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43 Million

Total Cases Won

3,500 +

Trusted Clients

99%

Successful cases

26 Million

Total Personal Injury Cases Won

17 Million

Total Work Injury Cases Won

definition of insuranceUnderstanding the role that insurance policies may have in your claim can be critically important to ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Accidents can lead to considerable damages and expenses, especially when long-term injuries and permanent disabilities are involved. As Illinois personal injury lawyers, we have substantial experience dealing with insurance companies.

In a recent appellate decision, an employee filed a lawsuit against its former employer for injuries that the employee sustained as a result of long-term exposure to asbestos. The employee notified every insurance company that had sold policies to the employer during the relevant time period. One of the insurance companies contended that the policies it provided to the employer for the relevant time period should be viewed as excess insurance because the employer had agreed to a self-insured retention program as opposed to a deductible for that period of time. The employer asserted a counterclaim, seeking a judgment declaring that the insurer’s policies should be viewed as primary coverage for the relevant time period. The lower court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment on this issue.

The insurer appealed, arguing that any policy that refers to a self-insured retention must be viewed as an excess policy according to Illinois case precedent. The appellate court rejected this, finding that Illinois courts have detailed other characteristics that will help distinguish between primary and excess insurance policies. For example, courts have ruled that excess policies do not typically require immediate notice of an accident or event, as primary policies typically do. Insurers that provide excess insurance are not concerned with every accident that happens, but only those that are severe enough to warrant excess coverage. Also, excess coverage is contingent on the insured exhausting his or her primary coverage. As a result, excess coverage providers typically do not require notification until there is a reasonable likelihood that the excess insurance policy will be necessary. As a result, courts have concluded that excess insurance policies provide the insured with some amount of discretion.

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Picture of morgueWhen it comes to personal injury law, there are many different kinds of conduct and harm that render a victim eligible for compensation. As experienced and knowledgeable Illinois personal injury lawyers, we have handled a wide variety of cases including unique and complex types of injuries. In a recent case, the plaintiff gave birth to a daughter who was stillborn. The plaintiff signed a form provided by the hospital authorizing it to dispose of the daughter’s remains. The plaintiff alleged in her complaint that the defendant’s employees told her verbally that the daughter would be buried in a short period of time. Roughly one year later, the plaintiff learned that her daughter’s remains were still in a cooler at a morgue facility that the defendant operated. She also learned that the remains were in a container that contained many other fetal remains.

In her complaint, the plaintiff also contended that the defendant voluntarily undertook burial of the deceased baby and that this created a duty to provide the child with a timely burial as promised. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant breached this duty by failing to make arrangements for the burial, by placing the baby’s remains in a container with multiple other fetal remains, by failing to report the baby’s death to the local registrar, by using the wrong burial consent form, and by failing to maintain or to follow any appropriate burial protocols. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in supervising and monitoring its employees.

As for damages, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered severe emotional distress and depression as well as incurring burial and autopsy fees.

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eyes with tearsFew things are more devastating than suffering intentional abuse, especially at the hands of someone you trust. There are many claims involving adults sexually abusing minors. What many victims fail to realize is that in addition to facing criminal liability, the defendant also can face civil liability for the pain and suffering that he or she caused. Our seasoned team of Illinois personal injury lawyers has handled numerous cases involving sexual assault. As a result, we understand just how serious and sensitive this matter is for you and your family.

In a recent appellate opinion, the Illinois Court of Appeals was asked to consider whether a complaint alleging that a director of youth ministries sexually groomed and raped a minor was properly dismissed. In their complaint, the plaintiffs named several persons and entities as defendants, including the congregation that employed the director and the pastor involved. The trial court eventually dismissed the claims against the pastor and one of the congregations involved. The plaintiffs later amended their complaint, alleging negligent retention, negligent supervision, willful and wanton failure to protect, and willful and wanton failure to supervise against the various remaining defendants.

At its core, the complaint allegations referred to a two-year period of time in which the plaintiff was allegedly subjected to various types of abuse and sexual misconduct by the director. The complaint included allegations involving other minors who were allegedly victims of similar conduct. Ultimately, the director and other defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the lower court granted. After another series of motions, all claims against all defendants were dismissed. The plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider, but the lower court only granted it regarding the negligence claims against the pastor.

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baby in bathThere are few things more devastating in life than losing a child due to an unnecessary and avoidable incident. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned team of Illinois wrongful death lawyers has guided numerous families through the legal process. We know that no amount of money will ever truly compensate you for your loss, but it can help cope with the financial impact of the event.

In a recent appellate decision, an Illinois court considered whether a lower court appropriately allocated the proceeds of a wrongful death action between the parties to the case. The facts of the case are as follows. The parents of two daughters participated in the Intact Family Services program administered by the defendant. The parents had two daughters who were 10 months apart in age. In July 2010, the daughters were placed in a bath tote while unsupervised. The younger daughter, who was seven months old, drowned in the bath tote. The mother was participating in the program at the time the death occurred.

An independent administrator was named for the deceased infant’s estate, and he filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lower court approved a $750,000 settlement from the program and its employee to the estate, and it was also approved in probate court. Sometime thereafter, the father filed a petition seeking a determination of the relative dependencies of the decedent’s family members according to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. He sought a 90% allocation for himself, a 10% allocation for the surviving sibling, and a 0% allocation for the mother.

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fender bender accidentWhen it comes to a personal injury claim, many issues may arise regarding insurance coverage. Having a seasoned Illinois car accident lawyer on your side to help you navigate this process and to ensure that you are treated fairly can make all of the difference. A recent Illinois appellate court decision discussed whether an insurance company had a duty to indemnify its insured in a personal injury action.

The facts that gave rise to the dispute are as follows. A woman filed a lawsuit to recover damages from the driver of a vehicle that struck her vehicle. The woman alleged that the other driver acted negligently when he caused the vehicle he was driving to collide with her vehicle. The woman also alleged that the other driver was driving a vehicle negligently entrusted to him by the insured. More specifically, the woman alleged that the insured knew or should have known that the other driver was intoxicated.

The insured’s insurance company filed for a declaratory judgment, seeking a declaration describing whether it had a duty to defend the insured and the other driver in the lawsuit. Initially, the trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the insurance company. It concluded that the insurance company did not have a duty to defend the insured or the other driver. The woman appealed the trial court’s decision regarding this lack of a duty to defend either party.

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crowd at festivalThere are many different ways that you can wind up injured while visiting another person’s property.  As seasoned Chicago premises liability lawyers, we have guided numerous injured guests through the process of seeking compensation from a careless landowner. In a recent appellate decision, an Illinois court considered the liability of a music festival company to a guest who was injured while attending the festivities.

The plaintiff claimed that she suffered a slip and fall injury while attending the very popular Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago during 2011. The festival company had contracted with the city park district to lease space at Grant Park for the music festival. In the lease agreement, there were terms indicating that the music festival company was required to take all steps and actions necessary to ensure that individuals attending the festival remained safe. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that she was injured when she was attempting to exit the festival grounds and that she was injured as a result of the company’s failure to provide appropriate lighting, to manage the crowd, and to provide a safe flow of foot traffic from the festival grounds.

The music company moved for summary judgment, stating that it did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care because she slipped on mud. According to the festival company, mud did not present an unreasonable risk of harm, and there was no notice to the festival company that the mud existed. The festival company also stated that the mud was an open and obvious condition. In response, the plaintiff argued that the festival company created the unreasonable risk of harm by forcing guests to exit the festival grounds by traversing uphill through a poorly lit, tree-filled area. She also alleged that this further exacerbated the mud situation.

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empty hotel roomMost people know that when a sexual assault occurs, the victim can press charges in a criminal case. Fewer people know that the victim can also bring a civil claim seeking compensation for his or her emotional suffering and other damages. At Therman Law Offices, our Illinois injury lawyers can assist sexual assault victims with asserting their legal rights following this unspeakable and horrific crime.

In a recent appellate decision, the court considered the applicability of premises liability in a situation involving a sexual assault at a hotel. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she was a guest at a hotel in the Chicago area when she was drugged and subsequently raped in her room while unconscious. She reported having dinner in the hotel restaurant and ordering an alcoholic beverage. She alleged that the hotel security guard who also performed maintenance work was the one who drugged her drink and carried out the assault.

The victim and her husband filed the premises liability action against the hotel, the hotel’s Director of Operations, the franchisor for the hotel, the hotel group, and other defendants, including the alleged offender. The plaintiffs also asserted a cause of action based on negligent hiring and retention of the alleged offender, stating that they failed to discover that he had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. They also asserted a cause of action for negligent training and supervision.

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Stairs Into BasementIf you were injured at work, the chances are you filed a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefit payments to supplement your lost wages and to offset your medical expenses. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is complex, and it can be difficult to understand whether you are receiving the appropriate amount of compensation. As Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers, we have helped many injured workers navigate the claims process, especially when it comes to establishing that the injury was directly related to their employment duties.

In a recent appellate opinion, the plaintiff filed an application to adjust her claim according to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act. The woman was working at a medical facility at the time she reported suffering a right shoulder injury. She had been working for the same employer for 10 years as a part-time employee in the medical-surgical unit. According to her testimony, she was walking down a set of stairs in the basement when she missed a step and landed on her rear. She stated that she bumped her right shoulder at the time she fell and that she experienced “a little twinge” in her arm, as well as generalized aching in the shoulder area. She attempted to continue working, but after moving an obese patient, she said she suffered a serious bout of pain that rendered her unable to continue performing her work duties.

She was initially awarded benefits and medical expenses compensation, but the Workers’ Compensation Commission later reversed this award of benefits, finding that the woman failed to show that the injury was a direct result of her employment duties or that her injury occurred during the course and scope of employment. More specifically, it concluded that the woman was not a credible witness when it came to testifying about the origin, nature, and extent of her injury, particularly in light of testimony indicating that she had suffered an injury off-duty at home prior to the claimed work injury. It also found that two doctors’ opinions regarding the injury concluded that the way that the injury happened made it unlikely that the fall in the basement was the direct cause of her injury.

Motorcycle on RoadWhen you are injured in a serious accident, there are certain things that you must consider, including getting prompt medical attention and dealing with the inconvenience and stress that the accident causes in your life. Having a seasoned Chicago motorcycle accident attorney on your side can help you understand your legal rights and navigate the legal system efficiently and correctly. As a recent appellate opinion illustrates, failing to abide by certain rules can have devastating consequences for your right to recovery.

The plaintiff filed a complaint against the County of Winnebago, stating that he was injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of a defective roadway. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court entered a judgment in favor of the defendant based on this motion. The plaintiff decided to file a motion to reconsider, which would have been due on January 3, 2017, pursuant to court rules and the order entering judgment in the defendant’s favor.

The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider that had a date stamp of January 4, 2017. The next day, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking for leave to file his motion to reconsider nunc pro tunc, which means in an effort to correct a prior action and to have the newly filed motion deemed timely. In support of this request, the plaintiff alleged that he suffered from an illness and that because of deadlines in other cases that his attorney was handling, he was unable to file by the deadline. He also cited technical difficulties with the website used to file documents. The plaintiff cited a provision in the Illinois Supreme Court Rules regarding system and user errors and attached an affidavit from the attorney’s paralegal describing her attempt to file the document two minutes before midnight on the date it was due.

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Pothole in PavementTrip and fall accidents can have serious and painful consequences for the victim. Although this type of accident may seem minor, the injuries that result can leave you with a lifetime of pain and disabilities. At Therman Law Office, our seasoned team of Chicago premises liability lawyers has confidently assisted numerous victims with asserting their rights following a trip and fall injury.

As a recent appellate opinion demonstrates, many of these accidents take place on a city-owned property. The plaintiff in the action brought a negligence claim against the City of Aurora, alleging that she was injured when she tripped in a depression located in a section of asphalt in a parking lot at a train station. The jury initially returned a verdict in her favor, but the court intervened due to one of the responses that the jury provided on its special verdict form. The question asked whether the depression in the asphalt had a vertical difference of 1.5 inches or less, and the jury responded yes to this question. The court concluded that as a result of this response, the dangerous condition was de minimis and entered a judgment in favor of the defendant.

The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider its decision, but the court denied the motion, restating that the defendant had no duty to guard against de minimis hazards. The plaintiff appealed, alleging that the lower court erred in providing the special interrogatory to the jury and that the question the court used to enter a verdict in favor of the defendants was not dispositive of the ultimate fact of whether the depression was a dangerous condition on the property. The plaintiff also argued that there were aggravating factors at play that rendered the depression a dangerous condition, even if it was 1.5 inches or less in height difference from the surrounding asphalt. More specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the aggravating factors consisted of a high-volume pedestrian area at the train station that made it more difficult to notice the depression.

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