Hoff Lawyer Blog

Proudly Serving the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area

Blog Authors

Latest from Hoff Lawyer Blog

In our previous blog, we answered the question, is “how much will I be compensated for my pain and suffering?” This blog will address another element of damages commonly sought in personal injury actions—loss of a normal life (LOANL). As with pain and suffering, loss of a normal life is a subjective element of damages, left to the jury or judge to determine. People often have differing ideas of what a normal life includes. Accordingly, things that are difficulties to some people are normal to others. Loss of a Normal Life Jury Instructions Also as with pain and suffering,…
In our previous blog, we answered the question, is “how much will I be compensated for my pain and suffering?” This blog will address another element of damages commonly sought in personal injury actions—loss of a normal life (LOANL). As with pain and suffering, loss of a normal life is a subjective element of damages, left to the jury or judge to determine. People often have differing ideas of what a normal life includes. Accordingly, things that are difficulties to some people are normal to others. Loss of a Normal Life Jury Instructions Also as with pain and suffering,…
I recently reached a settlement in an accident case from 2016.  The case bounced around the court system for several years. My client is a truck driver.  As he was driving along the highway, a driver coming from the opposite direction fell asleep and hit a light pole.  The pole fell into the lanes of traffic where my client was driving, causing him and five other vehicles to crash into the pole. His truck was totaled, meaning he could not operate his trucking business.  He also experienced back pain. Sounds like an easy case, right? If it was, I wouldn’t…
That missive — “Let’s be careful out there!” — from the long-ago television series, Hill Street Blues, was how Sergeant Esterhaus ended every roll call.  The show depicted a fictional, gritty Chicago precinct of police and detectives. Danger was there, every shift. While many of us accept the danger a police officer faces in a high crime area, many of us are oblivious to the danger motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians face every day on the roads. What You Must Do as an Illinois Driver (This means you!) Illinois requires that you stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks.  Despite the fact…
One of the most common questions asked by clients is “how much will I be compensated for my pain and suffering?” The answer I, and most lawyers, give is that “it depends.”  It depends on many factors, such as the objective injuries you can prove, liability of the defendant(s), and the hard amounts of your medical treatment bills. But mostly there is no way for us to predict what a jury of one’s peers will do to compensate you for pain and suffering in an injury lawsuit. Pain and Suffering Jury Instructions When you go to trial in Illinois before…
Marijuana is legal to some extent in over 30 states and counting — some for medicinal purposes, some fully decriminalized. What are the implications for driving (including getting a DUI for marijuana intoxication), operating machinery, and driving through states where this herbaceous substance is not legal? Most importantly, how can you tell when you are intoxicated? Legality of Marijuana in the U.S. Some states have decriminalized marijuana use for all purposes, or have made it illegal only to the extent of a minor municipal violation.  Others allow medicinal use.  Many allow both.  Meanwhile, the other states still hold marijuana to…
There are at least twenty million reasons why it is impossible to answer in a straightforward manner who is the best personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago.  More on that later. It depends on many factors, but, the most important thing is the “fit” between you and your attorney.  In essence, the best attorney in any given field is the lawyer that you feel best about working with on your case. I am a Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Chicago, but I do not handle every type of case. Some cases require specialized expertise, such as…
Estonia, the Baltic nation formerly part of the defunct Soviet Union, has long been at the forefront of technology.  In most ways, they are far more progressive than the U.S. But a recent program to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) into various government ministries pushes boundaries. Estonia’s Plan Estonia’s chief data officer is a 28-year-old graduate student named Ott Velsberg, who is tasked with inserting AI into the government functions of nation of 1.3 million people. Specifically, Velsberg and his team are tasked with creating a “robot judge” to adjudicate small claims cases in the hopes it will clear a backlog…
I get calls frequently from people who have rented a vehicle and are involved in a crash.  Most of the time, they have put themselves into a difficult situation without even realizing it.  When you rent a vehicle, your insurance may not cover you! Here are a few scenarios to consider if you plan to rent a car or other vehicle. “I Just Let My Boyfriend Drive it for One Block… and He Hit a Parked Car” I did get a call the other day from someone who had rented a truck for moving purposes.  The vehicle was rented in…
Many of us have at least heard the phrase “products liability.”  Unfortunately, many of us have also heard tidbits of what we believe to be the “facts” of the “McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case.” In reality, most of us do not really understand products liability or know what really happened in that hot coffee case.  For anyone interested in learning the facts of that, there is an excellent documentary entitled Hot Coffee. Not Every Injury that Occurs from a Product is Worthy of a Lawsuit First, for the most part, without a horrific and permanent injury, the costs of a…
Medical malpractice in Illinois is governed by strict rules.  Just because you undergo a medical procedure and have a bad result does not mean you have a malpractice case.  Not every bad result is malpractice.  Similarly, not every case of malpractice is worth a lawsuit. The Law on Medical Malpractice in Illinois The 622 Affidavit The statutes governing medical malpractice lawsuits in Illinois require that, when filing a lawsuit alleging malpractice, you include (or include shortly thereafter — usually no later than 90 days later) an affidavit pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-622.  This affidavit must be signed by a health…
That is the million-dollar question.  Premises liability — or “slip and fall” — cases, are among the most difficult to prove in Illinois. You are required to show there was a defect on the property (say, a spill, a hole, an object you might trip on), that the entity that owned or managed the property knew, or reasonably should have known about that defect, and that the defect existed for sufficient time for it to have taken steps to repair or warn people. What Types of “Slip and Fall” Cases are There? There are several major types of slip and…
  The Sky is the Limit… Not Really We have all seen stories of lawsuits filed seeking tens of millions of dollars.  Does that mean the plaintiff gets that amount if they win?  Who pays that?  What do you have to prove?  We’ll try to explain how the civil justice system works as far as damages by reviewing one of our recent case settlements. The upshot? How much you can win in an injury lawsuit depends on a lot of factors, including the all-important insurance policy limits. Lawsuits are Just a Starting Point A lawsuit is begun when the injured…
I recently won a workers’ compensation trial.  Of course the fact is it never should have had to go to trial in the first place.  The petitioner (what the plaintiff is called in workers’ compensation cases) had an injury that occurred while he was performing his job (“arising out of” and “in the course of” his employment as an inspector for a municipality). He pulled on a gate that was broken and his biceps tendon tore.  He needed surgery to repair it. Did his employer dispute that he was hurt doing his job?  No. Did his employer deny that…
Are Bikes Allowed on the Road with Cars? Absolutely! In fact, Illinois doesn’t just allow bikes on the road, but the law requires that bikes be treated the same as other vehicles for the most part. Moreover, Illinois law requires motor vehicles to provide 3 feet of space between their vehicle and a bicycle.  Tell this to anyone who regularly cycles on the roads of Illinois, and, if that cyclist isn’t already maimed, get a big laugh.  The simple fact is most car drivers are unaware of this requirement. Bicycles are required to obey all traffic laws and signals. Cyclists…