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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 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 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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IL work injury lawyerWorking in a warehouse can be a challenging job. This field typically requires a lot of physical activity. For example, a worker might be required to lift heavy objects or move large pieces of machinery or equipment. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an employee is injured at work every seven seconds. Further research by the NSC found that in 2017, the highest number of preventable fatal injuries was in the construction industry, followed by transportation and warehousing. In many cases, prevention can spare workers unnecessary pain and suffering caused by a workplace injury. However, an employee is eligible for financial relief through a workers’ compensation claim.

Common Dangers Associated with Warehouse Work

A warehouse can involve many people working at a fast pace with a large inventory of products and many machines, including forklifts, conveyor belts, and pallet racks. Even if certain safety precautions are taken, accidents can and do happen. A few of the typical hazards that can lead to warehouse accidents with injuries include the following:

  • Large equipment/heavy materials
  • Slips and trips
  • Falls
  • Fires/explosions
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Moving parts
  • Falling objects
  • Lack of training/proper safety measures

In some of the above cases, a faulty part breaks and comes loose from a machine, hitting a worker. Falling from a ladder can result in broken bones or significant head trauma. This can lead to temporary or permanent brain damage depending on the impact and how high up a person was when he or she fell.

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IL injury lawyerDuring the holidays, delivery trucks are out in full force, distributing gifts and packages to homes across the country in time for Christmas. In Illinois, winter weather can wreak havoc on road conditions. This can put truck drivers at risk for possible accidents that may result in serious injuries. However, snow and ice are not the only contributing factors to a crash, as negligent behavior by other motorists or even a trucking company can also cause a collision due to faulty or improperly maintained equipment. Delivering goods can also be a physically demanding job, especially if drivers are transporting heavy cargo that they are lifting on a constant basis. Regardless of how an Illinois delivery driver might suffer an on-the-job injury, he or she may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to seek damages.

Typical Risks to Delivery Drivers

Due to the nature of the job, truck driving can take a toll on the driver’s body. Movements such as lifting, turning, and pushing may not seem like they could cause that much damage, but after repeatedly performing these actions, a trucker may experience significant pain. The following are a few of the most common types of injuries for delivery truck drivers:

  • Muscle sprains and strains from carrying heavy packages
  • Back and neck pain due to long periods of sitting
  • Broken or fractured bones due to falling from the truck bed or cab
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome from steering the truck
  • Shoulder/rotator cuff damage from lifting large materials
  • Joint damage from climbing in and out of the truck

Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim

Illinois companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of benefit is meant to protect both the employee and the employer. Workers’ comp can help with a worker’s medical bills and lost wages. In order to file a claim as a truck driver in Illinois, an important factor involves jurisdiction, or where the injury took place. Since truckers may travel outside of Illinois state lines, they need to understand how that can affect the chances of receiving benefits.

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