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In the bustling city of Chicago, the issue of dog bites has become increasingly complex. As a well-known Chicago personal injury law firm, Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. is at the forefront of addressing challenges as a result of dog bites. The increasing incidence of dog bites and their complexities highlight why expert legal representation is essential.

Dog bites can result in severe injuries, with the “hole and tear” effect of canine teeth causing significant damage, especially in younger victims. The biting force of dogs varies significantly, with some breeds capable of exerting extreme force. This can lead to large wounds, significant tissue damage, and, unfortunately, high mortality rates in severe cases, particularly among neonates.

Dog-bite-germs2-300x300One of the critical concerns in dog bite cases is the risk of infection. Injuries are often sutured when they should be left open, and there’s a challenge in administering the correct antimicrobial prophylaxis. Dog bite-related infections can be severe and polymicrobial, involving pathogens like Pasteurella and Bacteroides spp. This complexity necessitates a nuanced approach to treatment and underscores the need for precise legal understanding and representation in these cases.

The Illinois Supreme Court case of Galarza v. Direct Auto Insurance Co. represents a significant judicial decision impacting uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Illinois. This case arose from an incident where Cristopher Guiracocha, a minor, was injured by an uninsured motorist while riding his bicycle.  His father’s automobile insurer, Direct Auto Insurance denied coverage to Christopher arguing that he was not insured since he was on a bicycle and not in a vehicle at the time of the accident.

The Circuit Court initially granted summary judgment in favor of Direct Auto, agreeing with their argument that UM coverage did not apply as Cristopher was not an occupant of a covered vehicle at the time of the accident.

On appeal, the issue centered on whether the policy’s limitation of UM coverage to insureds occupying an “insured automobile” violated section 143a of the Illinois Insurance Code and was against public policy. The appellate court reversed the circuit court’s decision, finding that the policy’s terms were inconsistent with the statute and public policy, mandating broad UM coverage for “persons insured” under an auto insurance policy.


Germs that inhabit the dog’s mouth

If you have been bitten by a dog in Chicago, seeking immediate medical attention and contacting a personal injury lawyer like Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. is crucial. Dog bites can lead to severe infections due to the complex microbiology of the wounds, which often require professional legal and medical intervention.

Dog bites are more dangerous than they might appear. The microbiology of these wounds is typically polymicrobial, reflecting the oral flora of the dog, which includes a mix of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. These bacteria can originate from the dog’s mouth, the environment, or even the victim’s skin. The polymicrobial nature of these wounds makes them particularly susceptible to infections, which can be difficult to treat due to their complexity and the potential for resistant organisms.

Given the complexity of the microbiology involved in dog bite wounds, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a dog bite, even for those without health insurance. Early medical intervention can prevent severe infections and complications. Wounds can harbor a range of pathogenic bacteria, making timely and effective treatment essential to prevent serious health issues.

In the aftermath of a dog bite, a personal injury lawyer plays a pivotal role. Lawyers with expertise in dog bite cases, like Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., can help ensure that the responsible dog owner is identified and held accountable for the incident. This includes tracking down the owner and securing compensation for medical expenses incurred due to the bite. Continue reading


Dog coming through a broken fence

In Chicago, the issue of dog bites has become increasingly prevalent, particularly on the South and West Sides, where a lack of resources such as dog parks and pet shops exacerbates the problem. This situation not only highlights a public health concern but also underscores the need for expert legal assistance, particularly from a personal injury lawyer. Firms like Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., based in Chicago, concentrate in providing crucial support to victims of such incidents.

The case of Krysten Kelly, who suffered a dog bite in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, serves as a harrowing example of the sudden and severe nature of these incidents. Since 2019, there have been 5,952 dog bite complaints in Chicago, with a significant rise in 2023. Areas like the Lower West Side and Austin, which lack adequate facilities for dogs, have witnessed the highest number of complaints. This situation not only poses a risk to public safety but also creates a demand for knowledgeable legal representation.

Chicago’s Animal Care and Control (ACC), in collaboration with Rescue Chicago, has initiated campaigns like the Leash and Collar Campaign to address the disparities in pet resources in neighborhoods like Austin, Roseland, and West Lawn. These initiatives aim to provide essential resources to underserved areas, reducing the number of stray dogs and potentially decreasing the frequency of dog bites. Continue reading

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have litigated multiple cases against the CTA, and offer legal support to the injured parties seeking compensation for their injuries and suffering.  Today, the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago became the epicenter of a serious crash involving  a CTA Yellow Line train. This morning near the Howard station, a train carrying 31 passengers and seven CTA workers collided with snow-removal equipment in the Howard Rail Yard, according to reports from the Chicago Fire Department.  The collision, which occurred on the 7500 block of North Paulina Street, resulted in 23 individuals, including four children, being transported to area hospitals. The age range of the victims was between 2 and 75 years old. Three of the injured were in critical condition.

In the aftermath of the collision, a significant question arises regarding the legal implications for those affected. In such cases, it is not uncommon for victims to seek personal injury attorneys, especially when public transportation is at fault. In light of this incident, it is a crucial reminder of the importance of safety on public transport and the need for immediate investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board has announced it will be looking into the matter. Continue reading

The recent truck fire in Willow Springs serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with trucking in Chicago. At Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., we concentrate in handling the aftermath of such incidents, recognizing the profound impact they can have on those involved. As details emerge about the cause of the fire, it is clear that the incident, which involved two commercial vehicles, could have had even more dire consequences. Thankfully, the driver sustained only minor injuries, a fortunate outcome given the potential for much worse.

The scene of the accident had extensive traffic disruption following the accident. As emergency services worked to clear the scene and extinguish the fire, traffic was backed up, prompting a need for alternate routes to alleviate congestion.

Such events bring to light the critical role of trucking regulation, specifically the rules governing the hours that truck drivers can be on the road. Federal regulations stipulate that truck drivers adhere to strict hours-of-service regulations to prevent fatigue-related accidents. For example, property-carrying drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Additionally, the 14-hour window rule limits drivers to not driving beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. These regulations are designed to keep drivers alert and to ensure the safety of all road users.


Tragically, there have been three fatal bicycling related crashes in Cook County in the last three weeks.   The latest fatal bicycle accident occurred on October 23, 2023 at 8:00 pm in the 5100 block of N. Damen in Chicago.  This stretch of Damen Ave. is a very congested area, and there are only painted on bike lanes. This area is also notorious for crashes and close calls between bicyclists and cars.  The Chicago personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. observe that it is well know that Chicago has a bad reputation for bike safety.  A bike safety advocacy group called PeopleForBikes assessed 163 large cities on how safe the cities were for cyclists and assigned a score.  The score was determined based on a cities grid connection and intersection safety, the number of protected bike lanes and the cities speed limits along with other factors.  The study ranked Chicago 161 out of 163 large cities for “bikeability” in 2023.  The city scored poorly in creating connecting bike lane routes,  providing protected bike lanes and establishing access to all neighborhoods and fundamental services.

Another big factor as to why Chicago scored so low is that PeopleForBikes assessment automatically considered a painted bike lane on a street with a 30 mph speed limit to be dangerous.  Since the default speed limit for streets in Chicago is 30 mph, almost all painted bike lanes in Chicago are considered dangerous by this standard.  The reason for this is that painted bike lanes typically run next to parked cars which expose the biker to being doored into the moving traffic or a bicyclist may have to make a sharp maneuver into moving traffic to avoid the door.  In such instances it would be much safer for the bicyclist if traffic were moving slower.

Chicago bicycle safety advocacy groups such as Active Transportation Alliance have been pushing for the completion of a fully interconnected bike network with protected bike lanes that would connect all of the cities neighborhoods.  Though such a network is far from reality, the good news for bicyclists is that Chicago  Mayor Brandon Johnson and many members of the city counsel have publicly supported a full bike network that would connect the whole city.  The bicycle accident lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. support the completion of a network of protected bike lanes in Chicago to help prevent deaths and serious injuries from bicycle accidents in the future.


Chicago personal injury lawyer, Peter Zneimer of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. notes that one of the most common causes of pedestrian injury cases is when a driver makes a right turn on red and strikes a pedestrian or pedestrians who are walking in the crosswalk to the right of the driver. The problem is that when drivers make a right turn on red, their attention is focused to the left to watch for approaching cars.  When a driver sees that there are no approaching cars or that an approaching car is far enough back to make the right hand turn, his focus is still to the left to make sure that it is safe.  Then the driver is supposed to look to see if there are pedestrians in the crosswalk to the left. A recent study published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspective in May of 2023,  illustrated why right turns on red are so problematic.  The study concluded that “at red-light turns, driver attention was heavily skewed toward the leftward traffic.”  Additionally, the pedestrians may feel a false sense of safety and may not be looking out for cars since they have the walk signal.

Studies that looked into the effects of right on red on pedestrian safety  bear out the dangers of allowing right on red.  A study conducted by the Journal of Safety in 1982 after right on red was implemented in many states found that; accidents rose 40% for pedestrians and 82% for bikes in New York State. Likewise in Wisconsin, the figures were 107% for pedestrians and 72% bicyclists.  And finally,  Ohio saw an increase of accidents of 57% for pedestrians and 80% for bicyclists.  The statistics show that there were dramatic increases of pedestrian accidents after the implementation of right on red.

The city of New York has already banned the practice of right on red and San Francisco and Los Angles are considering a ban.  The personal injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. suggest that Chicago put pedestrian safety first and seriously consider of taking the lead and ban right on red in the city of Chicago.


For individuals in Chicago, especially those who have suffered injuries in public transit scenarios, understanding the dynamics of premises liability is essential. Chicago train injuries attorneys often grapple with cases like Quiroz v. Chicago Transit Authority to safeguard their clients’ rights.

In a decision from the Illinois Supreme Court, nuances surrounding the duty of care in premises liability cases were made clear. This decision is particularly significant for people in urban areas that use public transportation.  It is also significant for Chicago personal injury attorneys, as it limits recovery for people who end up on the tracks, and provides an in-depth perspective on how courts handle ‘open and obvious risks’ and their implications on a landowner’s or public transit’s duty.

Quiroz v. Chicago Transit Authority, arose from a heart-wrenching incident where a person tragically lost their life in a train tunnel.  A couple of trains passed through the tunnel but noone notified dispatch to let them know that an unauthorized person was inside the tunnel.   Central to the case was the question: Did the CTA owe a duty of care to the decedent? And if so, was this duty negated by the ‘open and obvious’ nature of the risk?

Key Points of the Supreme Court’s Ruling:

Anchoring their decision on the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 337, the Illinois Supreme Court stated that if the risk is open and obvious, a landowner or public entity might be absolved of a duty of care because individuals are anticipated to spot and sidestep such open and obvious dangers.  The court’s decision hinged on the intricate requirements of section 337, which involved determining if the landowner (or in this case, CTA) believed that the individual would remain oblivious to the inherent dangers they faced.  The Court determined that a train represents an open and obvious danger, and therefore it was not foreseeable to the landlord that the decedent would not see the danger or appreciate its risk.  The Court determined that the CTA has no duty to the decedent.

Offering a different angle, the lower appellate court had formerly overruled the circuit court’s initial dismissal. Their justification was rooted in the premise that the CTA should have exercised due diligence, especially since the deceased was ostensibly visible to the train operators. The Supreme Court, however, found flaws in this rationale and reinstated the circuit court’s judgment. Continue reading

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In recent years, Chicago has prioritized making the city safer for bicyclists. The lawyers of the personal injury  law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. note that Chicago has added miles and miles of bike lanes across the city.  Some of these lanes are simply painted lines designating bike lanes.  In the best cases, the bike lanes are separated from motor vesicle traffic by some type of barrier.

In one study conducted by Clever, a real estate website rated cities based on how “bikeable” the city is, measuring factors like the number of bike trails, bike rentals shops and how many people were involved in fatal car crashes as a percentage of bike users.  This study rated Chicago 20th out of the 50 cities rated, finding that Chicago scored favorably as to the number of bike commuters and the number of fatal crashes along with other fact.

In a more robust study conducted by the People For Bikes organization, Chicago scored much worse.  This study focused primarily on whether the city had safe passage routes connecting the city in an interconnected network.  In this study, out of 1616 cities ranked, Chicago ranked 1386.  This study gave cities a “Network Score” based on the extent of a cities bike route network.  Chicago scored poorly on every component. On bike access to parts of the city where people live, Chicago scored a 3 on a scale of 100.  On accesses to jobs and school, the score was 6 on a scale of 100.  On access to basic services like grocery stores, Chicago scored 4 on a scale of 100.

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