Some workers for the City of Chicago need to operate or be involved with vehicles as part of their job. Vehicle accidents can give rise to both minor and catastrophic injuries. These may include soft tissue injuries, along with broken bones, paralysis, amputation, crushing, spinal cord damage and brain injuries. The City is self-insured, meaning that it doesn’t pay premiums to a private insurance company to secure insurance but instead has been approved to pay its own workers claim. As a loyal City employee, you might assume the City is better about administering its claims than private insurers are. However, in practice, the City does deny valid claims or provide only partial benefits, shortchanging workers. If you are a City of Chicago worker who was injured in a vehicle accident on the job, you should give the seasoned Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca a call. We have a track record of success over more than 60 years of experience advocating for best results.Vehicle Accidents
After getting injured in a work-related vehicle accident, you should let the City of Chicago know as soon as possible the circumstances of your accident. While you have 45 days, it is better to provide notice sooner. You should seek medical care promptly and make sure to let the physicians who see you know that you were injured on the job, so that they can bill the City for medical expenses associated with your care. Like other employers in the state, the City must pay workers’ compensation benefits to employees injured on the job under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Workers’ compensation benefits can make it easier for workers to survive following a vehicle accident. They may include medical benefits, permanent total disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. The medical care you receive for the vehicle accident must be reasonable and necessary to be covered by the City. This can disadvantage those workers that need more expensive treatment, as the City may argue that those treatments aren’t reasonable. In some cases, where the City feels it’s possible that you were injured outside of a work-related vehicle accident, it may conduct in-person or social media surveillance to gather evidence and continue investigating your claim, even though it is paying some benefits already.
Additionally, the City may ask you to go to an independent medical exam (IME). You may be surveilled on your way to and from the doctor’s office. While you might assume that you have a good relationship with your employer, the City, like private insurers may try to save money and the IME, despite its name, is not necessarily “independent.” Generally, the City is likely to retain a doctor who tends to side with employers and may recommend more conservative treatments that are cheaper to evaluate your injuries and the extent to which they restrict you.
If the City refuses to pay some aspect of your workers’ compensation claim arising out of work-related vehicle injuries, our attorneys may need to ask for a hearing before an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. That arbitrator will consider evidence and arguments from both sides.Third Party Lawsuits
If you are injured in a vehicle accident caused not by a coworker or your employer, you may be able to bring a third-party lawsuit against another party. Our attorneys are experienced at evaluating cases and bringing them to trial as appropriate, as well as navigating the subrogation interests that may be involved. In order to recover damages in your case, we would need to establish another party’s fault.
Most often, these vehicle lawsuits are pursued under a theory of negligence. If that is true in your case, we will need to prove: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care, (2) the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care, (3) the breach caused your injuries, and (4) you suffered actual damages as a result. For example, if you were driving to deliver a file for the City of Chicago, and a truck rammed into you, resulting in paralysis, you could bring a lawsuit for damages such as medical losses, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, replacement services, and more. However, unlike workers’ compensation benefits, your damages can be reduced by an amount proportionate to your fault.Consult a Seasoned Chicago Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a vehicle accident while working for the City of Chicago, you should give our workers’ compensation lawyers a call. Our firm represent workers in Aurora, Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. In addition to workers’ compensation claims, we also handle third party lawsuits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.