Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers & Illinois Injury Lawyers

Can I Get Both a Wage Differential Award and a PPD Award in My Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case?

| May 29, 2024 | Worker Compensation |

For some Illinois workers, their jobs present them with a daily risk of injury. For those individuals, remaining in their jobs for a period of years may mean incurring multiple workplace accidents and multiple injuries that damage various parts of their bodies. When that happens, you may not only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to receive multiple different workers’ compensation awards, with each one corresponding to different accidents and different injured body parts. Pursuing any claim for workers’ compensation benefits can be challenging; pursuing one where you need multiple types of benefits awards may be especially so. To make sure you’re getting everything you deserve from your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, reach out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

An example of this multiple-accident scenario was the workers’ compensation case of W.P., a Chicago-area worker whose workplace injury history dated back at least as far as 2005. On October 31 of that year, W.P., while working as a hoist engineer, injured his elbow when he slipped on an area of grease. In 2007, the worker was injured at his workplace when a vehicle’s side-view mirror struck his right wrist. Finally, in 2010, the man suffered injuries to his shoulders, right arm and whole body when he slipped on ice on his way to a vocational-rehabilitation appointment.

Following each of those injuries, W.P. filed applications for workers’ compensation benefits. After a hearing extensive testimony and other evidence, the workers’ compensation arbitrator issued a single decision on all three claims. In that decision, the arbitrator awarded W.P. PPD (permanent partial disability) benefits and also granted the worker a wage differential award.

The case wound its way through the legal system and a Circuit Court judge in Cook County ruled against W.P., concluding that he could receive either the PPD award or the wage differential award, but he could not obtain both of them.

The Illinois Appellate Court, however, reversed that ruling and concluded that W.P. could get both types of benefits awards in his situation. The ruling is a useful one for anyone whose situation dictates a need for more than one type of award of benefits in their workers’ compensation case.

W.P. suffered multiple accidents that harmed different parts of his body, which was a key set of facts in his circumstance. The worker received his wage differential award for the harm he suffered to his right wrist in the second accident. He received his PPD award of benefits for the damage he suffered to his right elbow in the first accident. That, the appeals court stated, was a permissible award under Illinois law. Had the commission awarded W.P. two types of benefits for the injury to his right elbow, as the opposition claimed, then the worker would not have been entitled to both types of benefits. However, because each type of award actually corresponded with a different accident and a different injured body part, the worker was entitled to keep both awards.

If you’ve been hurt at work, take proactive steps to make sure you get the total compensation you deserve. Contact the skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our attorneys have been providing effective and intelligent representation for many years and are here to handle your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us at 312-724-5846 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

An Illinois Truck Driver’s Pre-Existing Conditions Didn’t Stop Her From Proving Her Workplace Accident Caused Her ‘Condition of Ill-Being’, Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog, Oct. 16, 2017