Choosing a Local Law Office Benefits You

Choosing a Local Law Office Benefits You

The phrase “buy local” is commonplace these days, and for good reason. For the past few decades, thanks to technology and major national retailers, we have all gotten away from buying what we need from our neighbors. Now, a quick keyword search and a click on a smartphone can allow you to have almost anything delivered right to your front door in a matter of days. However, when we choose to purchase from people who live in our area, we can give back to our community and the people who make it better.

Buying local goes well beyond purchasing locally grown produce or spending money at a local Main Street boutique. You can choose to buy services from people in your community as well. The team at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates has been serving people throughout the Rockford and northern Illinois area for decades. When you need legal advice and guidance, “buying local” from us will get you better service, better connections, and better results.

Better Service
National law firms, offering advice to customers from thousands of miles away, are a relatively new invention. However, we have already started to see the major downfalls of this type of model. If you work with a law firm in a different state or region, you are missing out on working with an attorney who knows your state’s laws inside and out. At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we pride ourselves on keeping up with law and regulation changes. We know the major changes and the small nuances, and we adapt our client strategies accordingly.

Better Connections’
When you work and live in a community for as long as we have, making connections happens easily. We have worked with judges and attorneys throughout the area for years, and they know what we are about and who we represent. We are much more likely to communicate effectively with these colleagues, which only benefits our clients in the short and long term. Also, our strong relationships in the northern Illinois community give us the ability to connect clients with other professionals, like doctors and physical therapists, (Note to Andrew: or any other medical provider you want to use instead. But surgeons and doctors are the same, so maybe use a different provider)who can help them through their injury recovery process.

Better Results
Our results speak for themselves, demonstrating our clients get what they deserve when it comes to financial outcomes. Our team of attorneys is well respected and our guidance is revered in the community.

Are you ready to buy local and choose to work with MacCloskey Kesler and Associates? Give us a call to set up your consultation today.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Injuries can happen to anyone, even those who are relatively careful and prepared. A slip, trip, or fall can have devastating consequences. One major injury that can happen in an accident, collision, or even while playing a sport, is a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. Traumatic Brain Injuries are more common than you may think, with the Centers for Disease Controlreporting nearly 2.8 million emergency room visits due to TBIs annually. Traumatic Brain Injuries can vary in severity, which can make some injuries more difficult to treat.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury is a term that describes an injury due to a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are more commonly known as concussions. Even though concussions can be mild, the injury should still be monitored and followed closely.

How Can You Get a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBIs can happen in a variety of ways. For example, getting hit with a baseball while fielding during a game could cause a TBI, as well as hitting the steering wheel with your head during a vehicle accident. Traumatic Brain Injuries can happen at work as well as at play, and can be deadly.

How Can I Stay Safe?
While some Traumatic Brain Injuries are completely accidental, you can take proactive steps to protect your head. For example, wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter. Wear all safety gear required for the task you are performing at work, and don’t skip safety steps.

What if I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you, or a loved one, have had a blow to the head, early treatment is key. While more serious injuries will certainly lead you to the emergency room right away, other more mild injuries can be more sneaky, creeping on slowly which can lead to delayed treatment. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially if the injured person seems confused, extra tired, or complains of changes to vision.

If you have been injured at work, follow your workplace’s policy for paperwork and follow up treatments. However, it is still wise to consult with an experienced attorney at MacCloskey Kesler and Associatesto assure you won’t have to worry about the ins and outs of insurance compensation while trying to actively recover from your trauma.

We are committed to working with anyone who has been injured, and forming a relationship with them while advocating for their best interests. Give us a call to get started today.

What to Pack in Your Car’s Winter Safety Kit

What to Pack in Your Car’s Winter Safety Kit

Like it or not, winter is here in northern Illinois. Winter means snow, and while it can be magical watching the snow fall while you’re cozy inside, it is quite another story when driving in the midst of a snow or sleet storm. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17% of all car accidents happen in the winter months, thanks to treacherous road conditions caused by snow and ice.

If you are in a car accident, or if your vehicle breaks down during the winter months, it can feel especially stressful. Empower yourself and keep yourself safe by keeping a winter emergency kit tucked in your trunk. Here’s what to include.

Emergency Blankets
If your car loses the ability to push out heat, you and your passengers will feel the chill quickly. Keep warm while waiting for help by pulling out emergency blankets from your car’s winter kit.

Cell Phone Charger
Your cell phone is your key to getting the help you need, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere. Keep a charger handy in your emergency kit to assure you will not run out of battery when you desperately need it.

Flashlight and Batteries
Daylight quickly fades in the winter months and trying to navigate your situation in the dark can be dangerous. Keep a flashlight and extra batteries in your emergency kit to combat the darkness.

Snacks
While bottles of water will likely freeze in your trunk during the winter months, you should toss a few snacks into your emergency kit. Protein bars can be a welcome relief while stranded alone or with passengers.

First Aid Kit
If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, a first aid kit can give you the tools you need to remedy minor problems while waiting for medical assistance.

Phone Numbers and Notebook
In case your cell phone is damaged or unusable, keep a list of emergency contacts in your kit. Include your physician and family members, as well as your personal injury lawyer. You can also use the notebook to record license plates, insurance information, or other accident details about the other parties involved. This information can be valuable as you seek to receive compensation for your ordeal.

Stay safe out there this season!

Handling Your First Holiday Without  WIthout a Loved One

Handling Your First Holiday Without WIthout a Loved One

Losing a loved one unexpectedly is devastating. The holidays can be especially tough, especially when celebrating the first holiday without your loved one. Grief can rise up at any time, even after someone has been gone for many years, but there is something especially tender about those first major celebrations without an important part of the family.

At MacCloskey Kesler and Associates, we have worked hand-in-handwith grieving families for decades. Our compassion for our clients, and our dedication to serving them well, has given us first-handexperience helping people who are going through their first winter holidays while actively grieving a loved one. While nothing will compare to having your loved one with you this season, there are a few ways you can cope and survive during this tough time.

Say No
Your holiday this year is going to look different, and that is okay. Take care of yourself, and those in your family, by knowing it is perfectly acceptable to say “no thank you” to invitations to celebrations, events, dinners, coffee, or other opportunities. Even better, you don’t need to offer a reason for declining; just say no. You also have the right to cancel if you just aren’t feeling up to it.

Surround Yourself With People You Love
Grief can feel isolating, but research has shown that support from others is crucial during the process. Resist the urge to keep your grief a solo sport, instead choosing to invite people you love and trust into it with you.

Honor Your Loved One
People grieving the loss of a loved one are often shocked and saddened when others are too nervous to mention the person who has passed away. This season, honor your loved one in a tangible way. Add a special ornament to your tree, light a candle for them all season long, share good stories about the person around the table during dinner.

Focus On Yourself and Your Health
Grief can make it extremely difficult to put yourself, and your needs, first. However, without a focus on proper sleep, nutrition, and activity, you can feel like you are drowning (and you will likely get sick). Do what you need to do to get the sleep you need, the food you need, and the activity you need to feel well and cope with stress. Ask for help from those around you, who will happily rally to support you.

We are thinking of you this holiday season, and hope you find moments of peace.

Winter Fire Safety

Winter Fire Safety

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, winter months are especially dangerous times for house fires. Before our northern Illinois winter weather fully sets in for the next four months, take time to assure that you, your family, and your home are safe from potential fire hazards.

Check Your Fire Alarms
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are a crucial component of your family’s fire safety plan. However, without working batteries, you are missing the chance to detect a fire in enough time to safely get out. Ideally, you should check your fire alarm at least twice per year. Most Americans choose to do the checks during each time change. It’s not too late to check your detectors – do a quick test and swap out the batteries to assure your detectors are ready to work, if they need to.

Beware of Open Flames
The winter holidays and chilly weather can leave many of us lighting candles to feel cozy and calm. However burning, too many candles at once can create a serious fire hazard. Be sure everyone in your family knows to blow out candles when leaving the house, even if it is just for a short amount of time. Further, keep your candle wicks trimmed and your candles far from curtains, fabrics, or other flammable materials.

Be Careful With Your Twinkle Lights
Christmas trees can catch fire frighteningly fast. Your strands of twinkle lights, whether on the tree or elsewhere, can be the culprit for igniting your tree and your home. When putting up your lights, assure that strands are not damaged and that wires are not exposed. Opt for LED lights when possible, as they do not get as hot as other options.

Ditch the Space Heater
Space heaters may help your home feel warmer, but these devices can quickly become deadly. If you must use a space heater, keep it shut off when unattended and keep all fabrics far away.

Finally, use the winter season as a reminder to talk with your famiy about safe fire evacuation plans. You can work together to designate a meeting spot outside of your home, and remind one another about how to safely evacuate the home in case of fire.

Accidental Shootings

Accidental Shootings

With all the recent attention to gun violence in our country, we thought it might be helpful to point out that many Homeowners’ Insurance Policies cover injuries caused by accidental shootings on your property. The shooting must be attributed to negligence of the home owner.
This negligence can take many forms, and really is only limited by the imagination of your attorney. Was the gun left loaded and where children could easily find it? Were there no trigger guards or were the guns not kept in a safe? Was a member of the family showing it to a friend when it discharged?
We prosecuted a case like that about 25 years ago, and the case went to trial. The defense wanted to hint to the jury that it was some kind of dope deal gone bad, resulting in the home owner’s son shooting my client. There was no evidence of drugs being present, and we were able to prove that it was just two teenagers playing with a loaded gun. The defendant home owner’s son was showing the gun to our client and didn’t know how to handle the gun and didn’t realize it was loaded until it went off. We were able to our client a very nice jury verdict based on that negligence.

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