We are experienced Illinois attorneys who help with serious injury cases everywhere in Illinois. Call us at 312-346-5320 to speak with a lawyer for free and find out who is the best Illinois law firm for your case.

We get calls on a regular basis from people who have been injured in Illinois vehicular accidents. One of the first questions we ask is, “What type of vehicle hit you?” What many people don’t know, is that being hit by a semi-truck versus by a car or pickup truck leads to a very different type of case. Here’s why:

  1. Tractor-trailer accidents are more complicated because there are usually multiple parties at fault. Often those trucks drive poorly because of maintenance errors or because they are loaded improperly. The parties you end up suing and recovering from may not be known at the scene of the accident
  2. The commercial aspects of the case create complexity. The insurance companies that represent trucking companies are very experienced in defending personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. A lot of trucking companies operate under shell companies. That means a big company will create a lot of smaller companies under the same wing so if something goes wrong they can act like they are a small company. Often it will appear that there is only $1 million in insurance coverage when we discover the bigger company. That leads to a larger settlement.
  3. Due to the sheer size and power of an 18-wheeler, the injuries caused by the collision with a truck are often more severe. Not only do you need a lawyer who knows how to investigate these cases, but you also want a law firm with a track record of success with catastrophic injuries such as brain damage, paralysis, life altering back damage, etc.
  4. Trucking accidents often require quick investigation. Time is of the essence. The sooner someone on your side is on the scene, the better. In one case we were involved with, a defendant was caught on film attempting to alter the scene of the accident which could have put the whole case in jeopardy. These big companies care about their bottom lines and nothing else.
  5. Trucking accidents also may require accident reconstruction. An experienced firm will know the best companies to hire in order to recreate how an accident happened so they can prove negligence to a jury. For example, in one case we are involved with, we believe the evidence shows that a semi truck rolled backwards and caused a death. The accident reconstruction specialist will prove this and the end result of that work can be the difference of literally millions of dollars as well as winning or losing the case.
  6. Different/additional driving laws may apply to those with a commercial driver’s license. Commercial drivers have laws as to how many hours in a row they can drive. They are required to keep driving logs. These factors can matter a lot in winning a case.
  7. When looking for an attorney for a trucking accident case, your options are more limited. There are roughly ten or fewer Illinois law firms that have demonstrated a strong track record of success in these cases. Almost every personal injury lawyer in Illinois would want you to hire them, but the reality is that so few are truly right for these cases.

There are other things to think about as well. If you’d like a free consultation, please contact us any time.

It’s heartbreaking to think about, but unfortunately, it is a reality. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and even older children are hurt or injured at day care. Mothers and fathers put their trust (not to mention their money) in day care centers like KinderCare, La Petite Academy and Kiddie Academy. They expect their children—first and foremost—to be looked after and safe at the end of the day. While most injuries that happen at day cares aren’t intentional, a lot do happen due to negligence and abuse.

This year alone we’ve had five potential clients for injuries at Chicagoland Kinder Care facilities as well as others against various providers. Let’s take a look at how these injuries might happen in day care centers. 

Defects in the Day Care Environment 

Although these centers are designed with children’s safety in mind, there could be defects in the center or defective baby products and toys. A loose floor tile could cause a child to trip and hit their head. A baby may fall out of a bouncy seat that is prone to tipping. That seat may have been recalled by the manufacturer but the day care center neglected to pay attention and remove it. Lots of these facilities have playgrounds and it’s not uncommon for their to be sharp objects on a slide or jungle gym. When the staff isn’t inspecting the property on a regular basis, injuries can happen.

Neglect/Mistakes by the Staff Members 

As every parent knows firsthand, children need constant supervision. Children are curious and obviously can’t gauge whether something they are doing is dangerous or not. Day care staff members are trained and paid to pay attention to what the children are doing and how they are interacting with each other. If a child gets into someone’s purse and mistakes medication for candy, a bad situation can occur. If a child becomes aggressive with another child, and the staff fails to notice or step in, an injury can happen. Perhaps the staff thinks a water balloon fight is a good idea for the older kids at the center. But not all pieces of the broken balloons are picked up and a younger child puts a piece in their mouth and chokes on it.  We’ve seen a lot of cases where generally there is negligent supervision or too many kids and not enough staff. Injuries that occur when that happens usually result in lawsuits.

Abuse by the Staff Members 

Although the employees of child care centers are interviewed, screened and trained to take care of your child/children and never do any harm, we do see situations where staff members intentionally hurt children. The abuse might include pinching, slapping, shaking or hitting a child. Bruises, broken bones, or more severe injuries might result, as well as mental trauma. In some terrible cases there have been instances of sexual abuse by adults on children by staff members. In other instances a non-employee family member of a staff member has been able to roam freely and abuse the kids.

We described a few scenarios above, but there are sadly many other examples. No matter what the cause was, if your child was injured or abused at a day care center, you may be entitled to compensation. We have over 25 years of experience and would be happy to talk to you for free. Call us any time at 312-346-5320 to speak with an attorney at no cost and in confidence.

We are experienced Illinois lawyers for all types of birth injury related claims including those who are born early and suffer an injury after delivery. If you’d like to speak to an attorney for free, call us any time at 800-517-1614.  All calls are free and confidential.

Having a baby can stressful because it’s natural to worry about things that could go wrong. While most labors are “normal,” that is of course not always the case. Some babies have warning signs while in the uterus which caused doctors to recommend they be delivered early. Others just come early naturally.

Premature infants or preemies are known to have a lot of complications. Premature infants are more likely to have immature gastrointestinal systems, resulting in complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC. This is a potentially severe condition in which the cells lining the bowel wall are injured/inflamed after the premature babies start feeding. Intestinal tissue gets inflamed, causing it to die.

Many babies fully recover, but others with NEC suffer from lifelong neurological and nutritional complications. Some even die from NEC.  Some preemies who end up with NEC and a bad result due so due to the negligence of doctors and hospitals and/or the products they give your child.

NEC rarely occurs before a baby has been fed. Extensive research has shown that premature babies fed cow milk-based baby formula were at a significantly higher risk of developing NEC than those fed breast milk exclusively. Babies fed a combination of breast milk and formula were also at an elevated risk for NEC compared to those fed breast milk exclusively.

Parents of babies afflicted with NEC have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against the doctors who prescribed cow milk-based baby formulas as well as the formula makesr (i.e., Similac and Enfamil). Currently an increasing number of parents of babies with NEC are filing product liability lawsuits against the formula companies for manufacturing toxic baby formula.

The lawsuits claim that Abbott Laboratories (Similac) and Mead Johnson & Company (Enfamil) knew or should have known about the potential risk associated with their formulas—specifically the component of cow’s milk that could cause NEC, sepsis, and other threats to premature infants.

The plaintiffs also claim that, despite warnings from trusted medical groups, the companies did not take action to learn more about the potential dangers of their products. The lawsuits additionally argue that Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson marketed their products as safe and beneficial for preemies despite the potential risks and did not include warnings about NEC as a side effect.

You may be eligible to start a NEC baby formula lawsuit if:
• Your baby was born prematurely;
• Your premature baby was given Enfamil or Similac in the hospital; and
• Your premature infant was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), sepsis, meningitis, bowel surgery/amputation, bacterial infection, abnormal bleeding, salmonella or death.

Becoming a plaintiff in a baby formula lawsuit may help you obtain compensation for the cost of your child’s past, present and future medical care, for pain and suffering, and for lost income/diminished earning potential.  If you believe you are eligible to join such a lawsuit, or even if you just want to ask a few questions about your situation, please contact us to speak with a lawyer for free. We will review your case to see what options you may have and connect you with the best attorney for your case.

The most common question that gets asked when someone calls a law firm is “Do I have a case?” To answer that question, the attorney you speak with will ask you a series of questions about the facts of your case.  They don’t want or need every detail, but want you to give them a general idea of what the case is about. In doing so they will have you paint them a picture so they can determine if it’s a case they want to investigate.  Unfortunately, many attorneys aren’t direct in giving potential clients an answer.

Some lawyers will lie and say something like, “You have a great case, but I’m too busy to take it.”  They do this because they are either cowards or wishy washy and worried about getting sued for giving bad advice.

Others will tell you that it’s not a case they handle.  Sometimes that’s true and other times they are afraid to say you don’t have a case.

Fortunately many attorneys will offer their opinion even if it means explaining why your case isn’t a winner.  This is why you came to us, for answers. That doesn’t mean will give you the answer you want, but it means we will tell you what we think. We aren’t the only lawyers out there. We’re not the Judge. All we can do is offer a opinion based on our experience and what we hear from you.

The reality is that while we get it right 99% of the time, no attorney is right all the time. Sometimes the law changes. Sometimes we don’t know what we are talking about. And sometimes someone else looks at a case differently and achieves something incredible.

This happened this year on a medical malpractice lawsuit in Chicago. In the case, a 98 year old woman who lived independently was prescribed Warafin at allegedly triple the appropriate dosage and without proper instructions.  This led to a severe uncontrolled bleeding event that resulted in acute hypoxic respiratory failure and other complications.  She required significant medical treatment and home healthcare.  She ended up dying two years later.

Now that sounds like a sad case, but the reality is that even though she went from mostly independent to needing daily assistance, the life expectancy of a 98 year old is usually weeks and anyone that age could go from independence to needing assistance at a moment’s notice.  In 25 years I’ve never gotten involved with a case for someone this old. Every medical malpractice lawyer I know would have turned this case down. It’s not to excuse the negligence, but the reality is that it appears based on the initial hearing of the facts that you’d likely spend more money than you can recover. That’s based on her age limiting what the case is worth.

The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers I recommend are the best in the business. They are the ones that get most of the leading case results every year.  They would have turned this case and is it turns out it would have been a mistake. The case went to trial and a jury awarded her family $1.3 million in damages. This was a record setting verdict for someone over 90 years old.

The lawyers who handled it were very smart. They didn’t file a wrongful death suit saying her life was cut short because she had already way outlived her life expectancy and survived another two years.  Instead they focused on how her quality of life had diminished.

I asked one of the prestigious attorneys I work with on cases if he would have taken. This is a guy who regularly sets records on these types of cases.  He’s a lawyer insurance companies fear. He said he would have turned it down too. But he also made a great point.  A lot of lawyers are settlement lawyers and not trial lawyers. A trial attorney knows that once you get in to a trial, it’s a daily grind. If the facts are shocking and every witness is against the defendant and the plaintiff is crushing them, it can lead to a great verdict.

I don’t think we’ll all of the sudden see a rush of similar cases, but it does create a data point for other attorneys to use if they get similar facts.  I tip my hat to the very good firm that got this result. For you as a potential plaintiff it’s a valuable lesson to remember that if one attorney doesn’t want your case, there might be another one who does.  We do get it right most of the time, but nobody gets it right every time.

Under Illinois law, if you die and have a will (or die without a will or trust), the process of legally transferring your assets is called probate. Now there are a lot of exceptions such as what happens when you have hardly any assets at all or nobody wants to make a claim to inherit your property because you had so much debt.  For the purposes of this blog post, we are going to assume that the person who died had a will, a house, bank accounts and other assets with no debt. The question is, if they had a will, who can challenge it?

Theoretically, anyone can contest an Illinois will. If on your deathbed you changed your will from everything going to your neighbor to everything going to your cousin, your neighbor could contest the new will as not being valid and try to get the old one enforced.

Realistically speaking, it’s usually relatives who are contesting a will. A common scenario is that an older person has a will that leaves everything equally to all three of their kids. They get sick or have dementia and at a time when it can be argued that they don’t know what they are doing, they leave everything to just one child or a caretaker or someone else.  In a situation like that you will see the kids who got cut off filing a will contest.

Another common scenario is when a child from one marriage is not left anything. This often happens when they weren’t a part of their parent’s life. If the will leaves everything to all surviving children, they will have the ability to say that they are part of that group.  One way to prevent this from happening is to specifically mention them and make clear you are leaving them nothing or leave a nominal amount so you can show that you thought about them.

A big hurdle in contesting a will is making sure that it’s financially worth it to do so. If someone died with a house worth $125,000, about $75,000 in debt and they had seven kids, that means there’s about $50,000 to divide amongst seven kids, before court costs are taken in to account. So essentially if you were to challenge that will, your interest at best would be around $7,000 which means you’d spend more money than the case is worth.

You can find a lawyer who will only get paid if they win to challenge a will if the estate  and your interest in it is large enough.  In other words, we’ve been able to help people whose relatives died and had a will illegally changed where the estate was worth seven figures and their interest in it was in the high six figures or low seven figures or more.  If you can make a strong case to overturn the will and it’s a large estate, there are very good Illinois lawyers who will take the case on in a way where they don’t ask you for any money to file a lawsuit.

In sum, you can challenge a will if you had a legal interest in it either from being a spouse, blood relative or someone who was mentioned in a previous will that you have a copy of. Note that Illinois does not have common law marriage. In other words, if your long time partner dies and either doesn’t mention you in a will or never had one, there’s not likely much any attorney can do for you.

These are not easy cases and require a decent amount of investigation. If you’d like to have a free consultation with an attorney to determine if a will contest is possible for you, please call us any time at 312-346-5320.

We talk to an average of 10 people a day about Illinois workers’ compensation claims. We hear a lot of the same stories and see a lot of the same insurance companies. By far the one that workers seem to have the most trouble with is Sedgwick.

They are a big company that acts as a third party administrator for big corporate clients. Places like Walmart, Delta, Xerox, Amazon and others use them to process work comp claims. They get these big corporate clients, in my opinion, in part because they do such a good job of not paying people what they are properly owed. And in my experience they lie a lot, and a recent caller to my office proves it.

He was working for one of Sedgwick’s big clients and had to unload product and stock shelves. Doing that caused a repetitive arm injury and a recommendation for surgery from his doctor. Here’s what he said which proved their dishonesty.

Workers comp sent out forms to get me to sign allowing access to my medical records, and I sent it back immediately. As I uploaded the signed forms to Sedgwick site, I saw that my claim was denied before they even got the doctor notes and records.

In other words, the plan was to deny his case no matter what. That happens a lot in workers compensation when there isn’t a specific accident, but instead a problem from working over a period of time. Often there is no sincere interest to learn the truth, but a financial strategy to tell you no regardless of what the facts show or what your doctor thinks.

To them it’s not immoral or gross, it’s just a business strategy. They make money by saving money and from their viewpoint, if you disagree with it, you can hire an attorney. Never mind the fact that they know that many people are trusting or naive about how the law works and will take their word for it. So their business decision can cause you significant financial and/or medical harm.

They of course aren’t the only insurance company that does this, but in my opinion they are the worst one.  The best thing you can do is level the playing field and get an attorney in your corner who is experienced, honest and will be an advocate for you. The good news is that it doesn’t cost anything to hire an Illinois work comp lawyer. If you want to have a free consultation to learn about your rights and options, contact us any time at 312-346-5320. We help everywhere in Illinois.

It’s the time of year that people in bad marriages start to think about divorce. Sometimes it’s because around the holidays people take inventory of their life and don’t like where the are. Sometimes being in close quarters with the cold weather pushes people over the edge.  Other times it’s a new year and they want a new life. For some the kids are old enough or out of the house. The reasons go on and on and the reality is that whatever reason you choose is fine.

It takes courage to file for divorce.  Some people are too embarrassed to do so or can’t see another life. Economically it can definitely be a challenge for a lot of people. If you can barely afford one apartment, how can you afford two between the two of you?

I’m not here to tell you to get divorced or not. That’s something you need to decide. What I can tell you is that I’ve learned a few things about it over the years and that a divorce in Illinois can be a good thing.

First off, divorce doesn’t mean failure, but instead means that the relationship has run its course. While your ideal situation might have been to stay married forever, if you were in a good relationship for ten years, produced children you love, etc., that can be a successful relationship whose time just ended. There is nothing to be ashamed about that.

Second, things will get better.  If you are thinking about divorce, you probably aren’t in a great situation, but the heartbreak of divorce or the stress of it, especially if there are kids, can be too much to think about. It very likely will be hard at first, but eventually you will realize that it’s starting to get better.

Third, for so many people I know, not only does it get better, but they are so much happier five years from when they started. It’s not a time in your life you can likely envision, but you should.  The things you hated about your marriage will likely be gone and for many people they are ready for a new, better relationship and able to find it. They know what they want and don’t want and are able to make better choices for themselves.

These three things might not sound like much right now or you may think your situation is different and you may be right. Nobody goes through a divorce and thinks that it was an awesome experience, but lots of people who can’t picture their life in 5-10 years right now will look back some day and wish that they could have given themselves a pep talk.

Bonus thought. Therapy is really beneficial when you are in this type of situation whether you go forward with a break up or not.

And if you’d like to ask a lawyer questions for free and in confidence, contact us any time at 312-346-5320.

We are experienced Illinois attorneys who since 2001 have helped thousands of people who are the victims of medical malpractice in Illinois. We thought it would be helpful to provide a basic explanation of what these cases are about and some answers to common questions we have received about Illinois medical negligence lawsuits. If you have any questions or would like to talk with an attorney for free, please call us any time at 312-346-5320.

  1. What is a simple explanation of medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or health care provider does not perform their job duties as they should have and a patient is harmed as a result. To bring a lawsuit, a lawyer will want to see negligence that leads to a major injury.

  1. How does medical malpractice occur?

When people think of medical malpractice, many envision a doctor making an error during surgery. However, medical malpractice can take many forms:

Failure to diagnose a problem like cancer

Improper treatment or a delay in treatment that causes a harm

Failure to order tests or evaluate the results in a way that causes an injury

Prescription errors

Birth injuries

  1. At what stage in life does medical malpractice occur?

Medical malpractice can happen at any point in a person’s life. A baby can have a birth injury due to the negligence of an OB/GYN. A young adult can have a misdiagnosis which leads to a terrible result. An elderly person can have a surgical error. Any of these things can happen to anyone at any time.

  1. Why do medical malpractice victims file a lawsuit? What are they hoping to get?

They are filing a lawsuit to get their medical bills paid, to recover lost wages, and to get compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured. These lawsuits are also a way to help prevent similar errors from happening to other people.

  1. What is a medical malpractice lawsuit typically worth?

There are too many variables in medical malpractice lawsuits, so there is no “typical” figure. It can be thousands or millions depending on the severity of the injury, the patient’s age (and therefore, lost wages and life expectancy), and the location of the case.

  1. Why is it so important to choose the right attorney for a medical malpractice case?

Medical malpractice cases are very complex, and the stakes are high. It is critical to hire a law firm that has the financial resources to bring a complex case to trial. The attorney should also have experience and a track record of success with the type of injury involved.

  1. How much of the judgment or settlement does an Illinois medical malpractice law firm keep?

By law, the attorney representing you is entitled to receive 33% of what he/she recovers for the client. This contingency fee is their payment for doing all the work required throughout the course of the case. If they don’t win or get a settlement you owe them nothing.

  1. How do I know which attorney is the best one for me and my specific case?

That is where we come in. For over 20 years, we have connected people with medical malpractice cases to the best attorney for their specific situation. We know the reputable firms, the ones that get great results for their clients and that are respected in the legal community. Call us at 312-346-5320 to explain your situation and get pointed in the right direction.

 

 

 

If you get arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Cook County, it’s important that you take the charges seriously as jail time is a possibility.  The goal is to get the best outcome possible. Sometimes that’s a dismissal of the charges. Sometimes it’s a not guilty finding at trial.  Other times it’s getting supervision, probation or a low amount of jail time.

To get the best result possible, you need the best attorney for your case. But there is no such thing as the best Chicago criminal lawyer who would be the right choice no matter what you are charged with in Cook County.  There are certain things you should know about finding the best one for you so you have the greatest chance of success.

1. In Chicago, there are seven different locations where your case could be heard. Most felonies will end up at 26th and California which is the main felony courthouse.

2. There are suburban courts in Skokie, Maywood, Bridgeview, Rolling Meadows and Markham.

3. Because your life is on the line when you have serious criminal charges, you should hire an attorney who is doing nothing but criminal defense (or close to it) all day every day.

4. It’s important that your lawyer do a lot of work at the courthouse where your case is being heard. You want them to have a relationship with the local Judge and prosecutors. They can’t know everyone, but the more they are there, the better chance of success that you have.

5. It’s not mandatory that your lawyer be a former prosecutor or public defender, but it can be helpful. We never recommend a criminal attorney who has less than 10 years of experience.

6. It’s not likely that an attorney goes to Markham and Rolling Meadows on a regular basis. Those courts are far from each other so the attorney would really be spreading themselves thin if they did that. In our opinion you are better served by hiring an attorney who mostly goes to the courthouse where your case will be.

7. Each year there are over 300,000 criminal arrests in Cook County. As a result there are a lot of experienced attorneys out there.

8. Beware attorneys whose first suggestion is to just plead guilty and get probation for paying them a small fee.  That’s a guilty finding that will stay on your record. You want an attorney who examines the charges and advises you on the best and worst case scenarios.

9. Because there are so many cases, prosecutors are willing to cut deals. That’s where having an attorney who deals with them on a regular basis becomes important.

10. No lawyer handles just one type of criminal case, but you want to hire an attorney who has handled the charges against you before. In other words, if you get caught with a gun at O’Hare, it’s not enough to just hire a lawyer who has handled gun charges. You want one who has defended people accused of the exact same thing. This is partly why we don’t recommend attorneys who aren’t experienced.

11. It’s not unusual for attorneys who handle these cases to be one man/woman law firms.

12. Sometimes the first court hearing will be in the suburbs but the case will get transferred to 26th St.  If it’s a felony charge, verify that your case isn’t going to change courts.

I hope this helps. If you’d like to speak with an attorney for free and get a recommendation of which Cook County criminal defense lawyer we think is best for you, please call us any time at 312-346-5320.

It’s not uncommon for me to get a call from someone asking something like, “Who’s the best Chicago personal injury lawyer near me?” The answer to that question really depends on the unique facts of your case and in most cases there are at least a handful of attorneys who could do a great job for you.

I’ve kind of evolved my thinking on who those “best” people are. I’m in my 26th year of practicing law and I’ve seen a lot of great lawyers come and go. Covid has had a big impact on that as well with many attorneys choosing to slow down their practice.  While Cook County has put in rules to speed up cases and force lawsuits to trial sooner, the reality is that for big cases, it’s still common for the lawsuit to drag on.

Recently a very prestigious Chicago personal injury lawyer settled a case for a truck driver who was killed in an accident for $25 million. That’s a tremendous result. The lawsuit itself was started in 2011 when the attorney was 59 years old. Now he’s 70. The case was tried in 2017, overturned on appeal and had it not been settled, probably wouldn’t have been over until next year.

This lawyer is great, but in my opinion the client got very lucky. Eleven years is a really long time and it wouldn’t have been shocking if the attorney had gotten sick, retired or just slowed down his practice and handed this case off to someone else.  He’s extremely capable, but if someone called me today and asked what lawyer has had a lot of success in trucking death cases, I couldn’t recommend him.  That’s because it’s very reasonable to expect that a new lawsuit will take at least five years to resolve and as shown by this other case, it could take much longer.

So when hiring the “best” Illinois attorney for your case, you have to not just think about who’s great now, but who’s likely to be great five years from now. With that in mind, most of the attorneys I recommend are in their 40’s or 50’s. They have incredible track records of success, but realistically speaking there is a much higher chance they will be a part of a thriving law practice five years from now.  That may sound unfair or ageist, but it’s an honest reality of life.

I salute the attorney who got the incredible result for the family he represented in the trucking death case and I hope he can keep it going. But I strongly recommend that when hiring an attorney you think about what they will be like five or 10 years from now and what their firm will be like. If you do that analysis, it will change your idea of who the best one is for your case.

We are experienced Chicago attorneys who help people find the right lawyer for their case anywhere in Illinois. Call us for a free, confidential consultation any time at 312-346-5320.