Avoiding Possible Pitfalls When Pursuing Both a Workers’ Compensation Claim and an Illinois Injury Lawsuit for Your Truck Accident

If you have been injured during the performance of your job, you may have a variety of options for obtaining compensation for your injuries. You may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You may be entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit. In some circumstances, you may be entitled to do both. With any option will come certain benefits and certain possible complications, so you should be sure you have representation from a skilled Chicago injury attorney to help guide you through the process.

C.A.’s case was one in which he pursued both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit. C.A. was a semi-truck driver who, one day in March 2015, was traveling along a highway in Grundy County when an accident occurred. D.R., another semi-truck driver, crashed his truck into C.A.’s truck. The accident caused C.A. to suffer substantial injuries.

The collision allegedly caused C.A. to suffer back, shoulder and knee injuries. In addition to filing a lawsuit in Illinois, C.A. also filed a workers’ compensation claim for benefits in Pennsylvania, which was where his employer was based. Eventually, C.A. settled the workers’ compensation case. In the settlement agreement that ended that action, the document stated that C.A. suffered a right knee strain – and only a right knee strain – as a result of the accident.

The defense in the driver’s Illinois injury lawsuit tried to use that Pennsylvania settlement against him. The defense argued that the driver’s statement about suffering only a knee strain (made in the Pennsylvania case) was a legal admission by which C.A. must be bound in the Illinois case. In other words, because he signed the agreement that stated that he suffered only a knee strain, he could only pursue damages for his knee injury (and not his shoulder or back injuries) in his Illinois case.

The Illinois Appellate Court, however, ruled that C.A. was allowed to continue forward with all of his injury claims, including his back and shoulder damages. The key to the case was the fact that Illinois law recognizes two different types of admissions. One is a “judicial admission,” which is something that completely prevents you from arguing anything to the contrary in your current case. An “evidentiary admission” is something that “may be explained by the party.”

So, in other words, if the Pennsylvania agreement was a judicial admission, then the defense was right and C.A.’s pursuit of his shoulder and back injuries was barred; if it was an evidentiary admission, then the law allowed C.A. to continue, to explain the admission and to argue why he should receive compensation for his shoulder and back injuries in spite of that earlier admission. The appellate court concluded that C.A.’s was an evidentiary admission, which meant that he could go ahead with his full case.

Judiciary admissions, according to the courts, are things like a party trying to change his answer within the same deposition, or a party settling in full against a particular defendant, then trying to sue that same defendant later.

C.A.’s was different. One fact was of particular importance. As the court pointed out, an admission cannot be a judicial admission “when it is made in the course of another proceeding.” C.A.’s admission was, so it could not be that kind of admission, and he was entitled to seek damages for all his injuries.

If you have been hurt in a truck accident, you need skilled legal advocates working for you. Talk to the experienced Chicago injury attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years and are ready to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 800-444-1525 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Illinois Court Says Police Officer Entitled to Seek Benefits for Injury Suffered Inspecting Commercial Truck, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Dec. 5, 2018

Chicago Bartender Suffers Multiple Serious Injuries After a Collision with a CTA Bus, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Sept. 24, 2018