Derek Lax Helps Illinois DOT Truck Driver Receive Permanent Partial Disability

April 11, 2019

Ankin Law Office attorney, Derek Lax won a favorable arbitrator ruling of permanent partial disability for an Illinois Department of Transportation truck driver. Ward Arjes-Maddox was awarded $581.83/week for 15 years as well as payment of medical bills after he sustained injuries in three different accidents while employed by the IDOT. The last of these three accidents resulted in a cervical spine injury that still forces him to take pain medication.

(Read the full arbitrator decision here)

The three separate accidents occurred April 19, 2010, July 1, 2013, and November 18, 2013. For purposes of judicial economy, both parties agreed to have only one decision address all three claims, as the parties stipulated that permanent partial disability would be established based on the November 18, 2013 accident only. A brief summary of the three accidents follows:

Date of Accident April 19, 2010
On April 19, 2010, Arjes-Maddox was working for the IDOT when he sustained an accident. On that date, he was he was hooking up a crash continuator to his truck, and as he was lifting felt a pop, or a pulled muscle in his ribs and chest area. Arjes-Maddox sought immediate treatment at Proctor Hospital on the day of the accident. He sought conservative care and treatment from OSF Health Medical Group and his Primary Care Physician Dr. Vivian Salazar. Arjes-Maddox received pain medication for the injuries sustained in this accident. He was released back to full duty and returned to work for the IDOT.

Date of Accident July 1, 2013
Arjes-Maddox was involved in a motor vehicle accident while working for the IDOT on July 1, 2013. On this second accident date, Arjes-Maddox was rear ended on Interstate 74 while working, but he did not seek medical treatment until July 10, 2013 at OSF Medical Group. Arjes-Maddox underwent conservative care in the form of Physical Therapy, X-Rays, MRI of the Cervical Spine, Trigger Point Injections, and Pain Medication prescribed by his Primary Care Physician, Dr. Vivian Salazar, and OSF Medical Group. Arjes-Maddox received trigger point injections and Cervical Epidural Injections from Associated Anesthesiologists in the C5-C6 region. He was released back to work on November 14, 2013.

Date of Accident November 18, 2013
While working for the IDOT, Arjes-Maddox re-injured his cervical spine on November 18, 2013 while removing deceased deer carcasses off the highway. He returned to OSF Medical Group for treatment. Arjes-Maddox testified that he received his temporary total disability while being off of work. He underwent conservative care in the form of physical therapy, pain medication, diagnostics in the form of X-Rays, MRIs, and EMGs. Again, Arjes-Maddox underwent Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections to no avail. On May 12, 2014, Arjes-Maddox underwent an Independent Medical Examination with the Springfield Clinic who opined that the Arjes-Maddox injuries were causally related to the undisputed work accident of November 18, 2013 and that the he could move forward with surgical intervention, or proceed with a Functional Capacity Evaluation and live with his pain.

On June 26, 2014, the Arjes-Maddox underwent a C5-C6 Anterior Cervical Discectomy. He underwent significant rehabilitation in the form of additional physical therapy, received pain medication, and additional rounds of epidural steroid injections. Arjes-Maddox underwent a Functional Capacity Evaluation on October 29, 2015, which placed him at the Medium Physical Demand level.

Following that examination it was determined that Arjes-Maddox could not return to his preexisting employment with the IDOT and vocational rehabilitation commenced. Arjes-Maddox testified that he began receiving maintenance at this time. He testified that he continues to experience pain, and that he continues to follow up with his doctors who prescribe pain medication. Arjes-Maddox testified that he continues to look for work, but he is currently employed with the Peoria Parks

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