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Archive for August, 2012

Complete information on workers’ compensation laws in the state of Illinois

August 25th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

In 1912, Illinois implemented its first worker’s compensation law. In 1913, a state agency formed an Industrial Workers’ Compensation Commission. It took the responsibility to keep track on workers’ compensation claim process and administer benefits to injured employees. Therefore, the Worker’s Compensation Act implemented in Illinois help to get compensation in order to cover all injured employees who faced work related injuries within the state. Accidental job injuries, illnesses from occupational hazards as well as long-term exposure to environmental conditions are covered under this Act.

What is “Worker’s Compensation Act”?

The Workers’ Compensation Act of Illinois compels employers to fund the state’s workers’ compensation program. The employers purchase insurance for all of their employees from an insurance agent. A few large employers may request status as self-insurers and directly offer injured employees’ benefits. Generally, the insurance company’s coverage is based on whether an employee’s injuries are permanently disabling, permanently-partially disabling or temporarily-totally disabling. However, the employees do not enjoy the benefits of worker’s compensation from the state, especially if they suffer partial-temporary injuries. You can enjoy the benefit of this coverage from the 4th day of your work-related absence and it continues until you start work again.

The employees are required to provide physicians’ certifications to avail the permanent benefits. Employees whose medical conditions can not improve even after medical treatments can be eligible to enjoy the benefits.

When you are required to notify regarding your injuries?

Injured employees are required to inform about their injuries to their employers within 45 days. However, employees suffering from illnesses due to occupational hazards can notify their employers beyond 45 days. The employees can enjoy additional 45 days to inform the employer if they are injured due to accidental encounters with radiation.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Oak Brook, Illinois, can help educate you about workers’ compensation law. For legal advice on your situation, contact one of our workers’ compensation lawyers today. We will help ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.

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“Mental-Mental” Claim Requires Immediate Injury for Compensable Injury

August 17th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

In Thompson v. Cook DuPage Transportation, 20 ILWCLB 103 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2012), the Commission held that the claimant in the case failed to prove he sustained a compensable mental trauma after witnessing and narrowly avoiding a motor vehicle accident while performing his work duties.

The claimant worked for the defendant as a paratransit driver, which involved transporting mostly wheelchair bound passengers. On June 4, 2010, he was driving his van with passengers when two cars collided directly in front of his vehicle and proceeded to explode off each other and go to the sides of the claimant’s vehicle.

The claimant stated that he saw the driver of the vehicle in front of him and watched her neck snap upon the impact, while being sprayed with gasoline and glass upon him from the accident. The claimant did report for work, but went home due to mental anguish.

He explained that he began having problems sleeping and shaking uncontrollably. On August 3, 2010 he sought treatment at an emergency room for post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress, and depression.

The arbitrator subsequently awarded him benefits for mental disability citing “sudden, severe emotional shock” when he witnessed the motor vehicle accident in front of him which subsequently resulted in the onset of a psychological disability.

The Commission however, rejected this claim as the case they compared it to, resulted in immediate fainting of a claimant and resulted in immediate medical treatment for the trauma suffered by what he saw.

In this case, the claimant continued to work for two months after the work accident before seeking treatment. In addition, after viewing video surveillance of the accident, the Commission found the claimants assertion that he saw the victim’s neck snap not credible.

The Commission’s ruling signifies a compensable “mental-mental” trauma involves a narrow group of cases in which an employee suffers a sudden, severe emotional shock which results in immediate apparent psychic injury. Where the claimant continues to work for two months after the incident before seeking psychiatric care, he has not established a compensable “mental-mental” claim.

If you have been injured while at work it is in your best interest to get dedicated legal help from a workers’ compensation lawyer in Chicago. Do not hesitate, but take the help of the Illinois workers’ compensation act and consult with a qualified Chicago workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Worker’s Comp Case Overturned for Former State Police Officer

August 8th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The day after Thanksgiving in 2007, State trooper Matt Mitchell changed many lives.  He was driving over 120 mph as well as using his cellphone and sending e-mails on his computer instead of focusing on controlling his vehicle.  While on Interstate 64 in southwestern Illinois, Mitchell’s car crossed over the median and crashed into a car travelling in the opposite direction.

In that car were sisters Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13 from Collinsville were killed from the resulting crash.  Another crash resulted from the initial car accident.  A car carrying Kelly Marler and his pregnant wife Christine from Fayetteville, IL suffered injuries from the secondary car accident.  Mitchell had plead guilty to two counts of reckless homicide for the deaths of the Uhl sisters and two counts of aggravated reckless driving for the injuries sustained by the Marlers.  The sentence amounted to 30 months of probation and a revoked license.

The former Illinois State Police Officer Mitchell is trying to receive worker’s compensation benefits because he also sustained injuries from the car accidents.  After his first application from 2011 and his subsequent appeal this July, Mitchell is still not going to receive workman’s compensation.  The commission’s final ruling upheld that the accident caused by Mitchell was due to his wanton and reckless behavior.  Arbitrator Jennifer Teague found that Mitchell’s actions were “egregiously outside the scope of employment.”

Causation is a major factor in any worker’s compensation claim.  Unfortunately for Mitchell, the conditions of his employment were not the cause of his injuries; rather it was by his own actions that he was injured.  If you feel that the conditions which you work under have caused you to be injured, you may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation.  First, notify your employer of your injury and receive the treatment that you need.  After, make sure you have a skilled worker’s compensation lawyer in DuPage County that will be dedicated to fighting for your rights.

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