Illinois Budget Crisis: What Will Happen to Government Services and Public Safety?


Illinois Budget Crisis: What Will Happen to Government Services and Public Safety?

Illinois is in big financial trouble according to the financial bigwigs over on Wall Street: Moody’s Investors Service reportedly ranks Illinois as having the lowest credit rating in the country (tied with California, which we all know isn’t good news) and Moody’s also predicts things are not getting better in the near future for the state.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Legislature is hitting the ground running as it makes critical budget decisions: there is a $13 billion dollar deficit – and millions in unpaid bills and missed pension fund payments. No one can avoid the reality that there will be severe cuts in public services, but who is going to be hit? 

How will your family be impacted by the Illinois Budget Crisis?

Maybe not at all if the Illinois Governor gets his way, and the state borrows $15 billion to cover the shortfall.  If not, then California is providing an example, although severe public service cuts are being made in a number of states across the country: thousands of kids lose child care; young adults see an increase in tuition; state workers are laid off; and health care costs are slashed. 

Which means the state safeguards in place to protect Illinois citizenry may be disappearing — and with them, an increase in the risk of individuals being harmed.  For many, the harms will simply have to be handled within the family. 

Injury Lawsuits and Justice When Budgets are Slashed

However, if there is a serious personal injury or wrongful death because of scenarios like:

  • a child is on the streets instead of day care; 
  • a lack of state inspection regarding compliance with boating regulations or hazardous road conditions, or 
  • a stressed-out unemployed worker fatally crashes his vehicle into an innocent family’s minivan

this budget crisis will not close the courthouse doors on justice.

Plaintiffs’ personal injury law firms have traditionally provided legal services on a contingent basis to their clientele.  This is not going to change with the current recessionary times. 

It’s sad to predict that the loss of government services may have as an unintended consequence the serious personal injury or wrongful death of someone in the future, but it is very likely to be the reality.  At least, in these instances of personal injury lawsuits, Illinois budget cuts cannot cut justice out of our future.

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