In a personal injury case, you’ll likely need a variety of types of evidence to support your claims. This might include expert opinions, eyewitness testimony, document evidence, and photographic evidence. In the recent wrongful death case of a Chicago-area bicyclist, the bicyclist’s family had all of these things. With this substantial evidence backing up the plaintiffs’ case, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that the trial court was not unreasonable in finding for the plaintiffs and awarding $1.875 million in damages.
If you’ve read enough headlines about air travel, you’ve probably seen it. Whether it was the United Airlines flight attendants who suffered injuries on a flight from Denver to Omaha, or the Qantas flight attendant who broke her ankle on a flight from Perth to Canberra, turbulence can represent a very serious risk of injury for airline cabin crews. And, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, these injuries are rising. The FAA reported that twice as many serious turbulence injuries occurred in 2016 as in 2015, according to USA Today.
The aftermath of a workplace injury can be a stressful time. In many cases, your injury may leave you so limited that you cannot work. When that happens, it is important to make sure that you get all of the benefits you deserve, such as workers’ compensation, to provide for yourself and your family. For one hospital worker, that involved taking her case to the Illinois Appellate Court and winning a reinstatement of her full temporary total disability award because not only was she not working but also she proved that she wasn’t able to work.
The employee in this case was a surgical technician at a small-town hospital. Her job tasks consisted of setting up and cleaning up surgical rooms before and after procedures, in addition to moving patients to recovery beds. Two months into her job, the technician felt “something pull and shoot down [her] low back, into [her] legs” while moving a surgical bed into a hallway. A few weeks after the incident, the technician’s doctor diagnosed her with a disc herniation in her back. Eventually, the woman’s doctor concluded that she was unable to work and needed back surgery to address the disc problem.
When you’re hurt through the action or inaction of someone else, you know that you’ll face hurdles in your pursuit of compensation. You’ll need to meet procedural obligations. You’ll need to amass sufficient evidence. You’ll need to overcome the other side’s defenses. In some cases, you’ll also need to overcome the other side’s failure to participate in the discovery process properly. When an opponent does this, you’ll need to know how to handle it. In the case of one amusement park guest, she obtained a favorable jury instruction that helped to win her case and secure a $1.514 million damages award.
In an injury case, as with any civil action, one of the key aspects of the case is the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Whether your case is about liability and damages, or just damages, the discovery process is a vital part of the proceeding, and handling this aspect well can be key to achieving a successful outcome. You certainly want to make sure that you turn over those things that the law says you have to disclose, but you also don’t want to do anything that isn’t required and may weaken your case. In the case of an injured computer analyst, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a ruling recently, stating that he did not have to make discovery disclosures unless the trial court first made findings that the benefit outweighed the burden that would be placed on him.
For the fifth consecutive year Attorney
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An Illinois auto worker recently succeeded in his effort to get his award of workers’ compensation benefits reinstated. Even though the Ford Motor Company worker injured himself while bending over, which can often be considered by the law a “neutral risk” that does not allow for an award of benefits, he was successful because his evidence was able to persuade the Illinois Appellate Court that his injury actually qualified as “a risk distinctly associated with” his employment, which the law recognizes as compensable.
Achieving the result you need in a personal injury case is about more than just proving that you were hurt and that it was a foreseeable result of a negligent or intentional act or omission on someone else’s part. In many cases, it is about pursuing (and obtaining a judgment against) the right defendant. Win against a driver who makes $10 per hour for an auto accident that caused you to suffer $5 million in damages, and you may end up with an uncollectable judgment. Obtain a verdict against the driver and the corporate employer for which he was performing an errand when he hit you, and you may have a greater chance of achieving a more meaningful recovery.
One case in which this truth was on display was a matter recently decided by the Illinois Appellate Court. The victim was a lawyer who had hailed a cab to take him from a business meeting in Chicago to his home in the southwest suburbs. As the cab approached the Hinsdale exit off Interstate 294, the cab driver took the cloverleaf ramp, which had a posted speed limit of 25 mph, at speeds in excess of twice that. The driver lost control, and the minivan slipped off the ramp, then went airborne for 32 feet, and finally slammed into a retaining wall, at which point it was still going more than 40 mph upon impact.
If you are a Chicago-area resident who has been injured by someone else’s mistakes, you probably prefer to sue the wrongdoer here in Illinois. Having to carry out your case in some other state means having to hire out-of-state counsel instead of a local law firm, and it very likely means having to travel to this distant location for various events, including the trial. These are just a few of the reasons why it often pays to contest an opponent’s efforts to have a case moved out of state. In one set of cases arising from an Indiana bus crash, a group of Chicago-area plaintiffs successfully persuaded the courts that the rules regarding lawsuit forums did not require moving their injury actions to Indiana (and away from Cook County).
In two separate cases involving very similar sets of facts, two different Northern Illinois bicyclists won their respective appeals and got renewed opportunities to pursue compensation for the harm they suffered after they fell while riding along bike paths in the greater Chicago area. In both cases, the plaintiffs’ appeals succeeded because the government entities that owned and were responsible for maintaining the paths were not immune from suit under Illinois statutes.