Archive for August, 2015

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

August 27th, 2015 at 4:10 pm

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.

5 Surprising Facts about Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

August 13th, 2015 at 1:01 pm

workers' compensation, benefits, Chicago Workers Compensation AttorneysThe challenges of a workplace injury extend beyond the physical recovery. Victims may not be able to return to work, and serious injuries can cause lifestyle limitations.

If you want to learn about the benefits of workers’ compensation and whether you are eligible, call a workers’ comp layer for guidance. In the meantime, here are five surprising facts about workers’ comp:

1. Part-time employees are covered.

Workers’ compensation insurance policies cover both part- and full-time employees, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If you are hurt on the job, your part-time or full-time status cannot prevent you from collecting benefits.

2. You can work with your own doctor.

Illinois law allows workers’ compensation recipients to work with a doctor of their choice. Also, employers have the right to request a case review from a physician of their choice.

3. You cannot lose your job while collecting workers’ compensation.

In Illinois, employers cannot fire workers while they are collecting benefits. No matter how much time it takes for you to recover, you will keep your job.

4. Workers’ comp can help you find a new job if you are unable to return to your old one.

Some workplace injuries are so serious that victims cannot return to work. Fortunately, workers’ comp benefits cover vocational training to help injured employees find a new job.

5. No industry causes more workplace injuries than construction.

According to the United States Department of Labor, construction accidents killed 4,585 workers in 2013. That is 12 fatalities per day and 88 per week. The four most common causes of construction site injuries are:

  •         Struck by Object Accidents
  •         Falls
  •         “Caught Between” Accidents
  •         Electrocutions

U.S. and state legislators have introduced several laws to keep employees safe in the workplace. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration enforces these laws. In the last four decades, efforts from OSHA and other organizations have cut workplace accident rates by 67 percent.

If you have suffered an injury at work and would like to speak with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer, call the Law Offices at Francis J. Discipio at 630-574-2288.

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