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Who Can Provide My Medical Care for a Work-Related Injury?

September 13th, 2021 at 11:00 am

Workers-Comp-Care-Chicago-LawyerIf you are injured in the course of your work in Illinois, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that cover the costs of your medical care. However, there are important steps that you will need to follow to ensure that you receive those benefits. One of those steps is ensuring that you receive treatment from an approved provider. Your choice of provider may depend on your employer, and it is important to understand how this process works.

Choosing a Care Provider

As soon as you are injured or you become aware of a work-related injury, it is important to notify your employer. If you require emergency care, your employer should arrange for it and cover the costs. Many work-related injuries require ongoing care, however, and this is where the choice of a provider comes in.

Many Illinois employers now have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) that includes a list of health care providers who are approved to treat employees’ work-related injuries. Your employer must notify you in writing if they have a PPP, and if so, you will need to choose your care providers from within the program. If you opt-out of the PPP in writing, or if your employer does not have a PPP, you are able to select a provider of your choice. In this case, it is important to let the provider know that you have a work-related injury so that you are not billed directly for your treatment.

Disputes Involving Medical Care

Although an employer is required to cover the costs of reasonably necessary medical care for a work-related injury, this process does not always go smoothly for injured employees. In many cases, employers and their workers’ comp insurance providers will decline to cover medical expenses that they believe are unnecessary or unrelated to the employee’s work. In other cases, injured employees may feel that their chosen care providers are not providing the care they truly need.

If you encounter these obstacles while receiving treatment for your work injuries, it is important to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). After reviewing your case, the IWCC may allow you to select a new care provider or arrange for dispute resolution between you and your employer. An attorney can help you file your claim and represent you in any proceedings before the IWCC.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Getting workers’ compensation benefits can be a complicated process with many important decisions along the way. If you are unsure how to proceed, our experienced Illinois workers’ comp attorneys can help. Contact [[title]] today at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation.

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/handbook.pdf

 

What Jobs Are at Risk of Occupational Diseases in Illinois?

August 4th, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Occupational-Risk-Attorney-Oak_BrookWork-related injuries are common in Illinois and throughout the U.S., especially for employees who perform extensive physical labor or who work with heavy machinery and equipment. Thanks to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, many injured workers qualify for benefits that cover their medical care and some of their lost wages. Employees who develop or contract a disease or illness in the course of their work may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, though these cases are often more complicated.

Occupations With High Incidences of Work-Related Illness

Occupational diseases tend to develop after prolonged and repeated exposure to a hazardous condition, rather than a one-time event. Some occupations in which occupational diseases are more common include:

  • Construction and manufacturing – Workers in these occupations may be exposed to a variety of risks, including hazardous materials like asbestos, chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and dangerous particles in the air. These hazards can lead to skin diseases, respiratory conditions, and certain types of cancer.
  • Firefighting – Firefighters are at risk of respiratory conditions due to smoke and ash inhalation.
  • Mining – Workers in the mining industry, especially coal miners, are also exposed to the risk of respiratory disease from the inhalation of harmful particles.
  • Agriculture – Farm workers may develop lung conditions from inhaling grain dust and other particles, or other diseases due to exposure to chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Health care – Doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other health care providers may be exposed to infectious airborne or bloodborne pathogens that may cause diseases like COVID-19, hepatitis, and AIDS.

Recovering Compensation

According to Illinois law, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have a work-related disease or illness. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your condition meets certain criteria. Namely, the disease must have arisen in the course of your work, or have been aggravated by your work to the point of disablement. Generally, this means you will need to establish a causal connection between some hazard present in your work and the specific condition you have contracted or developed.

 

It is often beneficial to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim involving an occupational illness. A lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to pursue benefits as soon as you become aware of the condition, as well as gather evidence of the connection between your work and the disease. Occupational illness claims are commonly denied, and if this happens to you, your attorney can help you appeal the denial.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Comp Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how important it is to get the care and treatment you need for an occupational disease. We can work with you to file and pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that make this possible. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation with a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0615/p1000.html

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshdef.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-115/diseas.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

 

 

When Will a Back or Spine Injury Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

July 9th, 2021 at 11:34 am

Workers-Comp-Attorney-Cook-County-minOf the different types of conditions that can affect a person’s ability to work, issues affecting the back and spinal cord can be some of the most debilitating. Back injuries can be very painful, and they can restrict a person’s ability to stand for an extended period of time and pick up or carry objects. In serious cases, a spinal cord injury may lead to paralysis in different parts of the body, which may cause a person to be permanently disabled. People who have suffered back injuries related to their work will want to determine whether they qualify for workers’ compensation, which will allow them to receive benefits that will address their medical expenses and cover some of the income lost due to a disability.

Common Workplace Back and Spine Injuries

Serious back injuries or health conditions that affect the back and spine may include:

  • Slipped or herniated discs – Excessive strain on the back can cause the discs between the vertebrae in the spine to tear or rupture. This can put pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord, causing pain and restricting a person’s range of movement.
  • Degenerative disc disease – The discs in the spine can wear down over time, This type of repetitive stress injury can lead to chronic pain and limitations on a person’s ability to perform work-related tasks.
  • Paraplegia or tetraplegia – A serious workplace accident can cause the spinal cord to be damaged or severed. Depending on where a spine injury occurred, a person may suffer partial or complete paralysis affecting their lower limbs or their entire body.
  • Sprains and strains – The muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back may be damaged when a person attempts to lift an object that is too heavy or because of other work-related accidents.

A back or spine injury will be covered by workers’ compensation if it occurred while a person was working or because of the work they have performed. Injuries in workplace accidents, such as a fall from a ladder or scaffold or a motor vehicle collision that took place while a person was driving for work, will qualify for workers’ comp, regardless of whether a worker or their employer was responsible for the accident.

A person may also qualify for benefits if their injuries have built up over time due to the work they performed, such as regularly bending over to pick up heavy items. In these cases, a person will usually need to provide evidence showing that their work-related activities were directly responsible for their injuries.

Contact Our Chicago Workplace Back Injury Attorneys

If you suffered a spine injury in a workplace accident, or if work-related activities have caused you to experience back pain, the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you file a workers’ compensation claim. We will work to ensure that your medical treatment will be fully covered and that you can receive the disability benefits you need. Contact our Cook County workplace injury lawyers at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/causes-back-pain

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20377890

 

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