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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

What Are Common Injuries that Restaurant Workers Can Suffer?

February 16th, 2021 at 12:05 pm

job-injuryEmployees in the service and hospitality industries may work in a restaurant, bar, hotel, spa, or salon. The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted these businesses this past year, forcing some to close temporarily or reduce occupancy. However, with a vaccine starting to be distributed, many non-essential businesses are starting to reopen, allowing many people who were laid off or furloughed to return to work. For those who work in restaurants, they may still have to follow certain restrictions, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitizing stations. Even with limited capacity, restaurant workers may be at risk of injury while on the job. It is important to understand what the law says about workers’ compensation in case you ever need to file a claim for these benefits after a work-related injury.

Service Industry Risks

Certain occupations carry certain risks, some more than others. Although many might not consider working in a restaurant or bar dangerous, workers can be exposed to hazards. A few of the typical injuries someone can sustain as a restaurant staff member include:

  • Lacerations and puncture wounds - Due to frequent contact with knives, chopping tools, and other sharp utensils, as well as broken dishes or glasses, restaurant staff can often suffer these types of injuries. Deep cuts can result in significant blood loss, leading to life-threatening complications in some cases.
  • Skin burns - With multiple ovens and stove top burners running constantly, employees may sustain first-, second-, or third-degree burns from open flames, hot pots and pans, or boiling water. Hot steam can also burn exposed skin.
  • Sprains and strains – Various types of liquids such as soda, coffee, milk, oil, or cleaning products are commonly found in restaurant kitchens and bars. If a staff member or patron accidentally spills a drink or other liquid and it is not cleaned up promptly, a worker can slip and fall, twisting, spraining, or straining his or her ankle, wrist, or back. Clutter such as garbage or extra chairs and tables can also cause an employee to trip and fall.
  • Eye damage – Frequently used in food service environments, when grease splatters or sanitizing chemicals splash or spill, it can result in injury to the eye. Immediate treatment is imperative to preventing long-lasting vision problems and blindness.

Most Illinois businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. This financial relief can cover medical bills as well as a percentage of a worker’s income. An attorney experienced in worker’s comp law can help you gather the necessary documents you need to file a claim, including photographs of your injury, medical records, and hospital bills or statements.

Call a Cook County Workplace Injury Lawyer

Regardless if a work accident or injury occurred suddenly or over a period of time, it can have debilitating consequences. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we recognize the importance of skilled legal representation, and we are fully prepared to take on your case. Our qualified Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to helping you obtain the maximum amount for your damages. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.

 

Source:

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

Treatments for Work-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

January 28th, 2021 at 10:03 am

IL workers comp lawyer, IL PTSD attorney Certain jobs can carry significant risks compared to other occupations. For example, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics can be exposed to dangerous conditions on a regular basis. Much of their work involves dealing with extreme situations, such as a car accident, explosion, or othe types of catastrophic events. While performing the duties of their jobs, these workers can sustain physical injuries such as gunshot wounds, burns, or broken bones. In addition, they can suffer mental and emotional scars, too. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a frightening event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety, and more. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may alleviate some of the financial hardship if a person is unable to work because of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental Health Rehabilitation

Although any traumatic event can trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, or depression, many times these symptoms go away after a period of time. However, when they last a long time and hinder someone from performing their job or normal activities, he or she may be diagnosed with PTSD. Obtaining the appropriate treatment after PTSD symptoms surface can be crucial to reduce the severity of them and any long-lasting effects on a person’s mental state. The goal is to change any disruptive thought patterns. This might occur through talking about the trauma or concentrating on where the fears actually come from.

Some of the common way to treat PTSD patients include the following cognitive-behavioral therapies:

  • Group, family, or individual therapy: Talking one-on-one with a professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who is a neutral party can help deal with your emotions.
  • Cognitive processing therapy: Talking about the traumatic event with a therapist and writing down details about the incident can help the victim process what happened.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy: Learning breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety, and confronting things you may have been avoiding.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Concentrating on movement made by a therapist such as a hand waving, flashing a light, or a sound while thinking about something positive while you remember your trauma.
  • Stress inoculation training: Focusing on changing how to deal with the stress from the event, including massage and breathing techniques and other ways to stop negative thoughts through relaxation.

Under the Illinois workers compensation law, any disability caused by PTSD that is work-related should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ comp insurance companies often deny claims for PTSD. That is why you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights so you can receive the compensation you need and deserve in order to recover and move on with your life.

Call an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Injuries from a work accident can include post-traumatic stress disorder, which can impact a person’s ability to function and return to work. If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek medical attention for this debilitating condition. In addition, you may be wondering what your options are regarding compensation. A qualified Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a workplace injury can have on an employee as well as his or her family. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to request a free consultation and learn more.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-are-treatments-for-posttraumatic-stress-disorder#1

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=082003050K8

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

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