Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway Provides 500 Turkeys to Area Families

thanksgiving turkey giveawayUPDATE: The TorHoerman Law Turkey Giveaway has been rescheduled for Friday, November 16th due to weather. We are proud to announce that for the fifth year in a row, TorHoerman Law will be giving away 500 turkeys to Madison County families on Friday, November 16th at 10 AM at the Salvation Army in Alton, Illinois. Turkeys will be distributed based on a first come, first serve basis.

“In past years, it’s been wonderful to see all of the smiling faces and hearing how thankful people truly are for their turkeys,” Eric Terry of TorHoerman Law said. “Those reactions make our efforts worthwhile, and we are ecstatic to do give back for the fifth year.”

Our office was inspired to start the event in 2013, after learning that more than 33,000 children live in a “food insecure” home in Madison County. While we are unable to end hunger through a single meal, the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway is able to ensure that at least 500 families, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to, can share in the tradition of a Thanksgiving turkey dinner this year.

“It is alarming and unacceptable that 12% of Madison County families will have difficulty putting food on their table every day,” said Tor Hoerman, owner of the firm. “Bringing awareness to the issue of hunger in our community and maybe helping with a family memory – or, better yet, 500 family memories – is a good place to start. I am proud of our staff and all of our generous friends that join us in this initiative, and I look forward to helping not only on November 15 but on many more occasions and in different ways in the future.”

Thanksgiving is a special holiday, as it is about sharing a meal and memories with friends and family – its sole purpose is to take the time to be thankful. This year,  we are additionally thankful that THL is doing our part to give to those in need the opportunity to share a turkey dinner with their families. Our firm also aims to bring awareness to the issue of food depravity in our community through this event, and we hope to expand our impact on this issue with future charitable efforts. Without the support of our generous sponsors, the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway would not have been possible. We would like to recognize and thank these wonderful businesses and individuals for contributing to this great cause. We would especially like to recognize this year’s Gold Tier Sponsors:



Again, we would also like to take the time to thank our volunteers ahead of time, the Alton Salvation Army, who allow us to host the event at their facility every year, and all our Tier Sponsors.


If you are interested in contributing to next year’s Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, contact the offices of TorHoerman Law or email our marketing manager, Lindsey Andrews, at Happy Thanksgiving to all of our families, our friends, and our community!




TorHoerman Law Teacher Support Grant Winners Announced

TorHoerman Law, along with other local law firms Walton Telken, LLC and Glisson Law, are thrilled to announce this year’s THL Teacher Support Grant winners – thanks to TorHoerman Law Employee Foundation’s THL Giving Back efforts.  We asked local teachers to tell us how we could help to support their efforts to provide essential classroom supplies to make their classrooms better – and we were thrilled with the submissions! Please helps us to congratulate the following teachers for their amazing submissions.


1. Amanda Powers, West Elementary School, Alton, 4-5th grades, Behavioral Disorders.

TorHoerman Law Teacher Support Grant Winners Announced
Amanda Powers’ classroom, West Elementary School, Alton, Illinois

As one of our $2,000 prize winners, Amanda requested items that ranged from school supplies and backpacks, food items for students who come to school hungry or without a lunch, to basic toiletries like deodorant and tampons. The need-based items are essential for an exceptional learning environment and at TorHoerman Law, we couldn’t refuse the opportunity to help. After buying all of the necessary items, members of TorHoerman Law surprised Amanda at school. Their reactions were priceless!

2. Kimberly Moore, Albert Cassens Elementary School, Edwardsville, 3rd-5th grades, Special Education Kimberly won the other $2,000 grant, and with it, it will transform her classroom to “enhance the learning environment and experience” of the students. Specifically, she asked for technology to allow for a more tailored, specialized experience for each individual student. By providing individualized technology, Kimberly can use reading and math programs to target specific skill sets, use videos and graphics to assist in building knowledge and vocabulary and keep current data on each student’s progress. According to Kimberly, “The capabilities are endless when technology can be put in the hands of children.”


3. Kelsey Stosberg, Jefferson Elementary School, Belleville, 5th grade First-year teacher, Kelsey, was tasked with building a classroom from the ground up. “With much enthusiasm and excitement, I will be starting my first year of teaching, but its been hard trying to build an enriching library for my students, provide supplies that will keep the classroom running, and decorate and furnish the room to make it an environment that will be welcoming and stimulating for my students,” Kelsey said. Her desire to provide an extraordinary environment for her students caught our attention. That motivation is what prompted us to choose Kelsey because we knew, without a doubt, Kelsey would use the grant to improve her classroom and in turn, enhance the education of her students.



4. Christine Petroff, Collinsville Middle School, Collinsville, 8th grade Christine applied hoping to win a grant for her students who have troubles finding an interest in reading or have learning disabilities. The grant, she said, could “provide an avenue for reading that gets students excited to read.” At a crucial time in a child’s development, establishing the skills and desire to read effectively is essential. Christine also reached out for help in providing ESL, or English as a Second Language, reading the material. “At my school, we have a large Hispanic population, one of the book sets I’d like to purchase is specifically towards this demographic of students,” she said.


5. Stacy Matz, Triad Success Center, Troy, 9-12th grades A new program was established at Triad School District, one that would help students get back on track and excel in the academic setting. Stacy Matz, a special education teacher, is an advocate as she has worked hard to establish the program. “Our mission is to provide innovative solutions to challenges in education and human services,” Stacy said. In her application, Stacy requested flexible seating options to help the students feel comfortable in their learning environment and incentives to help encourage personal growth and the completion of their personal success plan goals. The program is different than most because it is specifically dedicated to helping those who have not flourished in a typical environment, and for that, we felt there was a tremendous need to help the organization thrive.


6. Jennifer Fowler, LeClair Elementary School, Edwardsville, 2nd grade At a time when attention spans are short and students have trouble sitting still for longer than a few minutes, Jennifer wants to take those challenges and run with them. “The students I see in my classroom today are more active, distracted, and have more sensory demands,” Jennifer said. “There are many more ADHD students in our general education classrooms, than ever before. “I would like to offer a classroom with flexible seating alternatives and a variety of sensory tools to help ADHD students be more successful.” We all have experienced those times when the focus is difficult and the need to take a breath and walk around is great. For students that may not always be an option. Thanks to Jennifer, her students will have the option to learn while being occupied, a great advantage in providing an exceptional learning environment.   We may be biased, but, metro-east has the best teachers!  There were so many deserving applicants, that we can’t wait to read next year’s submissions.  We hope to see many of those that were not awarded prizes this year, resubmit!



Blood Test for Concussions? FDA Grants Approval to New Testing Method

blood test for concussionsIn February 2018, the FDA approved the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, a blood test that can detect concussions. The Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator (BBTI) will detect concussions by analyzing the proteins in the patient’s blood. With a reported 97.5% accuracy rate, this blood test for concussions is nearly as effective as a CT scan. Medical experts hope that the BBTI will save patients the headache of a lengthy concussion diagnosis. Traumatic brain injury, more commonly known as a concussion, occurs when there is blunt trauma to the head that disrupts normal brain function. Concussions can range from mild to severe with effects lasting anywhere from a few hours to the rest of the injured individual’s life.  Concussions are a serious personal injury that hospitalizes thousands each year and accounts for approximately 30% of all injury-related deaths. Concussions are initially difficult to diagnose as symptoms vary from person to person and manifest both at different times and in different ways. In some cases, someone could experience a traumatic brain injury and not start to experience symptoms from a few hours to a few days later. The blood test for concussions can be used up to 12 hours after the trauma occurred, and the results can be available in 3-4 hours. Although CT Scans only take a few minutes, the process of getting to a hospital, waiting for a doctor, and waiting for an available CT machine can take hours. The ability to avoid those processes with the BBTI will not only potentially save patients hours of waiting time, but help patients avoid unnecessary radiation and high costs associated with neuroimaging. Concussions and their lasting impact have taken the spotlight in recent years as research between concussion-related brain damage and diseases like dementia become increasingly more controversial and talked about. As former NFL players step forward revealing the impact of multiple concussions years later, the public has started to take note. The BBTI is ideal for sports stadiums and combat zones because tests can be conducted immediately and accurately, whereas access to CT machines is incredibly limited or nonexistent. Although currently only approved for adults, the hope is that one day the blood test will also be approved for children.


What are Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages?

what are compensatory damages and punitive damagesIn civil court, damages are the awarded sum of money the plaintiff or plaintiffs receive either through a settlement or a decision reached at trial. This award functions as compensation for the total losses, both economic and non-economic, that the plaintiff experienced, whether that be from personal injury, a faulty drug or device, or another accident or injury. A positive outcome for the plaintiff would be a higher amount of damages awarded. If you are involved in a litigation, you probably know that there are a few different types of damages. You are probably asking yourself, “what are compensatory damages and punitive damages?” These are the two main types of damages, each acts to compensate the plaintiff while, in some way, penalizing the person liable for the plaintiff’s losses.



What Are the Three Types of Damages?

  1. Compensatory
  2. General
  3. Punitive


What Are Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages?

Compensatory damages and punitive damages are the two types of personal injury damages that a plaintiff will demand in civil litigation. In some personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff will only demand compensatory damages. In other lawsuits, the plaintiff will demand only punitive damages (although this is much more unlikely). While, in other cases, the plaintiff may demand both compensatory damages and punitive damages.


What Are Punitive Damages – What Qualifies as Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, often occur when a company has been negligent, and people are harmed as a result of that negligence. They are designed as a monetary way to penalize the defendant for their actions. Often, punitive damages are used to make an example by punishing the defendant. By charging the defendant large amounts of money, the courts are setting an example for other companies and discouraging the repeated behavior. Once punitive damages are awarded, the defendant must pay the plaintiff the designated amount.


What Are Compensatory Damages – What Qualifies as Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages, or “actual damages,” are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the damages they have incurred. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for their loss.



What are the Two Types of Compensatory Damages?


The two types of compensatory damages include:


1. Special Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Special damages, referred to as actual damages are those damages that are easy to calculate. They include medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and any other out of pocket costs for the litigation. If there is a receipt, the expense is likely to qualify as special damage. Special damages are often not up for debate as counsel can easily prove how much the injury cost the plaintiff.


2. General Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

General damages are harder to quantify as they include subjective material. When a personal injury occurs, there is the obvious injury but then there are the damages that are not immediately visible: the healing, the emotional distress, the lasting trauma. Individuals often have incredibly different reactions to similar scenarios, therefore making it hard to put a cost on general damages. However, a general rule of thumb is the more serious the injury, the higher the general damages. If someone is out of work and has multiple surgeries as a result of a serious car accident, they are likely to have higher general damages than someone who was in a fender bender.



How Much Money Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?

How much money you sue for pain and suffering relies heavily on a number of factors including damages caps, the severity of pain and suffering, and total out-of-pocket damages. Generally, a personal injury attorney will seek compensation for pain and suffering that amounts to about 2-5 times the total cost of medical bills and loss of work. This number varies significantly based on the specifics of each case.



How Do I Prove My Pain and Suffering?

Be honest. Don’t overplay your pain and suffering or dramatize it, but don’t underplay it either. Tell your own truth. Pain and suffering are subjective and hard to measure, so the judge and jury rely on you as the plaintiff to tell them exactly what level of pain and suffering you have endured. It helps if you keep notes that document your pain and suffering over time – detail exactly what physical pain and emotional distress you deal with as a result of your personal injury. In the event that you have to present evidence in front of the court, use these notes and personal testimony to exemplify your pain and suffering so that it is easier to believe, relate to and understand.



What Are Common Personal Injury Damages?

Pain and Suffering – The permanent, physical distress caused by the injury including but not limited to: scarring, chronic pain, and limitations of activity. Emotional Distress – Anxiety, depression, and other emotional struggles occurring as a result of the injury Defamation – The intentional spreading of false information to harm a person or entity. Also known as loss of reputation. Disfigurement – A permanent change in appearance as a result of an injury such as scarring or amputation. Loss of Consortium – The inability for relationships with family and spouses to continue as they had prior to the injury, also known as loss of companionship. Loss of Physical or Mental Capacity – The inability to care for oneself as they could prior to the injury. Loss of Enjoyment if Life – The inability to participate in and enjoy activities as they had prior to the injury as a result of the injury.



What are your General Damages Worth?

The two most common methods of calculating a plaintiff’s general damages are the multiplier method and the per diem method. The multiplier method calculates the general damages by multiplying the sum total of the plaintiffs by a set number dependent on the severity of the plaintiff’s injury. The per diem method attaches a monetary value to every day the plaintiff has suffered because of the accident and adds the total of those days together. On occasion, the courts may use a combination of the multiplier method and the per diem method. Disclaimer: As each case is unique, the monetary amount of compensatory and punitive damages may vary greatly between the two personal injury cases. The types of damages sought after are often negotiated by the attorneys on both sides and can vary greatly between cases. If you have any questions regarding your case, please contact us.   Learn More About the Lawsuit Process:


Golf Cart Injury – Do Golf Carts Pose Risk to Children?

golf cart injuryA golf cart injury sounds a bit far-fetched, right? Well, as personal injury lawyers, we can tell you that golf cart injuries occur more than you might think. Unfortunately, children are oftentimes the victims of golf cart injury. So, while you are out on the links this summer with the kids, have fun but be sure to practice safety.


Golf Cart Use Increased During Summer, Even Amongst Unlicensed

With warm weather approaching, we all begin to brainstorm our list of outdoor activities to partake in. From a cabin in the woods to the golf course, golf carts are a popular and efficient way to get around on beautiful days. Often considered safe and easy to drive, the golf cart became a common method of transportation for adults and children who are enjoying a day on the course or on the street. In 1986, Yamaha built the first-ever golf cart designed for streets. Ever since then, the motorized vehicle has defined how we move around various activities during the summertime. Whether it is on the course, on vacation, around the local neighborhood, or to the store, people love to drive golf carts. While there are restrictions and regulations for age and ability that are meant to limit children’s ability to get behind the wheel of a golf cart, oftentimes parents, who consider golf carts rather safe, allow their kids to operate these automobiles despite these rules.



Studies Show Golf Carts Pose a Risk to Children.

However, studies report that golf carts pose a serious personal injury risk for children. Golf carts operate at low speeds. They are open-air vehicles which makes them ideal for traveling short distances. The convenience and low cost of golf carts have inevitably led to their use by both adults and children to rise. Because adults consider golf carts to be safer than other non-automobile vehicles such as ATVs, they are more willing to allow children to drive them. Despite the assumption of safety, it’s important to remember what is safe for an adult may pose a risk to a child. Studies have reported children as young as nine years old driving a golf cart, with the most common accidents involving the child being thrown off the golf cart. From simple bruises to complex crush and neurological injuries such as brain injury, a golf cart injury can range from minor to severe. Without proper education and safety precautions, golf cart accidents are able to happen to anyone and at any time. Preventing golf cart injuries can be as simple as encouraging proper education or installing a seatbelt. A common misconception about golf cart injuries is that they only happen in prominent golfing communities.  The reality is that golf cart injuries happen everywhere. Because they happen everywhere, safety measures and education methods need to be in place, regardless of location. Golf courses, parents, and guardians should all teach and encourage golf cart education rather than simply hoping for the best. Golf cart education is imperative as the best method of golf cart injury prevention is education.



Common Golf Cart Injuries

Common golf cart injuries are similar to common car accident injuries. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Head and brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Fatal injuries


Unless you are an experienced driver, you should not operate a golf cart.



What to Do if You Suffer a Golf Cart Injury

If you or a loved one suffers a golf cart injury at little or no fault of your own, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to gain compensation for your damages. First, you should mitigate injuries by seeking proper medical attention right away. Follow your doctor’s orders. Then, begin to colllect evidence to support your claim and prove liability falls on another party. Contact TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options today. If the accident was due to an error with the golf cart, you may be eligible for a product liability lawsuit. If the accident occurred because of an impediment or dangerous object on private property, or if the cart was given to someone to use who should not have been able to have access to it, you may qualify for a premises liability lawsuit.




Basketball Personal Injury and Avoiding the Bench

basketball personal injury As March Madness picks up, basketball personal injury falls into the spotlight. If March Madness inspires you to hit the courts, we encourage you to read up on these common but often preventable basketball personal injury.


Avoiding a Basketball Personal Injury

This a list of the most common basketball personal injury and accidents, along with tips to avoid these basketball injuries.


Sprained Ankles

An incredibly common basketball personal injury is a sprained ankle. An ankle sprain is often caused by the ankle turning in too far, or at an odd angle. A sprained ankle can be prevented by doing simple warm-up and cool-down stretches that strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. A sprained ankle can be treated with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).  More serious sprains may require medical attention.


Jammed Fingers

If you missed that last pass and hit the tip of your finger, you may have a jammed finger. A jammed finger often has significant swelling around a single joint. While a jammed finger can most often be treated with ice and “buddy taping” (taping the injured finger to the finger next to it), a more serious jammed finger may require medical attention.


Basketball Court Collisions Resulting in Deep Bruising and Abrasions

Deep thigh bruising and facial cuts can happen when there is a collision on the court. The best way to prevent these injuries is to simply be aware of your surroundings. If you prefer your games to be more aggressive like the pros, protective thigh pads are available for purchase.


Stress Fractures

Stress fractures can occur when training or playing increases dramatically. In basketball, these often occur in the foot and lower leg. A stress fracture can bench you for however long it takes to heal, so if you want to see the season through to the end, be sure to train properly and ease into the game.


Head and Brain Injuries

Brain Injuries in Sports are very common, especially in youth sports and contact sports like basketball. If you do suffer a head injury in basketball, you need to do everything possible to mitigate the injury by seeking proper medical treatment right away. As brain injury lawyers, we cannot stress the importance of swift and thorough medical treatment for all basketball head injuries, no matter how minor they might seem. These injuries can have lasting and permanent effects on the basketball player, if left untreated.



What To Do If You Suffer a Basketball Personal Injury

Our most important tip is to listen to your body. Don’t overdo it. No championship is worth the pain of a torn ligament or sprained ankle. Proper training and knowing your limits can save you from a serious basketball personal injury. Don’t let the competition keep you from taking a breather, doing some stretches, or pausing for a water break. Playing through the pain for a win won’t help you with the pain of a personal injury lawsuit. Go to the hospital or seek medical care to reduce the chance that the injury could become more serious. Follow your doctor’s orders. If you suffered a serious injury resulting in major economic losses and your coach, another player, a ref, a medical professional, or another person involved put you at risk or failed to ensure your safety, contact us to see what legal options you have.




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