GWC attorney Kitra K. Killen has obtained a $425,000.00 settlement for a union foreman electrician who sustained a neck injury with permanent work restrictions.
Foreman Electrician Loses Trade
GWC’s client was a 45-year-old union foreman electrician and a proud member of IBEW Local 134. In May 2017, he was working on a construction project in Lincolnwood, IL. He and a coworker were moving a master bundle of pipes that weighed approximately 1,000 pounds when he experienced extreme neck pain.
An MRI revealed that the client had suffered disc herniation at C5-C6. After conservative treatment proved ineffective, he underwent multiple surgeries, culminating in a cervical fusion in 2019.
Despite these extensive medical procedures, the client was ultimately placed on permanent work restrictions because of his limited neck mobility. These restrictions prevented him from returning to his job as a foreman electrician, a personally and financially devastating loss of his trade of many years.
GWC Fights for Client in Five Pre-Trials
In attempting to obtain a fair settlement for her client that represented the totality of his losses, Ms. Killen faced pushback from his employer’s insurance carrier and its attorneys.
“They insisted that our client had not actually lost his trade,” said Ms. Killen, “and that his restrictions could be accommodated in his work as an electrician.”
At first, the arbitrator in the case agreed with the insurance company’s position, but GWC continued to fight on behalf of the client. Over the course of five separate pre-trials, Ms. Killen drew upon medical records and testimony as well as her extensive knowledge of the industry to demonstrate that the electrician’s medical restrictions constituted a genuine loss of trade.
“Somebody with permanent neck impairment would most likely never be called to work as an electrician, given that the job naturally involves looking up on a regular basis,” Ms. Killen explained. “Moreover, no vocational rehabilitation had been offered, so any position he could find would almost certainly pay much less than his previous one.”
Significant Settlement Obtained
Ms. Killen’s arguments proved effective. Based upon the arbitrator’s recommendations, GWC obtained a $425,000.00 workers’ compensation settlement for the former electrician – more than three times the insurance company’s initial offer of $130,000.00.
GWC was also able to ensure that the client continued to receive his temporary total disability (TTD) benefits throughout the negotiation process, which allowed him to support his family during this time.
“Our client is very pleased with the outcome,” said Ms. Killen. “He told me he plans to use this money to start his own business.”
Advocating for Injured Workers in Illinois
A loss of trade can be devastating, forcing injured workers to rebuild their professional lives from scratch, sometimes decades into their careers. Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies will reject the assessments of medical professionals in order to minimize how much they have to pay to settle a workers’ compensation claim. If you find yourself dealing with these types of arbitrary decisions when you are hurt on the job, consider doing what thousands of others have done before you and reach out to the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the premier Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firms in Illinois. For more than four decades, our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys have been successfully overcoming unreasonable objections to get clients and their families the justice they deserve.
Contact GWC today to schedule a no-cost, 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.