Articles Posted in Personal Injury

A 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.

Any 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.

The 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

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.

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One of the biggest issues affecting many sports leagues today, from youth leagues to the big leagues, is concussions and concussion-related safety. Interscholastic sports in Illinois are no exception. A recent case from the First Appellate District Court involving a high school football player from Cook County offers important clarity regarding what is (and is not) required in a student’s injury case.

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Schools have a certain legal obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their students. This obligation was the crux of one Cook County student’s lawsuit against his school district and physical education teacher for injuries he suffered during PE class. The First District Appellate Court agreed that the case should proceed to a trial, allowing the student to proceed with his argument that his teacher’s conscious decision to have students play without eyewear, even though she knew the school had protective goggles, could possibly constitute willful or wanton conduct.

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Music concerts can be exciting events for the performers and especially for their fans, who flock by the tens of thousands to see their favorite artists perform. This excitement can turn into something much worse when a concert promoter fails to do a proper job of ensuring the safety of concert attendees. A woman who was injured at a Kanye West and Jay-Z concert in Chicago recently won a victory in the First District Appellate Court, with the appeals court giving the woman a renewed opportunity to pursue her damages claim, deciding that the issue of the foreseeability of the woman’s injuries was still in dispute.

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When you patronize a business, you probably have a reasonable estimation of which types of risks do and don’t await you. The law says that business owners must protect you against certain risks of harm, but only those risks that are reasonably foreseeable and would not require unreasonably burdensome steps to prevent. In the case of one famous Chicago eatery known for its wild and often belligerent late-night antics, the First District Appellate Court revived a customer’s lawsuit against the establishment, concluding that the restaurant’s “schtick” had an elevated risk of harm and that the owners did not reasonably act to safeguard customers.

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The mother of a high school student who died in English class recently received a favorable ruling from the Second District Appellate Court, upholding the $2.5 million jury verdict handed down against a Kendall County school district. The school’s excessively slow response to the student’s severe asthma attack and its failure to follow its own policies for medical emergencies was enough to allow a jury to find for the family and issue the award, even though school districts can be immune from suit in some injury cases.

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