Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Construction workers face some of the most serious and deadly accidents in their line of work. Whether it’s dangerous machinery, faulty scaffolding, or exposure to chemicals, there are countless ways that a construction site can turn dangerous. Although many instances of construction workers becoming injured are handled in the Illinois workers’ compensation system, there are some instances where the conduct is so egregious that the injured worker may be able to file a claim in civil court. As seasoned Chicago construction accident lawyers representing Illinois victims, Therman Law Offices is prepared to assist you with evaluating your potential lawsuit.

A recent case discusses a situation where the worker was injured at a construction site. He was asked by his employer to apply sealant at the bottom of an effluent chamber settling tank. He was required to use two ladders that the team constructed to reach the bottom of the 29-foot tall tank. The ladder system required the worker to step from one ladder over to the other ladder to reach the bottom of the tank. The day before the accident happened, it rained and there was three feet of standing water at the bottom of the tank requiring the worker to wear rubber boots. When he pivoted from one ladder to the next ladder, he fell from the top of the tank 29-feet down to the bottom. He sustained severe traumatic brain injuries and broken bones.

The injured worker’s wife sued his employer on his behalf for negligence including willful and wanton misconduct, and loss of consortium. She pointed to a series of rules and regulations from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which governed the project, that dictated how worksites should be maintained and the safety provisions that should be followed. The complaint ultimately alleged that the configuration of ladders and the failure to maintain a safe, dry worksite violated the regulations and the governing documents for the project.

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Arbitration agreements often come in situations involving personal injury lawsuits. Many people do not take the time to read what they are signing and, in most situations, they do not have an option to negotiate the terms of the deal. One of the most common places that arbitration agreements arise involves rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes. If you or a loved one was injured in one of these facilities and you signed an arbitration agreement, it is critical that you speak with a diligent Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

A recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeal examined an arbitration agreement signed by a person who was admitted to a rehabilitation facility. The plaintiff alleged that he fell out of bed as a result of the negligence of the facility and that he suffered injuries as a result. In response to the lawsuit, the defendant facility filed a motion to dismiss and pointed to the arbitration agreement that the plaintiff signed. The agreement stated that the parties would arbitrate any claims of negligence arising from the plaintiff’s stay at the facility. The facility also filed a motion to compel arbitration. It also provided affidavits from two employees stating that the plaintiff signed the contract and that the plaintiff appeared to be of sound mind when discussing the agreement and signing them.

In response to the motion to compel arbitration, the plaintiff alleged that the agreement was unenforceable because there was no evidence showed that the facility was a party to the arbitration agreement. The facility had undergone administrative changes and a name change since the plaintiff signed the arbitration agreement. The plaintiff also argued that it was unenforceable on the basis that it was signed under duress and due to the unfair bargaining power between the parties.

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One of the most challenging aspects of any personal injury claim is preparing for trial. This involves gathering as much evidence as possible and gaining the best understanding of the arguments and evidence that the opposing party will present. There are a number of rules that are designed to make this process as fair as possible, but sometimes disputes arise regarding how the rules should be interpreted. As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have substantial experience in preparing for trial and will help you secure the outcome that you deserve.

The plaintiff in a recent case filed a complaint seeking compensation for injuries that she suffered while allegedly riding an elevator controlled and maintained by the defendants. The plaintiff had filed a motion attempting to bar the defendants from admitting testimony from the defendants’ examining physician on the grounds that neither the physician nor the defendants provided the plaintiff with a copy of the report that the examiner prepared after examining the plaintiff. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215(c) sets a specific time limit for when parties must exchange this report in anticipation of presenting the examining physician for testimony at trial.

The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and the plaintiff filed an interlocutory request to have a higher court determine whether the trial court has the discretion to allow a medical examiner under Rule 215 to testify when the opposing party was not provided with a copy of the report that the examiner prepared within the specified timeframe.

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Work-related injuries often raise complicated issues regarding liability especially when multiple insurance companies are involved. It can be incredibly difficult to know whether an insurance company has a duty to provide coverage in a lawsuit or whether you are being treated in a fair manner. The workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers at Therman Law Offices have helped many injured workers to receive the judgment or compensation that they deserve following a work injury and we are standing by to assist you.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case involving a worker who suffered injuries while working on an escalator. A construction company had hired an escalator company as a subcontractor on a project. The injured worker was an employee for the escalator company. According to the parties’ subcontract agreement, the escalator company named the general contractor and the owner of the property where the construction was taking place as additional insureds under its insurance policy.

When the man was injured, he sued the general contractor and the owner of the premises. The general contractor deferred the claim to the escalator company that employed the worker, but it denied coverage. The general contractor then filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the escalator company’s insurer had a duty to defend and indemnify the general contractor as an additional insured. It added the escalator company as an additional defendant and argued that it may have breached the subcontract agreement by failing to have adequate insurance.

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Elevator accidents are incredibly dangerous, but they can be avoided if the owner and operator of the elevator performs routine maintenance and upkeep to ensure that it is working safely. When the owner and operator fails to take precautions against elevator malfunctions and an accident results, the victim can seek compensation from the owner and operator in a personal injury lawsuit. At Therman Law Offices, we have proudly served numerous victims of Illinois elevator injuries and we are standing by to help you assert your right to compensation.

Recently, a woman filed a complaint against the owners and operators of an elevator seeking compensation for injuries that she suffered while riding the elevator. During the litigation, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking to exclude the testimony of the physician that the defendant’s retained to examine the plaintiff to determine the nature and scope of her injuries and whether the injuries were caused by the elevator. The plaintiff asserted that the defendants did not provide a copy of the doctor’s report to the plaintiff within the timeframe required under Illinois statutes.

The trial court denied the motion, but later granted the plaintiff’s motion to certify a question for a higher court to answer regarding whether the trial court has discretion to allow the doctor to testify when the opposing party did not receive a copy of the examination report within the statutory timeframe.

When you suffer serious and catastrophic injuries, it is important to ensure that you seek enough compensation to cover your future medical treatment needs. There are many ways to estimate these costs, including consultation with a life care planner or medical expert. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you ensure that your future expenses associated with the injuries that you sustained are properly accounted for in the lawsuit.

Recently, a man filed a personal injury action against a steel company seeking damages for injuries that he suffered when a crane struck a lift in which he was working at the defendant’s facility. The defendant accepted liability for the accident and the matter proceeded to trial for the sole purpose of determining the amount of damages that he was entitled to receive.

The jury awarded the plaintiff $9.9 million in damages and the defendant filed a motion seeking a new trial on the basis that the lower court erred by allowing one of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses to offer an opinion indicating that the plaintiff would require surgery in the future. The expert witness was asked whether, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the plaintiff would need hip surgery in the future. When asked what type of hip surgery the plaintiff would require, the doctor testified that he could not answer that question because he was a medical specialist and not a surgical specialist. He indicated that he would send the plaintiff to a hip surgical specialist if the plaintiff were his patient.

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In addition to substantive rules that determine when someone is entitled to compensation, there are countless evidentiary and procedural rules that apply to legal proceedings. If a party fails to abide by these evidentiary and procedural rules, it can serve as the basis for a new trial. If a jury is exposed to evidence that it was not supposed to hear, it can unfairly prejudice the jury and skew its ability to apply the law to the facts of the case. As dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have substantial knowledge regarding the evidentiary and procedural rules that apply during legal proceedings and we will ensure that they are applied fairly in your case.

A recent Illinois appellate opinion provides an example of how an evidentiary rule can impact the outcome of litigation. The decedent’s wife, who was designated the independent administrator of her husband’s estate, brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical persons who cared for her husband up until his death, which resulted from a pulmonary embolism. A jury trial was conducted and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff moved for a new trial, arguing that the defendant’s lawyer ignored a pretrial motion in limine order that barred any mention of her husband’s refusal to be transferred to another hospital on the day that he died. The court found that the comments made by defense counsel in closing violated the motion in limine and were sufficiently prejudicial to warrant a new trial.

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Some personal injury accidents can be incredibly complex, especially when they involve government entities or first responders. The seasoned team of Chicago personal injury lawyers at Therman Law Offices have handled a wide variety of cases involving many different categories of defendants. We have the experience and knowledge it takes to ensure that you receive the settlement or judgment that you deserve.

A recent opinion from the Illinois Supreme Court illustrates how complex cases can become when they involve first responders. In the action, a wrongful death and survival action was filed on behalf of a deceased woman against several first responders, including various fire protection districts, ambulance crew, a 911 operator, and emergency medical dispatchers. The complaint alleged that the defendants acted negligently in rendering care to the decedent and that as a result of their negligence she lost her life.

According to the record, the decedent called 911 because she was unable to breathe and she was connected to a 911 operator. She provided her address and the 911 operator transferred her to a dispatch line. An emergency medical dispatch received the transferred call. Written procedures required the 911 operator to communicate the nature of the emergency matter to the dispatcher, but the 911 operator hung up as soon as the call was transferred. The medical dispatcher asked the decedent some questions but she did not respond, so he hung up the phone and called the number twice receiving a busy signal each time. He placed the call in line for emergency medical dispatch and listed the cause as unknown.

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One of the most dangerous types of injuries that an individual can face is a toxic tort. These involve exposure to harmful chemicals or substances. Because of the complexity involved in these types of cases, it is critical to consult an attorney who has experience handling cases involving dangerous substances. Our seasoned Illinois personal injury lawyers have the experience and tenacity it takes to help you and your family cope after this traumatic injury.In a recent Illinois appellate opinion, the plaintiffs were children who were born with birth defects that they asserted were caused in utero as a result of their fathers’ exposure to dangerous substances while they worked for a major auto manufacturer.  The children filed complaints against the carmaker, alleging multiple causes of action, including negligence, breach of assumed duty, strict liability, willful and wanton conduct, and loss of consortium relating to their birth defects and the resulting impairment to the parent-child relationship. The defendant moved to dismiss the action on the basis that they failed to show that they would be entitled to relief on any set of facts, and the trial court granted the motion.

The plaintiffs appealed, alleging that the lower court made a number of reversible errors. First, they alleged that the lower court was wrong in finding that workers’ compensation was the exclusive remedy for their stated harms. They also alleged that the court was wrong in finding that the defendant did not owe a duty to a not-yet-conceived baby, and in finding that the plaintiffs could not establish proximate causation because the fathers did not suffer an injury.

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Personal injury actions can arise in many different scenarios. Regardless of the circumstances, it is essential to consult with a seasoned Illinois personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are asserting your rights to the fullest extent possible. In a recent appellate decision, the court considered whether surviving relatives could recover compensation from a public entity based on allegations that the public entity failed to dispatch a 911 call in a timely manner.

In the case, the decedent was working at a convenience store that he owned located in an apartment building in Chicago. A number of individuals wearing ski masks and brandishing weapons entered the store. A pedestrian outside the store called 911. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) received the first call at 7:12 p.m. and a second call from the same pedestrian at 7:17 p.m. At 7:20 p.m., OEMC dispatched a police unit and two minutes later, additional units were dispatched. Upon arrival, the police found the decedent tied to a chair with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death action that proceeded through discovery until the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the claim on the eve of trial. They refiled some years later alleging that the decedent was shot and killed two minutes before the officers arrived and that OEMC’s failure to dispatch police to an armed robbery in progress until eight minutes after receiving the first 911 call was willful and wonton and showed a reckless disregard for the decedent’s safety. The defendants moved for summary judgment on several grounds. Some of the public entity defendants claimed immunity under the Tort Immunity Act. One of the defendants argued that it did not owe the decedent a duty to protect him from a third party attack and that the decedent’s death was the proximate cause of a third party’s actions. It also argued that the earlier dispatch of a police unit would have prevented his death was entirely speculative. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment and the plaintiffs appealed.

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