The Law Offices of Millon & Peskin, Ltd. CONTACT US FOR A FREE, CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION • 630-614-1352 • Toll free : 800-707-5107

Chicago Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Can I sue my employer for a workplace injury? P.2

Previously, we began exploring the issue of whether an injured employee has the ability to sue their employer for damages. As we pointed out last time, there are several exceptions to the “exclusive remedy” rule here in Illinois. We’ve already looked briefly at the intentional conduct exception.

The dual capacity doctrine, which is another exception, applies in situations where the employer has legal obligations to the employee apart from those attached to the employment relationship. A common example of this would be where the employee is injured by a defective product manufactured by the employer. Another example would be when an employee is injured on land owned by the employer. 

4 Main Steps in the Illinois Workers' Comp Process

Most people don't think about the workers' compensation process until they get injured on the job. Then they find the process to be complicated and frustrating.

Here are the four main steps in the workers' comp process in Illinois.

Can I sue my employer for a workplace injury?

Workers’ compensation benefits are a critical resource for those who are injured on the job. This is especially so because, in most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy available to workers who becomes injured on the job. The fundamental agreement or trade-off at the heart of the workers’ compensation system is that employers give up the right to sue their employer in court for damages associated with workplace injuries in exchange for the right to receive benefits through the workers’ compensation system without reference to fault.

Most states recognize that there are certain exceptions to the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy doctrine. Illinois courts have recognized several important exceptions, including intentional conduct, dual capacity, and retaliatory discharge. Proving an exception to the rule is not necessarily an easy matter, though, and it is important to work with an experienced advocate to build a strong case. 

How Much Is My Workers' Compensation Case Worth?

That is probably the most frequently asked question we hear from new Workers' Compensation clients when we first meet with them in our office.  It is a fair and reasonable inquiry.  Probably, 95 times out of 100, the most honest and intelligent answer we can give at that time is, "I don't know, yet." 

Construction Safety Day highlights the real dangers facing workers

Most people might not realize it, but today is actually the 7th annual Construction Safety Day, an initiative sponsored by the Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Advisory Board in Washington state.

While the day is naturally focused on raising awareness and improving construction site safety in Washington state, the significance of its message is nevertheless readily applicable to the entire U.S. In fact, it has even served as an impetus for out-of-state parties to explore the troubling circumstances behind most construction accidents.

Indeed, the construction software firm Viewpoint recently compiled a report in honor of Construction Safety Day using data from both OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report reaches some very eye-opening conclusions concerning construction accident injuries, general safety problems and, most significantly, construction site fatalities.

Insurer ordered to cover ongoing care for manager shot 12 times

A very interesting workers' compensation case recently came to a close in the state of Nebraska concerning whether a clothing company and its work comp insurer were obligated to cover the costs of post-traumatic stress disorder and drug treatment for an employee shot multiple times while on the job.

Back in June 2011, two men robbed a Gen-X Clothing store in Lincoln, threatening the store manager not to report the crime to the police. The 37-year-old manager, however proceeded to do just that and the two robbers were arrested.

Shockingly, a brother of one of the robbery suspects showed up at the store two weeks later and shot the manager 12 times to prevent him from testifying. Amazingly, he survived and testified at trial, making sure that all three men were sent to prison for a long time.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Gen-X Clothing and its work comp insurer, Farmer's Truck Insurance Exchange, paid the manager's medical bills and temporary disability benefits while he recovered from his physical injuries.

Safe driving urged during National Work Zone Awareness Week

There are perhaps no more dangerous occupations within the construction industry than those associated with road construction. On a daily basis, these men and women have to not only worry about traditional worksite hazards (falling objects, dangerous machinery, deep trenches, etc.), but also the traffic zooming by them.

Making matters worse, many of these drivers are distracted, meaning their focus is not on the road ahead but rather on everything from their phones and their dashboard navigation systems to their children and their breakfast.

If you don't believe how dangerous road construction work can be, consider some of the following statistics:

  • Illinois sees an average of 4,800 work zone motor vehicle accidents every year.
  • There were over 1,000 injuries in work zone motor vehicle accidents in 2013.
  • There were 25 fatal work zone motor vehicle accidents resulting in 28 deaths in 2013, including one Illinois Department of Transportation worker.

How loud noise greatly increases the risk of serious work injuries

Anyone whose job requires them to work in loud conditions knows from firsthand experience just how challenging it can sometimes be to get work done or even communicate with fellow workers. However, a recently released study shows that these loud conditions may actually be putting you at risk of a serious work injury.

Researchers from the National Public Health Institute of Quebec examined the medical records of 46,550 male employees working over a twenty-year timeframe. Here, they determined that 1,670 of these employees had been hospitalized at some point for a work-related injury within five years of submitting to a hearing test.

From there, the researchers proceeded to compare the level of hearing loss reported in these hearing tests with both the number of work injuries and the workplace exposure to loud noise.

Somewhat shockingly, they determined that the risk of hospitalization for a work-related injury increased by one percent for every decibel of hearing loss recorded.

National safety stand-down will cover fatal construction falls

Of the seemingly innumerable dangers facing workers on the typical construction site, none perhaps looms any larger than falls from heights. Indeed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that falls are currently the leading cause of fatal construction accidents in the U.S., accounting for over a third of all fatalities.

In recognition of just how much of a problem fatal falls are becoming, OSHA, together with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, launched an ongoing fall-prevention campaign back in 2012.

Here, the campaign revolves around a comprehensive website, where employers can secure vital information concerning everything from how to prevent falls to how to outfit workers with the right kind of fall-protection equipment.

The efforts of these two federal agencies to help combat the number of fatal falls at construction sites consists of more than just this campaign, however, as OSHA recently announced that it is holding a national event designed to raise awareness about this import safety issue.

Teen worker injured at Illinois snowboarding hill

Though the snow and cold this winter has brought has been difficult for many residents of the state of Illinois, for those who enjoy participating in winter sports the snow has been a great thing. To accommodate these people many facilities, such as snowboarding parks have hired workers. Unfortunately one teen who works at a Chicago area park was recently injured when his arm became caught in a conveyor lift. The worker is 17-years-old.

Make An Appointment With a Skilled Illinois Lawyer

Wheaton Office
2100 Manchester Road,
Building B, Suite 1060
Wheaton, IL 60187
Map & Directions

Northwest Suburban Office
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Rosemont Office
10700 W. Higgins Road, Suite 100
Rosemont, IL 60018
Map & Directions

Chicago Area Office
311 N. Aberdeen, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607
Map & Directions

Phone / Fax: Tel: 630-614-1352 Toll free: 800-707-5107 Fax: 630-260-1150

Email: Kevin Millon: khm@millonpeskin.com Mitchell Peskin: MMP@MillonPeskin.com
Review Us