Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC

Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen Hoffman has been providing expert legal representation since 1990. During his legal career, which has spanned nearly 25 years, he has gained experience in a diverse array of legal settings. His experiences have not only shaped his professional career but also his legal practice. Stephen understands the need to approach the practice of law with politeness, professionalism, knowledge, and dedication.

Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC Blogs

Latest from Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC

Many people have an image in their minds of what workers’ compensation cases look like, or, more specifically, what workers’ compensation clients look like.  They imagine that most workers’ compensation cases involve blue collar workers who work in physically demanding jobs.
While this is partially true, as I’ve written previously in past blogs,  traveling workers are covered, as are people who work from home.  Workers’ compensation involves ALL workers—including police officers.
However, depending on where the police officer works, they may be covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act or perhaps under another set of laws, like the Chicago Pension
Continue Reading Policing Workers’ Compensation

Dog bites are serious.  But whenever I think of dog bites, I remember the 1976 movie “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.”  It made a 12-year-old me laugh hysterically.  Arguably, in many ways, my sense of humor may still be that of a 12-year-old boy, but that’s a story for another time.
There is a scene where the hapless Inspector Clouseau, played brilliantly by the now deceased Peter Sellers, asks an innkeeper “Does your dog bite?”  The innkeeper answers “no,” prompting Sellers to stoop to pet the small and seemingly friendly dog.  Of course, the dog bites him.  He then confronts
Continue Reading Does Your Dog Bite?

Automobile insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance.  Med pay/PIP, comprehensive, collision, umbrella, and a few dozen other types.
How many of you really understand what each type of insurance covers and how it works?  To me, there is no more important subject about which everyone should be literate than insurance.  Yet few people have much understanding of what they purchase, what it covers, and why it matters. 
Let’s take a quick refresher course.
Automobile/Medical Payments/Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist
 This topic alone could be a several hundred page book, so I will keep this basic. 

  • Automobile insurance covers damage to your

Continue Reading Insurance—What is it Good For?

Many people are familiar with the term “value drivers.”  We see it applied to all sorts of business dealings, employment situations, and also personal injury cases. In a nutshell, a “value driver” is something that increases the worth of a product, service, or asset. And believe it or not, the right to file a personal injury lawsuit is a kind of asset.
But while value drivers are applicable to personal injury cases, they do not apply to workers’ compensation.
Why not?  Read more and find out.
Value Drivers in Personal Injury
Personal injury cases gain value from various sources.  First
Continue Reading Value Drivers

Many people hear about large verdicts or settlements in the news and assume that all legal cases are huge, dealing with large amounts of money, huge injuries or damages, and massive numbers of lawyers and legal teams.
In reality, few cases are worthy of news attention and even fewer have any of the “sexiness” that those high-profile cases (Dominion Voting vs. Fox News, for example) do.
I am here to report that I recently settled a case that was on the very small side, yet had great significance to my client.
The Case
My client was referred to me by
Continue Reading Tiny Cases

The B-52s song “Private Idaho” always conjures up (to me) someone in his or her own headspace, oblivious to the rest of the world. Perhaps like someone cruising along in their car, singing with the radio, eating lunch, answering a text, or just spacing out, seemingly unaware of anything around them. 
And let’s face it, Americans have long had a love affair with the freedom of their cars.  There are hundreds of songs about cars, driving, hitting the road, freedom, and assorted twists on those themes.  Otherwise, what would Bruce Springsteen have written about in his early years anyway?
Continue Reading Your Own Private Idaho

You didn’t see that coming, did you?  Medicare and workers’ compensation don’t seem to have anything to do with one another.  Yet for an increasing number of injured workers, Medicare is very much a part of their workers’ compensation case.
Workers’ Compensation—a Quick Recap 
Workers’ compensation covers injuries incurred “arising out of” and “in the course of” employment.  Breaking that down to layperson’s terms, it means if you are performing your expected job functions and get hurt, it should be covered under workers’ comp.
While there are many exceptions, the general gist is that if you are doing your job
Continue Reading Medicare and Workers’ Compensation

If you are fortunate enough to be a layperson instead of a lawyer (lawyer joke alert!), you may wonder how lawyers get the cases they have.
If you read my recent blog about “hammer lawyers,” you already know that prodigious advertising and marketing is a necessity for many injury lawyers, where the field of competitors is huge.
Taking a longer look at things might get you wondering how some cases wind up with certain lawyers and not with others.  Perhaps I can help clear up some common misconceptions.
Keep in mind that lawyers are not allowed to solicit
Continue Reading Where Do Cases Come From?

A recent trip to one of my favorite cities in the world, Amsterdam, got me thinking about bicycle culture and how bikes, cars, and pedestrians can coexist. 
Can it work in our cities?
Bike Culture in Amsterdam and the Netherlands (and Denmark)
One of the places on earth most accepting of bicycles on the streets is Amsterdam, as well as most of the country it is in, the Netherlands.  Another bike-centric culture is in Denmark. 
How did they get that way?
In the Netherlands, specifically in the cities like Amsterdam, in the 1970s the city centers were clogged with cars,
Continue Reading A Culture of Acceptance…of Bikes

One thing that has changed drastically in my thirty three years as a practicing lawyer is the prevalence of video and cameras in our society.  Where before a Polaroid “instant” camera seemed like magic, and a video camcorder let us videotape everything (as long as we carried the 10-pound thing around with us everywhere and kept it charged up) we now have phones that can perform all those functions, and then some, to the 100th power.
In the “old days” of the ‘90s and early 2000s, lawyers would send out professional photographers to get photos of evidence—visible injuries to our
Continue Reading Smile, You’re on Camera

The weather is warming, players are reporting to baseball spring training in Arizona and Florida, and many people are planning to get away for vacations to warmer climates in the next few months, many with children in tow (in sync with their spring break schedules).
What are some things you should do before, during, and after you go on vacation to protect yourself, your family, your home, and your possessions?  Read more and find out!
Food for Thought—Issues to Consider 
Every time you will be away from home, especially in a different state, there are a host of issues to
Continue Reading Life’s a Beach

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are one of the fastest growing segments of our economy.  While they currently make up only a small percentage of total vehicle sales, many people say they would consider purchasing one, according to a recent Consumer Reports poll. 
Obviously, there are many factors to consider, such as overall cost, cost savings versus a combustion engine vehicle, and proximity of a charging source (or the cost of installing one at home), among others.  Then there is the can of worms you can open when you consider the existential question of whether EVs are a net
Continue Reading Are Crashes More SEVere with EVs?

You have seen the television ads, billboards, and infomercials promising you a check for your injuries and a tougher-than-steel advocate.  I mean, there has to be a lawyer calling himself “The Hammer” in every state!  A cursory check found one in Illinois and nearly every state it borders.
The persona must work or it wouldn’t be so ubiquitous.  Why is toughness such a selling point?  What do these lawyers/firms really offer?  What should you, the consumer of legal services, be looking for in a personal injury, workers’ compensation, or medical malpractice attorney?  Also, what are some sources of information a
Continue Reading Hammering Home The Message

The new buzzword, especially around the start of the new year, is “wellness.”  We are often reminded by our health insurers of the need to get a wellness exam with our doctors.  Many people make resolutions to conduct their lives in a simpler, cleaner way (“Dry January;” “Monthly workout challenges”).
I was reminded of the importance of listening to one’s own body a little more carefully this year.
Ablation Rhymes With Inflation 
If you know me well, you know I’m a serious bicycle rider and that I race time trials (races against the clock) regularly.  These are all-out efforts over
Continue Reading Wellness and Unwellness

The new buzzword, especially around the start of the new year, is “wellness.” We are often reminded by our health insurers of the need to get a wellness exam with our doctor. Many people make resolutions to conduct their lives in a simpler, cleaner way (“Dry January” “Monthly workout challenges”).
I was reminded of the importance to listen to one’s own body a little more carefully this year.
Ablation Rhymes With Inflation
If you know me well, you know I’m a serious bicycle rider and that I race time trials (races against the clock) regularly. These are all out efforts
Continue Reading Wellness an Unwellness

I get inquiries all the time from people who were involved in motor vehicle crashes for which they were responsible.  The common theme goes something like this:  I was involved in a crash a number of (months/years) ago and now I got this letter from a (collection agency/insurance company/the Secretary of State) saying they (are going to suspend/have already suspended) my driver’s license.  Can they really do that?
The answer, in most cases, is, “Yes, they can really do that.”
How, why, and on what basis?
Read further to find out.
Illinois Safety and Financial Responsibility Law 
In essence, the
Continue Reading Can They Really Do That?