THIS IS WHAT I HATE ABOUT LAWYERS! (and why we fight them)

Below is the outline of a case where the court got it right.  An elderly gentleman whose family is paying for long-term assisted living, is injured in a fall.  There are plenty of witnesses to what happened.  SO what does the nursing home do?  They take statements of the witnesses and the employees and then they try to hide those statements claiming they’re part of a medical study or some other protected action.  In essence, there are 6 witnesses to how this man was dropped and injured but they don’t want to have to give the names or statements to anyone.  That’s nonsense.  It’s sneaky.  It’s a lawyer trick and I’m glad the court saw through it!

Lindsey v. Butterfield Health Care II, Inc., 2017 IL App (2d) 160042 (February 9, 2017) DuPage Co. (SCHOSTOK) Affirmed in part and vacated in part; remanded.
Plaintiff, as guardian of 88-year-old nursing home resident, filed suit for negligence after resident sustained injuries in fall at nursing home. Court properly ordered that disputed documents (report completed by nursing home employees about injury and 6 witness statements completed during internal investigation) were not privileged under Medical Studies Act or Long-Term Care Quality Assurance Act. Documents were created in ordinary course of nursing home’s business are not privileged under either Act. (HUDSON and SPENCE, concurring.)

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St. Clair County is the 9th most populous in the state with over 264,000 people.  But in St. Clair County last year there were only 15 jury trials.  That’s it!  Only 7 of those trials were won by the plaintiff.  I am happy to say that the Law Office of Keith Short was one of the winning law firms.  In 2016 in Madison County (the 8th most populous with 266,000 people) there were a total of 16 jury trials and the plaintiff won a total of 9 cases.  That’s it…9 times.  That means that 16 people out of 530,000+ residents in the 2 counties won a lawsuit….so, .00003 percent of the population won a lawsuit.  Hell-holes?  Hardly.

There is a reason that insurance companies, corporate America and the chamber of commerce spread the lie of too many lawsuits.  They get to rationalize charging higher and higher premiums by claiming (lying) that there are too many lawsuits! Too many trials! Too much jackpot justice!!  It’s a lie.  Seven Plaintiffs winning their cases in a county this big is simply not very many and certainly isn’t a “hell-hole.”

This is the battle plaintiff lawyers have to fight.  In addition to fighting the facts and law of your case, we also have to fight the huge bias against lawsuits.  But, as we proved, we can win even despite the lies.  If you want a chance to win your case then call the Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499

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A winning track record: Why you should call us if you’re in a car accident.

Our firm handles a lot of car accident cases…a lot.  We have also tried more car accident cases in the last 5 years than just about anyone else.  And we win… a lot.  The reason we’ve had to try so many cases is because we simply won’t let the insurance companies push our clients around.  We won’t let our clients be forced to accept a settlement offer that’s lower than they deserve.  We won’t let them bring in hired-gun experts to claim they can “prove” our client couldn’t have been hurt in the accident.  We recently convinced a court to throw out one such expert who the court deemed not qualified to testify.  Her opinion was pure junk, not real science.

We will do everything we can to quickly and efficiently settle your case.  Frankly that’s the easiest way for a lawyer to make fast money.  But, we will not settle your case if it’s not in your best interests.  We’re ready to push towards trial and we will have you ready.  Remember, often a good defense is a great offense.  If you’re ready for a fight, you often don’t ever have to fight.

Just this week, three new clients were referred to us by other lawyers.  Those lawyers know that we’re prepared to fight and win in every case.  If you want that kind of representation then call us.  The Law Office of Keith Short.  618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.

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5 things you should NOT do in a divorce

  1. Don’t even discuss it with your kids until you have first talked to a counselor and determined the best way to explain it. I have divorced twice and had young kids both times.  They can survive divorce.  They will be sad.  They will play one parent off the other.  They will rebel.  But, they will survive so long as the parents work together and always put the kids before their anger and fear.  Work with a counselor!
  2. Don’t give up an interest in anything before you see an attorney. Don’t move out of the house.  Don’t voluntarily give up money or investments.  Once these things are handed over, they’re difficult to get back.  Divorces aren’t fair and rarely equitable.  If you want the best chance to see that your interests are protected then speak to an attorney before you start dividing things up.
  3. Don’t vent your life on social media! In fact, stay off social media all together until the divorce is over.  It’s too easy to post something at 3 a.m.  Those posts never go away, even if you delete them.  They can still be subpoenaed from Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.  Keep your private life private.
  4. Don’t send a text to anyone unless you’re willing to have it read in court. We all say things we regret.  We all say things out of spite and anger and revenge.  When you send those texts you’re only seeing it through your eyes.  The texts might be justifiable to you, but to an outsider you might look mean, vindictive, selfish or abusive.  Remember, every single text can and will be read by the other attorney.
  5. Don’t forget that you have kids together. Trust me on this.  The anger will fade (unless he/she was physically abusive).  You will have to see this person at graduations and birthdays and weddings….for years to come!  You can either rise above it all by setting your anger aside or you can let yourself be tormented forever by the past.  I speak from personal experience.  In time just try to smile at your ex and be kind.  Your kids and your sanity will both be better off.  And, do it even if they are jack-asses to you.  Be the better person.
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A change for next year…and the staff screams “yay!”

One reason I started my own firm, after being a partner at a big firm, was that I wanted to work in a close-knit environment. With independence comes risk.  If I fail, my firm fails.  If my staff fails, my firm fails.  If we don’t take care of the clients then the firm fails.  We haven’t failed.  In fact, it’s the opposite.

This year was long and successful! We tried a lot of cases. Lost some; won some.  Forged some great settlements for our clients.  I try to share the success with the staff because we are a team. There’s one thing more valuable than money:  time.  So, in addition to bonuses, I decided the best way to show the team my appreciation is that starting in 2017, we will close the office from December 24 through January 2.  We will all still check our emails daily and will respond to any client emergencies.  But, we can also enjoy our time with kids and grandkids.  We can rest and prepare for another challenging year.  That’s one of the benefits of being a small and successful firm; the freedom to enjoy life!

We hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year! Honestly, we hope that no one needs a lawyer next year.  If you do then call us. We’ll help. Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499 and 254-0055.

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What’s the best compliment a lawyer can get?

Lawyers don’t get a lot of compliments; we usually don’t deserve them. But it seems to me that the highest professional compliment a lawyer can get is when a former opponent asks you to represent a family member.  I currently represent family members of three defense/insurance lawyers with whom I have had cases.  I have a fourth client referred by a former opponent, but that person isn’t the lawyer’s family, just a close friend.  Note:  I will not represent a family member of an opposing counsel with whom I’m currently in a lawsuit.

We value all of our clients equally. But, there is something particularly gratifying about having a former opponent ask you to represent his/her family.  These lawyers know the quality of representation our clients receive and they know the depth of the commitment we make to the case and the client.

If a defense lawyer can trust us with a family member, so can you. If you are injured at work or by the negligence of another; if you’re thinking about divorce or have a family law issue then call us.  We get things done.  The Law Office of Keith Short. 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.

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The one thing you can completely control during your divorce

One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that you and your ex can either make your divorce the worst thing to ever happen to your children or you can make it an experience the kids can accept and adjust to without permanent psychological injury. The question is whether both of you (and I do mean both) can genuinely place the best interests of the kids above your anger, vengefulness and fear.  Everyone says they can…almost no one can.  Everyone thinks the other person is the horrible parent and is using the kids…the reality is that you’re both probably using the kids and neither of you is as good a parent as you can be.  We can help you through all of this.

If you want my firm to represent you then you must see a counselor. We can help you find one who won’t break the bank.  You must understand that your head isn’t always thinking straight.  If I represent you, I will tell you when you’re being petty.  I will tell you when you aren’t putting your kids first.  I will tell you when you have to fight…and I will tell you when you have to swallow your pride.

I have been right where you are. I bet I have more kids (5 of my own and 3 step kids) and more divorces than you (2).  I made a ton of mistakes.  I regret a thousand things as a spouse and a parent…but I always understood that my kids were more important to me than everything else.  My kids grew up happy, healthy and successful.  If you want your kids to grow up remembering the divorce as pure hell then that’s something you can make happen.  But, if you want your kids to see that people can disagree and still be kind; that they can cooperate…that they can be respectful…then you can teach your kids that.  Remember that the kids love you both (and don’t try to make them love you more!)  Just love them enough to be the best version of you possible.  Love them enough to control what you say and how you act during your divorce.  If you don’t, then you have clearly placed anger and vengeance ahead of your kids’ best interests.  Remember:  how you behave regarding your children is something you can completely control…maybe the only thing.

The Law Office of Keith Short.   Free initial consultation.  618-655-9499

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Car accident case settles for $100,000.00

This week one of our car accident lawsuits settled for $100,000.00. We were able to get the case settled due, in large part, because our senior paralegal, Shana, is amazing at getting insurance companies and doctors to work with us in negotiating reasonable repayment of the bills.  A real benefit you get when working with the Law Office of Keith Short isn’t just that you get an experienced, tough lawyer, but you also get paralegals and staff who are specialist in their field who know how to get stuff (I want to use another word) done!  They’re awesome and they will take care of you!

If you want a team of people who know how to get cases moved then call the Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.

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Work Comp claim settles for $315,000.00 and future medical treatment

This week we were able to settle a workers’ compensation claim for a client who severely injured his neck when he slipped and fell in oil spilled on the ground by another company’s employee. Even his employer’s insurance company agrees the client will never be able to do his job again.

Our client was working outside at 4:45 a.m. in winter and was unable to see grease which had been spilled on the ground outside in an unlit parking lot. When the client’s boss came to investigate the area where the accident happened he also fell and injured himself.

A civil lawsuit against the company responsible for spilling the grease continues.

Not all cases get the same result. But, If you want a law firm that’s experienced, knows the law and medicine and is not afraid to fight, including going to trial, then call the Law Office of Keith Short, 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055

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After a car accident you must….

  1. Make certain that everyone is ok. If you think any person involved might need an ambulance then call one immediately. Check on the other driver, all passengers and anyone who might have been in the zone of danger when the accident occurred.
  2. If possible, move the vehicles to a safe place, nearest to the accident site as possible.
  3. Call the police and get a police report. Sometimes the police will not write a report if the accident was on private property. If the police will not write a report then take many pictures of the vehicles and roadway…but stay out of the traffic lanes!
  4. Try to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Try to obtain names and contact information of all witnesses.
  5. If you are having any discomfort or pain then see a doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait a few days or weeks to “see if it would get better on its own.” We recently had a case for an older couple who were rear-ended at a stop light. They waited a few weeks and then went to the doctor together. The defense tried to allege that they weren’t injured because they didn’t see a doctor for weeks and that they must be conspiring because they went to the same doctor on the same days. We won the case because we were able to prove that the wife, a former nurse, knew that often pain goes away in time and was trying to avoid medical expenses. Also the husband didn’t drive so it was convenient for them to go together. Regardless, their delays in getting to a doctor made getting the bills paid much more difficult…but we still won.

If you are in a car accident and want someone to help you through the process then call the Law Office of Keith Short. 618-655-9499 or 618-254-0055.

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