Victory at Trial: Brent Eames wins Workers’ Compensation Case for Terminated Restaurant Worker.

February 27, 2022

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Brent Eames

Recently, Brent Eames secured a victory at trial on behalf of an injured restaurant worker who suffered a serious spinal injury as a result of a slip-and-fall accident at work. Shortly after her accident, her employer terminated her employment after she allegedly failed to show up to work as they instructed. After terminating her employment, the employer accused her of job abandonment and refused to pay all owed disability benefits. She then called top rated workers’ compensation attorney, Brent Eames, to fight for her benefits. Keep reading to learn more from one of the best work comp law firms in Chicago about how we were able to obtain an award of over a year and a half of disability benefits, as well as payment of all related medical expenses for our injured client despite the fact that she was accused of job abandonment and terminated shortly after suffering her accident.

Many people call our office with a simple question: Can I receive work comp benefits after being fired? The answer in many cases is yes! The law is clear that an employee’s termination does not put an end to a claim for temporary total disability benefits (TTD), nor payment of related medical expenses. From a legal standpoint, the key is whether the employee is temporary disabled, and not whether the employee is still employed. However, if the evidence demonstrates that an employee quit or resigned their employment, it can be much harder to claim TTD. This is because the employer will be free to argue that they had a light duty position available for the employee, but the employee refused the offer and elected to quit. If an employer offers to accommodate an employee’s work restrictions, then they generally will have no obligation to pay TTD.

Our client was working in the kitchen for her employer when she slipped and fell and landed directly on her back. She worked through the intense pain caused by the accident and attempted to finish her shift. Following her shift, she reported to the emergency room for emergency medical treatment. After her trip to the emergency room, her employer did not send her to any company doctor, nor did they provide any directions or information whatsoever regarding the workers’ compensation process. Her employer simply told her to stay home until she felt improved enough to return to work. Notwithstanding this conversation, approximately one week later, our client spoke with her supervisor who informed her that unless she had an updated medical note covering the entire period she has missed, her employment was terminated. Our client explained that she was previously instructed to remain off work until she felt good enough to return, but her employer denied ever having that conversation, and denied advising her that her absence was excused.

Following her termination, the Petitioner sought further medical care for a serious spinal cord injury, resulting in over a year and a half of work restrictions and invasive medical treatment. Her employer hired its own doctor who opined that our client was not injured as a result of her work accident, and she required no work restrictions whatsoever. We took the case to trial, and the employer’s attorney argued that no disability benefits would be owed given the allegation that our client simply abandoned her job by never returning to work following the injury. We argued that our client did not abandon her job, but instead was terminated given her conversation with her employer which confirmed that her absence following the accident was actually excused. After considering all the evidence, the Arbitrator ruled for our client by finding that she did not abandon her job and awarded all owed disability benefits from the date she was terminated through the date her doctor declared her to have reached maximum medical improvement. Additionally, all related medical expenses were awarded.

Eames Law Group, Ltd. never stops fighting for our clients, and we will aggressively push cases to trial in order to obtain justice when insurance companies attempt to trample on the rights of our clients.  If an insurance company has denied your claim or refused to pay work comp benefits, you owe it to yourself to contact one of the best work comp attorneys in Chicago, Brent Eames, to discuss your rights.  If you have been injured, you should immediately contact Brent Eames for a free consultation to discuss your options.

The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Eames Law Group, Ltd. 

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