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IL accident lawyerHundreds of car accidents occur every single day, throughout the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, many of these collisions result in serious injury. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, upwards of 20% of all motor vehicle collisions result in some injuries to one or more parties involved. Throughout 2017 alone, approximately 66,889 motor vehicle collisions resulted in injury. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, it is time to seek out the assistance of a seasoned legal professional.

Negligence Leading to an Accident

In many instances, automobile accidents are caused by driver negligence. The most common forms of driver negligence include driving over the speed limit, disregarding traffic signs, texting while driving, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In some cases, one negligent act can lead to a collision, this can occur when a driver recklessly passes a vehicle, follows another vehicle too closely, or fails to use their turn signal. If another party’s negligence leads to injuries to yourself or a family member, you may be entitled to injury compensation.

After revisiting the events of the accident with your attorney, and establishing that the other party operated their vehicle in a negligent manner, you and your attorney can begin seeking compensation. This process can begin with your attorney discussing a settlement with the other party’s insurance company. Insurance companies consistently attempt to provide victims of car accidents with low settlements and minimal compensation. With the help of an attorney, you can seek the compensation you deserve, through the threat of a trial. If the case goes to trial, it is important to hire an attorney that will work diligently to prove the other driver was acting negligently, while also providing thorough documentation of the damages you and your family have suffered (injury expenses and motor vehicle damage).

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IL injury lawyerAfter suffering an injury in the workplace, there can be a lot going through a person’s mind. Questions surrounding medical bill payments and potential loss of work hours can leave a person and their family in a time of financial anxiety. In many cases though, your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation payments in the aftermath of a workplace injury. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury at work, it is time to seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable legal professional.

Life-Changing Construction Site Injuries

It is no mystery that construction sites present a number of dangers that are not present in the vast majority of workplaces, because of this worker injuries are incredibly common in the field. The most common construction injuries include slip and fall injuries, electrocutions, burns, and injuries to the eyes. Unfortunately, many of these injuries can be incredibly severe and even fatal. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over 1,000 construction workers suffered fatal injuries throughout 2018. In all, construction site deaths accounted for approximately 21% of all private industry worker fatalities in 2018. If your loved one has been severely hurt or fatally injured in a construction accident, it is time to speak with an attorney.

Seeking Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance designed to ensure compensation for workers who suffer injuries on the job. For construction workers, this could include a worker that suffered a fall while installing a window on a building. Workers’ compensation payments can cover medical bills, compensation for loss of work hours while on medical leave, and payments to families that lost an income source due to a fatal injury. The first step you and your family should take after a workplace injury is hiring a competent attorney and examining the case with your legal team. In many construction accidents, the injuries suffered are a direct result of employer negligence meaning that the case could prompt a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

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IL injury lawyerPlacing a loved one into the custody of a nursing home facility can be one of the most difficult decisions a family can make. In most instances, the family can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their family member’s needs are being met by trained professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to statistics compiled by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately 10% of all Americans over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. If you believe that your loved one may be facing nursing home abuse, it is time to seek out legal guidance.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can come in various forms including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member verbally berates, threatens, or harasses a resident. Physical abuse is the act of physically harming a resident, and sexual abuse occurs when an employee engages in any sexual behavior with a resident that cannot or does not consent to the act. It should be noted that patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease are common victims of nursing home abuse and negligence.

How You Can Help

When you place your loved one into the care of a nursing home facility, it is critically important to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Recognizing physical abuse can be somewhat straightforward due to the fact that the symptoms often come in the form of bruises or abrasions to the skin. Signs of emotional or sexual abuse can be more difficult to recognize, especially if visits to your loved one are infrequent or irregular. The first step you can take to recognize signs of abuse is spending as much time as possible with your loved one, giving you an opportunity to recognize their behavior patterns within the facility. If you notice that they are beginning to withdraw from social activities, experience changes in mood, or acting tense around their caregiver, they may be facing some form of abuse.

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IL truck accident lawyerWhen a large commercial vehicle is involved in an accident with a standard automobile, the results can be catastrophic. In the vast majority of these instances, the injuries suffered to the passengers of the standard motor vehicle can be long-term life-changing injuries or fatal ones. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 4,700 large trucks and busses were involved in fatal crashes throughout 2017. In many cases an accident involving a commercial truck only occurs due to the negligence of the operator or the trucking company itself.

Types of Negligence Leading to Commercial Trucking Accidents

With thousands of fatal commercial trucking accidents occurring throughout the United States each year, it is important to understand the leading factors of these collisions. First off, many of these collisions could be avoided if not for driver error. Driver error is one of the leading causes of commercial trucking accidents and can range from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving at reckless speeds, or texting while driving. In other cases, a driver may be looking to make some extra money and will drive over their legal hour limit causing them to be dangerously tired or attempt to drive up hazardous terrain without chains in order to save time on their load.

While driver error is common in commercial trucking accidents, employer oversight or negligence can oftentimes be the leading cause of a collision. Commercial trucking companies will oftentimes pressure their drivers into falsifying their logs to drive over the legal hours mark and overload a vehicle’s cargo weight making it more difficult to operate and stop. These types of employer pressures are dangerous to employees and other drivers on the road. If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, it is time to seek out the help of a qualified legal professional.

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IL injury lawyerSexual assault against an adult who can consent is a crime, but the sexual abuse of a child is an especially sensitive topic. This year, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations on sex crimes no matter the age of the accuser. The statute of limitations for minors had already been eliminated in 2017. Facing sexual abuse as a minor has life-lasting damaging effects, and it may take a victim time to realize they have been abused. Here we will discuss how to recognize signs of sexual abuse.

Any kind of sexual contact with a minor is considered child sexual abuse. The age of consent in Illinois with a person of trust or authority is 18 years old. A person under this age cannot consent to any sexual activity. Sexual abuse is not only penetrative sex. It is illegal for an adult to participate in any of these acts with an underage child:

  • Fondling
  • Sex trafficking
  • Send or ask for nude photos
  • Owning, producing, or sharing child porn
  • Oral sex
  • Masturbation
  • Indecent exposure, or exhibitionism

Something that felt wrong as a child may not be recognized as sexual abuse until much later. The majority of child victims know the person who is abusing them. This may be someone they trust like a family member, teacher, or priest. Child victims are especially vulnerable because they may not know to report abuse or know they are being abused. One out of every six child abusers offend because of the vulnerability of children, and may not reflect sexual orientation.

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IL accident attorneyHaving a lawyer is not a requirement for even the deadliest accidents, but it can be difficult to know when legal representation is needed. Car accidents happen every day, and most people can handle minor accidents with cosmetic damage only to the car themselves. When injuries occur, there is serious damage to the vehicle, and the accident was not your fault, you may want to consider calling an attorney.

From a recent release by the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 311,679 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois during 2017. Accidents with injuries accounted for 21.5% of all accidents, but fatal crashes only accounted for less than 1%. Approximately three people were injured a day in Illinois due to car accidents. One of the highest contributions to car crashes that year was speeding. It is considered negligent to go over posted speed limits on a roadway, and if that causes a car accident, then that driver may be able to be held liable if another driver is injured.

Injuries can vary from car accidents, but they can be life-altering such as paralyzation or brain damage. It can be difficult for people to realize they have been injured after a car accident, so even if injuries appear minor or non-existent, medical attention is still advised. For a personal injury claim, it is important to prove that damages occurred because of the action of another. When it comes to the human body, the best way to document this is through medical care. If you have an injury that prevents returning to work within a couple of days, compensation can be won to make up for medical expenses, time away from work, and for your suffering.

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IL injury lawyerWhile every qualified worker is entitled to apply for workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident, receiving benefits can be a different story. There can be red tape from employers and insurance companies that prevent injured workers from receiving the benefits they rightfully deserve. While reporting a workplace injury and requesting benefits does not require an attorney, seeking legal counsel is in the best interest of any person who is hurt on the job.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

A government program to assist workers if they are injured at work, workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who cannot return to their job. Benefits include wage replacement and coverage for medical bills related to the injury. All employers in Illinois are required to have workers’ compensation insurance and refusing to comply results in fees and potential jail time.

If an employer agrees an injury occurred at work, or an injury was minor enough where minimal work was missed, then benefits will likely not be challenging to receive. Benefits for people injured long term, or who experience permanent defects, are especially important. Work accidents can prevent people from returning to their job or decrease their wage-earning potential. These kinds of injuries also have high medical bills, which should be covered by workers’ compensation too.

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IL injury lawyerWhether in assisted living or a nursing home, elderly people that live there still have rights. Unfortunately, the people who work for these institutions take advantage of their vulnerable residents and take away their rights and endanger their lives. Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places with specialized care for the elderly, but the World Health Organization reports that 2 out of 3 staff members admit to having committed an act of abuse. Refusing to take care of a patient, or taking advantage of them for personal gain, is negligence.

The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was created to give a standard of care for nursing homes. Residents of nursing homes have the right to a safe environment free of abuse or fear. They also have the rights to:

  • Privacy
  • Accommodations for medical and social needs
  • Be treated with dignity
  • Be fully informed about treatment or changes in care
  • Communicate without repercussions

Nursing homes are a great alternative for families with elder members that need care. They are a place for people to live the rest of their lives comfortably, so nursing home abuse is a serious offense. These signs and kinds of abuse in elderly patients in nursing homes may be caused to seek legal advice.

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IL injury attorneyToys can provide hundreds of hours of play and learning experiences for children of all ages. Most children have a favorite toy, but what happens when it is a hazard to their life due to a manufacturing defect or poor design? Toys that fall under these categories can cause death or serious injuries. When companies release hazardous products and children get hurt, they must be held responsible through product liability lawsuits.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 217,000 children a year are treated for toy-related injuries. Not all of these hospital visits are for defective toys, but when companies do not carefully develop products, children can suffer from suffocation, burns, or the effects of dangerous chemicals.

As a parent, it is important to keep aware of consumer recalls and potential hazards when providing a toy to a child. These dangerous products were recalled due to company oversights that caused harm to children.

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Il injury lawyerA premises accident can happen anywhere, and under the right circumstances, the property owner can be held responsible for injuries or damages. After being injured at someone’s home or business, a victim may not know where to turn or even know they are eligible for compensation. Like a car accident or medical malpractice, when negligence is involved, a person injured on the property of another may be able to get restitution for their pain and suffering.

What Is Negligence?

When a person does not act with reasonable care towards a situation and a person gets injured, they can be held responsible for being negligent. For any personal injury cases, such as a premises accident, negligence must be proved. To prove negligence, there must be a duty to establish for the property owner to maintain under law, refusing to provide maintain that standard, and an injury with damage caused by inaction. For example, if there is a wet spot in a grocery store and no effort was made to clean up the spill or warn patrons, the store owner may be held liable if someone slips and breaks a bone.

Not all unsafe properties, dog bites, or slippery surfaces are treated the same. The invitation status of a person on a property is another factor of whether someone can sue for personal injury. If a person is a licensee, such as a customer, or an invited party, then the property owner is expected to uphold reasonable safety accommodations. While this does that guarantee the absolute safety of invited parties, the property owner can be held responsible if they knew about an issue and refused to act.

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IL malpractice lawyerWhen regular visits to a doctor’s office are a habit, the first sign of life-threatening illnesses can be detected. Most medical professionals have their patient's best interests in mind, but mistakes do happen. When a mistake has been made, or a patient is second-guessing their treatment, it can be difficult to determine the difference between medical malpractice and the sometimes uncertainty of medicine.

A woman in Oak Park was recently awarded $50 million in a settlement against West Suburban Medical Center. The birth of her baby in 2014 resulted in the child having severe brain damage. Although a representative from the hospital claimed that appropriate action was taken during the natural birth, experts in the medical malpractice trial testified that a cesarean section would have prevented injuries to the child. An ultrasound showing that the child did not move for six hours during labor was ignored by medical staff, and the mother expressed concerns to her doctor that she could not feel the unborn baby move. Today, the child is five-years-old and is unable to sit, stand, or talk.

Brain damage to a baby during birth can be caused by physical injury or a lack of oxygen. If a child cannot safely have a vaginal birth, or if a problem arises such as the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, a doctor will often choose to perform a cesarean section. Making this decision at the correct time is crucial to the health of mother and child.

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IL disability lawyerA fall or mechanical accident will cause physical harm to a worker, but what happens when their psyche is affected instead? Many people have a mental illness and they go to work and function regularly, but when mental illness is caused by a work environment or circumstances, then their treatment may be covered by workers’ compensation. Treatment for mental illnesses can also go alongside treatment for a physical injury, as these issues may arise after trauma.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

When an employee is injured or becomes ill due to circumstances surrounding their job, their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance steps in to assist the worker. If the employee cannot return to their job, workers’ compensation provides replacement wages based on their current income and limits set by the state. If a person can eventually return to the workforce but their earning potential is affected, workers’ compensation will assist with the differences. Any medical treatment an employee requires because of a work-related injury will be financially covered, as long as the treatment is considered reasonable and medically proven to help an ailment.

When it comes to mental health and workers’ compensation, unfortunately being constantly stressed at work or being in a hostile work environment is not enough for benefits. A person may qualify for benefits if they are diagnosed with one or more of the following because of a work-related incident:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_car-accident.jpgAs December comes to a close, we reflect on the previous year and look forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. In this century, we celebrate our second decade, so there is bound to be extra excitement as we enter 2020. The new year brings resolutions and champagne toasts, but unfortunately, new years eve and day are a couple of the most dangerous times to be on the road and car accidents spike.

One of the biggest contributions to this spike is drunk driving. Crashes having to do with alcohol or drugs increase 71% compared to an average weekend from 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve to 6:00 a.m. on New Years Day. Like it's winter holiday counterparts, New Years encourages drinking alcohol. Many people top off at midnight with a glass of champagne. While that one glass of champagne would likely keep someone within the legal limit to drive, it is the drinks before and after that can create a problem.

What Is Considered Drunk Driving?

Across the United States, the legal limit to drive after consuming alcohol is 0.08%. If a person is caught with a higher concentration of alcohol in their system, they will be arrested and potentially charged with a DUI. This is because anything higher than 0.08% is considered too dangerous for a person to be driving a car. Alcohol affects decision making and reaction times, which can contribute to the cause of an auto accident.

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IL accident lawyerGetting in a truck accident is a great fear for many people. Trucks themselves are large and often carry hefty loads of cargo. When driving, people are often cautious of trucks, but deadly accidents still happen. Drivers can take certain precautions when sharing the road with truck drivers, but a negligent truck driver or company is no match for small errors passenger car drivers can make.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that in 2018, 4,136 people died as a result of getting into an accident with a truck. The majority of these deaths were people in passenger cars. Truck drivers have the advantage of being protected in a vehicle that weighs upwards of 30 times more than an average car. A truck can roll over, but in an accident with another smaller vehicle, a semi-truck is likely to come up on top.

When a truck accident is caused by a negligent truck driver or company, reasons for this happening can include but are not limited to, an overtired driver, a driver working past the legal limit of driving hours, a company not doing a thorough inspection of their feet. Other drivers cannot control these things, but they can make decisions for a safer roadway with trucks.

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IL nursing home abuse lawyerMany elders resist the recommendation to move to a nursing home. Family members may have good intentions, but moving to a nursing home facility is intimidating. It is also hard for someone to admit that they cannot take care of themselves like they used to. There is a negative connotation around nursing homes which, too, makes people apprehensive. Elders and family members alike may have concerns regarding the kind of care being administered. Like a person living at home, residents of nursing homes have rights and when those rights are denied, the facilities can be held negligent.

The elder population is growing rapidly. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the population of people over the age of 60 years old will double. Today, 1 in every 6 people in the same age group have experienced some form of elder abuse. Family members are not excluded from elder abuse, but there is a high rate of abuse in nursing homes. In 2018, two out of three staff members in long-term living for elders admits to having committed abuse that year.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 created standards for nursing homes. These rules protect the rights of elders and give ground to cases of negligence.

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IL injury lawyerWhen a serious injury or death occurs, holding the responsible party accountable is important. If a person slips at a grocery store or gets into a car accident, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to financially compensate for medical bills and suffering. When an injury happens at work, or because of work conditions, however, employees cannot sue their employer. This is when workers’ compensation insurance comes in.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement for most employers in Illinois no matter their revenue or company size. This insurance protects employees if they get hurt because of work, and offers benefits such as medical bills and lost wage coverage. For employers that do not have coverage, there is up to a $500 a day fine for each day of noncompliance - with a minimum penalty of $10,000. For employers that knowingly do not have insurance, the Workers’ Compensation Commission may issue a stop-work order until obtained coverage can be proven.

When an employee is injured, workers’ compensation steps in instead of a lawsuit. It protects both workers and employees this way. Workers are eligible for benefits to assist with care after an injury and employees can avoid a costly lawsuit. However, if an employee does not have the required workers’ compensation insurance, they can be sued if an employee is injured during a time of no coverage. Benefits paid by workers’ compensation insurance have certain limits, but if an employee is eligible to sue their employer for an injury, there are no limits with what they can ask for.

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IL injury lawyerWhen we hear “cosmetics” the first association is usually make-up. While lipstick, blush, and mascara are cosmetics, many other personal care products fall under the same umbrella concerning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Like any manufacturer, companies that produce personal care products have a responsibility to their consumers. When products are misbranded or contaminated, their customers suffer, and negligent companies need to be held responsible for a product liability lawsuit.

Under FDA standards, cosmetics include body lotions, shaving products, deodorants, tanning products, sunscreens, hair care products, hair dye, makeup, and more. Everyone uses cosmetic products, and due to the personal nature of them, faulty products can cause serious skin damage or illnesses. Cosmetics are regulated differently than food or medicine. The FDA does not approve products for consumers but keeps companies to standards for transparency and safety. For example, as of 2017, companies are required to submit ingredient lists of products to the FDA and they have the right to suspend products with safety concerns.

The standards for cosmetic companies has increased over time. There was a time where ingredients like lead were commonly used in makeup. Now, the heavy metal is widely known as a poison that could kill a person with enough exposure. It is the company’s responsibility to protect consumers from harmful ingredients. When known toxins are included, and consumers are not warned about the risk, their personal care item could eventually cause death.

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IL accident lawyerGetting injured at home would not likely result in a personal injury case. However, if a person got hurt in the home of someone else, or another public or private property, they may have a case if there was negligence on the land owner’s part. A premise accident is when a property owner has legal responsibility for an accident that happens due to neglecting to provide a safe environment.

Negligence when it comes to premise accidents has to do with a lack of action on the part of the property owner. For invited parties, property owners must keep a standard of care in maintaining safety. An accident can happen anywhere, but it does not necessarily mean someone is liable. These circumstances involving negligence are considered premise accidents.

  • Slipping on ice: A safe property in the summer can turn into a danger zone come winter. Snow and rain will freeze to surfaces during the coldest times of the year. Even a person wearing snow boots may succumb to the icy footing. It is a property owner’s responsibility to make sure it is reasonably safe to walk on the property. Salt or sand can help create a more secure footing on stairs and other outdoor spaces. Slipping on ice can lead to a variety of injuries after a fall.
  • Getting bit by an animal: We love our pets, but they may get defensive when faced with a new situation or person. If a person was not causing a treat to a family pet, then the owner may be liable for the animal’s behavior. Getting bit by a dog can lead to several health problems including infection. Especially if the dog has a history of violent behavior, the owner will be held liable.
  • Drowning in a pool: Swimming pools are a great addition to a home or a fun place for the whole family during the summer. However, they do pose risks if not supervised or maintained. If there is damage to the pool’s structure and someone slips and drowns, the pool owner may be liable for not fixing the issue. Pools should be marked with no diving signs when appropriate to avoid confusion as well. A person may dive in shallow water, and if the water debt was not made clear, the accident could have been avoided.

Contact a Kane County Premise Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in one of the above scenarios, or have been otherwise injured due to the negligence of a property owner, contact an experienced Aurora premise accident attorney. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.

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IL accident lawyerCar accidents, no matter how small can have lasting effects on the people involved. A fender bender may make a more anxious driver, or a serious accident can cause traumatic injuries or death. No matter who is at fault of the accident, there are standard procedures one should take. These things will not only prevent further devastation, but they may also help with an insurance claim of personal injury case.

The very first step after getting into a car accident may depend on the severity of the situation. If after an accident, you are in immediate danger, get to safety if possible, and then call 911. If the accident happened and you are not in direct traffic and the car is safe to remain in, calling 911 should be the first step. Even for minor accidents where no one is hurt, calling the police is still recommended. An insurance company will want an accident report when you file a claim, and it is documentation that the accident happened.

While waiting for a police officer to arrive at the scene, collect insurance information from the other driver. When you file a claim, the insurance companies will decide which side pays damages. For the person who caused the accident, their insurance company would likely pay. Examples of this would be if the driver was texting and driving, driving while intoxicated, or driving recklessly.

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IL injury lawyerEven with insurance, sometimes basic medical care can be expensive. When someone experiences a catastrophic injury, the financial expenses and rehabilitation can be hard to manage by an injured person and their family. When a person goes through an accident or becomes ill, because of work, their medical expenses can be covered through workers’ compensation insurance.

Most employers in Illinois are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their business or company. Even small businesses with a few employees must be compliant. This insurance protects employees if they are hurt and cannot return to work. Coverage can begin as early as three days after an employee could not come back to work because of an injury. Along with coverage for medical expenses, workers’ compensation will also provide financial support for an employee.

The kinds of injuries that will likely receive workers' compensation benefits after are burns, broken bones, paralyzation, brain damage, repetitive strain, lung diseases, and amputation.

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