Archive for the ‘compensation’ tag

Can Workers Comp Benefits be Awarded for Emotional Trauma?

July 5th, 2013 at 8:00 am

bullyWorker’s compensation consists of benefits that can be awarded to workers who receive injuries while on the job.  This is also a way for business to be protected by lawsuits because by taking the benefits, the injured party waives their rights to seek compensatory damages.  But what if the injuries are not physical but emotional instead?

Recently, a man decided to sue his former employee because of the harassment he received at work.  The suit was against Chicago-based inventory services company RGIS Inc.  It was alleged that while employed there, Frederick Schroeder was on the receiving end of negative comments about his sexual orientation.

After his supervisor embarrassed Schroeder by calling him a slur in front of coworkers, Schroeder decided to quit.  RGIS tried to repair the issue by rehiring Schroeder to a different location and by investigating the issues with his previous manager.

This turned out to be a bad situation for Schroeder.  The new location that he had to report to was two hours away from his home.  And due to the weird hours required for his inventory position, he would have to sleep on the office floor in between working 20 hour days.  The situation became unworkable because between the commute and work, Schroeder was extremely exhausted.

In 2010, Schroeder resigned from RGIS again.  He felt that they did not respond to his complaints about his work schedule.  He also claimed that RGIS never followed through with the investigation of his former supervisor.  Schroeder brought a lawsuit against RGIS because the stressful work environment caused severe mental anguish, humiliation, loss of income and other damages.

An Illinois circuit judge ruled that the lawsuit would not be able to move forward because the injuries Schroeder sustained were from his work schedule.  As such RGIS was not responsible for damages because of workers compensation exclusive remedy provisions.  If you have any questions about your rights as an employee or what is considered a workers comp issue, contact an experienced workers comp lawyer in DuPage County today.

image courtesy of  Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Illinois looks to create competitive workers’ compensation state fund

April 12th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

LucyContrary to the rest of the country, Illinois state legislatures are proposing the creation of a state workers’ compensation insurance fund to compete with the current private system.

Naturally, Illinois insurance companies and trade groups in the industry are worried. This article on the situation states that the bill, H.B. 2919, was passed in the Illinois State House’s Committee on State Government Administration.

Executive director of the Illinois Insurance Association, Kevin Martin, said that the legislation was initiated due to worker and plaintiff-lawyer concerns that the recent changes meant to reduce the cost of workers compensation haven’t been working quickly enough.

Martin said that the bill has strong Democratic support in the House and noted that Democrats control both the state House and Senate.

Rep. Laura Fine, D, sponsor of the legislation, said that Illinois state legislators are aware that they are running against the national trend. She said that the issue has been a long-running one in Illinois because it is a “big cost burden for companies,” large and small. “We know there is a lot of workers’ compensation insurance capacity out there, but we believe if we create this entity, it will serve to bring prices even lower,” she said.

“I have looked at what other states have done, and acknowledge that we haven’t completely defined this, but there are ideas out there,” said Fine. “Moreover, there have been stories of successes with state funds in other states, and we hope to be one of those success stories.”

This decision is opposite the current trend by the country to allow the private markets to drive the workers’ compensation systems.

With the laws changing, a workers’ compensation attorney is even more important to explain the rules and changes of workers’ compensation to you. If you are planning on filing for workers’ compensation, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio in Cook County today.

Workers Compensation Benefits in Illinois

April 5th, 2013 at 11:46 am

If you are injured on the job you may be eligible for compensation benefits.  Eligibility is determined by three main factors: your employer has workers comp insurance, you are an employee of that company, and your illness of injury is a result of your work.  The benefits are awarded regardless of fault, so it is important to know what kind of benefits can be expected from an insurance claim.

Being injured at your work means that you will have to be diagnosed and treated by medical professionals.  In Illinois, the Workers Compensation Act requires that medical expenses should be covered without co-payment or a deductible.

Medical attention is only part of recovering from an injury or illness.  There is also occasionally the need to stay home and heal, which can result in lost wages.  Temporary total disability (TTD) can provide two-thirds of your weekly wages to help you stay current on bills while you are unable to work.  Partial permanent disability (PPD) can provide a lump sum payment to compensate for the loss of a body part depending on how that injury will affect your life.  Permanent total disability (PTD) is awarded if the injury has rendered the person incapable to work and is paid for life.  All of these workers compensation benefits have limitations at a certain dollar amount.

If the injury prohibits you from doing your original job there are a couple of options to make up for this inability.  Wage loss differential payments can make up for lost wages if an injury causes you to take a lower paying job.  This could entitle you to two thirds of the difference between the two jobs.  If this new profession requires additional training, then the workers comp benefits may pay for that as well.

While this all seems really easy, everything is dependent on how your claim is processed and how your treatment is handled.  In order to follow the correct procedure it is necessary to have the assistance of a legal professional.  Dealing with a work-related injury is too stressful to handle on your own.  Contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in DuPage County today.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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