Category Archives: Workers Compensation

Some Tips for New Illinois Workers Comp Attorneys from the Late Arbitrator Jutila

As some may know, former workers comp arbitrator Jerry Jutila passed away recently. While he was battling illness, he nevertheless found the time to write a wonderful guide to arbitrators.

If you’re a workers comp lawyer, stop what you’re doing and read it.  Right now.

It’s intended for arbitrators and practitioners and should help people (especially new attorneys) learn to do things the right way. Many do, many more don’t.

I’ll keep a copy at my desk and read it from time to time. I suggest you do too.

(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury and workers compensation attorney from Rock Island, Illinois, practicing primarily in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Knox and Whiteside counties in Illinois and Scott and surrounding counties in Iowa. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]


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Filed under Illinois law, Trial Practice, Workers Compensation

Illinois Workers Compensation Commission Says “Impairment Ratings? We Don’t Need Your Stinkin Impairment Ratings”

One of the key features of the new workers compensation act in Illinois is that arbitrators are directed to use the AMA Guides (6th Edition) as a factor when awarding permanent partial disability. Specifically, Section 8.1b(b) requires the arbitrator to consider (a) the reported impairment rating, (b) the occupation of the employee, (c) the age of the employee at time of injury, (d) the employee’s future earning capacity, and (e) evidence of disability corroborated by the treating medical records. Additionally, the arbitrator must explain the relevance and weight of each factor he/she used “in addition to the level of impairment as reported by the physician.”

So does a physician NEED to report a level of impairment? Likewise, does the arbitrator NEED an impairment rating to approve contracts or enter a finding of disability?

According to the Commissioner’s office, the answers are No, and No.

I’m speaking at a seminar in Fairview Heights in February in detail about the effect of the new rule and the application of the AMA Guides. For now, there may not be as much of a shockwave as we thought.

(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury and workers compensation attorney in Rock Island, Illinois, practicing in all of Western Illinois. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]


Filed under Illinois law, Workers Compensation

Become an Instant Expert on the New Illinois Workers Compensation Law in 5 Minutes

By reading my post at the Rock Island Workers Compensation Attorney Blog. Like an expensive hairdo, it hits the highlights. The big points to us lawyer-folk are the changes to compensation for carpal tunnel and other hand injuries, wage differential awards, and use of the AMA guides. For unionized construction workers, you could be in trouble. For stoners, you could be in trouble. For doctors, you just took a pay cut.

It’s all at the other blog. Read up and become instant experts.

(Howard Zimmerle is a workers compensation attorney practicing in Rock Island, Moline, Henry County, Knox County and surrounding areas. He can be reached at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]

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Filed under Illinois law, Workers Compensation

New Posts on My Companion Blog – Rock Island Workers Compensation Lawyers

Hey folks, I just wanted to publicize a few of new posts on the Rock Island Workers Compensation Attorney Blog. That is my other blog, intended to give regular people an overview of Illinois workers comp law. So here are some of my recent efforts:

“How much would an Illinois Workers Compensation Lawyer Charge Me?”

“Is My Workers Comp Case Set in Illinois? What State Can I Bring it in?”

“What is a Leg Injury Worth in Illinois (workers comp)”

(Howard Zimmerle is a trial lawyer in Rock Island and Davenport. You can contact him at 309-794-1660 or hzimmerle [at]

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Filed under Illinois Case Law, Workers Compensation

How an Illinois Workers Comp Lawyer Can Help Your Case

I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time. Some people don’t understand why or how a workers comp lawyer can help their case. On my new Rock Island Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, I’ve written a post explaining what we do and how it can help clients. Check it out.

(Howard Zimmerle is a trial lawyer and workers compensation lawyer helping injured people in Rock Island, Moline, and the surrounding areas. You can reach him at hzimmerle [at] or 309-794-1660).

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Filed under Illinois law, Our Firm, Settlements, Workers Compensation

New Blog Announcement!!

In addition to my work with the QC Injury Lawyers Blog, I’m also starting:


The Rock Island Workers Comp Blog

(wild, raucous applause)

It’s aimed at clients, potential clients, and any laypeople who want some basic info about Illinois Workers Compensation. It’s probably too basic for most lawyers, but it serves a different purpose than this blog.

I’m excited – it’s been fun thinking of content for the new blog. Any suggestions?

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Filed under Great Websites, Illinois law, Our Firm, Quad Cities, Workers Compensation

Tips for understanding medical tests/conditions

This may be obvious for some of you folks… you know, along the lines of “check Google or Wikipedia.” But even for someone young and technologically savvy (not to mention handsome ;)) as myself, I’m still kind of surprised about this:

Curious what a medical condition or test looks like? Check Youtube.

Yesterday I was trying to understand what a Trendelenberg gait was, and I wasn’t exactly understanding the wikipedia explanation. Turns out there are videos on Youtube to show exactly what it looks like.

I’ve done this in the past so I could see common tests like the Hawkin’s sign or Neer’s sign. It beats trying to read about it.

(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury attorney in Rock Island and Moline Illinois, practicing in Illinois and Iowa).


Filed under Medical Information, Workers Compensation