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Stephen I. Lane
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Stephen Lane’s Answers

92 total


  • Can a lawsuit be refiled in Illinois after being dismissed because the attorney did not make an appearances?

    My mother broke her leg due to a pot hole in a mall parking lot that was covered by snow. She hired a law firm to represent her interests because the break required surgery to repair and complications resulted from the surgery. The attorney handli...

    Stephen’s Answer

    In all likelihood, your mom will still be able to pursue her case. She should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that the circumstances of being able to continue the case can be explored. There may be more reasons than you know of that the case was dismissed, so getting immediate and competent legal advice is very important, and maybe critical to your success. If the case was dismissed WITH prejudice, for whatever reason, there may be an immediate need to try to vacate the dismissal. If it was dismissed WITHOUT prejudice, and this was the first time it was dismissed, your mom should be able to refile the case within one year of the dismissal. Make sure she speaks with an experienced attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that her rights are properly explored and protected.

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  • My settlement money for my son's traumatic brain injury is gone because my lawyer's house was about to get foreclosed.

    my lawyer had to spend my $150,000 check to pay off his mortgage debt so that his house doesn't get foreclosed now he says that it will take him years to return my settlement money to him. my soon needs that money to pay rehabilitation. are there ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If what you say is accurate, your lawyer has committed a serious ethical violation which could very well cause him to lose his license to practice law, While attorneys are permitted to advance their own money on a case to pay for case-related expenses, there is NO circumstance which allows an attorney to spend a client's funds to pay the lawyer's debts. If the funds were held in the lawyer's bank accounts for the benefit of a mentally disabled child or adult, those funds are supposed to be controlled by the Court, and the Court is supposed to approve any disbursements of the money to anyone, including your son. I am afraid there may be much more to this unfortunate story, and as others suggested, I urge you to consult with a competent experienced personal injury lawyer immediately, and that you contact the Illinois Attorney's Registration and Disciplinary Commission about what has happened. They are required to investigate all complaints of unethical conduct by lawyers that they receive, and if what you say is true, they will investigate and prosecute the attorney who committed this offense. Your new attorney should also be able to assist you in finding competent rehabilitation services for your son.

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  • Is evidence against me after an officer gave me a concussion admissible? I don't remember much after she slammed my head.

    Two weeks ago, I was pulled over for a flat tire. The officer checked to see if I was impaired. I blew a .0000 as I do not drink. I passed the roadside test except for walking heel to toe as I am completely uncoordinated. I was arrested anyway....

    Stephen’s Answer

    What you described is beyond outrageous, and you have every right to bring an action against the police department, the "officer" and Village who did this to you. You should absolutely consult with a competent and experienced lawyer who handles police brutality cases. There are a number of measures you must take in order to preserve the best chance for success in your case. As others have told you, you should not discuss what happened on any social media forum, and, if you have been charged with any offense, consult with a criminal lawyer. You should preserve your photos to a media that allows you to give them to your lawyer. You should begin keeping a diary, and you should record everything that happened that day, starting in the morning, and continuing through all of the police involvement and any medical attention. Continue to record all events and all ways in which you've been impacted by what happened, both from a physical and emotional perspective. And, very importantly, you should immediately send a letter pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act requesting the production AND preservation of all audio and video recordings of or relating to you, and all audio and video transmissions relating to you to and from the officers and dispatcher or other police agencies. This should be done immediately, as these recordings are recirculated and destroyed on a regular basis! You should also seek medical attention, and in particular, you should consult a neurologist, in light of your head injury. Any alteration of consciousness can be indicative of injury to the brain, and it's best to address that as soon as possible. Good luck to you. I know this is a traumatic and difficult time before the police, and can't imagine what you must be going through now. Please get the assistance you need. A good lawyer will help you with the legalities and also help you get through these difficult days and will counsel and steer you to the resources that will help you get past the emotional side of this too. Take care.

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  • Can I get this done in time, my personal injury attorney unethically dropped my case 2 months before the statue runs out?

    Reading advice here on the website I recently cornered my attorney into providing me with my file. He wouldn't return my calls or emails, so I did as advised here and asked to set up an appointment to see my file. It was at this time that he sudd...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I wholeheartedly agree with the others who've suggested you retain a new attorney asap, before you give any statement. You absolutely should not have any communications with the insurance company without at least hearing what other attorneys have to tell you about your case. You have not given any details about the case, so it's not possible to comment on the merits. The one thing I can assure you of is that the insurance adjustor does NOT want to help you. You can be sure that he/she wants to make sure their insurance company pays you as little as possible, nothing, if possible. The fact that the statute of limitations is approaching, and you have no attorney representing you gives the insurance company reason to believe you will blow the statute. Please get with counsel that you trust right away!

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  • What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit

    Or misdiagnosis rather

    Stephen’s Answer

    It depends very much on the unique circumstances involved in each case, but generally, you have 2 years from when you know or should have known that you were injured, and that it may have been wrongfully caused, but in no event more than 4 years from the date of the negligent act. There are a number of nuances and exceptions to this general rule, and so if you're even thinking of bringing a case, you really should speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

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  • Do I really need a lawyer for a rear end accident?

    I was rear ended by a semi truck in traffic. I went to the hospital and was told I have a soft tissue injury to the neck. I also followed up with my care provider and was told the same. My left shoulder has been giving me trouble. I have three chi...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I agree with the others' recommendations that you at least consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. One thing you cannot know or be sure of now is the actual nature and extent of your injuries. You can't know why the trucker rear-ended you, or whether any industry rules or regulations were violated. The one thing you absolutely can be sure of is that whoever is representing the trucker and truck company has only one interest in mind, and that is paying you as little as they can to make you go away, and even paying nothing is one of their options. I've seen MANY cases where what was thought to be just a minor "soft tissue" injury has, over time, developed into far worse, spinal problems, herniated disks, even subtle brain injuries. Get a good lawyer and make sure that your interests and options are protected.

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  • My bosses dog bit me less than a year ago, do I still have a case?

    I have pictures and witnesses, I quit the job and they refuse to pay me my vacation. Can I still sue over the dog bite?

    Stephen’s Answer

    In Illinois, you have 2 years within which to bring the suit, unless the injured party is either a minor at the time, or legally disabled, both of which can extend the time allowed for filing. I suspect neither basis for an extended time applies to you. While it's true that most cases are what they call "strict liability", which means you don't have to prove fault, there are some landmines that you have to be aware of. Our statute says, essentially, that if a dog or other animal attacks or injures a person without provocation, then the "owner" or "harborer" of the dog is liable for all damages that result. The difficulties lie in what is considered "provocation" under the law, and who may be considered "owners" or "harborers". I agree with the others who've recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your rights are protected. He/she will be able to explain and work with yyou to determine your best course of action under your particular circumstances.

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  • Can I be sued if my company insurance didn't pay for claim?

    I was in a minor accident in a commercial truck while on the job. (I work for a pretty big company) I was rear ended, the lady said I backed into her. My companies insurance found her at fault and didn't pay the claim. yesterday I was personally s...

    Stephen’s Answer

    The short answer is yes, you can be sued. If you really were on duty and in the course and scope of your job-related activities, I can't think of any reason why your employer's insurance wouldn't represent and cover you, unless the employer is not named in the lawsuit. I would suggest you turn over the papers you were served with as soon as possible to both your own insurance company and to your employer to make sure your rights are best protected. Your insurance company should take the necessary steps to have you represented by counsel.

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  • I was hit while crossing the street,the walk sign was on I was in the crosswalk.My medical bills were over $50,000.

    I had no insurance.My lawyer mis handled the case,I was left with medical bills of over $40,000.I assumed all my medical bills would be taken care of by the insurance the person that hit me had.My lawyer told me to take the first offer we got.I en...

    Stephen’s Answer

    It's very hard for anyone to second guess your lawyer without more information, and knowing the case and what your lawyer knew. Was the defendant underinsured for your damages? We're there questions as to the driver's fault? We're there witnesses who blamed you? One thing I can tell you is this: all things being equal, if the driver's negligence caused your injuries, then you would certainly be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering.

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  • What is the Illinois statue of limitations apropos for knee revision surgery (faulty knee replacement)?

    I had a left knee revision on 08/24/2015 after numerous problems with a Smith & Nephew Journey total knee implant done 04/2010. Since the knee implant in 2010, my symptoms include inflamation, pain, instability, and...finally, the knee replacemen...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Technically, you have 2 years from the date you knew or should have known that you were injured, and that it may have been wrongfully caused, but in no event more than 4 years from the date of the negligent act to bring a medical malpractice case. But your circumstances may invoke either a medical malpractice case or a product liability case, neither, or both, depending on the specific circumstances. You really need to obtain all of your records, including all x-rays and other imaging studies (the images themselves, not just reports), and consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to figure out what, if any basis you may have for action. That's really your best bet for getting a reasonable analysis and a smart course of action.

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