Shannon Law Group September 2018

312-578-9501 | SEPTEMBER 2018

This summer, I drove over 3,000 miles on expressways across the U.S. It was great to see this terrific country and its scenery again. But I’ve got to tell you — I sure did notice how many large trucks there were on the highways. The statistics do not paint a pretty picture in terms of how dangerous our roadways are. Every day in 2016, 10 people were killed and 284 people were injured in large truck crashes. With the increase in the volume of cargo being shipped and the shortage of qualified truck drivers, do you think this problem will get any better? Over the last 20 years, we’ve represented individuals and their families who have been victims of these types of crashes. Before the crash, they were living a life like you and me. They lived independently. They could visit their elderly parents, commute to work, and drive to the grocery store. Because of these crashes, many of these folks sustained severe injuries that impaired their ability to do tasks that we take for granted every day. In serious cases, they may not be able to shower or eat without the assistance of others. The privacy and independence they once enjoyed has been ripped away from them — ultimately because a large truck hit their vehicle. These types of cases are complex on both the liability end and on the damages end, as we must evaluate how much our client has suffered because of the crash. As such, we make a point to continually educate ourselves on the latest trends and share that information with you. This summer was no different. In July, our attorneys Pat Cummings and Jon Svitak attended the annual American Association for Justice (AAJ) convention in Denver. AAJ is a nationwide association of trial lawyers with the same goal in mind — ensuring that our injured clients obtain the justice they deserve. Each year, the convention hosts excellent speakers from around the country to educate fellow attorneys regarding new laws, best practices, and other insights on the issues affecting our clients. EDUCATION DRIVES OUR PRACTICE

In particular, Pat found that the traumatic brain injury litigation speakers provided tremendous information, including strategies to help rebut the all-too-common defense strategy — accusing an injured victim of malingering. We recently had a case in which insurance company attorneys continually accused our client of malingering when she was unable to engage in physical therapy after spinal surgery. The truth of the matter was that as a complication of her spinal surgery, she had developed more fractures in her spine which debilitated her. If we don’t understand the medicine in these cases, we allow the insurance company lawyers to win. We will not let this happen. We want to make sure our staff continues to be educated as well. In April, our legal assistant Brittany Peterson attended a two-day conference near Washington, D.C. There, she learned how we can improve the ways we communicate and engage with our clients. As a result of her continuing education, Brittany makes sure that you are apprised of the latest developments in our practice areas as well as new developments at our firm. This year, Brittany has also added 38 articles to our website at We welcome your feedback on our website or Facebook page. All of this education provides us with real world application when we handle our cases. As fall approaches, we are preparing for some jury trials in trucking cases. We will report on those in our upcoming editions.

–Joe Shannon

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