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Archive for June, 2013

Who should be held liable for tenant-repairman’s injury?

June 27th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

When renting a home, some tenants agree to make certain repairs as needed and as agreed upon.  However, sometimes these tenant-repairmen can be injured when making the agreed upon repairs.  But the issue comes up: does the landlord need to pay for any emergency expenses?  The Chicago Tribune has recently cleared this question up.

LaraIt is very common for tenants to be responsible for small repairs around rented homes.  Several states provide for this, but require that all agreements are made “in good faith.”  They do so to make sure landlords to not force tenants to do repair work.

Other states, however, do not allow landlords to assign repair jobs that are required to fix housing code violations.  But even in these states, there are not many statutes that address the issue of an injured tenant-repairman.

Sadly, a renter’s insurance policy will probably not cover them, as it applies to loss of tenant’s property and liability in the event that someone is injured on the property.  In many cases, renters insurance will not be able to help when the tenant’s mistakes have caused injury.

On the other hand, the landlord has his own liability policy that will protect him when his carelessness causes somebody to be injured on the property.  If the landlord had left a broken window pane unrepaired for several days, and you were injured when it cracked and fell, a claim could be made on his policy.  But this is a different situation.  The landlord did not cause the window to break.  He or she was not negligent in failing to repair it.  He did not directly cause the accident.  Because of this, his policy would not help.

In the event that the tenant was the landlord’s employee, he would be required to maintain workers compensation insurance, which would cover and medical bills.  If this situation is present and the landlord does not maintain workers comp policies, he could eventually have to pay out of his own pocket.

From a legal perspective, this tenant would be viewed as an independent contractor, who agreed to perform repairs in exchange for lower rent.  In this case, the tenant-repairman is stuck paying their medical bills.  Independent contractors are not required by law to have medical insurance that covers injuries on the job.

Personal injury and worker’s compensation issues can get complicated very quickly, as illustrated in this situation.  If you have found yourself injured while on the job, do not hesitate to contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to help answer any questions you may have.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos

Unsafe work environment causes deadly fire in China

June 20th, 2013 at 8:36 am

A deadly fire killed 120 people at a poultry plant in China where the workplace safety agency blamed the negligence of government inspectors and factory managers for the poor working conditions.

Lucy Managers at the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Co. did not hold the required safety drills or educate workers on safety procedures according to Yang Dongliang, the State Administration of Work Safety head. He also reported that the safety exits were blocked at the time of the fire. Not only were the workers irresponsible, but the local government departments also failed to make proper inspections, said Yang.

These accusations about this industrial accident, which is the deadliest in five years, will most likely lead to many court cases involving government officials and high-ranked employees of the Poultry Co.

The cause of the fire has not officially been announced, but it is most likely to have been caused by and explosion that came from leaking ammonia. The fire began at a time when there were about 350 employees inside the building.

120 employees died, 77 were hospitalized due to injuries and another 17 were temporarily missing, although they were all found alive. Only one door was open for the employees to escape, and many were trampled by their fearful co-workers.

Employees’ families will most likely be compensated by the company for the loss of life and injuries of their family members.

Often times, workplace injuries do not occur in large incidents due to a massive wipe out of employees in a top news story. Just because employers are not put on the spot to correct poor and dangerous practices does not mean that workplace accidents do not happen or do not need to be corrected.

If you are the victim of workplace malpractice that has led to you becoming injured, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to file a claim. Attorneys at the Law Office of Francis J Discipio in Cook County, Ill. can help you today.

 

Photo courtesy of think4photop/FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Workers’ Compensation changes sent to the Governor

June 12th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

There are some new changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act that have passed out of the General Assembly and have now been passed on to the Governor. These changes were approved by the Senate in a 58-0-0 vote and will become effective once signed off by Governor Quinn.

TheresaThe first change is the elimination of the requirement for an informational handbook to be mailed to every injured worker. This bill will allow the Commission instead to post the handbook on the website for anyone who is interested to refer to. Previously, there has been a mandate for a hard copy to be mailed. This change will save over $60,000.00 of the Commission’s budget in the 2014 fiscal year.

The second change will eliminate the transcript fee assessed to employers or employees who wish to appeal the ruling of the Commission before the Circuit Court. The removal of this $35.00 fee is not only a sound financial decision but it will also save additional time and monies based on the current record preparation methods used.

There is currently a requirement that the Commission hire an interpreter when the petitioner does not speak English, does not have legal counsel, does not have an interpreter of their own, and are in the process of signing settlement documents. The elimination of this requirement will save the Commission money and put the responsibility of hiring an interpreter on the petitioner.

The final change requires all arbitrators to demonstrate a level of expertise when it comes to Workers’ Compensation matters. This will streamline the arbitration process and will solidify a level of expertise that will be advantageous to all parties involved in the Workers’ Compensation case.

Having to go through a court process can be stressful and scary when coupled with an injury that was sustained on the job. If you have questions, regarding what these changes will mean to future or current pending Workers’ Compensation cases, call a knowledgeable and experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation attorney.

 

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net

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