A recent case demonstrates how the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission calculates permanent partial disability.
In Mark Schrubbe v. Southern Wine & Spirits, Mr. Schrubbe worked as a driver who delivered wine and spirits. He would remove orders from the truck, place them on a hand-operated truck, then push the truck with wheels into customer stores, where he would then place the items in their desired locations.
On October 6, 2011, he had to move a dumpster to get into an alley. Unfortunately, while doing so, his right hand was trapped between two dumpsters, and it was crushed.
He suffered a fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right hand, which is also his dominant hand.
His employer sent him to an immediate care clinic, and he was later referred to a hand surgeon. He ultimately underwent 17 physical therapy sessions to treat his injury. On January 12, 2012, his treating doctor released him to return to work.
On December 22, 2011, a workers’ comp claim was filed on his behalf by an attorney at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
To calculate the level of permanent partial disability in workers’ comp case, the Commission bases such a decision on the following factors:
- The reported level of impairment pursuant to subsection (a)
- The occupation of the injured employee
- The age of the employee at the time of injury
- The employee’s future earning capacity
- Evidence of disability corroborated by the treating medical records
Using all of these factors, in this case, on December 11, 2014, the Arbitrator decided that the injured worker was entitled to 15 % loss of use of the right hand, or 30.75 weeks at a weekly PPD rate of $505.37 per week.
On March 23, 2016, the Commission agreed with the decision of the Arbitrator.