Articles Posted in Work Injuries

If you were hurt at work, there is a chance that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In some situations, you may also have a personal injury claim against the entity responsible for your damages. Knowing which route to pursue and the best way to protect your legal rights can be overwhelming. Many people who are injured at work are preoccupied with healing their injuries and dealing with the financial impact that comes with it. If you are curious about pursuing workers’ compensation benefits or damages in a Chicago personal injury claim, you can speak with someone at Therman Law Offices about your legal options and how to pursue them.

In a recent case, the Illinois Court of Appeal discussed a situation in which a worker was injured while on the job. The defendant in the case was the injured worker’s employer. The worker was employed by a subsidiary of the employer that provided concrete services. The employer had a workers’ compensation insurance policy that provided coverage for its employees as well as employees of the concrete company. The employer entered into a contract with a property owner to perform construction at the site. The plaintiff hurt this back while working on the construction project. He filed a workers’ compensation claim and received $76,000 to cover his medical bills as well as other expenses.

Then, the plaintiff filed a claim against his employer in civil court seeking additional damages and claiming that the employer was liable for his injuries. The employer filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the basis that it was barred. Illinois law states that a worker’s sole remedy for compensation following an on-the-job injury is to pursue benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. The lower court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the complaint.

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Workers’ compensation claims can become incredibly complicated and overwhelming for the injured worker. At Therman Law Offices, our experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers have guided people through the process to ensure that they receive the treatment that they should receive. A common issue that comes up in a workers’ compensation claim is whether the claimant suffered from any preexisting injury that is the primary cause of his or her injury. If a pre-existing injury is at play, then the reviewing judge will need to determine whether the work injury is the substantial cause of the injury before awarding benefits. Contact our office today to start learning more about your potential work injury claim and how we can assist you.

In a recent claim, an injured worker filed a claim seeking benefits for an injury he suffered to his right knee while working as a marine technician. He injured his knee when he lowered it onto a concrete floor to install a swim platform on the back of the boat. He received ongoing medical treatment for this injury and was required to take time off of work to heal.  Eventually, the insurance carrier for the employer approved a surgical procedure to address his ongoing pain and issues with mobility in the knee. The claimant was then told that the insurance carrier revoked authorization for the procedure due to a note found in his medical records indicating that he had a prior medical procedure on the same knee several years prior. It said in its note to the surgeon who was going to perform the procedure that additional investigation was needed.

The claimant denied receiving medical treatment for that knee and said that he received surgery on his shin and showed the scar to the presiding arbitrator. The arbitrator ultimately concluded that the surgery should be reauthorized and that there was a causal relationship between his current injury and the work injury. It noted that the insurer did not offer any evidence suggesting that the right knee pain he was experiencing was not causally related to the workplace accident. The arbitrator then awarded attorney’s fees to the claimant on the grounds that the insurer engaged in a frivolous claim that did not present a real controversy in asserting that there was a pre-existing condition with the knee in question.

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The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits for injured workers if the injury occurred in the course and scope of the worker’s employment. This can create legal issues regarding whether an employee should seek compensation from an employer through the claims process or in civil court. One area where issues tend to arise the most is situations involving temp agencies and other third-party employers. Our seasoned team of Chicago work injury lawyers is ready to help you ensure that you pursue your right to compensation in the appropriate way.

Recently, an appellate court considered a case in which an injured man filed a civil claim against a manufacturing company seeking compensation for personal injuries he allegedly sustained while working at the manufacturing company’s premises through a temp agency. The plaintiff was reportedly operating a forklift when it fell from inside of the tractor-trailer as the tractor-trailer moved away from the loading dock.

The plaintiff originally filed a workers’ compensation claim against the manufacturing company, but it instructed the worker to file a workers’ compensation claim against the temp agency. The worker filed this claim and received benefits from the temp agency.

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Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, especially when multiple employers are involved. As seasoned Chicago work injury lawyers, we are prepared to help you ensure that you receive the fair outcome that you deserve after suffering an injury on the job. Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision involving an injured worker and multiple employers. The plaintiff was injured while working as a telecommunications specialist when the floor of the hospital room in which he was standing gave way. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the hospital was negligent by failing to provide a safe place to work, failing to inspect the property before inviting the plaintiff to perform work, by causing damage to the flooring, and by failing to warn the plaintiff of the floor’s poor condition.

The defendant denied liability and filed a third-party complaint against the plaintiff’s employer, alleging that if the hospital was found liable then the employer must also be found contributorily negligent. Other motions were filed and eventually the employer sought summary judgment against the hospital, arguing that it did not owe the plaintiff a duty to protect it from conditions on the property. The hospital also filed a motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff’s claim alleging that it had no notice of the dangerous conditions at the hospital.

The trial court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment against the hospital on its third-party complaint. It also granted the hospital’s motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff, stating that the plaintiff had not filed a response to the motion. Finally, the court concluded that the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence of the alleged defective condition of the hospital’s premises and failed to show that there was a causal connection between the hospital’s conduct and the plaintiff’s injuries.

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Chicago is one of the largest and most diversified cities in the United States. This means that while there are plenty of opportunities for jobs, there are also countless ways that Illinois workers may find themselves injured and in need of workers’ compensation benefits. The seasoned Illinois work injury lawyers at Therman Law Offices have handled a wide variety of claims and understand how to navigate the process smoothly and efficiently while protecting your rights. There are some instances in which Illinois law allows an injured worker to pursue a civil claim against the persons or companies responsible for his or her injuries, but in most situations, the workers’ compensation claim system is considered the injured worker’s exclusive remedy.

Recently, an Illinois appellate court considered an appeal involving an injured worker’s claim for benefits and whether he could file a civil claim against one of the involved parties. The plaintiff was injured in October 2007 while cleaning a machine at a plastics manufacturing company. He filed suit against many different parties and all but one of the defendants was eventually dismissed or removed from the dispute due to a settlement agreement with the plaintiff. The remaining defendant, a tool company, eventually filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff’s causes of action. In the alternative, it argued that even if the company was involved in a joint venture with the plaintiff’s employer, the workers’ compensation system was the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy.

If you were injured at work, the chances are you filed a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefit payments to supplement your lost wages and to offset your medical expenses. The Illinois workers’ compensation system is complex, and it can be difficult to understand whether you are receiving the appropriate amount of compensation. As Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers, we have helped many injured workers navigate the claims process, especially when it comes to establishing that the injury was directly related to their employment duties.

In a recent appellate opinion, the plaintiff filed an application to adjust her claim according to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Act. The woman was working at a medical facility at the time she reported suffering a right shoulder injury. She had been working for the same employer for 10 years as a part-time employee in the medical-surgical unit. According to her testimony, she was walking down a set of stairs in the basement when she missed a step and landed on her rear. She stated that she bumped her right shoulder at the time she fell and that she experienced “a little twinge” in her arm, as well as generalized aching in the shoulder area. She attempted to continue working, but after moving an obese patient, she said she suffered a serious bout of pain that rendered her unable to continue performing her work duties.

She was initially awarded benefits and medical expenses compensation, but the Workers’ Compensation Commission later reversed this award of benefits, finding that the woman failed to show that the injury was a direct result of her employment duties or that her injury occurred during the course and scope of employment. More specifically, it concluded that the woman was not a credible witness when it came to testifying about the origin, nature, and extent of her injury, particularly in light of testimony indicating that she had suffered an injury off-duty at home prior to the claimed work injury. It also found that two doctors’ opinions regarding the injury concluded that the way that the injury happened made it unlikely that the fall in the basement was the direct cause of her injury.

Whether in an Illinois workers’ compensation order or in a civil claim, the court has the power to award attorneys’ fees to different parties based on different procedural rules. Understanding when an award of attorneys’ fees is appropriate is essential to ensuring that you are treated fairly. A recent appellate opinion discusses this procedural rule.

The case arose from an injury that the plaintiff sustained as a construction worker. The plaintiff sought workers’ compensation benefits and filed a civil claim against the employer and a third-party defendant. The parties eventually reached a settlement in the civil action, which seemed to settle the civil claim as well as the workers’ compensation claim. The arbitrator assigned to the workers’ compensation claim approved the settlement and ordered the plaintiff to pay attorneys’ fees to the lawyers who provided him with counsel during the hearings. The claimant appealed the attorneys’ fees award, which was unanimously affirmed on review.

Next, the plaintiff appealed the decision to the civil court. He did not post an appeal bond at the time he filed his petition for review. One of the attorneys provided with attorneys’ fees in the original decision filed a request to quash the appeal on the basis that the failure to post an appeal bond rendered the appeal improperly filed. The circuit court agreed with the attorney and dismissed the worker’s claim for review.

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Suffering an injury at work is one of the most stressful, inconvenient, and difficult experiences that you can face, even if the injury is relatively minor. One of the most vital aspects of ensuring that you receive the full amount of benefits that you deserve is to show that the injuries you suffered arose out of your job duties and were part of the course and scope of your employment. A seasoned Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you ensure that you put your best case forward. As a recent appellate opinion shows, failing to show that the injury arose from your job duties can create serious issues when it comes to recovering benefits.

The claimant initiated a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after she suffered an injury while working at a high school. In her claim, she alleged that she sustained injuries to her right hip, shoulder, and face after falling on wet pavement while walking to the parking lot during her lunch break. An arbitrator reviewed the claim, determined that the injuries occurred during the scope and course of her job duties, and awarded the claimant temporary total disability benefits.

The high school appealed the arbitrator’s ruling, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission overturned the grant of benefits, finding that the injuries were not results of a risk related to the claimant’s job duties. The Commission stated that the claimant had failed to prove that the injuries arose out of her employment. The claimant appealed the determination to a trial court, which affirmed the decision to deny benefits. The claimant appealed.

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Workers’ compensation claims can be stressful and complicated, especially if you are attempting to navigate the process on your own. The following opinion demonstrates how an experienced and dedicated Illinois work injury lawyer can help you ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve from the beginning while avoiding unnecessary delays.

A claimant sought an adjustment of his claim pursuant to the Illinois workers’ compensation laws, asking for benefits for injuries that he suffered on June 2, 2008, and on March 23, 2009. The claims were consolidated and then decided during an arbitration. The arbitrator concluded that the claimant’s injuries occurred during the course and scope of his occupation on the two dates and awarded temporary total disability benefits to the claimant, as well as medical expenses. The arbitrator denied the claimant’s request for payment of his attorney’s fees and payment of penalties. Additionally, the arbitrator awarded the claimant wage differential benefits but rejected the claimant’s request regarding how the benefits should be calculated.

The claimant was working as a pastor at the time the injuries took place, and his employer was aware of this additional occupation. According to the claimant, the benefits should include his salary as a pastor for the purpose of calculating the amount of weekly benefits he was entitled to receive. The arbitrator rejected this reasoning, concluding that the claimant failed to prove that his employer knew he was being compensated for his work as a pastor at the time the injuries occurred.

As dedicated and seasoned Illinois work injury attorneys, we have seen numerous examples of how an employee can suffer serious injuries as a result of his or her occupation and job duties. One of the most widely discussed examples is situations in which the employee is exposed to asbestos and later develops mesothelioma, a dangerous and potentially fatal medical condition.

In a recent appellate opinion, the decedent spent the majority of his working life finishing drywall. Throughout this career, he utilized a variety of brands of joint compounds that contained asbestos. In 2013, the decedent’s physicians informed him that he developed mesothelioma. The decedent filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the joint compounds that he used during his career. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014, and his wife became the plaintiff in the litigation. By the time the matter proceeded to trial, only one defendant remained in the proceeding, with the other defendants having been dismissed or entering into settlement agreements.

At some point during trial, the lower court entered a directed verdict in favor of the defendant, finding that no witness could identify how frequently the decedent had used the defendant’s products during his lengthy career. The appellate court referred to case precedent regarding frequency of use matters in asbestos cases, which require a plaintiff to show that the worker worked in an area where the defendant’s product was used frequently and that the employee worked sufficiently close to the area to render him exposed to the product.

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