AG, a 58 year old housekeeper, was a long time employee of an international hotel chain when she suffered a work related injury. Her case was referred to the worker compensation personal injury law firm of Lipkin & Apter by another law firm.
Housekeeper Suffers Shoulder Injury
While pulling sheets from a bed, AG extended her arm, and felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. She went to the company clinic and underwent physical therapy while being taken off work. When that failed to remedy her pain, she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. After additional therapy and imaging studies, AG underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the injury.
Functional Capacity Evaluation Sets Restrictions
Unfortunately, AG had only a limited recovery, and a year and a half following surgery, was placed on permanent lifting restrictions which precluded a return to her housekeeping position. The issue then became what, if any work, AG was capable of performing. To determine this, Worker Compensation sent her for a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), where a person is put through a battery of physical tests. The FCE concluded that AG could safely lift up to 15 lbs.
Physical Limitations Dictates Job Opportunities
Whether a stable job market exists for a person with a physical limitation depends not only on the nature of the limitation, but a host of other factors, including age, time out of the work force, job experience, transferable skills, and whether future medical treatment might be necessary.
No Work Options for Injured Worker
AG is a woman who speaks essentially no English. Throughout her life she has worked in simple labor positions. She has been out of the labor market for more than 3 years. She has no transferrable job skills. She may need future medical treatment. This constellation of factors made future employment questionable. Still, it was incumbent on AG to seek employment within her limitations. Over a course of months, AG applied for multiple positions, most within the fast food industry. No one would hire her.
Worker Receives $200,000 Worker Compensation Settlement
Given this, AG’s case was more valuable than for a person who could return to their regular job. In fact, most people who have shoulder injuries, and have had surgery, return to their former job. AG could not. Throughout the time she was off work, AG received her weekly workers compensation (ie. Temporary Total Disability, or TTD). After a lengthy period of negotiation, AG accepted a $200,000 settlement which included $35,000 for future medical treatment.
If You've Suffered Serious Injury, Contact Us to See If You Have a Case
The veteran team of Lipkin & Apter lawyers is available to assist with your case. From our office in downtown Chicago, we offer free consultations to review the details of your potential case. Let our knowledge and experience of the legal system protect your rights. Complete our online contact form, call us during weekday business hours at (312) 635-5779 or engage a LIVE chat team member via the pop up form on your screen.