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Archive for 2017

Injuries Caused by Third Parties

December 27th, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, injuries caused by third parties, personal injury claim, personal injury lawsuit, workers' compensation benefitsSeveral weeks ago 36-year-old driver struck two construction workers in Joliet, Illinois, causing serious injuries, according to the Joliet Patch. The man was on his cell phone when he approached a work zone on Interstate 80. Distracted, the man drove his 1996 Ford F-350 into a digital board sign and then into two construction workers, both of whom were taken to the hospital. He was charged with aggravated driving and aggravated reckless conduct. But what does this mean for the two construction workers in terms of compensation? Will they be able to sue or are they merely limited to workers’ compensation benefits? 

If you are in a similar situation, and have been injured by a third party while you were on the clock at work, you need to contact an attorney immediately. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney will be able to answer all your questions and help you towards the road of financial stability 

Collecting Workers’ Compensation and Filing a Lawsuit Requires an Experienced Attorney

When you get injured by a third party while you are at work, such as the case above, you have the ability to receive workers’ compensation and pursue a personal injury lawsuit at the same time. The workers’ compensation will kick in immediately, while the lawsuit or settlement will likely take many months or even years. You get the best of both worlds in this situation, right? Unfortunately, your employer’s insurance company will most likely apply a lien to the personal injury claim. This means that they will soak up some or much of the compensation that you receive from the negligent third party. Let us use the following as an example:

  • Your injuries cost $100,000 in medical damages and lost wages, paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier; and
  • You successfully settle or win a personal injury lawsuit for a net gain of $120,000.

Your employer’s insurance company could theoretically place a lien on that claim for up to $100,000, and attempt to collect all of that money. This would leave you with just a fraction of what your injuries were worth. Seems unfair, and is doubly so when taken into account the fact that in Illinois, your employer’s carrier has the ability to sue the third party directly. While workers’ compensation can be divvied out fairly quickly, and go directly towards medical coverage, paying the mortgage, and putting food on the table, it does not provide any compensation for pain and suffering, which is often the largest aspect of a personal injury lawsuit.

Call an Attorney Today 

You need to work with an attorney who will aggressively fight for every dollar of the personal injury lawsuit winnings, and ensure that your employer does not take back what you fought to receive and is rightfully yours. We encourage you to contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney with the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.

Sources:

http://www.uslaw.org/files/Compendiums2016/2016_USLAW%20State-by-State%20Subrogation%20Rights%20for%20Workers%20Compensation%20Liens%20Compendium.pdf

https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/two-workers-injured-i-80-after-distracted-driver-strikes-them-state-police

The Top Types of Workplace Safety Violations in 2017

December 14th, 2017 at 9:02 am

Chicago workers’ comp attorneys, workplace safety violations, OSHA standards, workplace injury, safety equipmentEach year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 types of safety violations that are most frequently cited in the United States. Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe while they are on the job, and they should take steps to maintain compliance with OSHA’s rules. Workers should also be aware of their rights, including their ability to seek workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job.

Here are the top 10 violations, including explanations of what they entail:

  1. Fall Protection in Construction – Employers should make sure surfaces have the strength to support workers, and provide protection at the sides and edges of surfaces, roofs, holes, openings, excavations, or equipment which are at least six feet above a lower level.
  2. Hazard Communication – Employers must provide their employees with information about hazardous chemicals or toxic substances, including labeling hazardous substances, providing safety data sheets, and training employees on appropriate work practices, the proper use of protective equipment, and emergency procedures.
  3. Scaffolding – Scaffolds must be able to support their own weight and at least four times their maximum intended load, and they must provide proper guardrails or other fall protection systems.
  4. Respiratory Protection – Employers must provide respirators when they are necessary to protect their employees’ health, and they must have a written respiratory protection program that defines worksite-specific procedures for the required use of this equipment.
  5. Lockout/Tagout – Employers must have procedures in place to protect workers’ safety when they are performing maintenance on a piece of equipment.
  6. Ladders – Ladders must be able to support at least four times their intended load.
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks – Employees must receive proper training on the use of equipment like forklifts or motorized hand trucks.
  8. Machine Guarding – Equipment must contain proper guards to protect employees from hazards such as rotating parts, flying chips, and sparks.
  9. Fall Protection Training – Employers must provide employees with proper training on how to recognize and avoid fall hazards, including the proper use of protection equipment and systems.
  10. Electrical Wiring Methods – Proper methods must be used to protect workers’ safety from electrical hazards in the workplace.

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Comp Attorney 

If you have been injured while at work because of a violation of OSHA standards, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you receive workers’ compensation that will allow you pay medical bills and recover any lost income. Contact our Chicago workers’ comp attorneys today at 630-590-9609 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Sources:

https://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/OSHA-and-state-safety-compliance-enforcement/Breaking-OSHA-announces-top-10-violations-for-FY-2/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/oshas-top-10-violations-for-2017-revealed-at-national-safety-council-congress–expo-300525928.html

Older Workers at Risk

November 30th, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, older workers, workplace accidents, workplace injury, older employee injuriesOlder workers are at risk, according to an analysis of federal statistics performed by the Associated Press. While overall workplace accidents have been on the decline in the last few decades, older workers, those aged 55 or older, are more at risk than their younger counterparts. This goes against other typical accidental injury trends, such as traffic collisions, where younger people are at more risk.

If you were injured on the job, regardless of your age, or you developed a chronic injury or illness as a result of the work that you have done for many years, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. To find out more, contact a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney today.

Risk Factors of Working into Old Age

The average retirement age has gone up, and is continuing to go up from the old standard of 65 years of age. More workers are having to work, or are enjoying their careers, later into their lives than many past generations, and it is not uncommon for workers to continue on well into their 70s and even 80s.

As our bodies wear down, we become more prone to chronic stress injuries, illnesses, falls, and other accidents. As reported in CBS, getting old and continuing to work “could potentially make a workplace injury into a much more serious injury or a potentially fatal injury,” according to epidemiologist Ken Scott, with the Denver Public Health Department.

Risk factors include the following:

  • Fading vision and depth perception;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Lower bone density;
  • Poor balance;
  • Muscle loss; and
  • Tendon weakness.

However, simply because you were injured as an older employee does not mean that you are any less entitled to workers’ compensation. Whether you threw out your back, broke a leg, or have developed a repetitive motion injury, you deserve to pursue the benefits that your employer owes to you.

As Retirement Age Increases, Employers Must Make Changes to Accommodate Their Employees

These days, roughly 35 percent of fatal workplace accidents involve a worker who is 55 years old or more. Is enough being done to protect workers as they advance in age? Often, older workers are more productive and more skilled than younger, newer workers, but are they being valued as they should?

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and reported by the Insurance Journal, the following are accommodations that employers should make to reduce older employee injuries and fatalities:

  • Increase job flexibility, including schedules, tasks, and location;
  • Increase movement and avoid creating a workplace that is sedentary;
  • Mitigate noise, slip and fall hazards, and other physical hazards; and
  • Create an ergonomic work environment.

Call Today for Help

If you were injured at work, we strongly encourage you to contact our passionate Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as you can to receive the benefits that could help get you back on your feet sooner rather than later. Contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today for immediate assistance.

Source:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/deadly-workplace-accidents-hitting-older-workers-higher-rate-ap/

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