Justia Lawyer Rating for David M. Barish

Sometimes, the development of futuristic technology may be the source of social media humor, with “meme” pictures joking that the new technology has set us on the path to dangerous machines like those seen in the Terminator movies. In the real world and in all seriousness, these new technologies often have very positive real-world applications for many people doing their daily work. For example, a new “exoskeleton” product may be a huge boost for safety and well-being among airport baggage handlers. These exoskeletons are still in the experimental phase, though. For now, baggage handlers have to rely solely on their own strength and, as a result, are very often at risk for musculoskeletal injuries. If that happens to you, you need to take action promptly and seek out a knowledgeable Chicago airline workers’ compensation attorney, who can help you with the workers compensation claim process and all other legal processes you need to complete.

In early January in Las Vegas, a Utah company named Sarcos unveiled something it called Guardian XO, according to FOX 13 in Salt Lake City. Guardian XO is a full-body exoskeleton that, according to the manufacturer, “lets a human lift up to 200 pounds repeatedly, for up to 8 hours at a time, without straining or getting tired.” The manufacturer also claims that “the user bears none of the weight of the exoskeleton or what it’s carrying.”

At least one major airline has expressed interest in the Utah company’s product. Delta Airlines has indicated that it plans to test the exoskeletons at a “pilot location” sometime in the first quarter of this year. Some Delta workers at the Salt Lake City airport have already tested the exoskeleton, with one expressing hope that “with this new exosuit it will help prevent a lot of injuries that may happen.”

Continue reading

istockphoto-683815596-612x612-1-300x200While air travel in the United States, generally speaking, is getting progressively safer, flight attendants’ jobs are still dangerous ones. Flight attendants’ exposure to injury-causing risk is inherently tied to the nature of their work; even as passengers have long been safely secured in their seats with the “Fasten Seat belts” sign on, flight attendants may still be moving about the cabin to provide service to those passengers. This places them at serious risk in the event of sudden turbulence. When you, as a flight attendant, suffer an injury due to turbulence, you have options to get the financial compensation you need. Start by reaching out to an experienced Chicago aviation accident attorney without delay.

An American Airlines flight recently served as a reminder of these sorts of potential dangers. According to a WBIR report, the flight, which was roughly 15 minutes away from landing, experienced sudden turbulence as it descended from 19,000 feet to 16,000 feet. As one passenger told WBIR, the turbulence’s severity, on a scale of 1 to 10, was a “15.”

Fortunately for the passengers, the flight crew had long since turned on the “Fasten Seat belts” sign, so the passengers were buckled in. Two flight attendants, still working on performing their duties, were not. One hit the roof of the cabin so hard that she was knocked unconscious. The other broke both her ankles, according to the report.

Continue reading

ridesharellc-300x201According to Uber’s website, “Uber is a technology company that has developed an app that connects users (riders) with third party transportation providers.” Consistent with that statement, Uber does legally operate in the United States as Uber Technologies, Inc. Like most things in life, there is much more than meets the eye. When we look below the surface, it is apparent that Uber is not necessarily the entity most people think it is. Before reading the statement above from Uber’s website, an average person would have equated Uber with an everyday taxi company or even a chauffeur/livery service. Whereas riders might be a bit confused about who Uber is, the people that drive for Uber are probably even more confused because Uber is not the entity paying them.

As it turns out, Uber drivers are paid by and given IRS 1099 forms from Raiser LLC or Raiser–CA LLC, which are just subsidiaries of Uber Technologies, Inc. Although Uber’s corporate structure is somewhat complicated, the goal in creating entities that only encourage legal battles is nothing new for Uber. In fact, despite California recently passing legislation to protect drivers who are injured on the job, Uber will not treat their drivers as employees there or anywhere, including all of their drivers in places like Chicago, Illinois. Presumably, Lyft will follow suit even though Lyft, Inc. does not have a subsidiary quite like Uber’s use of Raiser. Lyft just provides its drives with an IRS 1099 form. Uber continues to claim that they are merely a technology platform. While drivers and riders alike would find Uber’s position curious at best, lawmakers are trying to stop Uber from gaming the system and passing the costs of work injuries to others including state governments. Unfortunately in Illinois, there is no legislation categorizing Uber, Lyft, or any ridesharing company as an employer when it comes to their drivers. That would mean that rideshare companies must provider workers compensation coverage for the drivers. This varies drastically from a taxi driver’s situation when he or she is hurt on the job. However, since Lyft and Uber claim that they have no employment relationship with their drivers, an injured rideshare driver should expect no assistance from these companies to cover skyrocketing medical and disability costs. For the most part, when a rideshare driver is hurt in a car accident, that driver needs to obtain their own attorney to fight these companies to get workers’ compensation benefits. On top of this, injured drivers may need an attorney to help them obtain compensation when an at fault driver causes them injuries in a crash.

Unlike the situations that rideshare drivers find themselves when they are hurt driving for Lyft or Uber, when a person is injured in a crash as an Uber or Lyft passenger or when a person is injured by an Uber or Lyft driver, the ridesharing companies carry liability insurance. Not only do these companies carry insurance for when they are at fault, these companies carry insurance for when another at fault vehicle does not have enough coverage. In fact, Lyft used to use to York Risk Services, Inc. to insure their drivers for the harms and losses they cause and to provide underinsured and uninsured coverage. But now Lyft has The Travelers Companies covering their negligence and the negligence of their drivers. Lyft’s coverage with The Travelers Companies also includes underinsured and uninsured coverage for drivers and passengers. Uber used to use James River Group Holdings to insure their drivers for the harms and losses they cause and to provider underinsured and uninsured coverage. But now Uber has Allstate covering their negligence and the negligence of their drivers. Allstate also covers their drivers and passengers for underinsured and uninsured situations.

American Airlines has finally debuted its new lineup of employee uniforms following allegations that a previous batch — which debuted over three years ago — were causing rashes, headaches and hives.

“When we set out to create our new uniform collection, the clear goal was to deliver …. (click here) to read the full article via Fox NewsAANewUniforms-300x169

In the last few years, some auto manufacturers (like Tesla) and rideshare companies (like Uber) have pursued autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles in their fleet. Now, according to recent news reports, autonomous vehicle technology could possibly be coming to city buses in the near future. While we all applaud advances that improve people’s lives, we are also reminded that, when malfunctions and mistakes cause accidents, people may be left with life-altering (or life-ending) injuries. If that’s you, be sure you have a knowledgeable Chicago car accident attorney representing you to get you the compensation you need.

Back in November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was planning to spend roughly $5 million on an autonomous pilot program. The hope is eventually to utilize autonomous buses in the Lincoln Tunnel’s exclusive bus lane. This technology, according to Port Authority estimates, “could allow for 200 more buses to run during each morning weekday rush,” providing a ride for an extra 10,000 commuters from New Jersey to Manhattan.

In other cities, self-driving buses are already in operation. Jacksonville, Florida and Las Vegas each have self-driving shuttles that run in special shuttle-only lanes. In Gainesville, Florida, the city is already testing driverless shuttle buses that, if all goes according to plan, would run on the city’s streets and roads before the end of 2020. Gainesville would be the first city to have autonomous buses on its roads in the United States, according to a WUFT report.

In Illinois, if you suffer a work-related injury, then you generally are entitled to receive payment of workers’ compensation benefits. That’s true whether your job caused your injury or even if your job simply made a pre-existing condition worse. Of course, to get those workers’ compensation benefit payments, you have to go through the right steps. You have to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits properly, including doing so before the deadline mandated by the law. You also have to provide the right proof that shows that you suffered a compensable injury (or aggravation of a pre-existing injury,) and that your job caused that injury or aggravation. Doing this can be very complicated and challenging. With something as important as your much-needed benefit payments on the line, don’t leave your claim to chance. Protect yourself by retaining the services of a skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

N.H. was a Chicago-area worker facing that kind of need. She was a police officer for a Chicago suburb when she got hurt. For many people, training means sitting in a conference room or large ballroom and listening to a speaker give a lecture. For police officers like N.H., training meant something much more physical. During a December 2014 training session on “defensive tactics,” N.H. allegedly sustained an injury to her shoulder, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Your injury doesn’t have to be at work to be ‘work-related’

N.H.’s case is very instructive for lots of Illinois workers. Most people probably know that a worker can potentially recover workers’ compensation benefits if she is injured while she is actually “on the clock.” However, what happens if I’m off-duty, you may wonder? The law says that there are a significant number of scenarios where you may have been off-duty but still have been engaged in an activity that was “work-related” – which means that an injury suffered during that activity could still possibly entitle you to receive benefits.

Continue reading

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.”

When you are injured in a car crash, your lawsuit may be as simple as suing the other driver involved in the accident. When your accident, however, involves a vehicle like a semi-truck, a bus or a commercial airplane, your case may involve many more defendants, especially if a mechanical flaw or malfunction in the large vehicle is one of the crash’s alleged causes. In either situation, but especially in the latter scenario, you need the skill and knowledge of an experienced Chicago injury attorney. Your knowledgeable injury attorney can help you overcome the various roadblocks the defense may try to place in your way, such as challenges based upon personal jurisdiction.

If you’re injured (or a loved one dies) as a result of a plane crash, there may be a large number of people and entities who were potentially negligent and possibly owe you compensation for the harm you suffered. Some of them may be out-of-state businesses and may have relatively limited interaction with Illinois. Based on that, they may claim they cannot be sued in this state.

The law in Illinois, however, often says otherwise. A recent case originating here in Cook County is a good example. In the late hours of April 6, 2015, a Cessna bound for Bloomington, Illinois left Indianapolis, Indiana. In the early morning hours of April 7, the plane crashed roughly one mile northeast of the airport. All seven men aboard the plane tragically died in the crash

Continue reading

Autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles are becoming more and more popular these days. At the same time, more accidents involving these vehicles are making the news. Many of these accidents are high-speed collisions and several have had tragic results. On December 29 alone, two accidents involving vehicles with autopilot technology killed three people. When these accidents hurt or kill people, someone is legally responsible for the harm that has been caused, whether that someone is the driver or the auto manufacturer. If you have been injured in an accident involving a vehicle with autopilot or driver-assist technology, you should reach out promptly to an experienced Chicago car accident attorney about your case. Your skillful attorney can help you do the discovery necessary to find those truly responsible and hold them accountable.

Two different December accidents – both involving Tesla vehicles and both involving fatalities – have once again brought Tesla’s autopilot feature into the spotlight. In one accident, a 23-year-old woman was riding with her 25-year-old husband when their Tesla Model 3 slammed into the rear of a parked fire truck along Interstate 70 in rural Putnam County, Indiana. In that accident, which occurred just before 8:00 a.m., several emergency vehicles (including the fire truck) were parked in the left lane to deal with an earlier incident. All of the emergency vehicles had their flashing lights on. Despite that, the Tesla barreled into the fire truck “at a high rate of speed,” according to Car and Driver.

In the other accident, a speeding Tesla Model S ran a red light in Southern California and crashed into a Honda Civic, killing the two occupants of the Honda. Reports indicate that these are not completely isolated incidents. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has, according to Reuters, investigated nearly two dozen accidents that involved self-driving or “driver assist” systems. More than half of those (14) involved a Tesla vehicle, with the Indiana crash representing the 14th.

Continue reading

animated-balance-weigh-scales-2The State-Wide minimum wage becomes $9.25 per hour beginning January 1, 2020. The minimum wage in Cook County will become $12.00 per hour and increase to $13.00 per hour in the City of Chicago. The change to the State-Wide minimum hourly wage will result in an increase of Workers’ Compensation Weekly Temporary Total disability benefits. Under Illinois law, this benefit will become $246.67 per week for a single person and will be raised by 10% for each dependent, not to exceed $370.00 per week or the employee’s average weekly wage, whichever is less.

Please note this State-Wide minimum wage is scheduled to increase again on July 1, 2020 to $10.00 per hour. The Workers’ Compensation temporary total disability minimum rate will increase to $266.67 per week for a single person and will be raised by 10% for each dependent, not to exceed $400.00 per week or the employee’s average weekly wage, whichever is less. The minimum permanent partial disability rate will similarly increase for low wage workers.

Effective January 1, 2020, it becomes lawful for persons 21 years of age or older to possess, use and purchase limited amounts of cannabis for personal use. For those injured on the job, this means that if a post-accident drug test is positive for cannabis consumption, the work injury is no longer automatically denied as a result of that test, provided your consumption was from a legal purchase.