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Archive for November, 2018

Ophthalmologists: Eye Protection Can Prevent 90 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries

November 20th, 2018 at 9:44 am

Chicago workers' compensation attorneyEach day, an estimated 2,000 people seek medical treatment for a work-related eye injury. At a cost of around $300 million in lost productivity, medical treatment, and compensation each year, eye safety on the job should be a priority. Ophthalmologists say at least 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented if employees used proper eye protection and eye safety practices.

Unfortunately, the eyes are often overlooked during work safety talks and discussions, and proper gear is not always available or supplied to at-risk employees. Learn how you can mitigate your risk of a job-related eye injury, and discover what a skilled workers’ compensation attorney can do to improve your chances of fair compensation if a work-related eye injury does occur. 

The Three Industries Responsible for 40 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries 

While work-related eye injuries can occur in almost any industry, approximately 40 percent of them happen in the construction, mining, and manufacturing industries. Ranging in severity, from simple eye strain injuries to severe trauma that may cost a worker their vision, these injuries can often be prevented with proper eyewear, such as safety glasses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that employers are obligated to provide such eye protection whenever there is a known risk of eye injury. As such, injured workers may be eligible for additional compensation if the employer failed to provide the employee with the proper and recommended eye safety gear. 

Protecting Yourself from Eye Injuries in Other Industries 

You do not have to work with chemicals or falling debris to suffer an eye injury. Office workers, nurses, and other individuals who use a computer for most of the day can also suffer from serious and debilitating eye injuries. Thankfully, it is possible for workers to take preventative measures to avoid eye injuries, even if their employer fails to address the issue, such as:

  • Keeping the computer at least 25 inches away from your eyes. This distance amounts to about an arm’s length away. Note that you may need to adjust the font size on your computer to reduce the risk of eye strain while trying to read text on your computer;
  • Adjusting the lighting of either your environment or your computer. If your computer screen is significantly brighter than your surroundings, your eyes must strain to see. Reducing the light on your computer or adding light to your environment can help reduce the level of strain on your eyes;
  • Reducing the glare on your smartphone, tablet, computer, and other digital screens using a matte filter or by adjusting the low light filter on your device.
  • Using the 20-20-20 rule. Staring at a digital screen for hours on end can place significant strain on your eyes. Reduce the amount of strain you place on your eyes by resting them every 20 minutes. Ophthalmologists say you should look at something at least 20 feet away and look at it for at least 20 seconds before returning your eyes to your work.

Contact Our Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Help with Your Claim

If you or someone you love has suffered from a job-related eye injury, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio for skilled legal assistance with your claim. Seasoned and experienced, our Cook County workers’ compensation attorney can increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation. We can even analyze your case to determine if you may be eligible for an employer or third-party lawsuit. Call 630-574-2288 to schedule your free consultation today.

Sources:

https://nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/health-pdfs/HVMPreventingInjuries_Tagged.pdf

https://www.ishn.com/articles/103615-of-workplace-eye-injuries-could-be-lessened-or-prevented-with-safety-eyewear-use

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/eyefaceprotection/

https://www.ishn.com/articles/98066-workplace-eye-injuries-by-the-numbers

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21275516

https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2007-05-14

 

Dealing with a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim

November 8th, 2018 at 9:44 am

Illinois workers compensation appeals lawyerInjured workers typically expect a payout from workers’ compensation, but claims are all too often denied. In fact, data from the United States Department of Labor shows that, out of the 4,104 Illinois workers’ compensation claims filed within the past year, more than half were denied. Thankfully, statistical analysis suggests that approximately 70 percent of all workers’ compensation claim appeals are successful, which means many injured workers could eventually receive a payout, even if their initial claim was denied. Learn more about how you can deal with a denied workers’ compensation claim, and discover what our seasoned workers’ compensation attorney can do to help with the process. 

Why Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Denied

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so their goal is to save as much money as possible. They do this mostly by denying benefits to injured workers for a myriad of reasons. Denied claims tend to make employers happy as well; fewer payouts mean lower insurance rates for them. In other words, the entire system is set up to benefit employers and insurance companies, and injured workers are the ones who are paying the price for corporate greed. 

Of course, that is not the reason they give for denied claims. Instead, they look for possible issues with either the claim itself or the claimant. For example, they might investigate into your medical history and find that you have a former back injury. If your work injury claim was related to a back injury, they may call it a “pre-existing condition.” Other reasons for denying a claim might include:

  • An injury that did not occur while working. Remote workers and employees who drive must also beware of this rule, as they are often working and operating in a gray area; 
  • Failing to promptly notify the employer about the injury. This is most often seen when a minor injury gets worse, so be sure to report even seemingly minor injuries to your employer;
  • Missing your filing deadline. Deadlines must strictly be adhered to, otherwise injured parties face an automatic denial of their claim;
  • Being intoxicated. Having a drug or alcohol substance in your system at the time of an injury, regardless of whether you were actively using it during working hours, usually results in an automatic denial of a work injury claim;
  • Your employer is disputing the claim. Perhaps they think you are lying, or maybe they say you had been laid off or terminated. Whatever the reason, expect an uphill battle and ensure you have legal protection during the appeal process; and
  • Injuries or medical condition is not covered by workers’ compensation. Fighting a claim that was denied for a pre-existing condition is one thing; these can ofte. Being denied because the insurance company does not consider your back injury “severe enough” can be an entirely different story. Here, victims may have to prove that their injury is impairing their life.

Appealing Your Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim

Insurance companies know that few workers have the time, knowledge, or resources to pursue an appeal on their own. Add in any financial struggles that they may be experiencing, and it is no wonder why so many injured workers simply give up on the idea of receiving compensation – but it does not have to be this way. Injured workers who obtain skilled legal representation to actively and aggressively pursue an appeal on their denied claim are often successful in receiving a payout from the insurance companies. 

The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can assist you or your loved one with the appeals process.  Trusted and backed by more than 25 years of experience, our skilled Oak Brook denied workers’ compensation claims lawyer offers free consultations. Schedule yours by calling 630-574-2288.

Sources:

https://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/statistics/WebPages/ILLINOIS.htm

https://www.revealnews.org/article/inside-teslas-factory-a-medical-clinic-designed-to-ignore-injured-workers/

https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/06/13/14/allianz-refuses-injured-firefighters-insurance-claim

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