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

How long will my case take?
I get this question all the time.  I’ll bet, over the past thirty-four years of handling personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, I have answered this question thousands of times.  
Of course, since I’m a lawyer, the answer is mostly “it depends.”  Personal injury and workers’ compensation cases can take varying lengths of time based on a multitude of factors.  Everything from how it happened, who the insurance company is, how badly injured the client is, and at least another dozen things, affects how long the case will take to resolve.
Some personal injury
Continue Reading The Long And Winding Road of Workers’ Compensation

Recently, Walgreens pharmacists across the Chicago area have been on strike, leading up to a “Phed Up” event in May at the company’s headquarters.
Pharmacists have been working without a contract for nearly a year.
Why are they striking and how does this affect your health?
Worker Rights for Pharmacists Can Affect Your Health—How?
I can tell you anecdotally that I have handled about a half dozen cases involving this particular pharmacy in which the patient received the WRONG MEDICATION.  Because so many pills look the same, patients often didn’t know they were taking the wrong medication until they felt
Continue Reading Is Your Pharmacy Acting Like It’s On Drugs?

Auto insurance companies are reporting record profits.  This is happening because premiums are rising.  That much makes sense.
But why are premiums going up so much?  Could it have something to do with your driving behavior?
Pandemic and the Advent of Angry Driving
Those who read my blogs regularly know that I’m not just a personal injury lawyer, but I’m also a serious bicyclist.  I start my rides in the city of Chicago, and it doesn’t take more than a few blocks to notice aggressive, inattentive, and downright angry drivers. 
At least anecdotally, I’ve seen drivers making more bad
Continue Reading Is Your Bad Driving Making Insurance Companies Rich(er)?

Many people tune out when they see the term “workers’ compensation,” or the outdated “workman’s compensation.”  They figure, “I work at a desk so why would it apply to me?”  Or they figure it can’t be much different from a basic auto insurance claim.
Read more to find out just how wrong those assumptions really are. 
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
At its essence, workers’ compensation is a nearly no-fault system to compensate people injured while working.  Over a hundred years ago, you got hurt at work and it was “so sorry, have a nice life.”   Then, reformers recognized that
Continue Reading Workers’ Compensation 101

 It’s spring, which means that as I write, there is March Madness basketball happening and baseball season is now underway.  Which brings to mind the vast difference in how those two sports take space in our brains, as well as how different people process information.
What does any of this have to do with law, personal injury, or workers’ compensation?  Read further and find out.
Immediacy Vs. Long-Term Outcome
For those unfamiliar with “March Madness,” the NCAA basketball tournament is a single-elimination playoff.  The four lowest ranked teams play “play-in” games to enter the field of 64 teams. 
Continue Reading March Madness or Baseball?

Infrastructure.  Roads, bridges, pipelines…and also the guardrails and medians on those roads.
Things we don’t even think about—unless our vehicle is sent careening toward a steep dropoff or headed toward the oncoming lanes. 
Most people assume these concrete medians, metal guardrails, and other apparatuses on highways and roadways are designed to stop motor vehicles from disastrous consequences like falling into a ravine or flying into ongoing traffic.
Well, they were designed to do that.  When motor vehicles were the size of a smaller-sized elephant.
Now, many vehicles we drive are double or triple that size.
And the infrastructure can’t handle
Continue Reading Is Your Vehicle Too Juiced to be Stopped by a Guardrail?

 I recently settled the second step of a case for my client.  First, in May, we obtained the full policy limits for the at-fault party.  Then, in January of 2024, we settled the Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim.
My client, S, drove through an intersection (she had no lights or traffic control devices to observe) when suddenly, a driver shot through the red light and turned left in front of her.  She had no chance to avoid the crash, and it was serious. 
S experienced back problems as a result.  Seems like a straightforward case, right? 
There is never anything straightforward
Continue Reading Can Your Body Affect Your Settlement Value?

 I recently settled a case that was in lawsuit and ready for trial.  Like all good settlements, neither I nor my client were overjoyed by the settlement.  It wasn’t exactly what we hoped the case was worth, but it was certainly far more than any previous offers.  In short, we were able to push the defense to offer more by showing we were ready for trial.
 How did comparative negligence factor into this settlement?  Read more and find out! 
Comparative Negligence vs. Contributory Negligence
Some states bar plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit from all recovery if they are found
Continue Reading What is “Comparative Negligence”?

You can’t watch television, browse online, or even play a game on your phone without being bombarded with lawyer commercials.  I mean, how many of us had even heard of mesothelioma before the ubiquitous lawyer ads for these cases?
Lawyers, particularly personal injury lawyers, get picked on often, sometimes for good reason.
But despite all the noise, there are some of us who are arguably better than the rest.
That’s why I am proud to announce that I was selected by my peers again as a Super Lawyer in Personal Injury, a designation I have held proudly since 2012.
I’ll
Continue Reading What Makes a Lawyer Super?

I have seen the aftermath of many horrific car crashes in my 33-plus years of practice. In one old blog post, I shared the photo of my client J’s lower leg, where the x-ray indicated one could easily place a fist into the gap between where both of his lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) had been snapped. 
I have written about a woman hit from behind so hard her face (and mascara) hit the roof of her vehicle interior.
But the photos accompanying this blog are among the most poignant I’ve seen.
My client was injured. 
Continue Reading A Picture is Worth A (Hundred) Thousand Words

I apologize for being the “get off my lawn” type, but as a bike rider and dog walker in the city of Chicago I see a lot—and I mean A LOT—of people blowing through stop signs.  Just this morning on the dog walk, I observed three separate drivers go through three separate stop sign intersections at high speed.  One not only blew through the stop sign, but she continued through to make a left turn, potentially endangering pedestrians in two separate crosswalks while she talked on the phone (not hands-free either). 
Scenarios like this are unfortunately common in the city.
Continue Reading Utah Stops and Illinois Vehicles

Our world is so technologically interconnected, technology is part of every facet of our existence, from household devices, to smart speakers, to our smartphones.  It’s everywhere.
The other day, my wife took “my” car (oops, I mistyped “our”) to pick up her parents from the airport.  I managed to avoid this duty, but she got to drive my car.  Out of boredom, I noticed I could use the car’s app to track nearly everything she was doing in the vehicle. 
I could see what she was listening to on her phone through Bluetooth.
I could see (and remotely control) the
Continue Reading Can Big Brother Watch Your Driving?

I admit to being unusual in that I like to work out while listening to podcasts, the nerdier the better.  While most people like to blast Metallica, Foo Fighters, or pop hits from Taylor Swift, I generally don’t listen to music when I work out (and I never listen to anything when I ride outside, so I can hear road noise and be aware of my environment).
Granted, as a former Spin instructor, I can and have worked out to music.  And it’s a rule that I must play “Low” by Cracker before every bike race I do.  Works for
Continue Reading Dead Pedestrians and Podcasts

If you read my blogs regularly, whether for lack of anything better to do or the need to fall asleep quickly, you have probably noticed that I like to explain complicated legal concepts so that non-lawyers can understand them.
I enjoy teaching.  It also helps me understand those concepts, by forcing me to break them down into digestible bites.
Where does this love for teaching come from, and how do I apply it to my practice? 
How I Got Here
I’ve been a lawyer since 1990.  For the first six years of my career, I worked for others at two
Continue Reading Educating the Public…And The Jury

I am about to ask a simple question, but cannot promise you a simple answer. Well, I know what the answer should be.  But I know from personal experience that is not always the case.
Bike lanes are created for bikes.  That much seems to be obvious and agreed upon by nearly everyone.
How then, can we explain that just this week I have nearly been run into by drivers while biking, or nearly ran into pedestrians who were in bike lanes?
The answer comes down to well-intentioned laws and infrastructure versus the worst inattentiveness of humans. 
Facts About Bicycles
Continue Reading What Belongs in a Bike Lane?

That’s exactly what happened to my client, R. This hardworking guy was returning to his home on the south side of Chicago after working the night shift in a north side parking garage.  It’s a long commute, but he’s used to it.  But the traffic in the wee hours of the early morning is almost non-existent.
What he was not expecting, however, was for a vehicle to come from his left as he passed through the intersection (he had no stop sign or light).  And this vehicle was coming really FAST.  It was not going to stop at the stop
Continue Reading What Happens When You Get Hit and Everybody Scatters Away?