Articles Posted in Personal Injury

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has left us all in unprecedented and uncertain times. On March 20, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide “shelter-in-place” order which requires all non-essential businesses to close and all non-essential employees to stay home. However, employees in many of the “essential businesses” are exempt from that order including nurses, hospital employees and first responders. Unfortunately, such medical professionals are the ones most at risk of contracting the virus while they continue to work and treat those suffering from COVID-19. Understandably, those individuals must have questions and concerns about what happens if they contract the virus through their work.

Under the Illinois Workers Compensation and Occupational Disease Acts, employees who suffer from an accident/injury or illness which “arises out of” and “in the course of” their employment are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contracting conditions, such as COVID-19, while performing your nursing/medical duties satisfies those requirements and should entitle nurses and medical professionals to the benefits under the law. These benefits include full payment of your medical bills, weekly workers’ compensation pay equal to 2/3 of your weekly pay and potentially a permanency recovery. There is a 3 day waiting period before receiving the weekly pay but if you are off 14 or more days the waiting period is waived and you are entitled to workers’ compensation pay from day one. You must establish, more likely than not, that you contracted the condition from work as opposed to at home (or some other location outside of work). Your entitlement to benefits is determined on a case-by-case basis. However, employees in the medical field such as nurses, medical professionals, as well as first responders who, by the very nature of their employment, are at a higher risk of exposure than the general public should still complete an accident report/incident if they develop symptomology and seek treatment. Obtaining the necessary paperwork with the diagnosis, work ability and treatment plan is important.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws were enacted to protect employees, such as nurses, medical professionals and first responders, who are trained and employed to protect society. These laws not only apply to you, but are necessary for you to utilize in order to get you back healthy and able so you can continue to help others. We need these workers’ compensation laws now more than ever during these uncertain times.

If your child was injured at school because some employee (or employees) didn’t do their jobs properly, you might reasonably desire to sue. It is important to be aware that, in Illinois, suing a school district or school employee for an injury accident isn’t the same as suing for an auto accident injury, or a slip-and-fall/trip-and-fall accident.

That’s because, unlike those latter categories, schools in Illinois cannot be held liable for simple negligence. Does that mean you should just give up on your child’s school injury case? No, it doesn’t. Even without the option of a basic negligence claim, the evidence and the facts of your child’s case very possibly could still be enough to meet the standards that the law has erected, so don’t “throw in the towel.” Contact a knowledgeable Chicago school injury attorney to learn more about the options that may be available to you.

Success in a school injury case requires something more than proof that someone was negligent. Consider the case of S.B., a sixth-grade cheerleader, as an example. She suffered an injury at doing a “lift” maneuver at cheer practice. Her mother sued the school district, alleging that multiple safety failures contributed to her daughter’s injuries, including failure to maintain the safety equipment properly and the use of inadequate “thin gymnastic mats.”

In slip-and-fall (and trip-and-fall) cases, there are several techniques the defense may deploy to attempt to defeat your claim and avoid paying compensation to you. One of the more common tactics is to assert that the defect that caused your fall was “open and obvious.” This argument can be powerful because the law says that the owners or controllers of a property have no legal obligation to provide protection against, or a warning about, open and obvious risks. In order to make sure you have your opportunity for your day in court (and to obtain the compensation you deserve), be sure that you are prepared by having experienced Illinois premises liability counsel representing you in your case.

One man who had to battle against an “open and obvious” argument was Steven, who was injured while attempting to enter the condo he shared with his girlfriend, Karen. According to the injured man’s lawsuit, he slipped and fell on the “stoop and stairs” situated in front of the condo’s entrance. The fall caused Steven to suffer very serious injuries to his left knee and left ankle, which caused him to have to undergo multiple surgeries and led him to sue.

According to Steven, the problem arose after the property manager hired a firm to apply an epoxy substance to the stoop and stair area. Allegedly, after the epoxy job was completed, the stoop and stair area was very slippery, especially when wet. Karen allegedly complained to the property manager at least 3-4 times, starting in 2008. (Steven’s accident took place in October 2009.)

Sleep Tips for Commercial Drivers

If you are a commercial driver or you know one, it’s important to educate yourself about drowsy driving, what helps mitigate it, and what makes it worse.

1. Get Enough Sleep Before You Drive

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.

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.

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.

Suing a school in Illinois can be challenging because this state has a statute that makes schools and school employees immune from liability in several circumstances. In order to succeed in this type of lawsuit, you cannot simply establish that the school made a negligent error; you have to prove that the misconduct that contributed to the injury was “willful and wanton.” This means that you will need more and different proof than if you were simply pursuing a negligence lawsuit. Just because the law requires a higher burden of proof does not mean you should be deterred from pursuing an action if your child was injured at school, however. There are still ways to achieve success. If your child was injured in school, contact an experienced Chicago injury attorney to discuss your options.

The case of K.S. was one that achieved a degree of success for the injured student. K.S. was a student at a high school in a small town west of Elgin and a member of her high school’s freshman cheerleading squad in 2010-11. During a November practice, K.S suffered a fall. She allegedly fell from a height of roughly 10 feet and hit her head on the ground. The varsity coach allegedly asked K.S. if she was okay and basic questions like “where are you?” and “what’s your name?” The girl answered the questions successfully, and was allowed to return to practice after roughly five minutes, according to her complaint.

She suffered a second fall on her head 12 days after the first accident. Allegedly, the freshman team coach asked if the girl was okay and when the student said yes, no further action was taken. The girl’s third fall occurred 10 days after the second. Again, she hit her head and, again, the coach only asked if the girl was okay and took no further action.

At the end of 2017, United Airlines (now known as “United Continental Holdings, Inc.” after the merger with Continental Airlines) announced that it would be issuing each of its flight attendants a new Tumi brand bag. In March 2018, United Airlines began requiring its flights attendants use the newly issued two-wheel or four- wheel “rollaboard” Tumi brand bags.

Unfortunately, the transition to the new Tumi brand bags has created numerous issues for United Airlines flight attendants. Almost immediately, United Airlines flight attendants began noticing that these bags are awkward, hard to maneuver, and in some circumstances, even dangerous to use.

As flight attendants already often need to be performing physically strenuous tasks, moving quickly, working in tight and awkward spaces, and lifting, pushing, and pulling heaving luggage, the additional requirement to use these awkward and uncomfortable bags is unfortunately causing injuries to flight attendants’ wrists, arms, shoulder, backs, necks, and legs.

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.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.

L.R.’s mother sued the school for its failure to provide proper supervision and safety for her son. Suing a public school can be complex in Illinois. They are generally immune from liability for acts of negligence. In order to succeed and secure an award of damages, you have to show that the school employee acted recklessly in causing the accident that injured the child. This could include things like failing to provide proper safety protection (like eye or ear protection) that the teacher knows is potentially dangerous, or failing to excuse a child from a physical activity even after the child presented a doctor’s note.