John Lesaganich, P.C., Attorney at Law
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Peoria Workers' Compensation Blog

How can a workers' comp claim be denied in Illinois?

If a person in Illinois is injured on the job and cannot work for an extended period, they may assume they are automatically entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, life is not always that easy and sometimes a person's initial application for workers' compensation benefits in Illinois may be denied. The following are some common reasons for a denied workers' compensation claim.

First, there are laws that determine the timeframe in which a worker must report their injury to their employer and file their claim for benefits. Also, an employer may dispute the claim for benefits. For example, the employer may try to argue that the injury was not suffered on the job, was due to horseplay or for some other reason should be denied. In addition, certain injuries may not be compensable even if they arose out of a person's work duties.

What are the top 10 causes of workplace injuries?

Each year the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index releases data on the leading 10 causes of serious workplace injuries suffered in our nation. The injuries must have caused the injured worker to miss at least five days of work. These injuries can be found in a wide variety of industries in Illinois and nationwide.

In all industries, the five most common causes of workplace injuries were: overexertion from outside sources; falls on the same level; being struck by an object or equipment; falls to a lower level; and other exertions or bodily reactions. Other common workplace injuries include: motor vehicle accidents; slips or trips without falling; being caught between equipment or objects; repetitive stress injuries; and being struck against an object or equipment.

4 Major work hazards for steel workers

Steel workers walk into work every day and face multiple types of safety threats to complete their day’s mission. Workers often clock long hours while physically and mentally exhausting themselves. The demands of the job are not meant for everyone, and it takes strength of mind and body to keep up with the duties faced each day.

Steel workers and their families should know how workers’ compensation will help them should an accident occur. There are many types of ways workers may get hurt on-the-job, and without proper health coverage and compensation, the workers and their families will suffer financial loss and a longer recovery.

Workers' compensation injuries can be disfiguring

The types of injuries a person can suffer in the workplace can span from repetitive trauma injuries to back injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries and more. However, some of the most severe injuries a person in Illinois can suffer from are injuries that cause disfigurement. It is important for workers to know when a person can seek workers' compensation for disfiguring injuries suffered in the workplace.

Section 8(c) of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act addresses disfiguring injuries. Per the Illinois Supreme Court, a disfiguring injury is one that disturbs the worker's bodily beauty and symmetry. Unlike other types of workers' compensation injuries, injuries involving disfigurements are not permitted to be settled or arbitrated until the disfigurement has lasted at least six months.

Workers' compensation benefits can cover a variety of expenses

Workers' compensation benefits are meant to be a financial lifeline for those who are injured on the job and must take an extended leave from work while they recover from their injuries. Being unable to work often means no paycheck, which can cause a worker significant hardship. Workers' compensation in Illinois provides benefits to qualifying workers in such situations, so they need not worry about how to afford their daily living expenses while they cannot work.

Workers' compensation is generally available to those classified as employees who are injured in the course of their work duties. This may be the case even if the employee's own negligence contributed to the incident that led to their injury. However, in exchange for receiving workers' compensation benefits, workers relinquish the right to pursue a lawsuit against their employer based on their injury, although a lawsuit may be sought against any third parties responsible for the incident that led to the injury.

Why mental health matters for workers’ compensation

When you suffer an injury on the job, you will naturally have many concerns. How long will I be off the job? Can I afford these medical bills? Will I get any compensation from my employer? However, many often overlook an important aspect of recovery in these cases: mental health.

If you are going through a workers’ compensation claim you may be at risk for mental health afflictions. It is important to recognize the symptoms of mental health issues, so that you can seek proper help and speed the recovery process.

When will my workers' compensation benefits cease?

When a worker in Illinois is injured on the job that worker may be unable to work for some time while recuperating from the injury. These workers may be able to pursue temporary disability benefits. These benefits could provide the workers with partial compensation for the wages lost due to being unable to work. States generally set what the maximum and minimum amount of temporary workers' compensation benefits available will be.

If a worker has suffered a permanent disability that keeps the worker from being able to compete in the open labor market to some capacity, that worker may be awarded permanent disability benefits. How much a worker is entitled to in permanent disability benefits is dependent on how limited the worker's activities are due to the injury, as well as the worker's age, wages and occupation.

Can you collect both workers' comp and SSD benefits in Illinois?

Sometimes a worker in Peoria will suffer a major injury in the course of work duties and will need to take time off work to recover. Leave the workforce involuntarily can have a significant financial impact on a person. For this reason, Illinois offers workers' compensation benefits and the federal government offers Social Security Disability benefits to qualified applicants. It is important to determine which type of benefits suits your situation, as, in general, a person who receives workers' comp will see a reduction in the amount of SSD benefits they are qualified for.

First, workers' comp is generally only collected for injuries or illnesses suffered in the workplace. However, a person who suffers an injury or illness either at work or outside of work may be able to apply for SSD benefits. In addition, workers' comp may be available to those who have a temporary injury. However, to qualify for SSD benefits, a person generally needs to have suffered an injury that will last a year or more, or is expected to be fatal.

Are nurses at risk for repetitive stress injuries?

Whether administering medication or typing notes into patient records, nurses have many daily duties that require some sort of physical exertion. When this constant physical effort leads to continual motions that put strain on nurses’ bodies, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can occur.

RSI are commonly associated with office workers typing on computers every day. However, RSI can occur in a wide array of industries across Illinois workplaces, from factory workers moving products on an assembly line to retail workers hanging clothes to nurses caring for patients and more.

Can you suffer a workers' compensation injury at home?

Most people in Illinois understand that if you get hurt at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. For example, a person might have a workers' compensation injury if they throw out their back trying to lift something heavy at work or if they experience repetitive stress trauma from performing repetitious tasks at work all day long. However, what if a person is injured outside the workplace? Can such an injury allow them to pursue workers' compensation benefits?

In general, to receive workers' compensation benefits, a person's injuries must be work-related. What is considered a work-related injury can be interpreted rather expansively, however. For example, depending on the circumstances, if a worker is driving a company-owned vehicle in the course of job duties and is subsequently involved a car accident, then the worker may be able to pursue workers' compensation for the injuries they suffered in the crash. Similarly, if a worker is injured at an official company event held by their employer, such as the company holiday party, that worker might pursue workers' compensation even if the event was not held on company-owned property.

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