The new Illinois Workers’ Compensation law will change the values of settlements.

The new law only applies to work comp injuries that happen on or after September 1, 2011.

The value of the injuries will, in part, be based on the American Medical Association Guidelines.

The guidelines focus on objective, functional impairments.

For example, injuries to the back are examined in terms of nerve damage, muscle spasms, nerve root impingement, loss of reflex, loss of bladder control, etc.

Looking to other states who use the AMA guidelines, you can expect the Company doctor to evaluate someone with a low back surgery with a decent result at 5% impairment. The injured worker doctor may assess the impairment at 15%. The Arbitrator may award 10%.

Illinois law before this change would most likely result in a value of 20 to 25% of the back.

The unknown in all this is that the AMA guideline is to be used as one factor.

The other factors are education, work history, activities of daily living, impairments found in the medical records, etc.

This makes predicting the value under the new law very difficult.

Questions about your Work Comp injury? Feel free to call Illinois Workmans Compensation Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.