is your case. You will also be advised whether or not to stand by the demand or make a counter offer based on what your case may be awarded at trial and what might happen if an award is made at trial and would the insurer delay payment by pursuing an appeal of the award

WHEN THE CASE GOES TO COURT:

  • If you have not been able to negotiate a settlement of your claim and within the two (2) year statute of limitations to bring an action for the property damage and personal injuries from the collision the attorney files your suit and serves the other driver.
  • After the suit is filed your attorney will guide you through the pre-trial process of “discovery” where you be asked written questions, to produce records, and possibly give live testimony in front of a court at a deposition. Your attorney will prepare you for likely questions they will ask and be sitting right next to you and advising you on your answers if you are unsure how to answer the questions.
  • At trial the attorney will be there to present evidence on your behalf and object to evidence presented by the other driver’s insurance company provided attorneys.
  • When the jury awards you damages the attorney will help you minimize claims for medical bills and prepare a defense for a possible appeal by the insurance company. Sometimes the award even begins a second cycle of negotiation when an appeal is used as leverage.

  Insurance companies hire lawyers in battalions; you are at a major disadvantage if you are unrepresented at any stage as the insurer’s goal to keep all the money they can. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or Corporations are involved is your best move.

 

  Thanks for reading,

A Law Office of Crosby and Associates, P.C.

By 7019105660 06 Oct, 2017