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Will County workers compensation attorneysThere is no doubt that certain jobs are more dangerous than others are. For example, a police officer faces the potential for physical injury on a daily basis, while an office or factory worker would not experience the same kinds of risks. However, workplace accidents can occur in any field of work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes standards and rules that detail the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from dangers and hazardous conditions. OSHA standards regulate construction work, maritime operations, and general industries. Regardless of the type of industry or injury, Illinois employees are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job.  

Common OSHA Violations

Even though OSHA falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, which is a federally regulated agency, employers or workers sometimes ignore or cut corners on safety standards. According to OSHA and the National Safety Council’s Safety + Health magazine, a few examples of commonly cited OSHA violations include failures related to:

  • Fall protection
  • Control/containment of hazardous materials
  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Ladders
  • Machine guarding
  • Eye and face protection
  • Powered industrial trucks

The lack of adequate training or maintenance can impact the chances of an accident. In addition, faulty or defective equipment can cause a workplace injury. For instance, if an employer does not provide handrails on elevated platforms, a worker could lose his or her balance and fall. 

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Joliet workers compensation attorneyIllinois is one of many states that require companies to carry insurance benefits for their employees to cover them in the unfortunate event of a workplace injury. Even if all the required safety measures are taken, accidents can and do happen on the job. Depending on the type of industry, injuries suffered can range from minor sprains or bruises to spinal cord damage. In some circumstances, a worker may never fully recover and is therefore entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD). Understanding the workers’ compensation process is integral to receiving benefits and moving on with your life. 

Illinois Workers’ Comp Laws

According to Illinois employment law, employers (or their insurers) are obligated to pay permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to an injured employee who sustained disfigurement or impairment but can still work up to a certain capacity. Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are paid to an employee who is totally and permanently unable to work.

If a worker has lost the total use, or partial use, of a body part (hand, leg, arm, ear, eye) or has lost partial use of his or her body as a whole, he or she may have the right to permanent disability benefits. In certain situations, a worker may be able to switch jobs within the same company. If the new job’s wages are less than the pre-injury job, the employee is entitled to receive a wage differential. 

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Will County workers compensation attorneysLaw enforcement and firefighting professionals face danger on a regular basis. Their jobs are to protect and save citizens, even if that means putting themselves in peril. This means injuries can be prevalent for individuals in these occupations, especially due to the physical nature of their duties. In certain situations, workers’ compensation benefits can be claimed if one of these workers suffers an injury on the job. In Illinois, first responders can file for workers’ comp benefits, with exceptions for police and firefighters employed by the City of Chicago. 

Common First Responder Injuries 

Police officers have a greater chance of incurring a work-related injury or illness than those in many other occupations. Nonfatal injuries and illnesses that cause officers to miss work may be the result of violence, animal attacks, or even falls while on duty. For example, when serving search warrants, an officer could face a suspect who pulls a gun or a knife. A suspect could also be combative by hitting, kicking, or shooting at law enforcement. Other cause of injury may include vehicle collisions while patrolling the roadways. When making a traffic stop, an offender may try to evade or elude police, which sends the officer on a high-speed chase, which could result in a crash. 

Some of the typical injuries sustained by law enforcement officials include:

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Will County workplace accident attorneysAccidents can and do happen on the job, regardless of the occupation or workplace environment. According to Illinois law, if you are injured at work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. This claim means you cannot sue your employer for an injury you suffer performing your job, even if your employer’s negligence caused your injury. Alternatively, when someone else who is not your employer is at fault for your work-related injury, you may sue him or her for wages lost or medical bills caused by his or her negligence. These types of claims against an individual or another company that caused a workplace injury are called “third-party claims.”

Understanding Third-Party Liability

Illinois has a no-fault workers’ compensation system, meaning it does not matter if the employer or employee is to blame for the injury. If an employee suffers a serious injury at his or her workplace in Illinois, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Benefits can include temporary or permanent disability payments, as well as coverage for medical bills and lost wages.

Workplace injuries can also occur due to no fault of the worker or the employer, but instead because of another person’s or entity’s actions or inactions. Under these circumstances, the injured employee can file a liability lawsuit against the at-fault third party and seek damages. Compensation can be for lost wages if the employee cannot return to work for a period of time, and also medical costs, disability, disfigurement, in addition to pain and suffering. In some cases, it may be appropriate to file both a workers' compensation claim and third-party lawsuit.

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Joliet workers' compensation attorneysAccidents can and do occur at companies and job sites even if every safety precaution is taken. In Illinois, workers’ compensation benefits can help cover medical expenses and lost wages if a worker is hurt while on the job. The majority of workplace injuries involve an employee eventually returning to work after he or she is healed. In certain accidents, however, a worker may sustain injuries so severe that they cause permanent restrictions or disability. If you are permanently disabled as a result of a catastrophic work injury, disability benefits might help you reclaim your life.

Types of Permanent Disability Benefits in Illinois

According to Illinois law, there are two different types of permanent disability benefits depending on the consequences of an injury. Employers are required to pay permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to an employee who is impaired or disfigured in some way while performing his or her job but who is still able to work in a limited capacity. Sometimes surgery will repair or correct an injury, and the worker can go back to his or her job after attending a rehab facility or doing physical therapy.

Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are for an employee who is permanently unable to work in any capacity. With extreme cases, amputation may be necessary if a body part has been severed and cannot be reattached. If an employee loses both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any of these two body parts, that constitutes permanent total disability. This also applies if there is permanent and complete loss of the use of those body parts.

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