One interesting thing about talking to people who have been recently hurt on the job is that you never know what their case will turn into. I’ve talked to people who have what sounds like a horrific injury only to see it subside in a few weeks. Others have been originally diagnosed with strains, but eventually, the injury progresses into something major that requires years of care.
A good example of this is a heavy machine operator who contacted us back in 2019 with the belief that he had carpal tunnel syndrome. Now carpal tunnel isn’t a small injury, but it’s also one that most people typically recover from rather quickly.
He believed his carpal tunnel was due to overuse and the heavy vibrations of the machine he worked on. It turns out that he actually had thoracic outlet syndrome which is an injury that occurs when the blood vessels or nerves between your collarbone and ribs get compressed. Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause significant nerve damage, especially if it’s not treated right at first.
Our client had two decompression surgeries that unfortunately didn’t solve his problems. The insurance company doctor recommended a pain management program and was eventually released to return to work with significant restrictions. Those restrictions couldn’t be accommodated because most construction companies don’t have light duty. And they almost never have it for machinists. So he went through a vocational rehabilitation program which showed he couldn’t continue to earn anywhere near the six-figure annual wage he used to make.
There was a dispute as to how much his wage loss was, but eventually, the case settled for $620,000.00 plus more than $70,000.00 for his future medical care. The result was so high because he has a work-life expectancy of 20 years and major injuries.
Coincidentally, we were involved in a settlement with the same law firm on a different case a few months prior for $450,000.00. That case was a thumb injury which usually won’t result in a big settlement. But one thing led to another and our client was unable to do the work she used to do in the past. So she too, after major medical care, had a big wage loss.
Having the inability to make now what you would be making in your old job is one of the biggest ways that an Illinois work comp case increases greatly in value. When these workers first called us, there would have been no way to predict that the combined value of their two cases would be worth over $1 million. And aside from wanting to help people, it’s another reason why we will talk to anyone about a case.
If you’d like to speak with a lawyer for free, you can call us any time at 312-346-5578.