New Medicare Cards Help Protect Your Identity

Protecting your identity is about to get easier. Starting April 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be mailing new Medicare Cards to everyone with Medicare. This new card will have a Medicare Number unique to each person. Your Medicare Number will appear on the card in place of your Social Security Number, helping you to protect your identity and keep your personal information more secure.

Your Medicare coverage and benefits will remain the same. Medicare will automatically mail you a new card to the address on file at Social Security at no cost to you. Be sure your address is up to date by signing in to or creating a My Social Security Account. Once you receive your new Medicare Card be sure to follow these tips:

  • Destroy your old Medicare Card right away. Dispose of your old Medicare Card like you would a credit card or other private information by shredding it into many pieces.


  • Use your new Card. Your doctors, health providers, and health care plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing your card. They are ready to accept your new card when you need care.


  • Beware of anyone contacting you about your new Medicare Card. Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information. Beware of anyone asking you to pay a fee for your new card. This is a scam. Medicare is providing all new cards free of charge directly to your address.


  • Treat your new Medicare card like your Social Security Number or credit card number. If someone asks you for your Medicare Number or any other personal information who is not one of your doctors, health providers, or health plan provider: Do not give it to them. Always verify whether someone asking for your information should have it before giving it to them.

Injury lawTuite Law has successfully helped many of its disability clients qualify for Medicare benefits. If you have questions regarding Social Security disability and possible entitlement to Medicare, contact our office at (815) 965 – 5777 or via email at

3 Common Questions Rockford Workers Have about Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois provide medical care and reimbursement for lost wages for employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses. These benefits often play an important role in helping workers recover from their conditions while continuing to be able to support themselves and their families. The following are three common questions Rockford workers have about workers’ compensation and their eligibility to receive these benefits.  

Questions About Illinois Workers’ Compensation

As experienced Rockford workers’ compensation attorneys, the following are three of the most common questions we hear from injured clients:

1. What Types of Injuries or Illnesses Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation In Illinois?

As outlined by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, workers who suffer injuries or illnesses arising out of or during the course of their employment may be entitled to benefits. Common types of injuries include:

  • Muscle, tendon, and ligament strains, sprains, and tears,
  • Broken bones or multiple fractures;
  • Cuts, lacerations, and amputations;
  • Thermal or chemical burns;
  • Back and neck injuries, such as fractured vertebrae or ruptured disks;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Head injuries, such as skull fractures, concussions, or traumatic brain injuries;
  • Injuries that result in the loss of vision or hearing.

Occupational illnesses are also covered. These may include respiratory disorders and lung disease caused by breathing in asbestos fibers, as well as certain types of cancer due to chemical or radiation exposure.

2. What Types of Benefits Am I Entitled To Receive?

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses may be entitled to the following types of benefits:

  • Medical care, which includes diagnostic testing and treatment;
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which reimburse workers while they recover from their injuries;
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, if the injured worker can return to work, but is placed on light duty;
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, if the worker can return to their job but suffers permanent disability or disfigurement;
  • Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, if their injury or illness prevents them from ever returning to work;
  • Vocational rehabilitation/maintenance benefits, to allow retraining for another occupation;
  • Death benefits, which provide help for family members in the event the worker dies as the result of their injury or illness.

3. What Should I Do If I Suffer A Job-Related Injury Or Illness?

If you are diagnosed with an occupational illness, you should let your employer know as soon as you are aware of your condition. If you are injured on the job, you should notify your employer or supervisor immediately and seek medical attention. Your employer is required to do the following:

  • Provide first aid and medical care;
  • Notify their insurance carrier or workers’ compensation administrator;
  • Begin making temporary disability payments if you are unable to work for more than three days or notify you if any additional information is required to process your claim.

Your Worker’s Compensation Claim

If you suffer an on-the-job injury or occupational illness and are not getting the benefits you are entitled to, reach out to our Rockford workers’ compensation lawyers. At Tuite Law, we act as a strong legal advocate to assist you in getting the benefits you need to recover from your injury or illness. Call or contact our office online to request a free consultation today. (815) 965-5777.

How to Handle Denied Rockford Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security benefits provide an important safety net in the event you suffer a disabling injury or illness. Unfortunately, obtaining the benefits you are entitled to may prove challenging, as many otherwise valid applications end up being denied. At Tuite Law, we can advise you on how to handle denied Rockford Social Security disability benefits, while providing the aggressive legal representation you need to help protect your rights and get your claim approved.

Social Security Benefits Denied?

If you have filed a claim for Social Security disability benefits and had it denied, it is important to know you are not alone. According to statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA), less than a third of all first-time applicants end up getting their claims approved. There are two common reasons why most SSA disability claims are denied:

  1. Technical denials, due to not filling out forms completely, not providing the proper documentation, failing to respond within time limits, or earning too much to be considered disabled.  
  2. Medical denials, due to uncovered conditions, lack of doctor verification, not following prescribed treatments, or having a disability that does not qualify in terms of the severity or time you will be disabled.

Appealing A Denied Social Security Disability Claim

Injury lawIf your Social Security disability application is denied, you will be notified in writing of the reason for the denial, along with notification of your right to appeal the decision. You must notify SSA of your intent to appeal the decision in writing, and within 60 days of your denial. The Social Security appeals process consists of four levels:

  • Reconsideration: This is a complete review of your benefit claim, by someone with the SSA who was not involved in the initial determination. A decision will be made on whether to approve or deny your claim, and you can submit any missing or new information about your claim so that it can be included in the review.
  • Hearing by administrative law judge: If your claim is denied in reconsideration, you have the right to a hearing before an administrative law judge, who will consider testimony from you and any witnesses or experts in support of your claim before rendering a decision.  
  • Review by appeals council: If you continue to be denied benefits, you may request a review by the SSA appeals council. If this council chooses to hear your case, it will be returned to an administrative judge for further review.
  • Review in federal court: If you continue to be denied or are refused for review, you may file a lawsuit in federal district court.

Social Security formHow Our Rockford Social Security Attorney Can Assist You

The Social Security appeals process can be complicated and confusing, which is why it is so important to have an experienced Rockford Social Security attorney by your side. If you have had your application denied, call or contact Tuite Law online immediately to request a free consultation. We can assist in gathering the evidence necessary to support your claim while representing your interests and defending your rights in dealings with the Social Security Administration so that you can get the benefits you are entitled to. (815) 965-5777.

Getting More Out of a Personal Injury Settlement in Rockford

Personal injuries can occur in various situations, and even a seemingly minor incident can result in severe damages. In addition to the costs associated with the immediate medical care you require, you may need ongoing treatments while incurring lost wages, now and in the years to come. Getting more out of a personal injury settlement in Rockford should be a top priority, and our experienced Rockford personal injury attorneys at Tuite Law are here to help.

The High Costs Of Personal Injuries

According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million people each year in the United States are victims of personal injuries, which are serious enough to require treatment in hospital emergency rooms. As many as 2.5 million required ongoing hospitalization, while more than 200,000 others died as the result of their injuries. For those that eventually do recover, the costs associated with medical care and lost wages total close to $500 billion annually. CDC data on personal injuries indicate that the leading causes include the following:

  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Being struck by or against an object;
  • Being cut or pierced by objects;
  • Unintentional poisoning.  

Common types of injuries include muscle strains, sprains, tears, broken bones, injuries to the back and spine, and head injuries such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries. These conditions often result in ongoing pain and disabilities, requiring years of costly medical care and treatment.

Getting the Most Out Of A Settlement

When a personal injury does occur, you may be entitled to compensation from the insurance company for the at-fault party. When dealing with these companies, it is important to be aware that they have a financial motive in either undervaluing or denying your claim.

To get the most out of your personal injury settlement, it is important to follow all doctor instructions regarding work and activity restrictions. It takes time to uncover any lasting disabilities you may suffer, so avoid being too quick to rush into a settlement. Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, you have up to two years to file a personal injury claim. Compensation that should be included in your settlement includes:

  • Current hospital and medical expenses, including the costs of diagnostic testing, medications, and medical devices, such as back braces or wheelchairs;
  • Future medical costs you are likely to incur, which should include follow up appointments, additional testing and procedures, physical therapy, and home health care;
  • Lost wages and future losses in earnings and benefits;
  • Pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life, including compensation for the impact on your family and personal life, and being unable to participate in activities or hobbies you previously enjoyed.

Getting the Most Out of Your Personal Injury

If you have suffered injuries as the result of an accident or due to someone’s reckless or negligent actions, call or contact Tuite Law online to request a free consultation before making any statements to the insurance company, signing any documents, or accepting a settlement. You have one chance to collect on a claim for the injuries you suffered. Speak to our Rockford personal injury attorneys first to ensure you are getting the maximum amount you are entitled to. (815) 965-5777

How to Prove Repetitive Injury in a Workers’ Compensation Case

When people think of a workplace injury, they often imagine a single accident, such as a fall where an employee suffered a head injury. While these types of accidents do occur, many injuries that occur in the workplace are developed over time and result from minor and repetitive movements. These injuries are referred to as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) and can cause employees a significant amount of pain and expense.

Fortunately, RSIs are compensable under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, so if you recently suffered an injury while on the job, it is critical to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can protect your interests.

What is a Repetitive Injury?

are the result of simple motions that are repeated several times a day over a long period of time. Even when the movement is not complex or physically demanding, the combined effects of repeated action can take a serious toll on an employee’s health and ability to fulfill his or her duties. In fact, RSIs can leave workers in so much pain and with such limited mobility that they cannot perform simple functions or complete daily tasks, such as raising their arms or bending over.

RSIs occur at an alarming rate and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) even estimates that there are as many as 100 types of work-related conditions caused by sustained wear and tear.

How are Repetitive Injuries Compensated?

RSIs are compensable under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act as long as the injured employee can clearly demonstrate that an RSI was caused by the specific demands of his or her job. Once these conditions have been met, the injured party may be able to receive:

  • Disability benefits;
  • Coverage for medical expenses; and
  • A settlement for permanent injuries.

Truck accident injury attorneyQualifying employees receive 2/3 of their average weekly wage in benefit checks. If an employee is eventually able to complete lighter duty work without exacerbating the injury, he or she will still be able to receive 2/3 of the difference between what he or she makes in a new position and what he or she would be making if the injury had not occurred.

Steps to Compensate RSIs

In order to collect compensation for an RSI, employees must notify their employers within 45 days of discovering the injury. The employee should also immediately make an appointment with a doctor to whom he or she should provide specific information about:

  • His or her employment;
  • The length of time that he or she has filled that position; and
  • The physical duties required of the job.

This information can help a medical professional provide an accurate diagnosis and also suggest a treatment plan. A doctor’s opinion also makes it much more difficult for an employer to argue that an injury was not caused by work-related activities. If an insurer denies a claim, the injured worker has the right to file an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

RSIs can be just as painful and debilitating as injuries suffered in one-time accidents, so if you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome or another type of repetitive motion injury, please contact Tuite Law today at (815) 965-5777 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney who can evaluate your case.

Should You Get a Lawyer for Your Car Accident in Rockford?

Being involved in a car crash in Rockford can be painful, frightening, and leave victims feeling powerless and confused about their next steps. Fortunately, an experienced car accident attorney can help ease some of these burdens by aggressively representing the injured party’s interests, whether in negotiations or the courtroom.

Factors to Consider

Generally, whether an accident victim should retain an attorney depends on a series of factors, including:

  • The specific circumstances of the accident;
  • The number of vehicles involved in the crash;
  • Whether anyone was injured;
  • Whether there was significant property damage; and
  • Whether the injured party was required to take time off from work.

For instance, minor fender benders where little damage was inflicted and no one was injured can usually be handled through the insurance companies without the aid of a lawyer. However, even in these cases, an injured party who does not have any time at

Monetary damages

his or her disposal to dedicate to the case may benefit from the guidance of an attorney. This is especially true when an accident resulted in serious injuries or significant property damage as the case may take much longer to resolve.

Collecting Compensation

Car accident victims who were injured as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness can collect compensation for their losses, including:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income;
  • Property damage; and
  • Pain and suffering.

However, to collect these damages, the injured party may be required to file a claim and establish the other person’s negligence. This can be difficult when one party is not clearly at fault or if both parties contributed to an accident. Illinois recognizes the legal theory of comparative negligence, which means that injured parties who contribute to their own accident can still collect compensation from the other party, although the amount they receive will be reduced by their own percentage of fault. However, if a jury determines that an injured party was more than 50 percent at fault, he or she will be barred from collecting compensation. In these cases, it is critical to have the support of an attorney who can help clearly demonstrate fault.

The situation can become further complicated if injuries were particularly serious and required hospitalization or ongoing treatment because the other party’s insurer may be reluctant to foot the bill even when their policyholder was clearly at fault. In these cases, it is especially important to have the advice of an experienced car accident attorney who can work with the insurance companies and negotiate a higher award. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the injured party may be required to file a claim in court, where it is crucial to have legal representation, as courts tend to be very strict about filing deadlines, the submission of evidence, and other procedural requirements.

Contact us Today to Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

At Tuite Law, we understand how stressful and emotional it can be to sustain an injury in a car crash. For this reason, we dedicate ourselves to easing our clients’ burdens by aggressively representing their interests and helping them seek the compensation they deserve. If you were recently injured in a crash or suffered significant property damage, please contact us today by calling (815) 965-5777 to set up a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable and compassionate car accident attorney who can explain your legal options.

Understanding Your Rockford Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Disability program is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and was established to help provide disabled claimants with monthly cash benefits. Unfortunately, it can be difficult and time-consuming to apply for benefits and many applications are denied, so if you have a serious disability and are unable to secure steady employment, it is important to contact an experienced Rockford Social Security Disability attorney who can walk you through the application process.


Before a person can receive benefits, he or she must fulfill certain federal requirements. For instance, to be eligible for benefits, an applicant must have a medical condition that is expected to last for at least one year or to end in death. To determine whether a condition or illness reaches the level of a disability, the SSA analyzes:

  • The applicant’s work history; and
  • Whether the condition is so severe that it interferes with basic work-related duties.

Disabling Conditions

A medical condition will automatically be considered severe if it is included on the SSA’s list of disabling conditions. Fortunately, even when an illness or injury is not included on the list, applicants still have a chance of collecting benefits if they can demonstrate that they are unable to perform the same type of work as was required where they were previously employed. Finally, the SSA will assess whether the applicant could adjust to another type of work by taking into account his or her:

  • Medical condition;
  • Age;
  • Education;
  • Past work experience; and
  • Transferable skills.

If, after a review of the evidence, the SSA determines that an applicant could not sustain alternative employment, it will move on to an analysis of the applicant’s work history.

Work History

Before the SSA will officially approve an application for benefits, it will analyze the claimant’s work history. This requires that applicants satisfy two earnings requirements tests, which are known as:

  • The recent work test; and
  • The work duration test.

To satisfy the recent work test, applicants must submit evidence that they were employed for a specific amount of time in the years preceding the disability. For instance, if an applicant’s disability began before the age of 24 years old, he or she must have been employed for at least one and half years during the previous three-year time period.

If, on the other hand, a disability began after age 24, but before the age of 31 years old, the applicant must have worked for at least half of the time from age 21 until his or her current age. Finally, after a claimant has turned 31 years old, he or she must have been gainfully employed for at least five of the last ten years.

Duration Test

Under the work duration test, a claimant must also demonstrate that he or she worked for a certain number of years during his or her life before becoming disabled. Unlike the former test, the work duration test does not require employment to fall within a specific time period. As long as the claimant was employed for long enough prior to the disability, he or she will satisfy the test.

Man assembling boxes in a factoryCompiling the evidence that is necessary to submit a claim and complying with the SSA’s many procedural guidelines can be extremely difficult and in some cases, an applicant’s failure to comply with these rules within a certain timeline could lead to the denial of a claim. Having the advice and guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can prove crucial to a claimant’s success.

Contact a Dedicated Rockford Social Security Disability Attorney

If you have questions about the status of your own claim for benefits, please contact Tuite Law today by calling (815) 965-5777 to speak with an experienced Rockford Social Security Disability attorney who can address your concerns.

How to Appeal a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois

When you are injured on the job, recovering compensation for your lost wages and medical expenses through workers’ compensation is a critical part of your well-being. Unfortunately, though, many claims for workers’ compensation that are valid and should be approved are denied by an employer or an insurer, often to save the company money.

It can be easy to feel as though you have no options if your workers’ compensation claim is denied; however, you have the right to appeal the decision and should engage the help of a legal professional in doing so. Here’s a look into what you need to know.

What to Do if Your Benefits are Denied

An employer may deny your workers’ compensation benefits for myriad reasons, ranging from your failure to notify your employer of your accident within the required time frame to disputes about proof of how your injury occurred. Regardless of the Injury lawreason, if you are denied benefits that you believe you are rightfully entitled to, you will need to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

To start your claim, you need to file two form types (and provide multiple copies of each): the Application for Adjustment of Claim and the Proof of Service.

After Your Claim is Filed

After you file a claim with the commission, the commission will assign an arbitrator to your case. At this point, you should request a hearing, which will be conducted by the arbitrator. During the hearing, you and your employer will both be allowed to present evidence that supports your case.

It is highly recommended that you are represented by a legal professional during a hearing, as a lawyer will know what an arbitrator is looking for and how to present compelling evidence. After the hearing, the arbitrator will issue a written decision. You can read more about this process in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Handbook.

Can I Appeal an Arbitrator’s Decision?

The decision made by an arbitrator is not binding, and either you or your employer if the decision is in your favor, has a right to appeal it. Rather than being heard by an arbitrator, at this level in the appeals process, your appeal will be reviewed by a panel of three commissioners. Again, you will have the opportunity to explain why you deserve workers’ compensation benefits and why the panel should issue a determination in your favor.

Once the panel issues its decision, the decision cannot be appealed if you are a state employee. If you are not a state employee, you may once again appeal the decision to the circuit court. A case can go all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

At the firm of Tuite Law, our Rockford personal injury attorneys care about you. When you are injured on the job, we want to make sure that you get the benefits you deserve and are passionate about every case we take on.

We also have years’ worth of experience in workers’ compensation law and appealing denied claims, and thoroughly understand the process. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, please use our online form to send us a message today or call us at 877-965-5777.

What Is Illinois’ Comparative Fault Law and How May it Affect My Personal Injury Case?

When you are injured by the fault of another, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. In order to recover compensation, you must file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company. In some cases, you may need to file a lawsuit, and go to court, in order to obtain the compensation that you need.

What many people fail to think about when pursuing a personal injury case is how Illinois’ comparative fault laws could affect:

  • Their case
  • Their recovery amount
  • Why this law makes hiring an attorney even more essential

If you are injured in Illinois, consider the following information about comparative fault.

What Is Comparative Fault?

In Illinois, negligence (or fault) determines who pays for damages after an accident, whether this be a car accident, pedestrian accident, slip and fall, or another accident type. Comparative negligence/fault, then, determine how fault will be divided in an accident resulting in bodily injury or property damage and how a person’s recovery will be affected if they contributed to their accident.

In some states, plaintiffs in a civil action are barred from recovering compensation if they contributed to their accident at all, even if they are found to be only one percent at fault. In other states, plaintiffs can still seek recovery even if they are up to 99 percent at fault.

In Illinois, the state uses a modified comparative negligence system.

Modified Comparative Negligence – What’s That?


Modified comparative negligence is a theory of comparative fault that holds that a plaintiff may still seek damages from a defendant so long as the plaintiff’s degree of fault does not exceed 49 percent. If the plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault for their injuries, then they cannot pursue a personal injury case against the other party.

Modified comparative negligence laws also hold that a plaintiff’s damages will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. Consider an accident in which Driver A is speeding, and Driver B is texting, at the time that the two vehicles collide. Driver B is found to be 40 percent at fault for the accident and suffers $10,000 worth of damages. Because of their percentage of fault, Driver B’s damages will be reduced by 40 percent, and driver A will only be liable for $6,000.

Why You Need to Work with an Experienced Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer

Illinois comparative fault laws allow insurance companies to reduce the amount of money they offer to a plaintiff based on the plaintiff’s degree of fault. As such, an insurance adjuster will likely explore all avenues possible for placing blame for injuries on your shoulders if you are pursuing a personal injury claim.

When you hire an attorney, your attorney will disprove allegations of fault against you, and gather all evidence necessary to prove the negligence of the responsible party. An attorney will also negotiate for your maximum settlement amount, and be prepared to take your case to court if a settlement cannot be reached.

To schedule a free consultation with our experienced Rockford personal injury lawyers today, call our offices now at 877-965-5777. You can also write us a message using our online form, and we will be in touch shortly. 

Can I Receive Social Security Disability if My Disability Is Not on the Listing of Impairments?

When you are disabled and unable to work as such, filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits may provide you with the financial support you need every month. However, qualifying for Social Security disability is not always easy, and every year, thousands of SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) claims are denied.

Proving that you are disabled to the extent that you are unable to work can be tough in itself – if you have a disability that is not on the listing of impairments provided by the Social Security Administration, you may be wondering whether or not you are even eligible to receive SS benefits. Here’s what you need to know:

When You Are Considered “Automatically Disabled” By the Social Security Administration

Rockford Medical Disability Lawyer

The Social Security Administration maintains a Listing of Impairments – Adult Conditions, which lists some of the most disabling conditions and illnesses. If you have a condition found on this list, the Social Security Administration automatically considers you to be disabled. While you will have to prove through medical evidence that you suffer from the condition, the fact that the condition is listed by the SSA means that you do not have to prove that the condition is disabling; it is automatically considered as such.

My Condition Isn’t on the Listing of Impairments. What Should I Do?

Just because your health condition is not found on the listing of impairments does not mean that you are not eligible for Social Security disability benefits. You will still be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration if:

  • You are unable to do the work that you did before as a result of your health condition;
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your health condition; and
  • Your condition has lasted, or expected to last, for a minimum of 12 months or result in death.

Medical costs attorneyYou will need sufficient medical evidence to substantiate the criteria above.

Benefits Aren’t Determined by Disability Alone

It is important to remember that even if you are disabled and are unable to work, whether you have a condition that is listed by the Social Security Administration or not, this in itself does not qualify you for benefits. In addition to having a disabling condition that prevents you from being able to work, you must also have earned enough Social Security work credits during your working years (for SSDI benefits), or be of limited income and resources (for SSI benefits).

Recovering the SSDI/SSI Benefits that You Deserve

The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be very confusing, and if your claim is denied, knowing how to appeal the decision is important. At the offices of Tuite Law, our experienced Rockford Social Security disability attorneys can help you to understand whether or not you are eligible for benefits, how to file your claim for benefits, and what to do if your claim is denied. To meet with one of our talented Social Security disability attorneys today, call our law offices at 877-965-5777 or write us a message using the form found on our website.