With spring not far away, thousands of residents’ thoughts turn to moving to another apartment or home. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, in the late 19th century, as many as one third of all families in Chicago moved annually. If you are considering a move this year, here are a few things to think about. If you are moving to a new apartment there is a recent amendment to the Illinois Landlord and Tenant Act that requires most landlords to re-key or change the locks of apartments and properties when a new tenant moves in. It also makes the landlord responsible for damages if a theft occurs from the apartment as a result of a failure to change the lock. The law does not apply to common areas of the building, or to owner occupied buildings with four or less apartments. If you decide to hire a moving company, they must be licensed by the state of Illinois. Licensed movers must comply with the Illinois Commerce Commission’s standards for providing reasonable rates, reasonable time periods for moving your processions as well as insurance coverage. They should be able to provide you with a license number, references, and any complaint history as well as a free written estimate of the cost of your move. Basic moving rates do not cover for the full value of your possessions. You can purchase additional coverage through the moving company or through your own insurance agent. When the movers take possession of your property they should give you a copy of the contract, known as a bill of lading, to sign. It should include the services they will perform, the charges for the move and the carrier’s liability. Do not sign this until you have read it and agreed to the terms. When your property reaches its destination you will be asked to sign a delivery receipt. Check all boxes as well as furniture. If there is any damage or something appears to be lost, write this on the inventory or bill of lading. You have nine months from the delivery date to file a written claim describing the loss or damage. Include a copy of the inventory or bill of lading with your letter. The moving company must acknowledge receipt of your letter within 30 days and pay, settle or deny the claim within 120 days. While the process can seem time-consuming and[READ MORE…]
Nearly 30 states currently limit the amount of damages that can be received in a medical malpractice lawsuit, according to the American Medical Association.Â States with damage caps vary wildly in their limitations and the types of damages that are limited.Â For instance, California limits non-compensatory damages at $250,000, while Nebraska limits total damages at $1.75 million. In 2005, an Illinois law invoked limitations on non-economic damages at $500,000 in lawsuits alleging medical malpractice, including wrongful death, against a physician, and $1 million in lawsuits against a hospital.Â In 2010, however, the Illinois Supreme Court deemed the damage cap to be unconstitutional because it interfered with the authority of judges and juries to reduce verdicts. Similarly, a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Indiana as a result of a catastrophic stage collapse that killed seven people challenges the constitutionality of the Indiana damage cap.Â The plaintiffsâ€™ lawsuit argues that Indianaâ€™s damage cap of $5 million violates the Constitutionâ€™s due process and equal protection clauses, as well as the Indiana Constitution. Some state legislatures have recently proposed tort reform initiatives that would invoke damage caps.Â For instance, earlier this year, the Tennessee legislature approved comprehensive medical malpractice tort reform that limits non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, to $750,000 in most cases; caps punitive damages at two times compensatory damage or $500,000, whichever is greater; and prohibits punitive damages in most products liability lawsuits.Â Similarly, the North Carolina Senate approved a tort reform bill that would cap non-economic damages at $500,000. On the other hand, Virginia proposed legislation to raise the cap on damages in medical malpractice cases from $2 million to $3 million and would increase the amount by $50,000 every year until 2031, but the bill was ultimately vetoed by the governor on March 31, 2011.Â Â Given the overwhelming support for the Virginia bill, however, it remains uncertain whether the veto will stand or whether the bill will pass. Medical malpractice damage caps undoubtedly hurt patients and the general public by failing to hold doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals financially responsible for their injuries or deaths that they have caused.Â The Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are committed to protecting the rights of victims of medical malpractice and their families. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workersâ€™ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and[READ MORE…]
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