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Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

New workers’ comp law creates ‘unprecedented new rights,’ defense attorney says

A new Illinois law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker does not repeal or extend the limitation on when an employee can file a claim under the workers’ compensation system, it creates “unprecedented new rights,” a Chicago-based defense lawyer said. Senate Bill 1596, the Workers’ Compensation Repose Act, will allow those barred from making a claim under a 25-year statute of…

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Judge: Cops not required to include personal ‘private info’ on public crash reports to lawyers seeking clients

Lawyers who use police accident reports to find clients and drum up business can’t use state open records laws to force police departments to provide addresses and insurance policy numbers for people involved in traffic crashes, a Cook County judge has ruled. On April 29, Cook County Circuit Judge Franklin U. Valderrama ruled in favor of the Schaumburg Police Department…

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SCOTUS decision could mean new hearing for widow’s suit vs GSK over suicide of lawyer taking generic Paxil

A federal appeals court in Chicago could be tasked with taking another look at its previous decision undoing a jury verdict ordering one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to pay $3 million to the widow of a Chicago lawyer who committed suicide after taking the generic equivalent of a widely prescribed antidepressant drug. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme…

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Judgment for INDOT upheld in fatal crash litigation

Even though the Indiana Department of Transportation declined to install a traffic signal at a Tippecanoe County intersection where a deadly crash later occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld summary judgment for the department, finding it was immune from liability under the Indiana Tort Claims Act. Rajna and Milan Jurich filed a negligence and wrongful death case against…

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Why Your Illinois Work Injury Isn’t Going To Trial Next Week

In what may ironically be good news, if you were hoping to go to Arbitration in the next week or two at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, you might not be. That’s because Governor Pritzker has essentially fired six Arbitrators who were appointed but not confirmed by previous Governor Rauner. Elections have consequences and the reality is that Republican Governors…

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Jury instruction error harmless in personal injury case, COA rules

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s judgment for a woman whose vehicle rear-ended another, despite the appellate panel’s acknowledgement that the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury. While waiting to turn left as oncoming traffic cleared, Latoya Torrence was rear-ended by Courtney Gamble, leaving both women’s vehicles substantially damaged and Torrence injured. Torrence sued, alleging negligence…

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Research Finds No Improvement in Worker Outcomes When Medical Prices Increase

When the price of physician services increases relative to group health rates, injured workers report fewer problems getting the care they want but no significant improvement in physical function or speedier return to work, according to a study released Thursday by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. WCRI used data taken from interviews with injured workers in 14 states and claims…

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Workers’ comp studies show Illinois remains a high-price state

Illinois remains a high-price state when it comes to workers’ compensation, with costs driven by substantial attorney involvement in cases and medical-legal bills, according to a recently published study by an independent research institute. Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), which studied Illinois and 17 other states including neighbors Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, found that Illinois had one of the…

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WCRI: States Without Work Comp Fee Schedules Paying the Price

The dwindling number of states that have no fee schedule, or that set fees according to a percentage of billed charges, are paying far more for outpatient surgery than states that have adopted some version of Medicare’s payment system, according to a report released Thursday by the Workers’ Compensation Institute. WCRI compared payments to hospitals for outpatient surgery in 36…

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