Posted On: May 27, 2010

The Importance of Uninsured-Underinsured Motorist Coverage

The purpose of this article is to persuade Illinois drivers that don’t carry uninsured(UM) or underinsured motorist(UIM) coverage or who have very low UM-UIM policy limits to consider amending their automobile policies to the highest policy limit. Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection for drivers that are incur damages from drivers that do not have automobile insurance or as the result of hit and run car accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage provides coverage where the injuries suffered are in excess of the at-fault driver’s policy limits. For example, let’s say you are involved in an automobile accident that results in medical bills of $60,000.00. Let’s also assume that the other driver was at fault in the accident and that the at-fault driver carried a 20/40 liability policy ($20,000 per individual and $40,000.00 per occurrence – the state minimum in Illinois). First, the at-fault party’s insurance should cover the policy limit of $20,000.00. At that point, your underinsured policy should kick in to cover the remaining $40,000.00. However this example assumes that you carry sufficient underinsured motorist coverage. If your underinsured policy is only $20,000.00 then you are left with $20,000.00 in damages for an accidenthttp://www.chicagotriallaw.com/ that was not your fault.

Many Chicago drivers assume they are protected if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. However, many of these drivers also carry minimum policies. The worst part is that large amounts of UM/UIM coverage are often available at a very affordable price. For about a gallon of gas a month, an Illinois driver can upgrade from a UM/UIM policy limit of 20/40 to 250/500 for both uninsured and underinsured coverage. As the above example illustrates, this simple upgrade in policy can save you and your family years of financial hardship.

If you have any questions regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: May 25, 2010

Chicago Boy Critically Injured in South Side Hit and Run Car Accident

A South Side Chicago hit and run car accident left a 12 year old boy crtically injured Sunday on Chicago’s South Side. The Chicago car-pedestrian accident occurred on the 8000 block of South May St. around 5:35 p.m. when a 2-door Cadillac Eldorado hit the boy while he was crossing the street. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene immediately after striking the boy. The vehicle was southbound at the time of the accident and continued southbound following the Chicago car crash.

The injured boy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL, where he was listed in critical condition. According to an official from the Police News Affairs, the boy suffered multiple injuries including a serious head injury. Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle that caused the tragic Chicago car crash remains at large. Police have described the motorist as a black man between the ages of 20 and 26. Police have also said that he is known by the alias “KB.” Anyone with information related to the Chicago car accident or the identity of the driver should contact the Chicago Police Major Investigation Unit at (312) 745-4521.

The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience handling serious accident cases in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. If you have any questions regarding serious injuries or would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: May 21, 2010

Chicago ‘Ride of Silence’ Honors Victims of Fatal Bicycle Accidents

A downtown Chicago bicycle ride was held in honor of bicycle accident fatalities last Wednesday evening. The bicycle procession, dubbed the ‘ride of silence’, by a group called Active Transportation Alliance. According to their website, Active Transportation Alliance is a Chicagoland organization committed to making bicycling, walking and public transit safe convenient and fun. The procession began at 6:30 p.m. at the Eternal Flame at Daley Plaza. The 10-mile route passed sites of Chicago bicycle crash victims. Those sites were marked with bicycles painted with white paint – or ‘ghost bikes’.

The Chicago ride was part of a global event to raise awareness of bicycle accident victims. All the cyclists wore helmets and used bicycles equipped with headlights as the ride was to continue into the night. All bicyclists also kept their speed under 12 mph and wore one of two armbands: a black armband to symbolize solidarity with victims or a red arm band to signify personal injury. A ‘Ride of Silence’ pin was also available for a one dollar donation.

As the Ride of Silence indicates, urban bicycle accidents are both common and often very serious. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a Chicago area bicycle accident and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: May 18, 2010

Winnetka, IL, Teen Critically Injured in North Suburban Hit and Run Accident

A Winnetka teen was critically injured Friday afternoon after having been struck at the intersection of Green Bay Road and Winnetka Ave. in north suburban Winnetka, IL. The pedestrian-car accident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. According to local police, the injured teen was crossing the street when she was hit by another teen. The injured girl was transported to the intensive care unit at Evanston North Shore Hospital where she was treated for severe brain trauma related to the Chicago car accident. The driver reportedly panicked and then fled the scene following the crash.

Bail for the teenage driver of the vehicle involved in the car crash was set Monday at $500,000 by a Cook County judge. The teen is being charged with failure to report an accident, failure to give information to render aid and failure to exercise due care. The unusually high bond is due to the driver admitting that she had smoked marijuana the day before the accident. The parents of the teenage driver were unable to bond her out and she is being kept at the Cook County jail’s medical center at Cermak Hospital. Both blood and urine tests have been ordered of the teenage driver. She has not yet been charged with driving under the influence.

Teenage drivers are often involved in serious car accidents due to many factors including driver inexperience and a higher rate of DUI car accidents. If you would like to speak with an attorney about a Chicago area car accident, please click here.

Posted On: May 14, 2010

Personal Injury Case Loans Carry a High Price Tag

If you have been injured by the fault of another in Chicago or anywhere else in the State of Illinois you may be confronted with large medical bills. You might also be missing work due to an injury and therefore you might find it hard to pay for your necessities, let alone your medical bills. It is this type of all too common scenario that has allowed case loan companies to flourish throughout Illinois and the rest of the country. A case loan provides up-front cash to an injured party with a pending lawsuit. Most of these case loans are issued to victims of automobile accidents, workplace injury, wrongful death, or medical malpractice. Case loan advances are particularly attractive to individuals with bad credit as case loan outfits will approve loans without a credit check. The case loan company concerns itself only with the merits of a pending lawsuit in approving a loan.

Injured persons looking for a means to pay bills are inevitably attracted to case loans as they typically come in the form of non-recourse cash advances. In other words, the injured person does not have to repay the advance if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Additionally, if the ultimate settlement or verdict is smaller than anticipated, the amount that is repaid to the loan company will not exceed the settlement or verdict. While these case loans are very attractive to injured parties looking for a way to pay their bills, they almost always carry devastating interest rates. For example, an injury victim that takes out a $20,000 dollar loan against his or her case could end up owing the loan company $100,000 after fees and accrued interest. If the case settles for that amount, the loan company will end up taking monies awarded for future medical and/or permanency in profit.

In conclusion, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Case loan companies that offer advance non-recourse cash on a pending injury case thrive by making profits off monies that should go to a personal injury victim on the back-end. If you have any questions regarding personal injury case loans or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: May 12, 2010

Former Chicago Blackhawk Standout was Childhood Sexual Abuse Victim

Former NHL star and one-time Chicago Blackhawk winger Theoren Fleury has recently come forward revealing that he was sexually abused by a junior hockey coach as a minor. Fluery, who spent time with the Flames, Avalanche, Rangers and Blackhawks penned an autobiography in late 2009 detailing the sexual abuse that he suffered. The alleged abuser, registered Canadien sex offender Graham James, was previously convicted of molesting fellow former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy in 1997. Canadien news interests reported earlier this month that James received a pardon in 2007 relative to that conviction. A Canadien pardon has the effect of restricting access to a criminal record. As such, information related to James’s criminal conviction would be unavailable to any future potential employers, including junior hockey programs.

Fleury detailed the acts of childhood sexual abuse that he suffered in a 2009 autobiography entitled “Playing with Fire.” In that novel, Fleury described how years of sexual abuse left him depressed and suicidal. Fleury also claimed that the sexual abuse he endured lead to adult problems with alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Fleury is now an advocate for sexual abuse victims after the outpour of support that he received following the release of his book. He sees the recent news break regarding the pardon of James as an opportunity for childhood sexual abuse victims advocates to pressure the Canadien government to change their approach to sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse victims are often empowered through exposure. The story of Theo Fleury as an abuse victim is far too common however his ability to overcome the horrors he suffered and strive to protect future victims is inspiring. If you have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse and would like to speak with an attorney, please click here.


Posted On: May 7, 2010

Chicago Doctor Accused of Sexual Abuse

A Chicago area doctor is facing numerous allegations of sexual abuse as several former patients have come forward claiming that they were raped or otherwise abused. The doctor, Bruce Smith, is originally from New York and had completed a stint in the Army and attended the University of Hartford prior to his attending Loyola University in Chicago. He performed his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital and began working at the South Side’s Kennedy Medical Service Corp. shortly thereafter. Dr. Smith subsequently spent time working at Michael Reese Hospital before launching his own practice called Cameo Women’s Healthcare.

The first sexual abuse allegation against Smith occurred in May of 2000 while Smith was working at Kennedy Medical Service Corp. During that time period one of Smith’s patients, 19 year old Tameka Stokes, claims that she was raped while receiving a pelvic exam. In total seven women came forward alleging either rape or sexual misconduct against Smith before any action was taken by law enforcement or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Smith’s medical license was suspended in October of 2009 for a minimum period of nine months. The Cook County States Attorneys Office had previously reviewed the rape allegations and declined to press charges. Several of those earlier victims have been recently contacted by detectives.

Illinios law recognizes sexual exploitation in the doctor-patient relationship. If you have been sexually abused by a doctor, you should contact a personal injury attorney to investigate the facts surrounding the abuse. Chicago sexual abuse lawyer Joseph G. Klest has over twenty eight years of experience handling sexual abuse claims in Illinois. To contact the Klest Law Firm please click here.

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