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IL injury lawyerSummertime means many people like to be outside doing various activities, including water sports. This can include swimming at pools or boating on lakes. Residents of the Chicagoland area often escape the bustling city to Lake Michigan for fun. However, as with any motorized vehicle, boating can be dangerous under certain conditions. Inclement weather can pose risks to passengers, as well as operator error. There are certain laws that boat owners must follow for safety reasons. When a driver or owner of a boat acts recklessly or negligently, he or she may be held accountable for any injuries that passengers suffer.

Boating Under the Influence

Just like driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, it is illegal to drink and operate a boat in all 50 states. The penalties by each state vary depending on the circumstances. Punishments in Illinois may include steep fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges.

If the driver of a watercraft is intoxicated, his or her ability to make judgments and navigate the boat safely is greatly impaired. This can cause a crash with another boat or a collision with a dock. Passengers can be knocked to the floor and break a bone or hit their heads on sharp objects such as the sail of a sailboat. In some high-speed boating accidents, occupants may even be thrown overboard depending on the force of impact.

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IL injury lawyerConsidered to be among the 10 most popular sports globally, skateboarding has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It is often considered an extreme sport because of the risk involved and the nature of some of the injuries that can occur. Skateboarders can range in age from young kids to senior citizens. Some individuals may use a skateboard as a form of exercise or even a mode of transportation to get to and from school or work. Safety precautions such as wearing a helmet are important to prevent injuries. However, in some cases, a skateboarder may be involved in an accident that is caused by another party due to negligent actions.

Reckless Driving Behaviors

There are many ways that a skateboarder can be hurt, including being struck by a vehicle. When a driver of an automobile is under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely is significantly impaired. Being intoxicated also reduces a motorist’s reaction time and decision-making abilities. In certain situations, a skateboarder can be hit by a car if the driver loses control and swerves or veers off the road onto a sidewalk. Also, the force of the impact and the fact that the person on the skateboard lacks protection compared to a vehicle can result in serious to life-threatening injuries. Some of these injuries may include:

  • Broken arms or legs
  • Concussion
  • Abrasions/contusions
  • Cuts/lacerations
  • Bruising
  • Internal bleeding
  • Back or neck damage

If a driver is found to be at fault for an accident due to controlled substance use or traffic violations such as speeding, he or she may be ordered to pay compensation to the skateboarding victim.

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IL accident attorneyCOVID-19 has impacted people all over the world, including here in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order in March, temporarily closing non-essential businesses such as salons, bars, and restaurants. This was made in an effort to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. Although some of the restrictions were lifted recently, many people were urged to stay at home for the past few months. With more individuals working from home, that meant fewer commuters on the state’s highways and tollways. Although some states witnessed a decrease in traffic crashes, Illinois saw a higher number of vehicle fatalities, up 11 percent in the first quarter of 2020 according to the National Safety Council (NSC). With fewer cars on the roads, drivers may be tempted to engage in reckless driving behaviors, which can lead to car accidents with serious to fatal injuries.

Negligent Driving Behaviors

Motorists who have felt cooped up at home for months may be hitting the road just to get out of the house for a change of scenery. Drivers might be tempted to go faster than normal or above the posted speed limit since they are not sharing the road with that many other cars. They may also feel a false sense of security if they think law enforcement officers may be busy with other duties.

Distractions such as texting or talking on a cell phone take a driver’s attention and eyes away from the road. Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs significantly impairs a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Actions such as these can directly lead to an auto accident. Here are a few other behaviors that can cause a collision:

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IL work injury lawyerThere are many different occupations throughout the United States in various types of industries. Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. For example, a construction worker or warehouse employee may be exposed to certain hazardous conditions in the field, while a librarian most likely does not encounter dangers in a typical workday. Accidents can happen, and depending on the circumstances, they can result in minor to serious injuries. In some cases, a victim may require surgery or significant rehabilitation to recover. Thankfully, employees in Illinois can seek relief from their employer through a workers’ compensation claim.

The Road to Recovery Can Be Long

Many injuries to the body can require physical rehabilitation. If an injury or medical condition suffered on the job has limited a person’s ability to function on a daily basis, he or she may need physical therapy. This type of therapy can relieve pain, restore range of motion, and improve muscle tone, strength, endurance, and balance. By using a combination of heat and cold, ultrasound, laser therapy, exercise, and more, an individual may gain full recovery of his or her injured body part. Studies have shown that the sooner a victim starts physical therapy, the better the outcome.

Some of the most common workplace accidents can result in the following types of injuries that may require rehab to mend:

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IL slip and fall accidentMany people all over the world have spent more time at home for the past few months due to the COVID-19 global health crisis. With only essential businesses open, a lot of stores have been temporarily closed to stop the spread of the virus. Online shopping has no doubt been a popular way to pass the time while still receiving merchandise. Truck and delivery drivers have been working amidst the pandemic, and in some cases, putting in overtime to meet the demands of remote store patrons. Busy essential workers who are delivering packages can often run the risk of injury for various reasons.

If the driver is an employee for the company they are working for, they may qualify for workers' compensation benefits through the company for any injuries they sustain while performing their work duties. However, many delivery drivers are subcontractors and are considered self-employed. In these situations, the driver would not qualify for workers' comp benefits because they are not considered an employee. Instead, their only legal option for financial compensation for injuries is through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

The following are a few ways that they can be hurt while performing their job duties, which is not just driving.

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IL crash lawyerPeople can hurt themselves in many different ways. Automobile accidents are a leading cause of personal injuries. Various factors can increase the likelihood of a crash, including inclement weather conditions, negligent motorists, and faulty work equipment. Depending on the circumstances, injuries can range from minor to serious to fatal. Catastrophic injuries may include severed limbs or significant damage that requires the amputation of a limb. This can alter a victim’s life physically and emotionally if he or she loses the use of a body part. In some cases, if another party’s actions are found to have caused the injuries, the negligent party may be held accountable.

Catastrophic Injuries

When a car passenger, a bike rider, or a motorcyclist is involved in a collision, his or her legs or arms may be crushed during the impact. Depending on the speed and force of the crash, these limbs can be severed. In other cases, being pinned or trapped between work machinery can compress the nerves and blood supply to different parts of the body, which can result in irreparable damage. Although certain injuries can be fixed with surgery or extensive physical therapy, some cannot be repaired. In these instances, a doctor may need to amputate in order to save the victim’s life.

A few of the major types of incidents that could potentially lead to the loss of a limb:

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IL crash lawyerThere are many factors that can lead to a car accident, including weather conditions, driver error, and fault equipment. Regardless of the reasons for a crash, the consequences can be devastating. Although many fender-benders result in only minor injuries, head-on and side-impact collisions can cause severe to even fatal injuries. Often referred to as a “T-bone” crash, a side-impact accident occurs when the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. These crashes are common at intersections, in parking lots, or on multi-lane highways. According to statistics, more than 3 million broadside crashes occur in the United States every year. Even at low speeds, side-impact car crashes routinely cause serious injuries to the occupants of the struck car.

Reckless Driving Behaviors

Drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road once they obtain their driver’s licenses. This includes operating their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. When motorists are acting recklessly or are impaired, this can increase the chances of them losing control and striking another vehicle. For example, an intoxicated driver does not have the same quick reflexes of a sober driver. Similarly, texting behind the wheel takes a driver’s eyes off the road for valuable seconds.

In other scenarios, defective equipment can cause the brakes or steering to fail. In those cases, the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries caused by a crash. The typical scenarios in which a T-bone collision occurs include:

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IL disability attorneyThere are numerous occupations that involve physical labor. For some employees, this may involve lifting or moving heavy objects. Other jobs may not involve using the whole body, but rather require repetitive motion of certain body parts. Years of continuously using the same muscles and joints can lead to problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand. It is also known as median nerve compression. Even employees who work in different industries may still suffer from this type of work injury. In some cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to a workers’ compensation claim.

Signs and Symptoms

The median nerve runs the length of a person’s arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure on that nerve goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel and ends in the hand. The median controls feeling and movement of the thumb and all the fingers except the pinky.

One of the first symptoms that a person who has carpal tunnel syndrome may experience is the feeling that his or her hand has “fallen asleep.” This numbing sensation can go all the way up the arm. In some cases, an individual may have flare-ups when holding that requires the wrist to bend, such as holding a book or steering wheel. Below are possible signs that someone might have this syndrome:

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IL injury lawyerMany people own pets such as dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 67 percent of American households, or approximately 85 million families, own a pet. Although dogs are mostly known for their friendly nature and companionship, they can attack for various reasons, such as when they are startled, provoked, or protecting their puppies. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 4.4 million people are bitten by a dog in the United States each year, resulting in an estimated 885,000 wounds that require medical attention. A dog bite injury can cause debilitating consequences for the victim. In some cases, a negligent pet owner may be held liable for any injuries his or her dog inflicts on another person.

Complications from a Dog Attack

Being bitten by a dog can result in minor to serious and even fatal injuries. Physical scars from stitches may eventually fade, but certain injuries can cause permanent damage that surgery or physical therapy may not be able to fix. For example, bacterial infections such as Rabies affect the central nervous system. Damage to a victim’s spinal cord can lead to nerve damage and paralysis.

In addition, psychological scars such as anxiety or panic attacks can last a lifetime. A victim may resist going out in public for fear of being attacked again. Below are a few of the common injuries and complications that a victim of a dog attack may experience:

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IL injury lawyerBurns to the skin can be caused by many different things, including sun exposure, explosion, chemical spill, and more. Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that burns cause approximately 180,000 deaths each year in the United States. Burns can range from minor to severe and even fatal. In the hot summer months, many people fail to use sunscreen with the proper sun protection factor (SPF). Commonly referred to as a sunburn, this is usually treated at home with a topical cream. However, a third-degree burn from a flame can lead to life-threatening complications. In some cases, negligent actions by a property owner or a driver can cause an auto accident in which a victim sustains a burn injury to his or her skin.

Degrees of a Burn Injury

The signs and symptoms of a burn injury can vary depending on the severity of the skin damage. It is important to note that symptoms may not develop for a couple of days. Burn injuries are typically categorized by degrees as follows:

  • First-Degree Burn: Considered a minor burn, this only affects the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis, causing discomfort and redness.
  • Second-Degree Burn: This type of burn impacts the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. It can cause swelling with red or white splotches on the skin. Blisters can develop, and the victim may experience severe pain.
  • Third-Degree Burn: This burn travels to the fat beneath the skin, which can damage nerves and cause numbness. Affected areas may be black, brown, or white in color.

Accidents that Can Lead to Skin Burns

There are many different scenarios in which an individual may be at risk of a burn injury. This can include being involved in a car crash that causes the vehicle to catch on fire and/or explode. In other cases, a person may be burned when scalding water is spilled on them in a restaurant. Certain types of employees may be at risk of exposure to hazardous substances that can lead to a workplace accident that irritates the skin if they are not provided the proper protective gear (PPE). In all of these situations, another party may be held liable for negligence depending on the circumstances.

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IL accident lawyerDespite national and local efforts to prevent car accidents, they still occur on a regular basis due to various reasons. There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of a vehicle collision, including driver behavior, inclement weather, and poor road conditions. Recent advances in automotive technology have been made to increase the safety of a car’s driver and passengers. From built-in cameras to visual and audible warnings, these can alert a motorist to a potential hazard near or approaching the car. Head-on crashes occur when two vehicles driving in opposite directions collide with each other. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported a 58 percent fatality rate for vehicle occupants in front-impact crashes in 2017. They can result in devastating injuries and even wrongful death for drivers and passengers depending on the circumstances.

Factors that Can Lead to a Head-On Car Accident

In many instances of a head-on or frontal crash, one of the drivers is traveling the wrong way or driving into oncoming traffic. This can be due to impairment from driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. The drunk driver may mistakenly merge onto a one-way street. Because his or her reflexes are delayed, he or she may not be able to stop in time before hitting an approaching car. Likewise, being fatigued behind the wheel can cause a motorist to swerve into oncoming lanes of traffic, especially if there is not a median to divide the lanes.

In other cases, when traveling over the posted speed limit, a driver may try to make it through an intersection on a yellow or red light. If there is another automobile making a left turn, they can hit each other head-on. In some cases, faulty parts may lead to brakes or steering to fail, which may result in a driver losing control of his or her car. Bad weather can also lead to reduced visibility so a driver is unable to properly navigate signs and traffic signals.

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IL work injury lawyerWorking at or owning a restaurant can be a very rewarding career. Whether someone is a hostess, server, chef, or manager, this can be a fast-paced and exciting job. However, like in other industries, there is the possibility of accidents with injuries. These can range from minor to serious and even fatal. In Illinois, the Workers’ Compensation Commission resolves disputes between employees and employers for injuries and illnesses that are sustained on the job. This is a no-fault insurance benefits program that most companies are required to carry. In some cases, a workers’ compensation claim may provide financial relief to an injured or disabled worker.

Typical Accidents at Food Establishments

Restaurants may consist of a large staff that performs many different jobs. Regardless of the type of food being served, most kitchens’ food preparation involves cutting, chopping, sauteing, baking, in addition to cleaning. This work environment can be prone to certain types of accidents and injuries, including but not limited to the following:

  • Punctures and Lacerations: Due to frequent use of knives or cutting machines as well as broken dishes or glassware, restaurant staff members may suffer cuts or deep puncture wounds.
  • Burns: From boiling water to fryers and gas stovetops, heat and water burns can also cause a significant hazard for restaurant workers. Depending on the situation, a worker can suffer first-, second-, or third-degree burns.
  • Back and neck injuries: If an item such as a large canned good is stacked too high could fall on an employee, inflicting damage on the spinal cord, neck, or even causing head trauma. These kinds of injuries are also common when doing repetitive motion, often found in large-scale or fast-food establishments.
  • Sprains and strains: Product or inventory that is misplaced or on hard-to-reach shelves can cause worker injury due to overreaching. Employees can also slip and fall on liquid or other debris in the aisles or kitchen area, which often result in sprained ankles. Restaurant workers can also suffer from strains when they are lifting heavy boxes or bags.
  • Eye damage: Grease that splatters from a grill can hit a worker’s face and go into his or her eyes. In addition, toxic cleaning solutions or chemicals typically used in foodservice environments can also lead to blindness.
  • Electrocutions: Some older restaurants or diners may have faulty or makeshift wiring for their appliances or damaged/worn electrical cords. If there is standing water due to spills, it can lead to an employee being electrocuted.

Workers’ Compensation Claim

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help restaurant industry employees by covering fees related to work-related injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. If a restaurant is robbed and a worker gets hurt during the commission of the crime, his or her injuries may also be covered under workers’ comp. In order to receive benefits, an injured employee must notify his or her employer of the accident that caused the injury at work. This notification can be given in writing or verbally 45 days of the date of the injury.

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IL pedestrian accident lawyerThere are numerous ways that a person can suffer an injury, from playing sports, to being involved in a vehicle or pedestrian accidents. Automobile collisions can often lead to serious consequences, especially when traveling at high speeds. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, personal injuries can range from minor to catastrophic and even fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related crashes in 2018. Although not every pedestrian accident results in a fatality, a victim can sustain serious injuries that significantly impact his or her future.

Severe Injuries

Although some types of injuries can be repaired by surgery, others require extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. Some severe injuries may even result in loss of limbs or amputations if body parts are crushed. For example, being struck by an automobile can cause lacerations and broken bones, which could lead to infections and permanent nerve damage. In addition, fractured vertebrae can paralyze a victim depending on the location of the injury.

A few of the most common catastrophic injuries a person can suffer after being hit by a vehicle include:

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IL accident lawyerHitting the open road on a motorcycle can be exhilarating. These types of vehicles are enticing for those who like to feel the wind in their hair, so to speak. Traveling on a motorcycle allows the rider to see more of his or her surroundings and enjoy the scenic views. Although not as confining as an automobile, a motorized bike features less protection for its driver and a passenger compared to other vehicles. In some cases, a collision can result in serious to fatal injuries since the motorcyclist does not have anything to act as a buffer to break the impact of a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, there were 4,985 motorcyclists killed in crashes. Victims of a motorcycle accident may be able to seek damages from those who are held liable for causing damages and injuries.

Risk Factors for Motorcyclists

There are several factors that can increase the chances of a motorcycle accident, including weather and road conditions. In addition, a motorcyclist cannot control another driver’s behavior. Unfortunately, many motorists do not believe that motorcyclists have the same rights as far as sharing the road. In some cases, a driver may not think a driver of a motorcycle has the right of way at an intersection, or they may simply not see them if they are not paying close enough attention to their surroundings.

Here are a few of the most common issues that can contribute to the likelihood of a motorcycle crash with injuries:

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IL crash lawyerTechnology is constantly advancing in an effort to make our lives easier and safer. The automotive industry uses these advancements to keep drivers and passengers safe by automating many vehicle components so they are hands-free. Thanks to sophisticated backup cameras and motion detection software, certain cars even park themselves now. Although this “driver assistance” technology has been shown to greatly reduce the number and severity of car accidents, not every vehicle has it, and not every driver practices safe driving. In some cases, the negligence of another motorist can cause a crash with minor to serious injuries.

High-Tech Advances in Automobiles

Many of today’s newer cars feature technological innovations that aid a driver when traveling. For example, forward collision detection is designed to prevent or reduce the impact of a crash. It uses a radar, laser, and camera to detect an imminent collision and GPS sensors can detect fixed objects, such as a parked car or stop sign.

Here are a few other examples of the latest in automotive technology:

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Il job injury lawyerRegardless of the occupation or the industry, workplace accidents can occur anytime. In some cases, an employee can suffer a debilitating or even fatal injury. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a total of 5,250 workers died from work-related injuries in the United States in 2018. In Illinois, most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees in case they get hurt on the job. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers all injuries that are caused by the employee’s work, including pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by the worker’s job. If you or your loved one was seriously injured, you may not be able to return to your previous job or salary. Consulting with a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney is essential so you understand your rights to benefits.

What Does a Reduction of Earning Capacity Mean?

Lost earning capacity refers to a decrease in an individual’s ability to earn his or her income. It is also referred to as future loss of earnings or impairment of earning power. Different from lost income or wages, which is generally a designated amount of time, lost earning capacity involves a worker’s future earning potential. Reduced earning capacity is the difference between what an employee was able to earn over the course of his or her life prior to the accident compared to the lower amount he or she is now capable of earning due to his or her injuries.

To establish a loss of earning capacity, an employee must demonstrate (with a degree of certainty) his or her earning capacity before the injury and how that capacity was diminished by the injury. This involves providing evidence of losses, which will vary based on the circumstances of the case.

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IL injury lawyerMany people take their physical health for granted until one day when it is unexpectedly taken away from them. This can occur after being involved in an automobile accident. The back is one of the most complex parts of the human body. It encompasses the top of the buttocks to the back of the neck and the shoulders. The main part of the back is the vertebral column, which holds the spinal cord in its spinal canal. Any time a person’s back is exposed to blunt force trauma or severe impact such as in a car crash, there is the potential for paralysis. In some cases, a victim may require assistance, extensive rehab, or a wheelchair for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is especially important to hold the negligent party responsible for a back injury accountable. In many cases, this is a negligent motorist.

Lasting Consequences of a Back Injury

Symptoms of a back injury may seem minor at first, with just a dull ache or pain. However, significant damage to the spine can also result in devastating consequences, often requiring surgery or substantial rehabilitation to regain even a small amount of mobility.

Below are a few of the conditions a victim of a back injury may experience:

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IL wrongful death attorneyMany people may be familiar with the term “ wrongful death,” but what exactly does that mean? The legal term is associated with a civil action in which damages are sought against a party for causing a death. It is important to note that this type of claim is different than a criminal charge or conviction for the same death. This type of legal action allows a deceased individual’s family members to recover compensation for their losses caused by the death and its impact on them. There are many incidents that could involve the untimely or wrongful death of a person. For example, a vehicle crash, construction accident, medical malpractice, or nursing home neglect or abuse can all cause fatalities.

Who Can Seek Damages for a Wrongful Death?

Depending on the situation, various relatives may bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent or at-fault party. Compensation can include damages for grief, loss of income, and mental anguish to the surviving family members. Damages are distributed by the court according to the relatives’ level of dependency on the deceased person based on the circumstances surrounding the case, which a judge will review.

The individuals who typically seek a wrongful death claim include:

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IL truck accident lawyerTruck drivers spend the majority of their working hours traveling on America’s highways. In many cases, truckers are also responsible for loading and unloading the cargo they are hauling. In certain situations, a trucking company may try to fit the maximum amount of goods on a semi-truck, even if it means the truck will be over the weight limit. However, oversized loads can increase the chances of a truck accident for various reasons. This puts the truck driver as well as other motorists on the road in danger of serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 72 percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were passengers of other vehicles in 2017. Truck drivers or their employers can be held liable for causing a collision if the truck is overloaded.

Increased Truck Crash Risk

Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, much more than their automobile counterparts. Therefore, 18-wheelers and commercial trucks that collide with smaller motor vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles, have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries.

Truck crashes often take place when a truck has to make a sharp turn, like on/off ramps or intersections. Massive loads can cause rollover accidents since truckers may fail to distribute the weight evenly in the cargo bed. A few of the ways an overpacked or oversized truckload can increase the likelihood of an accident include the following:

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IL work injury lawyerFrom time to time, everyone can get sick. However, if it is more than just a common cold, a person may need to seek medical attention. In some cases, a work environment may be the reason for an employee falling ill. An occupational disease is defined as an illness or harmful condition that is directly caused by job duties or is aggravated by hazardous conditions in the workplace. These dangerous conditions are not common to the general public. Depending on the industry, protective gear or safety precautions must be followed at all times. If these safety measures are not taken by an employer, a worker may be at risk of suffering from a serious illness or life-threatening disease. It is important to understand how workers’ compensation laws apply to these illnesses if they are caused by employment in the healthcare field.

Diseases and Illnesses Common to the Medical Profession

Healthcare workers face a wide variety of hazards on the job, including harmful exposures to chemicals, drugs, and radiation. In addition, doctors, nurses, and administrative staff can be exposed to many germs on a daily basis. Many viruses or infections are transmitted through the air in healthcare facilities.

Some of the infectious diseases for which employees in the medical field are most at risk include:

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