Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

A Man Hurt in Multiple Workplace Accidents Gets Both Permanent Partial Disability and Wage Differential Awards in His Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case

| May 29, 2024 | Worker Comp Blog, Worker Compensation, Workplace Injury |

If your workplace injury was a single accident that harmed a single body part, you may have a relatively straight-forward claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, what happens when you suffered multiple injuries as a result of multiple job-related accidents? That may have the potential to complicate your claim for workers’ compensation benefits but, properly handled, it may also have the potential to work in your favor in terms of receiving multiple benefits awards in order to compensate you fully for all of the work-related harm that you suffered.

To get there, though, you’ll need several things to achieve that success. You’ll need proof of the damage that each accident caused you. You’ll also need to understand how, under Illinois’s workers’ compensation law, you can qualify for both of the different awards you’re seeking. In sum, you need an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney help you throughout the process, from before the hearing to during the hearing to after the hearing.

An example of someone who was able to get both a permanent partial disability (PPD) award and a wage-differential award was W.P. W.P. was a man who suffered a series injuries on the job. In 2005, he reportedly hurt his right elbow and wrist when he slipped and fell on grease while standing on a machine platform. In 2007, his wrist was again injured in a collision with a vehicle side mirror as W.P. directed traffic around the work site. In 2010, he injured both shoulders and an arm when he slipped and fell on ice while going to a vocational rehabilitation appointment.

W.P.’s case went before an arbitrator and was later appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. That commission decided that the proof in the case indicated that the worker was entitled to receive both a PPD award pursuant to section 8(e) and a wage differential pursuant to section 8(d)(1). The PPD award was connected to the right elbow injury suffered in the first accident. The wage differential award was tied to the worker’s right wrist injury suffered in the second accident.

The employer appealed but the appeals court ruled that a worker like W.P. could recover multiple awards for multiple injuries to numerous body parts. Specifically, the appeals court’s ruling in W.P.’s case highlighted the important concept that, when a worker “sustained two separate and distinct injuries to the same body part” and both of those claims for benefits are combined into one hearing, then the worker is entitled to seek multiple awards.

W.P.’s case is a reminder that success may entail many things, including going through multiple hearings to get the award of benefits that you deserve. To get the kind of skilled and effective counsel you need for your multi-faceted workers’ compensation claim, be sure that you contact the knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been helping people who have been hurt on the job to utilize the system and to get the much-needed award of benefits to which the law says that they are entitled. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 or through our website.