Recently, a client visited our office and asked us the same question: "Can I receive workers compensation for back pain?" Our office was not the first law firm that the 37-year-old client had consulted on the subject. In fact, he had previously been represented by another Illinois workers' compensation attorney. Not satisfied with the progress of his case, he sought out a firm with a reputation like ours, known for bringing cases to trial when other firms settle for a speedy settlement, which often hurts their clients.
Like many who experience chronic back pain, our client was injured on the job, where he worked as a janitor in a large office building in Chicago. One day, while pushing a heavy garbage container, which someone had filled with a large quantity of books, he seriously injured his back. As a result of his injuries, he required 2L fusion surgery and developed a significant accumulation of scar tissue around the root of the L5 nerve. Injuries left him practically unable to work
After searching the internet for a back injury attorney, the client came to the office of a local firm, which invested a limited amount of time and resources on his case. To the previous attorney, this man was simply a number: a case to be processed quickly to charge an easy contingency fee. The lawyer assigned to his case pressured him to accept a $ 50,000 settlement. Realizing that significant salary loss and chronic pain were worth much more, the client contacted our office.
As we often do, we strive hard to maximize our client's recovery. We reject all settlement offers and continue until trial. We made more than 8 statements from treating doctors and other key witnesses. At trial, we won a verdict of $ 312,500 on behalf of our client, more than $ 250,000 extra to the settlement offered by the other law firm.
Back injuries at work
The most common back injuries at work include:
- Ligament twist.
- Muscular tension.
- Broken discs.
- Joint irritation.
Back injuries caused by an accident at work are commonly caused by:
- Repetition of movements: Even simple movements made often enough can cause too much strain on the muscles and tendons, which can eventually lead to injury.
- Accidents: Slips and falls or the incorrect use of a machine.
- Travel: Those who drive for work are at risk of car accidents that can cause serious back and neck injuries (such as whiplash).
These injuries can occur anywhere on the back or neck. The resulting pain can be severe and cause long absences from work. In fact, back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost business days per year, or nearly 2 business days for every full-time worker in the United States. Low back pain is particularly common, costing Americans about $ 50 billion in medical costs annually. Add to this number another $ 50 billion in lost wages and decreased productivity from such injuries.
How to get compensation to the worker for back pain in Illinois?
Many of those who injure their backs in the workplace are unaware that they may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. If you have an accident at work, the most important thing to remember is to seek medical attention. Symptoms often do not manifest until several after the injury occurs. If you start experiencing back pain, see a doctor immediately. Some back injuries can be treated with rest and over-the-counter medications. Others require the assistance of a professional such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, or physician for pain management. If these treatment options fail, your injury may require surgery, followed by more medical treatment and no work time.
Under Illinois law, if you are seeking workers' compensation benefits for a back injury, you must notify your employer in writing. This notice must be delivered within 45 days from the date you sustained the injury and must provide a detailed report of the incident. There are some limited exceptions to the 45-day requirement, for example, if symptoms do not appear immediately after the incident. If you are unsure of the requirements to follow to notify your employer in writing, consult an experienced back injury attorney.
Once the employer receives notice of your injury, they must respond to you in writing and tell you whether to accept or deny your claim. If you accept the claim, your employer will provide you with access to medical treatment and benefits. However, employers often deny claims. When this occurs, you can file an appeal with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Alternatively, you can file your claim directly with the Commission. An experienced Illinois workers' compensation attorney can advise you on the best course of action for your case.
How much can I charge for my worker's compensation claim for the value of my back injury?
There are two important points to keep in mind regarding compensation. First, each case is different. It all depends on the extent of your injuries and the damage resulting from the accident. In Illinois, injured workers can recover money for medical costs, loss of earnings, and inability to work.
In Illinois, the Commission establishes minimum and maximum benefit rates that a worker can recover weekly if he is unable to work due to an accident at work. The amount of these limits depends on whether the worker is unable to work temporarily (known as Temporary Total Disability) or permanently (known as Permanent Total Disability). The Commission generally updates the minimum and maximum profit rates twice a year. Consult an experienced Illinois workers' compensation cases attorney for the latest rates.
Second, the success of your work-related crime case will depend on the law firm you hire to represent you. At the beginning of this article we exposed one of our recent cases related to the young janitor who was injured on the job. If our client had accepted the offer based on the recommendation of his former attorney, he would have lost more than $ 250,000 in benefits. Our firm goes the extra mile to maximize your results. When other firms seek to quickly dispose of their cases, The Romaker Law Firm is poised to bring each case to trial. If you want to discuss your case with an experienced Illinois workers' compensation attorney, contact us today.