Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Achieving success in your Illinois school injury case can be accomplished in a variety of ways. It can be done by taking a case to trial and securing a favorable verdict and award of damages. It can also be achieved, however, by securing a settlement. Each of jury verdicts and settlements have their own distinct advantages. A settlement has the potential benefit of providing you with money more quickly and saving you the potential stress and time that often go with a trial. Whether a settlement does or does not make sense for you is just one of many essential legal decisions in which your case can benefit from the knowledge and experience of a skilled Chicago injury lawyer.hospital

One recent example of a school injury case that led to a successful settlement was the case of L.R., which was reported by the Belleville News Democrat. L.R. was a student with special needs who attended school in the Illinois town of Belleville, which is near St. Louis. Some of L.R.’s disabilities were physical, and, because of that, he used a “gait trainer,” which is a support device for mobility or for assisting those learning to walk. Allegedly, while the student was using the gait trainer one day, he was left unsupervised for a length of time. The lawsuit alleged that the duration of the unsupervised period was long enough for the boy to wander off his gait trainer and travel across a gymnasium and over to a flight of stairs, down which he fell, suffering injuries, according to the report.

A fall like the one L.R. suffered can have serious consequences. The victim can suffer broken bones, soft tissue injuries, and disfigurement. Especially for people with physical disabilities like L.R., these kinds of accidents can carry with them an increased risk of future injury.

Chicago back porchOnce you decide to sue someone for your injuries, you might think that the process is fairly straightforward. File your complaint with the court clerk. Serve notice of the complaint on the person or entity you’re suing. Exchange documents and information as part of discovery. Appear for trial and present your case. The reality is, though, that there is more that goes into a civil lawsuit like a personal injury case. Sometimes, there is much more. The twists and turns of a case may be unpredictable, which is why it pays to have skilled Illinois injury counsel representing you so that you can respond to each twist or turn in a strategic way for the advancement of your case.

The case arising from Rebecca’s injury was an example of a lawsuit with multiple unexpected events. Rebecca was standing on a North Side apartment building’s rear porch when that porch collapsed beneath her. The result of the accident was massive for Rebecca. She suffered a major spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed.

Spinal injuries that cause permanent paralysis are life-altering, catastrophic events for the people who suffer them. In many cases, the injury will lead to health issues and a substantial increase in the need for ongoing medical treatment. These injuries can also cause a need for a 24/7 attendant and may also even lead to a premature death. They are often debilitating and almost always highly expensive.

water spillOnce you decide to sue someone for your injuries, you might think that the process is fairly straightforward. File your complaint with the court clerk. Serve notice of the complaint on the person or entity you’re suing. Exchange documents and information as part of discovery. Appear for trial and present your case. The reality is, though, that there is more that goes into a civil lawsuit like a personal injury case. Sometimes, there is much more. The twists and turns of a case may be unpredictable, which is why it pays to have skilled Illinois injury counsel representing you so that you can respond to each twist or turn in a strategic way for the advancement of your case.

A recent slip-and-fall case was an example of the skillful use of procedural tools. Michelle, the eventual plaintiff, visited an East St. Louis nightclub in May 2015 and, while there, slipped and fell, suffering substantial injuries. As a result of those injuries, the woman sued the shriners’ temple that owned the nightclub. Her lawsuit alleged that her slip-and-fall accident was a result of some foreign substance on the floor of the club.

Michelle’s lawsuit alleged that the temple was negligent for allowing the substance onto the floor and then not addressing it in a timely fashion. Michelle retained counsel, and an outside agent was also hired to serve notice of the lawsuit on the temple. The agent certified that he served the papers on the temple’s registered agent at the address listed with the Illinois Secretary of State.

little boy sleddingWhat was supposed to be a fun wintertime school trip for some Northern Illinois elementary students ended with one of those children making an unscheduled visit to the emergency room. The second-grade girl from DeKalb suffered facial injuries after a sled in which she was riding overturned, according to an ABC 7 report. Some types of school injuries may entitle a student or her family to seek compensation in court. While successfully suing a school district or school employee is generally more complex and can be more challenging than suing a private person or entity, that definitely does not mean that you should give up and should not pursue your options. A knowledgeable Illinois injury attorney can provide you with valuable advice about your rights and which avenues may be available to you to obtain compensation.

The DeKalb students’ sledding trip took place at Russell Woods in nearby Genoa. The injured girl’s parents thought the nature of the activity would be something different than what actually took place. “I thought it was going to be like, not going downhill, but like little kids running with a little board or something, plastic and sliding on the ground slow,” the girl’s mother told ABC 7.

Instead, the event did involve the children sledding downhill. The girl had not been sledding before and didn‘t want to participate, but she was told to play with the other children. A first trip was uneventful, but a second trip involved an older (and presumably larger) child joining the second-grade girl and the teacher giving them a “big push.” The girl stated to ABC 7 that “she pushed me too fast.”

boltsAny injury can be serious and can involve a long-term period of care and treatment. However, when you are a young person, and the injury you suffer is catastrophic, the totality of the harm you’ve suffered is magnified that much more. Your injury may mean many decades of extensive or even full-time care, at a total cost of an astronomical amount. If you have suffered a major injury, you need to contact a skilled Illinois injury attorney right away, who can work for you to pursue everything that you deserve so that your needs are fully met.

A recent example of a catastrophic injury to a young person took place at O’Hare Airport. Tierney was a 24-year-old college student whose great love was dance. One summer in 2015, Tierney, her mother, and her sister were returning to Chicago following a trip to Minneapolis. As they waited under a shelter near O’Hare’s Terminal 2, a storm rolled in, and, in the wind, the 700+-pound shelter collapsed onto Tierney. The impact severed her spinal cord and left her paralyzed from the waist down, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

In cases like this, there may be two parts to your trial:  proving the defendant’s negligence and then proving the extent of the damages you deserve to receive. At other times, though, a defendant may simply admit liability, leaving solely the issue of damages for the jury to decide.

yachtA recent ruling by the Illinois Appellate Court upheld a lower court decision that reinstated a $25 million settlement reached between a yacht manufacturer and a man who became a quadriplegic after a fall aboard one of the company’s vessels. While many people may never have an occasion to ride aboard a yacht, the case is nevertheless a useful illustration of how, with the help of skilled Illinois injury attorneys, one can achieve a successful result, whether that comes via a settlement or a verdict, and whether your injury is aboard a yacht or in an auto accident.

The underlying lawsuit arose from a terrible accident aboard a yacht. Scot, while hosting a party, fell from the vessel’s upper deck, and the eventual impact broke his neck, leaving him a quadriplegic. Scot and his wife launched a personal injury lawsuit against the yacht’s manufacturer as well as the entity that owned and chartered the vessel. Scot’s lawsuit alleged that the yacht was defective because it lacked proper railings or other protection around the edge of the boat deck. The two defendants were also negligent in that they improperly failed to prevent Scot “from accessing areas without railings” and failed “to warn about the lack of railings.”

The injured man settled with the owner and continued pursuing his case against the manufacturer. The decision regarding whether or not to settle your case before trial can be one of the more important choices in a case. A successful outcome after a trial may result in a larger recovery, but a pre-trial settlement offers a payment that is certain and more swiftly available and comes without the stress and other challenges of going to trial. Depending on the details of your case, it may make sense, as the plaintiff did here, to pursue some defendants and settle with others before trial.

Chicago Elevated TrainAny type of vehicle accident, whether it’s a car accident, truck accident, bus accident, or train accident, can inflict serious harm upon you and potentially have a permanent, life-altering impact on you. That’s why, if you’re injured in a crash, you need experienced Illinois injury attorneys representing you and working on your behalf. Your case may involve multiple types of damages claims, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other areas, both past and future. For a Transportation Safety Administration worker injured in a train crash, her case and her proof of her extensive injuries recently resulted in a $6 million damages award, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The plaintiff was a TSA officer who, on the morning of March 24, 2011, was headed to work just like any other morning. She was aboard the Chicago Transit Authority’s blue line as it arrived at O’Hare International Airport. Shortly afterward, before 3 a.m., as the TSA worker prepared to disembark from the train, it crashed into an escalator in the airport. The newly employed train operator would later admit to having dozed off, according to the Tribune.

The CTA made operational changes after the crash, including “lowering the speed limit for trains approaching the O’Hare platform,” the report stated. The passengers injured in the crash also brought civil lawsuits to recover compensation for the damages they had suffered. The plaintiff in this lawsuit was one of the passengers to suffer the greatest harm. In many injury cases, the full extent of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. You may notice right away that you’ve hit your head or hurt your ankle, but there may be additional injuries related to the accident, especially soft tissue injuries. These additional injuries may be things that are hidden by the instantly noticeable issues or that simply do not present themselves until later.

firefightersThe Illinois workplace injuries you suffer are not always physical ones. For one firefighter seeking workers’ compensation benefits, his injury was post-traumatic stress after a fellow firefighter died battling a blaze. Even though the firefighter did not actually see his colleague die and was not involved in trying to rescue or resuscitate him, the overall facts of the case still indicated that he suffered a “severe emotional shock” and was entitled to benefits, the Illinois Appellate Court has ruled.

The claimant was a man who began working as a firefighter in 1986. In 2010, he was a lieutenant in a small department for the Village of Homewood. The man was in command at a fire in Homewood in March 2010 when a flashover occurred and one of Homewood’s firefighters died in the blaze.

After the incident, the Homewood fire chief told the lieutenant that he could not return to work until he was cleared by a psychiatrist. By May, the lieutenant had seen a doctor, who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder. The lieutenant returned to work in the fall of 2010.

United Airlines (UAL) employees are talking and social media chat rooms are buzzing about the potential change in workers’ compensation administrators. For about 20 years Gallagher Bassett has been administrating the claims for benefits due to occupational injuries also known as “occupationals”, “OJI” or workers’ compensation injuries. Typically, an administrator provides claims adjustment services that include the investigation and processing of injury claims and payment of weekly workers’ compensation income benefits known as temporary total disability (TTD) and authorization for medical procedures and payment of medical bills. The administrator may also, at times, negotiate settlements after the injured worker has been released from doctor’s care.

There does not appear to have been a formal notice or press release confirming that United Airlines is replacing Gallagher Bassett. There has been speculation that this may occur October 1, 2017 and that the new claims administrator will be Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

Helpful Advice for the Injured Worker

water slideWhen 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.

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