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Richard K. Johnson
  • Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation
  • Illinois
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Richard maintains a busy statewide practice representing injured men and women, many of whom are union members. The unique combination of representing labor unions and individual members in work-related injury claims provides Richard the opportunity to integrate the rights and benefits of a union contract with the statutory benefits of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Maximizing these benefits for the injured work is the goal of every case.

Richard has had an active role in establishing the rights of injured workers in repetitive trauma claims, handling the trial and appeal of the cases from the Commission level to the Illinois Supreme Court. In addition, Richard has written “friend of the court” briefs on behalf of injured workers who are not his clients to persuade the Appellate and Supreme Court of Illinois to award compensation benefits. This work is done through the Illinois Trial Lawyers Amicus Committee and on behalf of the United Auto Workers CAP Council. Richard does not charge fees for his “friend of the court” briefing work as he considers it his duty to give back to his profession and to the injured workers who need his help.

Richard’s litigation before the Workers’ Compensation Commission has led to a number of decisions published by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Appellate Court as well as the Illinois Supreme Court. Each of these published decisions resulted in a victory for the injured worker. Richard has successfully tried and settled cases against General Motors, Mitsubishi, General Electric, R.R. Donnelley, ThyssenKrupp and many others.

Richard K. Johnson was named by Best Lawyers as 2016 "Lawyer of the Year in Workers’ Compensation Law - Claimant”. Richard is “AV” Rated by his peers through Martindale-Hubbell, meaning he is considered to have the highest degree of ethics and competency in his field.

Practice Areas
Personal Injury
Animal & Dog Bites, Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Construction Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Premises Liability, Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death
Workers' Compensation
  • Free Consultation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English
Professional Experience
DePaul College of Law
J.D. (1982)
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Northwestern University
B.S. (1977)
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Lawyer of the Year in Workers’ Compensation Law - Claimant
Best Lawyers
Illinois Super Lawyer in the field of Workers’ Compensation
Super Lawyers
AV Rated
Professional Associations
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
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Association of Trial Lawyers of America
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Articles & Publications
Disability Evaluation
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Illinois Workers' Compensation Practice
Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education
Marketing, Solicitation, and Client Development in a Changing Ethical Environment
American Bar Association
Speaking Engagements
Workers' Compensation, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Workers' Compensation Seminar
Websites & Blogs
Richard K. Johnson's Website Profile
Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca Website
Chicago Injury Attorneys Blog
Legal Answers
11 Questions Answered
Q. Question about a family member who is hospitalized
A: Generally, when an individual is under a disability like this one, if a power of attorney was executed by your brother, this incapacity would permit the holder of the power of attorney to act on his behalf. In the absence of a power of attorney, the hospital may be able to assist you by providing medical proof of your brother's incapacity. If you cannot make health care decisions for yourself, a health care "surrogate" may be chosen for you. Under Illinois law, two doctors must certify that you cannot make health care decisions for yourself before a health care surrogate can be appointed.
Q. I am a healthcare worker in Illinois/tested Covid+. 2 other coworkers also +. Is this a work comp claim?
A: Yes, you may very well have a Workers' Compensation claim. Unfortunately, there is no weekly payment for temporary total disability for the first three working days until you are disabled 14 calendar days. If you have lingering symptoms or "covid long haul" then you may have a claim for permanent partial disability. The statutory presumption for a health care worker is no longer in place if this is a recent infection, but there is a strong probability you can demonstrate your infection is work related.
Q. Can I file bankruptcy on a workers comp settlement loan in Illinois or is that type loan exempt from bankruptcy?
A: The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act prohibits any lien or assignment of proceeds. If you borrow money from a loan company while you have a workers' compensation claim, you are forming a contract, but there is no lien or assignment of the proceeds of the workers' compensation funds. The loan contract terms dictate that you will pay interest on the money you borrow and repayment of the principal and interest will take place when you finalize your workers' compensation case. Filing for bankruptcy to discharge this loan depends on the circumstances of the bankruptcy and it would be best to consult with your bankruptcy attorney. There is nothing in the workers' compensation act that discusses whether the loan can be discharged in bankruptcy. ... Read More
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Contact & Map
Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca
161 N Clark St
18th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Toll-Free: (800) 444-1525
Telephone: (312) 263-6330
Fax: (312) 372-5555
Monday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Today)
Saturday: 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Sunday: Closed
Notice: We are happy to arrange appointments after hours or on a Sunday. We are willing to meet you at your home if it is inconvenient to travel. Our job is to serve you.
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