CHICAGO – Rafael Esparza, a 25-year-old extruder operator, lost total use of his left arm after having it caught in an extruder at Viking Material in Chicago. After several operations, Esparza’s arm was saved but he never regained its full use. Upon returning to work, he quickly realized he was unable to perform his duties to the best of his abilities.
When he returned, the company’s workers’ compensation insurance suspended his temporary compensation, despite an obvious need for ongoing physical and mental therapy. Esparza engaged Neal Strom of Strom & Associates to dispute the suspension of his benefits, despite the fact that he did return to work.
“We quickly took the deposition of his pain doctor and psychiatrist to establish that not only did he have severe and chronic physical injuries, but post-traumatic stress as well,” explains Strom. “Even though he was able to work does not mean he was miraculously cured. Workers’ compensation should not suspend his right to medical care.”
Strom’s argument was successful and Esparza was granted compensation, medical care and psychiatric services authorized and paid for by workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, because of its wide-range of resources, Strom & Associates was able to secure Esparza a vocational counselor to assist him in searching for a profession that, despite his injury, would provide him with a decent wage, medical insurance and accommodations for his injury.
“In the end, it’s about not letting red tape deny a worker his or her rights. No one should have to choose between working or being in pain,” says Strom. “Mr. Esparza deserves a chance to recover from his injuries in every way available to him, whether he can physically work in the meantime or not.”
ABOUT STROM & ASSOCIATES The Chicago law firm of Strom & Associates represents individuals injured in a work environment who are seeking to enforce their rights under workers’ compensation laws. The firm also represents the victims of personal injury. The law firm combines over 50 years of experience working in personal injury and workers’ compensation. For more information, visit www.stromandassociates.com.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured at work or in an accident, contact our office today at (312) 609-0400 to schedule a free consultation.
We want to earn your business.
Our firm is open and operational during the state-imposed shelter-in-place order. In order to comply with the order and to protect the health of our employees, which ultimately affects the welfare of the general public, we will have limited in-office staff.
We encourage you to communicate with members of the firm directly by email. We will also be returning phone calls and voice messages. Thank you.