Synopsis: Why KCB&A Sends Draft IL WC Settlement Contracts to YOU For Review Before Getting IWCC Approval.


Editor’s comment: We had someone question why draft settlement contracts were being forwarded for adjuster and risk management approval before IWCC submission and Arb approval. I have been advised there is a national WC insurer that may be directing their adjusters not to “review” such contracts. With respect, I don’t understand or agree with that approach, to the extent outlined below.


Our goal isn’t to have adjusters or risk managers “approve” settlement contracts from a legal perspective—that is what your legal defense team does. But there are important issues that need to be brought up, if relevant, to insure the adjusters, risk managers and legal defense are all on the same page.


Please remember when IL WC claims settle and most of them settle, it is not technically possible to “close all rights” without a settlement contract signed by the parties and then approved by the Arbitrator assigned. Please also note it is a challenge, legal and otherwise, to change an IL WC settlement contract after an Arbitrator or Commissioners stamps them as approved.


As defense attorneys, KCB&A’s focus in sending IL WC settlement contracts is to be completely certain, at the end of the claim, that all issues are resolved to the claims and risk managers expectations. Anything less may be tragic and/or unfortunate. Please note it is challenging to “blame” the hearing officers if you mess up the settlement terms/issues.


First and most important, when sending contracts for claims/risk approval, we want to be sure the math on the settlement matches the adjuster’s  and risk manager’s reserves and authority—they can clearly “approve” the amount they extended and expect to pay. That isn’t legal—it is common sense.


Next, we also want to be sure we aren’t missing something of importance, like


  • Completely filling out the IL WC settlement contract to insure you have the accurate amount of lost time and TTD paid;

  • Accepting or otherwise “handling” unpaid, disputed or unpresented medical bills—this is intricate and I am happy to fully explain how KCB&A handles this issue;

  • Insuring we cover/pay a child support lien the adjuster or the account is aware of or

  • Recouping a missed IME appointment fee or

  • Innocent overpayment/miscalculation by the adjuster or risk managers that we may or may not seek to recover at settlement.


We consider this to be solid, common sense stuff that all defense attorneys should adhere to and all insurance carriers/TPA’s should require. I appreciate your thoughts and assistance and will publish settlement concepts with your permission.


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Synopsis: IL Firefighters Union Gets Expanded/Presumptive Coverage for Staph and Other Infections.


Editor’s comment: Please note IL Firefighters Unions are “hotly” aggressive and want more and more perks for their members. I truly feel this legislative change is unneeded but our legislators almost never turn down a request from these unions. Please note in many villages, towns and municipalities, the number one cost of firefighters is their benefits.


As I have told my readers in the past, our IL Firefighters Unions like to paint the picture of firefighters being constantly exposed to smoke from thousands of fires. In fact, most firefighters don’t deal with live fires at all or very infrequently—building codes ‘work’ and our houses and commercial properties are rarely involved in live fires. I recommend your municipality consider going to “Community Service” officers, trained to have police/fire and EMT abilities so they can fulfill and rotate at all three positions and eliminate feather-bedding for do-nothing workers. You can save millions in tax dollars to do so. If you have interest, send a reply.


Staph Infection Presumption Measure Heading to Governor Pritzker


Illinois lawmakers have passed a bill that would create a rebuttable presumption that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, also known as MRSA, is compensable for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

The Senate on May 28 voted 52-0 to pass House Bill 3662, sponsored by IL State Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago.

The bill was not amended since the IL State House of Representatives voted 115-0 to pass it April 21 and it has been presented to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who isn’t going to fight with the unions over this bill.

HB 3662 would add staph infections, including MRSA, to a list of other conditions presumed compensable for first responders that include lung or respiratory disease, heart conditions, hypertension, tuberculosis and cancer.

The bill would take effect immediately if signed into law.

Pritzker has 15 days — excluding Sundays — from receiving the bill to sign it, veto it or allow the measure to become law without his signature. Our wildly liberal Governor is expected to sign and make it seem like it was his idea.

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its 2021 session. The world of Illinois government may again be safe for a time!

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