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You sustain a back injury due to heavy lifting at work. You do all the right things – you immediately report the accident to your supervisor, you seek prompt medical care, you supply your employer off work notes from your doctor, and you're compliant with treatment. Eventually your adjuster sends you for an Independent Medical Exam (IME). Shortly after the IME you receive the letter from your adjuster indicating the IME physician opined you could return to work and no treatment is needed. The IME report states – "Patient's complaints disproportionate with exam findings. Patient exhibited 4/5 Waddell signs." So what does this mean? In short, the IME physician believes that you are malingering or exaggerating your symptoms

Waddell's signs are a group of physical signs designed to detect non-organic components to lower back pain. A non-organic symptom is one that deviates from the usual presentation of a particular condition. There are 5 categories of Waddell tests –

  1. Tenderness test
  2. Stimulation tests
  3. Distraction/Straight Leg test
  4. Weakness/Sensory test
  5. Over-reaction test.

The presence of three or more of these signs suggests a non-organic component to lower back pain.


The requirements and limitations for returning to work often confuse many people who have suffered work-related injuries. In this blog, we explain what you need to know about workers' comp benefits and returning to work after your injuries have healed.

Temporary Disability

Some injured workers are entitled to temporary disability benefits for their work-related injuries. Temporary disability gives you partial compensation for the wages you lost from missing work. Generally, temporary disability benefits amount to two-thirds of your weekly gross pay. The benefits are usually paid out every two weeks. A doctor must verify that your injuries prevent you from working before you can receive your first temporary disability check.

Permanent Disability

Permanent disability benefits are awarded to workers who haven't completely recovered from their injuries and lost some ability to compete in the labor market with uninjured workers. The benefit amount depends on the limitations of the injured party's ability to work.


If you have a dispute with your workers' compensation claim, you will need to attend a workers' compensation hearing to have your arguments heard. In this blog, we help you prepare for your workers' compensation hearing.

Preparing Your Testimony

Because you will likely need to testify at your hearing, you need to be as prepared as you possibly can. This will require you to review specific key facts that need to be kept at the forefront of your mind. Before your hearing, you should do the following things:

  • Summarize Your Accident: If your employer's insurance company is questioning the circumstances of your injury, you will need to answer questions at the hearing about how your injury occurred. Familiarize yourself with your accident report and medical record so that you are ready to answer these types of questions and point out any inconsistencies in the insurer's arguments.
  • Make a Timeline of Your Treatment: Write down the dates and names of the doctors you have seen and any diagnoses you have been given. Make note of any work restrictions you've been given by your treating physician.
  • Know Your Injury Symptoms & Limitations: If your employer is disputing when you can return to work, you will need to be able to prove the level of your disability and any symptoms you are currently experiencing. Do not exaggerate your symptoms and be truthful when questioned about your work capabilities.
  • Speak to Your Coworkers & Other Witnesses: You might need credible witnesses to support your claims. Talk to your coworkers or anybody else who saw your accident and can testify about the severity of your injuries. Your attorney can help you track down potential witnesses who can support your claims.

Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer

Have you suffered a serious injury at work? If so, you might be entitled to financial compensation for your injury damages. Our skilled team of attorneys are here to review your case and guide you through the entire legal process to ensure your rights are fully protected. Let us use our extensive resources to fight for you today.


Although the majority of injuries that occur in the workplace are the result of accidents, some work-related injuries can be caused by a coworker or customer. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports that close to 2 million employees experience workplace violence every year. In this blog, we explain how to get workers' compensation benefits if you have been assaulted at work.

Proving Your Claim

In order to obtain workers' comp benefits for your assault injuries, you will need to prove that you were attacked while you were at work or performing a job-related task. In some states, you have to establish that the motivation for the assault was tied to your job. For example, if a clerk is assaulted by her boyfriend at work because they broke up, it can be argued that the attack was the result of a personal disagreement and is not a work-related dispute.

However, if a customer attacks the same clerk because the store doesn't carry a particular item, then it can be argued that the employee's work duties directly contributed to the attack, thus making the assault work-related.


One of the most common questions injured employees have is how much their case is worth. Below are a few quick answers to common questions employees have regarding what the value of their workers' compensation claim may be.

Am I entitled to any compensation at the end of my case?

Most likely, yes. In addition to payment of your medical bills and weekly wages while you are off work, you may be entitled to an award for permanent partial disability. Permanent partial disability awards compensate employees who are able to return to work, but continue to experience symptoms or difficulties as a result of the injury. In most circumstances, if you've suffered a compensable work injury, you are entitled to an award for permanent partial disability.

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