The Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

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

Posted: December 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, Workers compensation attorney, Workplace Injury, Wrongful Death | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

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.


Teens More Likely to be Injured on the Job

Posted: September 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Construction Accident, Employer Liability, How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp, Personal Injury, stress injury, Workers Comp, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

 

Teen Worker InjuryAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), young workers are at the highest risk of any age group to be injured or killed on the job. Workers who are under 25 years old face more than double the risk of older workers of being injured. The majority of young workers are unaware of the legal workplace rights they have.

The DOL statistics reveal that in 2012, more than 170,000 of younger workers were injured on the job and another 361 were killed. That means that a teenager is hurt on the job every nine minutes in this country.

The OSH Act of 1970 requires every employer provide workers with a safe work environment, without dangerous recognized hazards. Working teens are also covered under this law and have the same right to a safe workplace as working adults. In many incidents where teens have been hurt on the job, there was a lack of training and education on the part of the employer that contributed to the incident.

Some of the most common injuries teens receive in the workplace are caused by inadequate safety training, lack of proper supervision, unsafe equipment, dangerous work that is inappropriate and illegal for teen workers, stressful conditions and pressure to perform their work at a faster pace.

The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) has developed a work safety program directed specifically at young workers called Teens Lead @ Work. The program focuses on peer-to peer training by teaching teens to develop the skills to teach other teens about healthy and safe workplaces. The teens are also taught about child labor laws and encouraged to reach out to all teen workers, including those who are the most vulnerable, such as undocumented and illegal teen workers.

If you or someone in your family has been injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to find out what civil recourse you may have for compensation for pain and loss you have suffered.