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43 Million

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26 Million

Total Personal Injury Cases Won

17 Million

Total Work Injury Cases Won

gavel and papersThere are many things to consider when determining whether to bring a lawsuit to recover compensation after a serious accident. In addition to having a strong legal claim, ensuring that you follow all of the applicable procedural rules and deadlines is essential. Without complying with certain filing deadlines, appeal requirements, or procedural aspects, you may lose your right to compensation, regardless of how strong the legal basis for your claim may be. As seasoned Chicago premises liability lawyers, we are deeply familiar with these rules and ensure that our clients’ interests are protected at every juncture.

A recent appellate opinion highlights not only the seriousness of these rules but courts’ tendency to enforce them strictly as well. The facts of the case are as follows. Two minors were waiting outside a library for a ride home after the library closed. The minors were standing on top of ventilation shafts, using the warm air from the grates to warm their hands due to the cold winter weather. One of the grates gave way while the boys were standing on top of them, sending one of the boys plunging 20 feet down onto the concrete below. The boy suffered a fractured scapula, three fractured ribs, and lung punctures. He required two weeks of hospitalization and a series of rehabilitative treatments.

The injured boy’s parents sued the city and the library, seeking damages for the injuries that their son sustained. The defendants both filed motions for summary judgment, which the court granted. The plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration, stating that the court erred in granting the motions for summary judgment and requesting leave to file an amended complaint. The trial court denied both motions.

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potholes in roadOne of the most common types of injuries that Chicago residents experience are slip and fall accidents. As seasoned Illinois slip and fall lawyers, we have reviewed many cases involving these accidents and know exactly what it takes to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you are owed. One of the most difficult aspects of any trip and fall case is determining whether the defect that caused your injury was a defect that the defendant should have either addressed or warned against.

A recent lawsuit highlights the importance of this issue. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries after stepping into a pothole located in a parking lot, resulting in a fall. The plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the purported owners of the parking lot, an LLC and a Corporation. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to maintain the parking lot and failed to provide a warning against the pothole. Both defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court to conclude that there are no factual disputes and that the party bringing the motion is entitled to judgment in its favor.

In their motion, the defendants argued that the pothole was de minimis and that it did not rise to the level of a defect for the plaintiff’s claim. More specifically, the defendants stated that any defect that is under two inches tall cannot be considered an actionable defect in a premises liability case. The defendants offered testimony from the owner of both the LLC and the Corporation. In his testimony, he alleged that the pothole was roughly half an inch. The trial court took this statement of fact as uncontroverted.

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medical record pageEven if you can establish that the person who caused your injuries acted negligently, you still may not receive compensation. Personal injury lawsuits are complex and require plaintiffs to prove a variety of factors in order to recover compensation for their injuries and damages. For example, the plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the injuries that he or she sustained. As seasoned Illinois car accident lawyers, we have handled a variety of cases that involve complicated causation matters. As a recent appellate opinion shows, having an experienced attorney to guide you through the process can make all of the difference.

The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was driving in stop-and-go traffic when a vehicle traveling behind her struck the back of her vehicle. As a result of the impact, the plaintiff’s vehicle struck the rear of the vehicle that was traveling in front of her. The plaintiff also testified that she struck her knees and body on the dashboard of her vehicle at the time of the impact. The plaintiff was taken to an emergency room and advised to make an appointment with her family physician. Her doctor examined her and concluded that her injuries were a result of the accident. He advised her to undergo physical therapy, which she did. Some time thereafter, the plaintiff reported experiencing new pain and injuries, which the doctor also attributed to the accident. He then referred her to a surgical doctor, concluding that physical therapy was not improving her injuries.

The plaintiff underwent additional treatment, testing, and examinations. At each step, her doctors concluded that her pain and injuries were results of the accident. In total, the plaintiff’s bills amounted to a little under $30,000. During trial, the defendant offered evidence from an expert orthopedic surgeon, who testified that the plaintiff’s medical records included information suggesting that she had experienced back pain and injuries to her back before the accident occurred. The medical records included information about treatments that the plaintiff had undergone for various complaints, including numbness, tingling, chronic pain, and discomfort.

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car and moneyAs seasoned Chicago car accident lawyers, we often deal with insurance companies that provide insurance coverage to the parties involved in an accident. Although there are some instances in which an insurance company will comply with the terms of its policy, there are far too many other instances in which the company refuses to play fair, to the detriment of the victim. A recent lawsuit demonstrates the challenges that insurance companies can cause in a car accident lawsuit.

In 2008, the plaintiffs were involved in an accident with a rental car that had been stolen from a rental agency. At the time of the crash, the plaintiff’s vehicle was insured. The car rental company denied coverage on the basis that its vehicle had been stolen, so the plaintiff sought coverage through the uninsured motorist provision of her policy. The coverage contained an arbitration clause providing that any dispute regarding the amount of coverage provided must be handled in arbitration. After the accident, the plaintiff’s lawyer sent a letter to the insurance carrier, stating that she demanded compensation under the uninsured motorist provision. It specifically made a demand for an arbitration proceeding if the claim was not resolved within two years of the date of the accident. The policy also included a provision barring any arbitration or lawsuits against the company more than two years after the date of the collision. The attorney sent two additional letters, and eventually, the insurer rejected the plaintiff’s request for uninsured motorist coverage. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit, alleging breach of contract and bad faith.

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teenage unlicensed driverIt is not uncommon for car owners to loan their vehicles to other individuals. Whether it is a friend helping another friend get to work, or a parent asking a child to take someone to the airport, loaning your car to another driver carries significant liability and demands careful consideration in some situations. As a recent Illinois appellate case demonstrates, being involved in an accident with a driver who was loaned a vehicle by the car owner requires a special burden of proof and involves unique legal issues that often require the experience and knowledge of a Chicago car accident lawyer.

The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff alleged that he suffered injuries when he was involved in an accident with a 15-year-old driver who possessed a valid Illinois driver’s permit. On the morning of the accident, the driver’s father asked the minor driver to move the family’s vehicle to another parking space. The father also asked the son to perform this task so that he could observe the son’s parallel parking skills. Then, after the vehicle was parked, the father and son prepared to depart to take the son and his brother to school. As the son prepared to exit the parking space, he pushed the gas pedal instead of the brake by accident, causing the vehicle to hit the car in front of his vehicle. The plaintiff happened to be standing in front of the car that the son hit, which resulted in the plaintiff being pinned between that car and the car in front of it.

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shots of whiskeyEven if you are successful in proving that a defendant is liable for your injuries, there may be certain legal issues that arise regarding the amount of compensation that the jury awards in your case. As seasoned Chicago car accident lawyers, we have handled many trials involving disputed damages awards. As a recent appellate opinion demonstrates, settlement agreements can play a big role in determining the amount of compensation that you should receive following a successful verdict.

In the action, the plaintiff suffered injuries when she was involved in a car accident. The defendant’s vehicle crossed over the center lane and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle. Evidence indicated that the defendant had been consuming alcoholic beverages at a local liquor establishment. In her amended complaint, the plaintiff sought both compensatory and punitive damages and included a cause of action based on Illinois’ Dram Shop Act. This statute is designed to hold liquor establishments liable where they over-serve a patron and allow the patron to drive away from the establishment. Not all states have a Dram Shop Act, and each state has taken a slightly different approach to crafting the rules and requirements for satisfying a claim brought pursuant to the statute.

At some point in the litigation, the plaintiff settled her claim with the intoxicated driver and received a check in the amount of $50,000. The remaining defendant, an insurance company, filed an affirmative defense, claiming a setoff in the amount of $50,000 against any judgment entered against the defendant.

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As Illinois personal injury attorneys, we encounter a wide variety of injuries and traumas. Although some result in temporary pain and injuries that resolve over time, others are life-altering and create devastating consequences for the victim and his or her family. Although no amount of money can truly compensate you and your family for your pain and loss, it can help you cope with the stress, suffering, and financial impact.

In a recent Illinois appellate opinion, the plaintiff filed a negligent employment action against a church based in Chicago, alleging that one of its former priests engaged in sexual abuse and molestation of the plaintiff when he attended a school associated with the church. The plaintiff asserted a claim for punitive damages, which is a distinct category of damages designed to punish a defendant for particularly egregious, wanton, and reckless conduct. During the trial, the lower court certified a question for the higher court to answer regarding this claim for damages. Specifically, the court asked whether a punitive damages claim requires proof that the employer consciously disregarded the employee’s “particular unfitness” when the underlying cause of action is negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of the employee.

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant consciously disregarded known risks regarding the abuser and the risk that he posed to the church’s congregation and students. The plaintiff included a variety of evidence in support of this allegation. He alleged that the defendant knew that there was an ongoing and widespread scandal involving sexual misconduct at similar churches, that the defendant failed to keep adequate record-keeping policies regarding reports of abuse, and that the church had knowledge of prior misconduct involving the abuser while he was a student at a seminary school. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant did not take adequate steps to investigate reports that the abuser engaged in misconduct after he became ordained and failed to report incidents of suspicious conduct involving minors to the Department of Children and Family Services.

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Puddle on PavementSuffering an injury at work is one of the most stressful, inconvenient, and difficult experiences that you can face, even if the injury is relatively minor. One of the most vital aspects of ensuring that you receive the full amount of benefits that you deserve is to show that the injuries you suffered arose out of your job duties and were part of the course and scope of your employment. A seasoned Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you ensure that you put your best case forward. As a recent appellate opinion shows, failing to show that the injury arose from your job duties can create serious issues when it comes to recovering benefits.

The claimant initiated a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after she suffered an injury while working at a high school. In her claim, she alleged that she sustained injuries to her right hip, shoulder, and face after falling on wet pavement while walking to the parking lot during her lunch break. An arbitrator reviewed the claim, determined that the injuries occurred during the scope and course of her job duties, and awarded the claimant temporary total disability benefits.

The high school appealed the arbitrator’s ruling, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission overturned the grant of benefits, finding that the injuries were not results of a risk related to the claimant’s job duties. The Commission stated that the claimant had failed to prove that the injuries arose out of her employment. The claimant appealed the determination to a trial court, which affirmed the decision to deny benefits. The claimant appealed.

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stack of documentsAfter a plaintiff initiates a lawsuit, the matter typically proceeds to the discovery phase, during which the parties will request and produce information, evidence, and documents about the claim and the allegations. Although the process can be straightforward, there are often disputes and issues about whether a piece of evidence should be produced or not. As seasoned Chicago wrongful death lawyers, we have substantial experience navigating discovery issues. As a recent Illinois appellate opinion demonstrates, the resolution of discovery disputes can have serious consequences for a plaintiff’s claim.

In the case, the defendant claimed that certain documents that the plaintiff sought through discovery were confidential and should not be produced in discovery. According to the defendant, which was a hospital, the Illinois Medical Studies Act required the court to deny the plaintiff’s motion requesting that the court issue an order compelling production of the documents.

The plaintiff was admitted to the defendant’s hospital facility while she was 30 weeks pregnant. The baby was born on the same day but experienced a number of medical issues. She died shortly thereafter. The plaintiff initiated an inquiry into whether appropriate medical care was rendered, and an internal review process began. The review was coordinated by a designated liaison and involved commentary and analysis from other expert peer reviewers in the same specialty as the physician who treated the plaintiff and her baby.

back painWorkers’ compensation claims can be stressful and complicated, especially if you are attempting to navigate the process on your own. The following opinion demonstrates how an experienced and dedicated Illinois work injury lawyer can help you ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve from the beginning while avoiding unnecessary delays.

A claimant sought an adjustment of his claim pursuant to the Illinois workers’ compensation laws, asking for benefits for injuries that he suffered on June 2, 2008, and on March 23, 2009. The claims were consolidated and then decided during an arbitration. The arbitrator concluded that the claimant’s injuries occurred during the course and scope of his occupation on the two dates and awarded temporary total disability benefits to the claimant, as well as medical expenses. The arbitrator denied the claimant’s request for payment of his attorney’s fees and payment of penalties. Additionally, the arbitrator awarded the claimant wage differential benefits but rejected the claimant’s request regarding how the benefits should be calculated.

The claimant was working as a pastor at the time the injuries took place, and his employer was aware of this additional occupation. According to the claimant, the benefits should include his salary as a pastor for the purpose of calculating the amount of weekly benefits he was entitled to receive. The arbitrator rejected this reasoning, concluding that the claimant failed to prove that his employer knew he was being compensated for his work as a pastor at the time the injuries occurred.