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 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.
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?

What’s a Burger and a Beer Have to Do With Law?
My wife and I went out for a nice dinner to celebrate my birthday recently.  It was at a place that takes your credit card for a non-refundable reservation. It is considered one of the best restaurants in Chicago. We both dressed up a bit like adults and had a delicious meal, complete with wine pairings to complement the courses.  
Was it worth the money?  Was the food that fantastic?  I don’t think either of us were completely sold on either point.  We’ve had more adventurous, envelope-pushing food.  We’ve
Continue Reading Burger and a Beer

A recent backyard dinner party led to the question “what happens if a squirrel flies from a tree and hits someone?” 
Yeah, of course we never covered that in law school (at least not that I was awake for), so I consulted with my insurance broker to find out more about what might be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy in the event of a flying squirrel.
Please don’t think I’m nuts, but here’s the story. 
Squirrel-1; Wife-0
Sitting under a large tree enjoying appetizers with our guests when all of the sudden my long-suffering wife screamed and we noticed
Continue Reading Flying Squirrels, Oh My!

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