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July 2016 Archives

The impact of the going and coming rule

Most Illinois employees are entitled to workers' compensation benefits whenever they suffer a work-related injury. However, the definition of work-related may be rather broad. For instance, if someone is hurt at a company party or other function outside of the normal job site, that injury may be considered work-related. However, workers who are injured when they are commuting to or from work are usually not covered due to what is known as the going and coming rule.

CDC concerned over high car crash fatality rate

Illinois motorists may be aware that the CDC has issued a car crash report comparing the U.S. with 19 wealthy nations, and there are concerns over the higher rate of fatal car crashes in the U.S. The report also looked at the number of car crashes where alcohol was a factor as well as the overall reduction on the rate of car crashes over 13 years.

OSHA reinforces protections for workers reporting injuries

Workers in the state of Illinois enjoy strong federal protections against accidents and injury in the workplace. The federal agency in charge of overseeing employee safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has recently expanded their system for the reporting of workplace injury and reinforced the laws protecting those who disclose these problems.

Importance of thorough and consistent medical history

As an injured person, it is extremely import to provide the medical providers with an accurate, thorough and consistent history of accident. The first point of medical treatment after an accident is crucial. The Judges, Attorneys and Insurance Companies pay great weight to the history contained within the first note of medical treatment. A common mistake that people tend to do, is after an injury when they go to the Emergency Room, Prompt Care or to their Primary Care Doctor is they deny trauma. Most people perceive trauma as a catastrophic event. However, medical providers mean any accident big or small when they use the word trauma. If you are injured and are asked if you were involved and/or experienced a recent trauma, make sure to answer yes.

Hearing loss cases

I was asked recently by a client whether a loss of hearing is a workers compensation case in the State of Illinois. The answer is yes, depending on the hearing loss and the amount of noise he is exposed to at work. Under Section 8(e) 16 of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, a loss of hearing for compensation purposes is confined to the frequency of 1000, 2000 and 3000 decibels per second. A loss of hearing for frequency tones above 3000 decibels per second and under 1000 decibels are not recoverable. In other words, hearing loss cases are recoverable only if there is a loss within a specific range. Obviously, testing has to be performed by an audiologist to determine the loss in the particular frequencies.

Toxic welding fumes are a workplace hazard

Welders in Illinois and around the country should be concerned about toxic smoke and fumes as well as the fire risks associated with their jobs, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. While a single stray spark can cause a fire, smoke and fumes containing metals like arsenic and lead and noxious gases such as hydrogen fluoride have been associated with several types of cancer and other catastrophic health issues.

Payment of statutory amputations

If you have suffered the misfortune of an industrial accident resulting in the amputation of an appendage, seek an attorney immediately. It is well established that the purpose of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (the Act) is to provide employees with a "prompt, sure remedy for their injuries and to require that the cost of industrial accidents be borne by the industry rather than its individual members." However, never is this truer than in the case of what is referred to as a "statutory amputation." This phrase is used because the Act treats amputations differently than it does other, less serious injuries. Amputations are typically irreversible, and therefore have distinct and separate rights that attach to them automatically. To be considered an amputation, the injury must affect more than just soft tissue. The injury must affect the bone as well.

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