Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

Personal Injury:

At Lawler Brown Law Firm we represent the injured. We can meet with you, free of charge, in a consultation about your injury, your concerns, and your chances for recovering compensation. We charge no attorneys’ fees until you receive a verdict or settlement. In short, we are here for you, helping you all we can.

Our clients in this area of our practice include people seriously hurt in automobile or other motor vehicle accidents. We also help people injured because of dangerous property conditions. We provide families grieving over the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident with the support and advice they need to file a wrongful death claim.

After suffering serious personal injuries or wrongful deaths, families are plagued with questions and concerns. They need money to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. — but they are uncertain as to future needs. The insurance companies or those responsible will not want to adequately compensate them for their true needs, and will no doubt try to undervalue their claim.

If you have been seriously injured, you are trying to recover while worrying about your finances at the same time. If a family member died in an accident, you are probably wondering how you will deal with the bills and the needs of your children. At our law firm, we provide you with hands-on representation for all personal injury matters. We advise you about your options, keep you informed about developments in your case, and appear on your behalf at any legal proceeding, whether mediation or trial.

We represent injured individuals and families throughout southern Illinois, including the towns of Marion, Herrin, Carterville, Murphysboro, Carbondale, Benton, West Frankfort, Harrisburg, Eldorado, Cairo, Mounds City, Vienna, Metropolis, Golconda, Shawneetown, Carmi, Fairfield, Mt. Vernon, Salem, Du Quoin, Ridgway and Anna-Jonesboro.

Wrongful Death

Illinois law allows a person’s family or dependents to recover compensation when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence. Wrongful death as a legal term is a death that has been caused by the fault of another person. For example, deaths caused by automobile accidents, drunk driving, a defective or dangerous product, the construction of an unsound structure or building, or failing to diagnose a fatal disease may be considered under the law as “wrongful deaths.”

Wrongful death lawsuits or claims are generally filed by family members or beneficiaries of the deceased. In some instances, these claims are filed in order to obtain monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided. Other damages that may be recovered include: loss of love and affection, compensation for the deceased person’s pre-death pain and suffering, disability, and future earning potential, along with the survivors’ loss of support and other benefits.

If you live in the State of Illinois, and feel that a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, you may be eligible to receive compensation under the law. Please contact Lawler Brown today.

We accept no attorney’s fees until we have obtained payment for you. To learn more about our personal injury practice, please contact us today. If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another, our personal injury practice can help you.

At the Marion, Illinois law firm of Lawler Brown, we offer a free initial consultation to personal injury clients.

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Mineral Rights in Oil and Gas: What You Need to Know

The traditional conception of real property ownership was that a landowner owned his plot of land along with a column of dirt down to the center of the earth and a column of air up to the sky. This conception no longer holds true. It is now common, especially in Southern Illinois, that when one purchases a piece of real property, the purchaser obtains title to the surface of the land, but not the column of dirt beneath it. Very often, the mineral rights to a piece of property have been severed, and the owner of the mineral rights has the authority to mine them. When mineral rights are severed in the conveyance of a piece of property, the severance creates two distinct and separate interests in the land—a surface estate and a mineral estate, either of which can be conveyed, devised, or leased. When this occurs, the owner of the surface estate is subservient to the owner of the mineral estate. This means that he may not interfere with the activities reasonably necessary to extract the minerals from underneath his land. While title to metallic minerals vests2 at the time of conveyance, title to oil and gas does not, due to the tendency of these types of minerals to move around under the earth. Rather, mineral rights in oil and gas do not vest until they are actually discovered. Thus, mineral rights to oil and gas are better conceived of as rights to exploration and, very often, they are mined pursuant to a mineral lease rather than outright ownership. These leases are subject to the same rules as...

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land? There is a concept in real estate law that is little known outside the legal world, whereby a trespasser can gain legal title to someone else’s land. The “trespasser” in these cases is usually a neighbor but, nonetheless, someone who does not own your property can become the legal owner by his use of it through a concept known as adverse possession. Claims of adverse possession are creatures of common law in Illinois, and require a showing of several elements. In order to legally take title to land, a person’s use and possession of the land must be: Hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission) Actual (he or she exercises physical control over the property) Exclusive (In the possession of the trespasser alone and no one else) Open and notorious (the trespasser must use the property as the true owner would without hiding the occupancy) Continuous for a period of 20 years Adverse possession claims are especially common in rural areas (like most of Southern Illinois) as opposed to towns and cities because it is often more difficult to determine where one piece of property ends and another begins. Example of Adverse Possession Let’s take a look at how a hypothetical adverse possession case might play out. Assume there are two property owners—the Smiths and the Joneses—who own neighboring farms. Mr. Smith erects a barn that he believes is on his property, but is actually 15 feet over the property line on the Jones’s farm. Mr. Jones says nothing about this, and Mr. Smith uses this barn as...

Why You Should Never Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is very common and occurs any time a person interferes with or obstructs an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. In Illinois, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if there is an injury to the arresting officer, the offense rises to a felony. The charge of resisting arrest is defined at 720 ILCS 5/31-1:1 “A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if they knowingly resist or obstruct the performance by a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity.” While the most classic examples of resisting arrest are fleeing from the scene or engaging the arresting officer physically, the statute is worded broadly and encompasses a wide variety of behaviors. For example, you can be arrested simply for refusing to put your hands behind your back, refusing to lay on the ground, refusing to put your hands on the squad car, or refusing to clear the scene of a crime when ordered to do so. Resisting arrest is also a difficult charge to escape; even if the underlying charge against the defendant is dropped, resisting arrest is an independent charge and will remain. Thus, it is not a defense to resisting arrest that the underlying charge was dismissed. Further, a conviction for resisting arrest can even lengthen a person’s sentence if they are ever convicted of a future offense. Possible punishment for resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. If the police officer is injured during the incident,...