Gerald J. BekkermanOf Counsel
Gerald J. Bekkerman, of counsel, is a respected trial attorney with a successful national track record representing clients in personal injury cases. Throughout his distinguished career, Gerald has earned many multimillion-dollar negotiated settlements and jury trial verdicts.
Bekkerman's dedication to the law involves working long hours, preparing to take the case to trial if necessary. His professionalism and record of success provide a level of confidence his clients need to solve their legal problems.
Gerald’s commitment has earned his peers' respect, and he is identified as one of the best in his profession by national, regional, and local groups. Additionally, the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star rates him as an attorney exhibiting excellence when practicing law.
Bekkerman has extensive experience in the courtroom, using his knowledge and understanding of the law to present the case to the jury to ensure the best outcome for his clients. Also, Gerald is available 24/7 to educate his clients and answer questions during one of the most challenging times of their life.
For years, Gerald has been a successful trial lawyer representing clients suffering injuries including broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, disfigurement, concussions, infections, bedsores, mental trauma, permanent disabilities, and preventable fatalities.
Before hiring Bekkerman, many of his clients struggled to deal directly with insurance adjusters and health insurance forms necessary to recoup their damages for medical bills and lost income. Starting with their first initial consultation, Gerald focuses on every aspect of his client's cases to ensure that their stress levels are reduced, allowing them time to recover from their injuries.
Gerald provides legal representation in numerous practice areas, includingvehicle accidents, slip and fall cases, medical malpractice, premises liability, product liability, workplace accidents/injuries, construction site accidents, pedestrian deaths, commercial vehicle accidents, defective products, dangerous medications, and wrongful death.
J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2007
B.A., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2000
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
State of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
American Association of Justice
Active Transportation Alliance
- "Addressing and Overcoming Weaknesses with Your Client's Damages," Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Damages Seminar, Oak Brook, IL, March 31, 2017.
- "Ethics and the Use of Social Media During Trial," Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Damages Seminar, Oak Brook, IL, March 23, 2018.
- 2018 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 40 Under 40
- Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2011-2018
- The National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40
- Illinois Emerging Lawyer, 2016-2018
- Lifetime Member Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Illinois Institute of Technology Alumni Excellence Award
Gerald Bekkerman has earned a successful track record as a leading trial lawyer, ensuring that his clients receive the financial compensation they deserve. A shortlist of his jury trial verdicts, and negotiated settlements include:
$15 million dollar settlement
Case involved a products liability settlement for a defective product that rendered a man a quadrapelagic.
$7.5 million dollar settlement
Settlement involved a motorcyclist who sustained numerous injuries after being struck by a left turning commercial vehicle making a delivery.
$5.25 million dollar settlement
Case involved a motorcyclist who suffered a below the knee amputation after an intersection collision in which a defendant driver failed to yield the right of way.
$4.8 million negotiated settlement at trial
Bekkerman represented a family, son, mother, and aunt severely injured in a highway cut-off crash in Chicago, Illinois. Local law enforcement improperly ticketed the son, who was driving at the time, for causing the crash.
Bekkerman's clients took the case to trial after the defendant's insurance company failed to make a good faith offer to resolve the case. The plaintiffs, defendant, and the defendant's insurance company negotiated a settlement offer during jury selection.
$4.5 million jury trial verdict
The case involved two severely injured women in rural Ohio harmed in a rear-end collision by a trucker operating a semi-tractor-trailer for a national trucking company. The truck driver had an extensive history of driving under the influence and other unsafe driving violations exposed during litigation.
Bekkerman's legal strategy involved building a case on negligent hiring and retention. His cause of action included punitive damages brought against the national freight carrier.
$2.5 million jury verdict
Bekkerman's clients received a $2.5 million jury verdict in a car accident case involving an injured 25-year-old sustaining traumatic injuries to his right knee and ankle. The victim required numerous surgeries but was still left with a permanent disability.
Although law enforcement ticketed his client for causing the collision with the defendant, testimony presented at trial established that he was not at fault for the crash.
$2.27 million jury verdict
Bekkerman filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Chicago on behalf of an injured U.S. postal worker whose leg fell into a sinkhole while walking in a pedestrian crosswalk. Medical diagnoses show that the postal worker sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and other severe knee injuries.
The plaintiff had undergone six surgical procedures since 2008 and could not return to his full-time work duty. The defendant and their insurance company did not provide a good faith offer before the case went to trial.
$2.25 million jury verdict
Gerald represented a bicyclist who suffered severe injuries when a construction company vehicle operated by a runner struck him while making a left turn. The bicyclist sustained fractures above and below the knee joint, leading to prolonged hospitalization, numerous surgical procedures, and treatment for infection complications.
The plaintiff sued for all medical expenses, lost wages, mental suffering, and depression.
$2 million partial settlement
Two contractors working at a construction site paid an undocumented worker's estate $2 million in a partial settlement after he fell through an uncovered skylight and died while repairing the roof. The lawsuit is still active and pending in federal court, filed against three other defendants.
$1.5 million settlement
Bekkerman represented a special needs disabled adult's estate after she died in October 2011 after suffering numerous falls at her residential group home. The 60-year-old decedent was a long-term resident of a group home specializing in care for adults with mental disabilities.
Although the decedent's condition had been deteriorating for some time, the residential group home failed to provide necessary medical assistance before she died.
$1.185 million settlement
Gerald represented an injured woman struck by a bakery delivery truck in Chicago while crossing the street. Although the victim sustained head and hip injuries, she did not undergo hip surgery until two years after the accident.
$1 million settlement
Bekkerman represented the estate of a 34-year-old man killed by a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) train in Chicago, Illinois. At the time of the crash, the intoxicated man appeared at the CTA Green Line Pulaski Station at 2:00 AM when the station was supposedly closed to the public.
Evidence shows that the gate that would prevent access to the platform was left open, allowing the victim to wander onto the platform in view of the sleeping CTA attendant. As a result, the intoxicated man slipped and fell onto the tracks, where an overnight cleaning train subsequently struck and killed him.
$900,000 negotiated settlement
Bekkerman represented the families of two children who suffered third-degree burns and scarring after another child burned them with sulfuric acid, allegedly left out on the property where the children resided.
The plaintiffs sued the premises landlord and property manager for negligence after leaving chemicals in the area where the children played.
$850,000 negotiated settlement
This case is likely the highest settlement ever reported in Shelby County, Illinois, involving a 25-year-old female boat passenger severely injured in a boating accident. At the time of the accident, the boat took an unexpectedly sharp left turn while traveling more than 25 mph in Southern Illinois.
The plaintiff was thrown to the side of the boat during the sharp turn, sustaining a fractured disc in her cervical spine, requiring surgery.
$837,500 negotiated settlement
The case involved an 85-year-old nursing home female resident who had admitted herself into the facility after undergoing back surgery. During her stay at the facility, the nursing home failed to ensure she received proper care for her surgical wound.
Over time, the woman developed a stage IV bedsore at the wound site on her lower back, requiring debridement (surgical removal of necrotic (dead) tissue) and a prolonged stay at the nursing facility.
$525,000 negotiated settlement
The police brutality case involved a Chicago police officer violently assaulting a 15-year-old autistic boy repeatedly struck by a metal baton over his head. The brutal event occurred in his parents' restaurant kitchen, leaving him with permanent psychological injuries and a large scalp laceration. The police brutality child injury lawsuit received national attention.