Do you have enough car insurance coverage?

March 27, 2015,

Most states require drivers to buy car insurance. The logic behind this rule is that most people wouldn't be able to afford to pay the damages that could result from a car accident. Imagine getting into a wreck with someone driving a really expensive car. Even if it was just a fender bender, the cost of repairing the other driver's fancy ride could break your budget.

This equation works the opposite way too. Insurance is there to protect you in case you were involved in an accident caused by someone else's negligence. But, what if that person's insurance limits aren't enough to cover your damages? After all, we can't control what insurance policy the driver who hit us decided to buy.

This is where Illinois law steps in with a protection for insurance purchasers who find themselves in precisely this type of situation. But, it's important to know the rules in order to make sure they're working for you.

Current Illinois law requires a minimum coverage of $25,000 in case of bodily injury to or death of any single person involved in a accident and, no less than $50,000 in case of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more people involved in the same accident. In addition to that state law requires a limit of not less than $20,00 to cover property damage. See statute, 625 ILCS 5/7-203. This type of insurance is sometimes referred to as a 25/50/20 policy.

With the current rate of healthcare costs, it's easy to imagine that someone who is seriously hurt in a car accident might end up with hospital bills that greatly exceed the $25,000 state minimum for bodily injury coverage. That's where under-insured motorist coverage may step in to help cover the difference.

Illinois law also requires car insurance companies to offer un-insured and under-insured motorist coverage equal to the same state minimum for liability coverage discussed above. the purpose of this type of coverage is to protect accident victims who are injured by someone who didn't have enough insurance, or didn't have any car insurance at all.

But to really be protected, consumers should consider buying coverage beyond just the state minimum, as well as getting the highest under-insured policy they are able to afford. That extra insurance coverage could be the difference between an accident victim getting fair compensation for their injuries or being stuck having to figure out how to afford mounting medical bills.

Navigating insurance rules can be complicated, especially for someone who's been hurt in an accident and is focused on trying to get better. If you would like to talk to a seasoned car accident attorney with over 30 years experience representing victims in the Chicago area, please dial 312-380-5467 to schedule a free consultation with attorney Joseph Klest.

© Joseph Klest, 2015.

Charges Filed Against Winnebago Man for Sexually Abusing Children at Day Care

February 13, 2015,

Prosecutors in Winnebago County, Illinois have charged David Seaton, 51 a Winnebago resident with as many as 11 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse as well as one count of predatory sexual assault.

Seaton was first charged with one count related to a 3 year old victim at his wife's home-based day care business. The additional charges came after four other children came forward.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is currently directing operation of the day care. Seaton's wife is not suspected of any crimes and her day care has currently been allowed to stay open.

Attorney Joseph Klest has dedicated his career to fighting for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. To speak with Mr. Klest directly, at no charge to you, please, click here, or call 312-380-5467.

© Joseph Klest, 2015.

2 injured After Car Runs Red Light in Chinatown

February 8, 2015,

At about 1:15 early Sunday morning two cars collided in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood after one of the drivers failed to stop at a red light. Two people were injured in the crash, including an off duty police officer.

The condition of those injured has been reported as stable.

To contact attorney Joseph Klest about this post, click here, or call 312-380-5467.

© Joseph Klest, 2015.

Acting Quickly Can Help Preserve Camera Footage of Car Accidents

February 6, 2015,

There are more cameras in public places now then there ever were before, and camera footage is often used to aid police in criminal investigations. Increasingly though, accident victims are also benefiting from the use pictures and video from public cameras in their cases.

Take, for instance, a car accident that occurs at an airport departure drop-off point. Or, a collision near a Chicago street camera. Many municipalities put cameras inside buses and trains that are part of a city's public transportation system.

With the advent of digital video, it has become much easier and more practice to store large amounts of data. However, digital storage is not infinite. Because video can only be stored for a limited time to make room for future footage, it is important to act fast to preserve evidence in an accident case.

Fortunately, when it comes to information stored by government entities, there are rules in place to help the public obtain access to it. The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, is a set of federal and state laws insuring people have the right to request information held by national, state, and local agencies.

When requesting information, including video from a local government agency, it's important to determine where the proper agency or office is in order to send a request. Asking the right source for the right information quickly can tremendously aid in that process.

If you or someone you know has been hurt because of someone else's failure to take proper care, please, click here, or dial 312-380-5467 for a no-cost consultation with an experienced Chicago accident attorney.

The Car Insurance Company is Pressuring you to Sign a Release

January 23, 2015,

When you've been hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you are likely to get a phone call from that driver's insurance company soon after the accident looking to resolve the case. Of course, an injury victim will want their case resolved quickly, too. Medical bills pile up fast. Car repairs may have left you without transportation. On top of that, if you your injuries are forcing you to miss work, you are likely to want to settle your case as quickly as possible to avoid further delay and inconvenience. You may even feel pressure from an insurance adjuster offering you a check right away if you sign a release. However, settling your case two quickly can turn out to be a huge mistake jeoprdizing your ability to recover future medical costs, lost wages, as well as damages from pain and suffering.

The insurance adjusters calling you to settle your case are paid to protect the insurance company's interests, not yours. Protect your rights by having someone on your side. With over 30 years experience fighting for injury victims in Illinois, attorney Joseph Klest and his team at The Klest Injury Law Firm are here to answer your questions, help you deal with the insurance company, and understand your options.

Please click here, or dial 866-264-7639 to speak to an experienced injury attorney today at no cost to you.

© Joseph Klest, 2015.

Governor Quinn signs 'revenge porn' law

December 30, 2014,

Gov. Quin signed a new bill into law on Monday that, beginning on June 1, 2015, would make posting sexually explicit videos and photos of other people online without their permission a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison as well as fines as high as $25,000.00.

The law is meant to crack down on a frightening trend known as "revenge porn," where x-lovers post images on the internet of what were intended to be kept private as a way of retribution.

Cyber-bullying can have devastating consequences for victims. Because of the highly personal and embarrassing nature of these cases, Illinois law also provides the possibility of seeking court approval to file lawsuits using a fictitious name to avoid allowing a person harmed by this type of harassment from having their name being part of a public record. Acting quickly and immediately contacting an experienced attorney is an important step in seeking to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of online sexual exploitation and would like a free, confidential consultation, please click here or dial 866-264-7639.

© Joseph Klest, 2014.

Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Lake Shore Drive Crash

December 22, 2014,

A tragic accident on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive early this morning left one driver dead and at least three others hospitalized. Shortly before 3:00 a.m. a 26 year-old male drove his car the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive colliding with oncoming traffic. He was killed as a result of the crash and police investigators had not ruled out that alcohol may have been a contributing factor. Three other people had been transported to area hospitals due to their injuries resulting from the car accident.

Under current Illinois law, victims who are injured as a result of another driver's negligence must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. If a case is not settled and no lawsuit has been filed before the expiration of that two-year period, the person seeking compensation will be forever barred from bringing their claim.

Additionally, a claimant in Illinois is not able to sue a person who has died directly, however, suit may be brought against a person's estate. In such cases, it is important not to wait in pursuing a claim because of other deadlines imposed on when a creditor may bring a claim against an estate. It is important for anyone injured by a person who has died to seek advice from an experienced attorney regarding these matters.

If you have questions regarding this topic, please click here or dial (312) 380-5467 to contact attorney Joseph Klest of the Klest Injury Law Firm.

Joseph Klest © 2014.

Drunk Driver Kills Pedestrian on NW Side - Bail Set at $400K

November 14, 2014,

A Cook County Judge set a $400,000 bail for Maciej Machniewicz who is charged with felony aggravated DUI following a car accident. Machniewicz, who prosecutors are saying never had a valid drivers license, was charged with aggravated DUI after striking and killing a 62 year-old woman Tuesday on the Chicago's Northwest Side who had just exited a bus.

This straightforward case, however, considering a circumstance where a driver didn't have a license, it's possible that he did not have valid insurance coverage either.

In a 2010 case, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld exclusionary provisions in a car insurance contract that allowed an insurance company to deny coverage where the driver was the owner of the vehicle but did not have a driver's license or was driving with a suspended license. Essentially, this means that someone driving around without a license, even if that person is paying for car insurance, may not actually have coverage if he or she negligently causes an accident.

Nevertheless, Illinois law mandates that car insurance policies issued in this state include uninsured motorist coverage. The purpose is to provide coverage for people who are hurt or killed by an uninsured driver. Under these circumstances, a victim's own car insurance policy steps in as if the negligent driver had coverage. Navigating these issues can get complicated and each case is certain to have a unique set of circumstances. Seeking consultation with an experienced, licensed attorney is highly recommended.

The Law Offices of Joseph Klest
Phone: 1 (866) 264-7639

Joseph Klest © 2014.

3 Gavin Middle School Teachers Fired in Connection with Abuse Charges

October 16, 2014,

The School District Board for Gavin School District 37 in Ingleside, IL are suspending without pay pending a formal dismissal hearing Michale Vucic, a Gavin teacher who has been charged with childhood sexual abuse of a student.

The Board also voted to let two other teachers go for allegedly not reporting suspicions of the abuse to authorities.

Under Illinois law, teachers are considered Mandated Reporters who are responsible for reporting suspected child abuse to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Sex abuse victims often are reluctant to come forward to report their abusers, sometimes because they feel ashamed about what has happened to them. For the same reasons, they are often reluctant to seek legal counsel as well. Attorney Joseph Klest has been fighting for victims rights for over 30 years. He understands the stigma associated with sexual abuse and offers compassionate legal advice in a confidential setting.

If you've been a victim of sexual exploitation and would like a free, confidential consultation, click here or dial 866-264-7639.

© Joseph Klest, 2014.

Fatal I-55 Truck Crash Results in Charges against Trucker

July 22, 2014,

Authorities charged the truck driver involved in the wreck on I-55 Mondaythat resulted in the loss of five lives with speeding before the crash. The deaths were the result of two separate crashes that happened on Interstate 55 near Channahon, IL, as the speeding truck quickly changed lanes in a construction area failing to stop striking three cars that were stopped in traffic, smashing them together.

Truck accidents are particularly dangerous simply because of the immense size of the vehicles involved. Semi-trucks speeding in a construction zone are likely to not have enough space to come to a safe stop when other cars slow down for traffic. All the more reason for truck drivers to be diligent about following the rules of the road. Truck drivers can often avoid accidents and loss of life simply by staying alert and following the rules. It is a truck driver's most basic responsibility to care for the safety of other people they share the road with.

To contact attorney Joseph Klest, please, click here, or dial 312-380-5467 to be connected directly.

Joseph Klest, 2014 ©

Highland Park Chiropractor Accused of Sexually Abusing Patients

July 17, 2014,

A number of people have come forward with accusations that a Highland Park chiropractor sexually abused his patients during their sessions. According to the Lake County prosecutor's office so far three people have come forward. Prosecutors are asking anyone who believes they were victims of inappropriate and unwanted contact to contact the Highland Park Police Department or the Lake County State's Attorney's office.

The chiropractor, Kevin Dutton, age 38, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, both are considered felonies.

To speak directly with Attorney Joseph Klest about this or related topics, please call 866-264-7639, or click here, to schedule a free consultation.

Joseph Klest, 2014 ©

Tree Falls on Camper's Tent in Wisconsin Killing 11 Year Old Girl

June 2, 2014,

A young girl, age 11, from Chicago's Northwest suburbs was killed by a tree that fell on her tent during a storm overnight while she was camping with her family in Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin.

first responders found the young girl and her father trapped under a tree that had fallen on their tent in the park near Baraboo, Wisconsin.

The girl did not survive. Her father and another camper, a 14 year-old boy who was fortunately unharmed, were taken to a nearby hospital where they were both treated and released.

One task of park personnel is to identify trees that may pose a risk of falling. Authorities are not currently releasing further information regarding this fatal accident. Meanwhile the investigation continues.

To speak with Joseph Klest please, click here, or dial 866-264-7639.

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