GWC Injury Lawyers attorney Donn P. LaHaie recently obtained a workers’ compensation settlement in the amount of $187,500.00 for a warehouse worker who injured his ankle on the job. As part of the settlement, Mr. LaHaie was able to obtain wage differential benefits for the warehouse worker, benefits that are rare in cases that do not involve chronic back injury.
Warehouse Worker Seriously Injured
On April 10, 2014, Mr. LaHaie’s client fell from a ledge while on the job, fracturing his left ankle as a result. His injury was so severe that he required surgery, followed by a long recovery period.
Despite having reached maximum medical improvement, the warehouse worker’s ongoing ankle impairment prevented him from carrying out his former work duties, which included frequent heavy lifting.
“This was a young man in his thirties, with a lifetime of work ahead of him, and he was ultimately unable to return to his job,” said Mr. LaHaie. “He had to search for a new position. Based on the types of jobs he was finding, all of which paid substantially less than his previous job, I was able to negotiate wage differential benefits for him.”
Wage Differential Benefits Explained
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, a person who is unable to return to his or her former line of work because of permanent disability resulting from a job-related injury is entitled to wage differential benefits.
Wage differential benefits are designed to make up for the economic impairment of the reduced wages that an injured worker is able to earn at a new job that is different from the one that he or she can no longer do because of the work injury. The benefits should be equivalent to two-thirds of the difference between the average wages an employee is earning when he or she is injured and what he or she would be expected to earn at a job accommodating his or her post-injury work restrictions, with the benefits capping out at age 67.
“Wage differential benefits are typically awarded to workers with chronic back injuries, which my client does not have,” Mr. LaHaie explained. “However, I was able to argue that his ankle injury only allowed him to work much lower paying jobs, so he deserved wage differential benefits.”
Based on his client’s injury, as well as his significantly reduced future earning potential, Mr. LaHaie was able to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement in the amount of $187,500.00.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated. If a worker is unable to present the full extent of the damage caused by a work injury, that worker may not get the full compensation he or she deserves. For that reason, many injured workers find that they benefit from the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, like the workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, Illinois’ largest Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firm.
If you have been injured in the workplace, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.