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The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

How Does an Arbitration Clause Affect My Case?

After suffering a personal injury, you may be required to participate in mediation or arbitration before you can head to court.

Many contracts routinely include arbitration clauses that require parties to arbitrate a dispute before filing a lawsuit.

What exactly are arbitration clauses and how do they affect personal injury cases?

What Are 'Fighting Words'?

Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church -- the fire-and-brimstone congregation known for picketing military funerals with anti-gay signs -- died late last Wednesday at the age of 84, The Washington Post reports.

His congregation's extreme hate-mongering prompted a U.S. Supreme Court case on the exercise of free speech -- specifically, fighting words. In an 8-1 ruling, the Court ruled that Westboro's anti-gay protest at a soldier's funeral did not rise to the level of fighting words and was therefore protected free speech.

What are fighting words?

Liability in Truck Accidents With Hazardous Cargo

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issues accident reports on a variety of truck accidents, including ones that involve cargo trucks carrying hazardous materials. Fortunately, the NTSB doesn't indicate any recent occurrence of hazardous truck accidents in Illinois.

But if you get into a truck accident involving hazardous cargo, what kind of liability comes into play?

Here are three areas of liability a hazardous cargo truck accident may involve:

Prep School Cooking Class Fire Injures 5

A cooking class fire at a public prep school injured five students, resulting with one in critical condition.

The fire occurred in a science lab at Northside College Prep. Students were reportedly heating hot chocolate during a routine cooking instruction when a single-burner stove ignited with a flame, causing a flash fire, Chicago's WMAQ-TV reports.

Will the school be liable for the students' injuries resulting from a cooking class gone wrong?

3 Killed in I-94 Pileup During Whiteout

Three people were killed on I-94 near Michigan City, Indiana during near-whiteout winter conditions.

A huge collision involving more than 40 semis and cars resulted in a pileup that left 20 people with injures and three dead, the Chicago Tribune reported. The blizzard-like conditions contributed to the slick roads and low visibility.

Even though poor weather contributed to this traffic calamity, injured parties may have legal remedies in court.

Chicago River Tragedy: 1 Dead, 1 Missing

A recent Chicago River tragedy involving three friends and a dropped cell phone is a grim reminder to people in the area to never step onto the icy river. Sadly, for the victims in this tragedy, that realization came too little too late.

Could the city face liability for the death?

When Can You Sue An Employer for Wrongful Death?

When can you sue an employer for wrongful death? After a devastating crash that left three Chicago residents (a wife, husband, and their friend) dead, this question is one of many on the minds of the remaining family members, the Chicago Tribune reports.

All three victims, Won Suk Lim, 56, his wife Jung Ran Min, 50, and their friend, Gwi Rye Kim, 65, were in the same car when a Village of Skokie garbage truck struck the car, promptly engulfing the crushed car in flames. Kim's son, the administrator of her estate, has filed a lawsuit against the garbage truck company.

Here's a general overview of when you can sue an employer for wrongful death:

How to Sue the CTA

How do you sue the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)? This is likely one of many questions being raised after a mysterious Chicago Metro train crash involving a completely unoccupied train. In this recent crash, an empty "ghost" train ended up colliding with another one, one with passengers on-board, the Associated Press reports.

Passenger Kim Quatch, the first to file a claim stemming from this incident, is seeking at least $50,000 in damages stemming from this crash.

Though the cause is still somewhat unknown, there are likely to be other injured parties who will want to claim damages. If so, how does one go about suing the CTA? Here's a general overview:

'Ghost Train' Crash Injures Dozens, Increases Transit Worries

Investigators are still in the middle of determining the cause of a mysterious "ghost train" crash that left dozens of people injured. An empty Chicago commuter train that was parked in a service yard somehow ended up on a rail line and collided with an oncoming train early Monday, Chicago's WBBM-TV reports.

At least 33 people were hurt. Luckily, there were only minor injuries.

While the cause is still unknown, what are some possible liability issues that could be tied to this train crash?

3 Questions to Ask When Suing for School Injuries

No parent wants to think about the possibility of their child being injured at school, but, unfortunately, the likelihood of that is often high. With back-to-school season in full effect in Illinois, parents should especially be wary not only of the precautions to take in preventing their child from being injured at school, but questions to ask after an incident occurs.

Here are three big questions to ask when your child is injured at school: