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Archive for the ‘workers’ compensation benefits’ 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

Treatments for Work-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

January 28th, 2021 at 10:03 am

IL workers comp lawyer, IL PTSD attorney Certain jobs can carry significant risks compared to other occupations. For example, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics can be exposed to dangerous conditions on a regular basis. Much of their work involves dealing with extreme situations, such as a car accident, explosion, or othe types of catastrophic events. While performing the duties of their jobs, these workers can sustain physical injuries such as gunshot wounds, burns, or broken bones. In addition, they can suffer mental and emotional scars, too. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a frightening event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety, and more. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may alleviate some of the financial hardship if a person is unable to work because of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental Health Rehabilitation

Although any traumatic event can trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, or depression, many times these symptoms go away after a period of time. However, when they last a long time and hinder someone from performing their job or normal activities, he or she may be diagnosed with PTSD. Obtaining the appropriate treatment after PTSD symptoms surface can be crucial to reduce the severity of them and any long-lasting effects on a person’s mental state. The goal is to change any disruptive thought patterns. This might occur through talking about the trauma or concentrating on where the fears actually come from.

Some of the common way to treat PTSD patients include the following cognitive-behavioral therapies:

  • Group, family, or individual therapy: Talking one-on-one with a professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who is a neutral party can help deal with your emotions.
  • Cognitive processing therapy: Talking about the traumatic event with a therapist and writing down details about the incident can help the victim process what happened.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy: Learning breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety, and confronting things you may have been avoiding.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Concentrating on movement made by a therapist such as a hand waving, flashing a light, or a sound while thinking about something positive while you remember your trauma.
  • Stress inoculation training: Focusing on changing how to deal with the stress from the event, including massage and breathing techniques and other ways to stop negative thoughts through relaxation.

Under the Illinois workers compensation law, any disability caused by PTSD that is work-related should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ comp insurance companies often deny claims for PTSD. That is why you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights so you can receive the compensation you need and deserve in order to recover and move on with your life.

Call an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Injuries from a work accident can include post-traumatic stress disorder, which can impact a person’s ability to function and return to work. If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek medical attention for this debilitating condition. In addition, you may be wondering what your options are regarding compensation. A qualified Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a workplace injury can have on an employee as well as his or her family. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to request a free consultation and learn more.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-are-treatments-for-posttraumatic-stress-disorder#1

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=082003050K8

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

 

Know Your Options for Compensation After a Work-Related Car Accident

December 16th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

IL job injury attorney, Illinois works comp lawyer, On an average day in the United States, there are thousands of traffic accidents that cause thousands of people to suffer injuries. When you have been injured in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for the injuries you have sustained. But, what if your accident occurred while you were “on the clock” or driving a company-owned vehicle? A work-related car accident is often more complex than “regular” crashes, but if you were in a company vehicle or on the job, you could have more avenues for securing compensation that you might have had otherwise.

Workers’ Compensation and Third-Party Claims

The Illinois workers’ compensation system provides benefits to employees who are injured at work. In the vast majority of situations, an injured employee qualifies for workers’ compensation no matter how his or her injuries occurred or who was to blame for the accident. The workers’ compensation laws in Illinois also prohibit an injured worker from filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer, with very rare and specific exceptions. Generally, workers’ comp benefits offer coverage for the injured employee’s medical expenses, missed work, disability, and retraining in the event the employee cannot return to his or her previous job.

It is important to understand that the restriction on personal injury lawsuits only applies to those filed by injured employees against their employers. If an outside third party—meaning someone who is not the employer or the employee—is at fault for the employee’s injuries, the injured party has the right to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. This type of action is known as a “third-party lawsuit” or “third-party injury claim,” and it may be necessary following an on-the-job car accident.

How the Pieces Can Work Together

When you are involved in a car crash while you are working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Keep in mind that your reasons for being in the car matter. For example, if you are running out to get lunch, and you are in an accident, your workers’ comp claim could be denied because you were not acting in your employer’s interests. However, if your employer asked you to stop at the bank and make a deposit for the company on your way to lunch, you are more likely to be eligible for workers’ compensation.

You should also remember that a third-party lawsuit is only appropriate if someone else was at fault for the crash. It is possible, however, that you might be eligible for workers’ comp benefits and able to file a third-party lawsuit, depending on the circumstances. If, for example, you were dispatched in a company vehicle to perform a task for your employer, and you were hit by a drunk driver, you would probably qualify for workers’ compensation, and you could sue the drunk driver for your losses.

The primary advantage of filing a third-party claim is that the damages available in such a claim typically go beyond what is available under workers’ compensation. Through a third-party personal injury claim, you could collect compensation for your medical care and missed work, just as under work comp, but you could also be eligible for non-economic damages such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and much more.

Work With an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you suffered injuries in a car accident on the job, it is important to work closely with an experienced Illinois workers’ comp attorney who can help you decide on the best way to get the compensation you need. At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we can assist you with your workers’ compensation claim as well as a third-party personal injury lawsuit, if appropriate. Call 630-574-2288 for a free consultation today.

 

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/resources/Pages/faq.aspx

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