Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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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May 30, 2013

$200,000 Settlement Reached for Injured Illinois Bicyclist That Was Hit By Driver On Cell Phone

New%20Size.jpg The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. recently reached a $200,000 settlement on behalf of one of our clients who was injured while riding her bicycle in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Our client was riding her bicycle westbound on the sidewalk of Algonquin Road last August and she continued west near Clearbrook Drive. Our client brought her bicycle to a stop before the intersection and waited for her turn to cross safely. A female driver was operating her vehicle on Clearbrook Drive and slowed and stopped her car at the stop sign at the intersection with Algonquin. The driver was talking on a cell phone and was not using a hands-free device. Once the driver stopped, our client began to cross the intersection within a designated crosswalk as she had the right-of-way.

Unfortunately the driver was distracted and was not paying attention. The driver suddenly accelerated her car and struck our client, dragging her a short distance before stopping. When police officers arrived, the driver admitted that she never saw our client before hitting her.

Our client was transported by ambulance to Northwest Community Hospital where she complained of shoulder and leg pain. After doctors examined her, it was determined that our client had a fractured leg and a fractured shoulder. Her fractured leg required surgery to repair it and she had to undergo physical therapy after her discharge from the hospital. Fortunately she has made a great recovery.

In addition to riding her bicycle, our client enjoyed skiing, gardening, and exercising at the gym before her injury. She is beginning to return to these activities and plans to stay active now that her treatment is finished.

Personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. worked hard on behalf of this client and went after the at-fault driver's insurance company for the recovery. Not only did the driver fail to see our client before the collision but she failed to yield the right-of-way and was distracted while talking on her phone. Unfortunately this driver was negligent and caused an accident that did not need to occur.

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January 11, 2013

Proposed $1.1 Billion Toyota Vehicle Safety Settlement Could Affect Illinois Auto Owners

296181_silver_pickup%20sxchu%20username%20methuzala.jpgJapanese car manufacturer Toyota Motors recently agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement in connection with alleged acceleration issues that reportedly posed a safety hazard to those driving or riding in certain vehicles built by the company. If the pending class-action settlement is approved, it would include approximately 16 million Toyota, Scion, and Lexus motor vehicles that were manufactured by the company between 1998 and 2010. The proposed settlement includes no admission of guilt on the part of Toyota and was designed only to cover economic losses related to alleged vehicle safety issues. The settlement will reportedly not have an effect on the more than 300 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits that are now pending against Toyota.

Although Toyota has reportedly maintained that alleged acceleration issues were not related to the company’s electronic throttle control system technology, the company chose to institute a safety recall between 2009 and 2011. According to Toyota, the unexpected acceleration issues resulted from gas pedals that stuck and poorly fitting floor mats. In addition, data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no link between reports of unintended vehicle acceleration and the company’s electronic throttle control system. As a result of safety concerns, Toyota’s reputation for safety and reliability reportedly took a hit in 2010. During the same year, the company purportedly lost about $2 billion in earnings.

Because no clear link between Toyota’s technology and unexpected acceleration issues has yet been established, many injury litigants may face an uphill battle in court. In fact, a Texas court has already dismissed such a case due to an alleged lack of evidence. Some feel that absent a convincing technical or scientific foundation that links the unexpected acceleration issues reported to Toyota's technology, it may be difficult to win against the auto giant. Still, Toyota reportedly settled one of the largest wrongful death cases filed against the company for $10 million.

Individuals who live in the Chicago area often spend a lot of time in their automobiles. Even under the best of circumstances, accidents are bound to occur. Motor Vehicle accidents may be caused by many factors including driver carelessness, inattention, or impairment. In addition, weather, hazardous road conditions, motor vehicle defects, and other factors can cause an unexpected crash. Even if you were partially to blame for an automobile wreck, you may be entitled to receive damages for any injuries or medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the accident. A quality Chicago car accident attorney can answer any questions you may have and help you file your personal injury case.

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September 11, 2012

Chicago car accident lawyer reaches settlement on behalf of wife injured by husband's negligence

For the second time in recent weeks a Chicago car accident lawyer at Abels & Annes has reached a personal injury settlement on behalf of a local resident who was injured by his or her own spouse's negligence. When our office handles this type of case I always feel it is important to call attention to the matter. This is because when an accident is caused by a husband or a wife and his or her spouse is injured, many people believe that there is no claim to be made. This is not true.

If you are injured in an accident due to the negligence of your husband or wife, our office can present an uninsured motorist claim on your behalf. Over the last several weeks our office has recovered $35,000 in one case and $80,000 in another.

In one of the claims, we reached a $25,000 insurance policy limits settlement for a wife who was injured by her husband's negligence in a collision. In addition to the $25,000, we were able to collect $10,000 in medical payments under the insurance policy.

The collision occurred back on January 29, 2011 at approximately 8:22 AM in Melrose Park, Illinois. Our client was injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband. At the time of the accident she was seven months pregnant.

The Melrose Park Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. Investigating officers determined that the husband was at fault for the collision and issued him a traffic citation for failing to yield the right-of-way when making a left turn.

The plaintiff incurred back injuries in the accident. She was taken by ambulance to the Loyola University Medical Center emergency room. Over the next several months she had follow up treatment with a medical doctor due to back injuries sustained in the accident.

When the client initially contacted our office she had no idea that she had a potential case. Luckily for her, a friend of hers told her that she might have a claim and that she should contact an injury lawyer.

The case was handled by David Abels, a law partner at Abels & Annes.

In a very similar case, car crash attorney Gary Annes reached an $80,000 settlement on behalf of one of our clients. A husband was hurt in a March 29, 2011 accident that occurred at approximately 1:37 PM.

He was riding as a front seat passenger in the family vehicle being driven by his wife. They were proceeding northbound when his wife tried to make a left turn into a gas station. Oncoming, southbound traffic had the right of way. In turning left she failed to yield to oncoming traffic. She turned left into oncoming traffic, resulting in a collision with a southbound vehicle on the front passenger side of their vehicle, right in the area where the husband was sitting.

The plaintiff had an immediate onset of right shoulder and right arm pain following the collision. He went to a local Emergency Department for evaluation and treatment.

Upon arrival at the Emergency Department a history was taken, he was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. He complained of severe right shoulder and arm pain and had limitations in the range of motion of his shoulder. He was initially diagnosed with a right shoulder contusion, prescribed pain medication, muscle relaxants, given a sling to wear and instructed to seek follow up treatment after discharge.

An MRI in October, 2011 revealed a full thickness rotator cuff tear.

We alleged in the uninsured motorist claim that his wife failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including her passenger.

The case settled without having to go to court or arbitration.

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April 7, 2012

Settlement reached by Illinois auto accident attorney

A Chicago personal injury lawyer at Abels & Annes has resolved a claim stemming from a June, 2011 car crash. The plaintiff was driving to work just after 8 AM and was traveling southwest on Ogden Avenue approaching Oak Park Avenue in Berwyn, Illinois. The defendant was driving northeast on Ogden Avenue approaching Oak Park Avenue.

Our client had a green light at the intersection of Ogden and Oak Park and proceeded to drive her 2005 Chrysler PT cruiser straight. The at fault driver attempted to make a left turn in his Toyota Corolla onto northbound Oak Park without yielding the right-of-way to the Chrysler. The defendant turned left and struck the plaintiff in a head-on collision. The force of the impact pushed the PT cruiser across a lane of traffic and towards the shoulder of Ogden Avenue.

The Berwyn Police Department responded to the scene of the Illinois auto collision and determined the Toyota driver caused the accident. He received a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way at an intersection while turning left and later pleaded guilty to that charge and court.

Following the incident our client had an immediate onset of neck, back, and chest pain. She was taken from the scene of the occurrence by ambulance to MacNeal Hospital’s Emergency Department. A history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed.

On exam, she had pain and tenderness to her chest wall and paraspinal muscles in her back. She was diagnosed with neck strain and back strain, prescribed muscle relaxants and pain medication, instructed to follow up with a physician, and discharged.

She followed up with a medical doctor on July 1, 2011. She complained of pain in her back, neck, chest and head as well as soreness all over. She struggled with daily activities, including grooming, showering, household cleaning and recreational activities. Her physician diagnosed her with cervical spine sprain/strain and multiple contusions. He prescribed a course of physical therapy and instructed her to follow up in two weeks.

Per physician instructions, the plaintiff engaged in a course of physical therapy at AthletiCo Physical Therapy beginning on July 7, 2011. She had pain throughout her daily activities and was limited in her actions. As a pharmacist, our client had difficulty at work because her pain interfered with her ability to do her job. She liked to run and exercise before the collision and could not do so as a result of her injuries. She engaged in several sessions of physical therapy and was discharged on September 30, 2011.

Our client returned to her doctor on July 15, 2011. She continued to complain of pain to her neck, back, chest and head and noted that she was very stiff and achy. She was engaged in the prescribed therapy but was obtaining minimal relief. Her physician instructed her to continue physical therapy and to follow up in two weeks.

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March 16, 2012

Chicago work injury lawyer keeps on settling cases

Illinois work comp attorney Nicole Sommerfeld has had a busy year so far, making some of her clients very happy.

In one workers' compensation case, she obtained over $46,000 for a Chicago public school teacher who was hurt when she slipped and fell on ice in a teacher parking lot. The accident occurred in February, 2011, and the claimant injured her right knee when she fell. At first she tried to ice her knee at home, but she soon realized she was having significant pain that would not be going away on its own.

Shortly after the accident she started medical treatment at Hinsdale Orthopedics. Diagnostic testing showed she sustained a torn meniscus. She had to have right knee reconstructive surgery to repair the tear.

After a period of recovery, she started physical therapy which lasted several months. She was released from her doctor's care around 10 months later when she reached maximum medical improvement.

In addition to the $46,000 settlement, our office recovered approximately an additional $25,800 in lost wages for client, representing 30 weeks that she was off work due to the accident. Further, her medical bills were paid.

In another case our office recovered just over $44,000 for a CTA bus driver who developed carpal tunnel in both of her wrists due to repetitive motion on the job. Because of her condition, she eventually underwent bilateral wrist carpal tunnel releases at Rush University Medical Center in 2010.

The CTA employee's pain started in early 2009. She recalled one time when the power steering failed on her bus. The vehicle was drivable but it was very difficult to make turns and involved a lot of force in her hand and in her grip. She developed a shooting pain in her right wrist that went up to her elbow, and her entire hand felt numb. At first she tried to take ibuprofen which did not help.

She then started treating with an orthopedic physician at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush Hospital in March, 2009. At that time she complained of bilateral hand and wrist tingling.

In April, 2009 she saw her doctor again and her symptoms had gotten worse. She was given a splint to wear at night to help her sleep. The physician continued to keep her off work, as she could not do any type of repetitive motion or drive her bus. She was unable to lift anything above 5 pounds.

She was given an EMG on her right side at the end of April. It noted borderline abnormal right focal median motor neuropathy with no evidence of peripheral neuropathy or brachial plexopathy. She was still having pain in both hands. She underwent a right wrist carpal tunnel injection at that time. She was diagnosed that month with bilateral wrist carpal tunnel syndrome.

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January 30, 2012

Chicago bike accident lawyer settles lawsuit for $152,000

Illinois bicycle collision attorney Gary Annes recently reached a $152,000 settlement at a mediation for a bicycle rider. This claim arises out of an incident which occurred on August 18, 2008 and could be considered both a Chicago premises liability case as well as a bicycle accident claim.

On the morning of the occurrence our client was riding her bicycle to work. The weather was sunny and dry. She was riding her bicycle southbound in Desplaines St. in the City of Chicago.

There was a construction site located at 370 N. Desplaines St. The main defendant in the case was the general contractor on the construction project. As the bicyclist was riding southbound on Desplaines the construction site was on the rider's right side. When she was about halfway past the construction site, green mesh fabric attached to the construction fence blew out into the road and directly into the rider. The netting caught onto the handlebars and/or brake for the bicycle and yanked it back out from under her. This resulted in the plaintiff being thrown forward off of her bicycle onto the pavement. She landed on her left arm, breaking her left wrist.

The City of Chicago Municipal Code requires that a general contractor on a construction site must affix fabric mesh to the construction site fence face. §13-32-125(c). The Code further requires that the general contractor immediately repair any damage to the fence fabric. §13-32-125(e).

A photograph taken shortly after the accident showed how the fence fabric had become ripped and unattached to the fence, flipped on the outside of the fence and loose at the bottom, able to blow up and out into the street with any breeze.

The defendant failed to properly affix, repair and maintain the fence fabric. As a result the fence fabric became unattached on the bottom of the fence, flipped over to the outside of the fence and was able to flap out into the roadway with any breeze.

Following the incident the bike rider had an immediate onset of excruciating left wrist pain. She was transferred from the scene of the occurrence by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. Upon her arrival at the emergency department she complained of left wrist pain, left elbow pain, left ankle pain and left shoulder pain.

The plaintiff was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. X-rays and a CT of her wrist revealed a displaced intra-articular distal radius fracture with gapping at the lunate facet, a minimally displaced ulnar styloid fracture and a scaphoid waist fracture. An open reduction, internal fixation surgery was recommended. Initially, her left wrist, forearm and elbow were placed in a plaster cast for immobilization and she was prescribed pain medications until surgery could be performed.

Surgery was performed on August 22, 2008. The surgical procedures performed included an open repair of the left distal radial fracture with internal fixation of 2 fragments, open repair of the scaphoid fracture with internal fixation and tenotomy brachioradialis tendon of the left wrist. As part of the procedure, surgical metal was implanted into her wrist including a metal plate and five screws. Following the surgery her arm was put in a sling and she was given another prescription for pain medications.

After the surgery our client sought follow up treatment with her surgeon. She saw the doctor several times over the next few months. He ordered that a forearm-based thumb spica splint be made which the client wore. Additionally a course of physical therapy was prescribed. The client's father was a physical therapist and he provided her with therapy.

At the time of her last appointment with her surgeon, she continued to complain of left wrist stiffness, residual discomfort with point contact around the fractures.

Despite her treatment, our client continued to experience pain and discomfort in her left wrist. This was especially prevalent with changes in the weather or when pressure or weight was applied to the wrist. Additionally, due to the severity and location of the fractures, she is at an increased risk of developing traumatic arthritis in her left wrist.

For months after the accident the bicyclist could not do any activity that required the use of her left hand. Even after her cast was removed and she was able to begin to use her left hand and wrist, she continued to experience pain with almost all activities of daily living. For approximately three months she was unable to ride her bicycle.

Medical expenses incurred by our client for treatment of the injuries she suffered as a result of the negligence of the defendant totaled over $30,000. She also sustained a permanent surgical scar on her left wrist.

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January 25, 2012

Case resolved for $26,000 by Chicago slip and fall lawyer

An Illinois premises liability attorney at Abels & Annes has reached a settlement with the owners of a local restaurant in regards to a slip and fall that occurred back on February 13, 2010.

The plaintiff was at a restaurant located in the 12700 block of South Ashland in Calumet Park, Illinois. The defendant owned, operated, managed, maintained and controlled the premises and was further responsible for providing safe means of ingress and egress through the premises.

In the days before the occurrence, it snowed approximately 8 inches in Calumet Park. As a result, the restaurant undertook the duty to plow and/or shovel its parking lot. Unfortunately, they plowed its parking lot and negligently left large piles of plowed snow next to customer parking spaces. There were then several days of warmer weather where the snow melted and refroze, forming sheets of ice.

There were no signs or other warnings posted to notify customers of the dangerous condition that they insured created. Further, the parking lot was inadequately illuminated.

On the date of the occurrence, our client parked her car in a marked parking space in the restaurant parking lot. As she attempted to exit her vehicle, she slipped on a sheet of ice and/or snow left behind by the defendant during the plowing process of its parking lot.

We alleged to the defendant's liability insurance carrier that based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the occurrence at issue, it is clear that a proximate cause of the slip and fall occurrence was the negligent conduct of the restaurant owners.

Immediately after the fall, our client started to experience left wrist pain. Due to ongoing and increasing pain, she sought medical treatment with a medical doctor. There, she complained of left wrist pain. A history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were ordered, including left hand and left wrist x-rays.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with a comminuted intraarticular fracture of the left distal radius with slight dorsal angulation as well as soft tissue swelling. The physician performed a hematoma block, closed reduction and long arm casting under fluoroscan control. He prescribed pain medication and instructed our client to follow up with him.

On February 23, 2010, she sought follow up medical treatment from her doctor. She again had x-rays taken of her left hand and wrist that showed a fracture of the distal radius. The physician examined her and instructed her to follow up with him in five (5) weeks for removal of her cast.

On March 30, 2010, she had x-rays taken of her left wrist which showed a healing fracture of the distal radius. The plaintiff's cast was removed and it was recommended that she begin physical therapy for her wrist. He discharged her from care on April 24, 2010.

Despite a short period of relief from her symptoms, her left wrist flared up requiring her to seek medical care from her doctor again, where she complained of pain in her left wrist. He noted that since she sustained an intraarticular fracture of the left wrist, it is possible that she will have some arthritis in the future. Her physician recommended that she begin occupational therapy.

On March 12, 2011, she went back to the doctor's office again. There, she complained of left wrist pain and stiffness. Pain medication was again prescribed and instructed her to continue her home exercise program. The physician discharged her from his care on April 9, 2011.

Per her physician's instructions, our client attended 11 sessions of physical therapy at Southwest Hand Rehabilitation starting on December 30, 2010 and ending on February 28, 2011, at which time she was discharged from treatment.

The case settled for just over $26,000. No lawsuit was filed, saving our client the cost of going to court.

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