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Archive for the ‘Chicago workers compensation lawyer’ tag

What Jobs Are at Risk of Occupational Diseases in Illinois?

August 4th, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Occupational-Risk-Attorney-Oak_BrookWork-related injuries are common in Illinois and throughout the U.S., especially for employees who perform extensive physical labor or who work with heavy machinery and equipment. Thanks to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, many injured workers qualify for benefits that cover their medical care and some of their lost wages. Employees who develop or contract a disease or illness in the course of their work may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, though these cases are often more complicated.

Occupations With High Incidences of Work-Related Illness

Occupational diseases tend to develop after prolonged and repeated exposure to a hazardous condition, rather than a one-time event. Some occupations in which occupational diseases are more common include:

  • Construction and manufacturing – Workers in these occupations may be exposed to a variety of risks, including hazardous materials like asbestos, chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and dangerous particles in the air. These hazards can lead to skin diseases, respiratory conditions, and certain types of cancer.
  • Firefighting – Firefighters are at risk of respiratory conditions due to smoke and ash inhalation.
  • Mining – Workers in the mining industry, especially coal miners, are also exposed to the risk of respiratory disease from the inhalation of harmful particles.
  • Agriculture – Farm workers may develop lung conditions from inhaling grain dust and other particles, or other diseases due to exposure to chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Health care – Doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other health care providers may be exposed to infectious airborne or bloodborne pathogens that may cause diseases like COVID-19, hepatitis, and AIDS.

Recovering Compensation

According to Illinois law, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have a work-related disease or illness. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your condition meets certain criteria. Namely, the disease must have arisen in the course of your work, or have been aggravated by your work to the point of disablement. Generally, this means you will need to establish a causal connection between some hazard present in your work and the specific condition you have contracted or developed.

 

It is often beneficial to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim involving an occupational illness. A lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to pursue benefits as soon as you become aware of the condition, as well as gather evidence of the connection between your work and the disease. Occupational illness claims are commonly denied, and if this happens to you, your attorney can help you appeal the denial.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Comp Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how important it is to get the care and treatment you need for an occupational disease. We can work with you to file and pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that make this possible. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation with a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0615/p1000.html

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshdef.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-115/diseas.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

 

 

Can Independent Contractors Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois?

April 29th, 2021 at 12:54 pm

contractorEven though all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, not all those who work for that employer are covered. Technically, only true employees are eligible for coverage under workers’ compensation, but many companies also employ a variety of other workers, such as independent contractors. However, independent contractors are not eligible to receive benefits through workers’ compensation, even if they are injured while working. Some work injuries can be serious and require extensive medical care and time off from work, placing unnecessary stress on you and your family. If you have been injured as an independent contractor and your employer has stated that you are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, an Illinois attorney can help.

Employee Misclassification is Common

Even though both independent contractors and employees work for an employer, there are differences in their employment status and benefits. Though there are federal laws to distinguish an employee from an independent contractor, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission considers all workers to have an employment relationship with their employer unless otherwise stated. Misclassifying workers is a common reason why a workers’ compensation claim can be denied by your employer. Misclassifying workers allows employers to avoid paying payroll and unemployment taxes on that worker’s earnings, but it also means the employer can face penalties if they willfully misclassify an employee.

Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

The criteria that the Workers’ Compensation Commission uses to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is slightly different than the criteria that the federal government uses. According to the Commission, a person is not an independent contractor unless that person:

  • Has and will continue to be free from the employer’s control over their performance of their services;
  • Provides a service either outside of the usual type of business or services the company provides or that service is performed outside of of the company’s locations; and
  • Has an independently established trade, occupation, business, or profession.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

For the average family, being injured at work and being denied workers’ compensation benefits could cause extreme financial stress. It is important that your employer correctly classifies your employment status, but they do not always do this. If you have been injured at work and you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for benefits, you should speak with a skilled Chicago, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can help you determine whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and your options for recovering that compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Employees/Pages/Employer-Misclassification-of-Workers.aspx

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Payments Are Late

April 21st, 2020 at 3:00 pm

IL job injury lawyer, Illinois work injury attorneyA work injury can cause major interruptions in your life – physically, emotionally, and financially. Workers’ compensation benefits are in place to cover wages for the time you are unable to work, help pay for your treatment, and get you back to work as soon as you can. After you have reported your injury to your employer and they have filed a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company must approve or deny the claim within 14 to 30 days. If approved, you should receive your first payment within 14 days of notice of your injury, and payments should be administered every two weeks after the initial payment.

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, frustration can arise when your check is late or withheld without reason.

Late Payment Penalties

Under Illinois law, delayed payments without a legitimate reason may be subject to a penalty.

If the employee has submitted a written demand for payment of benefits, the payer has 14 days to explain the reason for the delay. If the employer or insurance company does not submit a response, or the response submitted is unjust, the Commission may award the employee additional compensation of $30 per day for each day the benefits were delayed or withheld.

This does not happen automatically; you and your attorney will have to request it and file a motion to hold a penalty claim hearing.

Penalty Hearing

A penalty claim hearing will be held in front of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. During the hearing, having evidence to support your claim such as the response, or lack of response, a previous workers’ compensation check, or an envelope with a late postage stamp is critical.

After the hearing, the penalty will be reviewed and assessed by the Commission before the additional compensation can be rewarded. If the party responsible for the delayed payment fails or refuses to pay the penalty to the employee, further action will result.

Contact an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today 

If you have suffered a work injury and your check is late, contact a Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation attorney immediately. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio will fight to protect your rights and make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve. Call our office at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

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