Teacher Needs Help From Chicago Workman's Comp Lawyer
Here Is Chicago Workman's Comp Lawyer's Advice To A Teacher Who Got Injured At Work
We're getting questions from people, answering them on this article in case they like don't want to call a lawyer or they are not quite ready to talk to a lawyer and they're just collecting information. I'm happy to provide information. It's informational only, if you have a case or claim definitely talk to a lawyer. So, we have a question here.
"I wonder if the Chicago workman's comp lawyer can give me some advice. I am a teacher's assistant. I was supervising the class during recess and it was time to bring the kids back into class. A couple of kids were running and chasing each other and I tripped over one of the students and fell. I twisted my knee and I had surgery. Would this be considered workers comp? Would it be worth it to file a case?" That's horrible. So here is stage one info on workers comp.
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Might Be A Fight Or Might Not Be A Fight.
Stage one on workers comp injuries is, if you're at work doing your job and you get hurt, it's compensable. In other words it's automatically going to be covered under workers comp. Now just because something is technically covered under workers comp doesn't mean that the workers comp insurance company is going to pay all the benefits without a fight. So even if on paper you have a great case, there still might be a fight or might not be a fight.
The stage-two level of analysis of an injury on the clock is there are many exceptions and loopholes that could make a case not compensable. Where you could go all the way and try it in front of an arbitrator and lose the case because there are all kinds of exceptions.
Make It Compensable
As a general rule, if you are doing your job, you are in the course and scope of your employment, you're going to be covered. Another thing to think about is, if you are doing a routine activity like walking, going up or downstairs. But routine stuff walking, going up or downstairs, does the work requirement or your job introduce an increased risk with that activity?
Let me tell you what I mean. You're walking down the stairs at work, you fall and you hurt yourself. It might not be compensable. Here are the information we have to bring out at the trial to make it compensable.
Why were you going downstairs? "I was going downstairs because my boss asked me to go grab a file."
Was there any urgency to it? "Yes, he was on the phone with the client. The client was upset he said hurry."
Were you carrying anything? "Yes my supervisor asked me to carry a box downstairs. So I was carrying a box and I was in a bit of a hurry because my boss needed the file now."
You can start to see how in the workers comp context it can be a situation where the work activities added to the normal activity of going up and downstairs increases the risk to the employee. And then the case becomes compensable. A lot of times a person will call the office about a worker's comp case and they'll want to tell me their story. I'll have to interrupt them and develop facts like that or uncover facts like that.
The code is, many lawyers are vulgar. Sometimes lawyers do things which might appear to be rude but are actually necessary. This actually sounds like quite a good case. The the point is, in any injury case, whether it's workers comp, car accident or any injury case. Really, there's a couple of parts to the case. There's "Can you prove liability coverage or negligence?"
Then the second part is, "Is there an injury and how big is it?" So anytime there's a surgery involved, it has the potential unfortunately, to be a really serious thing. It could be a long-term thing. Some people who get a knee surgery require another one. Sometimes a person who has a surgery has a less than perfect outcome. So they're 80% better after the surgery but they never recover that 20%. The reason I'm addressing this is because the second question this person had was "Would it be worth it?"
In the grandest sense of things, that's a very complicated question. Sometimes sometimes people don't want to make waves at work. But anytime you're dealing with a serious injury that has the potential to really affect you permanently. You owe it to yourself to explore your options. Because there are time deadlines that we've talked about in a lot of our other articles on all these different injury cases.
Make a Decision
It's also true in workers comp cases too. There are deadlines and people make decisions about their care and about the decisions they make with respect to their health and their employment. When you don't have a lawyer who understands this stuff to answer your questions or you're hesitant to call a lawyer because you're afraid they're going to charge you.
You can make decisions or you can be sort of gently nudged into decisions by the workers comp insurance company that benefits them and hurts you. And you don't know about it until later. Then a year later you call a lawyer and say "Oh well I agreed to blah blah blah", you hurt your case.
But I always say workers comp insurance companies, car insurance companies, they all have immediate access to lawyers who know the rules, know the law, and know how these things work. So for injured people I always say, "Don't you deserve the same benefit?". And the thing is, free consultations mean you can get the benefit of that legal advice for free. So I would say, especially since it's a surgical case, it sounds to me like it's compensable. It sounds like it's a serious injury. I would encourage this lady to talk to a lawyer and seriously consider handling a case.
Illinois Workers Comp Commission
We've talked about this a bit before like there's a division in injury law. There's workers comp cases and then there's every other injury case. Workers comp cases don't go to the regular courthouse. They go to the Workers Comp Commission. It used to be called The Illinois Industrial Commission but we're not industrial that much anymore, service economy and such. So they changed it to the Illinois Workers Comp Commission and there are its own procedure.
It's very different than third party cases. All other third party cases you generally have to prove that the defendant was negligent. In other words, they acted unreasonably in a way which caused you an injury. You don't prove you don't have to prove negligence in workers comp at all. Usually it's really just an issue of, if you got hurt in the course in scope of employment, technically it's supposed to be compensable. But that's not the end of the analysis nor is it the end of the fight. Because I've represented lots of people over the years that on paper, had a great case, but the company is fighting them anyway.So get a lawyer on your side.
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