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City of Chicago Workers With Spinal Cord Injuries

Chicago Lawyers Helping Paralyzed Municipal Employees

Like some big businesses, the City of Chicago doesn’t pay an outside insurance company, but instead is self-insured for workers’ compensation. Self-insured employers must promptly pay benefits owed to injured employees and dependents. If you sustain injuries while working, the City will determine your eligibility for benefits and the amount of compensation you should be paid. City of Chicago workers with spinal cord injuries need to discuss their circumstances with Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys will aggressively advocate on your behalf because we recognize that spinal cord injuries are expensive to treat and rehabilitate, and you will need the full scope of benefits available for such a serious injury.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are often life-changing with social, emotional and cognitive effects added to the burden of the physical impact. After sustaining a spinal cord injury, workers may lose the ability to control their limbs depending on the location of the injury along the spinal cord and the severity of the trauma. Spinal cord injuries may permanently alter bodily function and sensation below the location of the injury. These injuries may be classified as being complete or incomplete. In a complete injury, all feeling and capacity to control movement are lost.

Benefits for City of Chicago Workers with Spinal Cord Injuries

Benefits that may be available through a workers’ compensation claim include medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and disability benefits. You are entitled to have the City of Chicago pay for all reasonably necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses.

In some cases, spinal cord injuries leave someone permanently disabled. You will be considered permanently disabled in Illinois if you’re left permanently unable to perform any kind of work for which there’s a reasonably steady job market. You may be able to obtain permanent total disability benefits if you were left completely paralyzed, for instance.

The City may have to provide vocational rehabilitation if you suffered a work-related spinal injury that reduces your earning power and there’s evidence that the vocational rehabilitation may increase your earning capacity. For instance, if you are a city firefighter who became paralyzed after a serious fall from a ladder, you may no longer be able to work as a firefighter, but you may be qualified to work in a more sedentary capacity. There’s no set standard for deciding what kind of rehabilitation program should be given to an injured worker and when it should be given. Before providing vocational rehabilitation services, the City may require you to make an initial good faith effort to obtain a job and demonstrate that you are unable to get a job that meets your physical restrictions. You may also need to show that a specific vocational rehabilitation program may result in a successful job placement.

Third-Party Lawsuits

Due to the severity of spinal cord injuries, it’s important to look at all the facts of the work accident to determine whether any third party may be held accountable. In a third-party lawsuit, your lawyer may be able to obtain full compensation for all economic and noneconomic losses by bringing a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if you sustained a spinal cord injury at work when a driver crashed into your fire truck, you may be able to recover damages by establishing that driver’s negligence. You’d need to show that the driver’s behavior fell below the standard of care and the driver’s failure to abide by the standard of care resulted in injuries.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Chicago

City of Chicago workers with spinal cord injuries sustained on the job should talk to the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about their situation. We represent injured workers in Rockford, Quincy, Champaign, and Aurora, along with Winnebago, Kane, Cook, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.