Shay & Associates Blog

Defenses and Exceptions to Dram Shop Actions

Under the Illinois Liquor Control Act (also known as the Illinois Dram Shop Act), a person can seek recovery for personal injury, property damage, and either loss of means of support or loss of society, when applicable.  However, the injury must occur in the State of Illinois for a person to bring a cause of action under the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Although the injury must occur within Illinois, a sale of liquor outside of Illinois causing injury within Illinois is also actionable under the Illinois Liquor Control Act.

Dram Shop

Dram shop causes of action typically arise when a person is injured as a result of a drunk driving accident. Not only can the injured person bring a cause of action against the intoxicated motorist, but the Illinois Liquor Control Act (also known as the Illinois Dram Shop Act) allows a person to also bring a cause of action against the person or business who sold the alcohol to the intoxicated person, and the owner of the property where the person became intoxicated, if the business sells the liquor for a profit. Under the Act, the business, such as a bar or tavern, and the owner of the property, may be held liable for damages and injuries to persons that were the result of their patron’s intoxication.  

Maximum Medical Improvement

After you become injured due to a workplace accident, your and your treating physician’s goal is for you to reach maximum medical improvement. “Maximum medical improvement” is a term used in workers’ compensation law for the point where you are back to, or as close as you will get to, your pre-accident condition. Treatment to reach maximum medical improvement can include surgery, various check- ups with your physician, injections, physical therapy or occupational therapy. You will often see more than one healthcare professional during your treatment process.

Temporary Total Disability

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and case law establishes that an injured employee can receive temporary total disability benefits when he or she is unable to work because of his or her work related injury. This is shown when a physician restricts the injured employee from working or the employee is placed on light duty restrictions by a physician that the employer is unable to accommodate those restrictions.  820 ILCS 305/8.

Wrongful Death – Pecuniary Loss

Wrongful Death statutes differ from state to state. Specifically, different states allow the spouse or next of kin to seek varying damages resulting from the decedent’s death. In Illinois, the survivors are limited to damages stemming from pecuniary loss, such as money, benefits, goods, and services. While individual factors to consider differ depending on the decedent’s familial relationship to the next of kin, in determining damages for pecuniary loss under the Wrongful Death Act, the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions generally instructs jurors to consider:

Slip and Fall

Was the banana peel yellow or brown? That’s the first question I ask a new client who has been injured in a slip and fall case. Most people just laugh, but as strange as it sounds, it’s one of the best metaphors you can use to explain to a client the basics of negligence law as it applies to a slip and fall case.

Frolic v. Detour

You get into a car accident on your lunch break while driving to the local eatery, or while driving across town to drop off a report for work.  Many people work eight hours a day, five days a week.  That’s forty hours a week that a car accident can happen while you are on the clock.  Whether your injuries are deemed compensable under Illinois law, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and personal property loss, depends on whether you were engaged in a “frolic” or a “detour.”

The Two Doctor Rule

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured employee has a right to seek medical treatment for a condition related to a workplace injury, at the employer’s expense. The Act has a “Two Doctor” Rule, allowing the injured employee to select two doctors with which to seek medical treatment.  Emergency room physicians and physicians the employer selects the employee to treat with, such as on-site company physicians and those employed through company run healthcare units, do not count as one of these two doctors.  Any physicians the employee selects to treat with for his work related injury would count toward the two doctor quota.

“Natural Accumulation” Theory

Anyone that has spent a winter in Illinois will tell you, Illinois has some of the harshest winters around.  Illinois often experiences long periods of below freezing temperatures, and significant snow and ice accumulation.  Slip and falls due to snow and ice accumulation are common.  However, they are not always compensable. 

Illinois Wrongful Death Act

Under common law, a civil action for a wrongful death did not exist.  In response, Illinois enacted the Wrongful Death Act, thus allowing the survivors, i.e. spouse and/ or next of kin, a means to bring an action for damages based upon the wrongful act, neglect, or default that resulted in the decedent’s death. 

Shay & Associates

With locations in Springfield and Decatur, we’re ready and waiting to fight for you. Reach out to us for a free consultation on your case.

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