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IL work injury lawyer, IL workers comp attorneyIn an average year, around 3 million people suffer injuries in the course of doing their jobs across the country. These injuries cost companies tens of billions of dollars, including both lost productivity and the costs of treating the workers’ injuries. In Illinois, as in all other states, a workers’ compensation program was developed to help injured employees by providing benefits to cover medical expenses, retraining costs, and even a percentage of the wages lost due to their injuries. While workers’ compensation is available in most cases in which the injured worker is an employee, many people are often curious if they can sue their employer in pursuit of additional compensation.

Workers’ Compensation and Fault

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the state’s work comp program is entirely a no-fault system that is intended to protect injured employees. The program’s benefits are usually payable regardless of who caused the injury or whether negligence was a factor. In fact, an employee could even collect workers’ comp benefits if he or she caused his or her own injuries through carelessness. If injured workers had to prove that their injuries were caused by negligence by their employers or any other parties, the state’s work comp program would pay on far fewer claims, leading to thousands of injured employees with no income and no recourse.

For example, if you were at work and performing a task on a ladder—a ladder that was maintained properly and in proper working condition—and you turned to reach something above your head, could you accuse your employer of being negligent if you fell? Under the workers’ compensation program in Illinois, the answer to that question is of no consequence. Workers’ comp benefits would likely be available for your injuries.

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IL occupational illness lawyer, IL work injury attorney, exposure to radiation in the workplace lawsuit,Radiation is a form of energy that travels through space in waves. The sun, for example, produces massive amounts of radiation in the form of heat and light and upon which we rely for our very existence. Similarly, a microwave oven uses radiation to agitate water molecules in food, which, in turn, heats the food, leaving it perfectly safe to eat. Even the music you hear coming from the speakers in your car are being transmitted to your ear as radio waves—yet another form of radiation. Some kinds of radiation, however, are not quite so benign, and they have the power to cause injury and even death .

Every day, thousands of workers in hundreds of different jobs are exposed to various types of radiation in the course of their work. If you have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, and you have suffered illness or injury as a result, you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Recognizing Harmful Forms of Radiation

When most people think of harmful radiation, they tend to think of “ionizing” radiation. Ionizing radiation is a type of radiation that carries enough energy to ionize atoms, which can destabilize molecules within the body’s cells and cause tissue damage. Beta particle radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays are particularly dangerous types of ionizing radiation.

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IL job injury lawyer, Illinois workers comp attorneyEach year, tens of thousands of American workers suffer injuries in the course of performing their jobs. Many of these injuries are relatively minor and require little more than basic first aid. Others, however, are much more serious and may result in significant time away from work for the victim. If you have been hurt while on the job in Illinois, you are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits , but you will need to act quickly in order to protect your eligibility.

Step #1: Get Medical Attention

If you are injured at work and you have any questions regarding the severity of your injury, your first step should be to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. You can go to a doctor’s office, the emergency room, or an urgent care center. You could also stop at your workplace’s medical officer or see the on-site nurse if one is available at your job. By seeking medical attention right away, you can obviously get the help you need, but you will also be able to document your injuries—which can be critical in filing your claim for compensation later.

Step #2: Notify Your Employer

Under the law in Illinois, a workplace injury usually needs to be reported to your employer within 45 days from when the injury occurred. Failure to notify your employer in a timely manner could jeopardize your ability to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In your report, be clear about the nature of your injury and the body parts affected to prevent confusion down the road. Also, be sure to follow any company-specific reporting protocols that your employer may have. However, do not let your employer talk you out of reporting your injury or filing a claim.

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work-injuriesIn general, men suffer the vast majority of workplace injuries and work-related fatalities in a given year. Compared to women, men are injured in much greater numbers, without question. This is largely due to the reality that men generally make up a much larger portion of the workforce that engages in occupations that are commonly considered to be dangerous, such as logging, construction, and mining. However, it is important to realize that women can certainly suffer injuries at work, and, in fact, women are at higher risk than men for specific kinds of injuries.

Overexertion Injuries

If you are a working woman, you may feel pressure in many situations to “keep up” with your male coworkers and colleagues. Depending on the type of job you have, this pressure can be dangerous. For example, trying to match your coworkers’ sales numbers is one thing. Trying to lift or carry more than you can handle safely is another thing entirely. Doing so can cause serious injury to your muscles, back, and joints.

It is important for both men and women to utilize safe lifting techniques. Hand trucks, forklifts, and other tools should be used whenever possible to reduce the risk of overexertion. Additionally, never be afraid to ask a coworker for help lifting bulky or heavy items.

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IL job injury lawyer, IL workers comp attorneySome work-related injuries happen in an instant and change your life immediately, but a significant number only become noticeable over time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that 1.8 million employees each year suffer from a repetitive stress injury related to their work, with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and lower back and neck injuries being some of the most common. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your repetitive stress injury, but these cases can be especially challenging, and working with a skilled attorney may be your best chance of obtaining relief.

Initiating a Repetitive Stress Injury Claim in Illinois

If you begin to experience persistent pain that affects your day-to-day life and ability to work to your usual standards, you should consider seeking the opinion of a doctor who can diagnose the nature and severity of your injury. Typically, you are required to notify your employer within 45 days of an injury’s occurrence, but with a repetitive stress injury, the date of the occurrence may not be easy to pin down. Your best option to ensure eligibility for compensation is to notify your employer as soon as you have an understanding of the injury and whether it may be work-related.

It is important to keep a record of all medical treatment you receive for your injury, not only to file a workers’ compensation claim in the first place, but also in case the insurance company denies your claim and you have to take legal action to pursue the compensation to which you are entitled. This is not uncommon for repetitive stress injuries, as their slowly progressing nature can make it challenging to prove their cause. If you are having trouble with the insurance company, an attorney can help you gather the evidence you need, including the testimony of medical experts, to establish that your injury is, in fact, work-related.

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