Appellate Court Ruling Could Affect of Workers’ Comp for High-Risk Industries

Posted: May 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois workers comp lawyer, Illinois job injury attorneyThere are certain jobs in which the risk of death is known. For example, firefighters and law enforcement officers know and understand that fatality is a possibility. Unfortunately, that knowledge does not make witnessing the death of a partner or colleague any easier. Some may even be at risk for serious trauma issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which may leave them unable to return to work.

Typically, workers’ compensation covers injuries in which employees are unable to work; some even include psychological work-related injuries, such as PTSD. However, these high-risk industries have not, historically, offered such compensation. That may soon change, thanks to a recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling.

Firefighter Claims Workers’ Compensation for PTSD

Court documents outline how a fire lieutenant/paramedic was directed to take command of an incident during a house fire in March of 2010. Shortly after he took over, a flashover occurred. One firefighter, who was in obvious physical distress, was brought out of the building by two others. That injured firefighter ended up dying.

After having their fire house covered for a week after the loss, the lieutenant struggled to return to his regular duties. He claimed he was having nightmares, struggled to fall asleep, and even experienced issues when trying to interact with other people (his family included). His attorney allegedly suggested he see a psychiatrist, who then diagnosed him with PTSD. The lieutenant returned to work in October of 2010 and was released from treatment in December, but then returned to treatment just one month later. He claimed he was struggling with feelings of guilt and could not shut the incident out. His attorney then allegedly referred him to a psychotherapist. The lieutenant was then diagnosed with chronic PTSD.

Denied Claim Goes to Illinois Appellate Court

Originally, the lieutenant’s claim was denied; an arbitrator ruled that it was not an injury, but rather a tragic risk and consequence of the job. Further, the arbitrator stated that the lieutenant did not witness the injury, nor did he witness his team member’s death, which nullified his claim. The Illinois Appellate Court, who heard his case after it was denied, disagreed. They ruled that he had, in fact, experienced emotional shock during the incident, and stated it had been the cause of his psychological injury. As such, the original ruling was overturned.

The Appellate Ruling and Your Claim

While the recent ruling does suggest that psychological injuries are starting to get the attention they deserve, many are still at risk for a denial of their claims. Further, psychologically injured employees that work within high-risk industries may be even more likely to experience a denial, even after this ground-breaking case. Such industries can include everything from law enforcement and emergency response to construction work.

Reduce your risk of a denied workers’ compensation claim with help from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Dedicated and experienced, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys fight for the most favorable outcome possible. We protect your rights, and your best interests, every step of the way. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call 630-574-2288 and schedule your consultation today.

 

Source:

https://casetext.com/case/moran-v-ill-workers-comp-commn


Illinois Bill Proposes Same Pay and Benefits for Temp Workers

Posted: March 15th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Independent Contractor, Workers Compensation Insurance | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois workers attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyer, Small businesses and family run businesses have exploded over the last couple of years. In many ways, that is a wonderful thing. There is one caveat though: small businesses often turn to temp workers when they are not quite ready to hire new employees but need some extra help. Since temp workers do not often receive the same pay or benefits (including access to workers’ compensation), this can place temps and their families at risk. A newly introduced bill is hoping to change all of that.

The Responsible Job Creation Act

Expected to improve the benefits and working conditions for nearly one million temp workers throughout the state of Illinois, the Responsible Job Creation Act could introduce as many as 30 new types of worker protection. This would include equal pay for direct hires, improved safety provisions, measures to protect them from discrimination, and protection from retaliation when they file a complaint or suit against the business. It was sponsored by State Representative Carol Ammons and is being pushed by the Chicago Workers’ Collaborative (CWC) and Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ).

How the Act Would Improve Working Conditions

Although temporary workers are supposed to be short-term, many end up working the same hours and often longer duration than some of the company’s direct hires. Yet they are often paid less than direct hires and are unable to receive promotions. Those who suffer discrimination or abuse in the workplace also struggle to prove their case; they also run the risk of losing their position if they speak out against an employer or its employees.

Safety is yet another serious concern for temporary workers. Many are not adequately trained, and if they are injured, they may be unable to pursue compensation from the employer through workers’ compensation. Add in their lack of health insurance benefits and there is a serious risk for financial devastation among temporary workers.

Because temporary employees would be provided the same benefits as direct hires, and because the employer knows they must offer workers’ compensation to those who are injured, they may be far more likely to ensure temp workers are adequately trained for the jobs they are given. This could potentially improve safety on the job and reduce their overall risk of injury (which is notably higher than it is for direct hire employees).

Injured as a Temp? You May Still Have Options

Despite what you may have told, there are options that allow at least some temp workers the ability to pursue compensation after an injury on the job. It is not traditional and is considered a highly complex matter, but the opportunity is still there. The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can examine your case and help you navigate the process. Schedule a consultation with our Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to learn more. Call 630-574-2288 today.

 

Source:

http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19885/illinois_bill_would_give_temp_workers_equal_pay_and_rights_as_direct_hires


Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Reform

Posted: February 17th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Workers Compensation Insurance | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois workers compensation attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyer, Illinois’ economy has been a hot topic since Governor Rauner came into office. Numerous reforms, including reform to the workers’ compensation program, have been considered and discussed. This year, the ball could start rolling on such reforms. What might this mean for your claim, and how you can protect yourself throughout the process? The following explains further.

Governor Rauner Targets Workers’ Compensation

In an op-ed piece published by Crain’s Chicago Business, Rauner stated that reform to the workers’ compensation program is a top priority for 2017. He claimed that many employers are concerned about the “uncompetitive” system in Illinois. He also stated that reform could bring savings to employers, and that might mean more jobs. Unfortunately, this may not be entirely accurate.

A Flawed Perspective

From a distance, it might appear that workers’ compensation reform is a good thing – especially if it brings in more jobs. Closer examination reveals that unemployment is not as big of an issue as some might lead you to believe. The state’s unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the national average (4.7 percent in the U.S. compared to 5.7 percent in Illinois). Further, Illinois’ unemployment rate has been on a fairly steady decline since 2010. In short, workers’ compensation reform is likely to do little to improve an already improving economy, and stands to benefit employers – not workers.

How Reform Could Impact Your Claim

Obtaining workers’ compensation is already a complex process. It is full of delays, obstacles, and regulations that can, at any given time, leave a hardworking member of society without income. Add in the potential for uncovered medical bills, and they become at risk for complete financial devastation. Reform would only exasperate the issue. It is expected to add more rules that exclude injured employees. If implemented, reform would also result in a maximum compensation rate, reducing the payout for injured workers, and it would limit much-needed therapies.

How an Attorney Can Help

While no two cases are alike, and results are never guaranteed, those that seek assistance from an experienced lawyer tend to have more favorable outcomes than those who pursue a claim on their own. An attorney can also complete all the legal requirements, ensuring injured employees have the time and energy they need to focus on healing and getting back to work. Do not fight the system alone. Instead, contact the Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio and get the representation you deserve. Call 630-574-2288 today.

 

Sources:

http://chicagocitywire.com/stories/511075580-workers-comp-reform-a-top-priority-for-rauner-in-2017

https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.IL.htm

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf