From the desk of Barry Stewart Silver, Attorney at Law

Dear Clients and Friends,

In some ways, life is a slapstick comedy routine. People trip, slip, stumble and fall through the day with startling regularity. Usually, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move on. Sometimes, however, it’s not that easy---not when we’re seriously hurt. Then there is nothing funny about it at all. That’s where I come in.

Since 1982, I’ve represented the interest of people who’ve been injured in accidents---accidents occurring in automobiles, on the job and in public places. Thanks to you, my law practice has grown almost entirely from client referrals.

I welcome your phone calls and try to make myself as accessible as possible. Remember, in addition to personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, I handle civil suits and criminal defenses. If you ever have need of my services---or know someone who does---please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Every day, people are seriously injured in accidents---on the road, at work, in all types of public places. If you’re truly injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you’re entitled to compensation.

Frequently, it’s the things people do---and don’t do---immediately following an accident that determines how successful a claim or lawsuit will be. Obviously, no one is at their best following an accident. You may be in pain, shook up, not thinking clearly. But try to pull yourself together and follow these simple steps. Protect yourself, your rights, and your loved ones.


You only have one body; take good care of it. Even in you think you’re only bumped and bruised, you might require medical attention. If you don’t feel well, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.

First of all, some injuries are not immediately apparent. (For example, some neck and back injuries are not felt for the first 24-48 hours.) Secondly, a visit to your doctor ensures early medical documentation of your injuries. This becomes valuable proof months later, once injuries have healed. In addition, failure to seek immediate medical help might lead an insurance company or jury to believe that your injuries were not serious---or possibly not even real.

So don’t worry about your property at the expense of your health. You’d be amazed by the number of people who take their car to the repair shop before they take their aching bodies to the doctor.


If you’re injured on someone else’s property, report the accident to the owner or manager right away. If you’re injured at work, make sure you alert your employer immediately. Even if it appears to be trivial, it’s important that you let management know. (Often, workers are embarrassed to report an on-the-job accident---something employers need to know.)

If you’re involved in a car accident, call (or have someone else call) the police to the scene. You will want to have a police report on file.


Memory fades. As soon as you can, write down everything you can remember about the accident. Record the sequence of events that took place, who you were with, the time, the weather, the road conditions---everything you heard or felt right before, during, and after the accident. You might even draw a diagram (Particularly if you’re involved in a car accident) of the accident scene.

In the days following the accident, continue to document any pain or discomfort you may feel. In addition, note anything you may be losing as a result of your accident: work time, classes, professional opportunities, even scheduled vacations.

Keep a running record of everyimportant conversation you have about the accident. Note the date and time, and be sure to get the individual’s full name, whether they are insurance representatives, your medical professionals, etc.

Never discuss the cause of the accident or your injuries, or give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company. These people are not paid to help you---only to get information adverse to your position.


Write down the full names, phone numbers and addresses of the other individuals involved in the accident. If it’s a car accident, record the other driver’s license number and registration. Review his or her insurance card; write down the name of the insurance company, address, and policy number.

In addition, get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses---that is, anyone who saw the accident but wasn’t involved in it. A witness may be able to confirm your story or provide additional information that indicates the other party’s negligence.


Physical evidence is very persuasive. A broken restaurant stool, a buckled pavement, your damaged vehicle---all of these are physical evidence. Get photographs of anything which might strengthen your case. This includes photographs of your physical injuries.

You might even consider keeping a small disposable camera in your glove compartment, along with your insurance card. Should you become involved in a car accident, you can take photographs on the spot, before either vehicles are removed.


If you believe you may have a legitimate personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, call me as soon as possible. It is my job to provide you with the legal guidance you need in the days following an accident. One phone call now could make a big difference later. You have rights---exercise them!





Other smart items to keep in your car: a blanket, first aid kit, and emergency road kit. In addition, carry the name and phone number of your insurance agent, plus the phone number of a trustwort hy towing service orbody shop. A disposable camera might also come in handy. Now, if the time comes, you’ll be ready.


Each year, more that 20 million individuals suffer disabling injuries resulting from accidents. That translates to more than 2,200 accidental injuries per hour, every day of the year.

About one-tenth of these injuries result from automobile accidents. In 1996 nearly 4 million workers were disabled in on-the-job accidents. About 40% of hospital emergency room visits stem from accidental injuries. More than 7 million people are injure in accidents that occur at home each year, and nearly that number suffer accidents in public places. The National Safety Council’s Accident Facts, 1996.


I read that the Illinois Supreme Court recently struck down the Tort Reform of 1995. How will this affect my pending personal injury suit?

Under the Tort Reform Act of 1995, the most an accident victim could collect for pain and suffering---as well as other non-economic damages--- was $500,000, regardless of the severity of the accident.

However, on December 18, 1997, the Illinois Supreme Court abolished that $500,000 cap, ruling it unconstitutional. The Supreme Court noted that the cap had "an adverse impact on those most seriously injured." This is good news for accident victims such as yourself, since there is no cap on how much you now may be eligible to receive for pain and sufferings.

I am a computer operator who has recently been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Do I have a Workers’ Compensation claim?

Yes, you do. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is compensable under Workers’ Compensation in 1970. Yet while Carpal Tunnel Syndrome now accounts for nearly half of all occupational injuries, many workers never exercise their rights by filing a claim.

Under Workers’ Compensation, all medical bills incurred as a result of your occupational injury are paid at 100%. (If you file under your company’s major medical plan, your benefits are reduced by deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.) In addition, you are eligible for disability benefits for the time you missed as a result of your injury. Most importantly, if you are unable to continue in your current job because of your disability, Workers’ Compensation will pay to have you retrained for a new occupation.

Barry Stewart Silver
707 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 505
Northbrook, IL. 60062
Copyright © 1998, Barry S. Silver, P.C. All rights reserved.

“Silver Bulletin” is a trademark of Barry S. Silver, PC, Attorney-at-Law