Workers’ Compensation Claims

“The burden of caring for the casualties of industry should be borne by industry, and not by the injured workers whose misfortunes arise out of the industry, nor by the taxpayers.” The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that employers provide benefits to employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. These benefits include wage replacement, payment of medical bills, and compensation for any permanent injuries. If an employee is unable to return to his or her job because of permanent restrictions related to a work injury, he or she may be entitled to ongoing maintenance benefits while searching for alternative work. If the employee earns less at a new job, then that employee may be entitled to a wage differential payable weekly through the age of 67. And if an injured employee is unable to secure employment because of a work injury, that employee could be entitled to weekly benefits for life.

I have been representing injured workers for 17 years. I have represented workers at arbitration, Commission review, Circuit Court Review and before Illinois Appellate Court’s Workers’ Compensation Division. I have tried cases throughout the State of Illinois, and have secured favorable decisions in all types of workers’ compensation claims, from scars and back strains to wage differentials and permanent total disability claims. I possess the knowledge and experience to aggressively represent you in your claim for benefits before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and in the Illinois courts.

Personal Injury Cases

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation regime in Illinois is a no-fault system. If an individual or a company other than your employer caused you to be injured on the job, you may have a claim against that person or company. This is called a third party case. Third party cases are pursued in civil court, not before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. When a worker is injured in the course and scope of employment, it is important that the attorney investigate the circumstances surrounding the work accident. A third party case can be very valuable and should be aggressively pursued. If you are injured at work, and feel that you may have a third party case, do not hesitate to contact me. The sooner you begin investigating, the better.

Social Security Disability Claims

In addition to representing injured workers before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the courts, I also represented injured workers in claims for Social Security Disability benefits before the Social Security Administration. When a worker suffers a catastrophic injury, he or she may also qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. It is especially important that seriously injured workers hire an attorney that understands both Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation laws. Perhaps you’ve heard horror stories about workers who settle their workers’ compensation claims and one or two years later receive a demand letter from the Social Security Administration advising them that they owe thousands of dollars in over-payments. Don’t let this happen to you. I have been making sure that clients get the benefits they are entitled to, while at the same time making sure that they don’t get any nasty surprises down the road. If you have a work injury, and believe that you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits, contact me for a free consultation.

Medicare Secondary Payer Issues

Medicare has become much more aggressive in asserting its Secondary Payer status in recent years. What does that mean? It means that if you are seeking treatment for a work related injury, then Medicare doesn’t want to pay for it. You see, not only do you need a workers’ compensation lawyer that understands Social Security, you also need a workers’ compensation lawyer that understands Medicare. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, or there is a reasonable expectation that you could become a Medicare beneficiary in the future, then you can’t settle your workers’ compensation claim without taking Medicare’s interests into account. That means that when you settle a case, you must make sure that you are not on the hook for any conditional payments made by Medicare and that any future treatment related to the work injury will be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. This is serious business. I am a Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional. I have experience not only protecting your Medicare benefits during settlement negotiations, but I have also fixed mistakes made by other lawyers who didn’t know how to protect their clients’ future interests. If you have received a conditional payment demand letter from Medicare and you don’t know what to do, it is important that you take action. Medicare begins charging interest 60 days after a demand letter is sent out, and failure to appeal could cost you thousands of dollars. And once your debt is referred to the U.S. Treasury, you can face garnishment of your future benefits. Don’t wait. Call now!

Animal Law

The law is anything but boring. Sometimes you end up practicing an area of law that you never thought possible. It just so happens that my family’s love affair with horses has led to calls from clients with issues ranging from animal control issues to zoning problems to horse contracts gone bad. I have learned that too often in the equine business, deals are done with a handshake. Unfortunately, when handshake deals go bad, they can end up costing thousands of dollars and innumerable hours of stress and emotional turmoil. If you or your family is purchasing or selling a horse, it is important that you prepare a written contract that will protect you and your interests. If the other side wants to prepare the contract, you need your own experienced attorney to review that contract to make sure that your interests are protected.

If you have been the subject of a site visit by Animal Control and are pending a follow up visit, take it very seriously. Failure to act may lead  to monetary fines, criminal charges, business interruption, and forfeiture of your animals, not to mention the irreparable damage to your reputation. If you are a horse operation facing a zoning issue, you may be forced to close your business or make financially devastating changes to your business operations.

If you already have a horse problem, or are interested in avoiding a horse problem, contact me today. I am happy to offer a free consultation and work with you in developing a plan to fix or aggressively mitigate any issue you may be facing.