Illinois workers compensation lawyerWorkers of all ages can find steady employment and make successful careers out of working in the food service industry. In fact, the first job for many teens is working in a restaurant, particularly in the summer months when restaurants and fast-food places often increase hiring among kitchen and other back of the house workers to keep up with consumer demands. Many adults who are looking to supplement their income are often able to earn extra income at restaurants. However, it is well documented that these workers face a higher risk for workplace accidents and injuries.

Injury Risks Kitchen Workers Face

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food service workers in general face a higher risk of accidents and injuries than those in other occupations. Among these workers, grill cooks, sous chefs, deep fryer operators, and other kitchen staff are most at risk.

One major study conducted by a national risk management company analyzed data collected restaurant workers’ compensation claims over a four-year period and found the following statistics:


illinois workers compensation lawyerIn Illinois, if an employee sustains an injury on the job, they should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include coverage for all medical expenses for any treatments, medications, and any other costs associated with medical care for their injury. Injured employees are also entitled to receive a significant percentage of their weekly wages/salary if they are unable to work while they recover from their injuries. Although the law is very clear on who qualifies for these benefits, employers and their insurance companies are not always so cooperative, and it is not uncommon for them to attempt to deny an injured worker’s legitimate claim. One way to help minimize their chances of success is to make sure you take all the appropriate steps if you are injured.

Reporting the Injury

Each state has set its own compensation laws, including how long an injured employee has to report the injury. In Illinois, all workplace injuries must be reported within 45 days after the injury is sustained. If the worker is suffering from an illness caused by their job, they must report this within 45 days of receiving the diagnosis.

Many companies have their own protocols and procedures in police when it comes to reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. While the state of Illinois has the final say (45 days), it is recommended that employees report their injuries to their employer as soon as they can and not wait the 45 days, if possible. Not only does this reporting initiate your claim quicker, but it also avoids one of the reasons why your employer may attempt to deny your claim.


illinois workers compensation lawyer While many workers who are injured on the job eventually recover and are able to return to their position, there are also workers who have sustained an injury that is so serious, they are left with long-term or permanent damage and are no longer able to perform the duties that are required for their job. In these situations, the worker may qualify for vocational counseling and training to assist them in finding a new occupation. If you have suffered a work-related injury that has left you unable to return to your job, the following is a brief overview of the benefits that may be available. For more specific information regarding the circumstances of your situation, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Under Illinois law, when a worker is injured on the job and that injury has left them with some degree of disability, they are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Their employer – through the employer’s insurance company – is liable for the costs of training and education that is required. In some cases, the employee may choose a whole new career, such as a permanently injured construction worker going to school to become certified as an industrial arts teacher.

The law also requires the employer to continue providing workers’ compensation benefits to the employee while they are receiving that training/education. This is usually contingent on the employee showing consistent progress in whatever training program they are enrolled in.


Workers-Comp-Chicago-Lawyer In a perfect world, an employee would suffer a work-related injury, file their workers’ compensation claim, have that claim approved, and take the time they needed to heal, while having all of their medical expenses paid and their wages covered. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation process is rarely that simple because employers and their insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny an injured worker’s right to benefits.

One of the most common methods used by insurance companies is to put the injured worker under surveillance in order to “catch” them doing something that contradicts their injury claim.

Surveillance Tactics

The insurance company will conduct surveillance on an injured worker with the hopes of detecting fraud on the part of the worker or at least determine just how injured the worker is based on the activities he or she is observed doing. The goal of the surveillance is to prove that the worker is:


Workers-Comp-Law-CookCounty Under Illinois law, when a worker suffers a job-related injury , they usually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits provide coverage for all medical expenses to treat the injury, as well as a percentage of the employee’s wages each week. Depending on the extent of the injury, the worker may also qualify for additional benefits, such as vocational counseling if they are unable to return to their former occupation because of permanent damage from the injury.

There are very few reasons why a worker should be denied benefits. One example would be if the worker caused the injury intentionally. Yet many injured workers find themselves fighting with the employer and/or insurance company because their claim is denied. Having a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney advocating for you can make a difference in how your claim is processed.

Benefits of Having an Attorney

The strongest pieces of evidence in a workers’ comp claim are the medical reports that detail the injury, damage, and treatment. An attorney will make sure that all required medical records are obtained and included in your claim, as well as advising whether you should obtain a second opinion.

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