Recent Blog Posts

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Post-Accident Photographs Admissible Without Expert Testimony

 Posted on March 05, 2020 in Car Accidents

By: Eddie Hettel

Chicago Car Accident attorneyThe Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Peach v. McGovern clarifies that expert testimony is not required to admit post-accident vehicular photographs. Previously, Appellate Courts had differing opinions as to whether a party was required to present expert testimony about a photograph before it was admitted into evidence.

The Court held that photographic evidence is admissible if it has a reasonable tendency to prove or disprove a material fact at issue in the case but may be excluded when irrelevant or immaterial or if its prejudicial nature outweighs its probative value. Peach v. McGovern, 2019 IL 123156, ¶ 27. In deciding the admissibility of post-accident vehicular photographs, trial courts must determine whether the photos make the resulting injury to the plaintiff more or less probable and whether the photos may be relevant with regard to impeachment. See id.

The essential question in deciding the admissibility of post-accident vehicular photographs is “whether the jury can properly relate the vehicular damage depicted in the photos to the injury without the aid of an expert.” Id. at ¶ 35. This is a question of law that must be decided by a trial judge.

Continue Reading ››

Rideshare Services Identified as Cause of Increased Traffic Fatalities

 Posted on February 14, 2020 in Car Accidents

Chicago rideshare accident attorneyA recent study revealed that app-based rideshare services account for a three percent annual increase in traffic-related fatalities. This translates to roughly 987 traffic-related fatalities each year resulting from rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

Although many supporters of the rideshare industry note the perceived benefits such as a possible decrease in drunk driving and added convenience to riders, the numbers tell a more startling story. Aside from the numerous assaults that occur each year in Ubers and Lyfts, data reveals that these services have also made our roadways less safe.

Rideshare services increase the number of people on the road for several reasons: 1) there are more drivers on the road, and 2) people who would otherwise have taken public transportation, walked, or biked are choosing rideshare services. Data reveals that after the introduction of ridesharing, traffic fatalities steadily increased as our roads become crowded with more vehicles.

Continue Reading ››

SCOTUS Protects State Court Claims against Big Pharma

 Posted on January 06, 2020 in Prescription Drugs

 Cook County prescription drug attorney for Lyft sexual assaultManufacturers of prescription drugs often claim that they cannot provide a warning label in accordance with state law because the changes would be prohibited by federal law, a defense known as impossibility preemption. Impossibility preemption is a situation where compliance with both federal and state regulations is a physical impossibility for one engaged in interstate commerce.

In Wyeth v. Levine (2009), the U.S. Supreme Court held that drug manufactures who claimed impossibility prevention were required to produce “clear evidence” that the FDA would have prohibited their additional warning as required under state law. This ruling lacked a strong test to determine what “clear evidence” meant, which caused confusion and allowed drug manufacturers to bring forward weaker claims of impossibility preemption.

The Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Albrecht decision in May of 2019 provides those injured by prescription drugs with much-needed clarity in combatting a claim of impossibility preemption. The Supreme Court stated that “the possibility of impossibility” is not enough, meaning that it is not sufficient to say that it was “possible” that state and federal law were in conflict. Under Merck, drug manufacturers claiming impossibility preemption must now provide clear evidence of an actual conflict between state and federal law that makes it impossible to comply with both.

Continue Reading ››

Lyft is Hiding a ‘Sexual Predator Crisis’ – More Lawsuits

 Posted on September 18, 2019 in Personal Injury

Cook County personal injury attorney for Lyft sexual assaultLyft is facing waves of lawsuits alleging that the ride hailing giant has failed to adequately protect its passengers and has ineffectively responded to reports of sexual assault. On Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, a lawsuit was filed in California state court on behalf of 14 women who say they were raped or sexually assaulted by their Lyft drivers in 2018 and 2019. The ride-hailing giant was more recently hit with five additional lawsuits filed by women who allege that they have been raped or sexually assaulted. These women are not alone – Lyft received nearly 100 complaints of sexual assault against its drivers in California alone between 2014 and 2016. 

The suit alleges that Lyft often fails to report these crimes to police, and it has adopted policies to silence victims who report their experiences. “Lyft has made a concerted effort in the media, in litigation and in criminal cases to hide and conceal the true extent of sexual assaults that occur in their vehicles,” the complaint says. 

Continue Reading ››


 Posted on September 12, 2019 in Personal Injury

"CookSeveral more cases of Legionnaires Disease have been confirmed at a retirement community, Convenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia, Kane County, Illinois. According to a news release from the Kane County Health Department, the retirement community is notifying residents, the residents’ identified contact, and staff after four more cases were confirmed. These 4 individuals are among the 251 which have been confirmed to date this year.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. LD and Pontiac Fever (a less severe infection caused by the same type of bacteria) may also be called “legionellosis.”  The bacterium grows and spreads in human-made water systems. Officials with the Kane County Health Department said there are four more cases and that they are closely monitoring this situation.

Following exposure to the bacteria, the onset of symptoms is usually between 2-14 days. Symptoms of illness may include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, and headaches. People 50 years of age or older are at an increased risk of Legionnaire’s disease. Some studies indicate that more than a quarter of LD diagnoses are fatal. LD, also referred to as Legionella pneumonia, has several life-threatening complications, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

Continue Reading ››

Tomasik Kotin Kasserman Obtains $212,000 Verdict For Chicago Police Officer Injured In The Line Of Duty

 Posted on August 16, 2019 in Personal Injury

Cook County police officer lawyerJames P. McKay and Philip P. Terrazzino obtained a $212,000 verdict for Chicago Police Officer Yvette Lozano for injuries she sustained in an automobile collision while in the line of duty. Following a trial at the Daley Center in front of Judge Ann Collins-Dole, a Cook County jury reached the verdict in favor of Officer Lozano.

On August 28, 2015 at 10:15a.m., Officer Lozano was responding to a home invasion in progress with her lights and sirens activated when her squad car was struck by a driver who failed to stop and pull to the right as required by statute. As a result of the crash, Officer Lozano sustained a right elbow injury and vertigo. She missed one year of work due to her injuries. 

After undergoing a long recovery and intense physical therapy, she returned to work with the Chicago Police Department and now works in an office role. “We are pleased that justice prevailed and that Officer Lozano will be compensated for her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering,” Terrazzino said.  “It took four years and a two-week jury trial, but the jury system got it right in the end.”

Continue Reading ››


 Posted on July 30, 2019 in Truck Accidents

Cook County truck accident injury lawyer

By: Eddie Hettel

The victims of tragic truck crashes and their families are limited in their ability to recover adequate compensation. Under existing U.S. law, commercial motor carriers are only required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage. Despite a congressional mandate that requires insurance levels to be regularly updated, that number has not moved since 1980. 

Truck crashes often result in life-threatening injuries and in the worst cases, death. When victims suffer such injuries, or their families lose a loved one, there are often significant financial burdens to bear. Victims that survive these horrific accidents are often left with life-altering injuries that require significant medical treatment. Additionally, the families of victims who suffer death in such accidents are left without the financial support of the deceased.

The existing law is out of date and disregards the immense costs endured by the victims of commercial trucking accidents. New legislation introduced by Illinois Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia aims to modernize the current law. This bill, known as the INSURANCE Act, provides a long-overdue increase to the amount of insurance that commercial motor companies are required to carry. If passed, it will raise the minimum liability insurance requirements for carriers and adjust it to the rate of inflation and rising medical costs.

Continue Reading ››

Lyft Outsources Their Background Checks to Third Party Firms. It May Be Cheaper, but Is it Safe?

 Posted on June 10, 2019 in Personal Injury

Cook County Lyft passenger injury attorneyThousands of companies rely on third-party vendors to ensure that they are hiring safe individuals with no criminal history. The dominant firm in this industry, Sterling Talent Solutions, employs people across the globe to perform background checks using its own software.

According to Buzzfeed News, much of the work involves international, low-paid employees sorting through records, despite the emphasis on technology. Offshore workers contend that the working conditions have “led to manual errors, problems with technology, and even panic attacks and injuries from the stress and repetitive nature of the work.” Additionally, workers contend that records databases can be incomplete, and they do not always have enough information to determine whether a job applicant has been convicted of a crime.

Nearly 200 lawsuits have accused Sterling of various failures with their background check procedures. These include instances where violent criminals go unnoticed by Sterling’s background checks and go on to harm others through their newly attained employment.

Continue Reading ››

Exactly How Thorough Is the Screening Process Used By Uber and Lyft? Apparently Lenient Enough to Hire an Alleged War Criminal

 Posted on May 21, 2019 in Personal Injury

Cook County rideshare assault injury lawyerBy Eddie Hettel

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have consistently pushed back against government efforts to increase the level of scrutiny for their screening processes. Less stringent background checks lead to more drivers on the road and increased profits. However, this comes at the expense of passenger safety. The disturbing frequency of crimes perpetrated against rideshare passengers by their drivers raises questions about the thoroughness of Uber and Lyft’s vetting procedures.

A recent investigation discovered that a man accused of torture and mass executions found full-time employment as a driver for Uber and Lyft. Yusuf Abdi Ali is a former Somali military commander who had been a rideshare driver for 18 months. 

A simple internet search of Ali’s name reveals the horrific nature of his alleged crimes committed as a military commander during Somalia’s civil war. These atrocities were also detailed in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary that presented eyewitness accounts of killings committed under his direction. Ali entered the United States on a visa through his Somali wife who previously became a U.S. citizen. His wife was later found guilty of naturalization fraud. 

Continue Reading ››

Lyft Under Fire Again for Another Alleged Sexual Assault of Innocent Passenger

 Posted on May 07, 2019 in Personal Injury

Chicago rideshare passenger injury lawyerBy Tim Tomasik

Over the past few years, a large number of people have been the victims of assaults by rideshare drivers working for companies like Uber and Lyft. While these companies have stated that the safety of their passengers is a top priority, incidents in which passengers are harmed by drivers continue to occur with alarming regularity. At Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC, we have been leading the fight to hold these companies responsible for the violent assaults committed by drivers against passengers. 

A recent incident which took place in the Chicago suburbs is only the latest demonstration of rideshare companies’ failure to address these safety issues. In the early morning of May 2, 2019, a woman in Elk Grove requested a ride using the Lyft rideshare app. During the trip, the driver sexually assaulted her twice before she was able to escape and call 911, according to police. The driver was subsequently arrested and charged with criminal sexual assault and kidnapping.

Continue Reading ››

  • Badges and associations
  • Badges and associations

Call Us312-605-8800fax312-605-8808

161 North Clark Street, Suite 3050
Chicago, IL 60601

Back to Top