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January 16, 2023

Defending Workers’ Compensation Cases Utilizing Snow and Ice

Our last article covered some ways employers can plan for winter weather and prevent workplace accidents like slips and falls. In this post, we will discuss how winter weather conditions may present opportunities to defend against cases under the Workers’ Compensation Act of Illinois.  

Surveillance  

Warm weather presents endless opportunities to obtain surveillance of claimants enjoying outdoor activities that could potentially exceed an employee’s work restrictions due to a workers’ compensation claim. However, warm weather in the Midwest is hard to come by. Snow, on the other hand, is plentiful and must be shoveled from driveways and sidewalks. City ordinances mandate that snow be removed from public walkways within a certain timeframe – usually within 24 hours of the last snowfall. Some of the best surveillance obtained over the years involves workers’ compensation claimants shoveling snow. When you see snow on the forecast, look at your open workers’ compensation claims to see whether any petitioners’ restrictions would be violated by shoveling snow. Shoulder injuries, in particular, often come with restrictions that prohibit the kind of heavy lifting and maneuvering that shoveling snow requires. When utilized in the right case, a couple of days’ surveillance after a snowfall could pay dividends in defending your workers’ compensation case long-term.  

Takeaway 

No matter the stage of your workers’ compensation claim, having a game plan has the potential to save you time, money, and effort that can be utilized elsewhere in your business. Being a prepared employer also sends a message to employees that you will defend every claim to the fullest and that there is no room for false workers’ compensation claims in your workplace. Our legal team is comprised of experienced litigators who have dealt extensively with slips and falls on snow and ice. We will work with you to create and implement defense strategies tailored to your needs. Contact us to schedule a meeting about how we can help meet your specific workers‘ compensation defense needs. 

 

Kristin E. Lechowicz
Partner, Worker’s Compensation
Kelley Kronenberg-Chicago,IL.
(312)216-8828
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