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b2ap3_thumbnail_workers-comp_20191014-234946_1.jpgPeople in all different lines of work have the right to a safe environment while performing their jobs. According to Illinois employment law, all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is the government agency that handles workers’ compensation claims between employees and employers. If a worker is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to benefits for any damages as a result of the accident, such as medical bills or lost wages. However, the process of seeking compensation can be complicated if an employee aggravates a pre-existing health condition because of a workplace incident.

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

There are many different kinds of health conditions that a person could have because of a previous accident or disease, whether it be from a car crash, a sports injury, or if it is hereditary. A medical illness or injury that someone has before he or she is injured or diagnosed with another health issue may be considered a “pre-existing condition.” Diabetes, emphysema, and cancer may be examples of pre-existing health conditions, which tend to be chronic or long-term.

A fine line exists between proving that a brand-new injury occurred and a new accident caused a previous injury to become worse. In some cases, falling or exposure to toxic substances can re-injure or re-aggravate the same body part, and therefore cause further damage. For example, an employee who had knee replacement surgery for a non-work-related injury could aggravate it by slipping and falling at work due to unsafe work conditions. Another instance may be an employee suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who works at a factory and is exposed to airborne chemicals and then suffers a recurrence of the emphysema.

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IL workers comp lawyerReporting a wound or ailment that occurred while either at your company or acting on their behalf is a scenario that thousands of Americans have to face every year. There are numerous ways in which an employee could be harmed on a daily basis. Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp) is a form of insurance provided to staff members who can justify an injury or illness while at the workplace or representing their organization at a different location. How do you go about filing for these benefits, and what does this process entail? Steps must be taken to meet the state-regulated requirements.

Workers’ Comp Benefits

If you were to sustain a work-related injury, workers’ compensation is an insurance-like process that would pay for your medical expenses and provide you with wage-loss benefits until you are able to return to employment. In reference to workers’ comp, here are a few key details that should be noted:

  • Employees’ earnings will not be deducted to cover workers’ comp.
  • Commonly speaking, most claims are paid for despite fault.
  • Employers are required to pay for these costs, although it is common practice for employers to purchase workers’ comp insurance.
  • Not every employee is covered by workers’ comp; some are under the jurisdiction of compensation laws administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Filing for Workers’ Comp

Varying from state to state, there are different courses of action that must be achieved in order to receive reparations. In Illinois, all of the following must be addressed first in order to file for workers comp:

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IL job injury lawyerIt is not uncommon for many people to travel for their jobs, regardless of the industry or line of work they are in. Employees often have to meet with business partners or clients face-to-face, even if they live in different states or countries. Depending on the work that needs to be done, a business trip can last a day, weeks, or even months. The potential for a workplace accident still exists, even if an employee is not on company grounds. If a worker is injured while on a business trip, he or she may still be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, the process of seeking workers’ compensation for a traveling employee can be slightly more complicated, so it is best to talk to a legal professional before filing any insurance claims.

Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits

It is important to distinguish the fine line between work-related and non-work-related injuries, especially while traveling for business. Injuries suffered while attending a dinner meeting with clients are usually covered. However, any injuries sustained while going out to eat when you are “off the clock” with a friend or family member who is in that town are probably not covered. Injuries sustained while sightseeing on your own are most likely not covered under worker’s comp insurance. Injuries that occur while you are on an airplane, in a car, on a train or staying in a hotel for work-related duties are typically covered. Regardless of the type of injury an employee sustains while on a business trip, he or she should take the following steps to protect his or her rights to compensation:

  • Report the accident: Regardless if you are injured at an office, a restaurant, or a hotel while out of town on business, report the incident to management personnel of the establishment.
  • Record information: Ask witnesses for their account of the incident, take pictures, and document what happened immediately. Relying on memory after an accident is not reliable, and workers’ compensation cases take time to resolve.
  • Seek medical attention: Seek professional medical care after an injury. Let your doctor know you were working at the time of the accident. Keep records of every medical visit.
  • Inform your supervisor: Let your supervisor or HR department know about your injury. They should send you a workers’ compensation claim form electronically or in person once you are back in the office.
  • Talk to a lawyer: If you are concerned about liability for your claim, it is best to speak to an attorney. You may have a valid workers’ comp claim in addition to a third-party claim against the negligent party responsible for causing your injury.

Contact a Wheaton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workplace injuries can happen in offices or factories or even when an employee is traveling for his or her job. Even if an accident does not take place on a company’s property, a worker may be eligible for compensation if he or she was hurt while working at an offsite or out-of-state location. A skilled DuPage County workplace injury attorney at the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. can assist you in recovering damages for your pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-665-5678.

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IL injury lawyerA lot of people who suffer an injury while on the job can collect workers’ compensation benefits. Under Illinois law, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees in the event they are injured on the job. In certain industries, a worker may develop an ailment over time due to repeated exposure to toxic substances. A person can suffer permanent physical and/or neurological damage from contact with chemicals, dust, fumes, mold, or radiation. Those employees are also entitled to compensation if the occupational disease or illness was due to continuous employment in that profession. The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act assures fair compensation for workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled by such illnesses or diseases.

Illinois Occupational Diseases Act

The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act states that an occupational disease is an illness or damaging condition that is a direct result of employment or which could be aggravated by hazardous workplace conditions. These unsafe conditions must not be “common to the general public.” Common colds and other contagious ailments are not generally considered to be directly work-related. Many jobs involve exposure to dangerous chemicals, radiation, loud noise, and other hazards. These occupations can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Miners
  • Construction workers
  • Welders
  • Farmworkers
  • Tunnel or railroad workers
  • Diesel mechanics
  • Aerospace workers

The following occupational diseases are common among long-term industry employees and can ultimately be life-threatening for the employee:

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IL injury lawyerWorkplace accidents happen even when employers and employees act responsibly and take all necessary safety measures. These accidents can cause injuries that range from head trauma to carpal tunnel syndrome to lung disease. Companies in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the unfortunate event their employees get hurt on the job. If you suffer an injury while performing your occupation, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits for medical bills or lost wages. However, it is possible your claim could be denied. If it is denied, you still have options, but they can depend on the reasons for the denial.

Reasons Why a Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied

There are several reasons your workplace injury claim may be denied. One reason is a delay in filing the claim. It is imperative that you report your injury or illness to your employer immediately. Then you should file a workers’ compensation claim with the state (unless your employer files it). If you miss a deadline, your claim will probably be denied.

Another reason your claim might be denied is lack of evidence the injury or illness was caused by performing your job duties. Your employer may try to argue that you had a pre-existing condition or you were acting irresponsibly, etc. Gather evidence to support your claim, such as photographs of the injury or witness testimonies.

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