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AUGUST 25, 2020. IVELJIC QUOTED IN LEGAL ZOOM ARTICLE ABOUT COVID-19 LIABILITY WAIVERS.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted by Legal Zoom about whether COVID-19 liability waivers can hold up in court. Recently, many business owners are requiring their customers to sign such waivers in an attempt to limit their liability related to COVID-19. Customers need to take these waivers seriously. They could prevent a customer from suing a business if they can prove they contracted COVID-19 from that business.

Read the full article here. For more information, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com or reach out to one of our attorneys directly.

JULY 20, 2020. IVELJIC AND MIKUZIS QUOTED IN FORBES ARTICLE, TITLED "WHAT EXACTLY CAN BE TAKEN FROM YOU IN A LAWSUIT?"

Mag Mile Law Partners Mario Iveljic and Steven Mikuzis were recently quoted in Forbes about what assets can be taken from someone as a result of a lawsuit. Steve provided insight about insurance and what property may be exempt from garnishment, and Iveljic shared how he uses thorough citations to discover assets to identify property that may be used to satisfy a judgment.

Click here to read the full Forbes article and see what our Partners had to say. For more information, contact us today at info@magmilelaw.com or reach out to one of our attorneys directly.

JUNE 20, 2020. FDA ADVISES CONSUMERS NOT TO USE HAND SANITIZER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED BY ESKBIOCHEM.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem Se de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. The FDA recommends that consumers avoid the following brands of hand sanitizers produced by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

Read the full advisory here. If you or someone you know have used one of these products, call or email us at info@magmilelaw.com for more information.

JUNE 19, 2020. MIKUZIS QUOTED IN ARTICLE REGARDING COMMERCIAL INSURANCE & RIOT DAMAGE.

Mag Mile Law Partner Steve Mikuzis was recently quoted in an article published on Expert Insurance Reviews which examined the insurance needed to recover from riots and looting. Steve provided insight about riots, commercial insurance, and how the property and casualty insurance industry might react to small businesses filing business insurance claims during these events.

Click here to read the full article, and to see what Steve had to say.

JUNE 15, 2020. MIKUZIS QUOTED IN ARTICLE REGARDING INSURANCE FOR CIVIL UNREST/LOOTING.

Mag Mile Law Partner Steve Mikuzis was recently quoted in an article published on theprepared.com regarding insurance coverage for civil unrest and looting. Titled "Does Insurance Cover Damage From Civil Unrest and Looting," the article answered questions business and property owners may have regarding how insurance companies would respond to claims resulting from riots and looting.

Click here to read the full article, and to see what Steve had to say.

MAY 26, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE. FEDERAL COURT UPDATE.

Today, Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered Fourth Amended General Order 20-0012, ordering the following:

1. The Fourth Amended General Order does not extend any deadlines in civil cases.

2. Civil case hearings, bench trials and settlement conferences may be scheduled and conducted by the presiding judge by remote means. In-court hearings are limited to urgent matters that cannot be conducted remotely.

3. Civil jury trials will not be conducted before August 3, 2020, and trials set to begin before August 3, 2020 will be reset by the presiding judge.

4. Any party may seek emergency relief, and emergency motions must be filed in the case in which emergency relief is sought.

5. The District Court Clerk's Office is closed to public entry through June 15, 2020. Filings may be made electronically, deposited in the lobby drop box, or mailed to the clerk's office.

6. No courtesy copies may be submitted for filings made through July 15, 2020.

7. No motion may be noticed for presentment on a date earlier than July 15, 2020.

8. This order does not affect the authority of judges to enter orders in any civil or criminal cases.

Read the full order here.

MAY 5, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE. 5-PHASE PLAN FOR RESTORING ILLINOIS.

Today, Governor Pritzker unveiled a new plan to reopen the state in 5 phases, titled "Restore Illinois." Here is a quick synopsis of the 5 phases:

Phase 1 - Rapid Spread: This phase takes place when the rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Every region has experienced this phase once already, and it could return if mitigation efforts are not successful. Only essential businesses remain open, and strict stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines are in place.

Phase 2 - Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. This phase began in Illinois on May 1. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Residents can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing, and are directed to wear a face covering when outside.

Phase 3 - Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. This phase will begin after regions meet certain thresholds. The earliest a region can move to Phase 3 is May 29. In this phase, manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

Phase 4 - Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. For this phase to begin, a region would need to see continued declines in its positivity rate and hospitalizations. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are still the norm.

Phase 5 - Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open. This phase can only begin with a vaccine, or a widely available and highly effective treatment, or with the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period.

MAY 1, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE. COOK COUNTY COURT UPDATE.

Today, Chief Judge Timothy Evans ordered that all matters in all Districts and Divisions of the Cook County Circuit Court are rescheduled and continued for a period of 30 days from the currently scheduled court date, or a date not more than 30 days after May 31, 2020, whichever is later. Judge Evans also ordered the Sheriff of Cook County to resume enforcement of eviction orders relating to residential real estate on June 1, 2020. All judges will be available in person to hear emergency matters. Initial and responsive pleadings and responsive motions may be filed in person or electronic filing with the circuit clerk.

Read the full order here

APRIL 24, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE. FEDERAL COURT UPDATE.

Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered Third Amended General Order 20-0012, further extending all deadlines in civil cases by an additional 28 days from the extensions previously provided for in the Second Amended General Order 20-0012. Civil case hearings, bench trials and settlement conferences scheduled for on or before May 29, 2020 are stricken, to be re-set by the presiding judge to a date on or after June 1, 2020. However, any party may request, by motion to the assigned judge, that a telephonic hearing or settlement conference (by remote means) be conducted prior to May 29, 2020. Any such request shall specify the need and time urgency for the telephonic hearing or conference, as this exception is not intended to invite requests for routine status hearings. Civil jury trials scheduled on or before June 26, 2020 are stricken, to be re-set by the presiding judge to a date on or after June 29, 2020.

Read the full Amended Order here.

APRIL 23, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: SANGAMON COUNTY JUDGE ISSUES TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER BLOCKING CHANGES TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION EMERGENCY AMENDMENT.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John M. Madonia has issued a temporary restraining order blocking emergeny changes made by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission amid the COVID-19 pandemic from taking effect.  The Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) filed a lawsuit earlier this week after the Commission approved of the emergency amendment (explained below in our April 13 news update), arguing that the Commission and its chairman exceeded their statutory authority by enacting substantive changes to the state's workers' compensation system through a rule change, rather than through the legislative process. More than two dozen business groups joined the IMA and IRMA in opposition of the changes.

Arguments for both parties are due to the court on April 30, and a hearing is scheduled for May 4. We will provide further updates as they become available.

APRIL 22, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: CHICAGO ALDERMEN SEEK 12 MONTH GRACE PERIOD FOR TENANTS TO PAY RENT.

Ald. Matt Martin (47th) introduced legislation that would give Chicago renters who lost income during the COVID-19 outbreak a 12-month grace period to pay rent. Specifically, the ordinance would allow tenants a 12 month grace period following the date at which a stay at home order is rescinded to pay past due rent if the tenant is unable to pay rent during the stay at home order due to circumstances related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including:

1. Loss of income due to a COVID-19 related workplace closure.

2. Increased or additional child care expenditures due to school closures or changed work schedules.

3. Healthcare and other expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a member of the tenant's household or family who is ill with COVID-19.

4. Reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures.

Critics of the rent abatement proposal argue that the ordinance will destroy what remains of privately owned low-income affordable housing, it would increase the homeless population, it does not adequately explain what would substitute for rent, it does not adequately protect property owners who will be unable to pay their mortgage/property taxes/utility fees without proper rent payments, and it will lead to a massive decline in the collection of property taxes, water fees, sewer fees and other revenue.

Think this ordinance is good for City of Chicago residents? Decide for yourself, and read the full text here.

What about landlords and property owners who need rent to pay for their mortgage, taxes, insurance and/or utility bills? Alderman Martin proposed another ordinance asking Governor Pritzker to enact payment deferrments for mortgage holders, citing to actions taken by California Governor Gavin Newsom and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The proposed ordinance calls upon Governor Pritzker to help secure a commitment from all significant non-commercial lenders and servicers of residential mortgages in the City of Chicago to:

1. Offer at least 90 days of mortgage forbearance to all borrowers that have lost income due to COVID-19 and wherever possible, offer payment plans that avoid a single "balloon" payment due at the end of the forbearance term.

2. Waive or refund mortgage-related late fees for at least 90 days.

3. Forego reporting the occurrence of late payments to credit-reporting agencies for borrowers that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Read this proposed ordinance here.

APRIL 13, 2020. COVID-19 UDPATE: ILLINOIS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION EMERGENCY AMENDMENT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND FRONT LINE WORKERS.

Today, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission implemented an emergency amendment to its Rules of Evidence. Under this amendment, in any proceeding before the Commission where the petitioner is a COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker, if the petitioner's injury or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to the COVID-19 virus during a COVID-19 related state of emergency, the exposure will be rebuttably presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment and, further, will be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the petitioner's employment.

The amendment defines "COVID-19 First Responder or Front Line Worker" as anyone employed as police, fire personnel, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics, and all individuals employed and considered as first responders, health care providers engaged in patient care, correction officers, and other "crucial personnel." Read the full amendment here.

This amendment will make it easier for COVID-19 First Responders and Front Line Workers to obtain workers' compensation benefits for injuries resulting from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Under this amendment, a First Responder or Front Line Worker who proves that their injury or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to COVID-19 during the state of emergency will not need to further prove that the exposure arose out of and in the course of employment, or that the injury or period of incapacity was causally connected to the hazards or exposure from the employment. 

If you or a loved one are a First Responder or Front Line Worker who has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the course of employment, and want to file a workers' compensation claim, contact us. Our firm greatly appreciates all the sacrifices made by these dedicated professionals, and we will fight to obtain the compensation they rightly deserve.

APRIL 3, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: COOK COUNTY COURT CLOSURE.

Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, issued General Order 2020-01 today, formally extending the closure of the Cook County courts through May 18. This was first announced in a press release on March 30. Read the full order here. Contact us for more information.

APRIL 1, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS.

We are still closing deals! The attorneys at Mag Mile Law have closed several residential property transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Real estate agents, title companies and attorneys have come up with creative ways to help close deals, from video showings and walkthroughs to drive up closings. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, know that despite all that is happening in our world, we can find a way to close your deal. Contact us if you have any questions or for more information.

MARCH 30, 2020: COVID-19 UPDATE: FEDERAL COURT UPDATE.

Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois extended all deadlines in civil cases by an additional 28 days from the prior extension given. Civil case hearings, bench trials, and settlement conferences scheduled for on or before May 1, 2020 are stricken, to be reset by the presiding judge to a date on or after May 4, 2020. Civil jury trials scheduled for on or before May 29, 2020 are stricken, to be reset by the presiding judge to a date after June 1, 2020. The District Court Clerk's Office in the Dirksen United States Courthouse is closed to public entry through May 1, 2020. Filings may be made electronically, deposited in the drop-box in the lobby of the courthouse during business hoursm, or mailed to the clerk's office. Read the full order hereContact us for more information.

MARCH 30, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: COOK COUNTY COURT CLOSURE EXTENDED.

In a press release issued today, Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, announced that he extended the postponement of many criminal and civil cases in the Circuit Court of Cook County through May 18. The order also extends the use of videoconferencing for all court proceedings deemed necessary or emergencies during this time. This order also continued the March 13 moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and none will be allowed during this time. Just like the order entered on March 13, today's order means no jury trials in criminal or civil matters would begin until after May 18. Read the full press release hereContact us for more information.

MARCH 20, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: WE CONTINUE TO WORK FULL-TIME.

In these trying times, know that the attorneys at Mag Mile Law are all available to assist you with your legal needs. Our files are electronic, allowing our attorneys to access them even if we are physically out of the office. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys, please contact them directly via email or phone, or send an email to info@magmilelaw.com.

Please, be safe and stay healthy. 

-Your friends at Mag Mile Law

MARCH 16, 2020. COVID-19 UPDATE: FEDERAL COURT CLOSURE.

Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered that the deadlines of all civil cases are extended by 21 days from the current deadline. Civil case hearings, trials and settlement conferences scheduled from March 17, 2020 until April 3, 2020 are stricken from the calendar and would be reset on or after April 6, 2020. During this time, the District Court Clerk's Office in the Dirksen United States Courthouse will be open with limited staff. Electronic filings may still be made through the CM/ECF system. Read the full order hereContact us for more information.

MARCH 13, 2020. COVID-19: COOK COUNTY COURT CLOSURE.

In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Timothy C. Evans, issued a general order today rescheduling all matters in all Cook County districts for 30 days from the originally scheduled court date. The Sheriff of Cook County was also ordered to cease execution of eviction orders relating to residential real estate for 30 days. Judges would be available to hear emergency matters in person, and parties could still file initial pleadings (Complaints) or responsive motions in person or via electronic filing. Read the full order here. Contact us for more information. 

FEBRUARY 21, 2020. IVELJIC SPEAKS TO HUNDREDS OF REAL ESTATE INVESTORS AT CHICAGO REIA CONFERENCE.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario M. Iveljic spoke to over 500 real estate investors at this weekend's Chicago REIA 3-day conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. Iveljic spoke about the different types of asset protection available for real estate investors, and about the Illinois litigation process. It was the second time Iveljic gave this presentation for Chicago REIA. Contact us if you need assistance with your real estate investment activities, setting up a corporate entity, or for any questions you may have.

DECEMBER 1, 2019. IVELJIC SUCCESSFULLY RESOLVES DISPUTE AGAINST CREDIT CARD COMPANY.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario M. Iveljic successfully resolved a fraud dispute with a credit card company in our client's favor. Mag Mile Law's client was the victim of identity theft, as someone obtained our client's personal information, visited a local jewelry store, opened a line of credit, and charged thousands of dollars in our client's name for jewelry. Our client disputed the charges with the jewelry store and credit card company, but was unsuccessful. She then called Mag Mile Law and, 1 month later, we successfully convinced the credit card company to write off the charges due to fraud, and immediately close the line of credit.

OCTOBER 4, 2019. IVELJIC SPEAKS TO HUNDREDS OF REAL ESTATE INVESTORS AT CHICAGO REIA CONFERENCE.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario M. Iveljic spoke to hundreds of real estate investors at Chicago REIA's 3-day conference in Schaumburg, Illinois. He provided valuable insight on asset protection for real estate investors, and about the Illinois litigation process. Contact us if you need assistance with your real estate investment activities, setting up a corporate entity, or for any questions you may have.

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AUGUST 12, 2020. WHAT ARE COVID-19 LIABILITY WAIVERS?

If you have visited the gym, a yoga studio, or a hair salon, you may have been asked to sign a "COVID-19 LIABILITY WAIVER," or something similarly titled. Do you know what you are signing? If not, here is some basic information you need to know.

A waiver is, in its most basic form, a contract between two parties where one party (the customer) agrees to not hold the other party (the business owner) liable for injuries resulting from the business owner’s conduct. A business owner can use a properly drafted COVID-19 waiver to prevent a customer from recovering damages against the business owner if the customer proves that he or she contracted COVID-19 while on the business owner’s premises.
 
A waiver needs to clearly specify the types of activities, circumstances, or situations that it encompasses and for which the customer agrees to relieve the business owner from a duty of care. In this way, the customer will be put on notice of the range of dangers for which he or she assumes the risk of injury, enabling him or her to minimize the risks by exercising a greater degree of caution. With regard to COVID-19, this would mean that the waiver must contain clear, explicit and unequivocal language that the customer is relieving the business from injuries or damages resulting from contracting COVID-19 while on the premises of the business.
 
Moreover, the waiver cannot be against the settled public policy of the state. In Illinois, waivers are contrary to public policy if they they are: (1) between an employer and employee; (2) between the public and those charged with a duty of public service, such as a common carrier or a public utility; or (3) between parties where there is a disparity of bargaining power such that the agreement does not represent a free choice on the part of the plaintiff. 
 
Summing this all up, at the most basic level, waivers need to be clear, voluntary and not against public policy of the state.
 
Because waivers are essentially contracts between two parties, the waiver is only applicable between those two parties. What this means is that if you walk into a business and ultimately contract COVID-19 from that business, the waiver you signed may prevent you from suing that business for your personal injuries. However, if one of your friends contracts COVID-19 from you, the waiver that you signed will not prevent your friend from suing the business where you contracted COVID-19 from. While the business owner may have other defenses available in a lawsuit filed by your friend, he or she will not be able to use the waiver you signed to prevent your friend from recovering damages against the business.
 
In the end, a customer should take waivers seriously, and he or she should ensure that they understand what they are waiving. For more information about COVID-19 liability waivers, contact one of our attorneys at info@magmilelaw.com
 

JULY 20, 2020. WHAT CAN YOU LOSE IN A LAWSUIT?

Nobody ever wants to be sued. It can have devastating effects on you, as the defendant, especially if you are found liable.
 
If you are sued and lose that lawsuit, what can the courts take? The short answer is potentially everything. If you lose a lawsuit and a money judgment is entered against you, all of your assets could potentially be at risk to pay off that judgment, and your wages could be garnished (i.e., taken) until the judgment is fully paid. We say “potentially" because there are some assets that would be protected against such judgments depending on how the asset is owned. For instance, if you own a home with a spouse, and you both hold the home as “tenants by the entirety,” a lawsuit against one of the spouses generally will not result in a lien against the home. 
 
Also, when a judgment is entered against you, and the other side attempts to collect, frequently they will issue you a “citation to discover assets” which basically asks you to identify all of your assets. This is done to evaluate what assets you have that might be available to pay off the judgment. When we issue citations to discover assets while attempting to collect on a judgment, the list of items we ask for is very extensive, and includes, for instance, all checking and savings accounts, business accounts, real estate, contents held in safety deposit boxes, jewelry, cash and credit/debit cards.
 
One way to protect your personal assets from being taken to satisfy a judgment is to have the proper insurance in place. When we say the proper insurance, we mean the right types of coverages with the right policy limits. If you own a car with insurance policy limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, and you cause an accident where one injured party has over $100,000 in damages, the injured party can collect the $25,000 limit of your insurance policy and then pursue you personally for the amount of damages incurred in excess of the policy limit. In our experience, this does not happen very often because of the difficulty in pursuing individuals personally, and due to the uncertainty in defendants being able to pay off judgments with personal assets, However, if you are wealthy, or have substantial assets, then the money and assets could be used to collect that judgment. In order to fully protect yourself, you will need to obtain an insurance policy with higher limits and also consider buying an umbrella policy. Otherwise, you could stand to lose your car, cash, or other assets to satisfy that judgment.
 
For more questions about liability and insurance, contact one of our attorneys today at info@magmilelaw.com.
 

JULY 13, 2020. CAN YOU RECOVER FOR THE INJURIES A DECEASED PERSON SUFFERED IN THE MOMENTS BEFORE PASSING AWAY?

In a lawsuit involving wrongful death, many times the injured person does not pass away until minutes, hours or days after the accident actually happened. In those minutes, hours and days between the time of the accident and eventual death, the injured person is most likely in severe pain from his or her injuries. In this situation, the plaintiff in a wrongful death action can recover for the damages that are proven to have occurred from the time of the deceased's injuries and the time of his or her death - in the minutes, hours or days before death - taking into consideration the nature, extent and duration of the injury. The plaintiff must prove that the deceased actually and consciously endured pain and suffering before death. The fact that the deceased person only suffered for a short period of time is not a bar to a claim for conscious pain and suffering. The duration of the pain and suffering affects the amount of damages to be awarded.

For more information about wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois, contact one of our personal injury attorneys today. They are former insurance defense attorneys who are now on YOUR side, fighting the insurance companies to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

JULY 6, 2020. WHAT IS A LAWSUIT FOR "WRONGFUL DEATH?"

A lawsuit for a "wrongful death" is a civil lawsuit filed by the personal representative of a deceased person to recover for certain losses sustained by the surviving spouse and next of kin of the deceased person. It is governed by the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, 740 ILCS 180/0.01 et seq. Under the Act, a jury may give such damages as they deem fair and just compensation relating to things such as loss of financial support; loss of the benefits that the family would have received from the deceased's continued existence - such as love, affection, care, attention, companionship, comfort, guidance and protection; or a child's loss of instruction and training due to the death of a parent. This list is not extensive, but is only mean to give a general understanding of what can be recovered. 

For more information about wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois, contact one of our personal injury attorneys today. They are former insurance defense attorneys who are now on YOUR side, fighting the insurance companies to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

JUNE 25, 2020. WHAT STATES HAVE THE WORST DRIVERS?

Every year, thousands of individuals lose their lives in auto accidents in the United States. Many more are seriously injured. Ever wonder what are the most dangerous states with the worst drivers? Recently, Car Insurance Comparison conducted an exhaustive study to answer this very question using 2019 statistics. Illinois fell just outside the top 10 most dangerous states.

Read the full article and report here.

For more information about our car accident personal injury practice, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our car accident personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side!

JUNE 23, 2020. INTERESTS IN REAL ESTATE - WHAT ARE THEY?

If you have ever bought or sold a home, you received (from the seller) or provided (to the buyer) a deed that transfers the home. Sometimes the new owners take the property as "tenants in common." Other times the new owners take the property as "joint tenants." Other times the new owners take the property as "tenants by the entirety." What do these terms mean? Here is a quick explanation:

Tenancy in Common: each owner (tenant) holds an undivided fractional interest in the property. For example, a tenant in common may hold 1/2 or 1/3 interest in a property. The physical property, however, is not divided into a specific half or a third. The co-owners are entitled to possession of the whole property. Because they own separate interests, they can sell, convey, mortgage, or transfer their individual interests without the consent of the other co-owners. However, no individual tenant may transfer the ownership of the entire property. When 1 co-owner dies, that co-owner’s undivided interest passes according to his will or living trust.

Joint Tenancy: Title is held as though all the owners, collectively, constitute 1 unit, i.e., unity of ownership. Upon the death of a joint tenant, the deceased’s interest transfers directly to the surviving joint tenants. Essentially, there is 1 less owner. The joint tenancy continues until only 1 owner remains. A joint tenancy can be created only by the intentional act of conveying a deed or giving the property by will. It cannot be implied or created by operation of law. The deed must specifically state the parties’ intention to create a joint tenancy, and the parties must be explicitly identified as joint tenants. Co-owners who wish to terminate their co-ownership may file an action in court called a partition suit. Partition is a legal way to dissolve the relationship when the parties do not voluntarily agree to its termination.

Tenancy by the Entirety: Husbands and wives can use this special form of co-ownership for their personal residence. In this form of ownership, each spouse has an equal, undivided interest in the property. During their lives, they can convey title to the property only by a deed signed by both parties. One party cannot create a 1/2 interest and generally they have no right to partition or divide. A lawsuit against 1 of the spouses will not result in a lien against the house. On the death of 1 spouse, the survivor automatically becomes the sole owner. To create a tenancy by the entirety, the deed must indicate that the property is to be owned “not as joint tenants or tenants in common, but as tenants by the entirety.”

For all your real estate needs, contact the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law either by email, info@magmilelaw.com or by phone, 708-576-1624.

JUNE 19, 2020. WHAT ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS DRIVER DISTRACTIONS?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,166 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes in 2017. What are the deadliest distractions for drivers? Click here to learn more!

April 23, 2020. COVID-19 AND BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVERAGE UPDATE.

Over the past weeks, several lawsuits have been filed in courts across the country, by both insurance carriers and insureds, relating to coverage disputes for lost business income resulting from government-enforced COVID-19 business closures. Business owners allege that they were forced to close or limit operations by government authorities as part of state and federal efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, resulting in significant lost business income. These insureds include businesses such as restaurants, bars, medical offices, movie theaters, production companies and others. Insurers generally respond by arguing that business interruption loss are only paid when there is “direct physical damage” that leads to lost business income, and/or that the insurance policies include exclusions related to virus, bacteria or communicable diseases. One insurance carrier, Travelers Insurance, has even filed suit against a Los Angeles law firm who sued the insurer earlier this month. There, the carrier argued that virus-related losses are specifically excluded from business interruption policies issued to the firm; and, even without the exclusion, coverage would still be denied because the virus did not cause physical damage.

As a business owner, what do you need to know? First, you’ll need to know and understand the key terms and concepts related to your insurance policy. Then, you’ll need to know and understand how those key terms and concepts frame the issues of an insurance coverage dispute. Then, you’ll need to know how courts generally resolve insurance coverage disputes. Finally, if you want to file a claim for business interruption or want to revisit a claim that your insurance carrier previously denied, you’ll want to speak to an attorney.

We have done the research. We know the key issues. We know what to look for in your insurance policy. If you are a business owner that has lost business as a result of COVID-19 government shutdowns, contact us today. We will review your insurance policy at no charge to look for the relevant coverages and exclusions. We will be able to advise if there is a case to be made for insurance coverage for your lost business income. Don't wait. The fight between insurance carriers and businesses is on. Don't miss out. 

APRIL 11, 2020. I AM THINKING OF BUYING (OR SELLING) A HOME. DO I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER?

We strongly recommend that you hire professionals to help you buy or sell a home, and this includes real estate agents and attorneys. If you are a home buyer, a real estate agent will help you identify homes on the market that are in line with your requirements, and they will also be able to network with other real estate professionals to potentially locate homes that are not on the market which may be of interest to you. Likewise, if you are selling a home, a real estate agent will be able to help you identify what your home is worth on the open market, will be able to provide guidance about what steps to take, if any, prior to marketing the home for sale (such as making repairs, replacements, or home staging), and will be able to market the home for sale.

When you go under contract to buy or sell a home, an attorney will work with you through all the steps that are necessary to actually close the purchase or sale. This includes, among other things, reviewing the sales contract and modifying it if necessary, reviewing evidence of title of the property, ensuring that everyone complies with the terms of the sales contract, ensuring that all financial aspects of the transaction are reconciled at closing, obtaining and reviewing a survey of the property to ensure there are no adverse encroachments on the property, and ultimately guiding you from the time you go under contract through the time of sale. There are many steps that the parties need to go through before closing the deal, and an experienced attorney will ensure that all those steps are completed.

Also, you don't need to wait until you go under contract to retain an attorney. If you have an offer on the table to purchase your home, or want to make an offer, you can also consult with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns. There is nothing preventing you from waiting until you actually go under contract to hire an attorney to assist you. We have been retained in the past prior to our clients going under contract, and we work with real estate agents and clients as a team to help them make strong offers, go under contract and ultimately close the deal.

For more information about Mag Mile Law's real estate practice, or to retain us for an upcoming home sale or purchase, contact us today. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined real estate experience, and we will help you close that deal! 

APRIL 10, 2020. I THINK I CONTRACTED COVID-19 AT THE STORE. IS THE STORE LIABLE FOR MY INJURIES?

In a standard premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that there was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the premises, that the owner actually knew or reasonably should have known about it, the owner failed to take reasonable measures to prevent the dangerous condition for injuring others, and the dangerous condition caused damages to the plaintiff. Applying these general standards to a Covid-19 case, a plaintiff will have to prove that an agent of the store had Covid-19, that the store knew or reasonably should have known about it, the store did not take adequate measures to prevent others, including the plaintiff, from contracting Covid-19, and that the plaintiff contracted Covid-19 through the agent of the store. This is an explanation at its most basic level. 

The store will certainly have several defense to make, including that it acted reasonably under the circumstances (by enforcing social distancing, limiting people inside the store, wearing personal protective equipment, etc.), that plaintiff will not be able to prove causation (because plaintiff can't be sure that she contracted the virus from someone at the store, as opposed to contracting it from someone else entirely), and comparative fault (plaintiff was at fault by going to the store unnecessarily during a stay-at-home order).

If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit under these circumstances, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com for more info or for a free consultation. Our premises liability personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys who are now on YOUR side!

APRIL 9, 2020. I FELL ON A FOREIGN SUBSTANCE AT THE STORE. IS THE STORE LIABLE?

A proprietor is liable for a a slip and fall on a foreign substance on the floor if:

1. The substance was actually placed on the floor through the negligence of the proprietor (imagine a waiter at a restaurant clearing off a table and letting a piece of food fall to the floor without cleaning it up, and someone later slips and falls on that food); or

2. If there is no showing as to how the substance got on the floor, the proprietor actually knew that the substance was present on the floor; or

3. If the substance was on the floor for a sufficient length of time, so that even if the proprietor did not actually know it was present, he or she should have known it was present.

As with the natural accumulation caselaw (see our April 8, 2020 blog), the caselaw surrounding foreign substances is complex and sometimes applied inconsistently. It is important to contact an attorney if you should happen to get injured in these circumstances. They will be able to take all the facts presented to them and see if you have a case. The premises liability attorneys at Mag Mile Law offer free consultations, and have extensive experience in premises liability matters. Contact us at info@magmilelaw.com for more information or to schedule your free consultation. Our premises liability personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 8, 2020. I SLIPPED AND FELL ON WATER, SNOW OR ICE AT THE STORE. IS THE STORE LIABLE?

Generally, the answer depends on how the water, snow or ice accumulated on the property. If it is a "natural accumulation," meaning that it was not caused or aggravated by the acts of any person, the courts will find no liability against the owner of the property. There is a substantial body of caselaw in Illinois involving natural accumulations, which is too complex to explain in one post. And, in fact, sometimes we see courts make rulings which we believe are inconsistent with how other courts have ruled in similar circumstances. But, keep in mind the following basic principles:

1. An owner has no duty to remove ice or snow that has generally resulted from natural accumulations, no matter how long the natural accumulation existed.

2. Municipal ordinances requiring snow removal do not create liability for a person injured in a fall on an uncleared area.

3. An owner who does remove snow and ice must do so in a reasonable manner. A simple pile of snow plowed or shoveled can cause an unnatural accumulation which would expose the owner to liability.

4. A person claiming injury must identify the cause of the water formation and must show that it was due to unnatural causes, or a natural cause that was aggravated by the owner who knew or should have known of the condition.

5. For residential property, the Illinois legislature (in the Snow and Ice Removal Act) has provided protection for homeowners who shovel their sidewalks. The Act grants immunity to residential owners or occupants who remove or attempt to remove snow or ice from a sidewalk as long as their conduct is not "willful or wanton."

Again, these are basic principles. If you have been injured as a result of slipping or falling on water, snow or ice, it is important that you contact an attorney to see if you have a case. Mag Mile Law offers free consultations, so please feel free to contact us at info@magmilelaw.com for a free consultation or for more information about our premises liability personal injury practice. Our premises liability personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side! 

APRIL 7, 2020. I RECEIVED A CALL FROM SOMEONE ELSE'S INSURANCE COMPANY AFTER MY CAR ACCIDENT. DO I NEED TO SPEAK TO THEM?

If you have been involved in a car accident, and the other person in the accident has car insurance, expect to receive a call from their insurance company after the accident. The person who calls is usually an "adjuster," and they are trying to investigate the accident to see who is at fault and to determine how much, if anything, to pay you (if their driver is at fault). You are under NO obligation to speak to the other side's insurance company! If you have an attorney, tell them to contact your attorney. If you don't, you can politely decline to speak to them.

If you decline to speak to the other side's insurance company, the adjuster will probably tell you that they can't properly investigate your claim and will not be able to pay you. But don't worry, because in our experience, the adjuster probably won't be offering you what you think your case is worth, so it's better to just get an attorney on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve.

For more information about our car accident personal injury practice, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our car accident personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 6, 2020. HOW LONG DO PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUITS TAKE TO SETTLE OR BE TRIED?

We are frequently asked how long personal injury lawsuits take to be settled or tried. The simple answer is that...it depends. Personal injury lawsuits can be resolved very quickly (within a few months), or they can take years to be settled or tried. There are many variables that affect how long your lawsuit will take, including:

1. The willingness of the parties to settle. Either party may have a reason to settle quickly. Either party may know they have a weak case and just want to resolve it quickly. A claimant may need the money right away, or simply doesn't want to wait to get paid. On the other hand, either party may think they have a strong case and will resist attempts to settle unless it's only on their terms. This could mean that the case will take longer to resolve.

2. The complexity of the case. The more complex the case, the more parties there are to it, the more witnesses there are, generally the longer it will take. Generally, a lawsuit involving auto accident with 1 plaintiff and 1 defendant with no other witnesses should not take too long to be resolve or tried. However, a lawsuit with many parties and witnesses, many exhibits and potentially thousands of pages of records to be reviewed will, for the most part, take longer to resolve or be tried.

3. The diligence of the attorneys. In all industries and walks of life, there are some people who are more efficient than others. The same applies to attorneys. Some attorneys take longer to complete tasks than others. It may be a matter of staffing, having too many files to work on, not having the proper systems in place, or a simple lack of diligence. 

4. The diligence of the clients. Attorneys also need the help of their clients to move cases along. Attorneys need information and documents throughout the life of a case and if the clients do not provide them with timely information and documentation, it can delay the case. 

5. Court involvement. Attorneys and clients are at the mercy of the court and the court's schedule, as lawsuits generally move forward in stages with deadlines set by either statute or the judge. Some judges have busier caseloads than others. Sometimes deadlines to complete certain tasks are set out for months. This will effect how quickly your case moves along. 

6. Medical treatment. During a lawsuit, a claimant will need to provide the other side with his or her medical records, and the other side will generally want to take the deposition(s) of the claimant's treating physicians. The process to obtain these records takes time, and sometimes the doctors are not available for deposition for months. This can obviously delay your case.

The attorneys at Mag Mile Law do whatever they can to move cases along. For more information about our personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our personal injury lawyers are former defense attorneys, and now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 5, 2020. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE MY PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT?

Most simply, under Illinois law, injured persons generally have 2 years from the date of injury to file their lawsuit. This deadline is referred to as the "statute of limitations." Most of the time, such as when you are in a car accident or slip/trip and fall at the store, you know when your injury was sustained and you can calculate the deadline to file your lawsuit very easily. Sometimes, however, you may not discover your injury until much later. For instance, a patient at a hospital may not discover that he was injured during the course of treatment for months, or even years, after the injury occurred. Therefore, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice contains a provision known as the "discovery rule," which provides that a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known of the existence of the injury or death. 

If you were injured in an accident, or believe you suffered injury caused by another, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. There may be other statutes of limitations that apply to your claim, which may further reduce the time you have to file a lawsuit. For instance, there is only a 1-year statute of limitations for personal injury if the action is brought against a local public entity or any of its employees. There are also "statutes of repose" which provide a deadline to file a lawsuit, regardless of whether you knew or should have known of the injury (your lawsuit could be time-barred before you even knew you were injured!). An attorney will know what statutes of limitations apply, and will also work to ensure that all the relevant evidence is preserved.

For more information about our personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, but now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 4, 2020. WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER FOR MY PERSONAL INJURIES?

Ever wonder how a jury determines the amount of damages to award to someone for a personal injury? There's no one formula that applies to all cases. Instead, there are different types of damages that you can ask for, which the jury may or may not award based on the evidence. This list is not exhaustive but is only meant to give a general overview:

1. "Pain and Suffering" due to the accident and the injuries. This is usually where the values can be unpredictable because it is hard to quantify what a person should be paid for their pain and suffering.

2. "Emotional Distress", for psychological injuries that you may have suffered.

3. "Medical Expenses", past and future - referring to all medical expenses that have been incurred or that you reasonably expect to incur in the future due to the accident.

4. "Loss of Earnings", past and future - referring to all income that you lost in the past and reasonably expect to lose in the future because of the accident and your injury.

5. "Caretaking Expenses" - referring to the reasonable expense of all necessary help incurred due to the accident.

6. "Disfigurement" - such as scarring, loss of a limb, burns and the like.

7. "Disability" or "Loss of a normal life", generally referring to the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life.

8. "Shortened Life Expectancy" - referring to when the plaintiff's life expectancy is shortened due to the accident.

For more information about our personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, but now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 3, 2020. I FELL AT THE STORE AND WAS INJURED. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

You had to run an errand. It was only meant to take a few minutes but you ended up in the hospital after slipping (or tripping) and falling in the store. Wondering what you should do? Here are some steps to keep in mind. For more information about our premises liability personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, but now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 2, 2020. I WAS IN A CAR ACCIDENT. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Car accidents are a common occurrence. Odds are that you, or someone you know, has been involved in a car accident. Some of them are very minor, but others can change your life forever. So, what should you do if you have been involved in a car accident? Here are some steps to keep in mind. For more information about our car accident personal injury practice, or for a free consultation, contact us at info@magmilelaw.com. Our personal injury attorneys are former defense attorneys, but now they are on YOUR side!

APRIL 1, 2020. COVID-19 AND BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE.

A hot topic during the Covid-19 pandemic is whether businesses are covered by their insurance policy for the loss of income suffered as a result of shutting down completely or by operating on a reduced scale. Read what we have to say here

MARCH 1, 2020. WHY HIRE US?

When looking for someone to represent you, look no further than the attorneys at Mag Mile Law. With over 60 years of combined experience representing clients in various types of matters, the attorneys at Mag Mile Law have built a reputation as trusted counselors, dedicated advocates and experienced attorneys. The following cases reflect a sample of the results we have obtained for our clients throughout the years. While these results should not be taken as promises for your case, they reflect the skills we have both inside and outside the courtroom.

Contact us for more information about our past successes, or for a free consultation.

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