Attorney Scott Goldstein is a partner at Ankin Law.
Scott began clerking at Ankin Law while a student at John Marshall Law School and never left. Scott took some time to answer a few questions about an area of law he knows well: Workers’ Compensation.
Are there other attorneys in your family?
Yes … many. I have my great grandfathers certificate to practice before the United States Supreme court from 1915 hanging in my office.
Does your mom or dad work in public service?
My mother was a college educator; my father was a union leader. Both of those jobs are public service to me.
Where did you attend college (undergrad) and law school?
University of San Francisco (undergrad); John Marshall Law School (law)
Did you consider the area of workers’ compensation in law school or did the interest in this area come later (E.G. clerking for a WC firm)?
I started working here at the Ankin Law Office my first year in law school so I started considering Workers’ Compensation law at that time.
Why is it important to have laws in place that protect workers rights?
It’s vitally important to have laws that protect Workers’ Rights. We know from experience that without these laws employers will trample on employees in all respects at the drop of a hat.
If someone is hurt at work why is a good idea to speak to an attorney?
It’s vitally important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you are hurt at work in Illinois. If you do not, you could end up giving a statement to the employer or their insurance company where they trick you into saying something you don’t mean to say in order to deny your claim. They are professionals at denying claims so its important that you have professional representation in your corner
If someone files for workers’ compensation does that mean they are “suing”their employer?
No. The Workers’ Compensation system is a statutory right of recovery where an injured worker is filing for benefits they are entitled to under the law. An injured worker is not suing their employer when they file for Workers’ Compensation benefits. However, in some cases, a third party responsible for the workers’ injuries can be sued in addition to the Workers’ Compensation case.
Is an employer required by law to hire back employees who have been off work due to an injury?
An employer is not allowed to retaliate against an employee for filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits and pursuing their rights under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
If someone has a second injury at the same job can they file again for WC?
Yes. In fact, if you re-injure the same body part as before you can file additional claims for as many times as you are injured for that body part. I once represented a police officer five times for his right knee that he injured multiple times from injuries he sustained in the line of duty.
Why is it important to (not) have a gap in treatment?
A worker should pursue medical treatment for an injury, no matter how small or how big, as soon as possible following the injury. Even if the injury is “minor” it needs to be documented. If the injury is not documented medically soon after the injury the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may try to use this as an excuse to deny a claim.
How has work changed for you since the courts closed and the shelter in place mandate was declared by Governor Pritzker?
There has not been as much formal litigation as we may see otherwise. Other than that, my work has not changed in a significant fashion. The Ankin Law Office is open for business and ready to assist any worker injured on the job.
Does Ankin Law provide an essential service?
The Governor has declared legal services to be essential at this time.