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Archive for 2015

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims Process

December 26th, 2015 at 2:09 pm

workers' compensation, claims process, Illinois workers' compensation attorneyMany workers never get the benefits they are entitled to because they don’t understand how the workers’ compensation claims process works. Illinois’s workers’ compensation law is designed to protect workers from the hazards of their occupations by allowing them to get paid for lost wages and medical treatment when the injury is caused by their work.

Immediately After the Injury

If you are injured at work there are three things you need to as quickly as possible to protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Report the accident to your employer;
  • Seek medical treatment for your injury and explain how you were injured; and
  • Find a worker’s compensation lawyer.

If you fail to report the accident or to seek appropriate treatment, your claim can be denied. While you are not legally required to have a lawyer help you with your claim, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer significantly improves your chances of getting the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.

Making a Claim

After your injury you will need to file a claim with your employer. Under workers’ compensation law you do not have to prove your employer was negligent. Your employer is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer tells you there is no coverage or that you do not qualify for workers’ compensation, you need to speak with a lawyer right away.

Once you file a claim with the employer’s insurance company the claim will either be approved or denied. If the claim is denied, or it is not approved in full, you can bring a case before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).

You will be assigned an arbitrator who will monitor your case. Once you are as recovered from the injury as you are going to get, you have to request a trial. If you do not request a trial and three years pass, the case can be dismissed and you will not receive any compensation.

If you lose your case before the arbitrator, you can appeal your case to the IWCC commissioner.

Under Illinois law you have the burden of filing your claim on time and to prove you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you have been injured at work you don’t have to fight your claim by yourself. Speak with a knowledgeable DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/act.pdf

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/benefits.htm

Winter Weather and Workers’ Compensation Injuries

December 11th, 2015 at 10:11 pm

winter weather, injuries, Chicago workers' compensation attorneyThere is no doubt that most of the country took a pounding from Mother Nature last winter. The Midwest and Northeast saw record-breaking – and dangerous – snowfalls from storm after storm. While predictions for this winter are somewhat less severe, winter weather will soon be upon the region.Not only do these weather conditions create unsafe road conditions for drivers, but they also can create unsafe job conditions for workers.

According to a new study, winter weather contributed to almost one third of all the workers’ compensation claims in the Midwest for all of 2013. In Illinois, 32 percent of employees who filed for worker’s compensation were injured in a slip and fall incident which was cause by ice or snow.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that there are no workplace hazards which can cause injury to employees. This also includes taking those extra precautions during the winter months. Some of these precautions should include:

  • Employers should make sure that they have arranged for parking lot and outside walkway snow removal to be done before employees arrive and leave for work.
  • If ice cannot be removed immediately from walkways or parking lots, then these areas should be salted and sanded. It is also a good idea to have containers filled with salt or sand that employees can access.
  • When plowing parking lots, make sure that the snow is being stored in areas that will not hamper or obstruct views.
  • Make sure that the runoff from the stored snow is away from where employees will be walking in order to avoid ice forming on walkways.
  • If there are areas where the snow or ice is causing a dangerous hazard, close those areas off.
  • Cold weather and ice can do a number on hardtop surfaces. Make sure parking lots and walkways are inspected on a regular basis for any potholes or cracks which could cause an employee to fall.
  • Check to make sure that all outside lights are working. Do not let leave employees in the dark as they arrive in the early morning or depart in the evening.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at work because your employer failed to remove snow or ice hazards, contact and experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for you pain and loss.

 

Source:

http://wlns.com/2015/02/26/nearly-one-third-of-workers-comp-claims-caused-by-ice-snow/

 

Mental Suffering and Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

November 27th, 2015 at 6:11 pm

mental suffering, PTSD, Illinois worker's compensation attorneyWorkplace injuries cannot always been seen with the eye or even with an X-ray or MRI. Some workplace injuries come in the form of mental trauma or mental illness. These injures are often just as serious as physical injuries. However, there are some challenges to making a successful workers’ compensation claim for mental trauma.

What Types of Mental Suffering Can be Compensated?

Not all types of mental suffering or trauma are equal. If your job stresses you out or you cringe every time your boss yells at you, you may be undergoing a legitimate form of mental suffering, but in most cases it is probably not the type of thing that you can get worker’s compensation benefits for.

The classic example of mental injuries that are compensated under the worker’s compensation system is when an employee develops post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, because of some type of workplace violence. The mental trauma does not have to be this severe to qualify for benefits, but it does need to have an identifiable cause.

Challenges to Successfully Bringing a Claim

These types of claims are challenging to win because of the personal nature of mental suffering.  Often arbitrators and defense attorneys are suspicious of anyone without a physical injury making a worker’s compensation claim.

In order to overcome this suspicion it is vital that you have a history of seeking and receiving treatment. No panel is going to take your word that you are suffering from a mental illness caused by working conditions. You will need medical records from a licensed therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

It is also important that you report your injury as soon as possible to your employer. While this can be uncomfortable, the law requires employees to report workplace injuries as soon as they are discovered. Failure to make a timely report of the injury can be reason to have your claim denied.

What Kind of Accommodations are Required?

Employers must make the same kinds of accommodations to an employee suffering from a mental injury as they do with an employee with a physical injury. This may mean light duty, or a change in the work location.

Every case is unique. However, employers have several different legal obligations to make reasonable accommodations for your workplace injury, whether it is physical or mental.

If you have questions about workers’ compensation or mental suffering from a work accident, you need to contact a skilled and experienced DuPage County workers’ compensation attorney right away to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/act.pdf

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/benefits.htm

 

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