Chicago work injury lawyer keeps on settling cases

Illinois work comp attorney Nicole Sommerfeld has had a busy year so far, making some of her clients very happy.

In one workers’ compensation case, she obtained over $46,000 for a Chicago public school teacher who was hurt when she slipped and fell on ice in a teacher parking lot. The accident occurred in February, 2011, and the claimant injured her right knee when she fell. At first she tried to ice her knee at home, but she soon realized she was having significant pain that would not be going away on its own.

Shortly after the accident she started medical treatment at Hinsdale Orthopedics. Diagnostic testing showed she sustained a torn meniscus. She had to have right knee reconstructive surgery to repair the tear.

After a period of recovery, she started physical therapy which lasted several months. She was released from her doctor’s care around 10 months later when she reached maximum medical improvement.

In addition to the $46,000 settlement, our office recovered approximately an additional $25,800 in lost wages for client, representing 30 weeks that she was off work due to the accident. Further, her medical bills were paid.

In another case our office recovered just over $44,000 for a CTA bus driver who developed carpal tunnel in both of her wrists due to repetitive motion on the job. Because of her condition, she eventually underwent bilateral wrist carpal tunnel releases at Rush University Medical Center in 2010.

The CTA employee’s pain started in early 2009. She recalled one time when the power steering failed on her bus. The vehicle was drivable but it was very difficult to make turns and involved a lot of force in her hand and in her grip. She developed a shooting pain in her right wrist that went up to her elbow, and her entire hand felt numb. At first she tried to take ibuprofen which did not help.

She then started treating with an orthopedic physician at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush Hospital in March, 2009. At that time she complained of bilateral hand and wrist tingling.

In April, 2009 she saw her doctor again and her symptoms had gotten worse. She was given a splint to wear at night to help her sleep. The physician continued to keep her off work, as she could not do any type of repetitive motion or drive her bus. She was unable to lift anything above 5 pounds.

She was given an EMG on her right side at the end of April. It noted borderline abnormal right focal median motor neuropathy with no evidence of peripheral neuropathy or brachial plexopathy. She was still having pain in both hands. She underwent a right wrist carpal tunnel injection at that time. She was diagnosed that month with bilateral wrist carpal tunnel syndrome.

In June, 2009 she was still having pain. Her doctor discussed the possibility of surgery with a carpal tunnel release on both hands. In July she had a left wrist carpal tunnel injection. She was allowed to go back to work on light duty with a 5 pound weight restriction and no repetitive motion.

In January, 2010 she had carpal tunnel release surgery on both her left and right wrists. After the procedure she was much improved. For several months she went to physical therapy. Her numbness and tingling involving her digits completely resolved. She reached maximum medical improvement a couple months later and was discharged from treatment.

In addition to the $44,000, our office recovered an additional $45,000 in temporary total disability pay for the client while she was off work, plus her medical bills have been paid.

If you have been hurt on the job, contact an Illinois work comp lawyer at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call us at 312-475-9596 to speak to an attorney today.

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