78 year old PR contacted us following an incident after he fell, getting out of his car at work. The car had been parked in a parking lot adjacent to his work site downtown near Lake Michigan in Chicago. This lot was the only location where company employees, and guests, could park. PR had a security job which allowed him to return to his car in between lunch and dinner dining hours. During active hours, PR would check guests at the front door of the restaurant/club where he worked.
Fall From Car in Company Designated Parking Lot
When asked what caused him to fall, PR recalled stepping on a large stone and losing his balance. The parking lot was outdoors, its ground was unpaved and consisted of dirt and stones. Initially, it seemed that PR had injured his hip. Soon, though, he started complaining of increasing low back pain. Several months later, his orthopedic surgeon recommended lumbar fusion surgery.
Independent Medical Evaluation
The Workers Compensation insurance company exercised its right before agreeing to pay for the surgery, to send PR to a doctor of its choice for an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). The IME doctor believed both that PR needed surgery and that the slip and fall incident was a reason for his pain as well as his need for surgery.
Fall is Contributing Cause of Injury
Under Illinois law, an accident only has to be a contributing cause of an injury and need for treatment, even if not the primary cause. In PR’s case, at age 78, he had arthritis in his back, but was able to work and to avoid treatment before his fall. The fall made his pre-existing arthritis condition worse, resulting in the need for surgery. The surgery occurred more than a year after PR’s fall.
$50,000 Settlement & More
Despite PR earning a low wage at the time of his fall, the workers compensation lawyers at Lipkin & Apter negotiated a $50,000 settlement as well as a nearly $10,000 set aside from workers compensation to pay for future medical treatment if needed and if related to the accident.
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