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Archive for the ‘Chicago workers comp attorney’ 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

 

Reasons Workers’ Compensation Gets Denied

April 20th, 2021 at 9:35 pm

work-injuryNobody plans on getting injured — that is why we call it an accident. However, getting hurt at work can result in rather difficult circumstances for you and your family. Not only can it cause you physical maladies, but taking time off of work can also cause financial distress for your family. Fortunately, workers’ compensation exists to help ease some of the burden that is brought on by getting injured at work. However, workers’ compensation benefits are not automatic. Before you can begin to claim compensation, you must first file for your benefits with the state. Even if your injury happened at work, not all workers’ compensation claims will be accepted. Though it can be frustrating, there are multiple reasons why your workers’ compensation claim might be denied.

Understanding the Reasons for Denial

Workers’ compensation was created with the intention of providing financial and vocational support to those who have been injured at work. As such, the primary objective of the program is to help people, which is why many claims are accepted without issue. However, some claims may be challenged by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Here are some of the most common reasons why your Illinois workers’ compensation claim may have been denied:

  • You waited too long to file your claim. Like most other things, filing a workers’ compensation claim has a time limit to it. In general, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois is 45 days. If the injury involves radiation, the statute of limitations is 90 days. If you fail to report your injury within this timeframe, your claim can be denied or delayed.
  • You have a pre-existing condition. In some cases, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied because of a pre-existing condition that you have reported. Your employer may try to avoid paying for your workers’ compensation by saying that your injury was pre-existing, but it is important to note that you still have rights, even if you have a pre-existing condition. You may still be entitled to benefits if your workplace injury aggravated your pre-existing condition.
  • Your own actions contributed to the injury. Workers’ compensation only covers employees for injuries that they have sustained during accidents that occur at work from the usual course of conduct. Workers’ compensation does not cover accidents that occur due to the negligence, misconduct, or irresponsibility of the employee. Your claim may be denied if the details of your case reveal you as being at fault, or under the influence of intoxicating substances at the time of the accident.

Our Chicago, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Are Here to Help

It can be extremely frustrating to hear that your workers’ compensation claim has been denied. However, even if your claim was denied, that does not mean it is the end of the road. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know that workers’ compensation claims are denied all of the time for all kinds of reasons, whether they are valid or not. Our skilled Cook County workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand your rights when it comes to your workers’ compensation benefits. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/faq.aspx

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

Pursuing Workers’ Compensation for a Scaffolding Accident in Illinois

March 15th, 2021 at 11:49 am

ScaffoldingIL works comp lawyer, Illinois work injury attorney is defined as a temporary structure on the outside of a building, typically made out of wooden planks and metal poles, used by workers while constructing, repairing, or cleaning the building. Scaffolding accidents mainly involve several different factors, such as people falling off of them, improper operating procedures, weather conditions, and equipment failure. Constructions workers, painters, and window washers routinely utilize scaffolding to do their jobs. If the scaffolding is not properly supported or collapses, workers on or around the scaffolding are at risk of serious to even fatal injuries. In some cases, injured employees may be able to recover damages through a workers’ compensation claim.

Frequent Injuries Involved with Scaffolding

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2.3 million construction workers use scaffolds to perform some of the duties. Federal statistics show that approximately 35 percent of construction industry fatalities are due to falls. Falls from scaffolds are generally from a significant height. Additionally, being hit by tools falling from scaffolds can also cause severe injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord damage (paralysis)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations (deep cuts)

Common Causes of Construction Site Accidents

Illinois workers who perform their jobs outside are often at the mercy of the environmental elements. Although summer may be an ideal time for erecting buildings, a lot of work can still be done throughout all four seasons. However, if employees are going to be spending a significant amount of time on scaffolding, contractors, vendors, or construction site supervisors should have a strict set of standards in place to prevent accidents and injuries. For instance, not allowing scaffolding work to take place in high winds or blinding snowstorms since that can cause ropes or cables to come loose or break.

Scaffolding accidents usually occur when a general contractor or superintendent tries to save time and money, and scaffolding is improperly installed or dismantled. In addition, routine maintenance of the scaffolding equipment is necessary to ensure wood platforms are not rotted and all attachment points are secure.

A few of the typical ways that a scaffolding accident may occur include:

  • Insufficient on-the-job training
  • Poor or faulty construction or defective parts
  • Inadequate safety standards or procedures
  • Lack of fall protection (hard hats, harnesses, guardrails)
  • Inclement weather (wind, snow, sleet, rain)

In some cases, a worker’s injury may be a direct result of another party’s negligence, such as when scaffolding is supplied and erected by a different company than the primary employer on a construction site. In these situations, a worker may want to pursue a personal injury claim against that third party in addition to workers’ comp benefits to alleviate the financial hardship from medical bills and lost income as well as pain and suffering. Family members of workers who lost their lives in scaffolding accidents while on the job may also be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits or a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers can suffer serious injuries at a construction worksite. If you or your loved one was hurt in a scaffolding accident, you may be entitled to benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, our reputable Chicago workplace injury attorneys are well-versed in workers’ comp laws, including those involving construction site accidents. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

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

 

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