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Worker Injury Outpaces Workers' Compensation Accessibility

If you asked the average worker today if he or she feels safe at their workplace, the answer is usually “Yes”. Even for those who work in more hazardous jobs, such as construction and mining, we often believe that we are less likely to be injured on-the-job today than in the past. The reality is, however, that despite increasing awareness of workplace hazards and advancements in safety technology, the number of workers injured, sickened or killed annually is staggering. A May 2012 article by Jim Morris for The Center for Public Integrity gave this chilling statistic: in 2009 alone, more Americans were killed on the job than in the entire nine-years of the Iraq war.

At the Law Office of Millon and Peskin, we have taken on many types of cases. While we specialize in helping those clients with workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, each client and case is always unique. But year after year, we find our help is increasingly needed by workers who have been injured on the job. One thing remains true time and again – despite their legal rights to workers’ compensation benefits, they are fighting an uphill battle simply to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. The truth is that despite a staggering number of workers killed or injured annually, workers are facing increased opposition when they are hurt at work.

The numbers don’t lie. As mentioned in the above article, 4,551 American workers were killed in 2009. The article goes on to state, “Combine the victims of traumatic injuries with the estimated 50,000 people who die annually of work-related diseases and it’s as if a fully loaded Boeing 737-700 crashed every day.” Data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2010, nearly four million Americans were injured or become ill as a result of their work or workplace. And yet, legislation to reduce workers’ compensation benefits is far more in recent focus than legislation to improve worker safety.

The fact remains that workers – many workers – are still injured, sickened and killed as a result of their workplace hazards. Despite our clients’ ongoing need for their workers’ compensation benefits, however, we are seeing an increasing number of barriers placed in their way. In Illinois, legislation billed as “reform” simply improved profits for businesses and their insurance companies while reducing access, treatment and assistance for injured workers. While our clients are making a good faith effort to become well enough to return to work, they are treated by their employer and the insurance company with suspicion and hostility. For injured workers, we provide not just experience and expertise in winning cases, but a voice that won’t be intimidated into silence.

The good news is that as high as the numbers for on-the-job injuries and illnesses are, they have decreased over the past decade. And yet, demand for our proficiency in achieving benefits continues to be strong as our clients confront increasing red-tape and resistance. Despite these roadblocks, fortunately, workers with the workers compensation lawyer Chicago continue to be successful in securing their rights.

About the Author: Brooke Haley is a Marketing Associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyers that practice in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts in the State of Illinois. For more information about Illinois workers compensation attorney,please visit www.millonpeskin.com.

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