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Archive for the ‘accident at work’ tag

Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for PTSD?

May 7th, 2021 at 8:03 pm

ptsdIn the early 1900s when soldiers started coming back from combat in World War I, physicians began to notice that many of the soldiers were experiencing the same type of psychological symptoms for months or even years after returning. This phenomenon was dubbed “shell shock,” which then evolved into “combat fatigue” after soldiers returned from World War II. Now, we know that this illness is called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, as it is more commonly referred to. Though it is still frequently associated with military members, PTSD can happen to anyone, anywhere, and in various situations. Sometimes, a person’s line of work can be the cause of PTSD, or exacerbate existing mental conditions. But does that allow them to file a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD?

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Everyone typically experiences distress or other symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event, but symptoms usually subside gradually. When symptoms do not go away and affect a person’s daily life, there’s a high chance that the person has developed PTSD. Main symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks or continuous intrusive memories about the event. Often, these can be extreme and can even make the person feel as if they are reliving the event.
  • Avoiding things that remind the person about the event. This may mean the person refuses to talk about what happened or avoids going to certain places or interacting with certain people who remind them of the traumatic event.
  • Various emotional and behavioral changes. People who have PTSD often experience many negative thoughts and feelings that can lead them to distort the reality around the situation, think negatively about themselves, be detached from others, and no longer find joy in things that they used to enjoy.
  • Changes in reactivity. This can include violent outbursts, behaving recklessly, being irritable, being easily startled, or even concentration and memory issues.

PTSD and Illinois Workers’ Compensation

There have been various Illinois Supreme Court cases that support workers’ compensation coverage for PTSD. The Supreme Court has held that a mental injury like PTSD does not have to be precipitated by a physical injury, unlike in past years. For a PTSD diagnosis to be considered a work injury, the PTSD must be linkable to an event that happened because of and during the person’s line of work. This is known as the “mental-mental” theory of recovery for workers’ compensation claims. The Illinois Supreme Court states specifically that PTSD can be covered under workers’ compensation if the employee “suffers a sudden, severe emotional shock traceable to a definite time, place and cause…though no physical trauma or injury was sustained.”

Our Chicago, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help

In some cases, it can be difficult for physicians or evaluators to determine whether or not your PTSD is directly caused by something that happened at work and they may try to deny your claim. It is important to remember that mental conditions, including PTSD, are covered under worker’s compensation, so you have a right to file a claim. At the Law Offices of Francis J Discipio, we can help you collect documentation and file a claim for compensation for PTSD. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Cook County workers’ compensation attorneys, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd

https://courts.illinois.gov/opinions/workerscomp/2013/2120294wc.pdf

 

What Rights Do I Have after an Accident at Work?

August 15th, 2019 at 9:22 am

IL workers comp attorney, Illinois job injury lawyerGetting hurt in any instance can be a tough time for anyone. However, getting injured from an accident at work comes with benefits opposed to obtaining an injury at home or a public place. Unless you are able to file a personal injury claim in one of these cases, there is no protection from the inability to work after an accident. When you are injured at work, there are workers’ compensation laws in place to ensure lost wages and medical bills are covered in the event of an accident.

What Is Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation is insurance required by most employers in the state of Illinois. It covers any misfortune an employee faces if they are injured while on the job. If you are unable to return to work, workers’ compensation will provide assistance for lost wages and any medical bills occurred because of the workplace injury.

It is your legal right to file for workers’ compensation after an injury at work. Although the right to file does not guarantee a payout or compensation, your employer cannot swindle you into not filing or threaten your employment. The first step is to notify your employer about the accident, and they will be the one to file for workers’ compensation on your behalf. This must be done as soon as possible, or delaying notifying your employer may affect your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

After getting injured at work, you also have the right to seek medical help. Seeing a doctor after an injury will improve your case when filing for workers’ compensation. The doctor will be able to report on the severity of the injury and whether you can return to work. Like notifying your employer, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delaying seeing a doctor after a workplace injury risks your employer’s insurance company from claiming the injuries presented are unrelated to the claim.

During the entire workers’ compensation process, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the process after filing for workers’ compensation and will be able to advocate on your behalf if your rights are being denied.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

There are many obstacles an employee can face after being injured at work. If an employer stands in the way of your right to file for benefits, or if you believe your claim was denied for the wrong reasons, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case. Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation today.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Pages/default.aspx

 

Informing Your Employer About an Accident at Work

June 28th, 2019 at 5:50 pm

IL workers comp attorney, IL job injury lawyerAfter having an accident at work, you may be nervous to tell your employer. Maybe there is a reputation at your workplace that your company does not take workers’ compensation claims seriously, or employers have been threatened for bringing it up. The truth is that filing workers’ compensation benefits is your right.

Workers’ compensation exists to protect employees after getting injured at work. In the case of an employee temporarily or permanently unable to return to work, workers’ compensation provides financial support to make up for the missed wages. It also may take care of medical bills associated with the work injury. The more severe the injury that prevents working, the higher the payout from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

A person who was injured at work has 45 days to report the injury to their employer. Failing to do so risks your ability to collect workers’ compensation benefits. You may be responsible for the cost of your medical expenses and time needed away from work. A person may delay reporting their injury out of fear or ignorance of their ability to report the injury. Any injuries should be reported to an employer as soon as possible to prevent delays in receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

When reporting an injury to an employer, be mindful of any company policies held by your company. In Illinois, an employee can alert their employer in person or in writing, but your company may require a written statement. Having a written that is dated is in your favor. However, if you do choose to only discuss the accident orally, be sure to keep a record of the exact day and time the conversation took place, and who you spoke to.

Notifying your employer of an injury is the first step in filing a workers’ compensation claim. Upon the discussion, an employer should provide forms to file the claim. After the employer fills out their designed part of the form, they file it with their workers’ compensation insurance company. Just because you file for workers’ compensation, does not mean that it will be automatically granted. However, you have the right to file, the right to fight the decision, and the right to legal representation during the process.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Obtaining an injury at work can be a life-altering experience that affects you and your family. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, contact an experienced Cook County workers’ compensation attorney to protect your rights.  Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430

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