The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle accident will go a long way toward determining the eventual outcome. This is especially true if you you are not the only one in the care and have passengers. If you wan to protect your safety as well as your ability to pursue rightful compensation, you need to take specific, measured actions to protect your interests as well as those with you.
When multiple people are riding in one car, the insurance coverage for all of the passengers is associated with the vehicle. This means that when it come time to settle the case, or divide a jury verdict, the insurance funds are split among the injured parties. Essentially, when it comes to collecting payment from insurance companies, every person in the car needs to fend for themselves. This is also a consideration if your children are in the car.
Here are some steps to keep in mind when confronting an auto accident involving multiple passengers. (These rules apply not only in Illinois, but across the country)
1. Determine If Everyone Is Okay
Is anyone in your vehicle or nearby injured? If so, call 911. A Good Samaritan may have already done so, but it never hurts to make sure that medical help and law enforcement officers are on the way. Better safe than sorry when someone's health - and maybe life - are at stake.
It is also important to fight the urge to resolve the situation quickly and get home. Even if other people in your care claim not to be hurt, it is wise to insist that an ambulance take them to the hospital or doctor. This is especially true if the passenger(s) is not a member of your family but a friend or associate.
2. Call The Police
Even a seemingly minor fender-bender can lead to big problems down the road. To preserve a potential legal claim down the line you need to get in touch with the police and make sure you file a police report about the accident. Then, make sure you have the other driver's insurance information. A full an detailed police report is the key to successfully achieving an appropriate damage award.
3. Take Care Of Yourself
You may feel fine right after the accident. In fact, you may feel nothing at all due to the adrenaline pumping through your body after such a close call. However, you may start to feel some soreness, stiffness and pain as that adrenaline wears off in the hours, days, and weeks that follow.
It is critical to get checked out by a doctor after your accident to rule out invisible injuries such as internal bleeding, and to create a record of treatment that will help a personal injury claim if you decided to pursue one.
Remember, similar rules apply to those we hear on airplanes where you must put on your own oxygen mask before placing one on your traveling companion. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't help others--even those involved in the wreck.
4. Talk To An Attorney
It will cost you nothing to find out whether you have a viable claim for damages, but going without the legal representation you need could leave you alone to bear the burden of medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Don't let that happen. Further, if there are other injured parties involved, generally the first party to retain an experienced local lawyer will receive the greatest amount of compensation and best service. Insurance companies will do their best to withhold payment no matter what the injuries, and it is important to have help from a lawyer. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
One of the early lessons in any good university's journalism program is that "dog bites man" is not a story while "man bites dog" has front-page potential.
Dogs biting people or getting into it with another dog is a common occurrence while the novelty of a man choosing to bite a dog is an interesting story worth telling.
Dog bites may be common, but the victims of these vicious attacks deserve to have their stories told. While it is possible that most dog bit situations are mere nibbles and not and part of playing with dogs, often times the injuries from a dog bite are life-changing. Thus, while it is important to learn form past dog bite cases to prevent future bites, it is also important to realize that those who are victims of bites deserve to be compensated for the damages they suffer as a result of negligent pet owners who contribute to these attacks. After all, the responsibility to properly train and restrain a dog falls to the owner.
Many dog bite victims are children. They face a lifetime of physical and psychological issues and deserve to be supported as they go through the recovery process. These damages can run for the entirety of a child's life and can involve specialized experts to determine the amount of the harm. This is precisely why an experienced attorney is so important.
So How to I pursue a Claim for a dog bit case in Illinois?
People who are injured as the result of a dog bite have the option of pursing financial compensation through a personal injury claim. In Illinois this takes the form of a negligence action--just like other personal injury cases such as automobile accidents and premises liability. The Illinois Animal Control Act can also apply and should be consulted at the outset of a claim. A successful claim can result in a settlement or verdict that provides funds to cover damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost earnings.
To be successful the victim must prove that the owner of the attacking canine had a duty to protect the victim from the attack, that they failed to do so, and that the damages from the attack were the result of the failure.
One of the worries our clients express frequently is a concern about pursuing a claim when it was a family member's, friend's or neighbor's dog that lashed out. This is understandable. The good news is that personal injury claims seek compensation through available homeowners' insurance policies, not by directly going after the financial resources of dog owners. This is why individuals purchase insurance policies and why premiums are paid each month. Filling a claim will likely not impact the cost of the policy either.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how you can protect your rights or the rights of a loved one after a dog bite.
The Syngenta Class Action Has Been Certified. The Time to Opt-Out is Rapidly Approaching. Learn the Facts
If you grew corn at any point in the last three years, you need to act soon to opt- out of the Syngenta Class Action lawsuit. Simply put, a class action is not the way to pursue this issue. Since we all farm differently, it make no sense to be lumped into a class action with fewer options. Still, in this litigation, attorneys in the Kansas City MDL (Multidistrict Litigation) have convinced the Court that a class action is a proper way to resolve the problem and now, whether you have already signed up with Koester & Bradley or another firm, you must opt-out of the class action.
Compounding the situation, farmers wishing to pursue individual claims only have until April 1, 2017 to choose to be adequately compensated for losses related to Syngenta.
We all remember the StarLink fiasco, and the Syngenta Class Action is shaping up to me more of the same. Another agricultural class action developed more recently relating to long grain rice, and the same class actions attorneys, are once again muscling the class through even though individual farmers in the rice litigation made almost $50 million more than those that participated on the class.
Court deadlines are fast approaching, and this is what the class action attorneys want so that as few farmers as possible elect to pursue individual claims. The lawyers that want this case to be a class action filed their motion back on June 15, 2016. Then, U.S. District Court held a hearing on September 13, 2016, to determine how the case would proceed. The court has recently ruled that the case against Syngenta will move forward as a class action.
Koester & Bradley believes individual representation is the best option for farmers and we are basing this opinion on past results. No two farms are exactly the same. Legal representation should not be the same for everyone either. Our team will fight for your farm with integrity, honesty and character, and we have aligned ourselves with other top-notch firms to reach the goal.
We are a group of lawyers that have banded together to take on multinational conglomerate Syngenta® and other companies that are responsible for you losing the China corn market. By uniting and working collaboratively with other firms, Koester & Bradley is able to deliver results on a national level and able to go to battle with large companies such as syngenta.
Our group will be releasing opt out forms and answering questions throughout the entire process, and our motto remains- No Hard Sell, Just the Hard Facts.
Urgent Recall for LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads
For millions of Americans, hip replacement devices from Stryker, Depuy, Wright and Zimmer promised mobility and relief, but due to these companies’ defective medical devices, many patients have been left crippled and facing painful revision surgeries. Revision surgeries carry with them far more complications, or compound morbities, than initial implant surgeries. It is absolutely mandatory that when a medical device is implanted, it is the proper device and free of defects due to the difficulties associated with revision surgeries.
Hip replacement patients have a new reason to be concerned. At Koester & Bradley we have seen first hand the incredible suffering that many clients endured as a result of defective metal on metal hip implants. Since 2008 Ryan Bradley has been devoting mush of his practice to metal hip litigation and as part of it he routinely monitors the developments surrounding these cases.
A recently issued hazard alert from Australia’s Department of Health and a recall notification from Stryker are warning patients about potential issues and injuries associated with the company’s LFIT™ Anatomic CoCr V40™ femoral head. The Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and Department of Health is often relied on by the U.S. FDA and similar government health agencies worldwide for information regarding the safety of hip implant devices.
According to Stryker’s recall notice the LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 femoral heads manufactured before 2011 are reported to have a higher than expected incidence of taper lock failures. The taper lock is the part of the implant that connects the femoral head to the femoral neck.
If a taper lock failure occurs, the hip replacement patient could have the following issues:
This recall and alert could potentially affect tens of thousands of patients in the U.S. and worldwide. These metal femoral heads were widely distributed in the U.S. and abroad. If you or a loved one has been affected by this product, contact our office to explore your legal options. Koester & Bradley is nationally recognized for our expertise in defective metal hip replacement implant litigation; we can help. Contact us online, 217-337-1400 or request a free case evaluation online.
This issue has been identified in the following LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 products:
Yahoo!'s Problems are not Over After Verizon Acquisitions
At the time of writing this post, the international community was abuzz with news that Yahoo! email in the United Kingdom was actually off-line. This is crushing news for a communication company that pioneered the world of communications in the 1990's. The outage has been resolved for most customers, however many in England were unable to access their email inbox or send messages for approximately 10 hours. This does not sound like a major problem, but to Yahoo! it certainly was.
The tales of woe for Yahoo! have been years in the running and the talking heads on business televisions can offer a litany of reasons why the once mighty giant has fallen. The situation for Yahoo! and its beleaguered shareholders began to look up during this past summer though when Verizon, after passing anti-trust scrutiny, purchased Yahoo! for $4.83 billion in July. Then Yahoo! joined the ranks of Home Depot and Target falling victim to a data breach.
This time, Yahoo! Inc. faces the first of three consumer class action complaints related to consumer protection and fraud after hackers obtained data affecting at least 500 million Yahoo users. These cases will likely be combined into a single federal case as many other class actions suits will likely follow.
In Havron v. Yahoo, Inc. (S.D. Ill., No. 16-cv-01075, complaint, 9/22/16), plaintiffs allege that Yahoo failed to adhere to its own terms of service and privacy policies to adequately protect and safeguard users’ personal information from theft or misuse. Plaintiffs allege that Yahoo violated common law contract and tort law and violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The California cases—Myers v. Yahoo!, Inc. (S.D. Cal., No. 16-cv-02391, complaint, 9/22/16) and Schwartz v. Yahoo!, Inc., (N.D. Calif., No. 16-cv-05456, complaint, 9/23/16 )—blame Yahoo for gross negligence and allege identity thieves may use the stolen data to perpetrate a variety of fraud such as cloning credit and debit cards, taking out loans, opening new financial accounts, and other unauthorized activities. The Southern California case also alleges that Yahoo violated the Federal Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. 121).
Yahoo faces having to potentially defend multiple class actions at a cost expected to reach into the tens of millions amid an agreement wherein Verizon Communications, Inc. has agreed to buy Yahoo for $4.83 million. It remains to be seen whether this merger will occur may hinge on the outcomes of the cases. As would be expected, the company did not comment "on ongoing litigation."
If you or a loved one has a Yahoo! account take simple precautions to make sure that your personal data and financial information is safe. First, change your password, then research to see if you can find any transactions that you did not complete. Finally, if you suspect that you are a victim, it may be wise to contact a reliable credit monitoring company to run a credit report. While some of these companies are scams themselves, other are reliable.
For more information on protecting yourself, or if you or a loved one have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact us.
Human Error is Primary Cause for Trucking Accidents
According to the Illinois State Police, a preliminary investigation suggests a semi tractor-trailer set off a chain-reaction collision on the Tri-State Tollway in Gurnee. A spokesperson for the state police said the accident occurred in the westbound lanes near mile marker eight at approximately 5:45 p.m. on Monday, September 19. When the big rig’s driver allegedly failed to slow in time, the semi struck the vehicle ahead, causing a chain-reaction collision that ultimately involved six vehicles. Sadly, automobile wrecks such as this occur frequently across Illinois and the Midwest.
The Chicago Tribune reported that there were no life-threatening injuries, although eight individuals were hurt. A spokesperson for the Gurnee Fire Department said two of the victims required extrication. It reportedly took 10 minutes to remove one person and 30 minutes to remove the other.
One injured person went to Waukegan’s Vista Medical Center East for treatment of minor injuries. The seven other injured victims required transport to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
In this particular situation, it was fortunate for all of the parties that injuries that were involved.
Forward Collision Avoidance Systems For Trucks
Although the circumstances of every rear-end collision involving an 18-wheeler are unique, modern forward collision avoidance systems may prevent some of these collisions. Although such safety technology is not yet required on semi tractor-trailers, the federal government is considering a new rule that might make them mandatory in the future. Similar to airbags decades ago, proponents of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems are hoping to make the devices mandatory and common place. Detractors, not surprisingly, are skeptical due to the added cost of the devices. Even with the devices present on semi-tractor trailers across Illinois, rear-end collisions will always occur since human error and negligence cannot be completely prevented.
Rear-end collisions occur for many reasons including excessive speed, distracted driving and impaired driving. When it is reasonable to claim that negligent conduct lead to a crash, it is possible for injured victims to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering and possible lost wages.
If you or a family member as a victim in a crash, we make it possible for you to speak with an attorney about the matter free of charge and without obligation. We fight hard to get our clients the full compensation they deserve under all applicable laws. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.
Crazy Pokemon Go Legal Issues, and the Three Points We Can Really Learn
Depending on who you talk to, July 4th was NOT the most important day in July this year. This is because July 6 was the release date for Niantic’s viral sensation Pokemon Go, and the world has not been the same since. Say what you will about the mobile based game that harnesses the power of GPS to allow players to make the world their playground, but the reality of the situation is that the mass appeal of the game stretches beyond millennials and has captivated a cross section of the populations that is as diverse as the characters themselves.
Unlike most app-driven games, Pokemon Go uses the player’s coordinates and mapping technology to create a location-based “augmented reality” gaming experience like any other. Unfortunately, despite the fact that a player’s reality is augmented, the real-world is most certainly carrying on around them and the game has been rife with oddball stories and legal situations almost from the beginning. Now that the a few months have passed since it release, it is high-time to reflect on just what we can learn from the legal predicaments facing many captivated by Pokemon Go.
A 24-year-old New Zealand man reportedly quit his job to pursue Pokémon full-time. At last count, he had accumulated 91 of 150 available Pokemon as he crisscrossed Australia—bear in mind this was only a few days after it release, so, with any luck, this gentleman may have possibly collected all 151 and may be enjoying his “retirement.”
In Georgia, a dedicated player followed her Pokemon (rumors suggest a “Squirtle”) into a graveyard only to find herself trapped inside. Unable to find her way back out, she contacted the police by dialing 911. The tapes are amusing, but the time wasted by authorities was significant.
In that the game is location-based the fictional characters in Pokemon Go are taking some players to challenging locales. Given the technology packed into most smartphones, in most circumstances, the little buggers will not draw their pursuers into overtly dangerous locales. Still, a warning appears at the beginning of the game telling players to be aware of their surroundings every time the app is opened. Still, a number of players have stepped into potentially dangerous situations, possibly raising liability questions.
It's a topic that I sincerely wish that I did not feel compelled to address. Additionally, given the gravity of the subject matter, I am with holding my normal snark and sarcasm.
There is more violence in our society presently than in any other time in recent history. Whether you tend to blame the guns, the criminals, or the rancorous mental health system, we are all potential victims of mass violence. Each day more news pours in about officer-involved shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma or Charlotte, North Carolina and, even more alarming, active shooter events.
According to the FBI, an active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. This can be a random act, planned act, or a spur of the moment reaction to an altercation.
From Washington State, to Texas, and many points in between, we have almost become numb to the news of random shootings at school, malls, and other public places. Central Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana have had a unique sense of security in regard to active shooter events until recently when shooting broke out in Champaign.
While these types of events are becoming more and more prevalent and deadly, there are certain common-sense steps to take in order to increase the likelihood of survival for yourself and those around your.
According to experts, simply allowing common-sense to take over is an important aspect of active shooter survival. Additionally,
1. Remain calm. Panic does not do anyone any good. Focus on your breathing so you can assess the safest action.
2. Determine what action you are going to take
If you are not alone, alert others in the area that a shooter is present. If you can bring people with you on your escape, do it. If you cannot convince someone to go with you, leave him/her and get yourself to safety.
Action a: run: be prepared to run. Run as fast as you can. If you are wearing shoes that make it more difficult to run, ditch them and run barefoot. This sounds like something you would see in a movie, but it is good advice. Know an escape route that will get you the furthest distance away from a shooter. Once you get to safety, don’t assume someone has already called 911. Call 911 anyway.
Action b: hide: if running is not an option, hide in a secure location, out of the shooter’s view. You want a location that will provide you protection if shots are fired in your direction. Do not open a locked door until you can confirm that authorities are the ones coming to your rescue. Call 911 if you can accomplish this task without being found. If you cannot find safety behind a locked door, find an area that provides you concealment and cover but still allows you a visual on the attacker. If the shooter does not see you, you may have a chance to make a run for an exit. If the shooter doesn’t see you, you may have an opportunity to brace yourself if you need to fight back.
Action c: fight: if you are forced to fight the shooter, be aggressive & violent, control the weapon and then control the shooter, and use whatever improvised weapon you can find. This is the last chance effort and should only be adopted if there is no way to run and hide.
Active shooter events are a frightening reality to our world and, despite the fact that it is not enjoyable to think about, having a plan can save lives.
You probably remember some scenes in movies where a character is behaving outrageously in a courtroom, and the judge holds him or her in contempt. Think My Cousin Vinny, or A Few Good Men (when Tom Cruise was cool), however few people have heard of any person holding himself in contempt.
Recently, it did happen. As reported by Lowering the Bar, a criminal defendant didn't like his court-appointed lawyer and wanted to get a new one. The judge told him that he could either work with the lawyer he had or he could represent himself, which, the judge told the defendant, would be "the biggest mistake you ever made in your life," because the defendant didn't know anything about selecting a jury, cross-examining witnesses, or criminal procedure.
The defendant was not persuaded. He told the judge that if he had to keep on working with his attorney, he would hold himself in contempt of court. The judge tried to reason with him, but the defendant responded with the f-bomb and then continued spewing obscenities for what was captured in 12 more pages of trial transcript. It got even worse as it went along, escalating to the point where the defendant actually threatened to kill the judge's family.
It may not surprise you to learn that this was not a wise or an effective tactic. The potty-mouthed defendant ended up getting additional charges for the threats added to the criminal charges he was already facing.
This may be a funny story, but getting good legal representation when you need it is no joke. This rule applies whether a criminal case or a civil matter litigating a business dispute or a personal injury case. If you need a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney, please contact us to set up an appointment to meet in our office or your home or workplace and by all means, don't hold yourself in contempt.
Many things have the potential to ruin a well-planned vacation, but identity theft may be may be at the top of the list. Spending time fighting fraudulent charges, closing credit cards, and disputing errors is certainly not how you planned to spend your time off. Unfortunately, every year there are millions of complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission. Your chances of identity theft, however, are reduced if you try these identity protection strategies while enjoying a relaxing vacation:
Nothing can ruin a good vacation like having your identity stolen. Use these tips to maximize your protection and contact us if you find that you have experienced something unfortunate so we can sort things out.
Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer by Koester & Bradley
Breaking Legal News with Central Illinois Impact from Koester & Bradley, LLP
Ryan R Bradley is a civil litigator based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing plaintiffs in a variety of cases.