Archive for July, 2012

Permanent Partial Disability Awarded to Firefighter for Knee Injury

July 26th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

In the case of Hullinger v. Lockport Township Fire Protection District, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission recently affirmed the decision of an arbitrator who found that a claimant had sustained a 20% permanent total disability in the loss of use of his left leg. In this case, a 26-year-old firefighter/paramedic was using an elliptical machine at work when he injured his left knee. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with internal derangement and a possible medial meniscus tear. A course of physical therapy failed to improve the injury, and the claimant eventually underwent surgery, where the surgeon discovered a meniscal capsular tear and a softening of a portion of his knee cartilage.

In support of his decision, the arbitrator pointed out that even after surgery, the claimant was limited in both his work and personal life. Specifically, the claimant could no longer run 10 to 15 miles per week as he customarily did prior to the incident and he had difficulty physically interacting with his two young children. At work, the claimant no longer was able to use an elliptical machine, and he lost significant strength in his left leg, which has affected his ability to lift patients on ambulance calls and get in and out of ambulances and fire trucks.

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury while at work, or performing a work-related activity off-site, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, you may be entitled to benefits due to a temporary disability, a permanent partial or full disability, and/or medical expenses related to your injury. Whatever the case may be, you will need the assistance of an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the often complex workers’ compensation claims process. Contact our office today for more information about the benefits to which you may be entitled, and legal advice about any claims that you may have.

Claimant Proves Work Related Injury Despite Nine Months Before Treatment

July 19th, 2012 at 12:36 pm

In Winfield v. Charter Communications, 20 ILWCLB 80 *Ill. W.C. Comm. 2012), the Illinois Commission affirmed an arbitrator’s decision finding a causal connection between the claimant’s neck condition and his work accident even though the neck condition developed some time after the accident. Evidence indicated that the neck problems developed due to his reaction to migraine headaches, which were caused by the work accident.

The claimant was on a service call when a ladder assembly weighing 85 pounds hit him on the head. As a result of the accident, the claimant suffered severe headaches and dizziness.

Nine months after the accident, the claimant sought treatment for cervical complaints. He was also diagnosed with depression and TMJ. The claimant also complained of daily migraines accompanied by neck and jaw pain.

His treating doctor testified that his facial and neck muscles tighten up because he is clenching his teeth during the migraines. He has difficulty sleeping, sensitivity to light, and a decreased level of concentration and focus.

Although the claimant did not begin complaining about neck problems until nine months after the work accident, the treating doctor did not find this unusual. The claimant testified that his headaches would get so bad that they would cause him to grind his jaw and tighten his neck muscles, which, over time, let to muscles in his cervical region to tighten leading to discomfort.

The fact that cervical issues were not present in the initial medical records only strengthened the claimant’s case; as such condition would require time and repetition to manifest itself.

The commission’s ruling solidifies the fact that even though the claimant did not seek treatment for cervical issues until nine months after the work accident does not necessarily mean the condition cannot be causally related to the work accident, especially where, as here, the condition was a consequential injury that required time and repetition to manifest itself.

If you have been injured while at work it is in your best interest to get dedicated legal help. Do not hesitate, but take the help of the Illinois workers’ compensation act and consult with a qualified Chicago workers’ compensation attorneyas soon as possible.


Illinois Truck Driver wins Case against His Employer

July 11th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

A man named Wise worked for the Broadway Express Moving Company as a truck driver.  The job that he was paid to complete had nothing to do with moving materials on and off the truck.  He claimed that he sustained injuries to his back while he helped a customer load some furniture on his truck on January 5th 2012.  He looked for compensation from his company to make up for work he was missing and treatment of the injury he endured.

Wise’s initial assertion was found to be denied by an arbitrator.  The company who employed Wise was not paying him for the work and neither was the customer he was helping.  Without this relationship of work, it is hard to find a case for the application of workers’ compensation benefits.  He was convinced that he was in the right which is why he took his case to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  They were able to find similarities between his case and a previous decision of Sekora v. Industrial Commission.  In that case a car salesman was injured while helping his employer move cars, which is not in the scope of his responsibilities.

Wise’s assistance in moving this material was found to be useful to the company he worked for although it was not in the scope of his responsibilities.  The Commission said that not only did this action of helping this customer increased goodwill, shortened loading time, and ensured the safety of the material being moved.  The Commission uncovered that during Wise’s 21 years of employment at Broadway Express he would often be asked to help people move but had the opportunity to decline.  Whether or not he accepted the task, he would be paid the same to wait for his truck to be filled.  With this information the initial decision was overturned and Wise was awarded his benefits.

Workman’s compensation is an integral part of any employee’s safety net.  Regardless of the cause of your injury, you are entitled to benefits.  When you go to work every day to take care of your family, isn’t it good to know that someone has your welfare in mind.  At the law offices of Francis J. Discipio we are dedicated to being your advocate and securing the benefits that will pay for your hospital bills.  If you or a loved one has experienced an accident at work, please don’t wait to begin the worker’s compensation claim with our help.

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