• Personal Injury Law

    Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Lexicata CRM Software Review

In our personal injury practice, we accept only about 1 of every 5 leads (actually we now know that figure is exactly 18.55% for last year). Because of this, we must accurately track all of our leads.  Since the beginning of 2018, we track our leads with the help of a CRM software designed especially for law firms called Lexicata.

Before using Lexicata, we kept track of our leads with a paper system.  We have multiple people who do intake calls. Previously, no central location existed to reliably and consistently keep  all the intake info.  Also, we weren’t very precise about tracking leads by lead source. We were guessing about our conversion rates.  With a very user friendly interface, Lexicata does what we need at a reasonable cost, $24 per month per user.

[Read more…]

How Dull Headlights Affect Safe Driving

headlights

When you’re driving down the road and see another car coming from the opposite directions, sometimes you wish you could wear your sunglasses at night to stop the blinding light. However, those lights can save your life. With half of all fatal accidents occurring after dark, headlight safety is an important factor in accident avoidance. One of the issues leading to these car accidents is the quality of the headlights. New research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20% of the amount of light that new headlights do. This leads to dangerous nighttime driving conditions.

The decrease caused by sunlight damage leads to discoloration. The fogginess then diminishes the headlight’s ability to provide adequate lights. When you drive down the the dark roadways, you want the best light possible. In fact, the AAA urges drivers to check their headlights for signs of deterioration. Finally, if you check them, invest in new headlights or a service to boost the safety of driving after dark.

[Read more…]

The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer Seeks Coat Donations

In conjunction with One Warm Coat, The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer is proud to host a coat drive to collect clean, gently worn, warm coats. We invite area residents to make a difference in our local community by donating to this coat drive to help us reach our goal of collecting 75 coats for the community. All coats will be donated to Journeys, The Road Home in Palatine, a community organization in Palatine that assists the homeless and near homeless within the northwest suburbs.

“We are so excited about our upcoming One Warm Coat Drive and hope the community will support us.  Nearly 50 million Americans currently living in poverty and struggle to provide a warm coat for their families.  One Warm Coat’s program helps us keep all of the coats we collect in this community, which will make a big difference for our neighbors who need a coat” said Ron Wittmeyer  of The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer

We have had an exciting start with a local school district donating 30 coats to our Coat Drive!

Please stop on by and drop off your lightly worn or new coats at our offices at 2101 S. Arlington Heights Rd. #103, Arlington Heights, IL between December 10 and December 31. Our office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Happy holidays!

One Warm Coat

Each year, hundreds of thousands of gently worn coats are distributed through One Warm Coat’s Coat Drive program. Across North America, Open Warm Coats provide the coats to children, women and men in need.  “We are so grateful for our partners like The Law Offices of RF Wittmeyer. It is because of our incredible volunteers that we have been around for more than 25 years, helping get coats to our neighbors who need them. Thanks to RF Wittmeyer’s efforts, many people in this community will have a much warmer winter,” commented Jennifer Stockard, President and Chief Executive Officer of One Warm Coat.

One Warm Coat, a national non-profit organization, works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. Additionally they raise awareness of the vital need for warm coats.  One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country. They also provide the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive.  Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected. They provide coats to any person in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Over the past 26 years, One Warm Coat has worked to give away more than 5 million coats.

The One Thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

the one thing

Written by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, The One Thing Book is packed with practical strategies that you can immediately apply in business and life. I found this Wall Street Journal #1 Best Seller simple and quick to read. Its message is  straightforward. Gary Keller is the founder of Keller Williams Realty, which is the largest real estate brokerage in the world.  Jay Papasan is a co-author of several best-selling books, and also is a leading broker at Keller Williams Realty.  Now, Keller and Papasan, along with Jeff Woods, built upon their success with The One Thing book by expanding into a personal development and training company. Their website contains various paid services like training and workbooks, but also contains some free stuff.

Pareto Principle

The foundation for the book is the Pareto principle. Many of us have heard of it. If you have not, it says that 80% of our achievements come as a result of 20% of our efforts. The book then takes that principle one step further and coaches you in how to boil down that 20% of your efforts to “The One Thing”, in each important area of your life. The book also teaches some effective strategies (like time-blocking) to help you avoid the distraction of all of the relatively unimportant things encountered throughout each day, and instead focus your time and energy on those tasks that will actually lead to you accomplishing more of your goals.

Recently I was sharing my enthusiasm for the book with my son Kevin (who is a young accountant), and the next week Kevin told me how he had been listening to The One Thing free podcasts. And, he was pretty excited because he had already been employing some of the strategies from the podcasts in his daily work life. Since then I have been enjoying the podcasts in the car on my daily commute to work. There are more than 150 The One Thing podcasts all available free online.  Several I have listened to I thought were very solid.  I particularly like those where the narrator, Jeff Woods, interviews a highly successful entrepreneur.  And, you can get a free digital copy of the book by subscribing to the podcasts.

So, in summary, while the principles and strategies in the book are simple, they are also very valid and effective.  If you check out The One Thing book or podcast, let us know what you think. Thanks for reading this review – I hope you like The One Thing!

State Negligence Damage Cap Raised to $2 Million

Illinois

The Illinois legislature overrode the veto of SB 2481 in November. The bill provided additional compensation to families of veterans who died of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy veterans home by raising the damage cap for tort actions against the State of Illinois. Since July of 2015, thirteen resident veterans at the Quincy Veterans Home died while under the care of the State of Illinois.  Under the previous law, the law set the damage cap at $100,000.

Governor Rauner’s Veto

Illinois set the the $100,000 cap, which tied for the lowest in the country, in 1972. The Illinois legislature voted to raise the cap to $2,000,000. Lawmakers proposed the bill after reports that the families of the Legionnaires’ victims could only collect $100,000. At the time, the Rauner administration denied negligence handling the outbreaks at the Quincy nursing home.

When Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill, he said that the bill ignored the impact of future litigation on the “fiscal position of the state and its taxpayers.” He argued that the damage cap should increase from $100,000 to $300,000.

[Read more…]

Additional Illinois Shoveling Tips

shoveling

As another snowstorm comes to Arlington Heights, remember that shoveling your sidewalk provides you immunity from liability. But at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd., we want to provide you with the best safety advice on snowfall. The 1979 Snow and Ice Removal Act shields property owners from liability if someone gets hurt. But in a recent Illinois Supreme Court case, they clarified the requirements.

[Read more…]

Illinois Allows Testing for Autonomous Cars

autonomous cars

Self-driving cars will soon be on the roads of Illinois. Many are excited to move forward and see how the new technology will be benefit their lives. However, skepticism remains for many lawmakers. They worry about liability if the self-driving cars malfunctioned and caused accidents. Recently, an accident in Arizona involved an Uber self-driving car.

Autonomous Cars Executive Order

The Illinois Department of Transportation, through an executive order from Governor Bruce Rauner, can allow for testing of autonomous (self-driving) cars on the roads of Illinois. The executive order just allows testing of the cars. Rauner stated that these cars the “future”. He predicted they will permanently change roadways in the next five to 10 years.

Beginning this winter, the testing phase will begin, but a driver remains behind the wheel. Gov. Rauner said in a statement, “Working without public and private partners, we can make our roads safer, save lives, attract investment and create new high-tech jobs throughout the state.” Proponents of autonomous vehicles promotes the technology through safety, fuel efficiency and increased access to transportation, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities.

According to the governor’s statement, the automated vehicle industry expects to generate $800 billion annually nationwide by 2050. This includes creation of jobs and fuel saving. The technology hopes to reduce the number of car crashes by vehicle by 94 percent due to human error. The Autonomous Illinois program will connect interested universities, research institutions and other technology partners to test the techonology.

Liability Issue Questions Surround Autonomous Cars

Although lawmakers are showing support for the autonomous vehicle testing, they also question the liability issue in case of collision. According to the executive order, the vehicles will be covered by insurance or other type of financial responsibility but it still doesn’t make it clear whether the person in the driver-less vehicle is liable for the accidents.

Alderman Edward Burke raised concerns when he had attempted to ban the introduction of self-driving cars. He fears that hackers or terrorists could infiltrate the technology for malicious uses. Burke also directed concerns towards the job losses that delivery services and driving companies will face. In the past, Burke has taken several measures throughout the years to protect the taxicab companies from the new and innovative technological vehicles that soon will take over the industry.

If autonomous cars do become the primary form of transportation, changes to the zoning and city planning will have to be done. Road way infrastructure will need changes. Roadways that currently accommodate human error with wide streets, guardrails and lane markings and signs may disappear creating more rooms for pedestrians and bike lanes. Though Illinois has only taken the first step to introducing testing for autonomous cars, we should keep in mind the changes the cities would have to go through to accommodate the new technology.

Should I shovel my sidewalk?

Ron Wittmeyer here, personal injury lawyer in Arlington Heights. As you can see, we have had our first snow of the season. And that reminds me of a question that we are often asked this time of year and that is: Am I better off just leaving the snow on my sidewalk, in terms of someone suing me? The answer to that question is: no. You are better off shoveling your sidewalk; help keep your neighborhood safe and neighbors safe. Several years ago, the Illinois legislature adopted a Snow Removal Immunity Act that applies to residential properties. So, if you get out, shovel your sidewalk, you are immune for your efforts in doing that. As you know many people in our community use the sidewalks all year long for exercise, walking their dogs, and it sure is nice to have that entire sidewalk clear. Please do your part to keep the sidewalks clear over the winter months and know that you are immune from liability for your efforts in doing that. Ron Wittmeyer, personal injury lawyer in Arlington heights.  Until next time, stay safe and be well.

In Illinois, if you shovel your sidewalks, the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act provides immunity for your efforts. Keep your sidewalks clear! If you or someone you love have been injured by an unshoveled sidewalk, please contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today at (847) 357-0403 for a free consultation.

Illinois Medical Record Rules for Personal Injury Cases

illinois medical records

As previously discussed, insurance companies frequently request medical records. What do you need to specifically know about Illinois medical record rules?

How Do I Get My Medical Records?

Health care provides keep most adult medical records for at least six years. Children have varying lengths of time as well. This length can depend on state laws. Under Illinois law, hospitals must keep medical records at least 10 years. However, no specific rule exists for how long doctors in Illinois must keep medical records. Remember that you have the right to see, get a copy of, and amend your medical record for as long as your health care provider has it.

Under Illinois law, your health care provider owns the actual medical record. For example, if your provider maintains paper medical records, they own and have the right to keep the original record. You only have the right to see and get a copy of it.

Requesting Your Records

Request the record directly from your health care provider. Depending on the record you need, you may need to talk with a hospital or your primary care physician. However, if your doctor no longer practices, you may need to contact the state department of health to find out where your records are kept. You might be denied access to certain medical records, such as your mental health records, if your provider thinks it would harm your physical health for you to see your records.

Facilities may have forms on hand for you to request your medical records, but you can also fill out a Medical Records Request Letter and send it in. You may need to provide the following information:

  • Your name and maiden name
  • Social security number
  • Medical ID number under your policy, or the policy provider number
  • Contact information (address, email and phone number)
  • The records being requested
  • The date of the service(s) of record
  • How you would like your records delivered
  • Your signature

Why This Matters to Your Injury Case

Your lawyer will want to have all of your related medical records related to your injury. This information will:

  • allow an accurate assessment of your injuries,
  • assess the viability of your case,
  • provide proof of your injuries,
  • help determine damage,
  • allows medical experts to analyze the records, and
  • helps prove fault.

Getting the compensation you deserve shouldn’t be a battle. Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Ronald F. Wittmeyer understands how you feel. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 637-5818 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

What To Do If You Are Injured at Work?

Injured at Work

No one wants to get injured at work. However, on occasion, injuries happen. If you have suffered an injury at work, you need to understand your state’s worker’s compensation laws. If you suffer a job-related injury, protect your legal rights. Nearly every employer is required by state law to provide some sort of workers compensation to their employees.

Accident Report

The first thing you should so after being injured is report immediately to your supervisor. Many states only allow a short period of time to report your accident under workers compensation. Some states require a notice to the employer in writing, while others accept a verbal notice. Employees should report all on-the-job injuries. Even if the employee did not sustain actual injuries, employers may need to implement new safety measures at work.

See a Doctor

You should see a doctor as soon as possible and if your injury warrants it, then go to the emergency room.

  • If you did not suffer a serious injury, ask your employer if they require you to see a certain doctor or if you may choose the doctor of your choice.
  • Specifically, if you are a federal employee, you are covered under Workers Compensation for Federal Employees (FECA), which means you may select any qualified doctor to be your treated doctor.
  • If FECA does not cover you, state laws will apply.

In some states, you have the right to see your own doctor if you make the request in writing. However, in most states you must see the company doctor for a maximum of 30 days. After 30 days, you are free to choose your own doctor.

Doctors report will have a big impact on the benefits you will receiving. You may be entitled to second opinion from a doctor under workers compensation. If the second doctor’s report agrees with the first doctor, then there is no problem and the compensation payment continues uninterrupted. But, if the second doctors’ opinion is different then, the office can weigh to see which doctor’s opinion is more credible or see a third doctor.

Filing Workers Compensation

Filing workers compensation is like filing an insurance claim, requesting for benefit. After notifying your employer, the employer must offer you a claim form immediately. The claim form must be completed in order for the employer to be obligated to provide benefits. If the form is not provided to you by the state, it can be located through this site:  state government agencies page. When completed, return the claim form to your employer. Remember to keep a copy of the completed claim form for yourself. Your employer would then have to complete “employer” section. The insurance company has 14 days to mail you a status letter about your claim. If the insurance company does not contact you within 14 days, you should call the insurance company.

Hire a Lawyer

Needing a lawyer depends no the complexity of the case. If there is confusion, or you do not understand any part of you case, be sure to contact a lawyer to represent you. For any reason the case involves you to stand before an administrative or court judge, you should hire a lawyer. If you or someone you love suffered an injury at work, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today for a free consultation.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

Testimonials

The Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, LTD
"Mr. Wittmeyer and staff are very knowledgeable, honest, and friendly to deal with. They will answer your questions and help you get the representation you need and deserve. They are very experienced and thorough with the cases they handle."

Client of Ron Wittmeyer
5 / 5 stars

More Testimonials