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Archive for the ‘worker’s compensation commission’ tag

Man Awarded Benefits by Commission

November 5th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

workers compensationIf you are injured at work or in the course of job-related activities, then you are eligible to seek workers compensation benefits in the state of Illinois.  Your employer cannot fire you or harass you for making a claim against their insurance but they can deny your benefits.  One way they can deny your claim is if you do not follow the proper procedure as outlined by the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.

That was what happened to Reynolds after he was injured at work at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center.  In the course of his daily activities there, he had to restrain an inmate and was injured.  He sustained injuries to his right arm, right shoulder, and neck.  But it turns out that his workers compensation benefits were denied because he saw too many physicians.

Reynolds was first treated at an urgent care medical facility the day after his injury.  He had a nagging pain in his right shoulder that needed treatment.  The doctor at that facility advised him to follow up with his primary care physician, which is typical for urgent care facilities.  After seeing his primary physician, he saw two other doctors based on recommendations by his wife and lawyer.

For any workers compensation claim, the claimant is allowed two choices outside of the preferred provider of their company.  That is unless one of the physicians makes a recommendation to see a specialist which would not count as one of the choices for care.  The initial determination by the arbitrator was that the claimant exceeded his choices by seeing recommended physicians and therefore his employer was not responsible for paying for the medical treatment received by Reynolds.

When benefits are denied like this case, the injured party may seek a ruling by the Workers Compensation Commission.   The issue that was considered was whether the visit to the urgent care center could be constituted as an emergency care instead of a choice by Reynolds.  The contention was that “any distinction between the words ‘urgent’ and ‘emergency’ is arbitrary.”  The commission agreed with Reynolds and he was able to receive benefits to pay for the medical treatment he received.

If you have been injured on the job, or if your claim has been denied then you should seek the help of a legal professional.  They will be able to assist you in following the proper procedure and make your case in front of the Commission.  Contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in Chicago 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

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

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