Archive for the ‘Disability Payments’ Category

Claimant Awarded Disability Benefits

December 23rd, 2013 at 8:59 am

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) awarded permanent disability benefits in November to a worker who injured his ankle at work, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The case established that even if a claimant can maintain the same job title after sustaining the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation if the nature of the work has changed. If the claimant, that is, is unable to perform the work at the same speed or with the same ease as he could before the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation even if he is able at the same time to keep the position. Claimant Awarded Disability Benefits

According to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission Law Bulletin, “where the claimant’s job duties require post-injury modification, and he performs his duties at a much slower pace and is less productive than before his work injury, the claimant has suffered a deviation from his usual and customary line of employment.” If it can be established that the usual and customary line of employment has been altered by the injury, the claimant is eligible for workers’ compensation, as in this case.

Sherwood v. Ineos Nova LLC was initiated after a 2008 incident in which the claimant was climbing an icy tank. The claimant worked as a reliability technician, and “his duties included maintenance of the computer systems and equipment at the plant.” When he slipped climbing the icy tank, the claimant “fell down a long set of stairs,” shattering his left ankle. In early 2009, the claimant underwent surgery and physical therapy, and in March of that year returned to work.

Although the claimant’s job duties were in fact modified to fit his new restrictions, the IWCC awarded him workers’ compensation because “his age, profession, education, physical restrictions, and nature of the injury make it highly unlikely that the claimant could obtain a position elsewhere in his chosen profession.”

The ruling is important because it sets a precedent that even in cases in which the employer correctly and sufficiently modifies a job description to fit restrictions of an injured worker, the worker could still be eligible for compensation. If you or someone you know is seeking disability benefits, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.

Southwest Airlines Attendant Receives Workers Comp Benefits for Injury After Hours

October 12th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Some jobs are more dangerous than others, but even when a job assumes a certain risk, employees can still acquire an unexpected injury. For example, a flight attendant who must assume the risk of the airplane crashing may trip in the aisle and become injured.

 A Southwest Airlines flight attendant recently injured her knee while exiting a plane. As she reached for her suitcase in the overhead compartment, it fell and hit her inner thigh and knee. That was her last flight of the day, so she simply shrugged off the injuries and continued on her way to another flight that would take her home. As she was walking on a moving walkway to her flight, though, she felt a pop in her injured knee.

In the lawsuit, the defendant, Southwest Airlines, argued that she was no longer working when she felt the pop, and was therefore not injured at work, but after work. The company also argued that she was at no greater risk than the general public on that flight for sustaining her injury, anyone could have dropped luggage on their own knee.

The arbitrator disagreed, however, stating that the attendant qualified as a traveling employee, and her walk through the airport and her flight home were still part of her job. Both using a moving walkway and getting luggage from an overhead compartment are part of her normal workday.

Although the arbitrator charged the claimant’s attorney’s fees and penalties to the defendant, the Commission dismissed those charges. The argument was that the activities that were being performed at the time of injury were not extraneous activities that would have caused injury due to the job.

The final ruling awarded the claimant temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and medical benefits as a traveling employee, but the penalties and fees to the defendant were dismissed.

Every workers’ compensation case is unique and an outcome can rarely be guaranteed. Having n Illinois workers’ comp attorney at your side, though, will help turn the tables in your benefit. Contact the Law Office of Francis J. Discipio in Cook County, Ill. if you have sustained an injury at work today.


Man Found to be Eligible for Work is Denied Benefits

June 5th, 2013 at 8:00 am

broken boneA man named Sweet was working for the company Regency Tiles when he suffered a dangerous accident.  In his capacity of warehouse manager, he often had to drive forklifts and climb up ladders.  Unfortunately, during the day of May 14th 2010, he fell five feet from a ladder to the ground.  He suffered a fractured right elbow and filed to receive workers compensation benefits.

There was no question that the injury was at work, and that workers comp insurance should foot the bill.  Yet there existed some questions about the extent that the injury would limit his work and what kind of compensation he should receive.  Before the arbitrator would come to a final decision, they required Sweet to complete rehabilitation, at least long enough to judge the severity of the injury.

Once his rehab was reviewed, the commission stopped his rehab order and awarded him with wage differential benefits rather than long term disability.  Wage differential benefits are a type of workers comp which makes up for losing a higher paying job and only lower paying jobs are obtainable.  Two-thirds of the difference between the two wages is paid to the injured worker with a cap at $822.20.

The claimant took issue with the ruling and filed an appeal.  He referenced the odd-lot theory of recovery, by which he claimed that he wasn’t able to find a job.  Yet, the commission was able to prove that the claimant was offered a number of full-time positions which he turned down.  They even had an employment counselor who vouched that he would be able to obtain a job given his skills and the current job market.  Given this information, the commission denied permanent total disability for the claimant Sweet.

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to receive legal counsel.  You don’t want to be denied the benefits of workers compensation due to a misunderstanding of the laws.  Contact a skilled workers compensation attorney in Chicago today to review your case.

image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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