The year of 2014 was a challenging and successful one for Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC. Results are never easy to achieve, rarely is a good or great result assured without significant effort, and there are always roadblocks and twists along the way.

2014 concluded with a string of legal victories for our clients. Among them:

  • A man walking out a car dealership that had freshly blacktopped its parking lot could not see the difference in grade of the lot when he stepped down and lost his balance, falling onto his outstretched arm. His dominant arm dislocated. Years previous, he had surgery to hold his shoulder in place, following repeated dislocations. To make things more complicated, the client is a piano tuner, which requires him to work with his arm outstretched for long periods of time. This was impossible for many months, requiring him to lose income and hire temporary helpers. Still, piano tuning requires a level of expertise, so if he could not work, there was really no way to get the work done or earn a living. Ultimately, he underwent surgery to secure the shoulder, which was a success. Despite the fact that premises liability claims are among the toughest in Illinois, we secured a settlement of nearly 6 figures!
  • We settled a pedestrian knock down case for the maximum amount of insurance coverage available--$25,000.00--plus additional benefits. Our client, who was pregnant, was standing on a street corner when a vehicle drove up onto the curb and ran her down. Of course, the driver was driving his ex-girlfriend's uninsured vehicle. There was no insurance available and neither the driver nor the owner had any assets to pursue. Our client sustained knee, leg, and back injuries, but thankfully, her unborn child was fine and is now a healthy 18 month old.
  • Our client was rammed by a vehicle from behind. The client, who years ago had undergone back surgery, sustained such a forceful impact that the surgical rod used to stabilize her spine broke. After deciding not to undergo another surgery to replace the surgical hardware, she made a reasonable recovery. We recovered $100,000.00, combining the $20,000.00 policy limits from the tortfeasor and $80,000.00 in UIM coverage.
  • Recovered the maximum policy limits of $50,000.00 for a man who was struck by another vehicle, causing his vehicle to strike a building. He sustained a fractured collarbone (which the first emergency room managed to not diagnose), and torn cartilage in both knees. He is fully recovered and back at work in the auto repair field. In addition to this settlement, we recovered nearly that much on the underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage for the vehicle he was driving. All told, an $87,000.00 recovery achieved without filing a lawsuit.
  • Recovered the maximum policy limits of $20,000.00 for our client, who was crossing the street in the crosswalk when he was struck by a car that failed to look for and see him. He underwent surgery to repair his fractured tibial plateau and missed months of work. He is now back at work and, despite hardware remaining in his leg, has made a good recovery and has resumed a physical job requiring standing for long periods. Due to the driver's woefully inadequate insurance coverage, we are now pursuing UIM benefits.
  • Recovered for a woman struck by a nonagenarian who turned left in front of her. After months of treatment, she recovered well and we recovered nearly $50,000.00 for her.
  • Settled a workers' compensation claim for an airline baggage handler who tore cartilage in his knee, forcing him to undergo surgery. The settlement was sizable, $35,000.00.
  • Secured workers' compensation permanency benefits for a man who lost part of his ring finger (caught in a ladder) while working at a store.
  • Settled injury claims for three clients (all friends) who were t-boned by a car attempting to cross a busy street. The most seriously injured sustained a fractured patella (kneecap), which temporarily curtailed a career of dance and dance instruction, to which she has now returned.
  • Secured workers' compensation permanency benefits for a gentleman (a return client!) who tore his rotator cuff while working. His surgery was successful and he is back at work full time.
  • Our client was rear ended at a stop sign. His post-concussion syndrome plagued him for nearly a year. Nevertheless, we were able to obtain compensation from the other driver for his medical bills, his lost wages, and significant sums for pain and suffering and loss of a normal life.
  • In a disputed workers' compensation matter, a management employee reached for the door only to miss and fall, dislocating her shoulder and tearing her rotator cuff. Her recovery from surgery was so fabulous, there was hardly any permanent restriction, meaning the value of the case was reduced. Further, there were significant issues raised by the defense as to whether this was a compensable workers' comp claim. We secured significant compensation for the client after a long fight.
  • We handled several cases involving pharmacies providing the WRONG PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION to our clients, leading to serious side effects. All of these cases were settled and the clients were ecstatic.
  • Our client fractured her ankle while exiting a hotel parking lot. The ramp to the lot was uneven and slanted inappropriately. We secured a five-figure settlement in a heavily disputed case.
  • Our client was a patron at a bar. A drunken patron struck him over the head with a bottle, severing his ear. After emergency surgery and blood transfusions, he made a good recovery, albeit with scarring on his head and ear. Typically, this would be a case against the bar under the Dram Shop Act and under a negligence theory for inadequate security in failing to prevent a drunken patron from escalating what had been a series of minor skirmishes with other patrons. Unfortunately, the quadruple whammy of the bar going out of business, the bar's insurance going into liquidation, and insurance guaranty fund not covering this loss, and us being unable to identify the alleged intoxicated person, meant we had to sue the former bar owners personally, which resulted in a settlement straight out of their pockets.

After such a great year obtaining benefits for our clients, what do we have to look forward to in 2015? Plenty! Among them:

  • A pending claim (both workers' compensation) for the traveling salesman who was rear ended while on a business trip.
  • A personal injury and workers' compensation claim for a deliveryman who was struck by another driver, demolishing his vehicle and sending him to the hospital.
  • A family of four struck by a woman who lost control of her vehicle on a curve. All were injured, two more severely.
  • Numerous auto crash cases are pending, along with assorted malpractice actions, and other types of matters.

As always, we thank our clients, friends, referring attorneys, and all others in our network for bringing about the successful results of the past, laying the foundation and collaborating for the future.