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Illinois workers' compensation claim scrutinized by commission

In the state of Illinois, many injuries on the job are caused by construction negligence. Construction negligence may lead to death or accidents on the job, followed by workers' compensation claims.

There are other situations resulting in workers' compensation. Some of these claims have been disputed by federal board investigations, claiming the taxpayer flips the bill for settlements going as high as $80,000, and more than $10 million in tax-free settlements. Many lawmakers are sponsoring bills to provide a cap on these settlements, along with a close monitoring of claims filed.

When one Illinois prison guard filed four claims for injuries he suffered on the job, he received $135,000, including disability pay, medical bills and a settlement. Three of the cases are pending with the Workers' Compensation Commission.

When the prison guard filed a fifth claim after being involved in a prison fight, it raised a red flag with the Illinois Department of Corrections, leading to an investigation of misconduct. A spokesperson for the IDOC has issued a statement regarding a separate scrutiny with the WCC of the claimant's alleged role in the handling of the event.

Nether the guard nor his attorney have been able to comment on this investigation, which unearthed discrepancies in the injury report provided by two different hospital personnel.

The 33-year-old guard has not worked for several months, receiving 100 percent of his salary and an extended benefits provision allowed to guards harmed by inmates.

The claimant posted pictures on his web page of his fishing and hunting pursuits, holding a large bass, as well as brandishing a bow over a deer. His explanation was that the pictures were from prior to his claim. He would not comment further.

Cases like this negatively impact legitimate claims from injuries due to construction negligence or other job hazards. Anyone in Illinois who has been honestly fulfilling the duties of his or her job and been a victim of negligence should consult a professional team of advocates who can discern the fine points of the law. This situation can have life-long consequences for an injured party, as well as for his or her family.

Source:  BND.com, "State investigates workers' comp claim filed by prison guard" George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer, Apr. 26, 2014

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