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IL work injury lawyerThere are many different occupations throughout the United States in various types of industries. Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. For example, a construction worker or warehouse employee may be exposed to certain hazardous conditions in the field, while a librarian most likely does not encounter dangers in a typical workday. Accidents can happen, and depending on the circumstances, they can result in minor to serious injuries. In some cases, a victim may require surgery or significant rehabilitation to recover. Thankfully, employees in Illinois can seek relief from their employer through a workers’ compensation claim.

The Road to Recovery Can Be Long

Many injuries to the body can require physical rehabilitation. If an injury or medical condition suffered on the job has limited a person’s ability to function on a daily basis, he or she may need physical therapy. This type of therapy can relieve pain, restore range of motion, and improve muscle tone, strength, endurance, and balance. By using a combination of heat and cold, ultrasound, laser therapy, exercise, and more, an individual may gain full recovery of his or her injured body part. Studies have shown that the sooner a victim starts physical therapy, the better the outcome.

Some of the most common workplace accidents can result in the following types of injuries that may require rehab to mend:

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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 workers comp attorneySome occupations are considered to have an increased risk of head injuries, such as athletes or construction workers. However, anyone can suffer a head injury if they fall and hit their head or if they are hit by a piece of equipment. In Illinois, all companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This is in the event a worker gets hurt on the job. In certain cases, a person may sustain life-altering complications that may require extensive rehabilitation or even a career change. Due to the complex nature of head injuries, symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after an accident. That is why it is imperative to know your rights regarding filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Athletes, as well as their parents and coaches, are more cognizant of the risk of concussions these days, which has led to an increased awareness of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). According to researchers at Mayo Clinic, TBI results from a blow or jolt to the head or body. It can also be caused by an object that penetrates the brain tissue.

This type of injury can also occur in the workplace, regardless of the type of occupation. Falls from a ladder or down a flight of stairs are the most common cause of TBI overall, which can occur in different work environments.

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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 injury lawyerLandscaping companies are typically the busiest in the summer months since the weather is ideal for working in the yard. Depending on the size of the yard or property, a lot can be done to enhance a landscape. This can include trimming bushes, cutting the grass, and planting trees or flowers. Riding lawn mowers and trimmers are some of the tools of the trade for a landscaper. Powered equipment such as those can break down or potentially cause an accident. In any type of work environment, even outside, an employee can be at risk for injury. If you are hurt while performing duties at your landscaping job, you might be entitled to benefits through workers’ compensation.

Types and Causes of Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds. Injuries in the landscaping field can be related to faulty equipment or machines, improper maintenance, or negligent property owners. Some of these injuries can include:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Severed body parts
  • Concussions
  • Heat stroke
  • Back or neck strain

Some landscaping duties require workers to climb ladders to trim tall trees. If the ladder is not properly positioned, an employee can lose his or her balance and fall to the ground. This can cause significant head trauma or a broken arm or leg, not to mention a serious back or neck injury.

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IL injury lawyerA hospice social worker is a certified medical social worker (MSW) who has had specific training in end-of-life care. In hospice care, the social worker plays an important role in assisting with a patient’s wishes for care. This may include directives like a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order, planning a funeral, suggesting grief counselors, and more. Sometimes the social worker simply provides a listening ear or an expression of sympathy. A hospice social worker’s compassion, support, and knowledge can greatly improve the experience of the patient and his or her family during a very emotional time. But what benefits does a hospice worker receive if they are injured on the job?

Types of Injuries

Many hospice social workers travel to nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and even patients’ homes to perform their jobs. They typically use their own vehicles for transportation to and from sites, but this travel time is usually considered part of their workday. Inclement weather can sometimes put them at risk for car accidents due to icy or snowy road conditions, traveling in all kinds of weather, rain or shine. Distracted drivers on the roadway can also cause crashes or rear-end collisions.

Since a hospice social worker often enters patients’ homes, the potential for possible injury can occur there, too. For example, if the social worker trips on stairs, obstacles, or an uneven walkway in or around the house or facility. Slip and falls could also take place due to water or ice on the pavement. The social worker could also sustain a back or neck injury if he or she tries to help a nurse or family member transfer a patient from a chair to a bed.

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IL injury lawyerThe first diesel engine patent was issued in the 1890s. Over the decades this combustible engine variant slowly gained in popularity. Its popularity comes from the ability of its fuel-air mixture to produce better energy efficiency than most gasoline engines. It became popular in the 1990s, especially in Europe. Studies showed that it released less CO2 carbon emissions than its gasoline counterparts. Many European countries began encouraging car manufacturers and their citizens to switch over to diesel. However, diesel emits Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) which caused air pollution. By 2014, Paris had pollution near the level of Beijing. This diesel related pollution has created health risks for Parisians living in the city.

The Potential Diesel Health Risks

The diesel engine is a great invention, but like all fossil fuel powered engines it has potential environmental and health risks. Those who work closely with diesel are usually the last to know of risks. Such as the possible relationship between diesel fumes and lung cancer. The American Cancer Society has released lab studies that have found that diesel fumes (like soot) can change the DNA in a cell which could lead to cancer. Others studies have found that there is an increased chance of cancer in individuals who work closest to diesel fumes, such as railroad workers, diesel truck drivers, miners, and heavy equipment operators. While the studies are not conclusive, other agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have also done similar studies, which point to similar conclusions.

How to Stay Healthy

While diesel fumes do pose a threat to your health, thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk.

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IL injury lawyerIt does not matter what industry you work in - there is always a chance that you can injure yourself at work. The first 24 hours after you injure yourself are crucial - your actions can determine how easy it will be to claim your workers’ compensation benefits and how strong of a claim you have. By taking the appropriate actions after a workplace injury, you can help make your worker’s compensation process a little bit easier.

  1. Get Medical Help

The first thing you should do after you are injured at work is seek necessary medical attention, though where you get it from can be important. If your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), you should choose a doctor or hospital that is a part of that program. You have the choice of two physicians that are within your employer’s PPP, whose costs will be covered. If you choose not to be seen by physicians in your employer’s PPP, you can be seen by one physician of your choice, but further visits must be approved. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have the choice of any two providers.

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IL injury lawyerMost workers know that if they get injured on the job they are entitled to workers’ compensation. What some people may not know is that they are also eligible to receive compensation if they develop an occupational disease or ailment from continuous employment. Exposure to things like chemicals, dust, fumes, mold, or radiation can cause permanent and often irreversible damage to a person. The process to prove these types of cases can be tedious, but it does not have to be difficult with the right person’s help.

What Types of Diseases Are Covered?

The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act does not specifically list the types of diseases and ailments that are covered under the act. The act states that any employee who sustains any disablement, impairment or disfigurement or dies due to a disease that arises from their employment, is eligible for benefits. This means that any type of disease that is caused by employment is eligible for consideration under this act. Common types of diseases can include:

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Illinois injury lawyerNo one ever goes to work and expects to die while on the job. Even those in high-risk occupations have a high expectation they will return home at the end of the day. Sometimes, however, seemingly safe occupations have tragic incidents, such as the drowning death of a man who was tending to swans on a pond in suburban Chicago.

Wife of Bird Tender Seeks Compensation

In 2012 a man drowned in a suburban pond when two swans he was checking on as part of his job attacked him. The attack caused the man’s kayak to overturn and he drowned when repeated attacks by the birds prevent him from swimming to shore. This is part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed late last year by the man’s wife. Among some of the details from the filing include the following:

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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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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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