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JULY 25, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT EARTHQUAKE AND FLOOD INSURANCE.

Homeowner insurance policies normally do not cover damage caused by earthquakes or floods. But, depending on where you live, homeowners will need to protect themselves in case their property is damaged due to an earthquake or flood. How and when will insurance cover earthquake or flood damage? Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic recently offered some insight on earthquake and flood insurance. Read the entire article here.

If you are a homeowner who has questions about your insurance policy or about filing an insurance claim, our Insurance Contract litigation team at Mag Mile law is here to help. We work on a contingency basis, so you don't pay us anything until and unless we win your claim. Reach out to us by emailing info@magmilelaw.com or calling us at (708) 576-1624 for a free consultation.  

JUNE 16, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT HOMEOWNER'S AND CONDO ASSOCIATION INSURANCE.

Many condominium owners do not understand exactly what kind of insurance they need for their condo. They also do not know what the difference is between the insurance they obtain and what the condo association obtains. Recently, Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic offered some insight on what condominium insurance is, what it covers, and how it differs from the insurance that the condominium association obtains. Read the entire article here. Understanding what each policy covers, what they don't cover, and how each policy is different is critical if you are considering filing an insurance claim relating to something that happened inside your condo or the condominium building.

If you are a homeowner who has questions about your insurance policy or about filing an insurance claim, our Insurance Contract litigation team at Mag Mile law is here to help. We work on a contingency basis, so you don't pay us anything until and unless we win your claim. Reach out to us by emailing info@magmilelaw.com or calling us at (708) 576-1624 for a free consultation.  

MAY 31, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN BUSINESS INSIDER ABOUT LOSS OF USE INSURANCE COVERAGE.

If you own a home that is damaged by fire, and need somewhere to stay while the home is being repaired, will your insurance policy pay for your increased living expenses? If you have proper loss of use coverage for your home, your increased living expenses should be covered. Mag Mile Law attorney Mario Iveljic was recently qouted in an article for Business Insider about Loss of Use insurance coverage. Read the full article here.

If you are a homeowner who has questions about your insurance policy or about filing an insurance claim, or are thinking about filing a lawsuit against your insurance company for wrongfully denying your insurance claim, our Insurance Contract litigation team at Mag Mile law is here to help. We work on a contingency basis, so you don't pay us anything until and unless we win your claim. Reach out to us by emailing info@magmilelaw.com or calling us at (708) 576-1624 for a free consultation. 

MAY 24, 2022. SETTLEMENT REACHED BETWEEN ILLINOIS REAL ESTATE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION AND ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION OVER USE OF THE REAL ESTATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.

The Illinois Real Estate Lawyers Assocation (IRELA) and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently reached an agreement regarding the IDFPR's use of a new Disclosure of Financial Interest (DS-1) Form which was scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2022. Since its adoption, the Illinois Title Insurance Act has required that a Disclosure of Financial Interest be made by any producer with a financial interest in the title insurance company, independent escrowee, or title insurance agent, to any party paying for the services of any entity to which they are referred. The disclosure is required to be made before the title insurance commitment is issued.

Under the agreement, the IDFPR shall not use, implement, require or enforce the DS-1 Form that was scheduled to go into efect on March 1, 2022; rather, it shall not require the use of any form for disclosure of financial interest other than the 1997 DS-1 Form titled "Disclosure Statement Controlled Business Arrangement" for at least the next 3 years. In addition, the IDFPR will not enforce the use of the 1997 DS-1 Form if the only interest a producer of title insurance has is the receipt of a percentage of the premium for the transaction at issue, or any other interest that is not an ownership interest, legal or beneficial.

For all your real estate needs, reach out to our real estate attorneys at info@magmilelaw.com or call (708) 576-1624.

 MAY 18, 2022. ILLINOIS REAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE ACT REVISED.

The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act was recently revised and became effective on May 13, 2022. There is a new form for sellers to complete and provide to buyers prior to signing a contract to sell residential property. We recommend that sellers who have completed disclosure reports after May 13, 2022 should complete a "new" report. Some of the revisions include the definition of "seller," certain clarifications for seller exemptions, new language that makes it abundantly clear that sellers must amend the report if they gain new information about the property that would change their response, and clarification that the report must be provided before the signing of a contract. The list of enumerated questions remains substantively the same, with some minor tweaks.

If you need a copy of the new disclosure report, please email us at info@magmilelaw.com

MAY 18, 2022. U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION AND PLAYERS UNIONS FOR U.S. MEN AND WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAMS AGREE TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS WITH EQUAL PAY.

After a well-publicized lawsuit and drawn out negotiations over equal pay between U.S. Soccer and the U.S. Women's National Team, it was announced that the parties, along with the U.S. Men's National Team Players Association, agreed to separate collective bargaining agreements that are identical in working conditions and financial components, including appearance fees and game bonuses, prize money, commercial revenue share and more. The Women's and Men's National Teams will pool and share FIFA World Cup Prize money, with 90% of the prize money being paid equally to the Women and Men's National Teams and the remaining 10% going to U.S. Soccer for the 2022 and 2023 World Cups. Both National Teams will have identifical performanced-based bonuses for all games and competitions. The Women's National Team will no longer have guaranteed salaries and will instead have the same pay-to-play structure as the Men's National Team. For instance, a player named to the roster for a match against an opponent ranked in the FIFA top 25 will receive an $8,000 appearance fee and a $10,000 game bonus if they win that match. 

The agreements represent the first time that any soccer federation has achieved true equal pay, including FIFA World Cup prize money.

For more information about this historic achievement, click here. To contact us about our sports law practice, call (708) 576-1624 or email mario@magmilelaw.com

MAY 17, 2022. MLS RELEASES 2022 SALARY GUIDE.

Major League Soccer recently released its 2022 Salary Guide, which contains salary information for all MLS players under contract as of April 15, 2022. The salaries are broken down into two numbers: (1) annualized base salary and (2) annualized average guaranteed compensation (all signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player's contract, including option years). Couple observations about the numbers:

The low base salary is $65,500, and the low guaranteed compensation is $76,333.

The high base salary is $7,350,000 and the high guaranteed compensation is $8,153,000 - both for Xherdan Shaqiri of the Chicago Fire. Javier "Chicarito" Hernandez follows close behind with $6,000,000 base salary and $6,000,000  guaranteed compensation.

New England Revolution and Atlanta United each have 2 of the highest paid players in MLS: Carles Gil and Jozy Altidore of NE Revolution, and Luiz Araujo and Josef Martinez of Atlanta United.

Midfielders and forwards occupy the top 19 slots for top player salaries. Carlos Salcedo from Toronto FC is the highest paid defender.

For a complete copy of the salary guide, click here. To contact us about our sports law practice, call (708) 576-1624 or email mario@magmilelaw.com

MAY 5, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT BUYING HOMES FOR CASH.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted in an article about how to pay cash for a home. In a seller's market, buyers need to find ways to make their offers stand out. One way - offer to pay cash for the home. But, you need to keep certain things in mind before doing so. Purchasing a home is a big investment and not everyone can (or should) offer to pay cash only!

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

APRIL 5, 2022. IVELJIC SIGNS ON TO REPRESENT PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER NICKY DOWNS AS SOCCER AGENT.

Mag Mile Law Partner and soccer intermediary (agent) Mario Iveljic recently reached an agreement with professional soccer player Nicky Downs to represent him as his soccer agent. Downs is currently in his second season with USL Championship side Loudon United FC. Last season (2021) he was one of the team's most consistent performers, making 31 appearances and achieving 1879 minutes on the field.

His professional career started in 2019 joining USLC side Hartford Athletic. Over two seasons he made 37 appearances, across all competitions.

Before turning professional, Downs played for Yale University from 2015 to 2018, where he scored 9 goals and 15 assists in 65 appearances. 

Iveljic spoke about his delight of working with Downs - “Nicky is an intelligent, hardworking, box-to-box midfielder that has quickly established himself as a top center midfielder in the USL Championship. I have been impressed with his dedication and his desire to improve as a player. I am excited to be a part of his soccer journey.”

The USL (United Soccer League) is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America. More than half of the U.S. National Team's 26 man squad for the final three World Cup qualifying matches for Qatar 2022 were alumni of the USL, including Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams, FC Augsburg's Ricardo Pepi and Venezia FC's Gianluca Busio.

Follow Nicky and Loudoun United here.

MARCH 25, 2022. NEW YORK COURT REFUSES TO ENTER PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION PREVENTING SPORTS AGENCY FROM HIRING AGENT FROM RIVAL AGENCY.

Recently, Excel Sports Management filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against Klutch Sports Group and a former employee who joined the rival agency, seeking a restraining order, preventing him from working for the rival agency for the duration of his non-compete agreement. At issue was an eight month non-compete agreement Excel claims its former agent had agreed to that prevents him from working for the agency’s primary competitors, including Klutch. Excel asked the judge for injunctive relief, saying the move harms Excel’s business interests and likely will harm its goodwill with brand partner relationships. However, the judge refused to issue a court order preventing Klutch from hiring Excel's former agent. The judge stated that noncompete agreements "should only be enforced to prevent direct client poaching," and further finding that the "extraordinary remedy" of a preliminary injunction is "not warranted given the facts at hand."

If you have an issue with a non-compete agreement, contact one of our attorneys at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com

FEBRUARY 22, 2022. U.S. SOCCER AND WOMEN SOCCER SETTLE EQUAL PAY LAWSUIT.

Players from the U.S. women's national team have settled their class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for a total of $24 million, the two sides announced in a court filing. In settling the suit, the players will receive a lump sum payment of $22 million. U.S. Soccer will also pay an additional $2 million into an account to benefit the USWNT players in their post-career goals and charitable efforts related to women's and girls' soccer. The settlement is contingent on a new collective bargaining agreement being ratified by the players on the USWNT. Once this takes place, final approval of the settlement by the District Court will be scheduled. According to a statement from the players, "This will fully resolve the litigation." The lawsuit was initially filed in March of 2019, and the portion of the lawsuit for equal pay was actually dismissed by the court in May of 2020, although the players timely appealed that decision. In the end, although the players did not receive the $66.7 million in back pay that they initially sked for, the players received a considerable amount of money and raised awareness for equal pay in soccer and other women's sports.

For more info about our sports law practice, contact one of our attorneys at info@magmilelaw.com or (708) 576-1624.

FEBRUARY 20, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAXES.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted in an article about real estate transfer taxes. Buyers and sellers of real estate should know what these taxes are, how they are calculated, who pays them, and how they are paid. The taxes could cost thousands of dollars and ultimately change your bottom line! 

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

FEBRUARY 1, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICIES COVER FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted in an article about what general liability insurance policies cover for small businesses. Obtaining the proper insurance policy with sufficient coverages is crucial for any business, especially a small business, as a loss that is not covered by insurance could result in the crippling of your business. There have been far too many examples of businesses closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic as insurance is not providing coverage for loss of business income. 

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

JANUARY 26, 2022. MAG MILE LAW OBTAINS DISMISSAL OF BIPA CLAIM DUE TO LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION OVER ITS CLIENT.

Mag Mile Law was successful in obtaining an order dismissing a putative class action lawsuit filed against its client, a designer of a web application, under the Biometric Information Privacy Act ("BIPA"). Mag Mile Law successfully argued that its client, a foreign corporation with no presence in Illinois, was not subject to the personal jurisdiction of the courts in Illinois. The court agreed with Mag Mile Law's analysis of relevant personal jurisdiction law, finding that all the plaintiff had alleged were contacts with he and Illinois, but not contacts between Mag Mile Law's client and Illinois. The court specifically noted that the only connection between Mag Mile Law's client and Illinois was the named the plaintiff - who voluntarily chose to download the app and use it in Illinois. According to the court, this attenuated contact was not enough for the court to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over Mag Mile Law's client in Illinois.

The decision can be found at 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14831 or 2022 WL 252704.

If you need assistance with a case under the Biometric Information Privacy Act, contact our experienced attorneys at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

JANUARY 4, 2022. IVELJIC QUOTED IN ARTICLE ABOUT WHEN TO HIRE A LITIGATION ATTORNEY.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted by DocPro about when to hire a litigation attorney and what questions to ask them before hiring them. The decision to hire an attorney is an important one that must be done after thoughtful consideration. It is also recommended to hire an attorney as soon as possible so they have ample time to work with you to investigate your claim, obtain necesssary evidence, and to file suit before the deadline to file passes.

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

DECEMBER 29, 2021. IVELJIC QUOTED IN LEGAL ZOOM ARTICLE ON ORAL CONTRACTS.

Mag Mile Law Partner Mario Iveljic was recently quoted by Legal Zoom about whether oral contracts carry any weight. Nearly everyone has entered into some type of oral contract, and it is important to know when they are effective and how you can enforce the terms of your oral argument (and protect against others from trying to enforce terms that were not a part of your oral contract). 

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

DECEMBER 9, 2021. 7TH CIRCUIT AFFIRMS DISMISSAL OF COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE CLAIMS.

On December 9, 2021, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued four decisions affirming the dismissal of lawsuits seeking business income coverage for losses sustained from Governor Pritzker's Covid-19 closure orders. One of these lawsuits was brought by Mag Mile Law on behalf of its client, Bradley Hotel Corp., which operates a hotel and convention center in Bradley, Illinois. Although the decision did not go our way, Mag Mile Law is proud to represent Bradley Hotel Corp. and honored that it put its trust in Mag Mile Law on such an important legal issue. Mag Mile Law has and will continue to fight for its clients to obtain the compensation they deserve. If you need legal assistance, please contact us at info@magmilelaw.com or reach out to one of our attorneys directly.

DECEMBER 1, 2021. MAG MILE LAW SUCCESSFULLY NEGOTIATES SETTLEMENT OF INSURANCE CLAIM DISPUTE.

Mag Mile Law recently resolved an insurance contract dispute in favor of its clients where the firm negotiated a deal for almost 3 1/2 times what was initially offered by the insurance company. The insurance claim revolved around the failure to provide Mag Mile Law's clients with the proper amounts under life insurance policies purchased by Mag Mile Law's clients. Mag Mile Law was quick to review the file and prepare an appeal of the insurance company's decision, with the insurance company ultimately agreeing to offer much more than they were willing to offer when the clients were not represented by the firm. 

Disputes over contracts require careful analysis and understanding of the contract terms - which can be very complex - and an understanding of the law(s) that might apply. If you have a question about a contract that you are a part of, don't hesitate to reach out to one of our attorneys at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com to determine if you have a potential insurance claim.

OCTOBER 6, 2021. MAG MILE LAW SPONSORS HITTRAX BATTING CAGE AT D-BAT DUPAGE.

Mag Mile Law recently sponsored the HitTrax Batting Cage at D-Bat DuPage's Baseball and Softball Academy in Villa Park, Illinois. The 15,000+ square foot facility provides indoor batting cages, pitching cages, individual training and group camps for baseball and softball players in the western suburbs of Chicago. Mag Mile Law was thrilled to have the opportunity to help these aspiring baseball and softball players reach their goals!   

AUGUST 1, 2021. ILLINOIS PREJUDGMENT INTEREST STATUTE.

Governor Pritzker recently signed into law Public Act 102-0006 (SB 0072), amending Section 735 ILCS 5/2-1303 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure which provides for interest on judgments. The amendment allows an award for prejudgment interest in all actions seeking damages for personal injury or wrongful death caused by negligence, willful and wanton conduct, intentional conduct or strict liability. The amendment provides for an award of pre-judgment interest, accruing on the date of the filing of the action, unless the filing date precedes July 1, 2021. If the filing date precedes July 1, 2021, interest begins to accrue on the later of July 1, 2021 or the date of the filing of the action. Prejudgment interest is to be awarded in the amount of 6% per annum, and accrues on the entire judgment but not on amounts awarded for punitive damages, sanctions, statutory attorney's fees and statutory costs. There is a 5 year cap on the accrual of prejudgment interest.

The amendment also provides that prejudgment interest shall only be awarded on the difference between the judgment and the highest written settlement offer, where the judgment exceeds the last written settlement offer made within 12 months of the later of July 1, 2021 or the date of filing of the action, and the plaintiff either fails to accept the offer or rejects it within 90 days of the offer. Withdrawal of the offer is not considered a rejection of it under the statute. No prejudgment interest is to be awarded where the judgment is equal to or less than the highest written settlement offer that was made.

If you have any questions about this amendment allowing for prejudgment interest, send us an email at info@magmilelaw.com.

MARCH 26, 2021. PITTSBURGH-AREA DENTAL PRACTICE OBTAINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT OVER INSURER IN COVID-19 BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LAWSUIT.

A Pennsylvania state judge granted a Pittsburgh-area dental practice's Motion for Summary Judgment against its insurer in a dispute over COVID-19 business interruption coverage. The insured sought a determination that its COVID-19 business income losses were covered by its insurance policy. The court held that the insured's interpretation of the Business Income, Extra Expense and Civil Authority provisions of the insurance contract were, at the very least, reasonable. The court further found that the insurance carrier failed to demonstrate that any of the insurance policy's exclusions clearly and unambiguously prevented coverage. Read the full opinion here.

Although many courts have dismissed similar lawsuits filed by businesses under similar circumstances, other courts have decided in favor of insureds. If you own a business that lost income due to COVID-19 shutdown orders and have questions about your insurance policy, call us for a free consultation at 708-576-1624 or send us an email at info@magmilelaw.com

MARCH 17, 2021. IVELJIC QUOTED BY LAW360 ABOUT 7TH CIRCUIT FILING ON BEHALF OF HOTEL OWNER IN COVID-19 COVERAGE DISPUTE.

Mag Mile Law attorney Mario Iveljic was recently quoted by LAW360 in an article about its recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals filing in Bradley Hotel v. Aspen Specialty Ins. Co. Mag Mile Law represents a hotel that was denied insurance coverage after losing substantial business income due to Governor Pritzker's closure orders. Read the full article here.

If you are a business owner who was denied insurance coverage after losing income due to our governor's closure orders, call (708) 576-1624 or email us at info@magmilelaw.com.

JANUARY 19, 2021. OHIO JUDGE RULES THAT RESTAURANT'S COVID-19 LOSSES ARE COVERED BY INSURANCE.

A federal judge in Ohio ruled that Zurich American Insurance Co. must cover losses suffered by several steak and seafood restaurants due to COVID-19 shutdown orders, concluding that the insurance policy can be reasonably interpreted to cover the loss of use of the property. Like many other insurance companies before them, Zurich argued that there must be tangible structural damage to the restaurants in order for there to be coverage for lost business income. The judge disagreed, agreeing with the restaurants that the business income provision can also be read to extend coverage to instances where the insured loses its ability to use its premises for the intended purpose. Read the full opinion here.

This decision is an important one for business owners across the country. Many courts have dismissed similar lawsuits filed by businesses under similar circumstances. If you own a business that lost income due to COVID-19 shutdown orders and have questions about your insurance policy, call us for a free consultation at 708-576-1624 or send us an email at info@magmilelaw.com

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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JUNE 29, 2022. INDIANA SUPREME COURT FINDS NO COVERAGE IN LIQUOR LIABILITY CASE.

Restaurant and bar owners – do you think you’d have insurance coverage in this situation? You own 2 bars. Your employees at Bar 1 serve a patron with alcohol. Police are forced to remove the patron from Bar 1 as he got out of hand because he was drunk. At about the same time, one of your employees from another bar – Bar 2 – stops by Bar 1 to see if the employees at Bar 1 need any help. While in the parking lot of Bar 1, this individual orders the patron to leave the parking lot of Bar 1, threatening bodily harm to the patron if he didn’t leave. The patron then gets in his car, drives away, and then gets into a serious car accident after blowing a stop sign a few miles away.

This is the fact pattern that the Indiana Supreme Court had to deal with in Ebert et al. v. Illinois Casualty Co. to determine whether the insurance carrier for the restaurants and its owners, Illinois Casualty Company, owed any duty to defend or indemnify the restaurants or its owners for the underlying personal injury lawsuit. After reviewing the facts, the insurance policies and relevant case law, the Indiana Supreme Court determined that Illinois Casualty Co. owed no duty to defend or indemnify the restaurants or its owners in this situation.

Illinois Casualty issued separate businessowners policies to each restaurant, or “show club” in this case – Big Daddy’s Show Club and Little Daddy’s Show Club. Each policy had an identical liquor liability exclusion which stated that the insurance does not apply to bodily injury or property damage for which any insured may be held liable by reason of causing or contributing to the intoxication of any person; this exclusion applied even if the claims allege negligence or other wrongdoing in failing to provide transportation with respect to any person that may be under the influence of alcohol. The Court found this exclusion to be unambiguous and specifically excluded coverage for the claims being raised in the underlying lawsuit – namely, claims that (1) Big Daddy negligently violated Indiana’s Dram Shop Act by continuing to serve the patron alcohol when it knew, or should have known, he was inebriated; and (2) Big Daddy’s carelessly and negligently continued to serve the patron alcohol and failed to obtain alternative transportation for whim when they knew, or should have known, of his inebriation and impairment.

The Court also noted that the Little Daddy’s businessowners policy did not provide coverage, either. First, the lawsuit alleged that Little Daddy’s contributed to the patron’s intoxication and failed to obtain alternative transportation; but, these allegations fall squarely within the language of the liquor liability exclusion. Second, the individual who forced the patron to get in his car and leave the parking lot was not acting as an employee in the scope of employment of Little Daddy’s; therefore, he was not an insured for purposes of Little Daddy’s businessowners policy.

This case presented a variety of issues that all restaurant and bar owners should be aware of when it comes to operating their business, and it is crucial that you understand the terms of your insurance policy to see what activities are covered, what activities are not covered, and what activities are excluded by the terms of your insurance policy. When in doubt, reach out to an experienced insurance broker or insurance coverage attorney to make sure you are covered!

If you have any questions about your insurance policy, the Insurance Contract Litigation team at Mag Mile Law is here to help.  We work on a contingency basis, so we don't get paid unless we win your case. Give us a call today at 708-576-1624.

JUNE 10, 2022. DOES A LANDLORD'S INSURANCE COMPANY HAVE TO PROVIDE INSURANCE COVERAGE TO TENANTS WHEN THE TENANTS ARE NOT LISTED AS INSUREDS UNDER THE POLICY?

Does an insurance company have to provide and pay for the defense of tenants to property when the tenants are not listed as insureds under the policy? That is the question that the Illinois Supreme Court will decide in Scheckler v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co.

In this lawsuit, two tenants rented an apartment in Pekin, Illinois. The landlord had an insurance policy with Auto-Owners Insurance that covered him against fire and other hazards on the property, while the tenants were responsible for obtaining insurance, if they so desired, for their possessions inside the property.

The rental apartment had a traditional gas stove and range. Under the lease, the landlord was responsible for appliance maintenance and repairs. When the tenants notified the landlord that the oven and a burner on the stove were not working, he placed a service call with a technician. The technician met with the tenants and removed the knob from the burner, but left to find additional replacement parts. The tenants began smelling gas and tried masking the odor with Febreze, but the Febreze could not obscure the smell. Undeterred, one of the tenants then turned on the stove. The stove burst into flames setting the apartment ablaze. The apartment sustained severe fire damage.

Auto-Owners paid the landlord’s claim for the damage to the apartment and then filed a claim against the technician for his repair work. The technician then filed a claim against the tenants for starting the fire. The tenants then submitted that claim to Auto-Owners, but Auto-Owners refused to defend the tenants. The tenants then filed a separate lawsuit seeking an order from the court requiring Auto-Owners to defend them. The technician, named a defendant in that suit, also filed a claim against Auto-Owners, seeking coverage from Auto-Owners for the tenants, and arguing that the tenants were “coinsureds” of the landlord under the Auto-Owners insurance policy.

The trial court sided with Auto-Owners, determining that it did not owe a duty to defend the tenants because the tenants were not being sued for property damage that would have been covered by the Auto-Owners policy. Rather, they were being sued for their own actions in starting the fire.

The technician and tenants appealed this decision, and the appellate court ruled in their favor, finding that that the tenants were coinsured under the Auto-Owners insurance policy because they paid rent to the landlord (which accounted for the amount paid for insurance) and the lease stated that the landlord would obtain fire insurance on the premises. This decision was based on an Illinois Supreme Court case from 1992 which, according to the appellate court, “put insurance companies on notice that when issuing a fire policy for a rental property, given certain terms in the lease, the insurance company is also insuring against the negligent act of the tenants that result in fire damage to the structure.”

The appellate court then went on to find that when a tenant is coinsured under a landlord’s insurance policy, the insurer must defend and indemnify the tenant with respect to a claim for negligently causing fire damage to the insured premises. According to the appellate court, the “bottom line” is that the insurance company owes its coinsured not just a duty to refrain from suing it, but also a duty to defend and, if appropriate, indemnify the coinsured when someone else sues the coinsured to recover for fire damage to the insured structure.”

If you have any questions about your insurance policy, the Insurance Contract Litigation team at Mag Mile Law is here to help.  We work on a contingency basis, so we don't get paid unless we win your case. Give us a call today at 708-576-1624.

MAY 20, 2022. INSURANCE AGENTS - ARE YOU BEING SUED BY A CLIENT FOR A DENIED CLAIM? HERE'S WHAT TO DO.

It’s the fear of most insurance agents and brokers – being sued by an insured because a claim is being denied by the insurance carrier.

You, as the insurance agent, have exhausted your negotiations with the carrier on behalf of your insured. The frustration level for your insured is at critical mass and they felt they had no other option but to sue. Sadly, though, they are suing the wrong party.

Before you panic and call your E&O carrier, the fact is you, as the agent, generally have little exposure when a peril is not covered and a carrier is denying an insured’s claim. The right course of action is to encourage your client to engage with an attorney who focuses its practice in Insurance Contract Law to sue the insurance carrier directly.  This removes you from the battle and in many cases will make you the hero, solidifying the relationship with your insured for years to come.

Some things you, as the insurance agent, should keep in mind:

Statute of LimitationsIn the state of Illinois, the statute of limitations to sue an insurance broker for negligence is 2 years from the time the policy is delivered to the insured, not from when the claim was denied.

Most Common reasons a Carrier will deny a claim. In general, we see the following reasons being cited most often by insurance carriers in denying a claim:

Bad Faith Denial: It happens. A carrier doesn’t want to pay out on a claim – and the reasons they give are not justifiable in the eyes of the insured, and often the law.

Lack of Coverage: The carrier may say the claim isn’t covered by the insured’s insurance policy. Go back to the policy and look at all the fine print and exclusions. Note that most ambiguities in policies favor the policy holder, not the carrier.

Application Error: The carrier may argue that the insured made a misrepresentation on the original application that will nullify the coverage of the policy.  Keeping detailed time stamped records in a digital agent management system is key.

Claim Error: This often happens when there is a time lapse in reporting the claim. Some timelines are as short as 24 hours.

Fraud: If the insured lied about the claim to wrongfully collect money from a carrier, then it’s cut and dry. But there have been instances where carriers have flagged legitimate claims as fraudulent. 

Illinois Insurance Code fine print. Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code provides that, where the insurance company’s delay or failure to pay has been “vexatious and unreasonable”, the insured has the right to recover reasonable attorney fees, other costs, and an amount not to exceed: (a) 60% of actual damages;  (b) $60,000; or (c) the excess of the amount which the court or jury finds the insured is entitled to recover over the amount which the company offered to pay.

Stay in your lane. Contract law is complex – referring your insured to a Law Firm that focuses its practice in Insurance Contract Litigation and one deeply understands both the agent and the carrier side of the house is the winning solution for everyone involved.

If you know your insured is in the right and you’ve exhausted all measures, our Insurance Contract Litigation team at Mag Mile Law is here to help.  We work on a contingency basis, so your client doesn’t pay until we win the case for their denied insurance claim. Give us a call today at 708-576-1624.

MAY 19, 2022. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WHEN AN INSURANCE CARRIER DENIES YOUR CLAIM.

An insurance policy is a contract between the insurance carrier who issues the policy and the insured who buys the policy. Most individuals or business pay for the policies year after year and assume that when there is a need to file a claim – the insurance carrier will pay as promised.

Sadly, this doesn’t always happen, and claims are denied for a variety of reasons including lack of coverage, an error on an application, lack of timely reporting of a claim, or insurance fraud – typical valid reasons for claims denial.

You do have recourse against the Insurance Carrier if your claim has been denied.

With the exception of actual insurance fraud, it’s always wise to talk to an attorney if you feel your claim is being unjustly denied.  But one part of the Illinois Insurance Code that many individuals don’t know about is what’s called “Bad Faith Denial”.

A Bad Faith Denial on the part of an insurance carrier is when the carrier’s delay or failure to pay a claim to an insured has been “vexatious and unreasonable”. In layman’s terms, that means the carrier caused or is tending to cause annoyance, frustration or worry due to the denial of the claim or late payment of claim monies due an insured.  

In the State of Illinois, the law states an insured, if subject to a bad faith denial, has a right to RECOVER reasonable Attorney fees & other costs in an amount not to exceed

  • 60% of actual damages;
  • $60,000; or
  • The excess of the amount which the court or jury finds the insured is entitled to recover over the amount which the company offered to pay

Don’t wait and anguish.

If you feel your insurance claim has been denied unjustly, it’s time to call an Illinois Insurance Contract Lawyer to help you navigate the complex waters with the insurance carrier.  At Mag Mile Law our Insurance Litigation team works on a contingency basis – you don’t pay until we win your case.  To schedule an appointment with Attorney Steven Mikuzis or Attorney Mario Iveljic, call 708-576-1624 today for a free consultation.

MAY 16, 2022. WHAT IS EARNEST MONEY?

In a real estate deal, earnest money is deposited by a buyer within the first few days of a real estate contract being executed. It expresses the buyer's “earnest intent” to buy a property. The amount of earnest money that a buyer puts down varies, but usually it's around $1,000 to $5,000. A buyer who wants to make a stronger offer will put down more earnest money. Earnest money is held by an escrowee for the benefit of the parties; it is usually a real estate company, an attorney’s office or a title company. The check is made payable to that company. The earnest money provides the consideration to make the contract effective. If earnest money is not tendered within the time frame required by the contract, there is no contract. The earnest money is ultimately sent to the title company and is credited to the amount of money the buyer needs to close the deal.

Clients frequently ask when earnest money can be kept by the seller. There are a number of provisions in a real estate contract that, if not satisfied, require the earnest money to be returned to the buyer. The main provisions include the attorney review, home inspection, and mortgage contingency provisions. Under the attorney review proivision, either attorney has the opportunity to disapprove of the contract within the first 5 business days after the contract being ageed upon, with the earnest money being refundable to the buyer. Similarly, if the parties cannot reach an agreement on home inspection issues, the earnest money is refunded to the buyer. Where a mortgage is involved, if the buyer does not receive a loan approval and the loan approval is denied within the mortgage contingency period, the earnest money is refunded to the buyer. However, if a buyer or a seller breaches the terms of the real estate contract, the escrowee doesn’t have the right to unilaterally determine who gets the earnest money. If both parties agree in writing that the earnest money is to be released to either party or if some compromise is reached, then the escrowee can return the earnest money as instructed. Beyond that, one of the parties would need to file a lawsuit against the other party, and a judge would determine where the earnest money needs to go. 

This is only a general overview of earnest money. Mag Mile Law has very experienced real estate attorneys with years of experience representing both buyers and sellers of real estate all across the Chicagoland area. If you are buying or selling a home, email info@magmilelaw.com or call (708) 576-1624 today!

MARCH 25, 2022. WHAT IS A CLOSING COST CREDIT?

If you are buying a home, you might request that the seller provide you with a credit at closing because your home inspector discovered certain defects in the home that require repair or immediate attention. Buyers generally want to receive as large a closing cost credit as possible. But, when thinking about how much of a credit to ask for, make sure you understand beforehand what your estimated closing costs will be. If your closing cost credit is more than the actual closing costs, you will not receive the full closing cost credit. Rather, you'll only receive a credit for the actual closing costs. You may want to consider a closing costs credit in combination with a price reduction. This is where an experienced real estate attorney helps. We have walked clients through this exact scenario and know how to handle it. 

For your real estate needs, contact us at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com

JANUARY 3, 2022. THINKING OF MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM UNDER YOUR BUSINESS OWNER'S INSURANCE POLICY? MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT THAT INSURANCE POLICY COVERS.

A Business Owner's Policy ("BOP") is a stand-alone package insurance policy designed to meet the property and casualty needs of small to medium sized businesses that qualify for its very reasonably priced premium. Risks are generally limited to 35,000 SQF of space and gross annual sales not exceeding $6M. A BOP is generally an "open perils" policy, meaning that if a peril is not excluded, it is covered by the insurance policy. Certain businesses are not eligible for the BOP policy, like bars, full-service restaurants, entertainment establishments (small theaters and game arcades, for example) and financial institutions. In a BOP, Section I includes Coverage A (which provides insurance coverage to the business buildings) and Coverage B (which provides insurance coverage to the business personal property); Section II includes insurance coverage for business liability (if a third party gets injured as a result of the activity of the business) and medical payments (the coverage pays for medical expenses of others, up to a certain amount, even if the insured is not legally obligated to pay - this is a "goodwill" coverage); and Section III includes common policy conditions that are applicable to both Sections I and II.

This is only a general primer. Insurance policies can be very complex and hard to understand. For all your insurance needs, or if you are considering making an insurance claim, reach out to the attorneys at Mag Mile Law at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

DECEMBER 1, 2021. THINKING OF MAKING A HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE CLAIM? MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR HOME INSURANCE POLICY COVERS.

Most people have a hard time understanding their home insurance policy. Generally, there are 2 sections that are automatically included. Section I is generally titled "Property" and provides certain coverages on the property, contents and loss of use of the property. Section I includes Coverage A, which provides insurance coverage for the dwelling; Coverage B, which provides insurance coverage for other structures detached from the dwelling (like a shed, fence or detached garage); Coverage C, which provides insurance coverage for the home owner's personal property; and Coverage D, which provides insurance coverage for loss of use of the dwelling. Section II is generally titled "Liability" and generally provides coverages for bodily injury and property damage of others by the negligence of the property owner. In Section II, you will find Coverage E, which provides personal liability coverage - this makes the insurance company liable to pay up to the liability amount set in the policy for all bodily injury or property damage to others that is covered by the poicy. In Section II, you will also find Coverage F, which is commonly known as "Med-Pay," and this provides a limited amount of coverage to pay for the medical expenses of a person (not the property owner) who is injured on the property.

This is only a general primer. Insurance policies can be very complex and hard to understand. For all your insurance needs, or if you are considering making an insurance claim, reach out to the attorneys at Mag Mile Law at (708) 576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

NOVEMBER 2, 2021. WHAT IS THE BIOMETRIC INFORMATION PRIVACY ACT?

The Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 ILCS 14/1 et seq. (“BIPA”), approved on October 3, 2008, was the first law in the nation to address the collection and storage of biometric data. It provides requirements for private entities that collect, retain, and disclose the biometric data of other individuals. In general, these requirements include the development of, and compliance with, a publicly available policy for retention and destruction of biometric information; written disclosures to and written releases from persons whose biometric information is obtained; a ban on selling, leasing, trading or profiting from biometric information; a ban on disclosure of biometric information without the subject's consent; and a requirement that biometric information be stored with reasonable care. Biometric information is information derived from "biometric identifiers," which includes a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or scan of hand or face geometry. 

If you believe your biometric information has been collected or disclosed in violation of BIPA, or if you are a private entity that is facing a dispute over BIPA, contact one of our experiened attorneys at info@magmilelaw.com or (708) 576-1624 for a free consultation. 

OCTOBER 1, 2021. ARE ORAL CONTRACTS ENFORCEABLE?

Not every contract has to be in writing. In some instances, oral contracts are enforceable. The most basic requirement of every contract - written or oral - is that the parties must be competent to form a contract. In Illinois, a presumption exists that a person of mature age is sane and has the mental capacity to contract. As long as the party in question can understand the nature of the transaction and protect his or her interests, the court will find him or her mentally competent and validate the transaction.

In order for an oral contract to be enforceable, there must be an "offer" and an "acceptance." An “offer” is the act of one person that gives another the legal power of creating a contract. The offer must have definite material terms or require definite terms in the acceptance so that all promises and performances to be rendered are reasonably certain. Acceptance of an offer must comply strictly with the terms of the offer. Any variation or modification of the terms of the offer constitute a rejection and creates a counteroffer. In addition, the acceptance must be objectively manifested, meaning that, generally, silence cannot be relied upon to establish an acceptance of an offer to enter into a contract. In certain circumstances, acceptance may be implied from the conduct of the parties. 

Some contracts MUST be in writing. The Illinois statute of frauds (740 ILCS 80/2) generally requires the following common types of contracts (among others) to be in writing: (1) any contract for the sale of lands; (2) any contract for a longer term than 1 year; (3) contracts assuming the responsibility for another person’s debt; (4) contracts involving the sale of goods over $500; and (5) certain promises made by executors and administrators of an estate.

If you need legal assistance regarding a contract, written or oral, contact the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law for a free consultation by calling (708) 576-1624 or emailing us at info@magmilelaw.com.

SEPTEMBER 1, 2021. CAN I CANCEL MY REAL ESTATE CONTRACT IF I FIND ISSUES IN THE HOME AFTER THE CONTRACT IS SIGNED?

You finally found a home that you love and a seller that agreed to sell it to you. You sign a contract with the seller. But, when you conduct your home inspection, the home has issues that you did not see or know of when you made the offer. Can you get out of the contract?

The short answer is, most likely, yes. In Illinois, the form real estate contracts allow the buyer time to conduct a home inspection after signing a contract and to advise the seller of issues they found with the home during that inspection. Usually that deadline is 5 business days after the contract is signed by both parties. In a letter usually sent by the buyer's attorney to the seller's attorney, the buyer's attorney lists all the "defects" with the home and requests that the seller repair those defects before closing or provide a credit at closing for the cost of repairing those defects. Under the form contract, not every issue will be a "defect" that the buyer can request a repair or credit for; the defects must be to the major components of the home (not simply that a door is off a hinge or other "cosmetic" issues). If the parties cannot agree on what repairs, if any, will be done or what credit will be provided at closing, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract.

It is important for both the buyer and the seller to keep the deadlines in mind and to make sure that none of the deadlines are missed. That is why it is important for both sides to hire competent real estate attorneys to take them through the process and to provide counsel all along the way. If you need a real estate attorney, contact the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law by calling (708) 576-1624 or emailing us at info@magmilelaw.com.

AUGUST 1, 2021. DO I NEED TO PAY TAXES ON A PERSONAL INJURY SETTLEMENT?

The Internal Revenue Code generally provides that all income, from whatever sourcce derived, is subjet to federal income taxes. But, the Code also defines certain types of income as being excluded from taxes, and provides numerous deductions and credits to reduce the amount of the income or tax. Specifically, Internal Revenue Code 104(a)(2) provides that gross income does NOT include "the amount of any damages (other than punitive damages) received (whether by suit or agreement and whether as lump sumps or as periodic payments) on account of personal physical injuries or physical sickness." What this means is that a personal injury settlement for physical injury is not generally subject to taxes because the settlements are not considered gross income. The money awarded is for a person's injuries, medical bills or property damage, and this is considered compensation for a loss. But, if a portion of an award is for punitive damages, this portion is taxable. Also, if a portion of the settlement is for non-physical injury (mental anguish, emotional distress), then the analysis is a bit more complicated - especially if the non-physical injury is the result of a physical injury.

If you have any questions regarding a personal injury case, do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law by calling (708) 576-1624 or emailing us at info@magmilelaw.com.

JULY 1, 2021. CAN I SUE MY INSURANCE COMPANY FOR NOT HANDLING MY CLAIM PROPERLY?

An insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and an insured. An insured who believes that the insurance company has failed to fulfill its obligations under the insurance contract has certain remedies available to them. First, the insurance company might be liable for breaching the terms of the insurance contract. In such cases, though, the insured is limited to recovering only those damages available in a traditional breach of contract suit. For instance, if the dispute is over repairs to a vehicle that total $1,000, the amount that might be awarded in a breach of contract case would generally be limited to that amount. This limited recovery might dissuade insureds from pursuing causes of actions against insurance companies.

To address this concern, the Illinois legislature enacted a statute intended to provide insureds with a recovery that is not limited to the insurance contract itself. Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code provides for additional “taxable costs” for an insurance company’s unreasonable and vexatious failure to fulfill its contractual and legal obligations to its insureds. These taxable costs include reasonable attorney’s fees and an amount not to exceed any one of the following amounts: 60% of the amount which the court or jury finds the insured is entitled to recovery against the insurance company, exclusive of all costs; $60,000; or the excess of the amount which the court or jury finds the insured is entitled to recover, exclusive of costs, over the amount, if any, which the insurance company offered to pay in settlement of the claim prior to the action.

Section 155 is the most frequently cited by insureds seeking recovery from an insurance company outside the insurance contract. Other potential avenues for recovery outside of the insurance contract including a claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice Act, which generally protects consumers by outlawing certain deceptive or misleading actions, or a cause of action for common law fraud (although this type of action might be difficult for an insured to prove).

If you have a question about your insurance claim, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Mag Mile Law at 708-576-1624 or info@magmilelaw.com.

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 or (708) 576-1624.
 
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 or (708) 576-1624.
 
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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