Trials in Illinois personal injury cases can be long and grueling, but even the most hard-fought cases can be overturned for seemingly small decisions during trial. An Illinois appeals court recently overturned a multimillion-dollar verdict because the trial judge barred testimony from a witness.

According to the court’s opinion, a truck driver was driving a semi-tractor trailer on a highway when he started to have engine trouble. The driver pulled over to the shoulder of the highway and turned off the vehicle. He could not restart the vehicle and called his employer, who told him to call the manufacturer of the truck’s engine. The driver eventually called a towing company, which sent two tow trucks to tow the tractor and the trailer. One tow-truck driver parked in front of the tractor-trailer, and the other driver parked behind it. Soon after, another semi-tractor trailer driver was passing by on the highway and sideswiped the rear tow truck, crashing into the back of the tractor-trailer. The crash resulted in the deaths of all four men.

The wife of one of the tow-truck drivers filed suit against several defendants, including the employers of both of the tractor-trailer drivers. She claimed the employer of the first tractor-trailer driver was negligent for several reasons, including for failing to properly maintain its tractor-trailer and for its driver’s decision to pull onto the shoulder rather than driving to the next exit. She claimed the employer of the driver who sideswiped the truck was negligent for several reasons as well, including failing to watch the road properly, and crashing into the vehicles. The case went to trial and a jury found both employers liable. The jury divided the liability, assigning 57% to one employer and 43% to the other. The jury awarded the plaintiff over $19 million in damages.

Nobody gets on a motorcycle thinking that they will get into an accident. However, according to recent government data, there are over 2,500 Illinois motorcycle accidents each year with nearly 1,000 resulting in serious injuries. In addition, approximately 150 motorcyclists are killed each year in traffic accidents. The majority of these accidents occur in urban areas, like Chicago.

Anyone fortunate enough to remain conscious after being involved in a motorcycle accident should take certain steps to protect their rights. This is important because, unfortunately, motorcyclists have a bad reputation, even though motorcyclists are not responsible for causing most accidents. After an accident, a motorcyclist should be sure to do the following:

  • Check for injuries – If you’ve just been in a motorcycle accident, chances are you will have injuries. It is important you check your body for injuries because it is not uncommon for adrenaline to mask the pain typically associated with road rash or broken bones.

It is not uncommon for employees to become injured while on the job. An injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work place caused or contributed to the resulting condition or aggravated a pre-existing condition. Workers in the manufacturing industry, especially factory workers, are more likely than many others to experience a work injury.

As of 2015, the State of Illinois had 568,500 manufacturing jobs. Many of these jobs are located in more urban areas, but some factories do still call the Chicago area home. Despite the number of manufacturing jobs in Illinois being smaller compared to near-by states, on-the-job injuries and illness rates in Illinois are statistically greater than the national rate according to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).

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Rideshare operations such as Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular in Chicago and other cities throughout the United States–and it is easy to see why. Ordering a ride through your smartphone is faster, easier, and often less expensive than hailing a cab. In addition, many people believe that rideshare services are safer. Unfortunately, Uber accidents still often happen in the Chicago area.

Uber does insure drivers and passengers involved in car crashes. However, when drivers are using their vehicles for personal use, they are covered under their personal auto insurance policy. If a driver is using the app but has yet to start a trip, they are covered under their personal insurance policy and Uber’s contingent liability policy, which provides up to $50,000 per injury for a total of $100,000 and up to $25,000 in property damage in the event the driver’s personal insurance does not cover the issue. If an Uber driver has accepted a fare or is on a trip with a passenger, they are are covered by a one million dollar liability policy and a one million dollar uninsured/underinsured policy. The UM/UIM coverage protects drivers and passengers in event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

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Death is an unfortunate part of life, but sometimes due to the negligence of others death comes too soon. When someone dies due to the fault of another’s recklessness or negligence their loved ones, under Illinois law, may be able to claim damages against the at-fault party.

There is no amount of money that can compensate fully for the loss of a loved one but damages can help families cover medical costs, funeral costs, and the cost of living after the loss of the loved one. This allows the family to focus on what matters most – healing. Damages can help a suffering family begin to move forward with their lives without the stress of financial debts hanging overhead.

Wrongful death claims can include a number of types of fatal accidents and can stem from most negligence claims, but most often these claims arise from motor vehicle accidents. A myriad of scenarios can give rise to wrongful death claims.

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It is no secret the construction industry is dangerous, reporting the most injuries and fatalities across American industries. Electrocutions or electrical hazards is considered one of the ‘Fatal Four’ – a hazard that contributes to sixty-percent of construction workplace fatalities each year.

Electrical injuries are very common for workers in America with approximately 160-180 fatal electrical injuries reported every year according to the Illinois Center for Injury Prevention. Half of these electricians occurred in the construction industry.

Construction workers are not the only ones exposed to potential electric injuries. Anyone who works on electrical tasks is at risk. These accidents are often common in factory settings and those working closely with public utilities. CTA employees are also exposed to a substantial risk given the dangerous third rail utilized by CTA trains which provides electric power to keep trains moving.

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Under the Illinois Animal Control Act, if you or a loved one are injured by an animal, you may have a claim against the owner. The law holds animal owners strictly liable if their pet attacks another person unless the attack was provoked or certain other exceptions are met under the law. The most common animal attack incidents in Chicago are dog bites or dog attacks.

Our pets quickly become a part of the family, and no one wants to believe that their dog could harm anyone, especially a friend or family member. While many dogs are gentle and loving creatures, these incidents do occur frequently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million Americans experience a dog bite injury every year.

Children are most commonly the victim of dog bites. Of those 4.7 Americans injured by dog attacks, half of these are children. Children often do not understand that a dog is not a play toy and may antagonize the dog, making the dog uncomfortable and leading to an attack. It can be difficult for a dog to understand a child’s innocent intent when the dog perceives the child’s conduct as threatening.

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The most recent statistics report that across America, over 1.4 million individuals reside in nursing homes. As of 2014 there were almost 16,000 nursing homes with this number steadily rising. In Illinois alone there are 1,200 long-term care facilities serving more than 100,000 residents.

Nursing homes are heavily regulated and frequently inspected by the state’s public health department in accordance with the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and guidelines to ensure safe and dignified care for those in nursing homes. However, despite these efforts many facilities do not comply with these care standards. One of the most common violations is the improper and negligent care of immobile patients.

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With winter encompassing Chicago, the season of slipping and falling is upon us. Every winter, countless individuals become injured due to falling on icy surfaces. We’ve all experienced it; you’re walking along and then without any warning you find your feet slipping out from underneath and you end up flat on your back on the cold and icy surface.

These accidents can happen anywhere and commonly occur in parking lots and on public sidewalks. Over one million Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents every year and these accidents increase during the winter months thanks to snow and ice. These accidents are especially common in the Chicago area as the temperature often drops below freezing and walking is a common form of transportation. Slip and fall accidents can result in injuries ranging for mild to severe. Luckily most people walk away with only a few scrapes and bruises, but sometimes these accidents can lead to broken bones, damaged muscles, large wounds that require stitches, or even a concussion. These more serious injuries can require extended and expensive medical treatment like surgery or physical therapy.

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The phrase “multi-car collision” typically is used to describe accidents with a large number of cars. However, it can mean anything from a crash with two or three vehicles to one with hundreds. These incidents happen most commonly in areas with heavy traffic, unexpected congestion, and in parts of the country where weather can be treacherous. Put simply, Illinois faces an incredibly large risk of being home to multi-car collisions at any time of the year but particularly during the winter months.

Like most types of car accidents, multi-car collisions can happen for a number of reasons and therefore can be difficult to prevent or avoid. One of the most common causes of these crashes is a vehicle following too closely for safety. A driver who keeps her vehicle too close to the vehicle in front of her is at risk for causing a rear-end collision, and if traffic is heavy, that initial rear-end collision may turn into a chain reaction crash involving several vehicles all being struck from behind. Areas like the Kennedy Expressway and the Eisenhower and known for having chain reaction collisions particularly during morning and evening rush hours.

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