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IL injury lawyerAll employees deserve to work in a relatively safe environment. By nature, some jobs are more dangerous than others, but they still must follow certain safety guidelines to prevent workplace injuries or deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a set of general and industry-specific guidelines for safety measures that should be taken in order to prevent injuries and death in the workplace. Unfortunately, not all workplaces always follow OSHA’s guidelines, which results in accidents that could have been easily prevented. Here are the most commonly cited violations that OSHA has reported during workplace inspections:

  1. Fall Protection in Construction Industry

Fall protection violations were the most cited violation in 2017. This regulation states that construction employers have the duty to make sure that work and walking surfaces have enough strength and structure to hold employees. This regulation also states that there should be guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems in place when an employee is working in an area without a protected edge.

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IL injury lawyerOne of the most traumatic things a family can go through is the loss of a family member through a workplace accident. Not only are you grieving for your loved one, you might be worried about your family’s financial future. Many American families sustain their standard of living by having two incomes. With the loss of one income, your family could be facing financial hardship. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows the spouses and children of the worker to collect death benefits of a deceased loved one who was killed on the job.

Who Can Receive Death Benefits?

When a worker is killed on the job, their surviving spouse and children who are under the age of 18 are entitled to death benefits. These are called primary beneficiaries. If there are no primary beneficiaries that exist, then the benefits can be paid to totally dependent parents of the deceased worker. If totally dependent parents do not exist, benefits can be paid to anyone who was at least 50 percent dependent on the worker before his or her death.

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IL accident lawyerContrary to what the majority of people believe, construction work or the manufacturing sector are not the most dangerous industries to work in. Surprisingly, the healthcare industry is the most dangerous industry to work in. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), more workers are injured in the healthcare industry than any other.

Types of Healthcare Industry Work-Related Injuries

Healthcare workers face a few specific and unique workplace hazards. These types of hazards include:

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IL accident lawyerAccidents happen — that is why there is such a thing as workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that was designed to help those who are hurt on the job and have suffered injuries that prevent them from working, or limit what they can do. One of the injuries that you can file a workers’ compensation claim for is carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury of the hand and wrist.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, one of the major nerves that runs through the hand, is stretched or compressed, causing damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered a progressive injury, which means it can get worse over time if you do not treat it right away. Without treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage.

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IL injury lawyerAccidents happen--that is why all employers in Illinois are required to carry insurance for workers who get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers medical costs for all employees if they are hurt on the job and pays for expenses such as doctor’s visits, surgery, hospital stays, medication and physical therapy. In the case that an injury or illness makes you unable to work, you could be able to receive disability benefits, which vary based on whether the injury or illness is partial or full, or if it is temporary or permanent.

Temporary Partial Disability

When you are still healing from a work-related injury or illness, but are able to work part-time or have limited ability of what you can do at work, you might be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. This means that you are not earning as much as you would have been earning pre-injury. TPD benefits are usually two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury weekly wage and your post-injury weekly wage. These benefits are paid to you until you are healed and can return to work.

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Illinois injury lawyerAccording to a study published in the journal Neurology, even relatively minor brain injuries carry an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder.

The Study

Researchers studied 325,870 veterans whose health data was recorded from 2002 to 2014 to explore the correlations between traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and the development of Parkinson’s Disease. Of those who developed Parkinson’s Disease, 65% percent had previously had a TBI ranging from mild to severe in nature.

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Illinois injury lawyerWe frequently use this space to present relevant information pertaining to work-related injuries and deaths, high-risk careers and other workers’ compensation related topics. The array of variables and nuances impacting this important social and legal issue literally fill pages and pages of books and require copious amounts of time both in and out of the courtroom. This time around we are taking a closer look at reports indicating high-risk worker groups.

Age and Gender Play a Role

As workers and employers strive to provide and sustain equal footing in the employment market for both men and women, some evidence suggests that there is an area in which women have an edge, especially as they get older. One Canadian study presented evidence that older women are more likely to sustain an on-the-job injury than their younger counterparts. Some of the findings included:

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Illinois injury lawyerWhen workers are injured or become ill it is not uncommon for them to take advantage of disability leave time in order to mend and heal. However, in some cases, an employee is able to work while undergoing treatment for an illness or accept a light-duty role. In such scenarios, it is important to ensure employers are making reasonable accommodations despite one’s inability to perform their job at the same level as prior to the injury or illness.

Suburban Police Officer Battling Cancer and Employer

In one case, a suburban police officer is claiming his municipal employer is guilty of violating the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it terminated a light-duty assignment he was performing while undergoing and recovering from treatments for cancer:

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Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Illinois injury attorneyThere may be fewer things more frustrating than sustaining an injury while on the job. While accidents happen, injuries caused by performing repetitive activity or motion to complete a required are no less harmful. Workers and employers alike must take steps to monitor for repetitive motion injuries, especially when they occur as part of one’s daily duties.

Common Types of Repetitive Motion Injuries

Arms and hands are the most common targets of repetitive motion injuries. While one might think these types of injuries are suffered only by those who perform physical labor as a career choice, these types of injuries also are suffered by those who work in offices or other non-physical roles. Here are descriptions of a couple of the most commonly occurring repetitive motion injuries.

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Illinois injury attorneyAt one time when an individual reached a certain age, often that age was 65, he or she would retire from the workforce, collect a pension, and move somewhere warm. However, as more and more people continue working into their 60s and even 70s, employers and workplace safety advocates have become aware that on-the-job safety has taken on new importance to protect an aging workforce from workplace injuries and accidents.

Age and Experience

Reports indicate that in 2010, workers age 55 or older represented more than 19 percent of the workforce and that is expected to increase to over 25 percent by the year 2020. Furthermore, by the year 2036, the number of “older” workers is expected to double. This anticipated increase is expected to affect drastically the cost of rehabilitation and compensation plans.

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Illinois injury attorneyBecause there is virtually no federal role in workers’ compensation the payments and costs related to workplace injuries vary widely from state to state. In fact, a recent study showed that medical payments were as much as 24 percent higher in Illinois than the median cost in all other states.

What Is the Cause?

It is no secret that expenses related to insurance premiums and workers’ compensation expenses are factors that many employers weigh when considering whether or not to locate an operation in a particular state.

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Illinois injury attorneyIt is a known fact that simply by getting out of bed in the morning a person risks injury. The same can be said for those who leave the house to go to their jobs. While workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect employees who are injured on the job, the knowledge that some types of employment are far riskier than others does not stop people from seeking those dangerous jobs.

Careers That Come with Built-In Risk

Despite the knowledge that some jobs come with an inherent risk or history of high incident of injury or death, it does not dissuade some, for whatever reason, for seeking out and filling those job openings. Sometimes it is due to a family connection, sometimes out of sheer need, but whatever reason, there are individuals who willingly fill employment positions that expose them to risks of bodily harm.

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Illinois injury attorneyWorkers who earn a living doing physical labor are at risk of injury nearly every day they are on the job. Overland truck drivers and delivery drivers who maintain local routes are at no less risk for injury simply because they are behind the wheel much of the day.

Drivers’ Injuries Due Compensation

Truck drivers and delivery drivers experience injuries from more than just being involved in accidents. Some of the injuries occur from slips that occur getting in or out of the cab, lifting or loading and unloading cargo, raising truck hoods or cargo doors, and even falls on loading docks. Any of these can cause a number of serious injuries, which include:

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Illinois workers comp lawyerEarlier this year Illinois legislators passed a bill that would create a taxpayer-funded insurance company that would issues workers compensation coverage policies. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the legislation, and, despite their best efforts, the Illinois House of Representatives failed to secure enough votes to override that veto.

Latest Attempt at Workers Compensation Reform

The bill passed earlier this year, that would have created a state-run, publicly funded insurance company received its support primarily among Democratic legislators. In creating this plan, supporters felt it would force private companies to reduce the cost of workers compensation coverage policies, and pass along savings gained from earlier attempts at reform. Among the key issues surrounding this highly politicized matter that is important to employers and injured employees alike are:

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Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Illinois injury attorneyWorkplace accidents and illnesses result from a variety of incidents and sources. In the past, it was difficult to pinpoint exactly the reason for occupational disease and illness, but medical and scientific advances have helped blue collar workers gain reimbursement for hospital bills as well as compensation for lost wages and living expenses.

Asbestos-Related Illness

Asbestos once was heralded as a building material breakthrough that could help prevent the spread of fires and would make buildings safer. It was used extensively throughout schools, commercial buildings, multi-family buildings and other structures in which a large number of people might accumulate. Although there may have been warning signs early on, it was not until the 1940s that some began linking asbestos exposure to incidents of cancer.

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Illinois work injury lawyerAlthough workers compensation premiums paid by Illinois employers are expected to decrease next year, it is widely believed the reduction will not be enough for the state to compete with its neighbors in luring new jobs to Illinois. The governor’s office further indicated the expected reduction would not make a dent in Illinois’ non-competitive workers’ compensation expenses.

Workers Compensation Reform Efforts

Since taking office in 2015, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has advocated for reform of the state’s workers compensation laws. Some view this agenda item as an important step in making the state more attractive so large companies would relocate here, creating more jobs for Illinois residents.

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Illinois work injury attorneyIt can be surprising to a worker when he or she is injured on the job and yet cannot get workers’ comp benefits because the employer or its insurer denies the claim. Not only can this mean you are out of work, it can also mean that you will have to pay for expensive medical treatment yourself.

Your health and livelihood are two important things, and fighting a claim denial may be your best shot at getting the help you deserve under the law. An attorney can help you as you navigate the workers’ compensation process.

Here are some common reasons an employer or insurer will use to deny your claim:

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Bloomingdale Workers’ Comp attorney, workers’ comp claim, workers’ comp case, social media post, workplace injuryPosting on social media can be detrimental to your workers’ comp claim. Anyone injured, being treated, or receiving benefits should be aware of what is being posted online, both by the injured worker and friends and family.

Malingering, or pretending to have a medical condition, is a huge issue in workers’ comp cases about which employers are concerned. There are numerous medical tests and evaluations meant to detect malingering in injured workers.

An opposing party in a claim will try to gather as much information as possible, especially if that information could be used as evidence of malingering, including meticulously looking through any viewable social media.

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Bloomingdale workers’ comp attorney, on-the-job injuries After you have suffered a workplace accident and determine that you are injured, your first step should be informing your employer of the incident. This is required under the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act.

Illinois law states that notice of the accident must be given to the employer as soon as “practicable,” and no later than 45 days after the accident. Failure to do this may mean a rejection of your claim, and you will not get your medical bills and lost wages paid by your employer.

While 45 days may seem like a long time, the deadline can approach quickly, especially if you did not initially realize that you were injured. If you are concerned about this deadline, contact a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.

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Bloomingdale workers’ comp attorney, repetitive stress injuryWhen people think of an injury that would be covered by workers’ compensation, they often think of an accident that causes sudden pain and trauma like a fall off a ladder, an electrocution, or a forklift accident. However, one of the most common on-the-job injuries is a repetitive stress injury. These injuries are caused by making the same movement over and over. The movements need not be strenuous to cause this type of injury.

The onset of symptoms related to a repetitive stress injury should not be written off by the worker as a sign of aging or as part of the job. The workers’ comp system does provide for medical treatment and benefits for this type of injury.

Computer Work is a Major Cause of a Repetitive Stress Injury

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