Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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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December 6, 2011

Chicago personal injury attorney settles car crash claim for $100,000

Illinois injury lawyer David Abels has obtained a $100,000 insurance policy limits settlement on behalf of a client that was injured in a Kane County auto accident.

The collision which took place on June 20, 2011, at approximately 4:13 a.m. The plaintiff was injured when the automobile he was driving was hit head-on by a vehicle driven a driver insured by State Farm.

Our client was driving northbound on Farnsworth Avenue north of Reckinger Road in Aurora, Illinois. The defendant was driving his automobile southbound on Farnsworth north of Reckinger. The at fault motorist was distracted while driving and crossed the center turn lane of Farnsworth, entering the northbound lane that the victim was occupying. The negligent driver struck our client in a head-on collision while facing south in a northbound lane.

The Aurora Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. After speaking to both parties, the investigating officer placed the defendant at fault for the collision. The investigating officer cited the defendant for improper lane usage and also determined that he was distracted while driving. He also admitted to the responding officer that he consumed two mixed drinks earlier in the night. Based on that information, the investigating officer administered field sobriety tests which the defendant passed.

We argued to the insurance carrier that their insured failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, failed to pay proper attention to the road conditions, failed to stay within one lane of traffic, drove southbound in a northbound lane, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including our client.

Following the collision, the plaintiff had an immediate onset of severe chest and abdominal pain.

He was transported by ambulance to Provena Mercy Center’s Emergency Department. Upon arrival at the Emergency Department, a history was taken, he was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed, including CT scans of his abdomen, pelvis, cervical spine, and head. He complained of severe pain in his chest and abdomen. His CT scans showed fluid within the right hemipelvis, soft tissue swelling and induration in the right flank, hepatic steatosis, and a right frontal subgaleal hematoma in his brain. Upon exam, he had peritonitis. Our client required an emergency exploratory laparotomy as a result of his injuries.

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November 28, 2011

Chicago bus accident attorney settles CTA case

Illinois bus crash attorney David Abels has resolved an injury claim with the Chicago Transit Authority.

The claim arose out of a collision which took place on October 9, 2010 at approximately 5:30 p.m. Our client was injured when a CTA bus he was a passenger in lost control, veered off the road, and collided with several trees. As a bus passenger, the CTA, a common carrier, owed the plaintiff the highest duty of care.

He was a passenger on the No. 6: Jackson Park Express CTA bus, which was driven by a CTA employee. At the time of the collision, the bus was moving southbound on Lake Shore Drive near Interstate Highway 55.

Our client alleged the CTA driver failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop and/or reduce his or her speed to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area.

Following the collision, the claimant had an immediate onset of knee pain and ankle pain. He was transported by ambulance from the scene of the accident to Saint Bernard Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Upon arrival at the Emergency Department, a history was taken, he was examined, and diagnostic tests were performed. He initially complained of right leg pain, right ankle pain, left knee pain, left ankle pain, and right foot pain. X-rays were taken and the client was diagnosed with a left knee abrasion, right ankle sprain, left knee sprain, and possible right tibial fracture. Based on the findings, his right knee was immobilized and he was given crutches. He was prescribed pain medication and instructed to seek follow up treatment.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our client sought follow up medical care with a physician on October 12, 2010. There he complained of left knee pain, right ankle pain, and right foot pain. A history was taken and he was examined. A physical exam revealed left knee edema, pain on palpation of the medial aspect of the joint with some restriction of flexion and extension of the knee joint, right foot edema, and pain on palpation of the lateral aspect of the right ankle with limited range of motion. The doctor noted a possible left knee fracture or torn cartilage. He was diagnosed with a left knee contusion, right ankle sprain, and right wrist contusion. the physician ordered him off work pending a follow up visit. He also ordered a MRI of his left knee and x-rays of his right wrist, prescribed pain medication and recommended physical therapy.

On October 18, 2010, MRIs of his right wrist and left knee were taken. The MRI of the left knee found prominent marrow contusion within the medial femoral condyle, diffuse edema within the superficial soft tissues anterior to the knee, knee joint effusion, and fluid surrounding his MCL compatible with a grade I sprain.

On October 29, 2010, the plaintiff returned for follow up treatment with a medical doctor. At that time he complained of right wrist pain and left knee pain, as well as tenderness and swelling of the right ring finger. The physician noted a right wrist contusion and left knee contusion. At that time, he was allowed to return to work and discharged him as having reached maximum benefit.

Per his physician’s instructions, our client attended five sessions of physical therapy.

The case settled for $13,500 out of court, saving our client the time and expense of litigation.

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November 15, 2011

Attorneys reach $3.2 million settlement from Archdiocese of Chicago on sexual abuse lawsuit

Attorneys from Hilfman and Martin; Abels & Annes personal injury firms win major settlement in case tied to former Rev. Daniel McCormack.

Chicago -- Chicago plaintiff lawyers Hilfman & Martin P.C. and Abels & Annes P. C. 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 $3.2 million dollars, $300,000 of which is to be placed in escrow for services. The identity of the plaintiff and his family are confidential.

The victim sued the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George in 2007. 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 plaintiff in this case is one of the victims for which McCormack pled guilty.

The settling victim was sexually abused by McCormack between 5th and 7th grades.

“On behalf of the victim, who was between the ages of 10-12 years old when he was abused, we are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to him and his family,” said William Martin, a partner at Hilfman & Martin, a Chicago-based law firm that has represented other victims in child sex abuse cases involving the Archdiocese of Chicago and other entities.

Hilfman & Martin, P.C. and Abels & Annes, P.C. extensively litigated this case and settled it shortly before trial. They are the only firms in McCormack litigation that took the depositions of many senior Archdiocese officials, vicars, priests, seminary leaders and other key Archdiocese personnel.

“Representing child victims of sexual abuse in cases against religious institutions, school districts, day care centers and other organizations that interface with children implicates complex and sensitive issues and requires a unique approach given the ages of our clients,” said David Abels, a partner at Abels & Annes, a Chicago-based personal injury law firm. “ We are proud to work every day on their behalves to represent their interests and maximize rewards that, we feel, are deserved.”

Both firms have carved out a niche in Chicago, taking on challenging cases for the victims of sexual abuse. “Our understanding of the lifelong devastating injury that abusers cause their victims is what drives and motivates us,” said Louis Hilfman, a partner at Hilfman & Martin P.C.

The firms have clients who are plaintiffs in two pending civil cases against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Cardinal. These cases are also related to those defendants’ failures to timely remove McCormack from access to children and to McCormack’s activities while an Archdiocese priest.

November 8, 2011

Chicago accident lawyer obtains $59,000 car crash settlement

Illinois auto accident attorney Gary Annes has resolved a claim on behalf of a Will County resident for $59,000. The claim arose out of an Illinois auto accident which took place in the area of Weber Road and Grand Haven Circle in Romeoville, on June 15, 2010 at approximately 2:24 p.m. The plaintiff was injured when the automobile she was driving was involved in a multiple car chain reaction rear end collision caused by a vehicle driven by a negligent motorist.

Our client was driving southbound on Weber Road. Traffic in front of the plaintiff came to a stop and she stopped for the traffic in front of her. There were vehicles stopped in front of her and a vehicle stopped behind her.

The defendant failed to stop and/or reduce the speed of his vehicle and rear-ended the vehicle stopped behind our client. The force of the initial impact propelled that vehicle into the plaintiff's vehicle, and the force further pushed her car into the vehicle in front of her.

The Romeoville Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. After speaking to all the parties involved in the collision, the investigating officer placed the defendant at fault for the collision. He admitted to the investigating officer that the collision was caused because he did not notice that traffic had stopped in front of him until it was too late. The investigating officer issued traffic citations based on the drivers admission for driving too fast for traffic conditions and failure to reduce the speed of his vehicle.

The at fault driver failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop and/or reduce the speed of his vehicle to avoid a collision, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area.

Based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the occurrence at issue, we argued to the defendant's insurance carrier that it was clear that the sole proximate cause of the collision was the negligent conduct of their insured.

Following the collision, the plaintiff had an immediate onset of neck pain, back pain and chest pain. That same day, she was seen at the Edward Hospital’s Emergency Department. There she complained of right sided neck pain, back pain, chest pain and pain in the iliac area. She was diagnosed with cervical strain, right iliac crest pain, and a chest wall contusion.

Over the next few days, her pain increased significantly. On June 21, 2010, she sought follow-up treatment at a chiropractic office. She was still having back pain and neck pain. She was also suffering from severe headaches, left leg pain and left ankle pain. She started therapy, which consisted of spinal adjustments, electric stimulation, and ultrasound. After three days of treatment, our cleint realized that her injuries were severe so she decided to get a second opinion from an orthopedic physician.

My client next treated with a medical doctor in Naperville in June 2010. At that time, she had complaints of neck pain, back pain, left leg pain, and left ankle pain. The physician ordered cervical and lumbar MRIs, as well as an MRI of her left ankle. The scans showed the plaintiff had sustained disc bulges at 2 cervical levels and one bulge at her lumbar level.

After receiving the MRI results, the client was next seen at a physical therapist's office in July, 2010. At that time, she was still having complaints of neck pain, back pain, headaches, left leg pain, and left ankle pain, which caused very limited and painful mobility. A physical exam found that the lower back pain caused radiating pain to her left lower extremities as well as her posterior right thigh. At that time, she started a course of physical therapy that consisted of manual therapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound therapy and therapeutic exercise. She completed ten (10) sessions of physical therapy.

On July 20, 2010 the plaintiff was seen by another medical doctor. She was diagnosed with low back pain, lumbar radiculopathy, upper back pain, cervical radiculopathy and neck pain. The doctor recommended additional physical therapy and epidural injections.

She began an additional course of physical therapy. Her treatment consisted of manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, neuromuscular reeducation, ultrasound and electric stimulation. She attended twenty-one (21) sessions of therapy which ended on December 1, 2010. She also underwent several epidural steroid injections.

In addition to the $59,000 settlement, we were able to collect over $16,000 in medical payments from her own auto insurance policy, bringing her grand total to over $75,000.

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July 27, 2011

Chicago bike accident lawyers secure $40,000 settlement

Illinois bicycle crash attorneys at Abels & Annes have negotiated a settlement on behalf of a cyclist and tri-athlete injured in a crash caused by a negligent motorist. The case settled for the insurance policy limits of the at fault driver, as well as additional compensation from her own under-insured motorist policy.

The accident took place on July 24, 2009, as the victim was traveling eastbound in a marked bicycle lane through the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Sangamon Street in Chicago, Illinois. A woman traveling westbound in a 2005 Nissan Ultima failed to properly yield to the cyclist, who had the right of way, causing her left hand and right knee to strike the car on impact. The victim’s momentum then took her up and over the hood before landing on her back, right shoulder, right head/helmet, and left hand. Following the collision, the victim had an immediate onset of right knee and left hand pain, swelling and bruising, head pain, and multiple lacerations and abrasion. She was then transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center by ambulance.

At the hospital, x-rays and CT scans were administered which came up negative for any fractures or brain/spine damage. After a night in the hospital, she was provided a pair of crutches, a prescription for pain medication, and instructions to follow-up with a doctor before being discharged.

Due to ongoing right knee pain, the woman went to see a doctor on August 14, 2009, who ordered an MRI scan for a possible meniscal tear. She also complained of low back pain that was radiating down into her right knee and lower leg. These injuries made it difficult for her to turn with a fixed foot, squat, or lie in bed at night, which was especially difficult for her as a tri-athlete. She described the pain in her left hand as constant. The August 19 MRI was luckily negative for serious injury. She was told to begin physical therapy and slowly increase her level of activity.

Over the next few months, the victim attended 21 physical therapy sessions between two locations and was still suffering from pain in her right knee and lower back. The pain was still persisting as of her latest evaluation on May 26, 2010, ten months after the accident, and still limiting her ability to compete in triathlons.

Our firm was able to settle with the at-fault driver for her entire policy limit of $25,000. In addition, the lawyers showed that the $25,000 was inadequate to fully compensate the victim for her injuries, and secured another $15,000 payment in under-insured motorist benefits from her own policy. The settlement allowed the victim to avoid litigation, and the court costs and stress that can come along with it.

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June 27, 2011

Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer settles case at mediation

An Illinois pedestrian injury attorney at Abels & Annes has reached a $95,000 settlement on behalf of one of our clients.

The claim arises out of a truck vs. pedestrian collision which took place in Chicago on June 18, 2009 at approximately 6:54 a.m. There was plenty of light, the road was straight and flat and visibility was good.

The defendant was driving his truck northbound on Monticello approaching Leland in Chicago, Illinois. This is a quiet residential neighborhood. The trucker had a stop sign for northbound Monticello at Leland and stopped. The was walking eastbound across Monticello in the marked pedestrian crosswalk. He had crossed almost the entire street and had crossed in front of most of the defendant's truck when he suddenly accelerated and struck the pedestrian. The front end of the truck, on the passenger side, struck our client on his right side. The plaintiff was fully within the marked crosswalk when he was struck.

The force of the impact threw the pedestrian to the pavement. He had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain.

The Chicago Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. The truck driver was issued traffic tickets for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and for failing to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian. The at fault driver later pleaded guilty to his tickets in traffic court.

The trucker failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to remain stopped until it was safe to proceed, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the Plaintiff.

Following the collision our client had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. He was transported from the scene of the collision by ambulance to Swedish Covenant Hospital.

At the ER the plaintiff complained of back, neck and shoulder pain. A history was taken, he was examined and diagnostic testing was performed. X-rays showed some loss of disc height in the lumbar spine and straightening of the lordotic curve of the cervical spine. He was initially diagnosed with lumbar and cervical strain. He was instructed to stay off work for a couple of days, prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain medication and instructed to seek follow up care after discharge.

Over the next couple days the plaintiff's condition worsened and his back pain started radiating into his right leg. Due to his increasing pain and discomfort he saw follow-up treatment with an orthopedic physician on June 22, 2009. The doctor prescribed pain medication and recommended therapy.

Our client started therapy in June, 2009. Initially his main complaints were of low back pain radiating into his entire right leg and neck pain. The pain was exacerbated with movement. His pain was especially bad with sitting and activities such as putting his shoes and socks on. A course of therapy was prescribed to address his injuries. He continued to treat with the therapist over the next several months. Despite this ongoing treatment he did not experience any significant relief of his injuries.

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May 24, 2011

Chicago motorcycle accident attorney reaches policy limits settlement

Illinois motorcycle crash lawyer Gary Annes has reached a settlement on behalf of the client injured in a collision. This claim arises out of a cycle vs. automobile accident which took place at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Paulina Street in Chicago, Illinois, in August, 2010.

The plaintiff was hurt when the motorcycle he was riding was T-boned by a vehicle being driven by the defendant. Our client was northbound on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, approaching its intersection with Pauline Street.

The traffic light at the intersection showed a green light for north and southbound traffic on Milwaukee. As the plaintiff went to the intersection, the defendant turned left into his motorcycle, failing to yield the right-of-way. The front of the defendant's vehicle struck the motorcycle and our client's left leg. After getting hit, the motorcyclist was knocked off his bike, and he slid around 20 feet after landing on the pavement.

The Chicago Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. After speaking to both parties involved in the collision, the investigating officer placed the defendant at fault for the collision. The officer issued a traffic citation to the driver of the car for failure to yield when making a left turn, which he was found guilty of at trial in traffic court.

After the collision, our client has an immediate onset of left leg pain, left hip pain and pain in both shoulders. An ambulance was called to the scene. Paramedics noted multiple left leg abrasions in severe road rash on both arms. He was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Over the next few days the plaintiff's pain increased significantly. A week after the accident he returned to Northwestern for additional treatment. He was instructed to continue on pain medication and seek follow up treatment with a medical doctor.

A few days later our client started treatment with an orthopedic physician in Chicago. There he began a course of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment in September, 2010. His treatment consisted of chiropractic manipulative therapy, myofascial release, interferential therapy, traction, heat/cold therapy, neuromuscular re-education, and therapeutic exercise to increase range of motion and decrease pain. He attended eleven (11) sessions of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, which ended on November, 2010.

The case resolved for the defendant's auto insurance policy limits of $20,000. Further, our office was able to recover an additional $5,000 for the plaintiff by making an under-insured motorist claim against our client's own auto insurance policy.

If you've been hurt in a Chicago area motorcycle accident, contact the Illinois injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call 312-924-7575 to speak directly to a lawyer now.

May 9, 2011

Illinois work comp lawyer resolves claim

A Chicago work injury attorney at Abels & Annes has settled a claim on behalf of a DuPage County resident.

The claimant was employed as a truck driver for company in the Western suburbs. In December, 2009, he lifted up some heavy boxes and put them on his right shoulder to carry them to his truck. After doing this, he started to experience right shoulder pain.

Over the coming weeks the pain remained so the driver started undergoing treatment with a medical doctor. An MRI scan was eventually ordered which showed he had sustained a tear. The claimant underwent surgery to repair the shoulder.

The case settled for just over $17,300, plus the worker received an additional $14,000 in disability pay while he was off work. Further, the work comp insurance carrier is paying for any medical care related to the on the job accident.

This the case was handled by Nicole Sommerfeld, Of Counsel to our office. Nicole's law practice is focused on handling Illinois work injury claims.

If you have been injured on the job, contact our office at 312-924-7575 for free consultation. There is no fee unless you win.

May 5, 2011

Chicago truck accident lawyer reaches $825,000 settlement

Illinois truck crash attorney Gary Annes of Abels & Annes recently resolved a tractor-trailer vs. automobile accident claim on behalf of a Chicago resident for $825,000.

The claim arose out of a collision that took place in August, 2009 in the afternoon hours. Both the plaintiff and the defendant truck driver were headed northbound on Interstate 94. The tractor-trailer was in the center lane and our client was in the right lane. The semi truck change lanes, failing to observe the plaintiff, and struck the rear driver's side of her car with the front passenger side bumper of the truck.

The impact sent our clients car spinning across three lanes of traffic into the left retaining wall. The front end of her car struck the wall, causing the vehicle to bounce back while still spinning. As the vehicle spun, the passenger side sideswiped another vehicle, causing a third impact. Finally, the vehicle struck the right retaining wall with the rear driver side of her vehicle for a fourth impact before coming to a rest.

The plaintiff had an immediate onset of back pain, neck pain chest pain, facial pain and right ankle pain following the collision. She was taken by ambulance to St. Margaret Hospital's emergency room. Upon arrival at the ER, a history was taken, she was examined and diagnostic tests were performed. Glass shards had to be removed from her face and eyelids. She was initially diagnosed with cervical strain, ankle sprain and multiple contusions and abrasions. She was prescribed pain medication and instructed to follow-up with a medical doctor.

Due to ongoing and increasing pain, our client sought follow-up care two days later at Ingalls Memorial Hospital's emergency room. She complained of increasing neck, back, abdominal and rib pain from the collision. She was again given pain medication and told to follow-up with a physician.

A week later she had an appointment with a board-certified neurologist. At that time she was still having neck pain, back pain radiating into her left buttock, chest pain, right knee pain and right ankle pain. Additional diagnostic tests were ordered and physical therapy was prescribed.

In the coming months, a lumbar MRI was ordered which identified protrusions at L1-L2 and L3-L4 and a bulge at L4-L5. The physician prescribed additional pain medication.

Despite the pain meds, she continued to suffer from low back pain. The doctor soon prescribed a course of epidural steroid injections and facet joint injections. The client underwent injections and while she did obtain some temporary limited relief, the majority of her pain persisted. She then had bilateral medial branch nerve blocks. Again, her pain persisted. In response, the neurologist recommended fusion surgery and referred her to a board-certified neurosurgeon.

The plaintiff underwent lumbar fusion surgery in August, 2010. She then went for follow-up treatment and physical therapy over the coming months.

The claim settled without having to file a lawsuit, saving the client time and litigation costs.

If you have been injured in a Chicago truck crash, contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for free, no obligation consultation. Contact us online or call 312-924-7575.