Archive for the ‘Premises Liability’ Category

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

Truck Driver Loses Suit in Illinois

May 29th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

In a recent case brought against the United Parcel Service (UPS), a driver failed to convince the Commission that he deserved compensation for an injury that occurred at the start of his workday, according to a recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The claimant (hereby referred to as “Sims”—the case was entitled Sims v. United Postal Service) worked as a “feeder driver” for UPS. The incident occurred when he was walking down a set of stairs and felt his right knee buckle, an occurrence he claimed was directly related to the set of unique problems on his job. 

The unique problems Sims referred to are the “up and down, in and out” nature of driving a delivery truck. In 1999, Sims had had surgery on his left knee, and testified that as a driver he works 10 to 12 hours a day sitting and driving. He also testified that he experiences throbbing in his knees due to the inability to extend his legs while he’s behind the wheel. The throbbing, he testified, was directly related to the reason why his knee buckled on the stairs.

Yet the arbitrator handling the case shot down Sims’s testimony, by saying that because he was a feeder driver—not one expected to make hundreds of deliveries a day, only to and from the employer’s facilities, rail yards, and private accounts—his injury was not due to trauma sustained on the job. The arbitrator also argued that Sims had not worked a three-day holiday weekend before the accident (and so must have been well-rested), and had not even truly begun his workday when the accident occurred.

Cases such as this are tricky to win, but with a dedicated and experienced worker’s compensation attorney on your side you’re much more likely to walk away with a decent settlement. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, or doing something related to work, don’t find yourself in situation like Sims. Contact an Illinois worker’s compensation attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

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