A common question we hear when talking to clients is, “how much is my case worth?” But if you are hurt on the job in Illinois you are going to hear terms like PPD or “percentage loss of use,” and they can be confusing. Hopefully, we can clear that up a bit.
Almost every Illinois work injury has some settlement value. When you are done with your medical care is when it’s time to start thinking about a settlement which, if you aren’t permanently disabled or in a situation where you have a significant wage loss, is called PPD or permanent partial disability.
In plain English, PPD is compensation for how your injury is likely to affect you in the future. You get compensated for the diminished nature of whatever body part was injured. It’s a myth. If you break your hand, usually it will grow back stronger so in theory there is no PPD. In reality though if you hurt your hand at work you will be entitled to some settlement or if the insurance company won’t pay, an award from an Arbitrator after a short hearing.
So how do you figure out what your case is worth?
First, we need to know your average weekly wage. To determine your PPD rate for settlement, we take your average weekly salary (gross not net) and multiply it by 60%. If you grossed $1,000 a week, your PPD rate would be $600. There is a cap on this amount. The highest PPD rate you could have if you were injured today is $790.64. So for anyone making $68,522.13 a year or more, $790.64 would be your PPD rate.
The second thing we need to know is what body part is hurt.
The third thing to know is what percentage loss of use did you sustain to that body part. This is determined mostly by looking at your medical records, the treatment you have had, any restrictions you might have, need for future treatment and what complaints you currently have. As lawyers, we would compare what you are going through to other cases that have been decided at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
We then take your PPD rate and multiply it by the number of weeks associated with your injured body part. The table below is the maximum value for any body part.
Part of Body And Maximum Number of Weeks Paid
Man as a whole (neck, back) 500
Index finger 43
Middle finger 38
Ring finger 27
Pinky finger 22
Arm amputated above elbow 270
Arm amputated at shoulder joint 323
Big Toe 38
Any non-big toe 13
Leg amputated above knee 242
Leg amputated at hip joint 296
Loss of sight in one eye 162
Loss of one eye 173
Hearing loss in one ear due to occupational disease 100
Hearing loss in one ear due to accident or trauma 54
Loss of hearing in both ears 215
Kidney, spleen, or lung removal 10
Loss of one testicle 54
Loss of both testicles 162
If you tore your ACL and were determined to have a 40% loss of the leg. 40% of 215 (see the chart, a leg is worth up to 215 weeks) is 86. So if you were making $1,000 a week, your PPD rate would be $600. $600 x 86 means the case would be worth $51,600.00
If you lost 100% sight in one eye and you were making $1000/week before the injury, you would multiply $600 (60% of your average weekly income) times 162 which would net a permanent benefit of $162,000. This number, of course, would change if losing your vision made you permanently disabled or caused a significant wage loss.
If you were disfigured due to your on the job injury, like a scar on your face, the parties involved would need to agree on a number of weeks of compensation that injury is worth and then apply the same amount of weeks to 60% of your average income, with a maximum of 162 weeks.
Does this seem confusing? It can be, but hopefully, this clears things up a bit.
Bonus tip. Beware insurance companies who try to base what your injury is worth solely off an AMA rating. It would significantly undervalue what your case is worth.
And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, you can call us any time at 217-367-6092 for a free consultation.
Sick at work? Learn about your rights!
When you think about workers’ compensation claims, you might believe that they are only applicable in the instance of workplace injuries. This is not the case, however, and you could be missing out on benefits by laboring under this assumption. If you were made sick by your work, then you might be able to file for financial support. Occupational diseases, in other words, are oftentimes covered under workers’ compensation benefits.
Have you been made ill by your work? Have you been exposed to toxic elements while doing your job? If so, and you have experienced sickness as a result, then you might just have a lawful claim under workers’ compensation. In order to help ensure that your rights are upheld and that you receive the financial aid to which you might be entitled, you should reach out to an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation and workplace law. Taking action now to protect your interests could pay off in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.
Let’s take a look at the various ways in which you could become sick while doing your job.
While it is true that almost anyone in the workplace could find themselves exposed to harmful things at one point or another while doing their job, it is equally true that certain fields are more dangerous than others. If you work primarily with dangerous chemicals, for example, then you might often find yourself exposed to toxic elements. The same can be said of individuals working in the medical field, or even on construction sites, although the hazards you encounter might not be the same in each career. Some occupational illnesses that can occur as a result of being exposed to toxic elements while working include:
- Hearing loss. This includes complete as well as partial loss of hearing ability.
- Respiratory illnesses. These include things like silicosis, asthma, reactive airway disease, and acute congestion.
- Skin disorders. Skin disorders include things like dermatitis, eczema, and ulcers.
- Note that this includes lead and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Keep in mind that toxic exposure can occur in a wide variety of ways. Touching something might lead to skin problems, for example, and breathing in a toxic element could lead to respiratory problems. In certain cases, these elements might even eventually cause a more serious illnesses months or years after your first exposure. Regardless of the way that you were exposed to toxic materials, you might have the right to seek benefits to help compensate you for this loss of health.
Common Forms of Compensation
You might be wondering exactly what you can expect to collect if you were to file a successful workers’ compensation claim. At the very least, you are likely concerned about mounting medical bills and loss wages. Filing a claim can help get you the care you need to regain your health and get back to the workforce.
If your claim is found to be valid, you might be able to recover compensation for your medical care, some portion of lost wages, and perhaps rehabilitation needs. Protect your ability to seek those benefits by acting quickly!
For expert help regarding workers’ compensation claims, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Frederick & Hagle, Attorneys at Law. We can help ensure that you receive the compensation you need to feel better. Contact us today for a free consultation at 800.642.1227!
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On behalf of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workers’ Compensation on Thursday, October 1, 2015.of
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