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Common Ways an Employee Can Be Disfigured at Work

March 30th, 2021 at 9:26 pm

works compEmployers and employees alike are responsible for taking safety precautions to prevent workplace accidents. However, even when all necessary measures are taken, injuries can still occur. Depending on the environment and job duties, there are various ways in which a worker can suffer a disfiguring injury while on the job. Disfigurement can affect many parts of the body, and it can lead to long-lasting scars as well as extensive rehabilitation. In many cases, Illinois workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are disfigured at work.

Disfigurement Defined Per Illinois Law

According to the Illinois Supreme Court, disfigurement is defined as an impairment of a person’s appearance that is unusual. For instance, it can impact an individual’s beauty or the symmetry of his or her face or body. Under Illinois law, to be eligible for workers’ compensation, a disfigurement must be severe and permanent. In addition, it must be located on a visual part of the body, like the face, head, neck, hand, arm, or lower leg. However, a disfiguring injury to the rest of the body may not be eligible for compensation. It is important to note that if an accident caused the loss of a limb, the worker may not claim both disability and disfigurement benefits for that same body part.

Dangers on the Job

Working in certain fields or industries can increase the likelihood of accidents due to potential dangers. For example, some factory and construction jobs may involve operating large and heavy equipment. If a machine part malfunctions, an employee could get their hand stuck in it, resulting in deep cuts or lacerations. When toxic substances such as acid come in contact with a person, it can burn the skin. Similarly, explosions or electrocutions can cause third-degree burns or nerve damage. Erecting high-rise buildings may require workers to perform their duties using scaffolding, harnesses, or ladders. Falling from these items can cause serious head trauma or broken bones.
A few of the most common types of accidents that could result in disfigurement include:

  • Vehicle accidents (car, truck, tractor, forklift)
  • Falls from significant heights
  • Toxic chemical burns
  • Electrocution/Explosions
  • Falling objects (tools or other equipment)
  • Malfunctioning or defective power tools

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workplace accidents can result in serious to life-threatening injuries depending on the industry and circumstances. If you are disfigured after suffering a work injury, it can be physically and emotionally devastating. In many cases, financial relief may be obtained through workers’ compensation benefits. A renowned Chicago workplace injury attorney from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you navigate this legal process of filing a claim. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

Pursuing Workers’ Compensation for a Scaffolding Accident in Illinois

March 15th, 2021 at 11:49 am

ScaffoldingIL works comp lawyer, Illinois work injury attorney is defined as a temporary structure on the outside of a building, typically made out of wooden planks and metal poles, used by workers while constructing, repairing, or cleaning the building. Scaffolding accidents mainly involve several different factors, such as people falling off of them, improper operating procedures, weather conditions, and equipment failure. Constructions workers, painters, and window washers routinely utilize scaffolding to do their jobs. If the scaffolding is not properly supported or collapses, workers on or around the scaffolding are at risk of serious to even fatal injuries. In some cases, injured employees may be able to recover damages through a workers’ compensation claim.

Frequent Injuries Involved with Scaffolding

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2.3 million construction workers use scaffolds to perform some of the duties. Federal statistics show that approximately 35 percent of construction industry fatalities are due to falls. Falls from scaffolds are generally from a significant height. Additionally, being hit by tools falling from scaffolds can also cause severe injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord damage (paralysis)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations (deep cuts)

Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents

Illinois workers who perform their jobs outside are often at the mercy of the environmental elements. Although summer may be an ideal time for erecting buildings, a lot of work can still be done throughout all four seasons. However, if employees are going to be spending a significant amount of time on scaffolding, contractors, vendors, or construction site supervisors should have a strict set of standards in place to prevent accidents and injuries. For instance, not allowing scaffolding work to take place in high winds or blinding snowstorms since that can cause ropes or cables to come loose or break.

Scaffolding accidents usually occur when a general contractor or superintendent tries to save time and money, and scaffolding is improperly installed or dismantled. In addition, routine maintenance of the scaffolding equipment is necessary to ensure wood platforms are not rotted and all attachment points are secure.

A few of the typical ways that a scaffolding accident may occur include:

  • Insufficient on-the-job training
  • Poor or faulty construction or defective parts
  • Inadequate safety standards or procedures
  • Lack of fall protection (hard hats, harnesses, guardrails)
  • Inclement weather (wind, snow, sleet, rain)

In some cases, a worker’s injury may be a direct result of another party’s negligence, such as when scaffolding is supplied and erected by a different company than the primary employer on a construction site. In these situations, a worker may want to pursue a personal injury claim against that third party in addition to workers’ comp benefits to alleviate the financial hardship from medical bills and lost income as well as pain and suffering. Family members of workers who lost their lives in scaffolding accidents while on the job may also be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits or a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers can suffer serious injuries at a construction worksite. If you or your loved one was hurt in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, our reputable Chicago workplace injury attorneys are well-versed in workers’ comp laws, including those involving construction site accidents. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

 

How Does COVID-19 Affect Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims?

February 26th, 2021 at 7:53 pm

IL injury attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyer, The year 2020 will always be remembered for the COVID-19 global pandemic. Government and health officials issued executive orders limiting gatherings, requiring masks to be worn, and enforcing social distancing in public places. In addition, many non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters, salons, and casinos were closed to keep people safe and healthy. However, some employees were allowed to work remotely from home. Despite state and local efforts to stop it, the highly contagious virus spread throughout the country, resulting in approximately 500,000 deaths. An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine was recently approved, which is a critical component in reducing coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths. With many workers returning to office buildings now, employees may be required to get vaccinated before returning to work. It is important to understand how COVID-19 and vaccine-related illnesses impact workers’ compensation claims.

Phase IB

In January, Phase 1B began in Illinois, allowing frontline essential workers and residents 65 and older to get the vaccine. Frontline workers include those who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, or they have to socially distance in order to perform their job duties. This includes first responders and healthcare workers, as well as those in the following fields and industries: K-12 education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections officers and inmates, postal, public transit, grocery stores, and daycare centers.

House Bill 2455

Legislation signed into law provides worker compensation benefits for those essential workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job under specific conditions. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed H.B. 2455 into law, which provides death benefits for first responders who were infected with COVID-19 on duty and also revises state code to expand unemployment benefits and enhance sick pay and leave for workers who contract the virus. However, under the bill, employers can refute claims under certain conditions:

  • An employer can show that the company was adhering to public health guidelines for 14 days prior to when the employee claims they contracted the virus.
  • The employer can prove that the worker was exposed by a source outside of the company.
  • The employee was working remotely from home for a minimum of 14 days before filing the claim.

Call a Chicago Workers’ Comp Attorney

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives in many ways. With a vaccine being distributed now, Illinois employees may be wondering if COVID-related illness is covered by workers’ compensation benefits. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, our reputable Cook County workplace injury lawyers are well-versed in workers’ comp laws, including new legislation regarding the virus. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/phase-1b

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

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