Neck and Cervical Injuries
in Illinois Workers Comp
When we talk about the value of a workers comp case in Illinois, we look at three different things - how much money you made in an average week before the injury, the part of the body that was hurt, and the nature and extent of the injury. This means how bad the injury was, whether you still have symptoms, whether it affects your ability to do your job, whether you had surgery, etc.
Most parts of the body are assigned a number of weeks. For example, if you had a hand amputated, you would be entitled to 60% of your average weekly wage for 205 weeks. For body parts that can't be amputated, like a neck, they are considered part of the "Body as a Whole". This means that neck injuries are based on a percentage of 500 weeks. Of course, 500 weeks is the equivalent of having lost your entire body just like 205 weeks is what you get for losing your whole hand, so don't expect to get anywhere near 500 weeks of pay.
In general, the value in Illinois workers comp of cases with cervical fusions is greater than cases with laminectomies or discectomies, and those are typically worth more than cervical injuries without surgery. Of course, the exact value of any specific case is very fact-specific, so we can't tell you what your case is worth without speaking with you and reviewing your medical records and wage statements. If you are interested in talking to us about that, please give us a call.
The defense we see most often to these cases is that the condition was pre-existing. Most people have a condition called degenerative disc disease. Insurance companies tend to blame any neck or back injury on this, which is essentially just a part of the aging process.