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Archive for the ‘Cook County work injury lawyer’ tag

How Does COVID-19 Affect Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claims?

February 26th, 2021 at 7:53 pm

IL injury attorney, Illinois workers comp lawyer, The year 2020 will always be remembered for the COVID-19 global pandemic. Government and health officials issued executive orders limiting gatherings, requiring masks to be worn, and enforcing social distancing in public places. In addition, many non-essential businesses such as bars, restaurants, movie theaters, salons, and casinos were closed to keep people safe and healthy. However, some employees were allowed to work remotely from home. Despite state and local efforts to stop it, the highly contagious virus spread throughout the country, resulting in approximately 500,000 deaths. An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine was recently approved, which is a critical component in reducing coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths. With many workers returning to office buildings now, employees may be required to get vaccinated before returning to work. It is important to understand how COVID-19 and vaccine-related illnesses impact workers’ compensation claims.

Phase IB

In January, Phase 1B began in Illinois, allowing frontline essential workers and residents 65 and older to get the vaccine. Frontline workers include those who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, or they have to socially distance in order to perform their job duties. This includes first responders and healthcare workers, as well as those in the following fields and industries: K-12 education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections officers and inmates, postal, public transit, grocery stores, and daycare centers.

House Bill 2455

Legislation signed into law provides worker compensation benefits for those essential workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job under specific conditions. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed H.B. 2455 into law, which provides death benefits for first responders who were infected with COVID-19 on duty and also revises state code to expand unemployment benefits and enhance sick pay and leave for workers who contract the virus. However, under the bill, employers can refute claims under certain conditions:

  • An employer can show that the company was adhering to public health guidelines for 14 days prior to when the employee claims they contracted the virus.
  • The employer can prove that the worker was exposed by a source outside of the company.
  • The employee was working remotely from home for a minimum of 14 days before filing the claim.

Call a Chicago Workers’ Comp Attorney

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our daily lives in many ways. With a vaccine being distributed now, Illinois employees may be wondering if COVID-related illness is covered by workers’ compensation benefits. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, our reputable Cook County workplace injury lawyers are well-versed in workers’ comp laws, including new legislation regarding the virus. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.

 

Sources:

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/phase-1b

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

Understanding an Employer’s Responsibility (and Your Rights) After a Workplace Injury Has Occurred

December 18th, 2018 at 8:06 am

Chicago workers' compensation attorneysEach year, an estimated 4,500,000 work-related injuries occur in the United States. Injuries related to overexertion, contact with an object or equipment, and slips, trips, and falls are the ones that most often keep workers from returning to their jobs, which typically results in a loss of income for the employee. Such injuries allow employees to seek compensation for their injuries through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, but the denial rate is exceptionally high. Thankfully, when workers understand their rights, as well as the responsibilities of their employer, the chances of a denied claim can be reduced. Learn more in the following sections. 

5 Industries with the Most Missed Work Days from Job-Related Injuries 

Debilitating work injuries can occur in any field, industry, or setting, but statistics show that there are five industries in which employees regularly suffer injuries that result in the most missed time at work. These include the:

  • Service industry (firefighters, police, etc.);
  • Transportation and shipping industries;
  • Manufacturing and production industries;
  • Installation, maintenance, and repair industries; and
  • Construction industry.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Your Employer’s Responsibility

Although there are a few exceptions to the rule, most Illinois employers are required to carry workers’ compensation to cover their employees, should an accident or injury occur. Sadly, not all companies comply. If this happens to you, it may still be possible to seek compensation after an injury. Just be sure to reach out to a seasoned work injury lawyer, as this process usually requires even more effort, knowledge, and diligence than a regular workers’ compensation claim. 

Your Rights During a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Americans assume that the workers’ compensation program was developed by workers, to ensure they are protected from substantial and irrevocable loss, caused by an injury sustained on the job. However, this is not exactly true. Employers, who frequently found themselves in court for severe work-related injuries (such as black lung, death, and other tragedies). Many began to suffer financially. Realizing that they could not get out of paying for an employee’s injuries, they came up with a way to contain the cost of work-related injuries – workers’ compensation. 

What all this really means is that the workers’ compensation system is really set up to protect employers, not the workers who are injured. Still, injured employees do have certain rights, including the right to: 

  • File a claim for any injuries or illnesses related to your job;
  • See a doctor and receive treatment;
  • Return to work if your physician clears you;
  • Not fear retaliation from your employer if you do file a claim;
  • Appeal a decision made by your employer, the insurance company, or the courts; and
  • Be represented by an attorney throughout the entire claim process.

Contact Our Chicago Work Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered a workplace injury, and you are unable to return to work, contact the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Seasoned and experienced, our Cook County work injury attorneys  can assist and protect your rights throughout every step of the claim process. Call 630-574-2288 and schedule a free consultation with our offices today.

Sources:

https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/tools-resources/infographics/workplace-injuries

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapAct=820â€%C2%A0ILCSâ€%C2%A0305/&ChapterID=68&ChapterName=EMPLOYMENT&ActName=Workers%27+Compensation+Act.

 

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