Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Although many personal injury accidents involve two private citizens, some claims involve a municipality. Whether it involves the unsafe design of a roadway or the failure to provide warnings about dangerous conditions on property under government control, claims against municipalities are common. There are different rules that apply when someone is suing a city or other local agency alleging that it engaged in negligent conduct and that he or she suffered harm as a result. There are some situations in which a municipality will be granted immunity from suit and it is critical to understand how these laws may apply to your claim. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago personal injury lawyers are standing by and prepared to help you determine whether you have a valid claim against a local agency for your injuries.

A recent appellate opinion explores government immunity in negligence lawsuits. The plaintiff filed a claim alleging that he was injured when the front tire of his bike went into a hole created by a broken grating bar on a bridge in Chicago. The cyclist was traveling on the paved roadway of a designated bicycling route during morning traffic when the accident occurred. The complaint that he filed against the city alleged that it was negligent in failing to repair the hole and by making the bridge a part of the designated bicycle route even though the bridge was unreasonably dangerous. In general, the Illinois Court of Claims Act and the Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act apply to negligence claims brought against the government and its employees. In general, a claim against a local government must be based on willful and wanton conduct and cannot simply be based on carelessness or simple negligence.

In response to the complaint, the city alleged that the bridge was reasonably safe, that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent, and that the city was protected from lawsuits regarding its design of bicycle routes through the government tort immunity laws in Illinois. After hearing evidence from witnesses and experts, the jury concluded that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent, that the city was entitled to immunity, and that the city was not negligent in its design of the bike path, including the bridge. The plaintiff appealed the lower court’s denial of a motion for a new trial among other allegations of error.

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When you suffer an injury as the result of the negligence or recklessness of a government actor, there are different rules that apply to how you must proceed with your potential personal injury claim. Illinois law recognizes government immunity from certain tort claims through the Local Governmental Tort Immunity Act. If you or a loved one was injured as the result of a government actor, it can be incredibly difficult to understand how this statute may impact your right to recovery. The seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers at Therman Law Offices are prepared to assist you with understanding your potential rights.

Recently, The Illinois Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case against a local government entity alleging that it was responsible for the death of multiple parties in a collision that happened at a railroad crossing. The facts of the dispute are as follows. A woman was driving four of her children to a local Halloween parade. She was approaching a railroad crossing on Sixth Street following a line of traffic approaching the parade grounds. As she was crossing the tracks, traffic stopped suddenly and the railroad crossing initiated. The gates closed and the woman was unaware of an approaching train. She attempted to drive forward away from the tracks when the car was struck by an eastbound freight train traveling 46 miles per hour. Only one occupant of the vehicle survived the collision.

The administrator of the decedents’ estate brought a negligence action against multiple parties including the local city. The city filed a motion to dismiss itself from the lawsuit on the grounds that it was immune from tort liability under the statute. The lower court certified the issue of whether the city was immune, which means it asked the appellate court to issue an opinion providing guidance on the issue. The lower court also certified a question asking whether the city owed the woman driving the vehicle and the occupants of her car a duty to keep them safe from hazards associated with the railroad crossing.

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When you file a personal injury action or any type of legal claim, it is critical to take the process seriously and to abide by the many procedural and substantive rules that Illinois law requires. Navigating the legal system after suffering a painful injury can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful for an injury victim. The seasoned Chicago personal injury attorneys at Therman Law Offices are available to assist you with exploring your legal rights and securing the compensation that you deserve.

A recent opinion from an Illinois Court of Appeal highlights the importance of following the rules in litigation. In the underlying case, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against a company alleging that he slipped and fell on polystyrene debris that it negligently left on the floor of its warehouse. The plaintiff worked for another company that contracted with the first company to remove and bail the polystyrene. The complaint was filed on December 31, 2015.

Roughly two years later, the plaintiff filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona. In his paperwork, he did not disclose the pending personal injury lawsuit. A bankruptcy petition is made under oath and subject to perjury laws. These are laws that punish individuals for falsifying information under oath. A few months later, the plaintiff sent the defendant a written offer to settle the personal injury lawsuit in the amount of $1.2 million. Throughout this period, the plaintiff made a number of amendments to his bankruptcy schedules identifying his assets.

In September 2017, the bankruptcy court confirmed a repayment plan for the plaintiff. In December, the defendant in the civil lawsuit filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue the claim and that he was judicially estopped from seeking legal action when he failed to disclose it in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The plaintiff eventually amended his bankruptcy schedule to include the personal injury action.

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One of the most important considerations in a personal injury case is ensuring that you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is a law that provides a specific timeframe within which a claim must be filed. Illinois law provides different time frames for different types of injuries and follows the discovery rule, which states that the statute of limitations may be tolled until the time when the victim could have reasonably first discovered that he or she suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence. As dedicated Chicago personal injury attorneys, Therman Law Offices is standing by and ready to assist you with ensuring that you file your claim in compliance with the statute of limitations.

A recently issued appellate opinion in a case involving a football player who suffered a series of traumatic brain injuries highlights how the statute of limitations can be a critical issue in pursuing compensation. The football player filed a disability insurance claim in 2013 after suffering a concussion that ended his career. He also filed a civil claim against helmet manufacturers for the medical conditions that he suffered.

The defendant responded to the claim by saying that it was barred due to the two-year statute of limitations that applies to personal injury actions in Illinois. According to the defendant, the plaintiff was first aware of his injury in 2013 when he filed the disability insurance claim but did not file his personal injury claim until 2017. The lower court agreed with the defendant’s application of the statute of limitations and dismissed the plaintiff’s case. The plaintiff filed an appeal.

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In some personal injury accidents, it can be difficult to determine who is at fault and whether multiple parties bear responsibility for the devastating outcome. Life is complicated and many accidents often reflect this in the number of parties that are involved in the incident and who may bear liability. Just because a party was involved in an accident at some point does not mean he or she can be held responsible for the outcome. As seasoned Chicago wrongful death lawyers, we are prepared to help you ensure that you hold each potential responsible party accountable for the losses that you’ve sustained.

Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a claim in which liability was disputed for the death of an individual due to a traumatic brain injury. the decedent was consuming alcoholic beverages at an event sponsored by his employer. The employer provided free alcoholic beverages and the decedent consumed several until he became intoxicated. In the early morning hours, the employer stopped serving the defendant. He later left the premises and fell suffering a traumatic brain injury that ultimately caused his death.

His father, acting as the independent administrator of his son’s estate and as an individual, brought a claim against the employer alleging that it was responsible for his son’s death. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss and the trial court granted it. The father refiled the complaint and alleged negligence under a voluntary undertaking negligence theory. The complaint alleged that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent because it voluntarily undertook that duty when it ejected the intoxicated decedent from the bar.

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When a devastating accident takes place, one of the most frustrating aspects of trying to secure the compensation that you deserve is determining which defendants are liable. There are countless different procedural rules that apply to personal injury cases and certain steps that must be taken to ensure that the right parties are in the lawsuit. Some potential defendants will try to make things as difficult as possible to avoid being named in a lawsuit or to be dismissed from the lawsuit once they are named. The dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyers of Therman Law Offices are prepared to help you assert your rights and obtain the fair treatment that you deserve.

The Illinois Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in a case involving a plane crash that resulted in the deaths of seven men during April 2015. The estates of the decedents each filed a claim for negligence in Illinois against the maker of component parts for the aircraft and other related defendants. The manufacturer filed a motion seeking dismissal from the lawsuit claiming that the court did not have jurisdiction over the company.

The director of operations for the manufacturer described the company as a Texas limited liability partnership that engages in overhauling engines and selling aircraft parts. It advertises its services and products in several aviation magazines and is registered to do business in Texas. It performed most of its work in Texas and Illinois customers accounted for roughly 1% of its total revenues. The director admitted that the company sold component parts to an aviation company in Illinois and that between 2012 and 2016 it sold component parts to several other companies in Illinois.

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Truck accidents can happen on the road, causing serious personal injuries and other damages. But they can also cause injuries when the operator or other professional attempts to use the truck. The vehicle does not always have to be in motion for there to be a risk of injury or some negligent conduct. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago truck accident lawyers are ready to help you seek the compensation that you deserve after an unnecessary and painful truck accident.

A recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeal discusses a situation involving a dump truck. The victim worked for a trucking company as a driver. While he was working on a dump truck leased from another company that was loaded with mulch for a delivery. He climbed on top of the vehicle and lowered himself into the trailer so that he could rake the mulch and level it inside the trailer. At the time he climbed down, he noticed that surfaces of the trailer were wet. When he finished raking and leveling, he attempted to exit the trailer by using the ladder on the side of the trailer when he fell. He landed on his feet and experienced a sharp pain in his back. He informed his employer, completed the delivery, returned to the truck yard, and prepared the next day’s delivery. He used the stairs one more time without incident.

The worker and his wife filed a lawsuit against multiple parties including the trucking company and seller of the truck alleging that the defendants were strictly liable for his injuries and negligent in failing to provide safe access to and from the trailer. They also alleged that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings and safety measures and failed to perform sufficient product testing to ensure the trailer’s safety.

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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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