CTA Workers Compensation Lawyers

While any Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can handle a case, there are some industries where having experience with the employer can be important. For me, that’s true when it comes to choosing a lawyer to represent you in a case against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

The CTA has a reputation for making things difficult for their injured employees. They are big on using their own doctor and seem to wrongly classify cases as not work comp a lot or simply deny or delay benefits without good cause or any reason at all. Another common defense they use is saying you shouldn’t have a case because your condition is pre-existing. They will do this even if evidence shows that you were fine before the job made your problem worse or if the law isn’t on their side.

The Chicago Transit Authority has around 9,000 employees and doesn’t just cover Chicago, but also 35 different suburbs. There are literally thousands of buses and rail cars in action every single day.

While some of the injuries CTA workers face are typical such as a lifting injury, others are unique. For example, many bus drivers sustain back injuries from the shock of bouncing up and down while driving all day or hitting potholes. Those cases are often fought by the CTA but are usually legitimate. This is where having an attorney who has handled a similar case successfully is a huge advantage.

Other unique factors about these injuries involve how crowded the streets are, how violent some passengers can be, or even understanding what a lineman or rail mechanic does every day on the job. That type of knowledge is really important when proving a repetitive trauma case or in situations where a worker has permanent restrictions.

Then of course there’s the issue of a potential third-party (personal injury) lawsuit from an accident. Every day buses are hit by negligent drivers, or workers are sent to unsafe places that can cause an accident and injuries. So having a law firm that can handle both cases can be important as well.

Finally, we have helped a lot of Chicago Transit Authority workers who have psychological injuries. These cases have involved trauma after being attacked by riders or people in the area where the buses/trains are kept, PTSD from seeing a shooting or death, and even trauma after a sexual assault on the job. These experiences help future clients with similar situations.

If you would like to be connected with an experienced Chicago work comp attorney to discuss your case, please call us any time at 312-346-5578. All calls are free and confidential.

Snapping Hip Syndrome, Illinois Workers Compensation

Snapping hip syndrome (SHS) is a hip disorder also known medically as coxa saltans. A person with snapping hip syndrome may hear a snapping sound or feel a snapping sensation in their hip when they walk, run, get up from a chair or swing their leg around. SHS develops primarily from overuse. The muscle tendons become inflamed, and they snap or click as they rub over the hip bone socket.

Who Suffers From SHS?

SHS can affect people of all ages. SHS tends to be more common in women, but it can affect people of all genders. People with jobs that require repetitive moving of the hip, such as laborers, line workers, athletes, dancers, and nurses, are at a greater risk of developing SHS.

Three Main Types of Snapping Hip Syndrome

Internal: Tendons slide over bone structures at the front of the hip joint. This is the second most common type of SHS. People with internal SHS often experience a gradual onset of symptoms that worsen over time. They may feel pain near the groin and hear popping when running.

External: Tendons slide over bone at the top of the femur (thigh bone). This is the most common type of SHS. People with external SHS may feel snapping when running or when climbing up stairs. They may also feel tenderness on the outside of the hip, and lying on this hip at night is painful.

Intra-articular: Not caused by a tendon sliding over bone. An actual hip joint issue caused by trauma or an injury causes this type of SHS.

Symptoms and Treatment of SHS

Many cases of SHS are painless and the only symptom is the annoying snapping sound or sensation. However, other cases cause pain or weakness and can interfere with a person’s job performance. If home remedies such as ice and over-the-counter pain relievers do not work, seeing a doctor will be necessary. A doctor may recommend physical therapy with a focus on stretching, strengthening, and alignment. A corticosteroid injection to the area is another treatment approach that can relieve inflammation. Doctors may recommend surgery if you don’t get better. We highly recommend that you see a doctor ASAP and tell them about your job activities. Failure to do that could cause you to lose your right to bring a claim.

Snapping Hip Syndrome and Workers’ Compensation In Illinois?

If you have SHS, and it is the result of your job duties, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for your medical treatment and your time off work. In addition, your employer may need to modify what you do at work until you get better. Illinois law can protect you. We are a state-wide network of experienced attorneys who can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and get you the benefits you need. It costs nothing upfront to hire a lawyer and we only get paid if we are successful.

To ask us questions about your snapping hip syndrome and workers’ compensation or discuss starting a case, please call us anytime for free at 312-346-5578.

Illinois Work Comp – You Are NOT Suing Your Employer

I was contacted recently by someone who suffered severe burns in an explosion at work. He had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his arms and face after his work-related injury in the Chicago area.

Unlike most callers, he didn’t want a workers’ compensation attorney. He was upset because the doctors and nurses didn’t at first realize how severe his burns were and wanted to treat him with a cream. So he was actually wanting to know if I knew someone to sue them.

I explained that his much stronger case would be for work comp as it would compensate him for his time off of work, pay his bills and provide him with a decent settlement. He had no interest in doing that.

When I asked why, his response was, “I could never sue my employer.”

I hear that type of talk all of the time and it requires some educating. Illinois workers’ compensation claims aren’t lawsuits. They are claims for owed insurance benefits. In other words, if you don’t have a problem using company-provided health insurance, you shouldn’t have a problem bringing a work comp case.

While technically these cases involve your employer, we almost never deal with them directly or indirectly. All cases are handled between us and their insurance company or an attorney if the insurance company hires one. That typically happens when there are disputes in your case which would mean that your bills aren’t being paid, medical care isn’t being approved, you’re not getting compensated for time off work, etc.

If you don’t make a claim for these benefits that you are entitled to under law, you will almost certainly get screwed and risk your health for a lack of medical care. And of course, you will miss out on getting a settlement which depending on how severe your injury is could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And all settlements are tax-free.

If an employer is trying to make you feel bad or guilty about bringing a case, it just shows that they really don’t care about you. But would you let them make you feel bad if you got chemo when you have cancer or went to the ER after a fall at home? Of course not even if that means their corporate health insurance rates could go up.

Well, it’s the same for work comp. If they care about you, they’ll want to make sure that your health is taken care of and that you don’t get hurt financially.

If you have questions about how these cases work or want to discuss anything in confidence with no cost or commitment, you can call us any time at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois and will treat you like a family member or friend.

What We Told A United Mechanic His Case Was Worth

I get a lot of calls and emails asking me what a case might be worth. Here’s one I got recently (some info changed to protect their identity):

Hello, I’m trying to estimate a potential settlement amount for my work injury. I have 2 herniated disc L4,L5. that caused lower back pain and effects my sciatica. right leg, and foot.

Spine Dr wants to give me an epidural injection, but I may hold off on that. I make around 100k a year and am getting paid for my time off of work. What do you think my case is worth? I’ve been in the same job for 37 years.

This was my response:

There is no honest way to tell you what it’s worth right now. That’s for a few reasons:

1. We don’t know what your ultimate recovery will be. If you have any restrictions, that will greatly affect what the case is worth.

2. We don’t know what additional care you might need.

3. We don’t know what defenses they might raise.

4. Don’t know your age.

5. Don’t know your work history.

6. Don’t know your goals.

7. Don’t know if you’ll need future medical care.

Bottom line is that some lawyers will throw out a number in hopes that you sign with them. We don’t do that as we want to always be honest. That said, they don’t have to offer anything, and United is a company that often doesn’t offer settlements for man-as-a-whole injuries (reason why requires a longer explanation), and when they do, it’s often to people they ask to retire, or they lowball you.

You’ll never get less with a lawyer (even with a 20% fee) than without one. If they make you an offer before getting an attorney, you’ll have a very hard time getting a lawyer to take the case if you know it’s worth much more. If you have restrictions that they disagree with, the range of the settlement or trial value could be in the six figures. 


These types of questions are okay to ask, but we don’t give these opinions without seeing someone’s medical records and having a free consultation with them. That will cause many people not to want to go forward with us because there are plenty of lawyers out there who will tell you what you want to hear even if they know it’s not true. By that I mean there is one firm in Chicago that will tell people something like, “If you sign with us, we can get you at least $100,000 for your injury.” They are making up that number and when the case ends up being worth $20,000, they say, “Oh well.”

If you’d like a free consultation with an experienced attorney, you can call us any time at 312-346-5578.

The SVB Disaster and Illinois Work Comp

I will be the first to admit that I never heard of Silicon Valley Bank before the end of last week. For those who don’t know, it sounds like this bank held a lot of money from start ups and other companies, but didn’t keep enough of the money in house. When clients tried to withdraw their money, there wasn’t enough there.

The part that gets me furious is what happened next. Bank deposits are supposed to be insured by the Government for up to $250,000, but many customers had millions in potential losses. So within 48 hours the Government stepped in to make sure that nobody with holdings at the bank would suffer any losses.

It’s maddening how quickly the Government can act when rich people are losing money. But for people who want relief from student loans or to get healthcare, suddenly it takes forever and people say there’s no money to be had. It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.

So what does this have to do with Illinois workers’ compensation?

According to this tweet by well respected NFL commentator Mina Kimes, the Bengals are trying to get Ohio work comp laws changed so their payouts to their players aren’t as big. It’s aim is to limit medical payouts and the size of settlements.

Much like the SVB disaster, this appears, to me, a case of the rich trying to take advantage of their power to hurt those in lesser positions. Now you might not have much sympathy for a NFL player making millions a year, but laws like this can trickle down eventually to hurt regular workers too. Once you start chipping away at a law, the next attack becomes that much easier.

I’m against anything that favors the rich at the expense of the working class. There is truly nobody cheaper than the rich and far too often they will screw the little guy. And the problem is that most legislators are beholden to the rich because those are their donors. It’s one reason why keeping unions strong in Illinois is so important. You want to support politicians who are beholden to the general public.

Permanent Restrictions And Illinois Work Comp Settlements

When asking what your Illinois workers compensation case is worth, there are a lot of factors that go into determining that. One of the biggest factors that go into valuing a case is what is the ultimate recovery you make. If you are able to return to work full duty as you were before the injury, you are still entitled to a settlement, but it will be less than if you need accommodations.

Cases where you have permanent restrictions due to a job-related injury in Illinois are almost always going to be worth more than if you can return without restrictions. There are plenty of other factors that go into determining what a case is worth (age, job history, wages, education, medical treatment received, need for future medical care, subjective complaints, etc.), but restrictions can turn a case worth $50,000 into one worth five times that amount or more.

When we say permanent restrictions, the most common one is a lifting restriction. Your doctor, sometimes after a functional capacity examination (FCE), might say that you can’t lift more than 20 pounds for example. Other restrictions could include limits on bending, standing, walking, reaching overhead, pushing, pulling, typing, and just about anything else you can think of.

If your employer can accommodate your restrictions with a real job, your case will be worth more than if you were 100% healthy. It won’t make the settlement go up by an exorbitant amount, but it will definitely add value to the case. How much more likely depends a lot on your field of work. A laborer or nurse with a permanent 50-pound lifting restriction will see a bigger increase in the case value as compared to a teacher or secretary who has the same issue. That’s because those jobs are harder to do with lifting restrictions and your future income is more likely to be affected.

Where permanent restrictions really make a case worth more is when your employer doesn’t have a job for you within your restrictions. If you were a high-wage earner and now can only find work making a lot less, you could be entitled to wage differential benefits. Under Illinois law, you’d get paid 2/3 the difference between what you’d currently make in your old job vs. what you can make. And those benefits would last until you are 65 years old.

In one memorable case I worked on, a 20-something was making over $40 an hour working on a construction site. He sustained a bad foot injury and couldn’t do any work on uneven ground. Due to his limited education, he could only find jobs making just above minimum wage. In the end, we secured approximately $400,000.00 in benefits for him.

And if you have permanent restrictions and not only can your old employer find you work, but there is no stable job market for you, your case could be worth even more money. There is no age limit for payments to workers who become permanently disabled.

Remember that every case is different. So many factors can go into what a case is worth. If you’d like a free, confidential consultation about your case, you can contact us any time at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois.

2023 Illinois Workers Compensation Questions

We get so many great questions from people who want to talk to an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. Here are some of the best ones we’ve received so far in 2023 that we thought our readers should know the answers to. If you have any questions or just want to speak with a lawyer for free, please contact us any time. We help everywhere in Illinois.

Why aren’t they taking taxes out of my workers comp check? That’s because Illinois workers’ compensation benefits are tax-free. You don’t have to report payments for TTD benefits or your settlement on any tax forms.

What is the Illinois work comp waiting period? There is no waiting period for being eligible for benefits. You are eligible the second you start working. The only waiting period applies to payments for being off work due to a work-related injury. Payments don’t start until your 4th calendar day off. But even then you get those first three days paid once you are off 14 total calendar days.

I was wondering if when employed through an agency to work at a factory, do the same rules apply about being eligible for workmans comp on the first day of employment? Yes. No employer can create special rules.

I’m a truck driver from Canada, but read your articles. Can you help me? Lots of people read us which makes me happy. That said, we can only help if you have a work-related connection to Illinois or some other State where I know a good lawyer. We can’t help in Canada. The laws are different there and we aren’t licensed there. I suggest you find someone in Canada who specializes in work-related injuries.

My boss called my doctor and changed my appointment to accommodate her schedule. Is that legal? No. That’s very illegal. Your employer isn’t allowed to do things like that.

The work comp adjuster told me that I couldn’t have surgery until one year after my accident to see how my injury responded to physical therapy. Is that true? That is very much NOT true. Work comp adjusters aren’t doctors and can’t make medical decisions for you. In some cases having surgery right away is extremely important. Other times trying physical therapy first makes sense. Whatever the case, those decisions should be made by you in consultation with your doctor. Illinois work comp insurance companies don’t get to dictate your medical care.

How many times can I turn down a settlement offer? There is no right answer to this question. Theoretically, there is no limit. It’s possible for a settlement offer to be taken away, but that is not very common at all. Realistically if you turn down an offer then you will make a counter demand and they will either increase their offer or hold the line. If you can’t agree on what a case is worth, going to trial usually makes sense.

Thanks for reading. And as always, please get in touch if you have any questions.

Light Duty And Home Health Care Workers In Illinois

There are some calls we get from injured Illinois workers where I can guess the injury before they tell me what happened. One such situation involves home healthcare workers.

These nursing specialists do incredible work. They provide convenient care in the patient’s home doing a wide variety of services such as bathing, administering medicine, wound care, therapy, and more.

One very common task involves lifting patients or helping them up. In fact, it’s a part of the job that almost every one of these home health aides has to do. So when someone calls me and tells me that they were hurt providing home health care, I can usually guess correctly that they have a back injury.

The typical situation involves having to hold all of the weight of their patient who doesn’t have great balance or falls into them. What we usually see is that the nurse ends up holding more weight than they should so their client doesn’t get hurt. Whether it’s immediate or at the end of the day, back pain appears and in some cases can result in a really serious injury.

This was the case of a Chicago home health care worker who called me recently. She hurt her back lifting a patient and eventually was diagnosed with a herniated disc. She went through physical therapy and epidural steroid injections and now is released with a permanent 30-pound lifting restriction.

Her agency employer has put her back to work in the home of a new client. The problem is that even though she’s not supposed to lift more than 30 pounds, those types of restrictions are impossible to follow.

I say that because when you do this job, you are on your own. If your patient stands up and is about to fall, you have to catch them. If they need help getting up off the toilet or out of the bath, you have to do it. You can’t avoid lifting.

And this was the problem my caller faced. Her agency was essentially ignoring her restrictions by placing her back in the home of someone who had a hard time getting around. They could have put her in a pediatric home health situation or with a patient who was more ambulatory. The problem is that those types of assignments are not as common. They didn’t want to pay her to stay at home while they found work for her, so they instead endangered her long-term health by placing her in a home with a patient that needed a lot of help.

They also of course put the patient’s health at risk and quite honestly could risk a lawsuit as a result.

The good news is that we can make them follow the work-related restrictions in most cases. Because most of these nurses work for an agency and don’t have regular face-to-face contact with their employer, they tend to get treated less than human. Illinois workers’ compensation laws protect you when you are injured on the job and are meant for situations just like this.

If you would like a free consultation to see what your rights are and how an experienced lawyer can help you, please call us any time at 312-346-5578.

Best Spanish Speaking Work Comp Lawyer In Chicago

We have said often that there is no such thing as “the best” work comp lawyer, but rather you need the best one for your case. We have created a state wide network of attorneys to make sure that when someone calls us for help, they get the right attorney for their case.

One obvious time this comes up is when an injured worker is a Spanish speaker. To them, the most important thing is to be able to communicate with someone who can understand them. That is definitely important. But the danger we see is that some people hire a Spanish speaking attorney without making sure that the attorney has a track record of success with workers comp cases.

The good news is that you can have both. There are plenty of lawyers we know who are fluent in Spanish and do nothing but represent injured workers all day. Illinois work comp law is complex enough, that if it’s not your day in and day out focus, you can’t do the best job for your clients.

And you shouldn’t have to rely on a family member or friend to always translate or work with a firm who only has paralegals or secretaries that can translate. You can get a great work comp attorney in Chicago and elsewhere who can help you get the results you deserve.

If you’d like to speak with an attorney for free, fill out our contact form or contact us any time at 312-346-5578.

El mejor abogado de compensación laboral de habla hispana en Chicago

Hemos dicho a menudo que no existe el “mejor” abogado de compensación laboral, sino que necesita el mejor para su caso. Hemos creado una red de abogados en todo el estado para asegurarnos de que cuando alguien nos llame para pedir ayuda, obtenga el abogado adecuado para su caso.

Un momento obvio en el que esto surge es cuando un trabajador lesionado habla español. Para ellos, lo más importante es poder comunicarse con alguien que pueda entenderlos. Eso es definitivamente importante. Pero el peligro que vemos es que algunas personas contratan a un abogado que hable español sin asegurarse de que el abogado tenga un historial de éxito en casos de compensación laboral.

La buena noticia es que puedes tener ambos. Hay muchos abogados que conocemos que hablan español con fluidez y no hacen nada más que representar a los trabajadores lesionados todo el día. La ley de compensación laboral de Illinois es lo suficientemente compleja como para que si no es su enfoque diario, no puede hacer el mejor trabajo para sus clientes.

Y no debería tener que depender de un familiar o amigo para traducir siempre o trabajar con una firma que solo tiene asistentes legales o secretarias que pueden traducir. Puede obtener un excelente abogado de compensación laboral en Chicago y en cualquier otro lugar que pueda ayudarlo a obtener los resultados que se merece.

Si desea hablar con un abogado de forma gratuita, complete nuestro formulario de contacto o comuníquese con nosotros en cualquier momento al 312-346-5578.

Slip And Falls And Illinois Workers Compensation Law

With another wet winter, we are of course seeing a lot of slip-and-fall cases. You’d think that if you fall at work, then any injury from that fall would be covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. While most work-related falls are in fact covered, not all are. And it’s important to know why.

The first thing needed to win a slip-and-fall workers’ compensation case, is you have to either be on company property or in a place that your job requires you to be. Think of a Target employee who works in a big strip mall and falls on ice while exiting their car. The mall isn’t owned by their employer and the lot isn’t public. Unless they were coming back from running a work errand, they wouldn’t win work comp benefits. On the other hand, if the employer owned the lot or the worker had to park there – doesn’t typically happen in strip malls, but does for many other jobs – they would likely have a case.

The second thing we look for is did your job increase your risk of injury? In plain English, you have to be able to explain why you fell. If you just fell for no reason, you likely don’t have a case. But if you work at that same Target store and slipped inside the building on a floor that was wet because customers brought in snow and ice from their shoes, then you would likely have a case.

Not all increased risk situations are obvious. You could fall because you were carrying a bunch of work items or because you were running to a meeting. Another one that was subject to a recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission case is when you are walking on uneven ground onan incline. In that case, a horticulturist had pulled some weeds and was walking from an area with plants to an asphalt area. As she exited the grassy part, she fell on uneven asphalt.  Because the ground was uneven, it was reasonable to infer that is why she fell and that her job put her at an increased risk of injury.

When you are in terrible pain after a fall, the first thing on your mind probably isn’t wondering why you fell. But we highly recommend that as soon as you are able to, try and figure it out if you don’t know already. The answer could be as simple as “I don’t know what I slipped on, but the floor was slippery” or as specific as “I discovered that a refrigerator was leaking water,” or something like that.

And most of all, don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster or anyone else. They will try to get you to agree that you don’t know why you fell and if you say that, it could be the end of your case before it even starts.