Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

January 30, 2014

Abels & Annes Reach $3.15 Million Settlement in Lawsuit Against the Archdiocese of Chicago

The sexual abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, have settled a claim against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George, and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago involving sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack in the amount of 3.15 million. The identity of the plaintiff and his family are confidential.

The victim sued the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George in 2010. He alleged that they failed to remove their priest, Rev. Daniel McCormack, from access to children although they had knowledge that McCormack had sexually abused minors. McCormack was arrested in January 2006, charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual assault and subsequently pleaded guilty to those charges in 2007.

The victim in this case was abused by McCormack between 8th and 11th grades.

The legal team in this matter, comprised of three law firms, has now settled two McCormack claims in excess of $3 million each. From all of the McCormack settlements whose amounts were disclosed publicly, this team of lawyers is the only one to secure settlements involving McCormack for $3 million or more for individual victims. The lawyers involved are pleased to have reached the settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family.

In prosecuting this case, attorneys took the depositions of the Cardinal, other bishops, vicars, priests, seminary leaders and other key Archdiocese personnel.

Representing child victims of sexual abuse in cases against religious institutions and other organizations that interface with children requires sensitivity to many complex and personal issues. We are proud to work on their behalf and maximize recoveries that, we feel, are deserved.

The law firms involved in the settlement continue to represent several victims in pending civil cases against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Cardinal involving their failure to timely remove McCormack from access to children.

Each year more victims continue to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against former Rev. Dan McCormack.

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January 8, 2014

Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyers Settle Claim for $100,000

1424.jpg The bicycle accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a case on behalf of one of their clients for the available insurance policy limits of $100,000.

The client, a young man, was riding his bicycle southbound on Kimball Avenue in Chicago and approaching its intersection with Peterson. He was riding on the right side of the far right lane as bicyclists are allowed to do in the area when a vehicle approached from behind. The driver of the vehicle veered into our client's path of travel, striking his rear bicycle wheel and causing a collision between the car and our client. The force of the impact threw our client off of his bike and onto the pavement where he landed on his shoulder.

Our client experienced an immediate onset of shoulder pain and was taken by ambulance to Swedish Covenant Hospital for treatment. Through emergency treatment and follow up care with an orthopedic surgeon, our client was diagnosed with a soft tissue tear in his shoulder. The tear was repaired and our client underwent a course of rehabilitative therapy to regain full use of his shoulder. During the course of his treatment, our client incurred medical and other expenses that were directly caused by this crash.

The driver that caused the collision was cited by police for failing to stay within her own lane of traffic while driving, a charge to which she pleaded guilty, admitting she caused the crash. The driver's insurance company offered the full available policy limits of $100,000 to settle the claim on behalf of our client.

Bicycle accidents occur year round in Chicago and often result in injuries. Whether a crash leaves a victim with a broken bone, soft tissue damage, or even a head injury, the results can range from the mildest of traumas to the most extreme. On average, several bicyclists are killed in accidents in Illinois every year.

When the negligent driving of a motorist causes an accident that leaves a victim hurt or injured, the laws in Chicago allow that victim to bring a claim for relief against the responsible driver. These claims are available regardless of whether the at-fault driver received a citation for a traffic violation in response to the crash. Speaking with an injury attorney is the best way to learn about the legal implications of your accident and what forms of relief may be available to you.

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December 20, 2013

Chicago Accident Lawyers Receive $92,879 Award at Arbitration on Behalf of Car Crash Victim

side%20impact.jpg The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, recently received an award of $92,879.00 on behalf of one of their car accident clients, a victim whose life was altered when she was involved in a 2009 collision.

The underlying accident involved our client who was driving a car near Oak Park Avenue and Cornelia in Chicago in 2009. She was heading northbound when a second vehicle ran a stop sign and T-boned our client's car. The at-fault driver fled the scene of the crash without speaking with police and without checking to see if our client was injured.

Immediately following the crash, our client complained of pain in her neck and along the left side of her body, the side that was exposed to the brunt of the impact. She received treatment at a local hospital and also sought additional medical treatment after her release from the hospital for multiple injuries including neck and back pain. Later tests would show that she suffered a herniated disc for which she received conservative therapy and steroid injections, providing her with relief from the pain.

The insurance company at issue in this case underplayed the severity of the accident and routinely claimed that our client was not as injured as she claimed. The case was recently resolved out of court by a process known as arbitration, which involves neutral parties deciding the fair and appropriate relief a victim is entitled to. In this case, three arbitrators determined that our client rightly deserved payment in the amount of $92,879.00 for her injuries and pain and suffering.

Though the at-fault driver fled the scene, police were later able to identify the owner of that vehicle through the results of their investigation. The owner of the at-fault vehicle was uninsured and therefore our office brought a claim for relief against the victim's own insurance in what is known as an uninsured motorist claim. The laws in Chicago and Illinois specifically provide for this type of relief in the event that a driver or passenger is injured in a crash with another individual who does not have insurance.

Motorists who buy insurance in Illinois are offered the option of purchasing this uninsured coverage and it is an extremely good idea to not only buy uninsured coverage but to make sure you have enough of it to adequately protect you and your loved ones in the event of an accident. Since you cannot control what other drivers do, you can be in a crash at any time and it may involve another driver who does not have valid insurance, even though driving without it is against Illinois law. In the event that this happens to you, the coverage you carry on your own policy would "step into the shoes" of the responsible driver and would provide you with a means of recovery so that you can be properly compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering.

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November 21, 2013

Car Accident Attorneys Reach $31,000 Settlement on UM Claim

IMG_4802.JPGFor the second time in the past week the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes have settled an uninsured motorist claim for one of their clients. This time for a North Side woman who was injured at the top of Lake Shore Drive.

The crash took place on March 22, 2013 at approximately 9:00 a.m. There was plenty of light, the road was straight and flat and visibility was good.

Our client was driving eastbound in the far right lane of Hollywood where Hollywood becomes Lake Shore Drive. The defendant, an uninsured driver was traveling southbound on Sheridan Rd. and attempted to make a left turn onto Hollywood/Lake Shore Drive.

The uninsured driver drove through orange cones marking the lanes in the roadway and struck the vehicle next to the plaintiff in the left lane of eastbound Hollywood/Lake Shore Drive. The force of this impact pushed that vehicle into her vehicle. The force of this car crash pushed her vehicle off of the roadway onto the sidewalk area.

The impact of the uninsured motorist’s vehicle was heavy and caused the plaintiff's vehicle to be pushed off of the roadway. She had immediate complaints of neck pain, back pain and left arm and shoulder pain and tingling. An ambulance was called and she was transported to Weiss Memorial Hospital.

At Weiss Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department a history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. She complained of neck pain, back pain and left arm and shoulder pain and tingling. A cervical CT showed a disk injury at C6-7 and a suggestion of muscle spasm with evident straightening of the normal lordotic curve. Pain medication was prescribed and Susie was instructed to seek follow up medical treatment.

Over the next few days our client's pain and discomfort worsened. She sought follow up treatment at Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Department with complaints of back pain and severe neck pain causing headaches and vomiting. Again, a history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. She was prescribed pain medication, muscles relaxants and instructed to seek follow up medical care.

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November 18, 2013

Lawyers Settle Uninsured Motorist Claim for $50,000

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. It is more important than ever to protect yourself with a good auto insurance policy with uninsured motorist coverage before you hit the roads in Chicago. This is due to the fact in part that so many drivers are driving without insurance. The attorneys at Abels & Annes handle UM claims on a regular basis.

026.JPGA perfect example is the case below, where our client was hit by negligent driver who had no insurance. The plaintiff luckily had an auto insurance policy with protection if he was ever injured by an uninsured driver, and due to this fact we were able to obtain a $50,000 settlement on his behalf.

This claim arises out of an automobile collision which took place on January 9, 2012 at approximately 9:48 p.m. Our client was driving southbound on Harlem Avenue in North Riverside, Illinois. He was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Harlem Avenue and 25th Street. The uninsured driver was also traveling southbound on Harlem Avenue when she failed to stop as she approached 25th Street, and struck the rear-end of the plaintiff's vehicle with significant force. As a result of being struck by the uninsured driver, his head flipped forward and hit the steering wheel. This also caused his head to snap backwards after impact.

After the accident, investigating police officers determined that the other driver was at fault for the accident.

Following the collision, the client immediately began experiencing pain. He hoped this pain would resolve, but when he awoke the next morning his pain was even worse. He sought treatment at Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Emergency Department.

In the emergency room, he complained of dizziness, nausea, and pain in his head, neck, back, and shoulders. A history was taken, he was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. He underwent a CT scan of his head. He was diagnosed with a concussion, and muscle strain. He was prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxants, and was instructed to seek follow up care.

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September 27, 2013

Chicago Bike Accident Lawyers Settle Crash for $125,000

1625.jpg The accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a personal injury case on behalf of a client for $125,000.

The claim arose from a bicycle collision last year with our client riding his bicycle eastbound on Diversey Parkway, near the right side of the road as governed by local law. A driver in an oncoming vehicle attempted to make a left turn into a parking lot but failed to look for eastbound traffic before doing so, pulling in front of our client's lane of travel and causing our client to collide with the front end of the vehicle, get thrown onto the hood and then landing on the ground.

The police were called to the scene of the crash where our client reported shoulder pain. He was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where x-rays were performed and showed a displaced clavicle fracture in our client's shoulder area. He was placed in a brace and instructed to seek follow up medical care with an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon recommended and our client underwent a surgical repair of his shoulder and then participated in a course of physical therapy for post-surgical rehabilitation of his shoulder.

Prior to the collision, our client was an active young man who enjoyed playing sports in addition to riding his bicycle. After his injury, he was unable to engage in strenuous physical activities for some time, limiting his ability to lead a normal life. As our client used his bicycle as a means of transportation, his injury also made traveling more of a challenge and more costly than it otherwise would have been.

Through our representation, we were able to bring a claim on behalf of our client against the at-fault driver and the driver's insurance company for the full value of our client's injuries, including his medical bills and wages he lost while he was unable to work. Our bicycle accident lawyers were able to negotiate a settlement that our client deserved for his loss and that was a fair payment for the damages caused by the negligent driver.

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September 12, 2013

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Receive Award 10 Times Larger Than Insurance Offer Through Arbitration

1507.jpg The Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, recently received an award on behalf of one of their clients, a young woman who was the victim of a rear-end collision. The case was heavily disputed and defended by an insurance company that only offered $3,000 in settlement of the case. A retired judge presided over a $30,000 high, $3,000 low arbitration of this matter. The judge agreed with Abels & Annes, P.C. and our client, awarding the young woman an amount greater than $30,000 for her injuries.

This case stems from a car accident on I-90 in Chicago, near the Montrose exit. Our client was in stop and go traffic and was traveling at a slow speed. The defendant was behind our client and in the same lane, also stuck in traffic, but the defendant failed to pay attention to the speed of traffic and rear-ended our client. Our client described the impact as significant while the defendant, a doctor, said the crash was minor.

Shortly after the crash, our client sought medical attention and eventually was instructed to undergo MRIs of her neck and lower back. The MRIs revealed a bulging disc which her doctor believed was caused by the collision and was causing her neck and back pain. Additionally, our client also suffered from headaches and wrist pain that negatively affected her ability to engage in activities of daily life. Our client began a program of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment to treat and manage her pain but unfortunately, she did not fully recover. Physicians recommended a course of steroid injections in our client's neck to reduce the swelling and potentially provide some pain relief but since there was no guarantee of its effectiveness, our client chose to forego the invasive procedure and continue with conservative treatment. Her pain level eventually improved and no further treatment was necessary.

During the course of our client's claim against the other driver, the insurance company vigorously defended the at-fault driver and never made more than a nominal offer to our client to settle. Knowing our client's case was worth much more than what the insurance company offered, we continued to fight on her behalf and eventually obtained a fair and appropriate award that was 10 times the amount offered by the insurance company.

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July 18, 2013

Car Accident Lawyers Reach $80,000 Hit-And-Run Settlement

1693.jpgThe hit-and-run injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently reached an $80,000 settlement on behalf of our client who was injured in a crash on I-90. Our client was in the middle lane of the interstate when another vehicle attempted to enter the middle lane and struck our client. The impact was significant and was at highway speeds which resulted in our client being pushed out of her lane and to the right.

The driver who caused the accident fled the scene without checking to see if anyone was injured and without providing her contact information to the police.

After the crash, our client was shaken and upset. She was experiencing significant pain but hoped it would resolve on its own. When her pain worsened, she was forced to see her primary care physician who instructed her to go to the hospital.

At Saint Alexius Medical Center's Emergency Department, doctors ordered an MRI of our client's neck, which revealed broad based disc protrusions at two levels. These injuries caused our client neck pain and weakness in her arms as well as headaches. She also had lower back pain and she was instructed to follow up with a neurosurgeon for additional treatment.

Though she underwent physical therapy, our client's neck pain continued and her neurosurgeon indicated our client may need surgery in the future. The neurosurgeon also diagnosed our client with a disc bulge in her lumbar spine. Our client has not had surgery and she hopes to avoid it though the need may become a reality in the future.

Being a victim of a car accident is never a good thing, but when an at-fault driver flees the scene, it can make things worse. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Illinois and can seriously threaten the lives and health of any victim of the accident. If a driver flees an accident scene, it is never the other driver's fault, and this is one of the reasons the law allows for a financial recovery in cases where injuries are caused by a hit-and-run driver.

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July 16, 2013

Attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Reach $1.475 Million Settlement in Construction Work Accident

workers.jpgWorking with co-counsel, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently reached a $1,475,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was severely injured at a work site. This is a third-party negligence settlement, and this amount is in addition to the over $270,000 we obtained for our client in a workers' compensation claim. So in reality, our client received in the area of $1.745 million in total compensation. The specifics of the settlement are confidential.

As summer finally hits the city, we are reminded just how prevalent construction and work sites are in Illinois. Whether it is the demolition of an old building, remodeling of a condo complex, repair work, or even the more standard sight of road construction, building and progress mark every corner of the city. Construction and repair work are necessary jobs and vital for any city's sustainability, but with construction unfortunately comes risk and danger. These construction sites can be home to any number of dangerous conditions. Some are open and obvious and include open pits, high scaffolding, and heavy machinery. Others may not come to mind as readily including live electricity, falling products, and injuries caused by the negligence of workers.

Work injuries can be devastating. Often fractured bones, burns, head and facial injuries, concussions, and crush injuries result after a construction accident. The injuries are just the beginning for some who are involved in an accident. Besides the injuries themselves, there are doctor's appointments to attend, medical bills to pay, at home treatment that may be needed, and the financial stress that comes with being unable to work and make a living. When someone becomes a victim of a construction accident, his family and friends also suffer.

The physical and financial tolls that come with a job site accident can be overwhelming. The last thing a victim should worry about is how he will put food on the table for his family because he is unable to work. When an accident occurs at a construction area, the law allows for an injury victim to recover but there are time deadlines that must be followed. This is why you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

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July 1, 2013

Chicago Motorcycle Lawyers Settle Case for $100,000

854292_motorcycle_2.jpg The Chicago motorcycle attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently settled a case on behalf of a client who was injured while a passenger on a motorcycle. The settlement is for the available uninsured policy limits of $100,000.

This claim stems from a motorcycle accident last summer in Chicago. Our client was a passenger on the bike that was traveling westbound in the city. As she entered an intersection, a taxi cab heading northbound ran a red light and struck the rear tire of the bike and caused the bike to crash. Our client was thrown from the bike and landed some distance away on the pavement, sustaining serious injuries. The taxi fled the scene of the crash without stopping to see if the victim was hurt and without providing any identification information to our client or the police.

Our client was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Emergency Room where she complained of significant pain across her body. She had numerous cuts and abrasions that needed to be cleaned so doctors sedated our client to minimize the pain associated with this procedure. She was discharged from the hospital but her wounds did not heal as doctors intended, requiring our client to have her wounds debrided and medically treated until they eventually closed. Our client sustained some permanent scarring as a result of her injuries and endured a lot of pain. She may need future surgery to reduce the visibility of her scars but some scarring will always remain.

Our attorneys brought a claim against the uninsured motorist provisions of the motorcyclist's insurance policy. Most drivers in Illinois have this type of coverage and it applies to accidents where an at-fault driver fled the scene. The available insurance in this matter was $100,000 and our attorneys were able to recover this full amount without having to file a lawsuit. We also represent the motorcycle driver in this case and her claim is still pending.

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