Justia Lawyer Rating for David M. Barish

Recently, this blog discussed a lawsuit where more than one dozen women sought damages based on the rapes or sexual assaults they allegedly suffered at the hands of their Lyft drivers. Certainly, it is entirely possibly for a rideshare company to contract with, and continue using, a driver who’s dangerous without knowing the risk. That lack of knowledge doesn’t insulate the rideshare service from liability; it simply means that the service is only potentially liable based on the legal concept of negligence.

However, what happens, you may wonder, if the service’s culpability goes further? What if the service did know and continued using a driver anyway? If that were true, then the service might be liable both for negligence and for its intentional misconduct which, in turn, could possibly open up additional damages, such as punitive damages. To find out what kind of damages your case might allow you to recover, be sure to reach out swiftly to an experienced Chicago injury attorney to discuss the facts of your specific situation.

This question of negligence versus intentionally wrongful conduct could be of particular interest to some Uber riders. The Washington Post recently reported that Uber has some practices with regard to drivers who pose a risk of sexual misconduct that some may view as troubling. According to the report, the rideshare service uses a “three strikes” system, in which drivers are allowed to stay on the road even after exhibiting inappropriate conduct.

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When you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you know there are certain forces that will work against you. Deciding whether or not to pursue your case may come down, at least in part, to making a determination about whether the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks. To best position yourself, then, it is important to eliminate as many risks as the law will allow you to knock out. Doing that, in many situations, requires an in-depth knowledge of the law. In other words, to give yourself the best possible chance of success, be sure you have knowledgeable Chicago injury counsel on your side.

As an example of knocking out certain risks, look at the case of D.R. and M.A. Both men were workers for the same railway employer. One December day in 2014, M.A. was the locomotive conductor and D.R. was the locomotive engineer on a train that collided with another train while at the railway’s yard in Joliet. The crash caused both the engineer and the conductor to suffer substantial injuries.

The men filed personal injury lawsuits against the railway, alleging that the employer failed to provide them with a safe workplace, which was a violation of the Federal Employers’ Liability’ Act (FELA.) One might expect that the cases would go forward as normal injury lawsuits, but the railway took a different a different approach. It filed multiple different counterclaims against both men. The counterclaims accused the employees of things like property damage (for failing to prevent the crash,) driving too fast, failing to observe a signal, and failing to remain alert and attentive, among other things.

Recently, news stories have highlighted many different potential safety issues with rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. These issues can include things like the service’s failure to weed out people who are unsafe drivers and failure to weed out people who are dangerous individuals (such as sexual predators.)

The potential safety issues don’t stop there, though. As a recently article in Wired.com pointed out, rideshare riders have to worry, not only about their drivers being safe, but about the safety of the vehicles carrying them. The Consumer Federation of America estimates that there are roughly 70 million vehicles on U.S. roads that have unrepaired safety recall issues, according to Wired. In other words, any time you ride with Lyft or Uber, you may be riding in a recalled car. If that’s true and you’re hurt in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation, so you should reach out to an experienced Chicago car accident attorney to learn more about your legal options.

The problem of unrepaired recalled vehicles is fairly widespread. Part of that is because the volume of recalls is quite large. General Motors recently issued a sweeping recall due to defective ignition switches and another large one recently for vehicle with airbags made by a certain manufacturer. Given that NHTSA statistics show that fewer than 60 percent of recalled vehicles were fixed, it is easy to see how tens of millions of unrepaired recalled cars could be on U.S. roads.

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For most people, using a rideshare service to get around is an ordinary activity and no big deal. One night in October 2018, a woman named Gladis hailed a Lyft for a ride, but her ride was horrifically the opposite of ordinary. The driver allegedly locked the doors of his vehicle, drove around for many hours, and then forcibly took Gladis to a beach and raped her, according to her lawsuit.

Gladis was far from alone. In Gladis’ California lawsuit against Lyft, more than a dozen women additional women joined her, asserting that they were raped or sexually assaulted by Lyft drivers. ABC 7 in San Francisco reported that the women’s attorneys allegedly unearthed more than 100 instances where women suffered sexual assaults during Lyft rides, all in California and all in an 18-month period. What this tells you is that, for too many women, sexual assault or rape by rideshare drivers is a painful reality. If you suffer such harm while using a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber in Illinois, you should be sure to reach out to an experienced Chicago injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

The California survivors making up the group of plaintiffs in Gladis’ lawsuit asserted that Lyft’s efforts to weed out sexual predators from contracting as Lyft drivers were so insufficient as to amount to negligence in multiple different ways. For one thing, the service allegedly did not take proper steps after receiving a sexual assault complaint. According to the survivors, Lyft merely conducted internal investigations into the complaints and did not forward those complaints on to law enforcement authorities.

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If you were hurt while aboard a commercial aircraft, would you know what to do? Would you know what your legal options were and what next steps you should take? For most people, even people who are very smart, educated, business-savvy or sophisticated, the answer reasonably would be “no.” An experienced Chicago injury attorney can help you navigate the ups and downs of the legal system and avoid the potential pitfalls that possibly could ground your case before ever making it to trial.

Injuries aboard airplanes can come in many varieties. Some of those include incidents that involve a food/beverage cart. That is what allegedly happened during one recent international flight on United Airlines, as reported by Pacific Daily News. According to the injured passenger, D.J., he was injured when a flight attendant moved the food/beverage cart very suddenly. The movement allegedly sent the previously-stopped cart careening at a “fast rate of speed” sideways into D.J. The complaint also asserted that D.J. suffered injuries in the ramming incident and required aid from a registered nurse who was also a passenger on the flight. The passenger allegedly received additional care from a medical clinic in the Manila airport.

The injured passenger filed his lawsuit in U.S. federal district court, seeking $113,000 in damages. D.J., however, decided to advance his case without a lawyer.

Workers in many industries face a variety of risks when it comes to workplace accidents and injuries. Airport workers are no exception. Sometimes, those risks of injury are inevitable but, as a recent Baltimore Sun report reminds everyone, some regrettably are not. Too many times, the risks airport workers face are the result of inadequate safety protections provided to them. That’s true whether you’re at BWI Airport in Maryland or O’Hare Airport here in Chicago. If you are hurt while on the job at an airport, you should seek skilled Chicago workers’ compensation legal counsel about your possible options in civil court or workers’ compensation.

According to the Sun report, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health agency recommended that a logistics entity receive citations and several thousand dollars in fines as a result of several workplace safety issues at the BWI Marshall Airport. One of the most serious violations involved work that was being done at the top of jet bridges. The investigation found that the jet bridge work was as high as 25 feet off the ground, but was done by workers who lacked proper fall protection or adequate training, the Sun reported.

That violation was considered the most serious because of its likelihood to lead to serious injury or death. Injuries from falls are among the top causes, or the #1 top cause, of worker fatalities in many areas of work.

Many major national and international entities use complex corporate structures to attempt to minimize or avoid civil liability, especially in today’s more complicated “gig” economy. They may have layers of subordinates or franchisees which, they will argue, are independent and solely liable for negligence that injures you. These large entities can range from online retailers to pizza restaurants to rideshare companies. Many times, these franchisees or subordinates may be very small and/or very financially limited.

The law, however, recognizes some important exceptions when the larger entity is actually the one “pulling the strings” and maintaining control of the activities being performed, and therefore potentially liable. With the right proof, you may still be able to get the full recovery you deserve by pursuing the (often much larger) parent or principal entity. To accomplish these kinds of goals (and others) in your Illinois accident case, be sure you have placed a skilled Chicago injury attorney on your side.

A case from Florida gives some insight into how success might be achieved. In the Florida case, a former fire chief was traveling a state highway when a pizza delivery driver cut in front of him. The chief reportedly swerved to avoid contact but lost control of his truck and flipped. The accident left the chief with permanent spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. He died 15 months later as a result of complications of the accident, according to a Florida Today report.

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settlementstick-300x276There may be many different possible ways to resolve your Illinois personal injury action. You can litigate the case all the way to a verdict, you can work out a settlement with the other side, or you may achieve a settlement through an alternative dispute resolution process like mediation. In order to protect yourself, you need to make sure that you understand your case in great detail, including the monetary value of your case. Without this knowledge, you may fall into the trap of accepting a low-ball offer to settle your case. Retaining knowledgeable Chicago car accident counsel to represent you is one important way to make sure that your interests will be properly safeguarded, whether through trial, mediation, or any other process.

The case of Keenan, reported by the Madison-St. Clair Record, was an example of how mediation can fail because the defendant does not submit an appropriate offer. According to Keenan, Anne rear-ended him in the town of Shiloh, causing him to suffer significant injuries. When you’re injured in an auto accident, there are several steps that are involved in the process to obtain compensation for the harm you suffered. Whether you want to settle or go to trial, whether you seek a courtroom resolution or an outcome achieved through alternative dispute resolution, knowledgeable legal representation will know how to handle any of these scenarios.

The defense asked for the two sides to participate in mediation. Mediation can be a useful way to reach a fair and beneficial outcome without having to go through everything that is inherently involved in a full trial. Some of the keys to a successful mediation generally involve a strong knowledge of what your case is worth (so that you don’t agree to a settlement that is too small) and an opponent who participates in the process in a serious manner.

Thursday September 5th marks the start of the 100th season of NFL action. Injuries are nothing new in the NFL and are more or less considered a common occurrence. Getting compensated for these injuries should be just as common but sadly it isn’t. Here are a few facts about Workers’ Compensation for NFL players :

  • Since the year 2000, there have been 458  Workers’ Compensation claims filed against the Chicago Bears by players (and a few off field employees) that have paid out just under $13 million dollars
  • After retiring in the 90s with a severe ankle injury, shoulder injury and back injury, Former Green Bay Quarterback Don Majowksi had to file a workman’s comp claim in California (the only state that allowed FORMER players to file workmans’ comp claims even if they didn’t play for an in state team) in order to get his future medical covered.

Many times, vehicle accidents involve a limited range of legal options. You can pursue the at-fault driver and his auto insurer… and that could be all. In other situations, though, a vehicle accident may present you with a greater array of legal avenues. If, for example, your injury accident was caused by the driver of a truck or other work vehicle that was doing work for the City of Chicago, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the City of Chicago.

This option of suing the city may greatly enhance your odds of getting a full and fair recovery, whether via verdict or settlement. To learn more about the various legal options available to get the full amount of compensation you deserve, be sure to engage an experienced Chicago injury attorney.

Two accidents that illustrate this point recently ended in settlements. The more recent accident, reported by the Sun-Times, occurred in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Reportedly, the accident victims, 7-year-old S.L. and her mother, J.L. were attempting to cross South Ashland Avenue at West 65th Street. The pair made it only halfway across the street before they were struck by a tractor’s trailer. The accident left the mother with a hip injury but killed the girl.

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