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Archive for the ‘Workers Comp Benefits’ Category

What Steps Should I Take After an Injury at Work?

March 20th, 2019 at 9:03 am

Cook County work injury lawyerNo one expects to get injured at work. There may be a higher chance of getting into an accident in certain industries, but regardless of what risks exist in the workplace, it is important to understand the processes to follow when an injury occurs. Most employees in Illinois can file a workers’ compensation claim following an injury that requires medical care or results in missed time at work.

Even if a business only has one employee, the employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This protects workers in the event of a workplace-related injury or death. Workers’ compensation insurance will cover any medical expenses, and depending on whether the injury was severe enough to prevent an employee from working, it may also provide disability benefits. Even if the accident was the employee’s fault, in most cases, it will be covered by workers’ compensation. Some exceptions include if the incident occurred outside of company time, such as when driving to or from work, or if the employee was compromised with drugs or alcohol.

If a work-related injury occurs, follow these steps to take advantage of your deserved workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Get Medical Assistance – Your health and safety are the most important things after an injury or accident. If your injury cannot be taken care of by a basic first aid kit, it is important to seek professional medical care. If necessary, call 911 for emergency medical help. Otherwise, you will want to visit an emergency room, urgent care clinic, or doctor’s office right away. When making a claim for workers’ compensation, these medical records will become important.
  • Notify Your Employer – Your employer may already know about the incident, but it is important to officially notify them, preferably in writing. This must be done within 45 days of the incident. If your verbally notified your employer, note the time, date, and the person you spoke to regarding the situation. A claim will be denied if you wait too long to notify your employer, and you will not be eligible for benefits.
  • Know Your Rights – If an injury has resulted in more than three days of missed work from an employee, the employer has to legally report the accident to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. When missing work due to a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to temporary or permanent disability to make up for lost wages until you can return to your previous position. Your employer is not allowed to harass or threaten you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are let go during your claim or told you cannot come back after temporary disability because you filed a claim, your employer is breaking the law.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Workers’ Comp Attorney

There is enough uncertainty after experiencing an injury because of work, so you should be sure that you will be able to receive the proper medical care and be compensated for any lost wages. If your claim is denied, or if your employer is discriminating against you, you will need an experienced Cook County workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Documents/icpnform.pdf

Injuries Caused by Third Parties

December 27th, 2017 at 7:33 pm

Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, injuries caused by third parties, personal injury claim, personal injury lawsuit, workers' compensation benefitsSeveral weeks ago 36-year-old driver struck two construction workers in Joliet, Illinois, causing serious injuries, according to the Joliet Patch. The man was on his cell phone when he approached a work zone on Interstate 80. Distracted, the man drove his 1996 Ford F-350 into a digital board sign and then into two construction workers, both of whom were taken to the hospital. He was charged with aggravated driving and aggravated reckless conduct. But what does this mean for the two construction workers in terms of compensation? Will they be able to sue or are they merely limited to workers’ compensation benefits? 

If you are in a similar situation, and have been injured by a third party while you were on the clock at work, you need to contact an attorney immediately. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney will be able to answer all your questions and help you towards the road of financial stability 

Collecting Workers’ Compensation and Filing a Lawsuit Requires an Experienced Attorney

When you get injured by a third party while you are at work, such as the case above, you have the ability to receive workers’ compensation and pursue a personal injury lawsuit at the same time. The workers’ compensation will kick in immediately, while the lawsuit or settlement will likely take many months or even years. You get the best of both worlds in this situation, right? Unfortunately, your employer’s insurance company will most likely apply a lien to the personal injury claim. This means that they will soak up some or much of the compensation that you receive from the negligent third party. Let us use the following as an example:

  • Your injuries cost $100,000 in medical damages and lost wages, paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier; and
  • You successfully settle or win a personal injury lawsuit for a net gain of $120,000.

Your employer’s insurance company could theoretically place a lien on that claim for up to $100,000, and attempt to collect all of that money. This would leave you with just a fraction of what your injuries were worth. Seems unfair, and is doubly so when taken into account the fact that in Illinois, your employer’s carrier has the ability to sue the third party directly. While workers’ compensation can be divvied out fairly quickly, and go directly towards medical coverage, paying the mortgage, and putting food on the table, it does not provide any compensation for pain and suffering, which is often the largest aspect of a personal injury lawsuit.

Call an Attorney Today 

You need to work with an attorney who will aggressively fight for every dollar of the personal injury lawsuit winnings, and ensure that your employer does not take back what you fought to receive and is rightfully yours. We encourage you to contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney with the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today.

Sources:

http://www.uslaw.org/files/Compendiums2016/2016_USLAW%20State-by-State%20Subrogation%20Rights%20for%20Workers%20Compensation%20Liens%20Compendium.pdf

https://patch.com/illinois/joliet/two-workers-injured-i-80-after-distracted-driver-strikes-them-state-police

Hazardous Chemicals

October 13th, 2017 at 9:55 am

Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, harmful chemicals, hazardous chemicals, OSHA regulations, workers' compensation claimsOne of the greatest dangers that people face while on the job is the exposure to harmful chemicals. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hazardous chemicals cause more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths every year for workers in the United States. These chemicals can not only endanger workers’ health by causing respiratory or skin irritation or increasing the risk of diseases such as cancer, they present physical dangers such as flammability and corrosion.

Employees who receive an injury or contract a disease after being exposed to toxic substances are eligible to receive workers’ compensation to cover expenses including medical bills and lost income.

OSHA Regulations

OSHA provides safety to workers by requiring employers to meet certain standards, including:

  • Worker education and training - Employers must label hazardous chemicals, provide safety data sheets, and train workers in how to appropriately handle chemicals and take measures to protect themselves from exposure.
  • Exposure limits - Employers must monitor respiratory hazards in their workplaces and ensure that they do not exceed the applicable Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). These limits include OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), as well as PELs established by state authorities and Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) established by federal agencies.

Controlling Exposure

OSHA has described four ways that employers can control their employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals:

  • Elimination/substitution - Employers should make an inventory of potentially harmful chemicals, identify the hazards which present the greatest safety concerns, and determine whether alternative chemicals or processes could be used to improve worker safety.
  • Engineering controls - Employers should put physical controls in place to reduce or eliminate hazards to workers. These controls can include altering or isolating work processes to minimize contact with chemicals, using wet methods to reduce the generation of particulates, and implementing dilution ventilation.
  • Administrative and work practice controls - Employers should establish efficient procedures and adjust employees’ work schedules as necessary to prevent overexposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Personal protective equipment - Employers should ensure that employees always use the proper equipment that will limit their exposure to harmful chemicals, including protective clothing, eye protection, gloves, and respiratory equipment.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you have been exposed to harmful chemicals while at work, and you suffered an injury or contracted a disease as a result, the dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Source:

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

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