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Lake County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Work-related injuries and illnesses are compensable

Workers who are injured while they are doing their job have specific rights. These are meant to protect them. After all, they are simply trying to earn a living when they are harmed. In Illinois, employers must have workers' compensation coverage. This offers benefits to injured workers while protecting the financial status of the employer.

There are many things that employees need to know about filing for workers' compensation claims. One of these is what types of injuries are compensable. This determination is made based on the circumstances of each case; however, there are some standard points that are considered.

Workplace injuries must be addressed immediately

All workers have the right to expect a safe workplace. Unfortunately, some employers put profit before people and choose to try to bypass safety laws that are set forth by federal and state agencies to help keep workers safe. When this happens, the worker is the person who ultimately suffers. We know that this is a difficult position for you, as well as your family, to be placed in at a moment's notice.

While some workplace injuries are minor and don't require the person to seek medical care or take time off of work, others are catastrophic. The catastrophic injuries are the ones that might require the worker to seek workers' compensation benefits.

Be careful if you have neck pain after an accident

A neck injury can change your life in a split-second. Consider what happened to Christopher Reeve. He was a strong man who played Superman in movies. He had an accident with a horse and broke his neck. He went from being an able-bodied person to being paralyzed, fully dependent on a wheelchair and ventilator until the day he died.

While not all neck injuries, also known as cervical spine injuries, are this serious, they should all be treated as severe injuries. In some cases, the victim of the accident might not realize that they are injured. This is because some injuries will take time before they start to show signs.

Why was my workers' comp claim denied?

The last thing you need after you have suffered a workplace injury is to receive a letter from your employer's insurance company denying your claim for workers' compensation. Workers' compensation is supposed to provide coverage for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to a work injury, and you were likely counting on that coverage to see you through until you can return to work.

Of course, you have every right to appeal the denial, and you would be wise to seek the assistance of a workers' comp attorney to help you with that complex process. Your attorney can review your case and help you understand the reasons why the insurer denied your claim. Knowing the reason for the denial of the claim will help you determine your chances of a successful appeal.

The fatal 4 construction accidents demand attention

The construction industry is a dangerous one for workers. Around 21 percent of all work-related deaths in this country occurs in this industry. The vast majority of these deaths are caused by four types of accidents. These are known as the fatal four. Here are the basics of each type:

Falls: This type of accident accounts for 36 percent of all construction worker deaths. It is by far the deadliest of all types. Using fall arrest devices, harnesses and other similar equipment can help to prevent these incidents.

Don't discount claiming workers' compensation after an injury

We recently discussed the serious nature of on-the-job spinal cord injuries. These aren't the only type of injury that can occur at work that is catastrophic. For many workers, head injuries, being crushed by heavy equipment or items, broken bones or amputations are all very real and serious possibilities.

One thing that is troublesome about many work-related injuries is that they are preventable. There is a chance that the worker will be unable to continue working due to the nature of the problem. For some people, this ends their entire career. This is hard to fathom, but it is a stark reality for many. It can mean they don't have the income to pay their bills. They might have to try to scrape to cover even the basics. The cost of medical care might be frightening, but workers' compensation can certainly help pay for this and possibly other expenses.

On-the-job spinal cord injuries are serious matters

Many workers, including those in the construction and manufacturing industries, are at risk of falling or having items fall onto them. These situations can lead to spinal cord injuries. In some cases, the impacts of the injury are only temporary; however, a catastrophic injury will affect the person for the rest of their life.

There are many points that you need to remember about spinal cord injuries in these cases. It can be hard to think of everything at once. Here are a few important facts to keep in mind:

  • Injuries higher on the spinal cord have more loss of function
  • The area impacted by the injury is always lower than the location of the damage
  • Spinal shock can make the injury seem worse in the first days and weeks
  • Complete injuries have more serious effects than incomplete injuries
  • Medication, surgery and therapy might all be used to treat spinal cord injuries

Vocational rehabilitation may offer a positive change

Whether you love your job or you tolerate it, the fact is that you need it. Your paycheck covers your mortgage or rent, buys groceries, and allows you to afford the many things you and your family need throughout the week. If you lost your income, it would not take long before your family would begin to struggle.

This is why your primary focus after suffering a workplace injury is getting well so you can get back to work and provide for your family. However, if your injuries are severe, you may be unable to return to your previous job or to the position you held before your injury. If this is the case, you may have the right to additional services under your employer's workers' compensation policy.

Protect your hands -- they might be your most valuable tools

If you work on an assembly line in an Illinois factory, your hands are likely your most valuable tools. Will you be able to do your job of you lose the use of one of your hands? Thousands of workers visit emergency rooms every year with serious injuries to their hands, and many of them are unable to return to their jobs for extended periods -- if at all.

Your job exposes your hands to multiple threats that could cause anything from superficial hand and wrist injuries like abrasions, blisters, bruises and minor cuts, to serious lacerations, electrical dangers, thermal and chemical burns and fractures. Catastrophic injuries could lead to amputations. However, if your employer provides adequate safety training and the necessary personal protective equipment that includes safety gloves, your hands might be safe.

Poultry processing injuries: An invisible problem?

There are various safety risks that could come up for people who work at poultry processing plants. This includes musculoskeletal injury risks. Examples of such injuries poultry processing workers sometimes suffer include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Lower back injuries
  • Tendinitis
  • Muscle strains
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Hannigan & Botha, Ltd.
505 E Hawley St.
Ste. 240
Mundelein, IL 60060-2473

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Mundelein Law Office