Articles Posted in Worker Compensation

Your workplace injury legal action (or actions) may be very straightforward or may be highly complex. What might start out as a seemingly simple request for additional benefits based on an unanticipated need for a secondary medical procedure may possibly set off many wide-ranging legal consequences. The key is to have the skilled Illinois workplace injury counsel you need to be ready for whatever comes next.

G.B. was a worker whose injury action proved to fall into the “complex” column. In the spring of 2017, G.B. was injured while working as a forklift driver in McHenry County. The damage to the driver’s shoulder was bad enough that he required rotator cuff surgery. Later on, doctors determined that the worker needed a follow-up surgery. That led G.B. to request an adjustment of the workers’ compensation claim for benefits that he’d filed earlier.

What ensued was a web of allegations and litigation over G.B.’s claim, all triggered through no fault of the worker. As many employers, especially larger employers, do, G.B.’s employer had workers’ compensation insurance. However, G.B.’s employer allegedly covered the forklift driver’s lost wages and medical expenses after the first surgery without notifying the insurance company. According to the insurer, it only found out after G.B. sought the adjustment to his claim based on the need for a second surgery.

In a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, filing all of the required documents, and filing them on time, is of the highest importance, since meeting deadlines as opposed to filing too late can be the difference between a successful outcome and a failure. That’s why you should not delay in reaching out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney whenever you’ve been hurt at work.

Moving quickly is essential because the law imposes strict deadlines on certain steps in your workers’ compensation claim process. Miss any one of those filing obligations or deadlines, and your case may get thrown out regardless of how impressive, voluminous, or persuasive your factual evidence was.

To see just how harmful a delay can be, look at the case of B.C. B.C. worked for a central Illinois school district when she was hurt on the job in November 2011. She filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

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.

Driving an Uber or Lyft vehicle can be dangerous business. MarketWatch recently reported on the results of research conducted by a team from a university in Texas and the Chicago Booth School of Business. The results showed that the frequency of fatal or serious accidents has gone up by 3% in major U.S. cities in the time period since rideshare services went online. The researchers concluded that the total economic loss that this increase in serious and fatal accidents has wrought in terms of lives lost was approximately $10 billion.

If you’re hurt behind the wheel of an Uber or Lyft, you may be entitled to certain forms of compensation. One of the forms available to certain workers is an award of workers’ compensation benefits. To find more about whether or not you may be able to pursue a claim successfully, be sure to reach out to an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

In Illinois, the law does not require you to demonstrate that your employer acted in a way that was careless or negligent in order for you to receive an award of benefits. What you do need to show is that your injury happened while on the job or occurred as a result of activities you performed while at work.

Working in the “gig economy,” as opposed to traditional employment, can have certain advantages like greater flexibility. It can also have certain disadvantages, especially if you’re hurt while on the job. Many employers may strive to classify their workers as independent contractors in order to avoid certain liabilities like providing workers’ compensation insurance. This problem is of particular importance for Lyft, Uber and other rideshare drivers because they, by the very definition of their jobs, are at a highly elevated risk of suffering injuries on the job as a result of a vehicle accident. If you are a Lyft or Uber driver hurt while working, there are several things you should do to get the benefits you need and deserve. Start by getting capable legal representation from a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

A court ruling released last year in California is a reminder of some good news that exists for Uber and Lyft drivers in Illinois. In the California case, which was resolved by that state’s Supreme Court last April 30 and was reported by cnn.com, C.L. was a delivery driver for a courier service. The courier company classified him as an independent contractor. The driver later sued, alleging that the classification was improper and that he was really an employee.

Independent contractors versus employees

The Supreme Court sided with the worker. In reaching that decision, the court adopted something called the “ABC Test,” which is one of the most helpful tests for workers seeking to be classified as employees and not as independent contractors. That test looks at three things very closely to decide if you are an employee or an independent contractor. They are:

  • the level of control you are placed under
  • whether or not your work is “outside the usual course” of the employer’s business
  • whether or not you are engaged in an “independently established trade, business or occupation” of the same type of work

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Whether you are pursuing workers’ compensation, Social Security disability benefits or benefits under some other statutory basis, one of the fundamental keys to success is making sure that the case you present demonstrates that your circumstances fit within all the criteria established by the law. This means understanding not just the facts of your case, but all the “ins” and “outs” of the statute. To make sure than you give yourself the best chance possible to recover benefits, be sure to retain a skilled Chicago injury lawyer to handle your case.

An example of how precise these cases can be was the case of J.M., a police officer in a suburb of Chicago. One night, after 26 years on the force, J.M. hurt his knee inspecting a commercial truck that he suspected of being overweight. Medical providers later diagnosed the officer with two torn tendons in his left knee. He underwent surgery but his condition did not improve. He ultimately had total knee replacement 16 months after the original accident.

After that second medical procedure, J.M. filed a claim for disability benefits under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act. To receive the sort of benefits that J.M. sought under the PSEBA, he was required to show that his injury took place in course of one of four specific situations. Those were: hot pursuit, an emergency (actual or perceived,) an unlawful act by another person or the investigation of a criminal act.

UPS reached a tentative five-year contract with the Teamsters union that includes pay increases and could pave the way for Sunday delivery.

The Teamsters confirmed negotiators reached an agreement that would raise the minimum wage for….click here to read the full article via USA TODAY!

Late last month, NBC Chicago reported on a Sunday afternoon accident involving several employees of a major airline who were hurt while traveling to their flight. Specifically, the employees were on a bus that was hit by a baggage cart. Six of the airline employees aboard the bus were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries. The cause of the accident was still under investigation as of the NBC Chicago report. Airline employees who are injured in situations like this may have various avenues to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered. Anyone hurt in a situation like this should consult an Illinois aviation injury attorney about their legal options and potential compensation.

One example of a somewhat similar event took place in Philadelphia and was recently resolved by a state court in Pennsylvania. Betty, a flight attendant for a major airline, was headed home after her shift, which involved flying from Philadelphia to Miami and back. After the return flight, the flight attendant boarded a shuttle bus to ride back to the employee parking lot. While boarding the bus, Betty slipped and fell and seriously injured her left foot.

The flight attendant filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The key issue in her case was whether or not she qualified, under the law, as being on her “employer’s premises” when she fell aboard the bus. The flight attendant received her award of benefits, since the court concluded that the shuttle bus was integral to the airline’s business and that Betty’s presence on the bus was required by the nature of her job. These factors meant that the bus was a part of the “employer’s premises” for the purposes of workers’ compensation benefits.

For any worker seeking to recover workers’ compensation benefits, one might hope for a clear-cut case in which the workplace injury unmistakably caused harm to the worker. Real life is rarely clear-cut, however, which is one reason why it pays to have experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys on your side. An example of succeeding even without a clear-cut case was a truck driver who had pre-existing conditions but whose evidence persuaded the Illinois Appellate Court that the driver’s post-accident state of ill-being was causally related to her workplace accident.

The worker was a woman who worked as a truck driver for several months in 2005. She eventually returned to truck driving, working for the same employer, in 2013. In the interim, she had undergone two back surgeries, one in 2009 and one in 2011. Despite the back problems and fibromyalgia, she passed both the employer’s physical exam and a state-mandated physical exam for truck drivers.

Six months back on the job, the driver slipped and fell on ice while making a delivery to a distribution center in northwest Illinois. The driver’s doctor restricted her from working. In the following April, she underwent spinal fusion surgery. Even after the surgery, the worker experienced pain and numbness, walked with a limp, and was unsteady on her feet. Her doctor did not clear her to return to truck driving and also imposed lifting restrictions. By September 2014, the employer terminated the driver.