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Horseback RiderThere are many different ways that you can be injured in an accident, including incidents caused by large animals. As dedicated Chicago personal injury attorneys, the lawyers at Therman Law Offices have handled a wide variety of accident cases, including dog bites and other injuries caused by animals. In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that she was injured when she was kicked by a horse owned by another individual. In the complaint, she alleged that the owner violated the Illinois Animal Control Act and acted in a negligent manner at the time of the injury.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the parties were riding horses next to each other on a public trail when the defendant’s horse kicked the plaintiff. She alleged that her injuries resulted in permanent disabilities and disfigurement. The allegations further stated that the plaintiff did not provoke the defendant’s horse and that she was conducting herself in a peaceful manner at a place where she had a right to be located. Regarding the negligence claim, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to warn the plaintiff about the violent nature of the horse and its tendency to kick people, failed to train the horse properly, and was negligent in riding too close to the plaintiff when she knew that the horse had a violent nature. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was riding the horse in a manner that went against industry norms and customs.

The defendant responded to the complaint by alleging that the injury actually occurred in Missouri and that Missouri law should govern the matter. As a result, the defendant argued that the claim based on the Illinois statute must be dismissed. Next, the defendant argued that the plaintiff had executed a Release of Liability before engaging in the horseback riding endeavor and that according to Missouri law, this absolved the defendant of liability. Based on these arguments, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the action.

staircase and stoopSlip and fall accidents can cause serious and permanent injuries for a victim. This type of accident can occur on virtually any type of premises, including your apartment building if it is not maintained in appropriate condition. As seasoned Chicago slip and fall lawyers, the attorneys at Therman Law Offices are ready to guide you through the legal process and to help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on a staircase and stoop area outside his apartment complex, resulting in a serious injury to his left leg. The injury required multiple surgeries to address. In his complaint seeking compensation for the injuries, the plaintiff alleged that the apartment complex was owned and operated by an association of condominium owners. He also alleged that these owners had a duty to maintain the staircase and stoop area in a safe manner according to Illinois’ Condominium Property Act. The plaintiff also pointed to the bylaws and declaration of the owner group, which provided for the maintenance and repair of the so-called “Common Elements” at the premises.

The plaintiff’s allegations also stated that the owner group and the entities that it had hired to construct and maintain the location of the accident did not respond to numerous complaints regarding the slippery nature of the staircase and stoop prior to when the injury occurred.

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red semi truckTruck accidents are dangerous and lead to some of the most serious accidents. At Therman Law Offices, we have guided numerous truck accident victims through the legal process, including families mourning the loss of a loved one in a fatal collision. There is no amount of compensation that can truly restore your family member to you, but it does help offset the financial burden associated with a sudden and unexpected loss.

In a recent opinion, an Illinois court discussed a situation in which a truck driver caused a multi-car accident. The owner of the semi-tractor was driving down Interstate 55 with a load of produce. She suddenly noticed that the vehicles ahead of her were not moving, and she was unable to stop the truck in time. As a result, the truck ran over multiple vehicles. Two individuals died in the accident, while a third sustained serious injuries.

All three injured parties sued the many defendants involved. First, they sued a logistics company that agreed to let the driver deliver the produce as well as a federally licensed motor carrier that had authorized the driver to book and deliver loads on her own, using its carrier authority. The driver admitted that she operated the truck negligently, and so did the motor carrier. The logistics company denied liability and sought contribution from the other two defendants in the event a judgment was entered against it. At trial, the issues primarily focused on whether there was enough evidence to show that the driver was acting as an agent of the logistics company at the time of the Illinois truck accident. Under Illinois law, the doctrine of vicarious liability allows an accident victim to hold an employer liable for the tortious acts that its employees commit in the course and scope of employment.

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Clock on GrassThere is nothing more devastating than losing a loved one in a fatal auto accident. As compassionate and experienced Chicago car accident lawyers, we have seen numerous wrongful death actions arising from another individual’s carelessness. One of the most common ways that these accidents take place is motor vehicle collisions. A recent Illinois appellate opinion discusses liability in a fatal car crash, along with the importance of filing the action within the statute of limitations.

The plaintiff’s brother was killed while walking in a crosswalk when he was struck by a tow truck. The decedent’s brother contacted an attorney to bring a civil claim against the defendant. The attorney filed this lawsuit exactly two years and a day after the date of the accident. The case went through a number of other procedural issues, including a dismissal for lack of prosecution. The new attorney filed a petition for relief from the judgment based on a variety of grounds, including evidence that the prior attorney suffered a stroke while representing the plaintiff and was unable to practice law. The parties disputed whether the plaintiff actively prosecuted the claim, and the defendant argued that the claim was filed after the statute of limitations, rendering it time-barred.

The plaintiff countered the statute of limitations argument by saying that the plaintiff died the day after the accident as a result of his injuries and that the plaintiff was legally disabled from the moment of the accident until the moment he died, effectively tolling the statute of limitations. The plaintiff also wanted to add a claim for wrongful death, which had not been pled in the original complaint.

empty signature lineWhen you suffer injuries due to another person’s negligence, you may have the option of asserting several different causes of action to recover compensation. Knowing which causes of action to assert and whether you need to follow certain procedural requirements with each cause of action is a critical step in your lawsuit. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have substantial experience with numerous causes of action and can ensure that your rights are protected. A recent Illinois appellate case demonstrates the importance of asserting the appropriate cause of action and complying with any procedural requirements.

In 2014, the plaintiff underwent a number of plastic surgery procedures performed by the same plastic surgeon. After these procedures, the plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that the doctor owed her damages for breach of contract, medical battery, and consumer fraud. In her complaint, the plaintiff stated that she had a consultation with the doctor to learn about the procedures she wanted to have, including the removal of a breast implant. She further alleged that she and the doctor agreed that new implants would be placed below the pectoral muscle and agreed upon a price for the procedure. A formal written proposal was created in writing with an itemization of the procedures. The proposal did not discuss the placement of the new implants, but the plaintiff alleged that the parties had reached a verbal agreement. During the procedure, the doctor placed the implants above the pectoral muscle.

In response to the complaint, the defendants submitted a motion to dismiss, arguing that the complaint was one for medical negligence and that as a result, the plaintiff was required to comply with certain statutory requirements for medical malpractice in Illinois, including the submission of an affidavit from a licensed medical professional substantiating the plaintiff’s claims of medical negligence. The plaintiff rejected this characterization of her complaint as one involving medical negligence. Instead, she alleged that her consumer fraud claim did not involve medical negligence but instead deceptive business practices because he agreed to perform the surgery one way and then did it another way. It was not the standard of care used during the procedure that the plaintiff challenged, but instead the businesses practices that the defendant used before the procedure.

doctors in surgeryIn any personal injury lawsuit, understanding which evidence you and the other party can submit is a critical aspect of protecting your right to recovery. Some cases are complex and involve challenging evidentiary issues that could make or break your ability to recover damages. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we are well versed in the rules of evidence and can use our knowledge to help you ensure that you are treated fairly. A recent appellate case demonstrates how difficult these evidentiary issues can become.

In 2012, the defendant doctor performed a procedure on the plaintiff consisting of a celiac plexus block. Following surgery, the plaintiff reported numbness in her legs. She was taken to the hospital, where it was concluded that she suffered a vasospasm and related paraplegia. The plaintiff and her husband filed a lawsuit against the doctor, asserting claims for medical negligence and loss of consortium. A few years after the claim was filed, the plaintiff died as a result of a stroke. The surviving husband amended the complaint to include a claim for the wrongful death of his wife, based on the alleged negligence of the defendant doctor. The plaintiff included many different counts of negligence regarding the celiac plexus procedure, including a failure to treat his wife’s condition with less aggressive and intensive methods. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant lacked privileges to perform the procedure at the hospital.

Before trial, the parties filed a number of motions in limine. These are motions that seek to resolve certain evidentiary issues before trial, such as which type of evidence can be admitted or whether there are any issues that the parties wish to exclude from the trial before the proceedings. One of the motions in limine that the defendant filed sought to exclude evidence regarding the issue of whether the defendant had privileges to perform the procedure at the hospital. The plaintiff also filed a motion in limine wanting to bar any evidence regarding the decedent’s history as a smoker. The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion barring evidence about the decedent’s smoking history while reserving a ruling on the defendant’s motion regarding the defendant’s privileges at the hospital.

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Hand with phoneOne of the biggest headaches that people face after a motor vehicle collision is negotiating with insurance companies and navigating their insurance policies. Not all policies are the same, and insurance companies often bury key language in legalese or at the end of the document. Knowing when you need to submit certain pieces of information or identifying key deadlines is critical. At Therman Law Offices, our team of Chicago car accident lawyers is standing by to help you make sense of your insurance policy and to ensure that you are treated fairly.

A recent appellate decision highlights the complications that can arise with insurance claims after a car accident. The plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle crash in 2007 with an uninsured driver. The plaintiff promptly notified her insurance company of the accident. She kept in contact with her assigned insurance representative and updated the representative about her medical treatment and missed work.

In 2009, the plaintiff demanded arbitration with her insurer but did not include the name of the arbitrator whom she intended to use. The insurer denied the request and filed a declaratory judgment action against the plaintiff, asking for a declaration that her demand for arbitration was untimely because it was not submitted within the two-year time period required in the policy. The plaintiff filed a counterclaim, seeking a declaratory judgment and requesting arbitration. This time, the plaintiff included the name of an arbitrator.

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people roller skatingOne of the biggest issues in any trial is the instructions that the court provides to the jury during the trial and before the jury deliberates. Although the trial court judge determines which instructions it will provide to the jury, the parties can offer suggested instructions or ask the court to include or restrict certain information with regard to the instructions. This is why it is critical to have a seasoned Illinois personal injury lawyer assisting you in your lawsuit.

An Illinois appellate court recently issued an opinion involving a dispute about jury instructions. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff sued a roller rink after falling and suffering a broken wrist. At the time of the fall, the plaintiff was reportedly skating backward. After the close of evidence at trial, the plaintiff asked the court to instruct the jury regarding Illinois Civil Jury Pattern Instruction (IPI) 60.01. The plaintiff suggested adding three provisions to the instructions that were taken from the Roller Skating Rink Safety Act, which multiple witnesses had discussed in their testimony. The additions included a provision about how the operator was required to comply with common safety standards for roller rinks, to have at least one supervisor present on the floor for every 200 users, and to maintain the skating rink surface in a reasonably safe manner.

The roller rink offered its own suggested version of the instruction, which included a statute covering the responsibilities of skaters when they are using a roller rink, as well as their assumption of the risk of potential injuries. The trial court judge ultimately instructed the jury regarding the entire statute and also provided an instruction regarding comparative negligence. This is a doctrine that allows the jury to consider whether the plaintiff’s own conduct contributed to his or her injuries. After deliberations, the jury returned a verdict for the roller rink, and the plaintiff filed a motion seeking a new trial, based on her assertion that the judge provided confusing instructions. The judge initially denied the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial.

people in crosswalkCar accidents and truck accidents are always devastating for the victims, even when the injuries and property damage are minor. When a driver’s negligence results in a fatality, however, the outcome is a nightmare. At Therman Law Offices, our team of Chicago fatal truck accident lawyers has handled numerous claims on behalf of grieving survivors. We know exactly what you are going through during this time and will fight to ensure that you bring a careless driver to justice. Recently, an Illinois trial court considered a lawsuit involving a fatal truck accident.

The victim, age 15, was walking home from school with his older brother prior to the accident. As he and his brother entered a crosswalk, a truck driver initiated a right-hand turn into the intersection. The truck struck the victim, and its rear wheels ran over the victim, causing her to die at the scene.

The victim’s surviving family members filed a lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company that employed the driver, alleging that the driver was negligent in failing to yield the right of way to the victim and her sibling as they crossed the street. The plaintiffs’ complaint stated that the crosswalk signal was green for the pedestrians and that the victim and her sibling had proceeded well into the crosswalk at the time the truck struck the victim. The parties agreed that the driver was acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash. A surveillance video from one of the corners where the accident took place was offered into evidence. Although the video had poor quality, the plaintiffs alleged that it showed that the victim and her sibling had been walking across the crosswalk for at least 30 seconds before the truck arrived at the intersection.

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empty city crosswalkMost people are aware that they may face criminal charges for assault and battery incidents. What fewer people understand is that if you are a victim of an assault and battery, you can bring a negligence claim against the person who harmed you to seek compensation for your injuries. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, the dedicated attorneys at Therman Law Offices have assisted victims in asserting their right to compensation after an unjustified attack. One of the biggest issues that this type of case presents is whether evidence from the criminal action can be used in the civil action.

In a recent appellate opinion, an Illinois court discussed this issue. The defendant was found guilty in a criminal trial for aggravated battery for beating the victim with a briefcase on the side of the highway. Evidence at trial showed that the victim was driving his taxicab in downtown Chicago when he stopped in the middle of a crosswalk. The defendant then approached the taxicab and smashed the front windshield with his briefcase. The victim confronted the defendant, at which point the defendant struck the plaintiff with the briefcase. The victim required hospitalization and stitches.

The victim also filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant. After a civil jury trial, the defendant was found liable for acting negligently and willfully when he beat the plaintiff with his briefcase.  The trial judge entered an order stating that as a result of the defendant’s criminal conviction, there was no issue regarding whether the defendant was liable or whether his conduct was wanton and willful. The court also rejected the defendant’s request to offer evidence regarding his affirmative defenses. As a result, the jury was only asked to determine whether the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries and the value of the plaintiff’s damages. The jury concluded that the defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s medical bills, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. The jury did not hear any evidence regarding the defendant’s criminal conviction.