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job-injuryEmployees in the service and hospitality industries may work in a restaurant, bar, hotel, spa, or salon. The COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted these businesses this past year, forcing some to close temporarily or reduce occupancy. However, with a vaccine starting to be distributed, many non-essential businesses are starting to reopen, allowing many people who were laid off or furloughed to return to work. For those who work in restaurants, they may still have to follow certain restrictions, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitizing stations. Even with limited capacity, restaurant workers may be at risk of injury while on the job. It is important to understand what the law says about workers’ compensation in case you ever need to file a claim for these benefits after a work-related injury.

Service Industry Risks

Certain occupations carry certain risks, some more than others. Although many might not consider working in a restaurant or bar dangerous, workers can be exposed to hazards. A few of the typical injuries someone can sustain as a restaurant staff member include:

  • Lacerations and puncture wounds - Due to frequent contact with knives, chopping tools, and other sharp utensils, as well as broken dishes or glasses, restaurant staff can often suffer these types of injuries. Deep cuts can result in significant blood loss, leading to life-threatening complications in some cases.
  • Skin burns - With multiple ovens and stove top burners running constantly, employees may sustain first-, second-, or third-degree burns from open flames, hot pots and pans, or boiling water. Hot steam can also burn exposed skin.
  • Sprains and strains – Various types of liquids such as soda, coffee, milk, oil, or cleaning products are commonly found in restaurant kitchens and bars. If a staff member or patron accidentally spills a drink or other liquid and it is not cleaned up promptly, a worker can slip and fall, twisting, spraining, or straining his or her ankle, wrist, or back. Clutter such as garbage or extra chairs and tables can also cause an employee to trip and fall.
  • Eye damage – Frequently used in food service environments, when grease splatters or sanitizing chemicals splash or spill, it can result in injury to the eye. Immediate treatment is imperative to preventing long-lasting vision problems and blindness.

Most Illinois businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. This financial relief can cover medical bills as well as a percentage of a worker’s income. An attorney experienced in worker’s comp law can help you gather the necessary documents you need to file a claim, including photographs of your injury, medical records, and hospital bills or statements.

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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:

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delivery-driverPackage or goods delivery drivers face unique challenges in their occupation since they may be on the road at all hours of the day or night. In addition, they are in and out of their trucks or vehicles multiple times each shift. These workers are exposed to certain risks and hazards, especially during the winter months in Illinois. The Midwest is known for its harsh winters, which often bring blizzard-like conditions such as snow, ice, sleet, and wind. The elements can wreak havoc on the roadways and traffic flow. Besides hazardous weather, other factors can increase the likelihood of an accident for delivery drivers. Regardless of how these types of employees are injured while on the clock, they may file a workers’ compensation claim to recover damages.

Dangers On the Road

This past year has seen a major increase in online shopping, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many stores temporarily closed or limiting capacity, a lot of consumers have opted to order on the Internet in the comfort and safety of their own homes. The holidays are notoriously busy for deliveries, and since numerous family and friends did not host their typical gatherings because of coronavirus, a lot of gifts were sent through the mail instead of being given in person. All of these products need to be delivered from warehouses such as Amazon, going to houses and businesses all over the country, including Illinois.

With so many delivery drivers on the road these days, it is important to be aware of the risks they can face on a daily basis, whether it be from other drivers, weather, or maintenance issues. In some cases, worn or damaged vehicle parts can lead to a delivery driver losing control of his or her vehicle and crashing. In addition, working too many hours in a row may lead to drowsy or fatigued driving, which can cause a collision if a driver falls asleep at the wheel.

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IL job injury lawyer, IL workers comp attorneyOn industrial sites and in other workplaces throughout the country, workers use a wide range of strong chemicals and other materials in the course of performing their job duties. Some of these chemicals are mostly safe, but others can be extremely dangerous. Caustic chemicals can cause serious burns, and if you have suffered workplace chemical burns, you should understand the rights you may have to benefits under the Illinois workers’ compensation system .

Dangerous Substances

Chemicals that have the ability to cause burns are most often strong acids and bases. You might even find versions of such chemicals in your own home, such as chlorine bleach, drain cleaning gels and liquids, and ammonia. In industrial and manufacturing settings, however, the concentration of these chemicals is often much stronger than the household versions, and many other chemicals are generally used as well.

When a corrosive or caustic chemical contacts your skin, the chemical could start to damage the flesh almost immediately. The seriousness of the burn will depend on factors such as the type of chemical, its concentration, and how long it was on your skin. A “superficial” chemical burn is a burn that affects only the top layer of your skin. A “dermal” or “partial thickness” injury is a burn that damages the dermis—your second layer of skin. “Full-thickness” burns cause damage to the first two skin layers and the subcutaneous tissue underneath.

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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 .

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