For more than 40 years, the lawyers of Bellas & Wachowski have served as trusted advisers to our clients, counseling them on avoiding legal problems, protecting their families, offering superior litigation skills when needed, and solving problems efficiently and economically. Our Chicago business lawyers have received national recognition. George Bellas and Peter Wachowski have served as business advisors to hundreds of small business owners, helping them develop their businesses and protect their personal assets and families while navigating difficult issues. We have also handled complex lawsuits against many large corporations.
Moreover, our personal injury attorneys fight for the rights of accident victims in a wide range of cases, such as motor vehicle collisions, incidents involving defective products, and construction accidents and other workplace injuries. We understand the difficulties that confront injured people and their families in the wake of a devastating accident, and we are here to provide the compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated advocacy that you deserve. Let us help you get back on your feet and hold accountable anyone who may have harmed you.
We can guide you throughout the entire life cycle of a business, from the earliest stages of formation to its sale or dissolution. Our Chicago business attorneys can handle both transactional matters and litigation, protecting your interests with respect to competitors, employees, and regulatory authorities. We recognize that each business owner has unique needs and expectations, and we will tailor our strategy to your objectives.
Choosing the appropriate form for your business can have significant implications down the road. For example, your personal assets may be at stake if you form a sole proprietorship or a partnership, while starting a limited liability company can help you avoid this exposure. Forming certain types of businesses, such as corporations, may involve meeting specific requirements at the outset and maintaining compliance through the course of its operations. We can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of any business form, and we can make sure that you meet the requirements of the formation process.Business Operations
Once you have formed your business, you may find that you have ongoing legal needs. Some of these may involve contracts that you form with distributors, suppliers, or other businesses. We can assist you with negotiating and drafting contracts or resolving disputes surrounding a potential breach. Also, our Chicago business lawyers can advise you on tax compliance and how to structure your tax obligation in a cost-efficient manner. Many businesses have complex intangible assets, moreover, which may be central to their success. If you need to protect the intellectual property of your business, such as copyrights, patents, or trade secrets, we can develop a strategy for you and take the necessary steps.Business Litigation
Litigation may arise between a business and other businesses, or among people involved in the same business. Partners in a partnership may take legal action against each other if they suspect a breach of fiduciary duty, such as when a partner has a conflict of interest. The shareholders of a corporation may bring a derivative lawsuit on behalf of the corporation against its managers or directors, alleging that they did not act with the corporation’s best interests in mind. Our business lawyers can assist Chicago clients in litigation or alternative settings, such as mediation or arbitration.Employment Law
Sometimes a disgruntled employee will sue a business after they are fired or disciplined. Employers do have certain obligations under federal and state laws to refrain from discriminatory or retaliatory actions, but employment is generally at-will in Illinois. This means that an employer can end or change the employment relationship at any time for any reason that is not illegal or contrary to public policy. If an employee or former employee has sued you, we can investigate the situation to determine your available defenses. For example, we might be able to show from performance evaluations that an employee was fired because of their inadequate work product rather than because of discrimination.Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, you have legal rights to assert. Victims can retain a Chicago personal injury lawyer to bring a negligence claim against a person or entity that harmed them, seeking compensation for their costs and losses. You need to take action promptly if you are in this situation, since the Illinois statute of limitations restricts the time in which you can bring a claim. In many cases, victims can recover both economic and non-economic damages for their injuries, including medical expenses, lost income and earning capacity, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost enjoyment of life.Car Accidents
Perhaps the most common type of accident is a car crash, which can result from the careless conduct of one or more drivers. A driver may run a red light, check their phone behind the wheel, drink before driving, or otherwise act unsafely. If this type of behavior led to a car accident and caused your injuries, you can pursue compensation from that driver or their insurer. You would need to show that the driver did not act as a reasonable driver would have acted in the situation, and you would not have been injured if the driver had acted reasonably. At Bellas & Wachowski, we can make sure that an insurance company does not take advantage of a victim.Truck Accidents
While any motor vehicle collision can cause serious injuries, truck accidents can lead to especially devastating and tragic consequences. People who are hit by a vehicle that weighs up to 80,000 pounds can suffer spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken limbs, or even death. Both the truck driver and the trucking company may be liable to a victim. They need to follow federal and state safety regulations that govern the trucking industry. If a driver or trucking company violated a regulation, this may be compelling evidence of liability. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys can thoroughly investigate your crash and determine all of the parties that may have been responsible.Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders are largely exposed to the elements when they go out on the road, in contrast to people in cars and trucks. If you were struck by a careless driver when you were riding a motorcycle, you may be able to recover many forms of compensation. Unfortunately, drivers and their insurers often try to argue that a motorcyclist was at least partly at fault for a collision. This can trigger the modified comparative negligence rule in Illinois, which can reduce or even eliminate an accident victim’s compensation. We are familiar with the strategies that insurers may use to minimize their exposure and can help motorcycle riders fight back against them.Slip and Fall Accidents
Property owners have an obligation to keep their property in an appropriate condition for people who come onto it. An owner needs to take reasonable steps to address any defects or dangerous conditions on the property of which they know or reasonably would be expected to know. Many slip and fall cases hinge on the question of whether a reasonable property owner would have known about a certain hazard, such as spilled liquid, uneven pavement, or a broken step. At Bellas & Wachowski, we can help you collect evidence to prove how long a hazard existed and show a property owner’s liability for it.Medical Malpractice
We trust doctors to diagnose and treat our health conditions according to the standards of their profession. This does not always happen, and sometimes a doctor, nurse, hospital, or clinic does not do what a competent health care provider would have done when treating a certain patient. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can help you bring a medical malpractice claim in these circumstances. Showing liability usually involves retaining an expert to testify on your behalf about the defendant’s inadequate care. The expert also will need to explain how the defendant’s negligence led to your injuries. Some common forms of medical malpractice include misdiagnoses, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, and birth injuries.Product Liability
Whether it involves a car, a pharmaceutical, or a household appliance, a defective product or component can cause catastrophic harm to consumers. An injured victim may be able to sue a manufacturer or another entity in the chain of distribution under a strict liability theory. This is a simpler type of personal injury claim that involves showing that there was a defect in the product and that the victim was injured as a result. A defect may involve a lack of adequate warnings or a flaw in the manufacturing or design process. Similar to medical malpractice claims, product liability cases usually involve introducing expert testimony to establish the nature of the defect and causation.Construction Accidents
Workers who have been injured in construction accidents may have multiple forms of recourse. First, they likely can recover workers’ compensation benefits because they were injured on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits may offer only a limited amount of compensation, though. An injured worker thus may want to consider bringing a personal injury claim against a third party that caused or contributed to the accident. This may be a manufacturer of defective equipment or a careless driver who caused a car accident, among other examples. While a third-party claim involves proving the defendant’s fault, it can open the door to many additional forms of compensation.Workers’ Compensation
Accidents or illnesses can arise in virtually any profession. They may result from a sudden trauma, such as a car accident or a slip and fall, or they may develop over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries. Workers can seek benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act if they were injured or became ill on the job. The workers’ compensation system awards benefits regardless of fault, even if the worker was at fault for the accident. It offers reimbursement for medical treatment and partial wage replacement, in addition to services such as vocational rehabilitation in some cases. Benefits can be awarded as a lump sum or in periodic installments.Wrongful Death
A fatal accident may have a devastating impact on a family if they depended on the victim for financial assistance and emotional support. Also, the victim’s estate may need to pay bills for medical treatment prior to their death, as well as their burial and funeral expenses. The personal representative of the estate can bring a wrongful death claim, seeking compensation for all of these types of damages. Even if the defendant faced a criminal prosecution, and the charges were eventually dropped or dismissed, a wrongful death claim still may be viable. This is because civil cases have a much lower standard of proof than criminal cases. The personal representative only needs to prove that the defendant more likely than not caused the death.Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney in the Chicago Area or Beyond
At Bellas & Wachowski, we counsel and represent business owners and people who are contemplating starting a business. We also are dedicated to advocating for victims who need to recover compensation after a serious accident. Contact us at (800) 825-9260 or through our online form to set up an appointment. We will listen to the details of your situation and explain how we can help you.
For more than 40 years, the lawyers of Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law have served as trusted advisers to their clients, counseling them on avoiding legal problems, protecting their families, offering superior litigation skills when needed, and solving legal problems efficiently and economically.
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