Personal Injury/ Negligence

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I was hit in a crosswalk when a car ran a red light.  My medical bills are mounting and the at-fault party's insurance company is denying liability and telling me I have no case.  What should I do?

ANSWER:  Call us today!

Pedestrian injury cases can involve severe, devastating, permanent losses.  It is a simple fact of life that when a car collides with a human body, the car always wins. 

However, simply because a car hit you as a pedestrian does not entitle you to a recovery.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Ryan, Ryan & Landa is pleased to announce free one on one consultations for any and all Lake County injury cases in 2017.  We are able to accommodate all English and Spanish speaking potential clients.  This case consultation will include:

  • Assessment of liability on your case;
  • Determination of medical injuries;
  • Suggestions regarding steps that can be immediately taken to protect your rights;
  • Dealing with calls from insurance company representatives;
  • Obtaining compensation for damage to your vehicle and/or obtaining a replacement vehicle;
  • Explanation of what a personal injury case involves and how to begin your case immediately.

Our staff is ready, willing, and able to consult on your Lake County injury case either in person or over the phone.  Case consultations will be given free of charge.
Read more . . .

Monday, July 13, 2015

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment of Contractor Injury Case

How does Illinois law treat a scenario involving injury to laborers working for an independent contractor? 

Construction accidents in Illinois often involve a number of parties, complex contractual applications, and a confounding determination of which party is actually at fault. As a foundational issue, there is a stark differentiation between an “employee” and an “independent contract,” the latter being truly that - independent. In other words, it is much easier for a worker classified as an employee to recover for injuries sustained on the work site than it is for an independent contractor (and its laborers) to receive compensation from the owner of the site. In sum, it depends on which entity actually exerted control and management of the project – as liability will generally fall on that party’s shoulders. 

Appellate court affirms summary judgment against demolition defendant

In a recent case out of Cook County, Illinois, two plaintiffs commenced a personal injury lawsuit for damages after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed, causing both men to fall over 20 feet to the ground below. At the time of the incident, the workers were employees of a scaffold erection company hired by a larger demolition company, which was in turn hired by a Chicago school district to demolish an existing gymnasium.  When it came time to implicate a defendant in the resulting lawsuit, the plaintiffs named both the scaffolding company and the demolition outfit as responsible for the scaffolding collapse – citing improper and negligent supervision and inspection of the scaffolding equipment. 

Prior to discovery, the demolition company asserted that it did not exercise any control over the scaffolding aspect of the demolition project whatsoever, and should not be held responsible for the negligence of its subcontractors. In agreeance, the court sided with the demolition company, holding that the demolition company needed to exert control over the situation in order to face liability, and the facts reveal that it had absolutely nothing to do with the scaffolding erection. In other words, recovering for an injury following a construction accident will generally only be possible against the employer directly responsible for the oversight and management of the project or task at hand. 

If you sustained a personal injury and would like to discuss your options with a reputable attorney in Chicago, please contact us today: 847-416-1989. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Concussion Injury Lawsuit Filed Against University of Illinois; Cites Improper Protocol

What are the civil ramifications for colleges and universities that fail to follow proper procedures when a concussion is suspected?

In recent years, the lifelong implications of an untreated concussion have received an unprecedented amount of attention. Until recently, concussions were relatively unheard of – and certainly did not necessarily require an athlete to leave the field or forgo practicing the next day. That is, however, until several veteran professional and collegiate athletes began to seek compensation for the permanent neurological damage that can occur if a concussion is left untreated or is aggravated by further immediate physical activity. 

In the wake of the concussion storm, groups like the NCAA and high school athletic associations implemented strict protocols that must be followed if an athlete is suspected to have sustained a concussion in practice or during competition. The regulations span virtually every sport, and are considered mandatory – not discretionary – rules designed to mitigate player injury. 

Illinois Alleged to Have Failed to Follow Protocol

In June, 2015, a 20-year old former Division I collegiate soccer player initiated a lawsuit against the University of Illinois, alleging it failed to follow proper concussion protocol when she was injured during a game. In October, 2014, the then nineteen-year-old came into contact with an opposing player from fellow Big 10 rival Northwestern University, causing her to collapse to the ground and experience difficulty returning to her feet. 

Since then, the player has had to forgo further participation on the team, suffers from post-concussion syndrome, has endured memory problems, and is in near-constant pain. At the time of the incident, she was instructed to prepare for the next weeks’ big game against Rutgers University – despite having not received medical clearance from the university’s doctors. She played for 25 minutes in that game before sitting out. The following week, she endured additional injury at a game against the University of Maryland – a game which lasted well into overtime. It was after that match that her symptoms worsened, and the university’s physician declared her unfit to continue playing soccer. The following semester, she was unable to handle a two-course workload, and eventually withdrew from the school. 

The former soccer star has initiated a personal injury lawsuit, and is seeking at least $50,000 in damages. 

If you recently experienced a personal injury and would like to speak with a reputable legal representative, please contact the experienced Chicago, Waukegan and McHenry attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa today by calling (847)416-1989. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chicago Man Files Lawsuit Against McDonald’s After Allegedly Choking on Bone Shards

Is it possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a restaurant or food producer for injuries caused by its products? 

A Chicago man recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the fast food chain McDonald’s after experiencing the effects of a “defective” chicken McNugget. The complainant, whose injuries are alleged to have occurred at the McDonald’s at 10 E. Chicago Ave, was taken by ambulance for treatment after ingesting a number of “bone shards” in the chicken meat and was subsequently treated for injuries to the mouth and throat. 

The complaint names both McDonald’s and its primary chicken supplier, Tyson Foods, as defendants in the lawsuit. According to the complaint, the plaintiff is seeking damages to redress his injuries caused by the “unreasonably dangerous product,” and has accused both companies of placing consumers at risk by manufacturing unsafe nuggets capable of “impaling and/or cutting the consumer in the mouth, tongue and/or throat, and potentially causing additional damage to the stomach, digestive tract and intestines of the consumer.”

How common are food-related lawsuits? 

While the underlying facts of this case may seem unbelievable, food injuries are implicated in personal injury lawsuits on a fairly regular basis. For instance, food poisoning caused by bacteria is one of the most common personal injury lawsuits filed against the agriculture and restaurant industries, prompting historic 8-figure settlements with some of the most famous American food brands.  Moreover, the most severe food injuries (i.e., salmonella, e. coli. or listeria outbreaks) have been known to cause permanent injuries or death for victims, triggering wrongful death lawsuits by surviving family members. 

Proving negligence

When it comes to a food-related personal injury lawsuit, negligence is established by proving that the defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances, thereby causing the plaintiffs’ injuries. Practically speaking, this could involve improper sanitation procedures, outdated equipment, failure to properly inspect commodities, concealment of known problems with the goods, or inadequate training of employees and staff. While the above-referenced McNugget case is still in its infancy, proving that the manufacturer or retailer failed to properly produce or maintain the product could mean a successful settlement for the plaintiff. 

If you recently experienced food poisoning or other injuries related to a meal or groceries you purchased, we encourage you to contact a reputable personal injury attorney in Chicago today. To get started on your claim, call Ryan Ryan & Landa today: 847-416-1989. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chicago Woman Awarded $14 Million Following Botched Surgery Resulting in Brain Damage

How are damages typically calculated in a medical malpractice case? 

Medical malpractice claims often appear to be among the most lucrative of personal injury cases. However, these high-dollar verdicts are quite often deceiving, as juries are routinely tasked with compensating the victim for his or her entire life, including the costs of lifelong medical care, lost wages, lost opportunities, and a reduced quality of life. 

In one recent case, an Indiana woman was awarded $14 million by a Chicago jury after a lengthy trial involving allegations of severely-botched medical procedures, resulting in lifelong brain damage for the 56-year old victim. According to the lawsuit filed against both the Advocate Good Samaritan hospital – located in Downers Grove, Illinois – and her physicians individually, the victim underwent a bariatric surgery resulting in permanent brain damage, conclusively due to the negligence of both doctors involved. 

In 2010, the patient sought the medical counsel of both doctors for the treatment of obesity. Accordingly, she was scheduled for a gastric bypass procedure wherein a portion of the stomach is restricted to decrease the amount of food the patient can consume. Knowing she was taking a blood thinning medication, the doctors ordered an anti-coagulant (or so they thought) to be administered prior to the procedure. In fact, the doctors negligently ordered the wrong medication and the patient suffered extensive internal bleeding, causing her to permanently lose mental cognition. 

While the hospital settled with the woman privately for $5 million, the doctors opted to take their case to trial. During the proceeding, the patient testified that she is no longer able to walk, and relies on the round-the-clock assistance of her family to provide for her daily needs. Moreover, she stated that she is no longer able to homeschool any of her four children, and that her marriage relationship has suffered irretrievably as a result of the incident. 

In order to compensate the victim for her losses, a Chicago jury awarded her another $9 million to ensure her medical care, lost wages, lost future opportunities, and pain and suffering were adequately redressed. 

As one of Chicago’s premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms, we can help you if you are facing a situation similar to that described above. To learn more about the medical malpractice lawsuit process, please call (847) 244-1436. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Building Code Violations Not Related To Man’s Death

Is a business liable for personal injuries occurring on its property?

The Chicago Fire Department is investigating the Aragon Ballroom after a man fatally fell from the ballroom’s catwalk. This investigation is in conjunction with the Chicago Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau activities from the day after the incident.

The Chicago Department of Buildings previously determined the man’s death was not a result of any building code violations. An inspection from December 2014 showed the building had three minor code violations but none were related to the catwalk.

The man and a few of his friends were attending a concert the night of the incident. They were seated on the second floor balcony but entered another area of the Aragon Ballroom through a door leading to the catwalk area. After entering the door, the men were watching the concert when they noticed the friend was missing. The man had fallen approximately six to eight feet from the catwalk and landed on two protruding metal rods. He was taken to a nearby hospital and later died from his wounds. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Illinois Premises Liability Act applies to these kinds of cases. Generally, property owners owe a duty of reasonable care under particular circumstances and depending on the actions of the injured person. For example, if the injured person was restricted from entering particular areas, he or she may not be able to bring suit against a property owner or the liability of the property owner might be limited. Property owners typically do not have a duty to warn people about open and obvious dangerous conditions and are not liable for misuse of the property by individuals. It is important to discuss the specific facts of your case with an attorney.

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa can help. We have an established record of success representing clients in the Chicago and Waukegan areas. Call us today at (847)416-1989 for a consultation.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Illinois Supreme Court to Insurance Companies: Get it right, or face the consequences!

I’ve been battling with my insurance carrier for months, and I believe there was a mistake in the preparation of my policy. Can I hold my insurance provider liable?

Rest assured, insurance companies will jump on any opportunity to avoid liability or rely on the language of an exclusion to deny a claim. But how does the law treat the insurer when the shoe is on the other foot? As in, the insurer made a mistake or committed an error in preparing a policy or handling a claim? According to the Illinois Supreme Court, insurers are now under the same duty of care, caution, and reasonableness applied in any personal injury or negligence action – which should help avoid some of the difficult scenarios faced by policyholders when the insurance company itself makes a mistake. 

In Skaperdas v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., an insured motorist met with his insurance agent in order to add his fiancé’ to his policy. The agent agreed to add her, and drew up a new policy. Shortly thereafter, the fiancé’s minor child was struck by an underinsured motorist while riding his bicycle. The motorist offered only $25,000 in bodily injury coverage, and the fiancé’ made a claim under her new policy’s underinsured motorist coverage. A problem arose when it was discovered that the insurance agent forgot to actually add her name to the policy, resulting in a denial of coverage. 

The couple proceeded to sue the company, alleging that it violated the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, which requires that “[a]n insurance producer, registered firm, and limited insurance representative shall exercise ordinary care and skill in renewing, procuring, binding, or placing the coverage requested by the insured or proposed insured.”

In its defense, the insurance company argued that an insurance agent is not expressly included in the language of the statute. However, the Illinois Supreme Court opined otherwise, holding that the language of the statute – and the intent of the legislature – was to absolutely include insurance agents within the purview of the reasonableness standard, and the company was indeed liable to the couple for the coverage they would have had but for the mistake. 

If you were recently injured and would like to speak to a personal injury attorney about your options, please contact the Chicago, Waukegan and McHenry attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa today. We offer personal and compassionate representation for personal injury victims.  Call us at (847)416-1989.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Family Awarded $10.75 million in Product Liability Action Against Manufacturer of Sealant

I was recently injured by a caustic household cleaning product. Could I possibly recover against the manufacturer? 

Product liability actions are a sub-sect of negligence and personal injury law specifically focused on injuries occurring due to consumer goods. This can include household appliances, chemicals or medication – and successful cases often result in sizable settlements or verdicts in favor of the victim.

In one recent story out of Chicago, a suburban homeowner was awarded nearly $11 million by a jury following his lawsuit against the makers of Crystal Clear VOC, a highly-flammable concrete sealant. The product was apparently intended for use only outdoors, however its packaging did not come with any sort of label or warning stating as such. Consequently, the victim was severely burned across most of his body. Sadly, the victim permanently lost the use of his hands, and is not able to feed or care for himself without assistance. 

According to the facts of the case, the victim was using the sealant on his basement floors when the toxic vapors wafted over to the vicinity of the water heater. In an instant, an explosion ensued and the victim was immediately engulfed in flames. He has been forced to endure countless surgeries and skin grafts to treat the massive burns sustained. 

After nearly five years of legal wrangling, the makers of Crystal Clear VOC refused to settle with the victim, prompting the need for a lengthy trial before a suburban Chicago jury. The result? A $10.75 million verdict in favor of the victim, which was calculated to compensate him for the costs of his injury, plus any lost future earnings. 

Product liability cases such as this hinge on the concept of reasonableness. In this case, the jury was confronted with the question of whether it was reasonable for the victim to use the concrete sealant on his concrete floors in a poorly ventilated area. Based on testimony of experts and witnesses, the jury found that the victim was reasonable to think that a concrete sealant like Crystal Clear VOC was safe for use in a basement area.  Therefore, its manufacturer Euclid Chemical has been ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries. 

If you were recently injured by household product and would like to discuss your rights, please contact the Illinois personal injury and product liability attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa today by calling 847-416-1989 today. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence in Illinois: What You Need to Know

How prevalent is nursing home negligence in Illinois? And what signs should I look for? 

Nursing home abuse and neglect is sadly emerging as one of the more common personal injury scenarios in the United States. Unfortunately, experts believe that the phenomenon may be even more prevalent than is actually reported – as many victims are simply too frightened or unsure of the scenario to alert authorities or their family members. 

In Oak Forest, Illinois, the surviving family members of an alleged victim of nursing home abuse filed a wrongful death action against Symphony of Crestwood, a nursing home located in Crestwood, Illinois. According to allegations, the victim – a 53 year-old woman suffering from extreme multiple sclerosis – was left untended to, resulting in falls, bedsores, and immobility. Due to her physical limitations, she was administered a feeding tube for nutrition. In the spring of 2013, her feeding tube became dislodged – at which point staff reinserted the tube without the use of medical imaging. As a result, the survivors allege, the feeding tube was improperly placed and liquid nutrition spread throughout her body – killing her 11 days later. 

In March, 2015, three suspicious deaths occurred at the South Holland nursing home, with one being ruled a homicide. As a result, several staff members were terminated, and police are investigating the facts surrounding the deaths of each elderly resident. With regard to one already ruled a homicide, a 98-year old was administered a fatal dose of pain killers in violation of her prescription and care plan. So far, the causes of death for the other two are listed as “unknown causes,” which could change pending the outcome of the forensic review. 

Nursing home abuse and neglect can manifest any number of ways, and could involve any combination of physical, sexual, mental or financial abuse. Unexplained bruising, genital infections, or misplaced fear of facility workers could be a sign that abuse is occurring. Likewise, sudden changes to an estate plan or large asset transfers to a caretaker could indicate undue influence, also known as elder financial abuse. 

If you suspect abuse or neglect against your loved one, do not delay – contact authorities immediately. From there, contact the Chicago, Waukegan and McHenry, Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa, to get started on a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the victim. You can reach our office by calling (847)416-1989 today. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tractor Trailer Accidents in Illinois

Can Truck Accident Victims Sue for Negligence When Truck Drivers Fail to Follow Safety Mandates?

When a car, pick up or SUV driver hits the road, ensuring that he or she is well rested before getting behind the wheel is common sense. When a semi truck driver hits the road, being well rested is the law.

Yet, each year, thousands of commercial truck drivers who are involved in truck accidents are charged with failing to obtain adequate sleep prior to operating their rigs. In some cases, drivers even face charges of falsifying drivers’ logs and destroying receipt evidence to hide their lack of compliance with safety regulations. In rare instances, drivers will even admit to regular “cheating” with regard to laws governing rest-to-drive ratios. Such was the case in a recent, fatal truck collision occurring on I-88 near Aurora.

On the evening of January 27, 2014, Hanover Park resident and commercial truck driver Renato Valaquez had just completed a delivery job that paid almost $1,300. Allegedly already fatigued and having failed to meet federal rest-to-road time limits, Valaquez decided to make additional money by picking up an on-the-spot job to deliver 42,000 pounds of steel. As he approached a parked squad car and disabled semitrailer surrounded by flares on I-88, prosecutors attest that Valaquez’s truck struck the vehicles from behind at 63 miles per hour, killing a toll operator and severely injuring a police officer. Valaquez also allegedly:

  • Admitted to exceeding rest-to-road mandates “all the time”;
  • Rested for only 3.5 hours during the 37.5-hour time period preceding the fatal accident; and
  • Falsified his driving record to cover up his infractions.

In addition to being charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle while fatigued or impaired and making a false report of his record and duty status, Valaquez faces charges of failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failing to yield to stationary emergency vehicles.

If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident in Chicago, Waukegan, McHenry or any other city in Illinois, it is essential that a full investigation be conducted to determine whether negligence on the part of the driver or transportation company contributed to the incident. For experienced assistance following an Illinois truck accident, contact Ryan, Ryan & Landa. Call (847)416-1989.

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Ryan Ryan & Landa represents clients in matters involving catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, personal injury, insurance litigation, worker’s compensation, construction accidents, and motor vehicle accidents in the Chicagoland area and throughout Illinois.

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| Phone: 847.416.1989
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| Phone: 847.416.1989

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