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The new buzzword, especially around the start of the new year, is “wellness.” We are often reminded by our health insurers of the need to get a wellness exam with our doctor. Many people make resolutions to conduct their lives in a simpler, cleaner way (“Dry January” “Monthly workout challenges”).
I was reminded of the importance to listen to one’s own body a little more carefully this year.
Ablation Rhymes With Inflation
If you know me well, you know I’m a serious bicycle rider and that I race time trials (races against the clock) regularly. These are all out efforts
Continue Reading Wellness an Unwellness

I get inquiries all the time from people who were involved in motor vehicle crashes for which they were responsible.  The common theme goes something like this:  I was involved in a crash a number of (months/years) ago and now I got this letter from a (collection agency/insurance company/the Secretary of State) saying they (are going to suspend/have already suspended) my driver’s license.  Can they really do that?
The answer, in most cases, is, “Yes, they can really do that.”
How, why, and on what basis?
Read further to find out.
Illinois Safety and Financial Responsibility Law 
In essence, the
Continue Reading Can They Really Do That?

The title of this blog says it all.  Sometimes, you have those days that are awful in so many ways that seem to compound upon themselves, and there is simply no way to get out of your own way.  That was the sentiment expressed in the humorous children’s book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst.  I certainly enjoyed reading it to my son, who is now frighteningly close to the age I was when I was doing the reading.
What does this have to do with a settlement?
A Fall, and the Aftermath 
Continue Reading A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Settlement

‘Tis the season of joy, giving, and…selfish driving. 
As both a cyclist and an injury attorney, I observe many happenings on the roads from a unique perspective.  Suffice it to say that my vantage point is a terrifying one!
Why are so many people driving so poorly, and why is it so pronounced this time of year?
Dangerous Driving
During every single ride on my bike or in my car, which is daily, I see someone doing something dangerous or illegal. 
People drive right through stop signs. 
They turn left in front of oncoming traffic. 
Drivers cut off others so
Continue Reading Do Unto Others

I get calls and emails all the time from people who were injured in a motor vehicle crash and are getting the runaround from the other driver’s insurance company. 
The first question I ask them is “what is the name of the insurance company?”
Invariably, I cringe as I hear the words “Direct Auto,” “American Access,” “American Heartland,” or several other names that constitute what we in the know refer to as substandard insurance carriers. After cringing, I usually give them news they don’t want to hear. 
What are substandards? Why do they exist? What games do they play? Why
Continue Reading Substandard Responses

Maybe you have heard about “greedy trial lawyers” whose actions raise the costs of medical care, insurance, and other things for everyone. Or perhaps you have been led to believe that the “Good Hands People” really are on the “right” side.
I have been a lawyer representing injured people and their families in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases for almost the entire 32 years of my legal career. I have encountered much misinformation about what I do, why I do it, and how I am perceived.
Allow me to examine some of this misinformation and give you a better
Continue Reading What Does A Trial Lawyer Do…And Why Should You Care?

Have you heard the term “nuclear verdicts” before? What about plaintiffs’ injury lawyers referred to as “greedy injury lawyers” or “ambulance chasers?”
These are both examples of how interest groups try to craft a narrative about the American civil justice system. Much like the ubiquitous political ads we were recently bombarded with, the people making these statements have an angle. No one should accept these “assessments” at face value.
An Example 
One need only look at a recent verdict against a company called Sterigenics and its predecessor and successor companies. A jury in Cook County, Illinois returned the verdict in
Continue Reading Nuclear Verdicts

Workers’ compensation is based in large part upon the wage rate earned. That rate is known as the Average Weekly Wage, or AWW. Theoretically, this is calculated by looking at the 52 weeks preceding the date of the work injury and averaging them.

There are a myriad of exceptions, quirks, and technical rules that govern these calculations. For example, overtime may count, but only if it is regular and/or required. There are also disputes about how to calculate things like the wages of teachers, who often are paid for 52 weeks but do not amortize that amount for the entire
Continue Reading Your Side Hustle and Average Weekly Wage

I blogged previously about my client C, who was rear ended at high speed, which resulted in a fractured cervical vertebra. 
She spent several months immobilized in a hard neck collar (which is extremely uncomfortable). Although her doctor determined she did not require surgery to repair the fracture, I was able to convince the insurer for the driver who rear ended her to pay its entire policy limits of $100,000. That was the “easy” part of the case.
Next up, was the Underinsured Motorist Claim portion of the case (UIM). As I’ve mentioned in many prior blogs, UIM kicks
Continue Reading We Will See You in Court…Or Zoom…Or Settle It!

Have you heard the term “independent medical exam,” or IME for short? If you have, you likely heard it in the context of a workers’ compensation case. There are many misconceptions about these exams, how they work, and what your rights and duties are if you are an injured workers’ compensation claimant. 
Calling It Independent Doesn’t Make It So
Independent medical examinations, commonly referred to as IMEs, are actually not called that at all. Well, sure, people use the term all the time, but if you read the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Section 12, you will find no mention of
Continue Reading Do I Have to See Their Doctor?

Most people assume that when they are involved in a car crash or slip and fall personal injury case, their medical bills will be paid by the other party at fault. 
Actually, that’s not at all how it works. Our system is terribly unfair to injured parties. Let’s explore how it is unfair, why the system is what it is, and what you do about it.
Systemic Inequality
Hospitals, physicians, therapists, and other health care providers can place a lien upon a personal injury case, hoping to get paid in full out of the settlement funds. Many refuse to directly
Continue Reading Don’t Lean On Bills Being Paid

The pandemic has made owning a bike shop a lucrative business. Bikes were nearly impossible to get early in the COVID lockdown, as shut-in people with time on their hands decided there was only so much Tiger King they could watch without doing something outside. There is a sense of freedom when riding, which is one reason I love riding my bike.
However, many people who took up riding had no idea what they were doing, and had never learned the basics of how to handle a bike, where they fit in among fellow riders, vehicular traffic, or what rules
Continue Reading Bike Path Etiquette

(Yes, I’m guilty again of making a lousy song reference as the hook to my blog. If you are not old like I am or an REM fan, you may not even recognize this one.)
At any rate, over the years, I’ve mused deeply about the emerging trend of autonomous vehicles. Will we ever see a completely driverless world? If so, what does it look like, and how soon can I expect it?
When I first started contemplating self-driving cars, about seven or eight years ago, I was genuinely concerned that the world of personal injury as I
Continue Reading Autonomous for the People

The general public often gathers a skewed view of how injury cases are resolved. The cases that make the news always involve the extreme verdict or settlement; the famous (and wrongly reported as “excessive”) McDonald’s hot coffee case, and a multitude of criminal cases where seemingly overwhelming evidence does not lead to the verdict  the press has led people to expect.
Some of this is simply because boring cases are boring to read about. The extremes, the oddball facts, the cases involving huge amounts of money, or sex, or drugs tend to occupy most of the press’s and public’s attention.
Continue Reading Okay, Fine—Prove It!

Okay, that’s great. Maybe those words put some fear in your adversary. But how do you know that the lawyer you hire will be the right lawyer for your case or the best fit for your personality? How can you determine if that lawyer is even competent, let alone excellent at her job?
With so much information available, the answers to these questions should not be a secret. In fact, if you do just a little homework and research, you should be able to find the best fit far more often. I’ll share my thoughts and tips on hiring the
Continue Reading I’m Hiring a Lawyer!

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted mental health and well-being. Despite shorter (or no) commutes, many people report feeling more anxious and stressed in the past two plus years. People have been living in close quarters, and many parents had to deal with their children being home and having to get them set for online school while also managing their own work responsibilities. Others reported feeling confined and unable to relax, especially those living in unhappy or unsettled households.
What does this have to do with law, being a lawyer, or anything else?
Read more and find out.
The Struggle is
Continue Reading Life Gets in the Way