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Tag Archives: Kane County Workers Compensation Attorneys

Aurora workers compensation attorneysFor the average adult, one-third of your life is spent at work. Your workplace is a familiar space and, especially for traditionally non-hazardous spaces like an office, it may be hard to believe when a serious accident occurs. No matter who is at fault for the accident, you have rights as an employee to submit a claim for any pain and suffering sustained while at work. Suffering an injury at work is a scary and unsure time. Here are a collection of frequently asked questions in regards to workers compensation in Illinois.

What Is Workers Compensation?

According to the Illinois Handbook On Workers Compensation And Occupational Diseases, workers compensation is defined as a system, for most employees, to receive benefits by law after a workplace injury or disease developed from an occupational hazard.

What Should I Do After An Accident?

Ideally, you should tell your employer right away after an injury at work, but you can wait up to 45 days to report the incident without a delay of benefits. In the notice to your employer about your accident, you should include the day and place of the incident. If you are unable to work three days after the accident, your employer should begin paying Temporary Total Disability within 14 days or have a written explanation of why benefits are being withheld.

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Naperville workers' compensation benefits attorneyWorkplace injuries can be devastating to your life and your finances, impacting not only your health and well-being, but your ability to earn an income and provide for your family. For employees who are injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits allow them to obtain financial relief due to the situation and/or injury. There are three types of workers’ comp benefits: 

  1. Disability benefits: These benefits replace the wages an injured employee loses due to their inability to work. The injury the employee has must be work-related. Disabilities fall into four groups: 
    • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If an employee has this type of disability, that means they are unable to earn income in the future from the type of job he or she held when they received the injury. Employees with a permanent disability are eligible to receive lifetime disability payments.
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): This type of disability partly hinders the employee’s ability to earn income. Examples include the loss of a finger or hearing loss. In these cases, an employee will typically receive an award based on the body part that was injured and the percentage of impairment.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): Also referred to as short-term disability, this type of disability benefit is for employees who are partially and temporarily disabled by the work-related injury. Benefits in these cases are typically available while the employee is recovering from their injury.
    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): The employee cannot work at all for a short amount of time due to his or her work-related injury. In these cases, an Illinois employee will receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage until they are able to return to work.
  2. Medical benefits: Medical benefits often have no deductible and are unlimited. Payments are made until the injured individual is provided with the maximum amount of relief or is cured completely. The medical bills are sent to the workers’ compensation carrier. In Illinois, employees can use a doctor from their employer’s Preferred Provider Program (PPP), or they may choose one other doctor. If their employer does not have a PPP, they may choose up to two doctors.
  3. Death benefits: If an employee passes away because of a work-related injury, death benefits are paid to the employee’s dependents. In Illinois, these benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, paid until the death of a surviving spouse or until dependent children reach the age of 18, whichever comes later. Funeral and burial costs up to $8,000 are also covered by death benefits in Illinois. 

Contact a Kane County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you were injured while on the job, or if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness but your employer is withholding benefits or wages from you, contact our firm today. Our attorneys will assess your situation and help obtain the best resolution for you and your family. We understand what workers and their families go through when they are unable to work due to an injury or illness, and we will aggressively fight for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Contact an Aurora workers’ comp attorney at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.

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Aurora workers compensation lawyersWhen you suffer an injury in the course of performing your job, you are usually eligible to collect benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System. Workers’ comp benefits typically cover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses that you may have incurred as the result of your injury. But, getting hurt at work is not necessarily the same as getting hurt in course of performing your job, as an Illinois appeals court recently determined.

Injured During Lunch

The case arose out of a 2012 injury sustained by a woman who worked at a DuPage County high school. The woman fell as she was leaving the building to go home for lunch, slipping on wet pavement on a handicap ramp. According to court documents, the woman stumbled, struggled to regain her balance, then fell forward “face first onto the pavement.” She was subsequently diagnosed with a broken nose, post-concussive syndrome, and injuries to her shoulder and hip.

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Aurora workers compensation attorneysInjuries happen everywhere on a daily basis. They occur at home, on the roadway, at school, and even at your workplace. No matter where they occur, there is often insurance coverage available to cover such injuries. By law in Illinois, insurance is required nearly everywhere, including by your employer.  This benefit is known as workers’ compensation insurance, and it covers a wide variety of situations should you find yourself a victim of a workplace injury.

What Is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Worker’s compensation insurance is a type of coverage that employers generally carry for the benefit of their employees. Not every state currently requires employers to have this insurance, which could potentially open the employer to personal liability claims. In Illinois, an employer must carry workers’ compensation in every work situation, regardless of considerations such as:

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Kane County workers compensation attorneysCoal mining is an inherently dangerous job. However, recent safety measures of the last few decades have made the occupation leaps and bounds more safe and sustainable for Illinois coal miners. In 1972, for example, 114 miners died in a single disaster in Saunders, West Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On a longer-term scale, the Mines Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) began tracking mining fatalities in 1978. The peak year for fatalities was 1979, a tragic year with well over 250 deaths.

Fatalities declined during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, with just 45 fatalities in 2014. The improvements have come from strong enforcement of safety rules and regulations, better equipment and increased training, education, and technical support. However, there is still a long way to go before coal mining is considered safe and the number of fatal injuries reaches zero. If you have been injured working in the coal industry, contact an attorney for assistance in recovering workers’ compensation benefits

Fatal Coal Dust Levels Fall in Line with New Standards Set by the MSHA

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Kane County workers comp attorneysThe media often portrays workers’ compensation fraud as one-sided. The most common scenario reported is that of the employee who commits fraud by faking an injury to get benefits that they do not deserve. The reality is that less than 2 percent of workers’ compensation claims are fraudulent, with some states reporting that fraud is only evident in one-sixth of a percent of cases according to recent studies. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for employer fraud. If you have been denied workers’ compensation, contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney today for assistance.

The Root of the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Problem

It makes sense that the blame has been put on employees because they, as a group, do not have the resources to refute these false allegations. Employee fraud has been the focus of state workers’ compensation reforms that take away benefits for injured workers, making it easier for employers and insurance companies to deny benefits and increase their profit margins. Fraud, however, is more prevalent at the employer level than at the employee level. In fact, studies have shown that over 13 percent of employers contacted did not even have the required workers’ compensation insurance. Furthermore, a study performed by Texas Mutual Insurance Company discovered that employer fraud costs insurance companies nearly 18 times more than employee fraud. Fraud committed by the insurance companies themselves is also generally a larger problem than employee workers’ compensation fraud as well.

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Kane County workers compensation lawyerOver the years, many states have become safer for workers. Safety standards have increased, exposure to toxic and cancer-causing materials has decreased, and better worker education have resulted in fewer severe injuries and fatalities. In fact, the country as a whole, including Illinois, has come a long way from past decades. However, Illinois has been slipping as of late. According to the Insurance Journal, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has reported a 28 percent increase in worker fatalities since 2013. In 2016, alone, at least 36 Illinois workers were killed on the job. If you were injured while working or a family member lost their life in a work-related accident or resulting illness, contact a skilled attorney today for immediate assistance.

Struck-by Hazards and Falls

Those at considerable risk of fatal injury are construction workers. Being struck by an object or falling are the two largest hazards for construction workers. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, falls accounted for 33.3 percent of construction worker fatalities and being hit by an object accounted for 17.6 percent of fatalities. Transportation accounted for 26 percent, while “exposure” accounted for 15.7 percent. Exposure fatalities include death by electrocution, air pressure changes, caustic and noxious substances, and temperature extremes.

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Aurora Workers Compensation LawyersAlthough every state in the U.S. offers some form of workers’ compensation for those injured at work, the programs themselves vary greatly. Take, for example, the maximum compensation for losing a limb while on the job. In Illinois, you might receive as much as $439,858, but in Alabama, the maximum payout is only $48,840 - nearly $400,000 less.

When paired with the varied availability of services, maximum monthly compensation, and maximum time-frame for receiving that compensation, these massive disparities and differences can make a substantial difference in the lives of injured workers. A new study, conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, sought to understand how by examining the long-term recovery and outcomes of victims in 15 states.

Access to Services Vary Significantly from State to State

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Kane County workers compensation lawyersA California man has spent the last five years in hospitals and assisted living centers instead of at home with his family after being paralyzed in a trucking accident. The reason? The workers’ compensation insurance that should have paid to have his home renovated appealed three different times instead of funding the updates that would have made it possible for him to live at home full-time.

A Five-Year Battle

When he woke up after the accident, the first thing the man could think about was whether or not he had injured anyone else when his truck crashed. He gave no thought to his own circumstances, despite being rendered a quadriplegic – just the well-being of others on the road. So, when he was told that he was the only one injured in the crash, he was able to accept his medical fate with grace. What he was not able to accept was living in an assisted living facility an hour away from his family.

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sleep apnea, workplace injury, Kane County workers compensation lawyersAccording to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occur each year. Of those cases, more than half involved missed workdays, job transfers, or work restrictions. Trips and slips, electrocutions, repetitive motion injuries, machine entanglement, vehicle crashes, and falling objects are some of the most common causes, which can affect anyone. However, a new study suggests that sleep apnea sufferers may be especially prone to workplace injuries.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that blocks the airway during sleep and then causes wakefulness throughout the night, affects approximately 22 million Americans. Sufferers often experience marked daytime sleepiness and fatigue due to the disruption of the brain’s normal sleeping cycle, but few awaken fully during obstructive episodes. As a result, many cases go undiagnosed.

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"firefighters,Firefighters: just the word invokes a sense of admiration. They are, after all, some of the only men and women that would rush into a burning building to save a life. But, because they are inhaling smoke, combustion by-products, and ash quite frequently, these very same heroes are also three times more likely than the average person to end up with cancer. The only thing more concerning than that statistic is just how difficult it often is for them to receive workers’ compensation.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Study

In 2013, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed cancers and cancer deaths of nearly 30,000 firefighters from the Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco Departments. When their rates were compared to the general public, NIOSH found firefighters were 68 percent more likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer.

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