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Archive for the ‘Workers Comp’ Category

Common Types of Work-Related Repetitive Strain Injuries

February 6th, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Illinois workers' compensation attorney carpal tunnelWorkers’ compensation is often associated with life-threatening injuries or deaths that occur due to a condition or circumstance at work. However, an internal injury caused by repetitive movements, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, can also be covered by workers’ comp. These types of injuries can be more difficult to prove, and nearly half of the claims paid out in these cases were initially denied.

Repetitive strain injuries develop over time. General symptoms of repetitive strain include pain, numbness, tingling, decreased motion or flexibility, and loss of strength. Symptoms for repetitive stress injuries will often not appear right away, and they may develop in stages.

Injuries From Repetitive Motion

Any injury can affect your work or lifestyle. If you work in an industry such as delivery services, manufacturing, or home improvement which requires you to make repetitive motions, it is important to be aware of medical issues that would qualify for workers’ compensation. Some common types of repetitive strain injuries include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This repetitive injury affects more than three million people in the United States each year. It is most common for office workers or people who regularly use a computer for a living. Repetitive typing and clicking a mouse creates strain on the median nerve which controls hand and finger function. The carpal bones can swell and cause the strain on the wrist and fingers. Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent damage to your hand.
  • Tendonitis – Unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis is not restricted to one part of the body. It is the inflammation of any tendon which connects muscle to bone. The most common points of irritation for tendonitis fall in the wrists, shoulders, knees, heels, or elbows. When untreated, tendonitis can lead to the rupturing of an injured tendon that could have otherwise been healed by rest and physical therapy. Tendonitis causes pain and swelling to the affected area, specifically around joints.
  • Tenosynovitis – While Tendonitis affects a physical tendon, tenosynovitis affects the fluid sheath that keeps the tendon lubricated. This is a painful condition that typically affects joints in the hands and feet. Although temporary solutions like icing the affected joints and taking an anti-inflammatory medication may help, surgery or physical therapy is often needed to fully heal.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Comp Attorney

Injuries which occur during the course of your work should not be ignored. If you believe you have a repetitive strain injury, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer who has experience helping injured workers receive the benefits they deserve. Call our office at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tendinitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378243

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20355603

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

How to Avoid Work Related Eye Strain

September 26th, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Cook County work injury attorney eye strainWhen you work in an office, chances are high that you spend many hours staring at the screen of your computer or other electronic devices. This can cause eye strain, which is a condition that arises in which the muscles in your eyes become fatigued after lengthy periods of intense use. Some common symptoms related to eye strain include mild headaches, difficulty focusing, dry eyes, light sensitivity, and soreness in the neck and shoulders. While eye strain is usually not serious, it can also lead to more extensive injuries that may require medical treatment, in which case you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

To avoid eye strain injuries, you can use certain strategies while at work that will help you maintain optimal health while you are performing your job duties. These strategies include:

Give Your Eyes a Break

After working on the computer for some time, it is important to give your eyes a break. Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule, which involves looking away from your screen every 20 minutes and focusing on an object that is 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.

Blink Regularly

When you are focused on your monitor at work, it can be difficult to remember to blink. However, blinking regularly is essential, as it produces tears, which add moisture to your eyes and keep them refreshed.

Reduce Lighting and Glare

If you work in an office setting that is very bright, your goal should be to reduce the light levels, as too much light and glare can cause strain to your eyes, making it difficult to see your computer screen. It is wise to close window shades or blinds in your workplace and try to keep your monitor a good distance away from white walls or windows. You can also try using an anti-glare cover on your monitor or install an adjustable desk lamp.

Increase Text Display Size

Small fonts can contribute to eye strain. If you have a tough time reading the text displayed on your screen, consider increasing its font size, which will allow you to see the words more easily.

Take Daily Vitamins

In addition to adhering to an antioxidant-rich diet full of foods like green leafy veggies and berries, consider taking vitamins that are designed to improve eye health. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc can all assist the eyes in reacting well to ample time in front of a computer.

Get Prescription Lenses for Computer Use

If your eye strain is bothering you, visit an eye doctor to determine whether you qualify for prescription glasses to wear while using a computer. Prescription lenses may help you feel more comfortable while you are working on your computer.

Contact Our Chicago Workers’ Comp Attorneys

If you have experienced an eye-related injury at work, you may be able to collect compensation that will cover the costs of your medical treatment and repay you for a percentage of your lost wages. Contact our experienced Cook County workers’ compensation lawyers at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=P00516

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