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

Winter and fall go together.  Not just in the above sentence, but in life too.  In many parts of the country, winter means snow and ice, slippery sidewalks, floor aisles, parking lots, and roadways.
I get questions all the time from people who have fallen and gotten hurt wondering whether they have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
The answer is, as with most lawyer answers, that it depends.  These cases are very fact-specific, which I will discuss below.
Slip and Fall on Snow or Ice
The general rule in Illinois is that to recover for falls on
Continue Reading Winter Fall Spring Summer

Everyone should have auto insurance.  Yes, even if you don’t drive regularly.  Everyone.  I’ve blogged about how people who are passengers in other vehicles and find out the hard way the driver causing the crash is not insured sufficiently to compensate them for their injuries.

Since I continue to bug you about getting insurance, and as much coverage as you can afford, why don’t we take a brief dive into what is actually covered by an automobile insurance policy.
Declarations Page 101—Liability Coverage
When you purchase insurance, you receive a listing of coverage and covered limits from your carrier.  This
Continue Reading Ensure that Your Insurance Covers You

Recently, I was able to resolve one of the older cases in my office.  My client, M, a labor and delivery nurse at a south suburban hospital in her 50s, injured her dominant, right shoulder, when a patient’s leg inadvertently pushed her arm during delivery.  This injury, way back in March of 2016, tore her rotator cuff completely, and required surgery.
If you have ever hurt your shoulder, or read any of my blogs about rotator cuff or labrum injuries, you know this is one of the worst joints to injure.  The shoulder joint is hyper-mobile, which makes it inherently
Continue Reading As the Rotator Cuff Turns

Some cases just cannot be resolved by the parties alone without the help of an impartial third party.  That might mean filing a lawsuit and letting a judge or jury make the ultimate decision.  It may also mean that an arbitration, mediation, or other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is utilized to get the parties to yes.
In the case of my client N, it took all the methods and systems mentioned above to get the first portion of her personal injury case resolved.
Get Your Head in the Game
I often like to say that my job depends
Continue Reading Tell It to the Judge!

Most people think of the banana as the fruit most likely to cause someone to slip.  Perhaps banana peels really do cause falls due to their slickness.

But what if you fall while working for Apple?

That happened to my client, C, when she was working at a suburban Apple store.  In addition to her job as a Technical Specialist there, she also performed administrative duties in a school district office, and took care of her aging parents.  She was a busy woman.

One evening, the cleaning crew mopped the floor without providing any notice it was doing so or
Continue Reading Slipping on an Apple

Walking across the street in Chicago should not be an adventure, but, nevertheless, it often turns out to be just that.
As I’ve written about previously, the main reason it’s so dangerous to cross the street is that drivers are not paying attention to the road or those on it.  Most typically, the danger comes from vehicles that are turning.  As I have addressed numerous times, it is often vehicles turning left who fail to look through their turn who inflict the most harm.
Chef versus Truck—Truck Wins
My client L is a rising 31-year-old chef.  As is typical of
Continue Reading Pedestrian Fare

Regular readers know that one of my pet peeves is people who are unwilling to or disinterested in worrying about other fellow humans.  After all, isn’t that the entire purpose of a civilized society?
Apparently, drivers don’t seem to have received that memo, as I personally witness, and represent clients who are on the receiving end of, a complete lack of concern for laws, rules, and other people.
This is not just a “pet peeve” or really annoying, although it is both of those in spades.  What this really represents is danger and mayhem.  Peoples’ lives are at stake.
Continue Reading It’s All About Me

Protected bike lanes are all the rage.  Cyclists push for them, cities build them, and they are quickly becoming a way of life in many major cities across the country, just as they have been in Europe for decades.
What are they?
How do they work?
Most importantly, do they make it safer for bicyclists?
What Are Protected Bike Lanes?
In essence, a protected bike lane is a bike lane that is separated from vehicular traffic.  This separation can be accomplished in a number of ways, but the most common is where the bike lane is next to the curb,
Continue Reading For Your Protection

One thing being a regular bicycle rider demonstrates to me is that probably nine out of ten drivers either are unaware, or don’t care, that they must look through their turn prior to beginning it.  I observe drivers daily who start to make a turn (usually left, but also some right turns too) without considering the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, children, scooters, or dogs in their path in the crosswalk into which they are turning.
Most drivers are aware they must be certain the intersection is clear prior to making a turn.  Especially regarding left turns, most drivers know
Continue Reading Are You (Looking) Through Turning?

If you read my last blog about Uninsured Motorist claims, commonly abbreviated as UM, you are familiar with some of the lingo and acronyms utilized to describe this type of insurance claim. 
Now, I am going to make it even worse.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claims.  There is a “you,” an “I,” and an “M.”  Think about it as you, I, and me as a way to remember.  What it means, how it works, and why everyone should be familiar with this type of insurance will be addressed below.
The Other Person Had Insurance, so Why Do I Need Insurance?
Continue Reading You, I, Me?

A constant theme in our lives is what we notice, what seems different or unusual.  About people, situations, the décor of a room.
But in the legal world, so many of our personal injury and negligence cases hinge upon notice—that is, what did the defendant know and when did they know it?  Myriad examples abound.  Was the manager of the restaurant aware that the floor was super slippery by the door when the customer wiped out?  Did the city know its sidewalk had a two-inch defect when the plaintiff tripped?
Recently, a great example of notice has arisen involving the
Continue Reading Notice Anything?

Why should Public Act 102-0006, the new law signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on May 28, 2021 matter to you? The law becomes effective July 1, 2021. The short answer to why it should matter to you is that on certain personal injury claims, 6% prejudgment interest will accrue.
What Does Prejudgment Interest Apply to and How Does it Work?
Prejudgment interest applies to specific types of injury claims, namely those cases based upon negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, intentional misconduct, or strict liability.
That means that prejudgment interest accrues if the judgment on the case (the verdict in
Continue Reading Does This Interest You?

Life is risky and uncertain.  We know that inherently, but we always assume that major accidents happen to other people and that our regular commute to work will not end in catastrophic injuries.  We believe this because if we truly weighed the risk of every car ride, crossing of a busy street, or bike ride in traffic, we might never venture out. 
However, the possibility that something terrible can happen to you, while ever-present, is not in our collective consciousness.
What Would You Do For Money?
Many of us speculate over drinks with friends what we would be willing to
Continue Reading A Fractured Life

Lawyers use jargon.  The entire industry contains many terms of art, abbreviations, and words that are unknown to the general public. And few areas of the law involve as much jargon as the law involving automobile insurance. Uninsured motorist insurance, or UM, in the parlance of those who deal with it all the time, is one of those terms.  What exactly is it, why do you need it, and how do you get it?
Um, What Is It?
Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance coverage is an insurance product designed specifically for situations in which the person responsible for your injuries did
Continue Reading UM, What Does That Mean Again?

You were in a car crash, or you fell and hurt yourself. Seems like you might have a legal case against the party responsible for your injury. They might even pay you enough money to cover your medical bills and maybe your pain and suffering. Before long, a nice person from the insurance company calls you or comes to your home. But you don’t have a personal injury lawyer.
And before you know it, without even meaning to, you have given up all your rights.
How can that be fair or legal?  Read on to find out.
When Settlements Go
Continue Reading It’s All Settled!

Many people have heard of athletes or workers injuring their rotator cuff or labrum, but few laypeople truly understand the anatomy of the shoulder joint, the causes of injury, and the treatments. Here’s a primer that may come in handy should you become one of the 3 million people in the U.S. with a rotator cuff injury each year.
The Labrum SITS in the shoulder socket
The labrum is the soft cartilage that cups the ball-shaped joint that connects your upper arm (humerus) and the glenoid.  (You can learn more about the labrum in this blog post about SLAP tears
Continue Reading An Off-the-Cuff Discussion of Rotator Cuffs