Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

Illinois workers’ compensation law prevents employees from suing their employers in the event of a workplace injury, including illnesses contracted on the job.

However, employees may be able to recover benefits if they become ill as a result of performing workplace duties.

Workers’ Compensation and Employer Liability

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) handles workers’ comp claim denials, typically through an arbitrator. Those who appeal the arbitrator’s decision must appeal to the IWCC directly. After the IWCC, the only option is to go to court.

The process can be difficult, but it may be possible in some situations. Here, we’ll discuss the appeals process and how to best appeal an IWCC decision.

The Appeals Process

A work injury may lead to a long-term disability, in some cases permanently limiting one’s ability to work. In Illinois, disability benefits are available under workers’ compensation, though there is one other option available as well—Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). These two types of benefits work in different ways, and it’s important to know which will benefit you most in the event of a job-related injury.

Workers’ Compensation

The ultimate purpose of workers’ compensation is to cover your expenses in the event of a work-related injury. In Illinois, that typically means medical expenses and related costs, though it can cover lost wages, job rehabilitation, and long-term disability, especially if an injury leaves you permanently crippled.

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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