As businesses and individuals everywhere have been forced to adjust and adapt in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook County’s Circuit Court system seems to be lagging behind in making necessary changes that will ensure they can continue to serve all Illinois residents. Attorney Mark J. Horwitz of The Horwitz Law Group is highly concerned about the delay in civil cases in particular. He explains how this will negatively impact hundreds of people seeking justice in a personal injury case in Cook County, and urges local officials to take swift action.
While nearly all local court cases have been stalled for months due to the coronavirus, the Cook County Circuit Court announced in late June that many proceedings would resume on July 6 with most being held via videoconference. However, within the same week, Horwitz was notified that hearings in many of his clients’ cases, filed primarily in Cook County Court’s Law and Municipal divisions, wouldn’t take place until February, March, or even April of 2021.
This delay, which many legal professionals have labeled unacceptable, caught the attention of reporters at CBS Chicago, who spoke to Horwitz about the issue, and what needs to be done to resolve it. As a personal injury attorney who has been serving Chicago for decades, Mark J. Horwitz has represented hundreds of clients inside the Daley Center, where many civil proceedings are held, and he says a lack of adequate Wi-Fi signal and poor video conferencing resources in the building are largely to blame. While the need for upgrades isn’t new, nearly four months after the pandemic began, Horwitz says the problem could have and should have been avoided. He blames several local officials and the Cook County Board for failing to allocate funding for the upgrades, as other court systems have done.
“There’s a sense of panic because every case is someone who has been injured who is waiting for their case to get to trial,” Horwitz told CBS reporter Dana Kozlov. He noted that as hearings are being pushed potentially into next year, the backlog of cases continues to grow, and it will be the insurance companies who benefit most. He told Kozlov, “They are coming up with horrific offers and taking advantage of people who are being affected by COVID, who have lost their jobs and who can’t work.” Horwitz worries that as cases are delayed, people who have been injured in a car or truck accident or hurt on the job, for example, will be pressured into accepting unfair settlements that will not cover the financial burdens they face.
The pandemic put many things on hold, but for families waiting for a resolution to their personal injury case, the bills and needs they face continue to pile up despite the virus, or maybe even because of it. The Horwitz Law Group understands how important it is to move these cases forward in a timely manner, and we will continue to advocate for a better solution on behalf of injured people across Cook County and throughout the Chicagoland area. Our commitment to serving clients is stronger than ever, and we are honored to help injured people move on to the next chapter of their lives. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed because of another person’s actions, contact The Horwitz Law Group today to learn how our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys may be able to help you.
for a young lady who was run over by a private waste hauling company while crossing the street.
for a client injured in a 2005 Metra train derailment case.
for a client whose family was killed by a street sweeper that ran a red light.
for a premises liability accident resulting in below the knee amputation.
for a woman who was hit by a car while crossing the street.
for a client who was injured on the CTA red line train.
for a client who had lawyers at another law firm trying to settle the accident case for only $60,000.
for a client who was crushed between two cars nearly severing off her leg.
for a client whose son was accidentally run over by her husband as he backed out of their driveway.
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