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How Illinois Law Protects Pedestrians

During 2016, Illinois roadways were the site of 324,473 motor vehicle crashes. Of these, 8,053 involved pedestrians (including pedalcyclists—a category that includes occupants of non-motorized bicycles, unicycles, and tricycles). That means that around 2.5% of all automobile crashes in Illinois involved a pedestrian.But, understandably, pedestrians account for a disproportionate number of injuries and deaths caused by car crashes. After all, pedestrians don’t have the solid metal frame of an automobile to come between them and another vehicle in a crash.In fact, of the 66,703 injury crashes in Illinois in 2016, 7,616 (or about 11.5%) involved pedestrians. And pedestrians also accounted...

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Fighting City Hall: Lawsuits Against the Government in Illinois

Lawsuits in Illinois are always complicated. Success requires a detailed knowledge of statutes, past court decisions, rules of procedure, rules of evidence, and more. But that’s just the beginning of the issues that confront individuals who wish to sue the government for personal injuries that it has caused.That’s because in Illinois, as elsewhere, a series of special rules apply to lawsuits against the government. This article summarizes some of the most important ways in which such lawsuits differ from standard personal-injury lawsuits in the state. 1. You Can’t Always Sue the Government Centuries ago in England, the principle that the King can...

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Respondeat Superior in Illinois: When Can You Sue a Business for Injuries Caused by its Employees?

Who do you sue when you’re injured by another person and want to recover for your injuries? That may seem like a trick question, because the answer is obvious: You sue the person who caused your injuries, right? Normally, the answer is just that simple. But sometimes it can get more complicated, because sometimes the law also imposes liability on another person who didn’t directly cause the injury.For example, we recently discussed the Illinois Dram Shop Act, under which a bartender or other licensed alcohol seller can sometimes be held liable when a drunk person whose intoxication he or she...

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Illinois Personal Injury 101: Proving Your Case

In an Illinois personal injury lawsuit, to meet the burden of persuasion, a plaintiff must put on evidence. Evidence comes in many forms, including testimony, paper records, photographs, digital recordings, and even physical objects (like faulty car parts). This post takes a quick look at three common types of evidence in personal injury lawsuits: police reports, witness testimony, and medical records.Although those three types of evidence won’t necessarily be available in every case, when they are available, they will be among the most important evidence in persuading a defendant to settle or a jury to find in the plaintiff’s favor. Police...

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How Much is a Personal Injury Settlement in Chicago?

Costa Ivone personal injury in Chicago

When one person has a legal claim against another, the result in modern times is most often some kind of settlement. In short, a settlement is an agreement by the person with the claim (who would be the plaintiff if a lawsuit were filed) to give up his or her right to sue in exchange for a payment from the person against whom the claim could be asserted (the defendant).For instance, most personal injury lawsuits in Illinois are today resolved by alternative dispute resolution, such as negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. The injured person may not even file a lawsuit, but...

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Birth-Related Medical Negligence

Wrongful Pregnancy, Wrongful Birth, and Wrongful Life: What are They?In August of last year, we explained the basics of wrongful death actions in Illinois. But Illinois law is as concerned with the beginning of life as its end. So, the law recognizes two of what are known as birth-related medical negligence claims: wrongful pregnancy and wrongful birth. For reasons we explain below, it has rejected a third type of such claims, wrongful life.As medical negligence claims, wrongful birth and wrongful pregnancy are generally like other medical malpractice lawsuits, but deal specifically with pregnancy and birth. Below, we summarize each of...

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Can You Make a Federal Case Out of a Personal Injury Claim in Illinois?

In the United States, our court system, like our government generally, is split between two levels: State courts are courts of general jurisdiction and can hear pretty much any kind of legal dispute. In contrast, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction—they can only hear cases that the Constitution or a federal statute says they can hear.So, it should come as no surprise that state courts in Illinois have jurisdiction to hear personal injury lawsuits. In fact, the Illinois Legislature and Illinois Supreme Courts are the ultimate authorities on what personal injury law is in Illinois, subject only to a...

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Are Arbitration Clauses Enforceable in Illinois?

As we’ve mentioned before, these days relatively few legal disputes are resolved in court. Most go through one or another of several methods of alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration. Arbitration has become something of a controversial topic in the United States, because many big businesses build arbitration clauses into their contracts to prevent their customers from filing a lawsuit against them.An arbitration clause is a contract provision that requires or permits a person to submit any disputes to arbitration, rather than filing a lawsuit. A clause that requires arbitration is known as a mandatory arbitration clause. Today’s question is:...

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Injured by a Drunk Driver? What the Illinois Dram Shop Act Means for You

injured - illinois dram shop act

If you’re injured by a drunk driver, can you sue the bar that served him or her? Normally, when you file a personal injury lawsuit in Illinois, you’re limited to the person or persons who directly caused your injury. However, in some cases, the law allows you to hold another person or persons responsible even though their contribution to your harm was only indirect.One statute that operates in that way is the Dram Shop Act, section 6-21 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Under the Dram Shop Act, certain people who contributed to the intoxication of a person who...

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Injured at Work: What Now?

In Illinois, 200,000 work-related accidents occur every year, according to the most recent report of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Of these, roughly one-third result in more than three lost workdays, which can severely impact an employees’ pay.Normally, when a person is injured by the fault of another, the injured person can file a lawsuit to recover for his or her damages. But, as we’ve explained before, that option isn’t available in workers’ compensation cases. So, if you’ve been injured on the job, what are you supposed to do? And what can you expect of the process of recovering...

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