$60,000 For Foot Injury On Property Owned By Another

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Foot and Ankle Injuries, Premises Liability

foot-&-ankle-injuries-web

Our office recovered $60,000 for Foot Injury Caused on Property Owned by Another. A 29 year old male sustained a degloving injury to his right big toe. The accident took place when an old fashioned concrete incinerator collapsed from age and fell on his right foot. The concrete slab that fell on his foot was heavy enough to cause a degloving of the right toe, partially exposing the bone.

Naturally, the insurance carrier denied all liability for the incident. What did the property owner do wrong? Why didn’t our client notice the obvious worn and dangerous condition of the incinerator? What caused the incinerator to fall in the first place? Since our client was there when it fell, he must have done something to cause it to fall. Our office filed suit against the property owner.

Most lay individuals assume that a property owner is automatically liable for injuries sustained on their property. This is not the law in Illinois. In fact, this is not the law anywhere. Property owners only have the legal duty to exercise ordinary and reasonable care to see that the premises are safe for their intended use. If the property owner did not violate this standard of care, he is generally not liable for your injuries.

And, even if the property owner did not exercise reasonable care, he may still not be liable for injuries sustained if the hazard was open and obvious. That is, the property owner is allowed to expect that the individual on his property will discover and avoid open and obvious dangers. The law expects the individual to be responsible for his own safety.

If the property owner claims and proves that he exercised ordinary care, another possibility exists to prove liability. That is, the property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained on his property if he either knew of the dangerous condition or should have known of the dangerous condition, or that he created the condition.

Assuming all of the above obstacles to recovery are met, the injured party still has to prove the nature and extent of his injuries, and that the injuries were caused by the defect.

During litigation, our office proved that the incinerator was in fact old and obsolete, and full of full thickness cracks throughout. We were able to prove that the incinerator was improperly maintained and improperly installed. In short, we were able to prove that the property owner in fact did not exercise ordinary and reasonable care to see that the premises were safe for their intended use. Furthermore, we were able to prove that the property owner was well aware of the dangerous condition, or if not actually aware, that he should have been aware.

If you or your loved one is injured on someone else’s property, and you feel that the cause of your injury was an unsafe condition, contact the Law Offices of Charles J. Gale.

$47,500 For Woman Injured Walking On Uneven Grounds At The Cemetery

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Cemetery, Premises Liability, Slip and Falls, Trip and Falls, Uncategorized

Cemetery-2-web

 

Our office recovered $47,500 for a woman injured walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery.

 

Our client, a 50 year old woman injured walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery visiting her loved one, stepped into a hole at the cemetery and injured her right foot.  The general rule is the owner of cemetery has a duty to exercise reasonable care to see that the premises are safe for their use, namely, walking.  This duty includes the responsibility to discover defects and dangerous conditions on the property.  This duty also includes the obligation to correct the defects or to give sufficient warning of the defects.

 

There are however exceptions to the responsibility of the cemetery owner to correct defects, such as holes in the ground.  Specifically, the cemetery does not have to warn of dangers that are “open and obvious.”  This means that if while walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery the hole in the ground was clearly visible, (i.e. “open and obvious”), then the cemetery will argue that it was not responsible for the resulting injury.

 

As with all legal doctrines, there are exceptions to the general rule and then exceptions to the exceptions.  And so, there is an exception to the rule of no liability for “open and obvious” conditions.  Specifically, the cemetery will still be held liable for injuries sustained while walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery even though the hole was open and obvious if it was foreseeable that the visitor’s attention would be distracted and that the visitor would not discover the dangerous condition.  Naturally, reasonable people will disagree as to what is “open and obvious” as well as to whether a reasonable person would be “distracted” and fail to appreciate the danger.

 

If you are injured while walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery in the cemetery, the insurance company will almost certainly try to put the blame on you. That is, they will argue that you were not looking where you were going and that the defect was “open and obvious.”  If you had been looking where you were going, you would have seen the defect. Or, they will argue that you in fact did see where you were going and saw the defect but choose to ignore the risk.  Since you saw the defect prior to your injury, it is your fault. Either way, the insurance company will try to blame you for your injury.

 

If you are injured while walking on uneven grounds at the cemetery, there are certain things you should do.  First, get the names and addresses of all witnesses to the incident. The property owner or its employees cannot be counted on to be your witness.  Second, give notice of the incident and your injury to the cemetery before you leave the grounds. Make sure a written report of the incident is made. It is crucial that the written report identifies exactly what your injury. Obtain a copy of that report.  Third, you will need to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries from the incident. With the help of your doctor you should identify all affected areas of your body, regardless of how minor they may seem at the time. Many injuries and side effects don’t manifest themselves fully until days or weeks later and they may be more debilitating than you first assumed.  Fourth, get a camera and take pictures of the scene, focusing on what caused your injury. This of course may not be possible in every instance.  Finally, call an attorney immediately.

 

If you need help, call LAW OFFICES OF CHARLES J. GALE, PC. We have the capabilities and know-how to prosecute your claim. Don’t hesitate to call us today. There is no fee unless and until we successfully reach a settlement and there is a recovery. Our consultations are also free and are only a short phone call away. Let us help you; all you have to do is dial (312) 372-0300 now!

 

$100,466.00 For Construction Worker Injured At Construction Site

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Construction Site, Work Injuries

construction workers on steel beam

 

Our office recovered $100,466.00 For Construction Worker Injured at Construction Site when a concrete frame support fell, striking the employee and injuring the employee’s lower back.

Injuries at work are all too common.  In this case, the employee, a construction supervisor, was simply viewing the work site when, with no warning or notice, the frame support fell and landed on the employees back.  The employee sustained a severe back strain/sprain.

The employer did not contest the incident or the fact that the incident was work related.  As a result, the employee received his weekly benefits, two-thirds of his salary. In addition, the employee received full medical coverage and payment for all of his medical bills.  In fact, for most workers compensation claims, the employer does not contest the payment of the workers wage benefits or the payment of the medical bills.  But this is not to say that the employer agrees with the nature of the injury, the extent of the injury, the permanency or lack of permanency of the injury, the need for future medical care, the ability of the employee to return to work at his prior position and duties and when or if the employee can return to work full duty.

In this case, our office was able to obtain $100,466.00 For Construction Worker Injured at Construction Site for a  back sprain.  There was no surgery.  In fact, surgery was not even recommended.

In the overwhelming majority of the cases, a simple un-operative back sprain is not a large claim.  The argument is simple.  If the injury was severe, there would have been surgery.  But in this case, we were able to prove that the injury was severe.  So severe that the employee, despite having a simple back sprain, would not be able to return to his prior position.  We were able to prove that the employee would not be able to perform his prior duties.  Because of this, we were able to recover a large settlement for the employee.

If you have been injured at work, and you did not have surgery, you may still have the right to a large compensatory claim.  Our office has recovered many large awards for workers injured at work with no surgery and no recommendation of surgery.  If you believe you have sustained a serious injury, call the Law Firm of Charles J. Gale, P.C.

 

$300,000 for Nursing Home Negligence of Dialysis Patient

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Dialysis Patient, Nursing Home Abuse, Nursing Home Negligence

 

Nursing Home Negligence of Dialysis Patient

Nursing Home Negligence of Dialysis Patient

 

The estate of an eighty year old nursing home resident received $300,000.00 for nursing home negligence of dialysis patient.  The resident died due to nursing home negligence from a fistula bleed.

Many nursing home patients have kidney disorders that require scheduled dialysis treatments.  Frequently, these dialysis treatments are performed outside the nursing home by another facility.  The outside facility is responsible for the dialysis being performed correctly.  Upon return to the nursing home, the fistula needs to be monitored for blood flow and clotting and observed for redness, swelling or pain.  This monitoring needs to be done twice daily and documented.

In this particular case, the resident was found in bed, in a pool of blood.  The resident had simply bled to death.  The nursing home had failed to monitor the condition of the A-V fistula.  If they had, they would have discovered the blood clot and hemorrhage due to erosion of A-V fistula site.  Nursing home negligence of dialysis patient is a common occurrence for residents with a long history of being on dialysis.

Naturally, the nursing home will blame the kidney dialysis center for the defective A-V fistula.  They will argue that the nursing home does not provide dialysis treatment but simply arranges for the transportation to/from the dialysis center.  Further, since the cause of death was due to blood clotting, a condition they did not create, they should not be liable.

This of course is not the law.  In fact, the nursing home is responsible for the twice daily monitoring of the A-V fistula site.  If the A-V fistula had been monitored properly, the conditions leading to the blood clot would have been discovered and the resident would not have died.  Nursing home negligence of dialysis patient is all too common.

The nursing home will then point out the advanced age of the resident, the relatively short life expectancy of the resident, the quality of life of the resident, and the lack of a living spouse or close relative.  They will, is short, do everything they can to defeat your claim.

If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home and you suspect nursing negligence or abuse, call our office for a free consultation.  There is no fee at any time unless we recover compensation for your family.

 

 

$105,000 For Woman Who Slipped And Fell At A Restaurant

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Premises Liability, Slip and Falls, Trip and Falls, Uncategorized

 

wet-floor-sign-web

 

Our office obtained $105,000 for woman who slipped and fell at a restaurant.

A 61 year old woman slipped and fell at a restaurant as the result of debris left on the floor.

The restaurant was an all you can eat buffet which was busy during the holiday season.  Typically at these buffet type restaurants, the patron serves herself and the busboy clears the table of the finished dishes.  To do this, many times a rolling dish cart is used to stack the used dishes, and sometimes the dish cart is over stacked and there is some leakage of food or drink onto the floor.  And that is exactly what happened.  A dish cart used to store the used dishes was leaking liquid and food onto the floor.  When our client walked past the dish cart, she slipped and fell on the wet floor.  After the fall, the insurance carrier denied the claim, stating that the dish cart was not over-stacked and leaking or that the floor wet.  Suit was filed against the restaurant.

 

The general rule is that the owner of the restaurant has a duty to exercise “reasonable care” to see that the premises are safe for their use, namely, walking.  This duty includes the responsibility to discover defects and dangerous conditions on the property.  This duty also includes the obligation to correct the defect or to give sufficient warning of the defect.  Once the restaurant shows that it in fact did exercise “reasonable care” such as timely and repeated monitoring of the floor, the burden of proof then shifts to the patron.   To be successful in her claim, the patron must now prove that the restaurant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, in this case, the wet and slippery floor.  Trying to prove that the restaurant knew, or should have known, of the wet and slippery fall can be very difficult, especially when they always deny any knowledge of any spills.

 

Once you are successful in proving that the restaurant knew or should have known of the wet and slippery floor, the insurance company will almost certainly try to put the blame on you for falling. That is, they will argue that you were not looking where you were going and that the wet floor was “open and obvious.”  If you had been looking where you were going, you would have seen the wet floor. Or, they will argue that you in fact did see where you were going and saw the wet floor but choose to ignore the risk.  Since you saw the wet floor prior to your fall, it is your fault. Either way, the insurance company will try to blame you for your injury.

 

If you slip and fall while walking on a wet floor at a restaurant, there are certain things you should do.  First, get the names and addresses of all witnesses to the incident. The property owner or its employees cannot be counted on to be your witness.  Second, give notice of the incident and your injury to the restaurant before you leave the grounds. Make sure a written report of the incident is made. It is crucial that the written report identifies exactly what your injury. Obtain a copy of that report.  Third, you will need to seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries from the incident. With the help of your doctor you should identify all affected areas of your body, regardless of how minor they may seem at the time. Many injuries and side effects don’t manifest themselves fully until days or weeks later and they may be more debilitating than you first assumed.  Fourth, get a camera and take pictures of the scene, focusing on what caused your injury. This of course may not be possible in every instance.  Finally, call an attorney immediately.

 

If you need help, call LAW OFFICES OF CHARLES J. GALE, PC. We have the capabilities and know-how to prosecute your claim. Don’t hesitate to call us today. There is no fee unless and until we successfully reach a settlement and there is a recovery. Our consultations are also free and are only a short phone call away. Let us help you; all you have to do is dial (312) 372-0300 now!

 

 

 

$85,000.00 For Pedestrian Struck By Vehicle With No Serious Injuries

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Auto Accidents, No Serious Injuries, Pedestrian-Auto

 

 

Pedestrian In Crosswalk

Pedestrian In Crosswalk

 

Our office recovered $85,000.00 for a pedestrian struck by vehicle with no serious injuries.  In this case, a 36 year old police officer struck by a vehicle while investigating the scene of an auto accident.

 

The police officer was on the scene of another auto accident, investigating the scene.  While the officer was out of his vehicle completing the investigation, a drunken driver came crashing into the scene of the first accident, striking the police officer and multiple vehicles.   The pedestrian struck by vehicle with no serious injuries was rushed by ambulance to the hospital where he underwent extensive tests and examinations.  Luckily, there were no broken bones, no bleeding, no loss of consciousness, no bruises.  Because of the series of negative findings at the hospital, the insurance carrier disputed the extent of the injuries to the police officer, even in this clear liability case.  We had no choice but to file suit against the drunken driver.  The only way the insurance carrier was going to accept the fact that the police officer sustained injuries was to prove it in court.  Eventually, after the expense of litigation, we were able to prove that, in fact, the pedestrian struck by vehicle with no serious injuries did in fact sustain compensable injuries despite the fact that there were no broken bones, cuts or loss of consciousness.

 

When injured in a motor vehicle accident there are some important things you must do and know.  First, you should know that the insurance company will try to convince you that you sustained little or no lasting injuries from the accident.  They will argue, like the pedestrian above, that since no bones were broken, no cuts were sustained, no head injuries incurred and no objective findings from the various tests at the hospital, that you were not really hurt.  This of course may not only be false, but insulting.

Second, you should know that the insurance carrier will try to settle your case for less than full compensation.  What you think is fair compensation and what the insurance company thinks is fair compensation is rarely the same.  The insurance carrier will remind you that your medical bills have been paid by your health insurance company so the medical bills do not need to be considered.  This is wrong.  The insurance carrier will point out to you that your wages have been paid by your employer during your time off so your wages do not need to be considered.  This is wrong.  The insurance carrier will point out that the tests taken at the hospital were negative so you had no injuries.  This is wrong.  You will have to explain to the insurance carrier that they are wrong on their assumptions and prove to them why they are wrong.

 

Third, you should know that a “simple” auto accident is never simple.  The insurance carrier may not have enough insurance to adequately compensate you for your losses.  You may have to file an uninsured or an under-insured motorist claim.  There may be multiple parties at fault, or multiple parties wanting compensation from the same insurance carrier. Your injuries might be related to a pre-existing condition.  The insurance company disputes your injuries, or your medical bills or your time off work.  The areas of dispute are unless.

 

This is what you should do.  First, you should get the names and addresses of all witnesses.  Second, seek medical treatment immediately if you are in pain.  You should report to the doctor all parts of your body that are affected, even if the pain does not seem severe.  Days later, the pain may be much worse.  Third, you should take pictures of your car, immediately at the scene if possible.   Finally, you should contact your insurance company.  When doing this, do not give your insurance company a statement or allow them to record your statement as there is always a potential claim for uninsured or under insured motorist coverage.  Finally, should retain an attorney immediately.

 

Your initial consultation with the LAW OFFICES OF CHARLES J. GALE is free and you will be under no obligation.  We will discuss with you your rights and provide you a free and comprehensive evaluation of your case. We will explain to you in detail in steps involved in prosecuting your claim.  At no time will you be charged a fee unless we collect.

 

$85,000.00 for Rear-Ender Auto Accident

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Auto Accidents, Rear-Ended

auto-one car

Our office recovered $85,000.00 for our client who was involved in the all too common “rear-ender” auto accident.

In this case, our client, a fifty-seven year old woman, was simply rear-ended while driving on the expressway. Naturally, the insurance carrier felt that our client sustained only minor injuries.

In many rear-ender auto accidents, the insurance carrier will claim that there were no injuries, or only minor injuries, sustained in the accident. And, they will support this claim on the fact that there was no ambulance involved. Or that the client did not go to the hospital the day of the accident. Or that the client did not go to the hospital at all until days later.

Even in those cases in which the client does go to the hospital immediately from the scene, the hospital record may not fully reflect the extent of the injury. Quite often the areas of pain the day after the accident will be substantially different than the pain noticed the day before. Or, sometimes severe pain to one body part may mask an injury to another body part. Very simply, how one feels immediately after an accident may be entirely different days, even weeks later.

In this case, our client went to the emergency room three days in a row complaining of headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and back pain. Seven months later, our client had an MRI of the left shoulder, confirming a rotator cuff tear. Naturally, the insurance carrier refused the claim for a left shoulder injury, stating that our client did not injure her shoulder in the accident. Specifically, the insurance carrier claimed, correctly, that our client had no left shoulder complaints the day of the accident. And that our client had no complaints of shoulder pain on the three hospital visits following the accident. Therefore, our client did not injure her shoulder from the accident.

This scenario happens quite frequently in auto accidents. That is, many times a client will sustain injuries that do not fully manifest themselves until weeks, sometimes months after the incident. This usually occurs when a person sustains other painful injuries that attract most of their attention. Other, more serious but less painful injuries, are simply not noticed or not given adequate attention. A week or so later, when the distracting and painful injury subsides, the more serious injury begins to become noticeable.

This type of injury can be seen with ligament tears, such as tears to the ligaments or tendons of the shoulders or knees. Quite often, the injury is not very painful at first. It is only when the injury does not seem to get any better that the client gives it his full attention.

In this case, our client ended up tearing the ligament in her left shoulder. She underwent shoulder arthroscopic surgery involving rotator cuff repair. The surgery was performed one year after the accident.

The insurance company refused the claim and a lawsuit was filed. It was only after extensive litigation that the insurance carrier accepted liability.

If you are involved in an auto accident, you may have injuries that you do not think are serious, but are. These injuries may require medical attention sooner or later. The longer you wait to document your injuries, the more likely that the insurance carrier will deny your claim.

Don’t wait until the insurance carrier denies your claim. Call the Law Office of Charles J. Gale.

$1,500,000.00 For Pedestrian Hit In The Cross-Walk

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Auto Accidents, Pedestrian Hit in Crosswalk, Pedestrian-Auto

pedestrian-in-crosswalk-web

Our office recovered the amount of $1,500,000.00 for a sixty-four year old pedestrian hit in the cross-walk by a vehicle. The injuries sustained in the accident were severe. Those injuries included a fractured left leg, fractured right foot, fractured right ankle and a cut to the upper lip requiring five stitches. Because the injuries were severe, and the cost to the insurance carrier was going to be substantial, every issue would be disputed. The insurance carrier disputed who was at fault in the accident. The insurance carrier disputed the nature of our client’s injuries and the extent of our client’s recovery from those injuries. The insurance carrier disputed the value of fair compensation for these injuries. And, despite the enormous difference of opinion on these issues, these issues were not the real dispute in the case.

Seven months after the accident, our client was at home recovering from her fractured left leg. While at home, our client tried to transfer out of her wheelchair and into another chair. As she was doing this, she fell and fractured her left hip. The insurance carrier denied all responsibility for this fractured left hip. The insurance carrier took the position that an injury that incurred seven months after the accident was not their responsibility. We disagreed and filed suit.

The injuries sustained from the fractured left hip became much more severe than the injuries sustained from the original auto accident. As a result of the fractured hip, our client underwent two hip surgeries and incurred hospital and medical bills approaching $200,000.00. In addition, her recovery period was substantially extended.

During the litigation, we were able to prove that our client had not yet totally recovered from her fractured left leg when she fell. Our client was still weak and unstable. We were able to successfully prove that if our client had not been injured in the auto accident, our client would not have fallen and therefore would not have fractured her left hip. And of course, the disagreements did not end there. The fractured left hip resulted in various unforeseen complications, all of which the insurance carrier refused to accept responsibility.

If you or your loved one are injured in an accident, do not assume that the insurance carrier will assume responsibility for the full consequences of that accident. They won’t. Call the Law Firm of Charles J. Gale, P.C.

$65,000 Dram Shop Claim for Serving Liquor to Intoxicated Person

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Liquor Liability/Dram Shop, Serving Alcohol to Intoxicated Patron

tavern-2-web

Our office obtained $65,000 Dram Shop Claim for Serving Liquor to Intoxicated Person.

Our client, a 52 year old patron of a liquor establishment or dram shop, was attacked by an intoxicated person. Our office filed a claim against the liquor establishment for injuries and damages caused by the intoxicated person.

The dram shop act is a claim against a liquor establishment that improperly serves liquor to an intoxicated person. The claim is based upon Illinois statute, which limits the amount of damages that can be recovered in a dram shop claim.  The statute also limits the time in which a claim can be filed, one year.  In addition, defenses that are normally available in most premises liability claims may not be available in a Dram Shop claim.

A dram shop claimant must first prove that the liquor establishment caused the intoxication of the intoxicated person. This is not as easy to prove as its sounds. First of all, the intoxicated person may not be known. If the intoxicated person is not known to you or anyone else in the establishment and he leaves before providing his identification, you will most likely be unable to prove your case against the liquor establishment.   Very simply, you most likely be unable to prove either he was intoxicated or that the liquor establishment was the entity that got him intoxicated.  And, if the intoxicated person is identified but not arrested, he may not cooperate in identifying which liquor establishment got him intoxicated.   To prove your case, the intoxicated person must be identified and included as a defendant so that he can explain how and when he became intoxicated.

The claim against the liquor establishment is based upon the allegation that they caused the intoxication. What if the intoxicated person had visited other liquor establishments that night? Which establishment got him intoxicated? Luckily, more than one liquor establishment can be held liable for causing the intoxication, so long at the liquor provided by the establishment was a substantial and material factor in the intoxication.  If more than one establishment caused the intoxication, you can recover from each establishment, but the amount of your recovery unfortunately will not change.

Another cause for concern is the type and the amount of damages you can recover. If you win your case, the amount of damages you can recover is limited by statute to a certain dollar amount. This is vastly different than most all other personal injury claims, which have no real dollar limitation. In addition, the type of damages you can recover is also limited.  In Illinois, if your claim is for loss of society and loss of support, you can only recover compensation for one or the other, and not both.

The liquor establishment may have violated other laws in addition to the dram shop statute.  If so, then the amount of the recovery, and the type of damages recovered, will not be limited to the dram shop statute.  Because the possibilities are virtually endless, you should consult an attorney when pursuing a dram shop claim.

If you or your loved one was injured by an intoxicated person, and a liquor establishment contributed to that intoxication, call the Law Offices of Charles J. Gale.

 

$70,000 for Auto Broadsided at Intersection

Written by Charles J. Gale. Posted in Auto Accidents, Broadsided at Intersection

Auto Accident

Auto broadsided at intersection

Our client recovered $70,000.00 when her auto was broadsided at an intersection. The plaintiff, a 39 year old woman, was simply driving on a main street, going straight, with traffic. As she approached a green traffic light at one of many intersections she had passed, our client was broadsided by another driver who failed to stop at the red light.

This is a situation that happens all too often. Sometimes the insurance company will deny the claim entirely, saying that it was our driver who ran the red light.

Other times the insurance company will admit fault for the accident, but claim that our driver was not hurt. After all, our client had no broken bones, no bleeding, no concussion, no scars, etc.

In fact, that is exactly what the insurance company said to our client. No injuries. All x-ray reports were negative. In reality, our client did sustain injuries, except that the injuries were not visible injuries.

All too often, the victim of an auto accident will sustain severe neck and low back strains that are very painful and debilitating. These injuries will not appear on x-ray. Nevertheless, the injuries are real.

After the insurance company denied fault, then denied that our client sustained any injury, we filed suit. We won on both issues and recovered for our client the amount of $70,000.00. This was substantially better that the $0.00 that the insurance carrier offered prior to suit!

If you or your loved ones are injured in an auto accident, do not accept the insurance companies claim that you were the fault of the accident. Or that you were not injured from the accident. Call our office, Charles J. Gale, P.C.

Contact Us

Law Offices of Charles J. Gale, PC
53 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite #523
Chicago, IL 60604

(312) 372-0300