Tag Archives: workers compensation

workers' compensation, Illinois workers' compensation attorneysEach year, more than 3 million workers are injured while performing their jobs in the United States. Such injuries cost American companies billions of dollars in lost productivity, not to mention the expenses associated with helping workers recover physically. The workers’ compensation system was created to provide injured employees with the benefits they need to cover medical bills, costs of retraining, and even a portion of missed wages. Despite the existence and suitability of workers’ compensation for most cases, injured workers often wonder if they are able to sue their employer to recover additional compensation for their injuries.

Fault Not a Factor

The workers’ compensation program in Illinois, as in all other states, is a no-fault system that offers protection for employees injured on the job. This means that benefits are intended to be available regardless of whether the injury was caused by the actions or negligence of the employer or the injured party. If an injured party was forced to prove that his or her injuries were caused by employer negligence, far fewer claims would be paid, leaving thousands of injured workers without income or recourse. For example, if you were on a ladder at work—one that was properly maintained and in good working condition—and you twisted your body to reach an item on a high shelf, would your employer be negligent if you fell? Under workers’ compensation, it does not matter. You would be able to file a claim for benefits to cover your injuries.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_injured-worker.jpgIf you have been injured in the course of doing your job, filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits may seem like your only option for covering your injuries. In many cases, this may be true and employers are required to provide workers’ compensation coverage in the event of a workplace injury. However, there may be situations in which workers’ compensation is not available, and others in which the payable benefits are insufficient to meet your needs. Such cases may require you to file a third-party workplace injury claim against any potentially liable party.

Off-Site Injuries and Other Reasons for Third-Party Claims

Employees who spend good part of their workday away from their employer’s office, store, or facility are often at the mercy of many other companies and individuals. A truck driver for a soft-drink company, for example, is employed by the beverage distributor to deliver product to grocery stores and other retail outlets. One day, as he is unloading his delivery at the loading dock of a grocery store, the delivery driver from a dairy company crashes into him with a loaded pallet of milk, breaking the soft-drink company driver’s leg in two places. While the injured driver may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim against his own employer since the injury occurred on the job, his injuries were more directly caused by the actions of the dairy driver and a third-party lawsuit is likely to be appropriate.

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A Chicago company president has become the second employer to plead guilty to a Class 4 felony for failing to obtain workers compensation in Illinois, and has been ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty by the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC).

According to the Insurance Journal, the fine has been levied against John Linek as an individual employer and as the president of SMS Logistics of Chicago. The Insurance Compliance Unit of the IWCC had been working the case against the trucking firm since 2010 in conjunction with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Cook County State Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division.

The IWCC also obtained a Class 4 felony conviction against Ahmed Ghosien, d/b/a of Ghosien European Auto Werks in Hometown, IL for failing to obtain workers compensation insurance in the same case. That conviction was obtained when Ghosien pled guilty to the charges on July 25, 2013, and represents the first conviction of its kind in Illinois. Authorities have stated that both individuals had been given numerous opportunities to obtain the required insurance, but both persistently refused to comply with IWCC requests.

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Working and the wear and tear of your body is normal in everyday living. But when your job is adding to the stress on your body, it can become unbearable. Professions from factory workers to fire fighters to construction workers all have important roles in our society, often at the price of their backs. When the pain is too much or debilitating, wages can be lost and the effect of the injuries can go so far as to hurt businesses and the economy.

Close to a million cases of back pain related injuries that lead to missing work occur on a yearly basis. Studies showing people miss at least 3 days of work for these type of accidents are common for people ages 15-24 and 60 plus years old. Factors that add to the injuries and the likelihood of serious issues include

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If you've been injured on the job, you may be wondering if you need to call a lawyer. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may or may not need a lawyer. Regardless of how minor you may feel your injury is, it is always a good idea to document it and let your supervisor know. In addition, waiting too long after an injury to document it, notify your supervisor, or have it taken care of could be damaging to a potential settlement. Represented here are tips to help you decide if you should hire a lawyer or file your worker's compensation claim on your own.

If your personal injuries are minor and you can return to work within a few days, a lawyer may not be needed. However, some injuries may not immediately reveal symptoms that may later prevent you from completing tasks at work. If you are not feeling up to par and aren't comfortable signing a settlement with the insurance company, in this case an experienced workers' compensation attorney may be a good option, even if you do nothing more than a free consultation to discuss your rights.

Naturally, more severe injuries may have you thinking of contacting an attorney--particularly in a case where you can't return to work. If your life is altered permanently due to injuries sustained on the job, a lawyer can work on your behalf to push your claim in the direction that will benefit you most.

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