WRONGFUL DEATH

Wrongful death refers to a type of case in which someone else’s wrongful or negligent conduct results in untimely death. In an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, a family member acts as a representative for purposes of filing a lawsuit and recovering money damages for the death of their loved one. Damages in wrongful death lawsuits include medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses. They also include the loss of love, companionship and affection each family member would have received from their deceased loved one. Although no monetary compensation can make up for the death of a loved one, bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is an important step towards gaining justice when you and your family have been wronged. Please contact the Illinois wrongful death attorneys at Gibson Steigauf for the one-on-one attention that your case requires.

TYPES OF CASES

A person can be seriously hurt or killed due to countless negligent conditions and work actions at a construction site. When a person or company who is not your employer is negligent in causing you serious personal injury or the death of your loved one Gibson Steigauf will represent you to pursue full justice from all of the individuals and companies that are responsible. Due to the complexity and unique nature of construction personal injury cases our attorneys regularly retain and work with the most highly acclaimed architectural, engineering, trade, and equipment experts in the country to testify on behalf of our clients. Oftentimes our clients also have a pending Worker’s Compensation case which requires the coordination of the representation of you or your family in both cases to achieve the most successful result.

When a person is walking or running and is injured or killed due to the negligence of another person or company in not providing a safe floor, parking lot, staircase, or any other type of area our clients have a right to pursue a Premises Liability lawsuit. Often Premises Liability cases include multiple defendants such as a maintenance company, an owner, a snowplow company or a general contractor who are responsible to pay full compensation for past and future losses due to causing our client’s injuries.

Boating, ATV and snowmobile injury and wrongful death cases are unique because they require a lawyer with experience in analyzing state and local ordinances, private property rules and the manufacturer’s usage and safety rules. Many times our clients are injured in open water, forest, farmers’ fields and trails where the “rules of the road” are vague or non-existent. Gibson Steigauf is proud of its record in successfully representing many clients for serious injury or death due to negligent boat, ATV and snowmobile operation.

All drivers on Illinois roadways accept responsibility for the safety of others when they get behind the wheel.  Unfortunately, many people take this life-and-death responsibility too lightly by texting, talking, and otherwise allowing themselves to be distracted while driving.  When another driver’s negligence affects YOU, whether you are in your vehicle or just walking across the street, the law is on your side.  You are entitled to full and fair compensation for the injuries (including out of pocket expenses) you sustain.  Scott Gibson secured a record jury verdict for a woman who was rear-ended by a semi-truck. She suffered a back fracture that healed without surgery but left her with periodic back pain. The verdict exceeded the insurance company settlement offer before trial by seven times. Contact the car crash lawyers at Gibson Steigauf to walk you through the process of a personal injury, car accident lawsuit.

The truck accident lawyers at Gibson Steigauf have been handling truck injury and truck fatality cases for more than three decades.  Truck drivers should be the safest drivers on the road.  Unfortunately, they are not. And their mistakes are usually catastrophic for the other driver.  When a truck driver is involved in an crash, his insurance company immediately dispatches a team of investigators to protect the trucking company.  It is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we may begin our investigation on your behalf. Many times our investigation will find additional parties and insurance companies that are responsible for fully compensating our clients for their injuries and for families who are the victims of wrongful death.

The Lake County motorcycle accident attorneys at Gibson Steigauf represent motorcycle riders who are severely injured by another’s negligent driving.  Cars and trucks must share the road with motorcycles, but many times do not.  Scott Gibson represented the mother of identical 4 month old twins whose father was driving his motorcycle through an intersection in Libertyville when a college student turned left in front of him causing his death at the scene.  I-witnesses confirmed that the motorcycle entered the intersection legally and the defendant admitted he did not look and never saw or heard the motorcycle before causing the crash.  Gibson Steigauf secured payment of the full seven figure plus insurance policy which created a special trust for the benefit of the baby twins for life. If you or a loved one are injured by a car or truck that hits you while riding your motorcycle, allow us to represent you.  We will get you the result you deserve.

Bicyclists have the right to use Illinois roadways too.  Unfortunately, cars and trucks frequently don’t drive safely when bicycles are around.  More often than not, the injuries suffered by the bicyclist are catastrophic and even life-threatening.  The bicycle accident attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will take responsibility for your case so you can focus on your health and recovery.  Allow us to obtain justice for you when you have been involved in a bike crash.

These cases typically occur when businesses or other building/land owners, including homeowners negligently maintain their property.  It could be in the form of snow removal, construction, cleaning the floors, or other general maintenance.  Even when you are careful, the business can be liable for its negligent behavior.  With slip and fall (or trip and fall) cases, you must be able to determine what caused your fall.  Next, you must ultimately be able to determine how that defect came about and whether anyone knew or could have known about it.  The slip and fall attorneys at Gibson Steigauf are experienced in handling slip/trip and fall cases – we will investigate and determine if property owners failed to safely maintain their properties.  If so, we will represent you and hold the wrongdoers accountable.

Construction accidents are complex and require experienced attorneys to investigate your claims.  Our firm has protected construction workers injured on the job for more than thirty years.  Recently, Gibson Steigauf secured the largest verdict or settlement in DuPage County totaling $6,900,000 for our carpenter client who fell from a roof due to a faulty guard rail. Our attorneys understand that after suffering traumatic injuries, your goals are to make sure your medical bills are paid, your wages/salary continues to be paid, and that you get the money compensation you are entitled to.

If you are injured while working as a tradesman or other service worker on a site you are entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits – our team of lawyers includes specialists who only practice on behalf of injured workers before the Illinois industrial commission which is the court system for all Worker’s Compensation cases.

Many times a construction injury is caused by a company or person who is not your employer.   Gibson Steigauf has extensive experience in investigating each case to find the companies or individuals who were at fault in causing your injuries.  When the at fault party includes a company or individual who is not employed by your company our firm will pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim in the appropriate State or Federal Court system which is in addition to your Worker’s Compensation case.  We work smoothly in full coordination with our Worker’s Compensation lawyers to most effectively represent you in both cases.

Many people enjoy water, winter and trail motorized sports and recreation.  When an operator of a boat, ATV, snowmobile, jet ski or any motorized recreation vehicle drives carelessly or when impaired and then causes our client injuries or death, the defendant and his or her insurance company will be held legally responsible by Gibson Steigauf.  The defendant operator will almost certainly be covered under a specific boat, snowmobile, etc. insurance policy or under their homeowners or renter’s insurance.  Tragically, these cases usually include significant injuries or death due to our client being unprotected at the time of the crash.  Our firm has extensive experience and success in using nationally recognized experts, laws, regulations, manufacturer’s specifications and local rules to prove the negligence and responsibility of the defendant operator.  Gibson Steigauf has represented many clients who are injured on the lakes, hills and trails throughout Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and other states.

Due to the natural enjoyment so many people experience as animal owners our society cherishes our pets but also recognizes their danger to human life.  Illinois passed the Animal Control Act Statute many years ago that promotes safe pet care and protections for victims of animal attacks or negligent handling of an animal.  Gibson Steigauf has represented dozens of victims of dog and other animal bites, attacks, and knock downs occurring under many different types of circumstances.  The person who is in charge of the dog or other animal at the time is required to keep it leashed or otherwise secure so other people are not injured.  The defendant or the animal owner will usually be insured through their homeowners or renter’s policy to compensate our clients for their personal injury damages. Illinois law gives significant protection to our clients to support a successful verdict or settlement for our client.

Scott Gibson, on behalf of an injured teenager, secured the Illinois State Record exceeding $2,000,000 for a defective chemical.  A defective product is any type of a machine, part, liquid, food, or object of any kind that causes our client’s injuries.  There are Federal and State laws that give an injured person broad and strong legal protections  whether it is a consumer, industrial, or commercial product.  Gibson Steigauf has represented scores of injured victims of defectively designed, manufactured, packaged and labeled products including defective exploding lithium batteries commonly used in vape devices.

It is a horrible reality of life that women, men and children are all victims of sexual assault and abuse.  Scott Gibson was chosen by the Lake County State’s Attorney as a sex crimes specialist prosecutor representing child victims in numerous successful jury verdicts.  He was a founding member and original Treasurer Board Member of the Lake County Child Advocacy Center.  With that background, Gibson Steigauf has represented many child and adult victims in personal injury cases for damages our clients suffered from being sexually assaulted.  In addition to pursuing claims against the offending individuals we investigate employers, organizations, schools and any type of employer or sponsor of a predator.  When these companies and organizations  negligently hire, fail to supervise or investigate their employees, agents and volunteers who sexually assault our client they will be held responsible in a civil court of law. Sadly, we have been successful on behalf of many client victims including a $1,400,000 settlement before trial on behalf of a 7 year old who was sexually assaulted by an amusement park employee.

Gibson Steigauf has successfully represented many people who were injured by another person’s negligence which occurred due to burns, shootings, physical assaults, and different types of person to person injuries.  Many times the individual causing the injuries does not have personal funds to fully compensate our client but oftentimes an employer, someone acting as an agent, or homeowners insurance provides coverage that will fully compensate our client.   Recently, Gibson Steigauf represented a client who was mistakenly shot by a friend who was playing with a loaded gun.  There was no intent to shoot our client but because the shooter was covered by home owner’s insurance policy (even though the event did not occur at the home) we secured a multiple hundred thousand policy limit settlement before trial. We also successfully represented the parents of a three year old that was burned when her baby sitter was not careful and our client was burned by a pot of coffee.  The defendant’s home owner’s insurance fully compensated our client which includes funds for future burn care.

Dram shop cases are based upon the Illinois law requiring bars, restaurants, stores or any business that gives or sells alcohol to be responsible for buyers who become alcohol impaired and cause our client’s injuries.  The law gives special protection for victims of drunk drivers or other individuals who became impaired from alcohol drunk from a commercial establishment.  We have represented many victims of alcohol and drug impairment including Scott Gibson’s successful representation of the family whose twin son was killed when he was a passenger in a car driven by a fellow teenager who became intoxicated due to alcohol provided to minors at a party.  The at fault home owner was forced to pay its entire multiple hundred thousand insurance policy limit before trial.    Scott Gibson gave many speeches and wrote articles to school and civic organizations about the legal responsibility of certain social hosts.  The case was extensively reported nationally and state-wide which resulted in the new Illinois state law holding certain social hosts responsible for serving alcohol to minors.

A common type of medical negligence case is the failure to diagnose a health condition.  If that missed or delayed diagnosis leads to injury or death, our trial attorneys can help you.  These types of cases usually focus on whether your doctor or healthcare provider properly performed a “differential diagnosis.”  This requires them to properly rule out the cause of your symptoms.  We often see missed diagnoses with conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, aortic dissections, pulmonary embolisms, infections and pneumonia.  We handle numerous missed diagnosis cases each year.  Let us help you.

Similar to a failure to diagnose case, the delayed diagnosis case also involves properly performing a differential diagnosis.  However, these cases involve time-sensitive treatment in order to save lives.  We trust our medical providers to perform the necessary steps – in a timely fashion – to determine what is causing our symptoms.   In these cases, early and correct diagnoses save lives.  These cases many times involve breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, appendicitis and other conditions.  Our Cook County medical negligence lawyers can help you with delayed diagnosis cases.  Call us for a free consultation.

Patients have a right to know their options before giving consent to non-emergent medical treatment.  Patients should be told in simple, clear to understand language, what their options are so they and their families can make informed decisions about their personal medical care.  Without proper informed consent, patients are deprived of their rights.  Let our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys assist you with your lawsuit involving informed consent issues.

If you or someone you know had a difficult time during the delivery of your baby, and if your baby is injured, you might have a viable claim for your child.  These types of cases include shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries, Erbs palsy, and breech birth complications among others.  The birth trauma attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will walk you through the process of determining if you have a lawsuit, and then recovering the amount of money your child deserves. 

The most important thing to consider when hiring a medical malpractice attorney is experience.  For three decades, the medical negligence attorneys at Gibson Steigauf have represented families whose babies were injured at birth.  Birth injuries include death related to medication doses, injuries from vacuum extraction, failure to timely perform Caesarean sections, among others.  If your child was deprived of oxygen during the birthing process due to medical negligence, he or she will suffer immense economic and non-economic injuries for the rest of his or her life.  The birth injury attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will walk you through the process of determining if you have a lawsuit, and then will help you recover the amount of money you and your child deserve.

Medical device errors are common in hospitals.  With any technology, errors occur.  Some commonly used devices that are the subject of litigation include: IV pumps, stents, hip implants, knee implants, and pacemakers.  The medical negligence attorneys at Gibson Steigauf can help you with your medical device litigation.

Medication errors should never occur.  Nowadays, your own internist might not be able to see you in the hospital. Instead, “hospitalists” or internal medicine doctors employed directly by the hospital, take responsibility for your care while you are an in-patient.  These doctors do not know your history like your regular doctor. Hospitalists meet you for the first time on admission, and generally manage your care once a day until you go home or to a rehab facility.  This is where medication issues frequently fall through the cracks.  When someone not familiar with your history is monitoring the interactions among all your medicines, errors occur.  We can help.  Please contact the trial attorneys at Gibson Steigauf to assist you with your medication overdose/medication error cases.

Bed sores, pressure wounds and decubitus ulcers are preventable with proper care.  Nursing homes must have care plans in place which detail how often to turn or assist in repositioning residents who need assistance.  Once wounds form, they must be properly and timely treated with medications, creams, and devices like heel protectors.  The failure to properly treat bed sores, pressure wounds and decubitus ulcers can result in severe pain, loss of skin, infection, sepsis and many times, amputation.  Please call the elder abuse and nursing home negligence attorneys at Gibson Steigauf if you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence. 

It is vital that residents in nursing homes and extended care facilities receive appropriate nutrition and hydration.  Without proper food and hydration, the elderly are put at increased risk for bed sores, ulcers, muscle weakness and death.  Nursing homes are required to adequately provide nutritional care.  If you believe your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or elder abuse, the personal injury lawyers at Gibson Steigauf can help.  Call us at 847-263-5100 for a free, private consultation with one of our nursing home negligence attorneys.

Falls in nursing homes are preventable.  They should never occur.  Nursing homes and extended care facilities are required to have plans in place for the safe movement of residents.  These policies relate to moving residents from beds to chairs, to the bathroom, and in the hallways to therapy sessions.  The procedures related to the safe movement of residents are not suggestions, rather rules that must be followed.  If your loved one suffers a fall in a nursing home, it is likely due to the facility breaking its own rules.  The personal injury attorneys at Gibson Steigauf are here to assist you with your lawsuit against a nursing home, dementia facility, and long-term care facility. 

Residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are easy targets of physical, sexual and verbal abuse.  They are dependent on others for their care and are vulnerable.  Even if a resident cannot speak for themselves, the injuries on their bodies speak for them.  The nursing home abuse lawyers at Gibson Steigauf will fight for nursing homes for you to end the abuse.  Call us for a free consultation.  847-263-5100

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

31-year-old father of two and one-half month old twins was riding his motorcycle in Libertyville, Illinois when he entered an intersection on a yellow light. The Defendant was waiting to turn left in front of him and claimed he did not see the motorcycle when he started to make his turn. Witnesses confirmed that the Plaintiff motorcyclist attempted to swerve but could not avoid the collision resulting in instant death. 4 minor children survive him. Result: $1,250,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A severely mentally handicapped adult was transferred to a nursing home to begin her recovery from hip surgery. Her physician requested that the staff at the nursing home monitor her closely for indications of blood clots. Five days later she was found dead having suffocated from a clot in her lung. Result: $850,000 settlement.

Plaintiff college student was killed when he was a passenger in a car which was struck by an oncoming van that crossed the centerline. There was no conscious pain or suffering and was survived by his divorced parents and sister. Result: $1,075,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A married, 72 year-old retired father of 3, who was a lay Christian minister, died in the emergency room from undiagnosed blood clots (Pulmonary Embolism caused by clots in his left leg).  He went to his long-time family doctor three days prior; complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain and his vital signs were abnormal.  The doctor misdiagnosed him with asthma and prescribed an inhaler.  The same doctor had treated this patient and hospitalized him twice before due to blood clots in his left leg but failed to comply with the required medical care in prescribing him lifetime blood thinners and then not correctly diagnosing him three days before his death.  The doctor and his insurance company agreed to pay his medical malpractice insurance policy limit before trial. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 48-year-old registered hospice nurse was riding his motorcycle in Waukegan when the Defendant drove her SUV from an adjacent store’s parking lot and blocked the lane. The Plaintiff had to swerve around the Defendant’s vehicle, lost control and suffered injuries that later claimed his life after a two day coma. The plaintiff’s decedent was married with two teenage children. Result: $1,060,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 44-year-old warehouseman who went to the Waukegan hospital emergency room with chest pain and shortness of breath. Defendant cardiologist admitted him and after completing a cardiac workup including catheterization discharged him the next day to return to work after the weekend. There was no referral to any other specialists or investigation of potential pulmonary embolism. Twenty-four hours after discharge he returned to the emergency room with continuing symptoms resulting in a pulmonologist diagnosing him with pulmonary embolism which caused his death the next day. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 71-year-old man with severe multiple illnesses was admitted into a Chicago hospital for a high risk ruptured aorta surgical repair. Two weeks after the surgery he was found on the floor next to his bed after having been transferred from the ICU to the general hospital room just hours before he was found. The physician orders for restraints due to hallucinations from medicines and inability to follow orders were unilaterally not followed by the nurses on the general floor so that he was not safely kept in his bed. He was found with a head laceration. A delayed CT scan showed subdural hemorrhage and brain shift. He was not a surgical candidate and died two days later. He is survived by one adult son. Result: $800,000 settlement.

A man in his sixties saw his primary care physician for an annual physical.  The doctor failed to send the patient for a colonoscopy to investigate the abnormal mass that was discovered in the patient’s rectum during the exam.  Instead, the physician informed the patient that the mass was a simple hemorrhoid.  The patient’s colorectal cancer went untreated and he later died. Result:$1,000,000 settlement before trial.

A mother’s boyfriend took her and her three children out on his boat in lake Michigan.   Two of the children, with flotation devices, went into the water but the boater did not position his boat correctly for the currents.  The boys drifted away and the boater could not get his boat close enough to rescue the boys.  One of the boys, just 10 years old drowned. Result: $250,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 21 year-old college student was admitted into a secure psychiatric floor in defendant’s hospital for severe depression and suicidal ideation.  The nurses allowed her to go into a small room with a washer and dryer to clean her own clothes.  The room had a wood door with a small window which was directly across the hall from the nurse’s station.  While in the room the student used a robe tie to hang herself from the inside door overhead closing mechanism.  By the time the nurses noticed that she was in that room she was severely injured and died shortly thereafter.  The hospital was negligent in not properly supervising her and in violation of safety codes by failing to have the required specialty “break-off” door hardware in a secure psychiatric floor.  She was the youngest child of a large close knit family – Gibson Steigauf successfully filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of all of the family members against the hospital which was responsible for the negligence of its staff. Result: Confidential Settlement