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DuPage County Workers' Compensation Claim LawyerImagine the following scenario: You are using a ladder to shelve items at work when you fall and injure your back. The painful injuries keep you out of work for several months. You file a workers’ compensation claim only to be denied by the insurance company due to a pre-existing back problem.

These types of situations can be extremely frustrating to deal with. Many employees are unaware of their rights when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. They do not realize that having a pre-existing medical problem does not disqualify a worker from receiving compensation through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. This is why it is always important to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer who can ensure those rights are not violated.

When a Work Injury Causes Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injuries

Falling at work can cause broken bones, back and spine injuries, traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and other debilitating injuries. In addition to being extremely painful, these injuries may prevent the injured person from being able to complete work assignments for weeks, months, or even years. Some fall-related work accidents result in permanent disability.

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Bloomingdale Workers' Compensation LawyerOnline shopping and delivery were already increasing in popularity long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The need to stay indoors and buy items through the internet only accelerated this trend. If you work for Amazon, you know just how popular online shopping has become – especially during the holiday season. This means increased demand and increased workloads for Amazon employees.

Unfortunately, Amazon workers are injured at a rate much higher than that of similar companies. If you or a loved one were injured while working for Amazon, you may be entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Comp for Injured Amazon Workers

Injuries can happen at any job. However, statistics show that Amazon employees are at an increased risk of injury. In fact, Amazon warehouse employees are twice as likely to be injured while working as employees at Walmart. Slip and fall accidents, equipment accidents, and stuck-by accidents are just some of the ways warehouse workers can be injured. Some news outlets have accused Amazon of downplaying the frequency of warehouse injuries. It has also been suggested that Amazon employees are encouraged not to report work-related injuries.

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DuPage County Workers' Compensation LawyerIn Illinois, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical expenses and part of a worker’s lost income in the event of a work-related injury or illness. Workers classified as independent contractors are not covered under Illinois’s workers’ compensation laws. If you are an independent contractor and you were hurt at work, you may feel as if you have no options. However, if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor when you actually function as an employee, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

Understanding the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor

Businesses and other employers often have a variety of different labor needs. Consequently, many employers employ both employees and independent contractors. Independent contractors are workers who perform work for the employer but are not directly under the employer’s control. They sign an agreement with the employer that establishes their business relationship but does not establish employment. Employees are usually confined to a specific work schedule whereas contractors have much more flexibility. Typically, contractors perform work outside of the typical work performed by employees of the company. Contractors are usually involved in an independently established trade or profession. Employers sometimes misclassify workers in order to avoid paying payroll taxes, workers’ compensation, and other expenses associated with hiring employees.

If you are unsure of whether you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor when you meet the criteria for an employee, ask yourself the following questions:

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IL injury lawyerWorkers’ compensation insurance is required for all Illinois employers - and for good reason. Workers’ compensation or “workers’ comp” insurance covers an injured worker’s medical expenses and part of his or her lost income in the event of a work-related injury. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is “no-fault” which means that a worker does not have to prove that another party was at fault for his or her injuries. The worker does, however, need to show that the injury was related to work and occurred during the course of employment.

When we think of workers’ compensation injuries, we usually picture broken bones, lacerations, spine injuries, or other bodily harm. However, not all work injuries are visible on the outside. Some employees suffer psychological injuries such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder because of their work. Are workers suffering from psychological problems eligible for workers’ compensation?

Mental Health Conditions and Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

PTSD and other mental health conditions can be just as debilitating as physical injuries. A person suffering from PTSD may be unable to complete work tasks or even lead a normal life. Nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating are just some of the symptoms PTSD sufferers may experience. Fortunately, individuals who suffer from mental health conditions like PTSD may be entitled to workers’ compensation if they can prove that the psychological problems are a result of their job.

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IL job injuryWhen an employee is injured while on the clock while performing their job duties, they usually have a clear-cut case for workers’ compensation. But what about employees who are injured on company property or while on work-related travel, but not actively performing their job duties? The good news is that in some cases, employees may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation for injuries that happened “off the clock.” If you were injured on company premises, or while traveling for work, contacting an attorney is a smart move. Workers’ compensation claims for off-the-clock injuries are often wrongfully denied - involving an experienced attorney from the start gives you the best chance of receiving the workers’ compensation you deserve.

When Can I Get Workers’ Compensation if I Was Hurt on Company Premises?

Just because you were not actively working when you were injured does not mean you are not eligible for workers’ compensation. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation if you were injured:

  • In employee parking - If your employer maintains a parking area at your workplace and you are injured while entering or leaving, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Common causes of injuries in employee parking areas include falls due to holes in the pavement or other tripping hazards and even some car accidents. However, if you parked in an area that your employer does not control, such as a public parking garage, you will not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
  • While on break - If an unsafe condition in a break room or cafeteria caused your injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation even though you were not technically working. For example, if a break room appliance was leaking and you slipped and fell in the puddle, you are probably covered.
  • On the premises before or after your shift - If you were injured while entering or leaving your workplace, you may be covered even if you were not on the clock. In large workplaces, such as factories or hospitals, employees are sometimes injured while walking through the facility on the way to or from their particular workstation. For example, a factory worker may be injured when machinery placed dangerously close to a walkway catches his sleeve.

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation if I Was Hurt During Business Travel?

In many cases, yes. Workers’ compensation covers a range of injuries that occur during business travel. Because you would not have been traveling in the first place if your employer had not sent you, you could receive workers’ compensation even if you were not actively engaged in a work-related activity while traveling. This can include injuries that occurred while traveling, in your hotel room, or in some cases, during an excursion such as local sightseeing.

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