Illinois Work Comp Back, Neck & Shoulder Settlements

Here is a sampling of decisions that deal with upper body injuries from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

2015; Cook County; 15 I.W.C.C. 0218:
The employee in this case was a police officer. He worked for the City of Park Ridge. One day at work, his manager instructed him to move some heavy filing cabinets. In the process of doing this, he injured his dominant hand and shoulder. The injuries required surgery to both affected areas of the body as well as rehabilitative care over an extended period of time. Eventually, he was able to return to work at the same salary but only in a modified capacity. He filed a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and they awarded him permanent disability benefits (not temporary because he was compensated in the interim period):

  • $664.72 per week for 50-3/5 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 20% loss of function in the affected arm/elbow.
  • $664.72 per week for 60 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 12% loss of function in the affected shoulder.

2007; LaSalle County; 04 I.W.C.C. 41351:
This dispute involved a 41-year-old mason worker at a high school. He had to construct a scaffold so he began putting the pieces together. The individual pieces weighed well over 100 pounds each. Unfortunately, one got stuck between two others and while he tried to remove it he harmed his neck and shoulder. He felt a tingling and spasms in the affected areas. To fix these injuries, he was forced to undergo various surgeries as well as a program of rehabilitative treatment. He was temporarily disabled for almost one year. When he returned, he could only do light and sedentary work. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission gave him the following benefits:

  • $584.87 per week for 139-2/7 weeks for temporary total disability benefits.
  • $526.38 per week for 370 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 74% loss of function to his body as a whole (combined loss of shoulder, neck, and other injuries).
  • $46,905.53 for medical expenses.

2015; Jefferson County; 15 I.W.C.C. 0132:
The victim here was a 58-year-old male. He worked as a tank truck driver. While attempting to unclog a pipe on the truck, he injured his shoulder as the pipe fell onto him. Doctors discovered that he had a torn rotator cuff among other injuries (such as impingement syndrome) and they performed several surgeries to correct the issue over several months. Despite rigorous medical treatments, he still was unable to return to work because, among other things, he cannot lift anything of substantial weight. Therefore, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decided that he was permanently disabled and awarded him lifetime benefits of $ 319.99 per week.

2013; McHenry County; 90 I.W.C.C. 62988:
A 38-year-old salesman brought a workers’ compensation claim when he slipped and fell at work as well as for years of on-the-job deterioration of his back and shoulders. He pointed to almost twenty years of work in support of his arguments in addition to various surgeries and other medical care he received to alleviate the injuries. At the time of the hearing, he could no longer work anymore because of the cumulative effect of the job on his body. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission awarded him temporary and permanent disability benefits as well as medical expenses:

  • $618.23 per week for 1084 weeks for temporary total disability benefits.
  • $618.23 per week for life beginning with the date of the Commission’s order.

2013; Madison County; 12 I.W.C.C. 39942:
The petitioner in this case was a 32-year-old bus driver. While working he was involved in an accident and he sustained lower back, neck, and wrist injuries. He filed a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission even though many of his injuries had subsided and he did not suffer from any significant temporary disabilities. However, he still sought permanent disability benefits and the Commission agreed that he deserved them:

  • $319 per week for 15 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 3% loss of function in the affected areas of his body.

2013; Cook County; 10 I.W.C.C. 00816:
The injured worker in this matter was a 29-year-old grocery store employee. He was bringing in and unloading beer cases when a pile of them toppled over and fell on him. The injury left him back and knee problems. He had to miss about a month of work and was unable to return to work at the same speed and force. The Illinois Commission on Workers’ Compensation awarded him the following benefits:

  • $319 per week for 13-5/7 weeks for temporary total disability benefits.
  • $309.33 per week for 66.125 weeks for permanent partial disability benefits. This represented a 7.5% loss of function to his leg and a 10% loss of function to his back/neck.
  • $6,852.83 for medical expenses.
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