Justia Lawyer Rating for David M. Barish

In a workplace injury circumstance, as with any kind of personal injury situation, cases can vary widely. Sometimes, all of the causes and relevant facts surrounding a workplace accident may be completely apparent or, at least, readily obtainable. Other times, though, there may be very important questions whose answers are difficult, or even impossible, to discover. When that happens, one thing you definitely should not do is simply give up on the possibility of obtaining compensation for the harm you suffered. One thing you definitely should do is arm yourself with complete information by consulting with a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney. Even with some missing details, your experienced workplace injury attorney may very possibly be able to stitch together a sufficient narrative of the case that meets all of the law’s requirements for potentially obtaining an award of damages, thereby allowing you to pursue compensation either via settlement or judgment.

For one central Illinois man, the circumstances of his workplace injury were tragic. As reported by The Pantagraph, J.H. was a maintenance mechanic for a county government. J.H.’s duties included working at the county’s Law and Justice Center. One day in May 2015, co-workers found the mechanic at the bottom of an elevator shaft in the Law and Justice Center. He was dead, having perished from blunt force trauma and compressional asphyxia, which essential means being crushed to death. Investigators later discovered that the mechanic had entered the shaft in order to obtain an item that a visitor to the center had lost down the shaft, the report indicated.

Workplace accidents involving elevators, like J.H.’s fatal incident, may allow the deceased worker’s family to sue and to recover against multiple parties. In Illinois, the owner of the property where the elevator accident occurred is one person or entity that may owe compensation to the injured worker. They are required to engage in the highest degree of care to make certain that the elevators within their properties are sufficiently inspected and maintained to ensure safety.

Brain injuries can present a variety of symptoms and can impair victims in a number of ways. Obviously, there are people who suffer catastrophic brain injuries, which may cause the sufferer to experience massive cognitive impairments and delays. Many may never be able to work or care for themselves again. In addition to those injured people, however, there are those with less severe injuries, but those injuries can still have a major impact on the victim’s life. Because the brain is responsible for so many functions, even a mild or moderate injury can cause the sufferer to experience problems that get in the way of, or prevent, working or basic daily living. If you or a loved one has experienced such an injury, be sure you have a skilled Chicago injury attorney on your side to handle your case and ensure that you get every opportunity to obtain the compensation you deserve.

In a case recently reported upon by the Daily Herald, W.W. was driving his Honda motorcycle on a street in Oak Park when a woman allegedly turned her vehicle left and crashed into the motorcycle. The injuries the motorcyclist suffered were said to be major, including a torn knee ligament, broken ribs and a head injury. The head injury was possibly the worst, as it allegedly caused the motorcyclist to suffer a moderate and permanent brain injury, according to the report.

In W.W.’s case, his moderate brain injury had harmed the part of his brain that controlled concentration and control of emotions. Due to the crash, W.W. allegedly developed problems with anxiety, controlling his emotions and focusing. Clearly, when you have impairments like these, your employment prospects become substantially reduced.

Working in the “gig economy,” as opposed to traditional employment, can have certain advantages like greater flexibility. It can also have certain disadvantages, especially if you’re hurt while on the job. Many employers may strive to classify their workers as independent contractors in order to avoid certain liabilities like providing workers’ compensation insurance. This problem is of particular importance for Lyft, Uber and other rideshare drivers because they, by the very definition of their jobs, are at a highly elevated risk of suffering injuries on the job as a result of a vehicle accident. If you are a Lyft or Uber driver hurt while working, there are several things you should do to get the benefits you need and deserve. Start by getting capable legal representation from a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

A court ruling released last year in California is a reminder of some good news that exists for Uber and Lyft drivers in Illinois. In the California case, which was resolved by that state’s Supreme Court last April 30 and was reported by cnn.com, C.L. was a delivery driver for a courier service. The courier company classified him as an independent contractor. The driver later sued, alleging that the classification was improper and that he was really an employee.

Independent contractors versus employees

The Supreme Court sided with the worker. In reaching that decision, the court adopted something called the “ABC Test,” which is one of the most helpful tests for workers seeking to be classified as employees and not as independent contractors. That test looks at three things very closely to decide if you are an employee or an independent contractor. They are:

  • the level of control you are placed under
  • whether or not your work is “outside the usual course” of the employer’s business
  • whether or not you are engaged in an “independently established trade, business or occupation” of the same type of work

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When you are facing a situation where you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, identifying the right parties to pursue in your injury accident lawsuit can be vital to obtaining the outcome you need. In an injury accident, one of the entities (or sets of entities) that can be a very proper place to look is the auto insurance company (or companies) who may have an obligation to provide coverage. Many times, if an insurer’s obligation to provide coverage and pay a claim is not very obvious, the insurance company may fight aggressively to avoid paying anything. Fighting back against an insurance company that isn’t acting as it should is yet another area where your skilled and determined Chicago injury attorney can help you get to the end-point you desire.

An accident near Peoria presented this kind of challenge for one family. The crash was one that took place shortly before 1 a.m. one August night. The driver, M.S., was 16 and had only a restricted driver’s license. She was driving a car owned by the mother of her friend, M.R., and whose keys she had obtained from M.R. (The two girls disputed whether M.S. had permission to have the keys.)

Eventually, M.S. crashed the 2004 Pontiac into several parked cars. One of her passengers, M.H., was seriously injured, suffering a severe traumatic brain injury. M.H.’s mother sued on his behalf to recover damages.

Road rage and aggressive driving can take many dangerous forms. It might involve speeding, swerving, cutting off another driver with an abrupt lane change, “brake checking” (slamming on brakes in front of a tailgater to dissuade the tailgater from following too closely), passing on the shoulder or excessive use of a car horn or headlights/high-beams. Regrettably, road rage can also lead to auto accidents and serious injuries, including fatalities. Certainly, the best course of action when facing an aggressive driver is to avoid that person. If you cannot, and if you are injured in a road rage-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation in a civil case. As with any auto accident injury situation, reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney to learn more about your options.

Recently, the Sun-Times covered the criminal case of a Chicago police dispatcher accused of attempted murder in a road rage case. The accused, K.M., and the alleged victim, S.G., were driving down South Ashland Avenue in Chicago. K.M. allegedly tried to cut off S.G., but S.G. blocked her. A verbal argument, complete with alleged racial slurs, ensued and S.G. tossed a large cup of soda into K.M.’s car. The pair ended up in a parking lot, where the verbal dispute turned physical. As the fight escalated, K.M. pulled a gun and shot S.G. in the chest, inflicting non-fatal injuries.

In the criminal case, K.M. was not convicted because the judge determined she acted in self-defense, the Sun-Times reported. However, in addition to the criminal case, K.M. also faced a civil suit pursued by S.G. Just because K.M. won her criminal case, that outcome does not automatically dictate that S.G. cannot succeed in her claim for civil damages, which is still ongoing in the courts.

Many times, a truck accident has the potential to change the lives of multiple people… and change them forever. Those killed have their lives cut needlessly short. The decedent’s loved ones must deal with the emotional and the financial fallout of the unexpected loss. Obviously, no amount of money can take the place of the love, support, companionship, affection and wisdom of a lost loved one. That undeniable fact does not, however, change another fact, which is that the untimely loss of a loved one may create a massive financial hardship for those left behind.

A fatally injured victim in his 40s may have had a spouse and teenage children at home, and that family likely relied in whole or in part upon that person’s income to make ends meet. A person in her mid 60s may also still be working and providing both emotional and financial support to her family members. A victim in his 20s may be newly married with an infant at home who relied on her in many ways. All of these families could have suffered incalculable emotional losses and extensive financial ones, as well. An experienced Chicago truck accident attorney can help you in this vulnerable time to deal with the legal side of your needs.

Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court entered a ruling in a long-running case involving a tragic accident in Will County. J.S. was a 66-year-old husband and father of two from Naperville who had made a career in the commercial lending business. J.S., along with T.S., a 42-year-old man from Seneca (as well as many other drivers), were traveling along northbound Interstate 55 near Plainfield when the lives of their families and many others would be forever changed. At a little before 10 a.m., there was a wreck along I-55 and that had caused a backup. D.H., a trucker from Utah hauling a load of potatoes from Idaho to Bolingbrook, did not notice the slowed traffic in front of her soon enough. She tried to stop, but her truck slammed into the vehicles in front of her.

Cars often weigh around 2,700 to 4,000 pounds. Pickup trucks, vans and SUVs weigh 4,000-6,000 pounds. A commercial truck carrying a full load might weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Clearly, the unavoidable physics associated with these numbers tells you that, in a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, the amount of damage to the driver and passengers of the car/pickup/van/SUV can be catastrophic as the smaller vehicle will likely bear the brunt of the impact. The harm these people suffer can be horrific and permanently life-altering. The accident may create a need for a lifetime of medical care, and perhaps permanent disability. To get the financial recovery you need as a result of such a wreck, you may need to avail yourself to the legal system. If that happens to you in Illinois, be sure you have retained a skilled Illinois truck accident attorney to help you with your case.

A recent case that made news headlines demonstrates just how severe these damages can be. J.B., a mom of three, lost control of her pickup truck along a stretch of eastbound Interstate 20 in west Texas when she allegedly hit a patch of icy roadway. The pickup skidded across the roadway and into the westbound lanes. At that point, a commercial truck driver was headed westbound. The big rig slammed into the pickup.

The results of the crash were tragic. A report from cdllife.com indicated that the mom and the one child suffered substantial brain injuries. J.B.’s 12-year-old daughter was left with permanent paralysis that meant that she would be a quadriplegic for the rest of life, forever requiring 24-hour care. The accident killed J.B.’s 7-year-old son.

Sometimes, things that may seem small can be enormously important to your injury case. For example, a recent case turned on whether or not a walkway qualified as a sidewalk or not under Illinois law. This example highlights the fact that any injury case can contain seemingly minute nuances that make all of the difference between success and defeat. To make sure that your case has a strong chance of success, be sure that you have retained the representation of a knowledgeable Chicago injury attorney.

The injury that led to the case happened when Rita slipped and fell on an area of ice near the rear of her condominium building in Chicago. Rita sued both the condo association and the property management company. Rita’s case, as supported by the testimony of her expert witness, was that the man who performed snow removal had cleared snow from the area by pushing it into tall piles, that the mound of snow began to melt in warmer temperatures, and that the water began flowing down the area’s sloped surface and re-froze when the temperatures dropped again.

The area where Rita fell looked “not very different from a standard alley in Chicago,” according to the court. The area was used by condo residents to park their vehicles and also sometimes used by residents to walk to the building’s rear entrance. The legal definition of the area was the key to the case because the crux of the condo association and the management company’s defense was that they were immune, under Illinois’ Snow and Ice Removal Act, from any lawsuit related to the removal of snow from a sidewalk abutting a property.

The following op-ed was by ITLA President Mark D. Prince was published in the Peoria Journal Star on January 5, 2019.

Spotlight: Workers’ comp reform needed to reduce premium rates

In the span of less than a decade, the price paid by Illinois employers for workers’ compensation insurance dropped from third highest in the nation, as compared to other states, down to 22nd on the list.

If you have suffered an injury while walking along a public sidewalk in Illinois, you may have a claim for damages. To succeed, you have to prove that the injuries you suffered were a result of negligence on the part of the person or entity that was in control of the sidewalk. In the case of one Northern Illinois woman, she received a six-figure settlement from one Will County city after she slipped and fell due to a sidewalk hazard, according to a patch.com report. The substantial settlement in this case serves as a reminder of the significant amount of damages that may result from these types of injuries. If you’ve been hurt walking on a public sidewalk, you should reach out right away to a Chicago premises liability lawyer about your situation.

The recently settled case involved a sidewalk injury suffered by a pedestrian named Estella, who was walking along a sidewalk near a bus station when she slipped and fell. As the pedestrian passed in front of a funeral home, she encountered an area of sidewalk that was allegedly improperly maintained. Specifically, the problem was where an old sign for the bus provider had stood. At some point, the sign was removed, but the “anchor” into which the sign was placed was not. This remnant from the old sign protruded from the ground and was the hazard that eventually caused Estella’s fall and subsequent injuries, according to her lawsuit.

In Illinois, you can pursue a claim for a public sidewalk injury like Estella’s if you can demonstrate certain things to the court. You have to establish that the entity responsible for the sidewalk was negligent in some way. In sidewalk cases like this, that generally involves failing to take proper action either to repair a dangerous condition in the sidewalk or to warn users of the sidewalk about that hazard. A successful case also will involve proof that the entity responsible for the sidewalk either knew about the problem or reasonably should have known about the hazard.