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Archive for the ‘Illinois workers compensation lawyer’ tag

Emotional Trauma in the Workplace – Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

December 4th, 2018 at 9:44 am

Chicago worker compensation attorneyAt any given moment, 24.4 million Americans are grappling with the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brought on by a traumatic event, PTSD can happen to anyone, in any setting – including the workplace. Workers in “high stress” industries (i.e. law enforcement, firefighters, healthcare, etc.) are often educated on the symptoms of PTSD and screened after a traumatic event. 

The same cannot be said for workers in traditionally “low-stress” positions, however. Instead, their symptoms after a traumatic event may be discounted or overlooked, which can ultimately lead to long-term problems. Thankfully, by knowing and recognizing the signs of work-related PTSD, and by seeking the assistance of a skilled attorney, sufferers can increase their chances of obtaining fair compensation after a traumatic, work-related event. 

Signs and Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

While post-traumatic stress disorder can display itself differently from one person to the next, sufferers do tend to experience some common symptoms. These can include: 

  • Flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event;
  • Avoidance places, people, or situations related to the traumatic event (i.e. developing a phobia of elevators and avoiding them after seeing a robber come out of one, shooting);
  • Behavioral changes (otherwise known as arousal symptoms);
  • Sudden or uncharacteristic mood swings;
  • Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep;
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings;
  • Loss of interest in your favorite activities;
  • Anxiety, aggression, or an overwhelming sense of fear;
  • Difficulty concentrating or problems with memory;
  • Strange or unexplainable physical symptoms (i.e. headaches, chills, heart palpitations, etc.); and
  • Avoidance of close family and friends (which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression).

Keep in mind that such symptoms may not present immediately after a traumatic event. In fact, in some cases, the symptoms may take days, weeks, or even months to fully surface. As such, it is critical that workers file a detailed claim immediately after a traumatic work-related event. 

Contact Our Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Assistance with Your Claim

Mental health injuries are not just difficult to detect; they can also be difficult to prove when pursuing workers’ compensation. For example, an employee may claim that their PTSD was caused by a robbery, but if there is a history of mental illness, the insurance company may attempt to use it against the victim by saying they were already traumatized before the event occurred. If successful in their efforts, the claim would be denied and the victim would not receive compensation. As a result, they and their family may suffer unnecessarily. 

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we work hard to combat the insurance companies and increase the chances of a full and fair payout on your work injury claim. We can also assist you if your initial claim was wrongfully denied. Get started by scheduling a free consultation with our Cook County workers’ compensation lawyer. Call 630-574-2288 today.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-are-symptoms-ptsd

https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/63/3/175/1413569#21343130

http://www.ptsdunited.org/ptsd-statistics-2/

 

Improving Your Case with Documentation of Your Injuries

April 8th, 2016 at 11:44 am

work injury documentation workers compensationOne of the basic requirements for having a workers’ compensation claim approved is to report the accident and the injury to your employer. But, simply informing your employer is often not enough to ensure you get all of the benefits to which you are legally entitled. You also need to make sure your injuries are properly documented.

Why Documentation Matters

Before benefits can be paid out, your employer’s insurance company will want proof that you have been injured and that your injury affects your ability to do your job. Your own testimony is not enough proof.

Every year thousands of worker’s compensation claims are denied, or the employee receives less in benefits because the cause and extent of the employee’s injury was not properly documented. Consider that lower back and neck injuries are the most common workplace injuries, yet many of these claims are denied for lack of documentation.

Getting Your Injury Documented

The first step in getting your injury properly documented is to tell your doctor you were injured at work in a workplace accident. This fact should be clearly noted in medical record. You will also want to make sure that the doctor confirms in writing that your injuries were caused by the accident. Sometimes, doctors will tell you something during the visit, but forget to make a note. You may need to request a note from your doctor stating that you are not clear to work, or that you can only perform light-duty tasks, because of your injury. It is up to you to ask the doctor and his or her team to keep your file accurate and up to date.

You may need to see a specialist for your injury. Every time you see a new medical professional, he or she needs to know that the injury was caused by a workplace accident and that fact should be recorded in your medical records. If you receive follow-up care, you may need to remind your doctor that the symptoms you are still experiencing were from the earlier work accident.

Building Your Case

While it can feel awkward to ask your doctor to make specific notes in your file, it is essential for your workers’ compensation claim that the cause of your injury, the extent of your injury, and the way your injury affects your ability to work is documented. When you provide complete documentation to your workers’ compensation lawyer, you have a much better chance of getting the benefits you deserve.

If you have been injured in a work related accident, you need to act fast to protect your rights.  Speak with an experienced DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You need to know your rights.

 

Source:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook020106.pdf

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Scarring and Disfigurement

February 26th, 2016 at 6:51 pm

scarring, Chicago Workers' Compensation AttorneyWorkers’ compensation law is designed to protect workers who are hurt while on the job. Many benefits are geared towards replacing lost income from missed work. But, some injuries such as burns and scars leave workers able to complete their jobs, but take a terrible mental toll. These kinds of injuries are known as disfigurement and scarring injuries under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and there are special considerations in getting compensated for them.

Types of Disfigurement and Scarring Injuries

Disfigurement and scarring represent a broad category of injuries under workers’ compensation law. Some of these injuries may totally or partially interfere with the execution of normal job duties, while others may not interfere with the worker’s job at all, but cause significant mental anguish.

Some common types of disfigurement and scarring injuries include:

  • Loss of a finger or toe;
  • Lacerations;
  • Burns;
  • Nerve damage to face;
  • Nerve damage that limits use of limbs;
  • Loss of a limb;
  • Loss of an eye or ear; and
  • Damage to the retina, cornea, or other parts of the eye.

The Claims Process

While there are strict reporting requirements that mandate a worker to report an accident to his or her employer as quickly as possible, a settlement for workers’ compensation benefits when dealing with disfigurement and scarring injuries does not typically take place until at least six months of healing has taken place. The amount of benefits awarded will depend on the location of the disfigurement or scarring, if the injury is permanent, the degree the injury interferes with bodily function, and the part of the body the disfigurement or scarring is located.

Because the law dealing with scarring and disfigurement injuries is complicated, it is important that you have an experienced workers’ compensation helping you negotiate your claim. Even though formal negotiations often do not start until six months after your injury, the sooner you involve a lawyer, the better prepared your case can be when it is time to discuss settlement. If you wait too long to process your claim, you may lose out on the right to get any benefits for your injuries.

Disfigurement and scarring benefits are usually paid out in lump-sum payments. Some cases, however, may require payments to be made over time.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident, you need to understand your rights. You should speak with a skilled and tough Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to take action.

 

Sources:

http://www.iwcc.il.gov/handbook020106.pdf

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