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Archive for February, 2016

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Scarring and Disfigurement

February 26th, 2016 at 6:51 pm

scarring, Chicago Workers' Compensation AttorneyWorkers’ compensation law is designed to protect workers who are hurt while on the job. Many benefits are geared towards replacing lost income from missed work. But, some injuries such as burns and scars leave workers able to complete their jobs, but take a terrible mental toll. These kinds of injuries are known as disfigurement and scarring injuries under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and there are special considerations in getting compensated for them.

Types of Disfigurement and Scarring Injuries

Disfigurement and scarring represent a broad category of injuries under workers’ compensation law. Some of these injuries may totally or partially interfere with the execution of normal job duties, while others may not interfere with the worker’s job at all, but cause significant mental anguish.

Some common types of disfigurement and scarring injuries include:

  • Loss of a finger or toe;
  • Lacerations;
  • Burns;
  • Nerve damage to face;
  • Nerve damage that limits use of limbs;
  • Loss of a limb;
  • Loss of an eye or ear; and
  • Damage to the retina, cornea, or other parts of the eye.

The Claims Process

While there are strict reporting requirements that mandate a worker to report an accident to his or her employer as quickly as possible, a settlement for workers’ compensation benefits when dealing with disfigurement and scarring injuries does not typically take place until at least six months of healing has taken place. The amount of benefits awarded will depend on the location of the disfigurement or scarring, if the injury is permanent, the degree the injury interferes with bodily function, and the part of the body the disfigurement or scarring is located.

Because the law dealing with scarring and disfigurement injuries is complicated, it is important that you have an experienced workers’ compensation helping you negotiate your claim. Even though formal negotiations often do not start until six months after your injury, the sooner you involve a lawyer, the better prepared your case can be when it is time to discuss settlement. If you wait too long to process your claim, you may lose out on the right to get any benefits for your injuries.

Disfigurement and scarring benefits are usually paid out in lump-sum payments. Some cases, however, may require payments to be made over time.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident, you need to understand your rights. You should speak with a skilled and tough Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to take action.

 

Sources:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook020106.pdf

Employee or Independent Contractor?

February 12th, 2016 at 4:19 pm

employee, contractor, Illinois workers compensation attorneyThe Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers only employees. Under Illinois law, there are two categories of workers, employees and independent contractors, and in some cases, an employer may tell suggest or imply to you that you are an independent contractor. This would mean that certain employment laws do not cover you, including workers’ compensation. But, employers are not always correct when deciding who is and who isn’t an employee.

Right of Control

The primary criteria that courts use to determine if you are an employee is the right of control test. The more control your employer has over your work, the more likely you are an employee, and not an independent contractor.

Independent contractors traditionally use their own tools and the employer only controls the result, not the way the worker goes about completing the job. Employees are provided specific direction regarding the time, place, and manner of the work. Employees usually do not use their own tools. For example, if you are required to dress in a uniform or the employer regulates your breaks, you are most likely an employee.

How You Are Paid

Another factor to consider is how the employer compensates you. Employees typically have an hourly rate or a set salary. Payment is made on a regular basis, typically, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Independent contractors are more likely to be paid based on an agreed-upon sum for the job, or on an hourly rate. Independent contractors invoice for the amount due to them on a monthly or weekly basis.

If you punch a clock, are paid based on an hourly rate, and are not required to invoice the employer, you are most likely an employee.

Why It Matters

The distinction between being an employee and an independent contractor is important for many reasons. Under workers’ compensation laws the employer does not have to pay workers’ compensation insurance for independent contractors. If you are an independent contractor and are hurt on the job, you cannot collect workers’ compensation from the employer’s insurer. It is up to you to have your own disability insurance policy.

Employees are required to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If an employee is hurt on the job, his or her medical bills can be taken care and missed pay can be at least partially compensated.

If you have been injured while performing your job, you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Cook 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. You may only have a short time to take action.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

 

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