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City of Chicago Workers With Shoulder Injuries

Chicago Lawyers Representing Municipal Employees

City of Chicago workers can sustain shoulder injuries while performing many different work activities. Shoulder injuries can be caused by falls, accidents, repetitive movements, or heavy lifting. Work-related injuries are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The City is self-insured. That means it’s been approved to pay its own claims and a significant amount of money has been set aside for that purpose. City of Chicago workers with shoulder injuries should discuss their situation with a seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

City of Chicago Workers With Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries can include nerve damage, torn ligaments, separated shoulder, torn labrum, or rotator cuff damage. The type and severity of the shoulder injury will determine the level of benefits you will receive. Workers’ compensation benefits may include reasonable medical care, medical mileage, disability benefits that consist of partial wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation.

You should notify the City about your shoulder injury in writing as soon as possible after you are injured. Written notice will prevent the City from denying it knew about the injury when it occurred or claiming the injury is not work-related. The notification must be provided within 45 days of the accidental injury. If you can’t work for more than 3 days because of your shoulder injury, the City should start making payments. Alternatively, the City must provide a written explanation of any additional information it needs to make a determination about payment or provide you with a written denial.

If you miss more than three days of work, the City should file a first report of injury with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. You can file an Application for Adjustment of Claim whether or not you start receiving benefits. Sometimes workers start receiving benefits immediately, but the City issues a denial and stops paying benefits down the line. You’ll need to file the application within 3 years of your injury or lose your entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. An arbitrator will be assigned to your case. Status calls are conducted every three months for three years. If you have a dispute about benefits, you can get a hearing more quickly if you already have an application on file. An arbitrator will hear your case. Its decision can be appealed in court.

Maximum Medical Improvement

A patient reaches maximum medical improvement when additional treatment will not improve the condition of the injury any further. In the best scenario, the shoulder injury has fully healed allowing the employee to return to work. At the other end, the employee may remain disabled with no prospect of full recovery, which prevents them from working at all. Alternatively, some employees may have made a partial recovery such that they are able to go back to work with restrictions.

Lump Sum Settlement

In some cases, the City may offer the employee a lump sum settlement. This is an agreement between you and the City to release some or all of its responsibilities in exchange for money. Usually, the City will pay the entire settlement in one lump sum. However, in some situations, the City may settle the case by agreeing to pay you in installments over time. Installment payments may be arranged because you’re permanently and totally disabled, or you have a wage differential claim. In a wage differential claim, you are only able to resume working in a job that pays you less than what you made prior to your injury.

Generally, you should consult with a lawyer before accepting a lump sum settlement. Unless you’ve attained maximum medical improvement, settling a claim prior to your shoulder attaining maximum medical improvement is risky because you don’t know if your shoulder will require further medical care. Once you accept a lump sum settlement and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission accepts it, you will not be eligible for further benefits even if the condition of your shoulder worsens.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago

Chicago municipal workers with shoulder injuries should discuss whether they have a viable claim with the workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent injured workers in Rockford, Aurora, Quincy, and Champaign as well as Winnebago, Cook, Adams, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.