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Will County workers compensation lawyerIllinois requires most employers to have insurance that covers employees who get hurt on the job. When employees are injured on the job badly enough that they can never fully recover, future employment can be out of the question. In cases like this, it may seem like common sense to make sure the injured employee receives permanent disability benefits. Unfortunately, employers’ insurance companies usually fight these claims and deserving victims can be left without the resources they need. If you have been injured at work, be sure to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney before you make any decisions. 

What Injuries Cause Permanent Disability? 

Construction workers, truck drivers, police officers, and other high-risk employees are at particular danger of suffering injuries that can cause permanent disability. These injuries include: 

  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Quadriplegia and paraplegia 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations 
  • Knee injuries
  • Severe burns

How Can I Get Permanent Disability Benefits? 

When a workplace accident causes an injury so significant that someone cannot work again, permanent disability benefits are available. While certain injuries, such as the loss of the use of any two of a victim’s eyes, hands, feet, or legs automatically qualifies the victim for permanent disability benefits, it can be difficult to prove that other injuries have made it impossible to work again. An attorney can help make the case that permanent disability benefits are appropriate, as well as help to maximize those benefits. 

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Joliet workplace injury lawyerWhen someone is seriously injured or has ongoing health issues, their ability to go to work every day can be threatened. Unfortunately, injury and illness can result in job loss and the disastrous consequences that come with it - unpaid bills, food insecurity, and even homelessness. Fortunately, there are options to replace your income if you are unable to work due to serious illness or injury: Social Security Disability (SSD) and workers’ compensation benefits. Although these are similar, they are not the same and it is important to understand the difference between the two, especially if you sustained a work-related injury that has kept you from earning a paycheck. 

What is Workers’ Compensation? 

Nearly all Illinois employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, which allows employees to receive benefits after a workplace-related injury or illness. The upside to workers’ compensation benefits is that, in most cases, workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits even if they were at fault for the injury or illness. The downside is that workers’ compensation usually shields employers from lawsuits after an employee has been injured or made ill through no fault of their own. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and sometimes even job training if the employee is unable to return to their former profession. 

What are Social Security Disability Benefits? 

While workers’ compensation benefits protect employees who are injured on the job, SSD is meant to cover long-term injuries and illnesses that are debilitating enough to keep someone out of work no matter how the person was injured or became ill. SSD benefits are provided by a federal program, rather than a state program; to qualify, a SSD recipient must be unable to do work they did before their injury or illness, and unable to perform any other type of work. SSD benefits are difficult to receive because the definition of disability is quite strict, but having an attorney with experience handling SSD denials and appeals can help you successfully obtain benefits, even if you have unsuccessfully applied in the past. You may even be able to obtain both SSD and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. 

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joliet workers comp lawyerAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2 million people are injured at work every year, and over 1 million people will miss work because of a workplace injury.

Most of these injuries are caused by falls, slips, and collisions. However, some incidents are much more subtle; in fact, thousands of workers suffer serious harm just breathing the air around them. The culprit? Toxic gases and chemicals.

Despite advances in safety precautions and more stringent regulations, thousands of workers suffer health complications due to chemical exposure annually. According to the National Safety Council, harmful substances were responsible for over 30,000 non-fatal injuries and over 600 fatalities.

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joliet workers compensation lawyerAny serious bodily injury has the potential to impact a person’s quality of life, but the implications of a brain injury are often especially severe. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the head is struck with a force that causes the brain to bruise, bleed, or suffer damage.

Common traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Concussions: A blow to the head that shakes the brain. Symptoms vary considerably, ranging from mild headaches to long-term memory loss. Concussions usually heal over time.
  • Brain Contusions: A bruise on the brain with concussion-like symptoms. If the bleeding subsists, surgery may be required to remove the bruised area.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injuries: A serious injury that occurs when the brain is impacted so forcefully that the tissue connecting the brain to the brain stem begins to tear. It can be fatal in severe cases.  
  • Penetrating Injury: An object literally fractures the skull and penetrates the brain. A gunshot to the head is the most common example.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with nearly 61,000 people succumbing to TBI annually.

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joliet workers comp lawyerSuffering a workplace injury is frustrating. You may be unable to work, require intensive medical care, and be left with permanent disabilities. However, the situation is all the more vexing if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

Injured workers depend on workers’ compensation benefits during their recovery. If a claim is denied, the worker may be left with mounting medical bills and other expenses. Here are three common reasons workers compensation claims are denied:

The Accident Did Not Occur at Work

In order to qualify for benefits, your injury must have occurred during work. However, this does not necessitate a specific physical location. If the injury occurred while you were performing your job duties (e.g., out making deliveries), it qualifies. This is one of the most common justifications for a claim denial. Employers and insurers looking to avoid a payout often try to argue that the worker was not “on the job” when the accident occurred.  

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