Archive for the ‘Legal Fees’ Category

Commission Rules in Favor of Woman With Back Problems

May 21st, 2013 at 3:06 pm

A boon for those with pre-existing conditions that affect his or her work came with a ruling in Chicago this fall, according to a recent law bulletin of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission. In 2009, the claimant—an operating engineer—fell off the back of a flatbed utility cart and landed on her buttocks and lower back. Her back problems had begun nearly 10 years before that. About three years before the recent accident, she had been released without work restrictions and continued to work through her pain.

Regardless of the arbitrator’s argument—that her current condition was not related to the work injury of 2009—the commission ruled in her favor. This is great news for workers in Illinois who may have preexisting conditions, which could be exacerbated by routine work. According to the Law Bulletin, the case means that “where a claimant with a preexisting back condition can no longer perform her full work duties due to an accident at work, she is entitled to medical and indemnity benefits for the exacerbation of her preexisting condition.”

At a time when the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission is tightening its belt, this ruling may have come to a shock to many in Illinois—but it’s great news for Illinois workers who experience pain daily due to a previous injury or preexisting condition. A recent press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more good news for American workers in general: there were only 3.5 injury cases per 100 full-time workers in 2010, down from 3.6 in 2009. Less injuries and coverage of preexisting conditions sets a good tone for Illinois as this year’s numbers get compiled.

If you or someone you know was injured on the job—or exacerbated a preexisting condition while working—you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a dedicated Illinois worker’s compensation attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Workers Compensation Reform, One Year Later

May 18th, 2012 at 12:20 am

It’s been one year since the Illinois State Senate overwhelmingly approved, in a 46-to-8 vote, to impose cost reductions on the state’s “expensive and scandal-tainted workers compensation system, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In May 2011, the reform was approved, hailed as “major” by Senator Kwame Raoul, the bill’s chief Senate sponsor. The bill came just after a steep increase in the state income tax for Illinois businesses—a 46 percent increase for state corporations. According to the Sun-Times, “in what amounts to the cornerstone of Raoul’s legislation, fees that businesses must pay to doctors would be cut 30 percent in September, in a move that he said would save companies between $500 and $700 million.” 

The 2011 landmark law also established a medical network for compensation claims, cut the period when someone could draw payments for carpal tunnel from 40 to 28 weeks, and switched the burden of proof from employers to workers in proving whether alcohol or drugs contributed to workplace accidents.

No statistics are available as to whether the law actually managed to save Illinois businesses money, but the law has not yet been challenged or revoked, and since then Raoul has introduced the 2012 Creation of the Worker’s Compensation Insurance Fund for insuring employers against liability for worker’s compensation claims. He also introduced a bill for the creation of the Illinois Compensation Rating Bureau, which would be “capable of providing more accurate and verifiable information on reimbursement rates on worker’s compensation cases,” according to the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Assocation.

With all the new changes and proposals being talked about in Illinois right now, filing for worker’s compensation can be a complicated process. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois worker’s compensation lawyer today.


Image courtesy of renjith krishnan


What You Need to Know about Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation

April 14th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

The Windy City is situated on plenty of water, and Chicago boasts some 30,000 jobs in the state of Illinois that were in some way related to the Port of Chicago. According to the Illinois International Port District, 3,367 of these were considered direct jobs, considered the most directly depended on the barge, vessel, and cargo activity at the Port of Chicago. Most of these jobs, of course, include heavy lifting, operating serious machinery, and navigating water—all activities which could be dangerous if not taken seriously.

If you’re injured while working the ports, not only are you covered by the Jones Act, first passed by Congress in 1920, worker’s compensation is covered by the Longshore and Harbor Division. Whether you’re employed by a major company or self-employed, you could be eligible for coverage by this division of worker’s compensation in the event of an on-site accident.

The first step to filing a Longshore and Harbor claim is to file with the district office, which in 2003 moved to Houston for the Chicago area. Correspondence can still be filed at the Chicago office: 230 South Dearborn St., Room 872, 
Chicago, IL 60604.

Here are the steps to take if you’re injured on the maritime job:

  • Notify your employer. Ask for Form LS-1, authorizing treatment by a doctor of your choice.
  • Obtain necessary medical treatment.
  • Give written notice of your injury within 30 days on Form LS-201.
  • File a written claim for compensation within one year after the date of injury or last payment of compensation.

In 2007, initiatives were brought forward to bring the Longshore Act “into the 21st century.” If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and may qualify for worker’s compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation, contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney today at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.


Image courtesy of happykanppy

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