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Archive for the ‘Illinois’ tag

Workplace Injuries: Study Shows Lack in Resources for Injured Surgeons

December 13th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

A Vanderbilt University Medical Center study shows that nearly half of surgeons sustain injuries during their career. According to the study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, an inadequate amount of resources are available to surgeons who suffer a workplace injury.

surgeon hand injury imageThe study’s lead author, Manish Sethi, M.D., noted that twenty-five percent of orthopedic surgeons surveyed reported an injury to the hand. Injuries of the lower back, neck and shoulder were also reported. Sethi stated, “I expected a fair number of back and hand injuries, but I was surprised that 38 percent of injured respondents reported no institutional resources available to support them as they recovered. In addition, only about 25 percent of respondents said they had reported their injury to their institution.” It was also noted that implementing greater institutional support is essential to aid surgeons recovering from occupational injuries and to “reduce costs associated with lost productivity from the surgeon.”

“Some of these injuries were significant, having an impact on operating room performance and causing the surgeon to lose three or four weeks of work,” Sethi said. “These results would suggest that we need to think about the resources available to orthopedic surgeons, given that this volume of missed work may have economic implications for both the surgeons and their health care systems.”

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Handbook states that after receiving notification of a workplace injury, employers should provide immediate and necessary first aide and medical services, and also inform the insurance carrier or workers’ compensation administrator. If the injury prevents the employee from working for more than three days, the employer must begin payments of TTD, provide the employee with a written explanation of additional information needed before payments can begin, or provide a written explanation of why benefits are being denied.

If you sustained a workplace injury, it is essential you report it to your employer as you may be eligible for worker’s compensation. Contact a Chicago workplace injury attorney today, who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Workers Compensation and Retaliatory Discharge in Illinois

November 28th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

The state of Illinois protects workers and their right to file worker’s compensation claims without fear of reprisal. Ordinarily, employers in Illinois can discharge employees for any cause or even no cause at all, a condition which the law refers to as “at-will” employment. The statute in Illinois that governs worker’s compensation claims makes a specific exception to the normal doctrine of at-will employment that prevents employers from firing an employee in retaliation for their filing for worker’s compensation.

 In order for an injured plaintiff to access this safe harbor and receive compensation for their retaliatory discharge, they need to show three things. First, the plaintiff must show that the company employed them at the time of the injury. Second, the employee must show that they filed for worker’s compensation. Finally, the employee must show that their employer terminated their employment, and that their filing for worker’s compensation caused that termination.

Showing Employment

Showing that the company employed the plaintiff seems easy enough, and in many cases it actually is. But, it gets a little more difficult in some cases because the law distinguishes between employees and independent contractors. Generally speaking, the difference between the two is the amount of control the employer exerts over their actions, with employees being more closely supervised than independent contractors. Additionally, some employers attempt to classify people incorrectly by referring to employees as independent contractors, but just because they call someone an independent contractor does not make them one. Instead, the judge will make a classification during the case.

Showing Worker’s Compensation Filing

Showing that the plaintiff made a worker’s compensation filing, again, tends to happen easily enough, but some odd cases do exist. It is sufficient if the employee can produce documents showing that they went through with a filing, but the law actually extends beyond that. If the employee discusses filing a claim, or even if the employer merely learns about the injury and fires the employee out of fear for a worker’s compensation claim, then that may trigger this protection as well.

Showing Cause of Termination

An employee’s filing of a worker’s compensation claim does not, on its own, prove that the employer fired them because of the claim. Instead, the employee must produce some sort of evidence demonstrating that their filing the claim substantially or significantly contributed to the firing.

Legal Help

If you believe that you have an injury that makes you eligible for worker’s compensation, or if you think you may have suffered a retaliatory discharge for filing a worker’s compensation claim, contact an experienced Illinois worker’s compensation attorney today. They can help you get the compensation you deserve.

What If My Employer Failed To Carry Workers Compensation Insurance?

November 11th, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Workers compensation insurance is designed to protect you, the employee, from injuries and illnesses sustained while on the job. Workplace injuries can be serious and alter the lives of an employee and his or her family forever. In most states, employers are required to keep active workers compensation insurance for their employees. There are penalties for failing to carry workers compensation insurance.

 Any employer who purposefully and willfully fails to carry insured can be fined up to $500 for each day of noncompliance. The minimum fine for this lack of compliance is $10,000.  Additionally, corporate officers found to be negligently associated with the failure to obtain insurance can be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and these officers can be held responsible if the company fails to pay the penalty they are assessed with regards to noncompliance.

If an employer does not carry the necessary workers compensation insurance, that employer also forfeits their protections under the Workers Compensation Act. If an employee is injured during the time period under which the employer does not have workers compensation insurance, that employee can sue the employer in civil court (and in civil court, benefits can be unlimited). During the process of that civil trial, the burden of proof will be on the employer to prove that he or she was not negligent in their behavior. Additionally, if an employer is discovered to have gone without workers compensation insurance, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission can issue a “work stop” order to force the employer to stop all business operations until proof of insurance has been submitted.

If you think you have the grounds for a workers compensation claim after a workplace injury or illness, it’s recommended that you consult quickly with an Illinois workers compensation attorney. Filing promptly is critical for staying within guidelines.

 

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