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Kane County workers' comp lawyer job injuryWorkers' compensation exists to protect workers after an accident, or circumstance, that causes them to be injured and prevents them from returning to work temporarily or permanently. In the case of an injury which occurred while an employee was working or because of their work, an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays for any medical bills and provides compensation for lost wages due to disability. 

In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2.8 million injuries by private employees that did not result in death. Common industries with a high volume of workers’ compensation claims are construction, labor, and retail. While many injuries fell into the expected categories, such as slip and fall accidents, there were a number of unusual claims in which workers received benefits, including:

  • Company Time - In Austria, a woman received workers’ compensation after getting injured on a work trip. The catch is that she was having sex in a hotel room, and a light fixture injured her nose and mouth. After developing depression, the woman filed for workers’ compensation for physical and emotional injuries. Her employer’s insurance company initially accepted the claim but later rejected it, stating that her bedroom activities were not part of a standard work trip. In 2012, a federal court ruled in the woman’s favor, and she received an undisclosed amount of benefits.
  • Mystery Liquid - A woman working in an American fast food restaurant accidentally drank lye, a high alkaline solution, out of a cup sitting in the break room. The woman received third degree burns to her esophagus. She received workers’ compensation for the injury. Her doctor stated that after reaching a maximum recovery, she sustained a 65 percent permanent disability. The legal team behind the restaurant wanted to meet with the doctor, and in 2012, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that employers can demand information from doctors in regards to workers’ compensation claims. 
  • Under the Influence - A Montana man was mauled by a grizzly bear while working at an outdoor adventure park. The man was doing his job, feeding the bears, but his employer denied his eligibility for workers’ compensation because he had smoked marijuana that morning. The owner also claimed that the man was not an employee, but a volunteer who he gave money to periodically. The use of marijuana was found to have no relation to the bear attack, and the man was awarded enough money to cover his medical expenses. 

Contact an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Whether your work injury is fairly typical or out of the ordinary, it is your right to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Contact an experienced Kane County workers’ comp lawyer to learn about your options. We work to provide solutions, no matter your situation. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.

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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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Illinois workers compensation lawyersWorking in the construction industry is nothing like a 9:00 am to 5:00 pm office job. It is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. According to the United States Department of Labor, for every five workplace deaths, one is a construction worker. Aside from working at potentially dangerous heights, construction workers also deal with harsh chemicals and powerful equipment that can be deadly when used improperly.

Workers Compensation in Illinois

When an accident happens on a construction site in Illinois, the law says the victim can only file a workers compensation claim, but not a personal injury claim, against the employer. Third parties, however, can be held accountable for a personal injury claim.

Despite the dangerous conditions of construction work, accidents can be prevented. It is the responsibility of a construction company to keep employees safe to the best of their ability. Here are some ways to build safety in the construction community:

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Aurora workers compensation benefit lawyersGetting injured at work can be a scary experience. Not only are you suffering a physical injury, but you are also probably worried about how you will pay your bills if you cannot work. Thankfully, all employers are required to have what is called workers’ compensation insurance, which is insurance designed to help workers who are injured on the job. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is required to provide three types of benefits to injured workers: medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits. These different types of benefits can greatly help employees and their families if an accident does happen. 

Medical Benefits

The first and most basic benefit that is provided by workers’ compensation is medical benefits. If you are injured while you are at work, your employer is required to pay for all of the medical expenses relating to your injury. Expenses that are covered can include:

  • First aid;
  • Emergency care, such as ER costs and ambulance rides;
  • Doctor visits;
  • Hospital care;
  • Surgery;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Chiropractic treatment;
  • Prosthetics;
  • Prescription medications; and
  • Medical appliances.

If your injury results in a permanent disability, the cost of devices, such as a wheelchair or wheelchair ramp, may be covered as well.

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Kane County work injury attorneyYou go to work every day having some degree of expectation for what your day will be like. But nobody knows when an accident will happen--that is why they are called accidents. Thankfully, the United States has a system in place to help those who have been injured on the job. The workers' compensation program allows injured workers to receive compensation for lost wages, have their medical bills relating to the accident paid, and receive disability pay if the accident results in temporary or permanent loss of earning capacity. In order to receive these benefits, you must follow guidelines to have your case submitted and approved. Knowing what steps to take after a workplace accident is crucial to getting benefits that are owed to you.

1. Get Medical Attention

This may seem obvious, but the way you go about getting treated for your workplace injuries can impact how your case is handled. Often, employers will have what is called a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) in which there is a network of approved medical providers that you can see. Within your employer’s PPP, you have the choice of two physicians. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have the choice of any two providers. If you decline to use providers in the employer’s PPP, you use one of your choices, and you can choose to go to any doctor or hospital, but any further change of providers must be approved by your employer.

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Aurora workers' compensation benefits attorneyThe United States has taken actions toward making workplaces as safe as possible for employees, but there are unavoidable accidents that still occur. Sometimes, accidents result in serious injuries that affect a person’s ability to work or to continue doing the job they were doing prior to the injury. In these cases, the employee is usually eligible for some sort of workers’ compensation benefit which can help supplement the loss of wages that they might experience. If a person loses a part of their body or loses the function of that part of the body, they usually qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.

Commission on Workers’ Compensation

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is the state agency that all workers’ compensation claims go through. The Commission helps employees and employers settle cases that involve a workplace injury or illness by acting as an impartial administrative court system. The Commission awards four types of PPD benefits:

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Aurora workers' compensation partial disability benefits attorneyWork is an essential part of a person’s life, allowing them to earn an income and provide for their family. When someone is injured at work, they have the right to receive workers’ compensation to pay for their medical bills and provide for their needs when they are unable to earn an income during their recovery. If an employee’s inability to work is expected to only last for a short time, they may be eligible for either temporary partial disability (TPD) or temporary total disability (TTD), and it is important to understand what is provided in these forms of compensation.

What is Temporary Partial Disability?

If an employee’s injury has resulted in an inability to fully perform their duties, they may only be able to work on a part-time basis or perform lighter duties while they are recovering, and this may result in a reduction in their pay. During this time, the employee can receive temporary partial disability benefits of two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the difference between their normal pay and the reduced pay.

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Kane County workers' comp benefits attorneyIf you experience an accident while on the job, you may qualify for benefits that will assist you while you are out of work. Most full-time and part-time employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, and these benefits can be paid regardless of who was at fault.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation consists of benefits provided to employees who have either been injured or have fallen ill on the job, as long as the injuries or illnesses occur while the employee was working or were caused by the job they are performing. Aggravations of pre-existing conditions, injuries caused by repetitive use of specific parts of the body, heart attacks, strokes, and other physical issues that occur while working qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

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Kane County workers' comp disability lawyerIf you have been injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers compensation benefits, especially if you are no longer able to go back to work due to the nature of your injury. If severely injured, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Even though there are two different types of permanent disability benefits, there is a major difference between permanent partial disability (PPD) and permanent total disability (PTD), and it is important to understand the distinction between the two types.

Permanent Partial Disability

In order to receive permanent partial disability benefits, an injured individual may still earn income from their job, but they are partially impaired from a permanent injury. Permanent partial disability can include the following injuries:

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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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Kan County workers' compensation attorneysAccording to the National Institute of Mental Health, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, develops in some individuals who have gone through a particularly frightening, shocking, or dangerous experience. The disorder is commonly associated with members of the military who have served in a combat zone, but it is hardly limited to those in the armed forces. PTSD can affect victims of auto accidents, criminal assault, or rape, as well as those who may have witnessed a tragic or horrifying event. It can even result from accidents that occur on the job, which could make the sufferer eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Common Symptoms of PTSD

It is difficult to know for sure how many people suffer from PTSD, as many are reluctant to seek the treatment they need. Estimates, however, place the number of sufferers at around 5.2 million each year in just the United States alone. Those dealing with PTSD may show symptoms that include flashbacks to the triggering event, nightmares, severe depression, “survivor’s guilt,” difficulty concentrating, insomnia, and memory loss. The disorder can also have a serious effect on the sufferer’s family, as his or her behavior may be erratic, unpredictable, and, in some cases, violent.

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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 lawyerWhen you have been hurt on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage should be available to offer you the benefits you need to recover quickly and get back to work. A work-related injury can be painful, of course, but it should not leave you struggling financially. It should be relatively easy to obtain coverage for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and even lost wages while you heal. According to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, however, it may be too easy to get workers’ compensation benefits, and he wants something done to fix the problem.

Coverage for a Workplace Injury

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that any injury that arises out of and in the course of the injured party’s employment is intended to be compensable under the law. It is up to the injured employee to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her injuries were related to employment. As far back as 2012—before Governor Rauner was even elected—state officials observed that courts in Illinois, as well as the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), have traditionally used very broad interpretations of the law to allow injured parties to collect benefits.

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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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