Leg Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Work-related injuries to lower extremities such as the leg, knee, and foot affect about two in every 1,000 workers nationwide. In some industries, such as construction, that rate is much higher. These injuries occur in many ways, including falls, accidents involving heavy equipment, lifting injuries, falling objects, and more.
Leg injuries on the job also happen for many reasons: the employee may not have been properly trained; equipment may be faulty; the worker himself may have been negligent. The Illinois workers’ compensation system protects injured workers, regardless of fault.
The Value of a Workers’ Comp Leg Injury Case
Illinois workers’ compensation sets forth caps on compensation for various types of injuries, including leg injuries. However, the calculation isn’t as straightforward or as clearly defined as the schedule may suggest. Many factors impact the value of a leg injury case.
The Nature and Extent of a Leg Injury
For example, many different injuries may be loosely described as leg injuries. For example, an injury to the lower part of the leg is different from an injury to the knee. In addition, the type and seriousness of injuries differ: a leg injury may range from a broken bone or muscle injury to mangling or amputation. Even very serious injuries, such as amputations, vary depending on the part and percentage of the extremity affected.
Obviously, these different types of injuries result in differing damage and limitations, and may be valued very differently.
These differences make the valuation system much more complex than it may appear at first glance. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can explain how the specifics of your injury and other factors are likely to impact the value of your claim.
The injured workers’ previous earnings also have a significant impact on the valuation of a leg injury or other workers’ compensation claim. The cap applied to a particular injury is defined in terms of the maximum number of weeks of disability payments the injured worker is eligible for. For example, a leg injury is capped at 215 weeks, or just over four years.
However, weekly disability payments under the Illinois workers’ compensation system are determined based on the injured worker’s regular earnings. Thus, although there are minimum and maximum weekly payment amounts, the range is significant.
Calculating the Value of a Leg Injury Workers’ Comp Claim
Calculating the value of a workers’ compensation claim involves determining where within the permissible range a particular injury falls—most won’t qualify for the maximum available for a leg injury—and then applying the formula to determine the appropriate weekly benefit and plugging that into the resulting equation. However, applying the formulas doesn’t necessarily yield a final answer. That’s because workers’ compensation insurance carriers, employers, and evaluating physicians may disagree about factors such as the extent and duration of the injury.
The insurance company’s goal is to maximize profits, which means keeping the ratio of payouts on claims to premiums received low. In simple terms, the less they pay out to injured workers’ the more profitable their business is. Unfortunately, most seriously injured workers don’t have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to effectively negotiate or arbitrate the value of a claim.
That’s where we come in.
Workers’ Compensation Experience You Can Count On
Attorneys Steve Hanagan and Brian McGovern have devoted their legal practices to helping people who are injured, disabled, or have lost loved ones. They are committed to helping injured workers’ secure fair compensation so that they can move forward and rebuild after an injury.
To make it as easy as possible for workers who have suffered leg injuries and other serious injuries on the job, the attorneys at Hanagan & McGovern:
- Offer truly free consultations where we won’t try to sell you—if we believe you don’t need our services, we’ll tell you
- Offer alternatives such as phone consultations, video conferencing, and traveling to meet with you to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information you need
Workers’ compensation fees are determined as a percentage of your award or settlement, so you’ll never have to worry about paying attorney’s fees in advance.
The first step toward securing the information and assistance you need is to pick up the phone right now and call 618-241-9251 for a free consultation.