"Two workers at a surface coal mine in Centertown, Kentucky died on Friday when a portion of the mine face collapsed on their truck. Charles Shields, director of the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, said rescue workers had recovered the men's bodies and that federal safety officials were opening an accident investigation," reports the Chicago Tribune.
This is a particularly tragic example of a work injury that resulted in death. There are certain industries where the risk of work injury or death is higher than others, like coal mining.
According to preliminary statistics from US Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration, there have been fewer than a dozen fatal injuries in U.S. Mining Industries in the first two quarters of this year. Coal mining statistically has the highest rates of fatalities – often higher than all other types of mining (metal, stone, sand and gravel) combined.
If you work in a hazardous industry, it is particularly important that your employer follow all necessary safety guidelines and ensure that all employees are in compliance with training and safety measures. It can be the difference between life and death or a serious work related injury.
If you or a loved one has sustained a work injury, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. Contact an Illinois workers compensation lawyer today to get assistance with filing a workers compensation claim today. You are entitled to benefits that will help you while you are out of work recovering from a work injury.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that firefighters were called to a Joliet power plant after a hydrogen leak ignited a fire that injured an employee of the plant. The employee was taken to the hospital for treatment. None of the firefighters who put out the fire were injured.
The injured employee is likely to be out of work and may have some injuries caused by the burns that could require substantial medical attention. It is the responsibility of the employer to cover these expenses which is why a Chicago workers compensation claim should be filed. Unless it is found that the leak was caused by malfunctioning equipment it is likely that the employer will be held responsible for paying the compensation due to the injured employee.
Workplace injuries can happen at any job and can be as simple as a twisted ankle and as devastating as death. No matter the severity of the injury it is important to see a doctor and document it right away. This is even true with injuries that seem very minor such as mild back pain. If you are hurt at work but don't see a doctor because the pain is bearable and then the next week you bend down to pick something up and have serious pain in your back you may not qualify for an Illinois workers comp claim. If the proper steps haven't been taken, it can make it harder to collect.
The insurance companies will do whatever they can to ensure that you are awarded as little compensation as possible. Even if you are deserving of the maximum compensation. This is because that is their job. This is what makes it so vital to have a Chicago workers compensation lawyer working alongside you during the process.
Your Illinois injury lawyers will know the best way to handle the situation while making sure that all paperwork is properly filled out and submitted on time. They might even be able to get you the compensation you deserve much faster than if you were to file Illinois workers compensation claim alone.
A work injury can be a devastating and stressful time. Ease some of your stress by hiring a Chicago workers compensation lawyer right away.
Public employees such as firefighters and police officers are understandably at a higher risk for a work place injury than anyone else. In some cases they actually lose their lives while performing their job.
A Chicago fireman and father was killed while fighting a fire shortly before last Christmas. Initial investigation of the incident placed the blame on the City of Chicago as well as the fire department. An article in the Chicago Sun Times stated that the Nation Institute for Occupational Safety and Health noted the fact that the fire department did not have enough radios for proper communication as a contributing factor to the deaths.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that the children of this Chicago fireman have filed a lawsuit against the people who own the building where the business took place. The children believe that the building was not cared for and that long term negligence in caring for the building ultimately led to their father's life. The Chicago Sun times reported that the building owner had been sued by the city approximately 3 times since 1987. He had also been issued a number of violations of code.
The dead fireman's children believe that if the business owners took action and these violations had been handled then there is a chance that their father would still be alive.
This is a situation where the legal course of action could either go with wrongful death or Illinois workers compensation. No matter what job you or a loved one has been injured on it's very wise to speak with a Chicago workers compensation lawyer. They can help you understand your rights as an injured person. Most work injury lawyers will want to evaluate your injuries as soon as they happen. Taking immediate action after an injury is vital to the success of your Illinois work injury claim. The Illinois Workers Compensation Act protects people who have been hurt at work. These laws can be confusing to say the least. Hiring a Chicago workers compensation lawyer means that you can rest assured that they will handled your case. Nothing will be forgotten or misfiled.
In fact, you may even receive your compensation faster. Insurance companies have a tendency to slow down the process and your Chicago workers compensation lawyer won't let that happen.
"A man working on overhead cable television lines in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood died after falling from a ladder this morning, authorities said.
The man, 26, was working on the cable lines in an alley in the 1400 block of North Kolin Avenue about 9:23 a.m. when he fell from a ladder and hit his head, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez," reports the Chicago Tribune.
Several witnesses reported that they saw the man fall. The local police are investigating the incident, which does appear to be an accident. Comcast, the company employing the contractor the man was working for, has expressed their condolences and their willingness to cooperate with authorities to conduct a thorough investigation.
High Risk Jobs and Illinois Work Injury
Illinois work injury attorneys know that certain jobs have a higher risk to employees than others. That is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific standards and regulations for all industries, particularly those that have higher than usual risk and accident rates.
The risks of work injuries in the field of cable installation – similarly to the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry – include:
• Fall Hazard: As in the case above, the risk of falling from a ladder and/or equipment is substantial. Possible injuries include broken limbs, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even death.
• Electrocution: There have been many cases where cable installers were electrocuted when the cable wire accidentally comes into contact with an electrical wire, according to OSHA.
Far too often, our Illinois work injury attorneys work with individuals who have sustained serious injuries from these types of accidents. The best way to avoid a work injury of this nature include:
•Safety training and education
• Adequate protective gear, including head protection
• Properly functioning equipment adhering to appropriate safety standards
• Compliance with all current OSHA regulations
Even if you follow all the above suggestions and guidelines, work injuries do happen – and oftentimes they are accidents. However, if you have sustained a work injury, you may be entitled to compensation under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. This is particularly important if you are seriously injured and are not able to work as a result. Speak with a qualified Illinois work injury attorney to find out more.
"Many overweight and obese patients seen in hospital emergency departments don't believe their weight poses a risk to their health, and many say doctors have never told them otherwise, a new study finds," according to USA Today. This finding seems shocking and alarming, especially in a state where 26.6 percent of the general population are classified as obese. The statistic is similar across the country.
Additionally, Chicago workers compensation attorneys know that not only does obesity put individuals at greater risk for health complications but also for work injuries and subsequent workers compensation claims.
In fact, a Duke University Medical Center study "observed “dramatic” workers’ compensation-related differences between people with normal weight or body mass index (BMI)– a calculation that assesses weight relative to height– and those in the obesity BMI range," according to the Insurance Journal. Additionally, morbidly obese workers:
- Filed 45 percent more claims than non-obese workers
- Had 5.4 times the medical costs of a worker with a normal BMI
- Reported 8 times as many lost workdays as non-obese workers
- Filed almost 8 times more indemnity claims as workers with normal BMIs
For this reason, many in the industry – the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and our Chicago workers compensation attorneys – are concerned about the obesity epidemic. "Claims involving obesity are seen to have “markedly higher” indemnity and medical costs," according to the NCCI. Obesity can impact mortality rates, reduce productivity and increase the rate of impaired activity associated with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
It is important to live a healthy and active lifestyle to avoid obesity and its subsequent complications. However, if you are an obese worker, you are still entitled to rights under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act or similar legislation in your area. If you have suffered a work related injury – regardless of your weight – you may be entitled to compensation.
Our Chicago workers compensation attorneys have extensive experience dealing with workers compensation claims. If you have been injured at work, let an experienced legal professional assist you with the process of filing a workers compensation claim. It is a very complex legal process, and employers and insurance companies do not always act in the best interest of their employees during the process. You need someone to advocate for you and your rights, and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Earlier in the year, new legislation was signed into law regarding the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. Our Chicago workers compensation attorneys would like to remind everyone that while most of the amendments to the Workers Compensation Act were immediately in effect (as of June 28, 2011), there are some changes that just went into effect on September 1, 2011.
According to Travelers Insurance, "among other changes, the bill reduces the current medical fee schedule by 30%; establishes a Preferred Provider Program with an employee opt out provision; caps wage differential awards at five years or age 67, whichever is later; enhances the Utilization Review provisions; includes the use of the current edition of the American Medical Association’s “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment”; and imposes a number of reporting obligations on insurers."
The amendments that are effective as of September 1, 2011 are as follows, courtesy of our Chicago workers compensation attorneys:
• Changes to Intoxication Defense: If a worker is found to be intoxicated at the time of a work injury accident and the intoxication is the proximate cause of the injury, no workers compensation benefit will be awarded. If an employee fails a drug or alcohol test, or refuses to submit to such testing, the presumption is that the employee's intoxication was the cause of the work injury. The employee may work with a workers compensation attorney to prove that intoxication was not the cause of the injury, but it is their responsiblity to do so in order to receive workers compensation benefits.
• Determination of Permanent Partial Disability: Permanent partial disability will be based on the following criteria: written report of a licensed physician utilizing the most recent edition of the American Medical Association’s “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment,” occupation, employee's age (at time of injury), employee's future earning capacity, and evidence of disability accompanied by medical records. No specific weight will be given to one criteria over the others; however, subjective information (like the employee's testimony) will no longer be factored in. A written explanation of the relevance and weight of the above criteria is required.
• Reduction of Hospital and Non-Hospital Fee Schedules: The amounts provided under hospital and non-hospital fee schedule are reduced by 30%. Additionally, effective January 1, 2012, geographic regions of both hospital and non-hospital fee schedules will be reduced.
These changes to the Illinois Workers Compensation Act are the latest to go into effect, with more to come in 2012. Because workers compensation law is constantly changing, if you have suffered a work related injury, your best course of action is to work with a qualified Chicago workers compensation attorney. It is their job to keep up with legislative changes and ensure that you receive the workers compensation benefits you are entitled to.
A Chicago police officer was pursuing a suspect on foot October 11th when he was bitten by a pit bull terrier. The injury occurred on Chicago's South Side.
According to the Chicago Tribune, "at about 6:19 p.m., two police officers from the Gresham district were on patrol when they stopped to speak with a man who quickly fled as police tried to speak with him, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien.
As the officers began chasing the man on foot, someone in the area released the dog which attacked the officers on the 7500 block of Union Avenue, police said."
The officer was subsequently hospitalized, but the injury was not considered life threatening.
Chicago Work Injuries
If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to protection and benefits under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. This legislation has specific time limits, document submission guidelines and many other requirements that must be met in order to successfully file a Chicago workers compensation claim. While you are legally able to represent yourself, it is not advisable.
Why? You can bet that your employer and their insurance company will be represented by competent Illinois workers comp lawyers. Their primary objective is to defeat claims and/or minimize the total amount of compensation awarded to an injured worker on behalf of their client.
For this reason, injured workers should meet with legal counsel well-versed in Illinois workers' compensation law. An Illinois workers compensation attorney will lead you through the legal process of filing a workers comp claim in Chicago – which can become quite complex – in order to receive every benefit that is allowed them under the Act. The benefits of working with a Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney include:
- Legal Expertise: Obviously, as outlined above, you do not have the extensive information required to represent yourself as well as a qualified Chicago Workers Compensation attorney.
- Peace of Mind: Once you are working with a qualified legal professional who you trust, you can focus on getting better, rather than worrying about how you are going to pay your medical bills and compensate for lost wages.
- Speedier Process: If you are representing yourself, your employer or their insurance company may try to stall or delay the process of your claim. Your Chicago workers compensation attorney will prevent unnecessary and unlawful delays on your behalf so you can receive your workers compensation benefits as quickly as possible.
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee, have agreed to work together to wring $15 million in savings out of the city’s $100-a-year million tab for workers compensation," reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
This declaration comes five years after a Chicago Sun-Times investigation into Chicago workers comp abuses triggered subpoenas at the federal level. The Mayor plans to attempt to reduce workplace injuries by launching a worker safety program. This includes a "safety analysis" which will be conducted in every city department to formulate safety protocols.
This "safety analysis" is especially important in the Department of Streets and Sanitation, where approximately one-third of the refuse collection workforce is injured and unable to work on any given day.
Ald. Burke is solely responsible for processing and settling workers compensation claims and selecting lawyers for claims which are challenged. He is commited to investigating and managing individual cases more aggressively.
Additionally, the Finance Committee will be responsible for working with other city officials to get injured employees back to their jobs and coming up with a new protocol for updating the status of disabled employees on a regular basis. If an employee is unable to be rehired by the city, this committee will "engage in vocational rehab."
The savings will be aided by workers comp reforms that were approved by the General Assembly earlier this year. The reforms make it easier for the city to address chronic and repeat workers compensation claim abuse.
For example, the bill requires employees filing for disability to prove that their injuries occurred on the job and that they were not intoxicated at the time the accident occurred.
This is not the first time the City has set a goal to decrease workers compensation expenditures by preventing and moitoring workers compensation abuse. However, previous efforts have fallen short, necessitating this most recent attempt.
Chicago Workers Compensation Claims
This crackdown on workers compensation abuse is not intended to discourage legitimate Chicago workers compensation claims. If you have been injured on the job, you have rights under the Workers' Compensation Act, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission rules and thousands of cases that the Illinois courts have ruled on establish the legal precedent.
The Law Offices of Bradley Dworkin have extensive knowledge of Illinois workers compensation laws and workers rights. Our experienced Illinois worker compensation lawyers fight diligently for your recovery to get justice you deserve.