Marijuana and Driving

Marijuana and Driving

Beginning on January 1, 2020, Illinois residents will be able to legally purchase marijuana for recreational use. Governor Pritzker signed the law earlier this year, making our state the 11th in the country to legalize marijuana for adults. However, what does this law mean for you and for the drivers you share the road with? Here’s what you need to know to stay informed and safe.

Who can buy marijuana?

Adults ages 21 and over will be allowed to purchase marijuana beginning on January 1. However, it is only legal to purchase marijuana from licensed sellers throughout the state; it remains illegal to purchase marijuana from unauthorized sources.

Where can I use marijuana?

If you are 21 years old or older and have purchased marijuana from a licensed seller on January 1, 2020, you can smoke it in your home or in some on-site marijuana dispensaries. It is ILLEGAL to use marijuana while in public places or while in a vehicle, whether you are driving or not.

How does marijuana affect driving?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has done extensive research on marijuana’s role in impaired driving. According to the institute, there is a direct link between THC levels and impaired driving ability. Marijuana can decrease coordination, judgment, and reaction time, each necessary for safe driving on roads throughout our state and country.

Studies have demonstrated the link between THC levels and increased risk of fatal vehicle accidents. In fact, drivers with THC in their systems were twice as likely to be responsible for a fatal vehicle accident than their peers without THC in their bodies. Drivers who use marijuana and alcohol together and get behind the wheel increase their risk of injury or fatality even more.

Driving while under the influence of marijuana remains illegal in Illinois. Currently, and moving forward, any driver with a THC blood concentration of five nanograms or more per millimeter is considered impaired under Illinois law. Beginning January 1, there will be additional focus on accurate and efficient roadside testing for marijuana use.

Admittedly, it will be difficult for other drivers to know when someone is under the influence of marijuana. Dispensaries will not only sell marijuana to smoke but also will sell the drug in various forms, such as in gummies or brownies. If you are on the road and notice someone driving erratically, consider slowing down and avoiding them if possible.

If you are involved in a vehicle accident where the other driver is under the influence of marijuana, be sure you are working with an experienced attorney. The team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates have decades of experience advocating for our clients and getting the best outcome possible. Call our office today to talk more about your situation.

How Long Will My Case Take?

How Long Will My Case Take?

When you are injured due to an accident or incident that you didn’t cause, it can be stressful trying to get to your medical appointments and recover while watching various bills arrive in your mailbox. If you are missing work due to your injury, it only adds to the anxiety. Clients working with us at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates often want to know, at some point in their case, when will the process be completed and compensation distributed?

We understand what it feels like to be in the middle of a lawsuit and trying to recover from an injury. When we work with our clients, we do our best to expedite the process as much as possible while not compromising the potential positive outcome of their case. However, we want our clients to realize that we are never afraid to go to court on their behalf when negotiations fail, or when the result from arbitration is simply not good enough.

Your case timeline can vary based on a number of potential hold-ups and outcomes. For example, if your case goes to a courtroom, the trial can extend the process. This means you will have to wait longer to hear the decision about your case, and it can be appealed later, further extended the timeline. However, going to court is well worth it in many cases, and can mean a better outcome.

The timeline of your case can also vary based on the complexities of the situation. Were there multiple people involved? Is the insurance company responding quickly? Are your medical bills ongoing or is your health situation resolved? Any of these complicating factors can make your case go longer, or shorter, than you may expect.

No matter how long your case takes, you can be confident that the team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates are working tirelessly on your behalf. We communicate with our clients every step of the way, and we are readily available when you have a question, concern, or just need some reassurance. Waiting is difficult, and we are here for you during it.

Ready to work with a firm that has the experience and expertise your case needs? Call our team today to get started.

DUI: Why It Matters and How It Can Affect Your Case

DUI: Why It Matters and How It Can Affect Your Case

When you are involved in a vehicle accident, it’s scary. It can take weeks for you to finally relax, but if you were injured in the accident, your recovery period will entail much more than just an emotional shift. Car accidents are traumatic, and if the person who caused your accident was subsequently charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence, you can feel even more unnerved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 30 people die each day in drunk-driving vehicle accidents throughout America. This staggering number does not include the number of people injured, which is about 800 per day according to MADD. One thing is certain: driving under the influence is dangerous and can be fatal for others who share the road.

Alcohol and other substances significantly reduce the abilities needed to safely drive. For example, both alcohol and marijuana cause decreased coordination, reaction time, and judgment, all skills required to operate a vehicle without incident. Unfortunately, people do get behind the wheel while intoxicated and can cause you injury.

If you have been injured, or if a loved one has passed away, due to a vehicle accident involving a person driving under the influence, it is imperative that you immediately begin to work with a personal injury attorney who has experience in DUI case litigation. The team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates has decades of experience fiercely fighting for our injured clients and getting the compensation they deserve from insurance companies and from the person who caused the accident due to their DUI.

If the driver that caused your accident was intoxicated, they will face the courtroom during their criminal case. As the injured party, you can also file a civil claim against the driver, suing for compensation for your injuries, suffering, and work time lost. If the at-fault driver is found guilty during the criminal case, it will be even easier to prove fault and negligence in your civil claim.

You do not need to know the ins and outs of complicated DUI law. You only need to work with an attorney who does. If you have been involved in an accident due to a driver who was intoxicated, call our team immediately to talk more about your situation and your options. We look forward to serving you and advocating for your best outcome.

Sterigenics International and Possible Ties to Cancer?

Sterigenics International and Possible Ties to Cancer?

Residents of a southwestern Chicago suburb unknowingly breathed in a cancer-causing gas for more than 30 years. Sterigenics International, a sterilization plant located in Willowbrook, Illinois, has come under fire for emitting ethylene oxide into the air since the early 1980s. Breathing in ethylene oxide can be dangerous and could lead to health complications, like cancer.

What is ethylene oxide?

Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen that can be difficult to detect in the air. It is colorless and carries only a faint ether-like smell. At Sterigenics, employees used ethylene oxide to help sterilize healthcare equipment and devices.

Ethylene oxide has been linked to a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, myeloma, non-Hodgkin type lymphoma, and leukemia. Further, the chemical has been shown to cause other medical conditions such as irritation of the eyes or nose, birth defects, or miscarriage.

How did this happen?

A recent class-action lawsuit aims to prove Sterigenics International knew it was emitting unsafe levels of ethylene oxide into the Willowbrook air since 1984. Approximately 20,000 people live within just one mile of the Sterigenics plant. Further, schools, daycare centers, and other offices are within that one-mile radius as well. Recent studies have shown Willowbrook to have an increased rate of cancer.

What should I do next?

If you or someone you love have lived or worked in the Willowbrook area in the past 35 years and are now living with cancer or other complications, you could be eligible for compensation. The team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associateshas decades of experience holding large corporations accountable for serious negligence, like Sterigenics International. Filing your claim does more than give you potential compensation – it is also an important step in assuring incidents like this do not happen again, to future generations.

Call our office to set up your free consultation.

Do I Have a Case?

Do I Have a Case?

Over the past years working with clients, we have discovered one of the first questions they ask us is “do I have a case?” While every case and situation is different and should be evaluated individually, there are a few things to consider when determining if you have a case for your personal injury or wrongful death case.

Are you injured, or has someone died?
Personal injury and wrongful death cases begin with an injury or death. Accidental injuries can happen anywhere. The National Safety Council reports workplace injuries in 2017 numbered over 4.5 million, while vehicle accidents caused nearly 4.7 million injuries as well. If you were accidentally injured, you could be entitled to compensation.

Can we prove liability?

The next step in determining if you have a case is to see if we can prove your injury or death was someone else’s fault. This could mean it was the grocery store’s fault for not putting up signs of a wet floor, which caused you to slip and hurt your back. It could also mean it was your physician’s fault you were incorrectly diagnosed. In all situations, we must be able to prove liability in order to continue with your case.

Are there damages?

In order for a personal injury or wrongful death case to continue, we must determine if there are damages. These damages can be your medical bills or the time you missed from work. It can be pain and suffering, or long term mental health conditions. These damages give us a framework when building your case.

Are the damages related to the accident?

Finally, we need to prove proximate cause. This means we have to be able to show the damages were caused by the event. Can we tie your medical bills to your slip and fall in the grocery store? Can we show you missed time at work due to your incorrect diagnosis? Proving proximate cause is the final step in building your case.

At MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates, we are proud to represent people who have been injured. We are honored to gain their trust and to advocate for their best outcomes. Our team has decades of experience working personal injury cases and more. We don’t expect you to know if you have a case or not – that’s our job! If you would like to tell us more about your situation, please call our office to set up a consultation.

Staying Safe in Construction Zones

Staying Safe in Construction Zones

It’s summer, which means families are hopping in the car to drive to their favorite destinations. Before you head on your next road trip, or before you get in the car to drive to work, be sure you are brushed up on safety habits around construction zones.

Road construction is necessary to keep our interstates, highways, and neighborhood streets safe. After all, poor road conditions can lead to potholes or other damage that can quickly lead to vehicle crashes. However, road construction can also be frustrating for busy drivers who are in a hurry to reach their final destination. Here is what you need to know to stay safe this season.

Dangerous Conditions

The Federal Highway Administrationreports that in the past five years, more than 4,000 people have died in crashes in work zones. Nearly 200,000 people were injured in accidents in construction zones as well. Rear-end collisions are the most common in construction zones, and one of the most fatal times of year is the summer season (fall is also hazardous).

Slow Down

First things first, when traveling through a construction zone, slow down. Follow all marked speed limit signs and feel free to back off the gas pedal if the construction zone features working employees, lane shifts, or other hazards. Resist the urge to tailgate the person in front of you, choosing instead to take a deep breath and follow at a responsible distance to avoid any accidents.

Put the Phone Down

Distracted driving is already a major hazard, and you should never be on your phone while driving. However, take extra care to focus on the road ahead when driving in a construction zone.

Follow Instructions

If the construction zone has flaggers or other workers, be sure to follow their instructions. Slow down even more when asked and take special care to give roadside employees a wide berth.

You can choose to adopt good habits to stay safe in construction zones, but you could still be involved in an accident due to negligence on the part of another driver. If you are involved in an accident, be sure you work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate your case and advocate for your rights.

Call the experienced team at MacCloskey, Kesler & Associatesto set up your free case evaluation.