GWC Obtains Previously Denied Benefits for CTA Bus Driver

 In Firm News, Workers' Compensation Blog
CTA bus driver

Kitra K. Killen

GWC attorney Kitra K. Killen has obtained previously denied workers’ compensation benefits for an injured CTA bus driver.

CTA Bus Driver Tears Rotator Cuff

On November 2, 2018, GWC’s client, a 40-year-old bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), was exiting the driver’s seat of her bus when she got her left foot caught in a trash bag. As she was falling forward, the client grabbed onto a railing to catch herself before she hit the floor.

Following the incident, the CTA bus driver was diagnosed with a tear to her right rotator cuff and right thigh strain. She filed a workers’ compensation claim with her employer and began undergoing medical treatment for her on-the-job injuries.

The client’s employer subsequently disputed the injury to her right shoulder, arguing that it was not work-related. This denial prevented the CTA bus driver from receiving further treatment for her shoulder impairment.

“This news was devastating for our client,” said Ms. Killen. “She was still suffering from persistent right shoulder pain, and unless the denial was overturned, she would probably continue to do so indefinitely.”

GWC Uses Defense’s Evidence Against It

To help get the client’s treatment reinstated, Ms. Killen filed a 19(b) petition for an immediate hearing before the Arbitrator.

During the hearing, the Defense introduced video footage of the work accident that was captured by the bus’s onboard cameras, believing that it would bolster the CTA’s case. But thanks to her skillful arguments about the video evidence, Ms. Killen was able to convince the Arbitrator that it actually helped prove her client’s case, along with the medical records and the client’s testimony.

The Arbitrator found that the CTA bus driver’s injuries were compensable. He concluded that the act of exiting the bus with limited space surrounding the driver’s seat, coupled with a loss of balance caused by stumbling over an object on the floor, involved an increased risk that was directly related to the client’s employment. Additionally, the Arbitrator found that the client’s current condition of ill-being was causally connected to her accident because there was no evidence of prior right shoulder symptoms.

On March 10, 2021, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the Arbitrator’s decision. As a result, the CTA bus driver has been able to continue receiving treatment for her ongoing right shoulder impairment, included a much-needed rotator cuff surgery.

“Getting people the benefits they were wrongfully denied is the best part of my job as a workers’ compensation attorney,” Ms. Killen said. “And our client is very happy to be back on the road to recovery.”

Getting Injured Workers What They Are Owed

While injured workers might be entitled to certain benefits under the law, sometimes these benefits are unfairly disputed by employers and insurance companies. Such arbitrary denials can prevent workers from obtaining the treatment they need, all at a time when they are financially vulnerable. Fortunately, if you have been hurt on the job, there is someone who can help you obtain what you are legally owed – the dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.

With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firms in Illinois. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of experience overcoming the objections of even the most unyielding insurance companies in order to get you and your family the justice you deserve.

Contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.

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