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McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC

joliet CDL lawyerCommercial truck drivers are held to very high standards and work within strict but necessary regulations. Such standards and regulations are put in place to keep the truck driver and surrounding vehicles safe. To legally drive a commercial vehicle, one must obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). When drivers fail to uphold their expected protocols and rules, that license may be temporarily or permanently revoked, and the driver may face expensive fines. Because roadside inspections are a routine procedure, drivers in this line of work should understand what precautions they can take to prevent CDL violations and avoid license revocation. 

How Can Commercial Truck Drivers Prevent Common Inspection Violations?

Truck drivers often suffer CDL violations due to not upholding accurate and current driving logs. This may include failure to record their driving status, falsely reporting their driving hours, or not retaining the record for the previous seven days. It is also important to note that drivers may be fined if their logged hours violate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Rules. Drivers should be properly trained to understand what is required of them when logging their driving hours and be familiar with all service hour regulations. Additionally, employers should regularly monitor these records for concerns. 

There are several mechanical issues that may lead to CDL violations during a roadside inspection. Some of the most common issues are lighting, brakes, and tires. Commercial trucks should be consistently inspected prior to and after a ride for these types of mechanical failures. It is also important for drivers to understand and identify concerns such as brake adjustment and tire inflation. 



joliet playground accident lawyerEach year, more than 220,000 children end up at emergency rooms with playground-related injuries. These injuries range from fractures to internal bleeding to head injuries. In fact, more than 20,000 children sustain some form of traumatic brain injury in playground accidents every year. After a year of pandemic restrictions, children are more eager than ever to play with friends at parks, playgrounds, and summer camps and there is a concern that there may be a spike in the number of children injured. How can parents protect their children from these injuries and who is liable when they occur?

Playground Injuries

National data collected on playground accidents and injuries show that the most common cause of injuries to children are falls, resulting in about 45 percent of all emergency room visits. The most common injury that sends parents rushing to the ER is bone fractures, followed by cuts, bruises, sprains, and injuries to internal organs.


Talking to Insurance Companies After a Personal Injury Accident

The most important person to speak to after you have been injured in a personal injury accident is your doctor.  For many reasons, seeking and obtaining the appropriate medical treatment should be of paramount importance after you have been injured.  However, if your injuries have been caused by another person, that person’s insurance company is going to seek to take your (usually recorded) statement as soon as possible.  This initial communication can determine how much of your health or other expenses the company will cover.  You should think twice before speaking to the adjuster immediately after your accident.

The goal of an insurance adjuster is to get you to admit complete or partial fault or downplay your injuries so that the company can save money. That is why the insurance company may contact you immediately after a vehicle accident or other injury. This is commonly when you are least prepared to talk to them.  There are several reasons why you should not conduct a recorded interview with an insurance adjuster without consulting your personal injury attorney:  First, if an insurance adjuster calls you the day of (or the day after) your accident, you may honestly answer that you do not feel injured.  Unfortunately, it is common not to notice some of your injuries until a couple of days after the incident. Once the adjuster has your statement on record, the insurance company can use it against you when determining your claim.  Furthermore, even when you know you have been hurt after an accident, you will not know the full extent of your injuries until after seeing a medical professional. You should not speculate about your injuries–your statement may contradict your official diagnosis, creating confusion.  You may also find yourself mentally or emotionally vulnerable in the hours and days after an accident. You have suffered through a traumatic experience that may prevent you from thinking clearly. You do not want to be held accountable for statements you made when you were upset or exhausted.


The most time-consuming part of personal injury litigation falls under the broad category of “discovery.” Once a lawsuit has been filed and preliminary motions are addressed, the attorneys must begin the process of literally discovering how strong or weak each party’s case is. In order to do that, your attorney has to do a considerable amount of factual research.

The first step of this phase is to issue written discovery. Written discovery consists of four primary types of documents: (1) written interrogatories; (2) requests for production of documents; (3) requests for admission of facts; and (4) third party subpoenas. These documents are requested and generated with the purpose of finding out any and all relevant information, and in particular, any evidence that may support the other party’s position by presentation at trial. The duration of the written discovery phase can range from months to more than a year, depending on the complexity of the litigation and the willingness of the opposing sides to cooperate with one another. Although the length of this process may be extremely frustrating to litigants, thorough discovery is an important step to assembling a winning case, or to help the parties reach a reasonable settlement.


The most common question I am presented with when meeting with a new Illinois DUI client is:  “Should I have blown (provided a breath sample to the arresting officer)”?

My initial advice is always the same, “Do not put yourself in a situation where you have to choose!”  Use a designated driver, a ride share service or a taxi. Each of these alternatives is safer and cheaper than defending a DUI.

Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association
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