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Archive for the ‘Personal Injury’ Category

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 Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation

August 19th, 2016 at 1:13 pm

personal injury, Chicago workplace injury lawyerWhat happens if you get injured on the job and it was your fault? You cannot receive damages because you would not win a lawsuit or be eligible for workers’ compensation, right? Wrong. Some injured workers confuse personal injury lawsuits and workers’ compensation, thinking that if they themselves were the cause of their injury, they are not entitled to anything. However, the truth is that you can rarely file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer because the modern system is set up to protect workers not through civil lawsuits, but through workers’ compensation. Additionally, fault is not generally relevant one way or the other when it comes to workers’ compensation.

If worker A was injured on the job because they simply made a mistake and if worker B became injured because their employer failed to provide a non-slippery working surface, the two workers would receive the same compensation for their injuries (assuming the injuries were identical in this hypothetical situation). If you were injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

There are other differences between workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit as well. Understanding these differences is important in determining how to seek the compensation you deserve.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

To successfully recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Fault must be found with the party that is being sued;
  • Medical bills are covered, as are rehabilitation bills, property damage, missed wages, lost earning capacity, and permanent impairment; and
  • Pain and suffering are factored into the equation, as is loss of enjoyment of life.

Workers’ Compensation

A workers’ compensation claim, by contrast, has very different requirements:

  • Fault is not relevant. Either you or your employer could be negligent and it would not affect the amount of compensation you receive;
  • Medical bills are covered, as are vocational rehabilitation bills, weekly missed wages, and permanent impairment benefits if the injury will result in a permanent disability; and
  • Pain and suffering are not factored into the equation.

When You Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer or Another Party

While, in most cases, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit because of an accident that happened at work (this includes filing against a coworker), there are some exceptions to the rule. For one, if a maritime worker is injured on the job, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer under the Jones Act. Interstate railway workers can also file personal injury lawsuits against their employers under the Federal Employers Liability Act. If an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, an injured worker can file a lawsuit against them. Additionally, you may be able to file a personal injury or faulty products lawsuit against the negligent party:

  • If you were injured by a chemical or toxic substance injury you may be able to file a toxic tort lawsuit against the manufacturer of the toxic product;
  • If you were injured by a defective product you may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit to the manufacturer; and
  • If your employer or co-worker intentionally caused the injury to occur, you will probably be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them, and they may face criminal punishment as well.

If you were injured on the job, contact the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288. Reach out to us today for help.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/jones_act

Businesses Focus on Off-the-Job Safety as Part of Workers’ Compensation Education Efforts

December 6th, 2014 at 10:50 am

off-the-job safety, Illinois workers compensation lawyersWorkers’ compensation injuries have steadily been on the decline in Illinois over the past two decades. As of 2011, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reported 3,201 total injuries, a 66 percent drop compared with injuries calculated in 1990. This decrease in incidents has been credited to greater investments towards improved safety measures.

Businesses are now imposing off-the-job safety education for its employees as part of its overall safety culture and aim to decrease incidents of workers’ compensation. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), a rising number of organizations consider off-the-job safety an essential factor to help employees and their families. This educational focus provides extra attention to the management of health care costs, employee productivity, and company profits.

Statistics provided from the NSC reveal that U.S. workers are safer on the job than at home with home and community fatalities up 74 percent. These unintentional deaths can be attributed in large part to:

  • Drowning;
  • Falls;
  • Mechanical suffocation; and
  • poisoning.

The national cost for these types of off-the-job injuries and fatalities was at least $246.8 billion in 2007, which translates to $1,677 per U.S. worker. These costs includes:

  • Lost wages;
  • Medical and hospital bills; and
  • Insurance administrative expenses.

Costs and production time as a result of off-the-job injuries have resulted in a higher loss of work days from employees than compared to days lost for injuries in the workplace.

The Illinois Department of Labor provides free, confidential safety and health consultations to small and medium-sized businesses in an ongoing commitment to improving safety and health in the workplace. Providing education for employees both at work and at home helps increase safety measures and prevent accidents from occurring.

If you have experienced an on-the-job injury in Illinois, contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal options. Call the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 for a free consultation.

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