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.

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When I recently wrote Zooming to a Conclusion, I focused primarily on the role technology played in resolving that case. There was another angle that was equally important in allowing me to maximize the amount of funds my seriously injured client received. Underinsured Motorist Coverage As you may remember, that case involved my client and her sister as passengers in their friend’s car, which was struck by another vehicle. Long story short, the other car (which was at fault) had very limited insurance, and my client had serious injuries requiring several surgeries. (My other client, her sister, had relatively…
Recently, I concluded a case against a Chicago-area day care facility whose name alone suggests elite care and that it is the best of the best. Unfortunately for my client J, who was two years old at the time, the name and reputation did not reflect reality. A day care instructor sharply grabbed J by the arm, temporarily dislocating his arm at the shoulder. While J was in a lot of pain, he was fortunate to be very young and endowed with a short memory and ultra-flexible joint. After a brief trip to the children’s hospital and his pediatrician, he…
Not all that long ago, many of us enjoyed attending social events. We would flock to beer gardens, art shows, concerts, and sports events. While those things may seem a distant memory, one of my clients attended one of those a few years ago and suffered injuries when a tent post and counterweight struck him in the head and neck. Festivals Should Be Safe and Enjoyable What could be more appealing than attending an outdoor music performance in the midst of a strawberry festival in bucolic and quaint Long Grove? There are cute shops, a covered bridge (well, there used…
Sometimes, getting a settlement in a workers’ compensation or personal injury case involves resolving some unanticipated problems. That’s exactly what happened with one of my recent workers’ compensation cases. While my client Dennis was at work, he fell from the platform of a machine to the floor several feet below. No one witnessed the incident. All he remembered was that one moment he was standing on the platform, and then he was on the ground several feet below. In the fall, he injured both shoulders and his neck, head, and lower back. Since workers’ compensation covers all injuries that “arise…
Covid-19 has many of us working from home and going out only when we need to, rather than for our daily commute to and from work. The pandemic has also blown the doors off bicycle sales, with unprecedented numbers of people purchasing, or fixing up, bikes to ride for pleasure and exercise. With many working from home, and gyms still closed for the most part, people have opted for mobility via two wheels. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? If you have read my past blogs, you are ware that I am one of those MAMILS—Middle Aged Men In Lycra—who…
If you have read my blog posts over the years, you surely have come across at least a few posts having to do with a rotator cuff injury (and if you read the last few, you were introduced to a similar injury to the labrum, known as a SLAP tear). Why are they so common and what causes them? What are the challenges in returning to work for someone who injures his or her rotator cuff while working? A Fall on Ice, Some Broken Ribs, No Major Injury Apparent. But wait… My client Craig was a healthy and fit…
Question:  What takes three lawyers, four clients, and five laptops? Answer:  Online depositions in a case I recently resolved. This brave new Covid-19 world has forced all of us to rethink how we do our jobs. In my case, the biggest problem is how to keep my cases moving forward when the courts are on hiatus until it is determined how and when they will be able to “reopen.” Currently, the courts in Cook County are closed, except for emergency matters and a few other things, as well as online filing. Many judges are hearing matters virtually, using Zoom. Pretrial…
Most major auto insurers are offering refunds on auto insurance due to the novel coronavirus and the ensuing shutdown of the economy. Some offer as much as a 25% refund on premiums, while most others provide 15% refunds for premiums during April and May. Due to mandated or encouraged Covid-19 shutdowns, people are staying at home and working from home (so not commuting to work). Children are staying home from school (so parents aren’t ferrying their kids to and from school). It stands to reason that with fewer people on the road and less vehicle usage, there is less of…
On April 13th, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission issued an emergency rule to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Adoption of a New Workers’ Comp Rule for Covid-19 The new rule stated that if a first responder or front-line worker became infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19), the worker would be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits on the basis of a rebuttable presumption that the worker acquired the virus on the job. The employer would be able to refute the presumption with evidence that the worker was infected elsewhere. The rule provided which workers would be included, such as police, fire personnel,…
There is much talk lately of our “cancel culture,” which refers to the public shaming of people who say or do things that are deemed offensive. This blog is not about that kind of cancellation. But now that I have your attention, let’s discuss cancellation of insurance. When to Cancel Insurance Many people cancel coverage to save a little money. That often is the worst reason to cancel insurance. I once lived in a condominium where one of my neighbors was selling her unit. She cancelled her homeowner’s insurance to save a little money when they were close to unloading…
As you read this, your world has been turned upside down in a few short weeks. Even if you already worked from home, you probably now have a spouse or partner joining you, plus perhaps a child or two, not to mention some stir-crazy animal members of the family. And you are trying to do all this without a decent haircut or your “real” hair color. If you are someone who depended on your work in a factory or plant, a theater, or a restaurant for wages, you are undoubtedly in a very frightening new world. Our Economy is Connected…
We are living in uncertain, anxious times, where handwashing is at the forefront of our daily activities. Health experts have urged us to wash our hands for 20 seconds, even suggesting songs to sing while performing this ablution. “Happy Birthday” was suggested at first, but my own preference leans toward unsingable (at least by me) Sleater-Kinney (last 20 seconds of “Youth Decay”) or Ben Folds Five (chorus of “Song for the Dumped”). No wonder no one wants to hear me sing! Without delving into my musical taste, the future of the virus, our government’s response, or anything remotely political, one…
With apologies to Tina Turner, sometimes what happens legally has a lot to do with God. How so, you ask? Well, the basic principle of tort law is that a party must be negligent—either doing something wrong or failing to do something reasonable—to be held accountable for their actions in civil law. What happens when no one is at fault, or rather, it is an “act of God” that causes the damage? Act of God There is no religious component to the phrase. “Act of God” is merely a legal term of art that signifies something that happens outside of…
Face it — you are terrified of lawyers, or at least their bills. If you went through a divorce, you probably paid a large amount of money up front (a retainer), then received a monthly bill. Since your case went on for quite some time, the cost impacted your monthly budget for months (or even years). Perhaps you had a traffic ticket and had to pay a lawyer to handle it for you. Likely, the lawyer asked for the entire fee (a flat fee) up front. While you didn’t like having to fork over the money, you knew from the…
A question many people ask early in their personal injury cases is “How much will I receive?” or “What is my case worth?” Beyond the fact that it is next to impossible to predict the value of a case, due to dozens of factors that cannot be controlled or are not known at the onset, the question being asked is not “What is my case valuation?” but rather “How much money will I actually get in my pocket at the end?” The answer to that second question is dependent upon what amounts need to be repaid during the denouement of…
Does anyone actually read their auto insurance policy? If you are one of the few who have, do you have a detailed understanding of what it covers and what is excluded? What You Think You Get Is Not Always What You Actually Receive How many of you out there understand that when you purchase “full coverage,” it generally does NOT include coverage for liability? That means if you skid into another car and injure the occupants, you might not be covered for ANY of those damages. What about those of you who have tried to save a few bucks by…