Emergency Responder Injury Rate

Posted: March 29th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Emergency Responders, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Illinois workers comp attorney, Illinois worker compensation laws, Americans rely heavily on the speed, knowledge, and efficiency of emergency responders. Yet these government workers are often offered lower than expected wages. Further, a new study has found that they also have a higher than expected injury rate. Learn more about the risks associated with these all-too-common work injuries, and what you, as a victim, can do to protect the financial future of yourself and your family.

Understanding the Risks

Conducted by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, and the UCLA Labor Center, the recent study examined the salary and injury incidence of more than 16,000 emergency responders throughout the state. What they found was that salaries were far lower than expected, and the rate of injury was alarmingly high. Long shifts and stress were determined to be major contributing factories, but lower wages could also impact morale and may be at least partially responsible for the overall high risk of job injury. It should also be noted that EMT workers also had an alarmingly high rate of depression, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mitigating the Risks

Legislation and advocacy are needed to raise the wages of EMT, but there are many ways that citizens, employers, and even employees, can help reduce the risk of injury. For example, employers could ensure that their employees and supervisors are following all regulations regarding sleeping schedules. Individuals can contact their government branches, asking for better protection for EMTs and other first-responders. Workers can employ healthy sleeping and eating practices to reduce their overall risk of injury. Assistance from a skilled therapist may also be helpful for those who are experiencing emotional injuries from their line of work.

When Injuries Happen

No matter how careful you try to be, no matter how hard you fight for something, accidents can and do happen. Thankfully, you do not have to face your injuries alone. Instead, you can contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the complex and confusing process of filing a claim.

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we strive for the most favorable outcome in every case. Experienced and highly dedicated to protecting your rights, health, and financial future, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can assist with your case. Call 630-574-2288 and schedule a consultation with us today.




Proposed Amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

Posted: September 23rd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, New laws, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Comments Off

workers compensation, proposed amendments, Illinois Workers' Compensation AttorneyThe Illinois General Assembly is set to enter its third month of overtime sessions, and amendments to the state’s Workers Compensation Act are expected to be at the forefront of the legislative agenda. These amendments, if passed, could have a big impact on the eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation.

What Could Change?

One of the proposed amendments will require employees to demonstrate that a workplace incident is a major contributing cause of the injury. In order to satisfy this new standard, the employee will need to prove that the accident was at least 50 percent responsible for his or her injury.

The amendments also would limit the scope of which employees are considered to be “traveling employees.” According to existing Illinois law, you can qualify for workers’ compensation if you are injured while driving to a client site, or when you are travelling while you are still considered to be on the job.

This means you will even be covered under workers’ compensation if you are hurt while going out for dinner after work while on a business trip. Under the proposed amendment, the worker would only classify as a “travelling employee” if the trip was necessary for the performance of his or her job duties.

The proposed changes would also reduce the medical fee schedule by 30 percent for all services except evaluation, management and physical medicine. Finally, the amendments will require the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to make use of the American Medical Association guidelines when evaluating a workers’ injury or disability.

The Illinois General Assembly has still not reached a consensus on the proposed changes, and it is therefore not certain whether the amendments will be introduced.

If you have been injured at work and would like to claim workers’ compensation, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from the Law of Offices of Francis J. Discipio. With more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Discipio can explain how Illinois workers’ comp laws relate to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.




Can Failing a Drug Test Jeopardize Your Ability to Collect Workers’ Compensation?

Posted: August 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney, Workers Comp Benefits, Workers compensation attorney | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

drug test, workers compensation benefits, Illinois Workers' Comp AttorneyAs states across the nation gradually decriminalize marijuana, many U.S. citizens are wondering if drug tests are still as consequential as they once were. Drug tests are common in many career fields, and despite the recent reforms, testing positive for marijuana could still have serious repercussions.

In Illinois, medical marijuana use is legal for properly-registered citizens. But what happens if they test positive for THC? Will they still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

Do I Have to Take a Drug Test after a Work Injury?

In Illinois, all injured employees have to take a drug test in order to collect workers’ compensation. However, if you fail, there is still a possibility that you could receive benefits if the drug or alcohol was not the cause of your injury.

Your attorney can argue that the drugs or alcohol did not contribute to the accident. For example, if your injury was the result of a mechanical failure, or if your employer was not following standard safety protocols as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), then you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation.

IWCC Rules on Employee Drug Testing

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) establishes the regulations for drug testing and how the results affect workers’ compensation. According to the IWCC, there are several requirements for a drug test to be considered valid. In addition to the mandatory paperwork, only a qualified medical professional can perform a urine or blood test.

If your drug test was not carried out according to IWCC regulations, then your attorney may call into question its validity. As a result, even if you fail the drug test and there was no obvious negligence on the part of the employer, it still may be possible to collect workers’ compensation.

The laws that govern these benefits are complex, and if you have been denied workers’ compensation, then you should discuss your options with an attorney. To schedule a consultation with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer, call the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 for a free initial consultation.