A recent Letter to the Editor from Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) president Todd A. Smith published in the Moline Dispatch this week addressed the so-called need for workers compensation reform in Illinois. Mr. Smith, a Chicago trial lawyer, responds to a recently published editorial called “Priority 1: Workers’ comp.” Mr. Smith states that most of the “reforms” discussed thus far have been at the expense of Illinois injured workers. Mr. Smith responds that we agree with the editorial that any type of fraud – on the part of employers and employees – existing in the Illinois workers compensation system has to be eliminated in order to reduce costs. ITLA’s position has always been in favor of giving the power to the appropriate authorities and allowing them to crack down on abusers because any abuse of the system should not be tolerated whatsoever.
Contrary to the ideas proposed thus far, Mr. Smith points out that if there are problems for the business community, and the premiums they pay for coverage, one should closely look at the insurance industry and its lack of regulation. ITLA has urged that legislators seriously focus on insurance reform. Here’s an interesting fact that Mr. Smith raised: pending claims have dropped in the past decade from 80,000 to 50,000; nonetheless, insurance company premiums continue to rise. How does that make sense? The argument that the workers’ compensation system in Illinois costs jobs is a myth. Ford Motor Company just made a long-term commitment to Illinois and companies are moving to Illinois. In any debate, we should focus on the workers’ rights first and foremost. Injured workers should not be subjected to reduced benefits in an already compromised system.
Read more about the insurance reform we need by visiting the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association website.