Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

If you have been injured at work, you may decide to settle your claim instead of receiving ongoing workers’ compensation benefits. Settling can impact how much compensation you’d receive, and there are various factors that go into calculating the amount.

Expenses Covered By Workers’ Comp

One of the factors involved in calculating a workers’ compensation settlement is the total amount of benefits you’d be eligible to receive. In Illinois, workers’ comp is designed to cover the following:

The vast majority of workers’ compensation claims are resolved through settlements. A workers’ comp settlement is an agreement between you and the other party (in this case your employer’s insurance company) that you’ll stop pursuing your claim in return for a specific sum of money.

If you’re worried that these settlements are public record, the answer is a bit complex. In the state of Illinois, they are technically public information, but they aren’t easily accessible.

Illinois Workers’ Comp Settlements Are Public Information

If you’ve been injured on the job, your employer may try to force you to take time off work. In some cases, they might be in their rights to require you to use time off, but not if it would cost you workers’ compensation benefits.

In some cases, both time off under the Family Medical Leave Act and payments from workers’ compensation may run concurrently.

Rules of the FMLA

Slip and fall injuries are fairly common, and many personal injury cases involve these types of incidents. However, if they happen on the job, they will be treated quite a bit differently than they would under normal circumstances. When you slip and fall at work, your claim goes through workers’ compensation rather than personal injury law.

Various workplace scenarios may lead to a slip and fall injury, including spills, obstacles in high traffic areas, ice and water accumulation, and so forth. Given the risk, it’s important to know how to handle these claims.

Work Injuries and Fault

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Working at night comes with a host of risks ranging from health problems to an increased potential for injury. Studies have shown that those who work at night are at a much higher risk of work-related accidents, meaning workers’ compensation is often necessary.

Physical Injuries

By nature, human beings are physiologically designed to be awake during the day and asleep at night. When this pattern is disrupted, it diminishes the quantity and quality of sleep that workers can achieve. This leads to higher levels of fatigue, lower cognitive functioning, and a subsequently increased risk of workplace accidents. Night shift workers tend to be less aware of potential risks and may not take countermeasures to prevent accidents, making injury more likely.

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Ideally, a work injury would result in you getting perfectly adequate compensation with minimal fuss. Your employer would take on the liability and move on, making sure all the while that you’re well cared for.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Companies do all that they can to keep their expenses down, and there could be some friction against their employees as a result. In like manner, it doesn’t do for employees to try to take full advantage of their employers, so there has to be some push-and-pull in place.

Settlement negotiations help make sure both parties are treated fairly when it comes to workers’ compensation. That said, Illinois law does favor the employee in most cases, but that only comes into play if you have adequate representation.

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Workplace injuries are often fairly straightforward. If you are injured by operating a piece of machinery or falling from scaffolding, for instance, it’s easy to connect the injury to your work and to receive the compensation you need for medical bills, lost time at work, disability, etc. Even in repetitive stress injuries such as back injuries or carpal tunnel, most doctors will be able to trace the injury back to the workplace.

Chemical exposure injuries are a different matter, however. It can take months or even years for symptoms of chemical exposure to manifest, making it very difficult to connect your condition to your occupation.

Common Instances of Chemical Exposure

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The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is designed to protect employees from the risks inherent in their line of work. It makes sure employees are covered if they suffer an injury by holding employers responsible for covering the costs. However, independent contractors aren’t covered by the provisions under Illinois workers’ compensation law, so if they’re injured on the job, they’ll need to find some other way of paying their bills.

The Role of Independent Contractors

An employee’s role is fairly straightforward: you’re hired by a company to work certain hours and perform certain responsibilities. An independent contractor, on the other hand, is typically their own employer. As such, they hire out their services to clients, but aren’t considered to be an employee of those clients.

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Under Illinois law, employers have a duty to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees. This means that one way or another, they are responsible for the costs of injuries sustained on the job among their employees. In most cases, this takes the form of workers’ compensation insurance.

In some scenarios, employers may also self-insure, but only if they meet certain requirements. In this case, they pay the costs of workplace injuries directly.

In either case, the onus of paying for workers’ compensation should never fall upon the employee. Workers are not to pay for their workplace injuries, nor should they be held responsible in any way for any portion of the cost.

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Suffering a work-related injury entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits, but in some cases, your employer may try to either reduce the amount you are entitled to or deny benefits completely. In these cases, you can appeal the decision by requesting a hearing from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). Depending on the nature of the claim, appealing a decision can become a long and complicated process, so you will need to be aware of your options and the resources available to you.

Reasons for Denial

Before making an appeal, it’s important to know why your workers’ compensation was denied. Possible reasons why employers deny benefits include:

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