As we start a new year in 2019, this is a perfect time to reflect on our work done for our clients in 2018. For starters, we are absolutely thankful for the opportunity we had to help our clients obtain justice in their civil cases in 2018. The Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution is the section of the Bill of Rights that guarantees a jury trial for civil cases. The United States is unique in providing injured plaintiffs a chance to have justice determined by a jury of peers. Despite this powerful right, or in light of it, most personal injury cases are settled before the case ever proceeds to trial. That was the case for all of our clients whose cases were resolved in 2018.
In 2018, we were able to resolve cases for our clients that brought in over $2,000,000 in total settlements. The majority of these cases involved auto accidents, but they also included different types of cases involving premises liability. One client was knocked over by an unleashed large dog. One client was carelessly knocked to the ground at a department store. Another client was severely injured when he fell into an unprotected manhole in a dark truck loading dock. A couple of clients sustained serious injuries due to poorly maintained and dangerous walkways in front of businesses. In one case, our client obtained justice for the medical negligence of his physician that left him unable to hear at all out of one ear.
The majority of the resolved auto accidents involved rear-end collisions where our clients were completely stopped at the time of the crash. Sadly, the facts in these rear-end crash cases and many of the auto accident cases reflect the dangers of smart phones being used far too much in cars in this day and age.
What is usually overlooked by the general public is that the protection of public safety is a fundamental purpose of Illinois tort law and resolution of these types of personal injury cases make us all safer in our community. Illinois allows liability for negligence to give people appropriate incentives to engage in safe conduct. An individual’s adoption of appropriate safety precautions improves social welfare and advances broad economic goals in our community. “Safety” is always the magic word for personal injury attorneys because the successful resolution of injury cases enforces safety rules in our community and makes us all safer in the end. That is certainly our goal at O’Brien Law, so please stay safe and drive safe in 2019.