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Archive for October, 2013

Study Links Depression, Work Stress, & Long Working Hours

October 30th, 2013 at 9:49 am

illinois-workers-compensation-studyA good job with low levels of stress can do wonders for your life outside of work. When the stress in your life is catapulted to a peak from working long hours and experienced high levels of stress on the job, however, you could face increased chances of depression. A recent study published in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine provides some clues about the background of individuals who end up filing workers’ compensation claims after developing symptoms from their jobs, especially where post-traumatic stress is concerned.

The study looked at workers classified as “long hours overworked”, or those employees who put in at least 60 hours per week. These same individuals had high job demands (measured by their unfinished duties) and were connected to a 15 times greater chance of developing depression over the few years following working in these conditions.

When an employee is suffering from work accident injury recovery or post-traumatic stress on the job, these difficult working conditions are exemplified. When employers altered the working conditions in the favor of the employee, however, their chance of depression was reduced. Attempting to cut through the stress and develop a work-life balance can be helpful.

If you decide to move forward with an Illinois workers’ compensation claim, forensic psychological assessments or evaluations may be required. Having an attorney who is experienced in the field of workers’ compensation is crucial for moving your case along and helping you get the benefits you deserve.

Do not underestimate the impact that your working conditions can have on you. Repetitive stress injuries and situations that flare post-traumatic stress can make the workday more difficult, but it can also have an influence on your life at home. If you have sustained depression or issues with your existing post-traumatic stress because of a working condition, you need the guidance of a knowledgeable Illinois workers’ compensation attorney.

Pepper Spray Cop Seeks Workers Compensation

October 23rd, 2013 at 3:01 pm

In 2011, police around America made headlines due to their what some have called brutal response to protestors associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Occupy Wall Street was started as a response to corrupt financial institutions that had a large hand in causing the financial crisis of 2008 but which had, as of 2011, not faced any punitive consequence. One now infamous moment of the protests occurred between a group of protesters on the University of California Davis campus and a police armed with pepper spray. According to a 2011 Huffington Post article, “videos show the students seated on the ground as a UC Davis police officer brandishes a red canister of pepper spray, showing it off for the crows before dousing the seated students in a heavy, thick mist.” It wasn’t the first time in the Occupy protests that officials came under fire for heavy-handed tactics—earlier videos showed New York City Police pepper spraying “several women who were seated and penned in.” One woman involved in the UC Davis incident, according to the Huffington Post, “was transported to a hospital to be treated for chemical burns.” Pepper Spray Cop Seeks Workers’ Comp IMAGE

If anyone should receive compensation for this incident, one would think the students would have a case. Yet according to ABC News the police officer showed spraying a group of seated students, John Pike, earlier this year was seeking a workers compensation settlement, “claiming the incident left him psychologically injured.” Pike was fired from the campus in 2012, “following an internal affairs investigation.” The claim he filed fell into the “nervous system—psychiatric” category, according to ABC.

Workers compensation claims among police officers, given the nature of the job, are common. In 2011, Oregon Health and Science University researchers launched a study in an effort to help bring down the number of workers compensation claims among police officers in Portland. This was meant to “help reduce overall health care benefit costs,” according to BusinessInsurance.com.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, or are dealing with psychological damage because of an incident that happened at work, you could be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact an Illinois workers compensation attorney today.

Southwest Airlines Attendant Receives Workers Comp Benefits for Injury After Hours

October 12th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Some jobs are more dangerous than others, but even when a job assumes a certain risk, employees can still acquire an unexpected injury. For example, a flight attendant who must assume the risk of the airplane crashing may trip in the aisle and become injured.

 A Southwest Airlines flight attendant recently injured her knee while exiting a plane. As she reached for her suitcase in the overhead compartment, it fell and hit her inner thigh and knee. That was her last flight of the day, so she simply shrugged off the injuries and continued on her way to another flight that would take her home. As she was walking on a moving walkway to her flight, though, she felt a pop in her injured knee.

In the lawsuit, the defendant, Southwest Airlines, argued that she was no longer working when she felt the pop, and was therefore not injured at work, but after work. The company also argued that she was at no greater risk than the general public on that flight for sustaining her injury, anyone could have dropped luggage on their own knee.

The arbitrator disagreed, however, stating that the attendant qualified as a traveling employee, and her walk through the airport and her flight home were still part of her job. Both using a moving walkway and getting luggage from an overhead compartment are part of her normal workday.

Although the arbitrator charged the claimant’s attorney’s fees and penalties to the defendant, the Commission dismissed those charges. The argument was that the activities that were being performed at the time of injury were not extraneous activities that would have caused injury due to the job.

The final ruling awarded the claimant temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and medical benefits as a traveling employee, but the penalties and fees to the defendant were dismissed.

Every workers’ compensation case is unique and an outcome can rarely be guaranteed. Having n Illinois workers’ comp attorney at your side, though, will help turn the tables in your benefit. Contact the Law Office of Francis J. Discipio in Cook County, Ill. if you have sustained an injury at work today.

 

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