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IL injury lawyerCertain occupations are inherently more dangerous than other jobs. For example, an office worker who sits at a desk and performs the majority of his or her duties on the computer does not face the same risks as construction, warehouse, or assembly line workers. Each year, heavy equipment operators are injured or killed by heavy mobile equipment used in construction. Many of these accidents occur as a result of rollovers or by employees getting struck or crushed by equipment. Depending on the circumstances, victims may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim as a way of recovering damages, which can include lost wages, medical bills, and therapy.

Work-Related Injuries

Heavy equipment operators may control or drive equipment in the construction industry. These machines can include forklifts, tractors, bulldozers, dump trucks, hydraulic cranes, and more. They operate these types of vehicles when constructing roads or structures such as bridges and buildings. However, similar to car crashes, when an accident involves this heavy machinery, the injuries can be catastrophic. The sheer size and weight of them can crush anything in their paths. A few of the most common injuries a heavy equipment operator can sustain include:

  • Severed limbs
  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Internal bleeding
  • Spinal cord damage/paralysis

Factors that Increase the Likelihood of an Accident

There can be many contributing factors to accidents involving heavy equipment operators. One of the main reasons is when a machine malfunctions, typically due to faulty or defective parts. In some cases, collisions can occur because of improper or inadequate maintenance by the employer. Still other causes could be inclement weather conditions or driver error. Even though operators must go through training to learn how these machines work, it can prove difficult to maneuver them in high winds, pounding rain, or snow. That is why construction companies should take steps to ensure everything is in proper working order.

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IL accident lawyerMost Illinois companies are required to carry insurance in the event an employee is injured at work. Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim and collecting compensation related to a work injury while traveling can be a bit more complicated than if an employee suffered an injury on site or his or her normal workplace. Although many businesses have reduced employee travel this year due to COVID-19, some essential workers may still be required to travel in order to perform their job effectively. Regardless if you travel once a week or once a year for your job, if you are injured during a business trip, you may be able to file a claim to help cover expenses and lost wages related to the injury. Employers should have clear guidelines of what is expected of your time on the road, and it is also important to understand how workers’ compensation can benefit you in these types of situations.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws

Under Illinois employment law, workers’ compensation benefits cover medical care needed to cure or relieve the effects of a work injury. It can also provide employees with temporary or permanent disability benefits; partial or total disability benefits; vocational training or rehabilitation; and death benefits. In case of a dispute, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) can enforce the state’s laws related to workers’ comp and protect workers’ rights. It is also important to note that workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable.

Hazards Encountered While on the Road

For those workers who are in sales or manage a group of employees, travel is often part of the job. Depending on where the satellite offices or stores are located, a worker may have to travel a few miles or a thousand miles. In some situations, he or she may be able to drive a company car or may have to take an airplane to the destination. Getting to and from these off-site locations can present risks, including distracted, reckless, or drunk drivers. However, there may be dangers upon arriving, too. Property owners at hotels or office buildings have a duty to provide a safe environment for patrons and employees. This includes maintaining both the inside and outside of any facilities. For example, making sure uneven pavement or floorboards do not cause a tripping hazard. Likewise, replacing burnt-out lightbulbs in outdoor areas to ensure safe walkways or even hiring security guards to patrol the grounds.

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IL injury lawyerIllinois workers’ comp benefits include reasonable medical care required to cure or alleviate the consequences of an injury, temporary total or partial disability benefits, vocational training, permanent partial or total disability benefits, and death benefits. It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable. This type of insurance ensures that companies provide funds for workers’ compensation benefits for employee injury claims. In the event of a dispute, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) enforces these sate laws and protects workers’ rights.

Medical Expenses

A workplace accident can cause minor to serious and even fatal injuries depending on the circumstances. A catastrophic injury can lead to a person needing surgery such as an amputation if a limb is severed and cannot be repaired. After sustaining any type of injury, it is imperative to seek medical attention right away. Not only can this prove life-saving, but it can also help when filing a workers’ compensation claim since medical records are typically necessary to prove damages.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial relief to an employee, which can be used for medical expenses that are directly related to a work-related injury or illness. This can include:

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IL injury lawyerConsidered an essential business, the construction industry is how our roads, buildings, and homes are built. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites throughout the nation on a daily basis. Studies show that the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category for all other industries. Common hazards for construction workers can include falls from scaffolding or ladders and burns from explosions or electric shocks. However, there are additional dangers faced by these types of workers, including occupational diseases. In some cases, these may go unnoticed for years and employees in the construction field may suffer irreparable damage. A workers’ compensation claim may alleviate the financial ramifications of this type of workplace injury.

On-the-Job Hazards

Many jobs can have their fair share of risks, including those faced by police officers or firefighters. Construction workers face somewhat unique dangers depending on what types of products with which they may be working. Chronic medical conditions have been linked to prolonged exposure to certain toxic vapors, gases, fumes, smoke, paint, or dust. A few of the most common types of occupational diseases or illnesses include:

  • Asthma
  • Mesothelioma and other cancers
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Dermatitis
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Occupational contact dermatitis may be caused by exposure to a variety of agents, including irritants or sensitizers, physical agents, and biologic agents. Musculoskeletal disorders include repetitive injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis (tennis elbow), common when construction workers use their hands and arms for painting, nailing, and sawing. Asbestos-related injuries are common in construction workers who are exposed to certain building materials such as insulation. Because asbestos is considered a carcinogen, it can cause cancer after repeated exposure.

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IL accident lawyerAccidents occur on a frequent basis, whether they are vehicle collisions, slip-and-fall incidents, or workplace injuries. The injuries sustained can range from minor to serious and even fatal. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 5,250 people died from a work-related injury in the United States in 2018, up 2 percent from the 2017 total number of deaths. Even if a work injury does not prove fatal, it may result in multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, and long-term care. All of this can significantly impact an individual’s personal and professional life. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can alleviate some of the financial stress related to medical costs. An experienced attorney can assist you with the filing process to make sure you receive what you need and deserve to recover.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

In Illinois, most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in case their employees get hurt while on the job. Employers that knowingly and willfully fail to obtain insurance can face fines for noncompliance. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers who experience work-related injuries or diseases. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission resolves disputes between employees and employers related to work-related injuries or illnesses.

Below are a few examples of typical mistakes that someone may make when filing a workers’ compensation claim:

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