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Joliet workers compensation lawyersFollowing an injury at work, you may find yourself worrying about the time—and wages—lost at work, on top of the physical effects you will have to deal with. Even small injuries on the job can turn your whole life upside down, making simple daily tasks appear extraordinary.

Accidental injury can occur at any time, to even the most diligent workers, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission recorded nearly 38,000 injuries between 2015 and 2016. Topping the list was the category “Overexertion and bodily reaction,” representing an astonishing 40 percent of all recorded injuries. However, it might not always be readily apparent what types of injuries fall into this category of overexertion and bodily reaction. Below is an explanation of this type of workplace injury and how it applies to seeking workers’ compensation benefits.  

Does My Injury Fall into This Category?

The name “Overexertion and bodily reaction” is not really descriptive enough for a category which applies to more than one third of injured workers and might leave you confused after your workplace injury.

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Joliet workers compensation attorneysConstruction jobs can be more dangerous than other types of jobs due to the nature of the work. For example, construction workers often operate heavy machinery to perform their duties, sometimes at extreme heights on scaffolding. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 150,000 construction site accident injuries every year in the United States. The reasons for injury can range from improperly maintained equipment, inadequate training, or hazardous workplace conditions. Although some injuries may be minor, others can be debilitating, requiring surgery, physical therapy, or extensive rehabilitation. In some cases, a person may be unable to return to work in the construction field. Workers’ compensation benefits can alleviate some of the medical costs incurred after a work injury. However, in certain situations, a negligent third party could be held responsible for your injury as well. 

Professional Hazards

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers at construction sites to follow certain safety procedures, accidents can still happen. For example, if an employee falls from a ladder, he or she can sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI), a broken leg or arm, and possibly paralysis. Heat-related injuries can occur when working in high temperatures or humidity without adequate hydration or breaks. In the event electrical equipment malfunctions, an explosion can occur, resulting in significant burns or damage to a person’s eyesight and/or hearing. 

Some of the more common injuries construction workers may suffer on the job include:  

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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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