Melanie VanOverloop is a Partner at Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C., who has spent her entire career prosecuting personal injury cases including medical malpractice, construction negligence, product liability and trucking liability cases. Melanie has extensive courtroom experience and has tried numerous cases to verdict, with successes in counties all across Illinois.
Melanie has proven to be a fierce advocate for her clients. Over her career she has obtained several record breaking settlements and verdicts for her clients. Early in her career she focused on representing union tradesmen who were injured on construction sites, oftentimes due to the negligence of a general contractor. She learned the importance of prioritizing safety on a job site and how an unsafe work environment can lead to catastrophic injuries and tragically, even death. Recently, she was part of a team that obtained a $8,625,000 recovery on behalf of a stunt performer injured by a defective motorcycle. She was also part of a team that recovered a $7,600,000 settlement on behalf of a group of tradesmen who were poisoned by lead.
As a mother of two, Melanie brings a female’s perspective to nursing home abuse, wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. She has represented women who have suffered from traumatic births that have led to injury to the mother or her child. She helped obtain an over $4,000,000 settlement to benefit a young child whose mother died due to the negligence of a Chicago hospital and doctor. While understanding that no amount of money can replace a loved one lost due to negligence, Melanie works to ensure surviving family members and children have the financial support they need in the future. The combination of Melanie’s compassion and tenacity drives her to achieve winning results for her clients.
Melanie gives back to the legal community, serving as a mentor to law students and young lawyers. She spent several years as a Director of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and editor of the WBAI Newsletter. She is actively involved in the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association where she serves on the Board of Managers and was a founding chair of the ITLA Young Lawyers Division. Melanie is the published author of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Chapter on Construction Negligence. Due to her impressive record representing her clients, Melanie has been elected by her peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star every year since 2014, a distinction that is limited to 2.5 percent of the attorneys within Illinois. She has further been recognized as an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers magazine every year since 2015.
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. – 2011
- Honors: Certificate in Advocacy
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
- B.A. – 2007
- Major: History and Political Science
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
- Women’s Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- American Association for Justice
- Illinois, 2011
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2011
- Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star
- Leading Lawyers Emerging Lawyer
- Author, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Chapter on Construction Negligence
- Co-Author, ITLA Medical Malpractice Trial Notebook Chapter on Settlements
- Co-Author of the Chapter on Limitations
- $8,625,000 recovery in a product liability suit for a stunt performer injured by a defective motorcycle
- $7,750,000 recovery for a worker’s burn injuries
- $7,600,000 recovery for workers poisoned by lead in a shipyard
- $4,300,000 record-setting highest hand amputation compensation ever recovered in Illinois following an industrial work accident. The worker’s hand was reattached and he regained function despite the injury.
- $4,035,000 medical malpractice wrongful death settlement for failure to provide DVT prophylaxis following a surgery
- $4,000,000 medical malpractice wrongful death jury verdict for a failure to identify and treat a post-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak
- $4,000,000 recovery for work-related crush injury that led to worker developing complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- $3,900,000 settlement package on behalf a Local 1 Ironworker who was injured on a construction project
- $3,200,000 settlement package for a Local 1 Ironworker who suffered nerve damage on his dominant right arm while installing rebar in an unsafe work area
- $3,000,000 medical malpractice wrongful death settlement for failure to timely treat a stroke
- $2,250,000 record-setting settlement for a client who suffered a fractured femur and burns in a car accident
- $1,800,000 medical malpractice wrongful death settlement for failure to timely diagnose and treat a DVT
- $1,075,000 record-setting settlement for a 95-year-old woman injured in a grocery store. The recovery is the highest injury settlement ever for a nonagenarian in the state of Illinois.
- $1,000,000 recovery for the family of a motorcyclist killed in an unwitnessed collision with a truck
- $939,000 record-setting settlement for a broken ankle in a trucking accident that also set a record as the highest ever in that jurisdiction.