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Legal Update

February 2010


Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC

 Serving Individuals, Families and Businesses and protecting their rights since 1990

Know Your Rights
A very Happy New Year to you. This is a time of resolutions and reevaluations both personally and professionally.  Thus, I find it is a great time to take a fresh look at some of the basic things we should know to do in the event that something unplanned occurs. Knowing how to respond in the event of an accident, becoming more aware of your basic rights, and learning how to protect yourself, your family, and your assets are just a few of the ways in which we can begin the year on a positive note.


Revisit Your Insurance Coverage

Automobile and personal liability insurance can be confusing. My two decades of experience, most often battling insurance companies, have provided me with valuable insight into the best type of coverage as well as the most outstanding carriers. Now is a great time to review your coverage and the options available to make certain that you, your family, and your assets are protected to the greatest extent possible. There is a great deal of information posted on my website ( about these issues but I would also be more than happy to discuss these things with you personally, either on the telephone or via email. Without charge, I am available to help guide your review of your insurance options. Just a few of the key things that you should be prepared to discuss are:

  • Your liability limits
  • The reputation of your insurance carrier
  • Uninsured/Underinsured coverage
  • Medical payments coverage 
  • Umbrella policy

Again, visit my website and then feel free to call me to discuss any questions you have about your coverage.

I also invite you to follow me on,,, and

Accident Response

If you are injured in an automobile collision, a slip and fall, or are hurt at work, there are some basic steps you should take.

  • Report the incident immediately.  Complete a police report, incident report, or a work accident report and obtain a copy if possible.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately.  This may seem obvious, but unfortunately for many people who try to "tough it out" or "wait and see," their credibility evaporates every hour they are not seen by qualified medical personnel.  A "treatment gap" is a favorite "defense" used by insurance companies to deny or decrease the value of claims.  Do not assume that just because you say you are hurt that this will be accepted as fact.  Document everything.
  • Take photographs. Nowadays, nearly everyone has a smart phone with a camera or video recorder.  Use it!  Photograph the bruises on your arm from the airbag, the damage to the cars involved, the wet, freshly mopped floor with no warning signs, or the machine without a proper safety guard.  This can turn out to be crucial evidence later.
  • Contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Many people make the mistake of speaking to the insurer for the party at fault or the employer and provide statements that ultimately hurt them.   

Condominium Bylaw Review

In these insecure economic times, with condominiums being difficult to sell, it seems especially important to do everything possible to protect one's investment, either for future sales benefit or for piece of mind.

There are many issues that may become future disputes without properly drafted condominium instruments (Declarations, Bylaws, and Rules).  Among the most common issues that affect both resale value and livability are:  rental of units, pets, financial review, and insurance requirements.

A competent and thorough review of these condominium instruments will answer questions you may have, nip potential problems in the bud, and perhaps even enhance the value and saleability of your unit.

Services for Individuals and Families:
Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Drivers' License Hearings, and Estate Matters

Services for Businesses:
Condominium Matters, Corporate Formations, and Real Estate

Copyright 2010 Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC

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Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
3712 N. Broadway, Suite 149
Chicago, IL 60613

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