Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Construction Workers, Illinois workers comp, Uncategorized, Workers Comp, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: construction employees, construction safety, construction workers, Illinois lawyer, Illinois workers compensation lawyer, Illinois workers' compensation attorney, scaffolding, workers compensation | No Comments »
Employees working around scaffolding are some of the most at-risk for workplace injuries. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 72 percent of all scaffold accidents occurred when the support of planking gave way, the employee slipped, or falling objects struck the employee.
These dangerous conditions highlight the importance of extra safety precaution at worksites using scaffolding in order to prevent serious injuries and workers’ compensation claims.
One of the leading causes of occupational death is falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s why government regulators require that construction worksites using scaffolds and other raised platforms implement safety protocol, harnesses, and other guidelines to protect workers on the job.
An employer supervisor is responsible for maintaining a safe work location for all of his or her employees, but accidents can and do still happen, compromising the life and the livelihood of the employee.
Regulations regarding scaffolding include proper rope shielding, properly designed and constructed platforms, use of fall equipment, use of structural members for anchor points, and proper safety training of all employees.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a scaffolding accident, you likely have the grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. You might be suffering from broken bones, internal injuries, low back or neck injuries, or even a brain injury as a result of the incident.
If you believe you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you need to let your employer know in a timely manner. Your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you due to a claim or your intent to file a claim, but you will want to retail legal counsel so that you have someone in your corner advocating for the maximum benefits you deserve under workers’ compensation. If you have been hurt in a scaffold accident, contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.
Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Back Injury, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Spinal cord injury | Tags: attorney, back and neck injury, Chicago, Chicago lawyer, Chicago workers compensation lawyer, Illinois lawyer, Illinois workers compensation lawyer, spinal cord injury, workers comp attorney, workers compensation attorney | No Comments »
Employees of all kinds can be injured at work, from working at a manual labor job to reaching for a high shelf and straining back muscles in a corporate job. That is why workers’ compensation benefits exist. If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to these benefits.
The central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and the brain; the spinal cord sends and receives all information between the brain and all other organs in the body. If the spinal cord is injured, the brain’s communication pathway to the rest of the body is impaired.
Injury can occur from disease in the spinal cord or surrounding bones, tissues, or blood vessels, along with various physical damages, according to the New York Times Health Guide.
Safety precautions tend not to be geared towards workplace injuries, but it is still likely that a spinal cord can be injured or a previous injury can be made worse at work. If the spinal cord has been weakened from bone disease or age, minor injuries can also cause serious damage.
Direct injury may occur from:
- Cuts from bone fragments or metal fragments;
- The spinal cord being moved in irregular ways such as being pulled, pressed sideways, or compressed;
- Buildup of blood or other fluid that may cause swelling in or around the spinal cord, creating pressure.
If you are concerned that your spinal cord has been injured or you have risk factors that may lead to spinal cord injury, you should visit your doctor. Exams can be done on your brain and nervous system to identify an injury and its location.
After being injured at work, it is important to seek medical attention. If you find that you have an injury to your spinal cord, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to help you file a claim against the person at fault for the accident.
Posted: February 14th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: Illinois workers compensation claim, Illinois workers' comp lawyer, workers compensation, workplace accident | No Comments »
A recent survey indicates that more than 1/5 of employees have missed time at work following a workplace accident. The survey researchers asked 1,000 workers about their connection to workplace injuries. Sixteen percent indicated that they had suffered one injury, while five percent spoke about more than one injury. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need legal advice from a workers’ compensation attorney.
The study found that the most common types of injuries were the following:
- musculoskeletal problems;
- slips and falls involving strains or broken bones;
- motor vehicle accidents;
- repetitive motion;
- injuries after being struck by an object; and
The study found that men are more likely to be injured on the job when compared with women, although the most common injuries for men and women were musculoskeletal. Following that, men were most likely to be hurt by machinery or being struck by an object, whereas women were most likely to have a repetitive motion injury.
One of the most interesting findings from the study is that almost 1 in 10 employees opted not to report their workplace injury due to fear of retaliation. Employers are forbidden from retaliating against you or discriminating against you after you file a workers’ compensation claim, but anxiety about submitting a claim is certainly keeping some injured employees from pursuing their rights under a workers’ compensation claim.
For some employees, the main concern is being harassed or ignored for promotions, but others are concerned about keeping their job at all. Safety incentive programs where employees and coworkers are financially rewarded for not reporting injuries can also discourage an injured worker from coming forth about the accident.
If you have been injured, you may be passing up your chance to receive the compensation you deserve under a workers’ compensation claim. Contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today.
Posted: February 7th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Francis J. Discipio, How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp | Tags: Francis J. Discipio, Illinois workers compensation, workers compensation attorney, workers' comp | No Comments »
When a police officers out in the field or construction workers working with big machines and dangerous tools get hurt, there are guidelines to cover medical needs. But what about when an employee of the police force has a pre-existing injury and it causes strain and more injury by walking up and down stairs in the police station?
John Simons was a community service officer at Villa Park in 2007. Much of his work consisted of filing paperwork, including placing it in the correct area of the office, forcing him to walk up and down stairs at least six times a day. In January 2007, Simons fell on a patch of ice, injuring his knee, and had surgery scheduled for later in the year. On April 5, before the surgery, Simons fell down a set of stairs at work after his knee gave out and injured his lower back upon landing.
After having his knee repaired in surgery, Simons still had knee pains, so he filed a complaint, which was denied by the arbitrator. The workers’ compensation commission, though, ruled in his favor, stating that Simons was forced to use the stairs.
Although the final ruling went back and forth many times, the final result of the ruling was that Simons’s superiors were aware of his injury and still forced him to be in a risky situation on the stairs. Francis J. Discipio represented Simons, using the personal comfort doctrine in his defense.
Discipio stated that even injuries occurring during lunch or bathroom breaks are compensable because they “occur during the course of employment,” as did the injuries that Simons’ suffered after his fall on the stairs. He estimated that Simons will receive about $15,000 for his injury.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio for a workers’ compensation attorney. The office is located in Cook County and has attorneys ready to assist you today.
Posted: January 31st, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: Illinois workers compensation law, Illinois workers' compensation attorney, repetitive stress injury | No Comments »
Your hands are extremely complex, with more than 25 bones in each hand. Depending on your work requirements, you may find that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of a repetitive stress injury. If you have been the victim of such an injury, you need to consult with an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are being represented.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most common types of injuries is tendonitis. Tendons are essential for connecting muscle to bones, and doing the same movements over and over in the course of your jobs can lead to inflammation or injury. Two of the most common forms of tendonitis are often referred to as tennis elbow and trigger finger.
There are several different symptoms that you might experience as a sign of tendonitis are pain, stiffness, weakness, sensitivity to cold and heat, swelling, or tingling. If you start feeling these symptoms, you need to speak with a medical professional about treatments and impacts on your life. Even if you feel like the pain is mild, repetitive stress injuries can get much worse over time, especially if you continue with the same job duties that are causing the initial injury.
A repetitive stress injury can be treated a few different ways, including elevation, splinting, rest, and icing. Rest is one of the most important treatments for a repetitive stress injury, but if you continue to ignore the pain and repeat the same behavior, it can get worse and create challenges for your work environment and daily life.
If you believe you have the grounds of a workers’ compensation claim, you need to file a report with your employer after you get medical attention. It’s a good idea to have an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney at your side for the duration of your claim as this can help to ensure that your rights are protected at each stage.
Posted: January 22nd, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Workers Comp Arbitrators, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney, Workers Compensation Insurance | Tags: Illinois employee compensation lawyer, Illinois workers comp, Illinois workers compensation | No Comments »
Many people have dangerous jobs and are often injured while working. You can usually be compensated for your injuries and for the pay that you miss out on while you are recovering from your injury. These injuries may range from headaches due to a concussion or a broken bone and sometimes you may not even miss work. Compensation is still available to you for any alterations in your work that occur from work-related injury.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines a work-related injury to be one that “an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.”
Some recorded results from work-related injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness;
- Days away from work;
- Professional medical treatment;
- Restricted work activity or job transfer;
- Significant injuries diagnosed by a professional such as cancer, fractured bones, chronic irreversible diseases, or punctured eardrums.
If you are injured at work and you must miss days of work to recover from the injury, you can also be compensated for the missed wages. These cases are called DART cases. They involve one of the following:
- Days away from work: when one or more days of work are missed with or without days of restriction or job transfer;
- Job transfer or restriction: when you are injured at work and you are kept from doing a particular part of your job or you are temporarily transferred to a different job while you are injured.
Although your injury may not prevent you from working, you can be compensated for not only the injury itself, but also for the days in which your job is altered in any way due to your work-related injury. If you have been injured at work and you wish to be compensated, contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Cook County, Ill. today.
Posted: January 14th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp, Workers Comp Arbitrators, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: Illinois attorney, Illinois lawyer, Illinois workers comp, Illinois workers compensation lawyer, work injury claim, workers comp claim | No Comments »
If you find yourself injured on the job, you must take certain steps immediately following the injury in order to protect yourself.
The first step is to report your injury to your employer. In order to do this, you can provide verbal or written notice about the accident with details like where the accident occurred, and the approximate date of the injury. Make sure that you keep copies of all the relevant documents for your case, as you may need these later on to present to your workers’ compensation attorney.
Some injured employees might hesitate to file a work injury claim because of fear of retaliation. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against you for either an official claim or your discussion of a possible claim.
Because there are strict time limits for reporting your injury, you need to ensure that you follow through on the reporting process. You need to let your employer know as soon as possible, but no later than 45 days after the accident has occurred. If you delay reporting the injury to your employer, you might experience a delay in benefit payments.
At this stage, the employer has to let the workers’ compensation administrative professional or the insurance carrier know about the accident.
Depending on what accident has occurred, the benefits payment process and length can be different. If you are awarded a rating of permanent partial disability by a physician, for example, the location of the injury will have a significant impact on the schedule of recovery covered under workers’ compensation.
One of the most important things you can do for your case, especially if you feel that your employer is retaliating against you in any way as a result of your claim, is to hire legal counsel. If you have been the victim of an injury on the job, contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney immediately to have your rights represented.
Posted: January 7th, 2014 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Workers Comp, Workers Comp Benefits | Tags: Illinois workers compensation, workers compensation, workers compensation attorney | No Comments »
A Taylorville, IL firefighter who was injured while participating in a basketball game has won a workers compensation case against the fire station. According to the Illinois Workers Compensation Law Bulletin, the basketball game was believed to have arisen out of and in the course of his duties.
According to reports, the claimant worked as a firefighter in 24-hour shifts starting a 7 a.m., with 48 hours off in between working days. His duties included grounds keeping, in-house cleaning, maintenance, training, EMS duties, and fire suppression. With the exception of responding to calls, his workday assignments were completed at 4:30 p.m. While we was not required to play basketball or disciplined for failing to play, the claimant stated that his shift supervisor recommended the game every day as a team building exercise. On May 19, 2011, the claimant was playing in the encouraged daily game with his coworkers when he injured his right ankle.
The Commission awarded benefits based on the personal comfort doctrine. Just because the injury occurred during a recreational activity, this does not mean the voluntary recreation provision from WCA Section 11 applies. Section 11 is intended to be applied in situations where there are employer sport teams or picnics where the employer organized the teams or events. In this case, while the claimant was not required to participate, he was strongly encouraged to play in the spirit of team building. Furthermore, both the arbitrator and the Commission majority felt that the game arose out of the course of the claimant’s employment in the fire department.
If you have been injured while at work, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. The first step you should take after receiving treatment is contacting a qualified workers compensation attorney to review your case. We can help you determine any benefits you may be eligible to receive, and ensure that you complete the application process for those benefits successfully.
Posted: December 29th, 2013 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Illinois workers comp | Tags: Illinois workers comp, Illinois workers' compensation attorney, workers comp, workers compensation act violation, workers compensation insurance in Illinois, workers compensation lawyer | No Comments »
Every state has its own unique workers’ compensation laws that govern local business owners’ obligations to their employees. In Illinois, almost all employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for any individual who is injured, hired, or has localized employment in Illinois. The complicated requirements of the regulations that govern Illinois workers’ compensation laws can be daunting and confusing to both business owners and employees alike. In the last six years alone increasing numbers of Illinois employers have been prosecuted and pled guilty to Class 4 felonies for refusing to provide workers’ compensation for employees.
Recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Suits
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (“IWCC”) Insurance Compliance Unit has been upping the stakes for those Illinois employers who refuse to comply with the federal and state requirements that they obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Numerous local employers throughout Illinois have pled guilty to Class 4 felonies, after years of opportunities to cure their lack of workers’ compensation insurance. Fines for these offenses have ranged from upwards of $10,000.00 for one local Chicago resident who refused to obtain insurance after two years of repeated citations from the IWCC.
The Workers’ Compensation Law
820 ILCS 305, Workers’ Compensation Act requires Illinois employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for an estimated 91 percent of all Illinois employees. The only business owners exempt from the Act include corporate officers, sole proprietors, and limited liabilities companies. Those Illinois business owners who plead guilty to violating the Act by not obtaining workers’ compensation insurance can be fined $500 for each day of noncompliance with the Act. In recent years, the IWCC has more vigorously pursued violators. Since 2007, over $7 million dollars in fines has been collected from local Illinois employers who have violated the Act. Avoiding these colossal fines should be relatively simple for those local business owners who have or obtain a good grasp over the Act and its specific requirements for Illinois business owners.
Local Illinois business owners will increasingly have to be aware of the laws and requirements governing their obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The workers’ compensation attorneys here at the Law Offices of Francis J Discipio in Chicago, IL, are standing by, ready and willing to answer any questions you may have concerning both federal and local employment and workers’ compensation law and how they affect your businesses’ legal obligations.
Posted: December 23rd, 2013 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Disability Payments, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Workers Comp, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: award, claimant, disability benefits, Illinois workers compensation, IWCC, workers compensation, workers compensation attorney, workers compensation lawyer | No Comments »
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) awarded permanent disability benefits in November to a worker who injured his ankle at work, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The case established that even if a claimant can maintain the same job title after sustaining the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation if the nature of the work has changed. If the claimant, that is, is unable to perform the work at the same speed or with the same ease as he could before the injury, he may be eligible for workers’ compensation even if he is able at the same time to keep the position.
According to the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission Law Bulletin, “where the claimant’s job duties require post-injury modification, and he performs his duties at a much slower pace and is less productive than before his work injury, the claimant has suffered a deviation from his usual and customary line of employment.” If it can be established that the usual and customary line of employment has been altered by the injury, the claimant is eligible for workers’ compensation, as in this case.
Sherwood v. Ineos Nova LLC was initiated after a 2008 incident in which the claimant was climbing an icy tank. The claimant worked as a reliability technician, and “his duties included maintenance of the computer systems and equipment at the plant.” When he slipped climbing the icy tank, the claimant “fell down a long set of stairs,” shattering his left ankle. In early 2009, the claimant underwent surgery and physical therapy, and in March of that year returned to work.
Although the claimant’s job duties were in fact modified to fit his new restrictions, the IWCC awarded him workers’ compensation because “his age, profession, education, physical restrictions, and nature of the injury make it highly unlikely that the claimant could obtain a position elsewhere in his chosen profession.”
The ruling is important because it sets a precedent that even in cases in which the employer correctly and sufficiently modifies a job description to fit restrictions of an injured worker, the worker could still be eligible for compensation. If you or someone you know is seeking disability benefits, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of an attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.