Archive for September, 2015

Proposed Amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

September 23rd, 2015 at 2:59 pm

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.




3 Signs That Your Employer Was Negligent

September 9th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

OSHA, regulations, Illinois Workers Compensation AttorneysAn Illinois company is facing a massive $71,000 fine after a worker suffered injuries to his left arm while operating a machine that did not have any safety devices. The Chicago Tribune reported that he was using sandpaper to remove rust from a part of the machine.

His hand was caught and pulled into the spinning parts, breaking his bones. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, said employees often pay the “painful price” when companies do not follow safety standards.

In today’s competitive economy, companies in every industry are looking for ways to cut costs. In some cases, this means that proper safety precautions are not taken, and it is the worker who suffers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that companies adhere to certain regulations. If you have been injured at work, there is a chance that your company did not meet some of these standards, and you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to recognize signs that your employer was negligent:

1. Insufficient Protective Equipment

In workplaces where there is heavy machinery, high temperatures, and chemical fumes, OSHA requires employers to provide personal protective equipment, including hardhats and breathing devices when appropriate. The regulations also state that equipment must be clean and functional, and be equipped with the proper safety features.

2. No Hazard Assessment

OSHA requires employers to assess where hazardous conditions may occur on the factory floor. There have been cases when employers failed to protect employees from hazards such as falling objects, slippery spills, and excessive noise levels.

3. Inefficient Safety Training

OSHA requires that employees who handle hazardous duties in factories undergo training on safety procedures. It is possible your employer has not followed these safety regulations. This means that if you or anyone in your family was injured while on the job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Call a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to find out what civil recourse you may have for compensation for the pain and loss you have suffered. Attorney Francis J. Discipio has 20 years of experience fighting to protect the rights of his client. Call 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation.





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