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August 2012 Archives

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.

Your Rights When Employer Fails to Obtain Workers Compensation Insurance, Part II

When a worker in Illinois is injured on the job, he or she often is eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. State law in Illinois requires most employers to provide such coverage for their eligible employees. But as we explored in a recent article, the reality is that sadly some employers’ flout the law. Whether they allow coverage to lapse, never obtained coverage, or simply fail to pay awarded benefits, injured workers are the ones who suffer the most. Such workers, however, may not be without justice or options. As discussed in a previous article, employers in violation of the law may be fined and even jailed for failure to provide coverage. More importantly, such employers make themselves vulnerable to expensive lawsuits. While the Workers’ Compensation Act sheilds employers in most cases from lawsuits by injured workers, noncompliance may negate this protection. As such, employees may be able to seek a far greater amount for their injuries than would otherwise have been paid out by workers’ compensation coverage. Another possible option for workers without coverage, and the subject of this article, is the Illinois’ Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund.

Your Rights When Employer Fails to Obtain Workers Compensation Insurance, Part I

For a worker, a job-related injury often makes them aware of how little they know about their rights. Not until they are hurt do many employees realize that what they’ve assumed about their benefits may not be entirely accurate. It’s often a shock to find that coverage and care for their injuries is hard to achieve, limited in scope, and at times, nonexistent. There are many aspects to the workers’ compensation system with which all employees should familiarize themselves. However, the most essential is this: does your employer carry workers’ compensation insurance? For Illinois workers, the good news is that most employers are required by law to carry some form of workers’ compensation insurance. Very few exemptions exist for employers to not provide their employees with coverage. But the truth remains, not all business owners comply with the law. It’s distressing for an employee who is injured on the job to find out too late that their employer has failed to obtain or maintain their coverage. Fortunately, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission provides guidance and assistance for workers whose employers are in noncompliance.

Protect Loved Ones From Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

At some point, many people will require the services of an assisted living or nursing facility. Whether they are considering this option for themselves, a spouse or a parent, there are many aspects to consider when choosing the right facility. Your assistance needs, location, personal preferences, as well as your finances will all play a part in your decision. But perhaps the most important consideration is to choose a facility that will keep you safe.

Beyond Workers Compensation: Injured Workers and Personal Injury

If you’ve been injured at work, you likely know your best hope for winning workers’ compensation benefits is to hire an attorney. Your check-list for choosing legal representation is generally clear. You want a lawyer with extensive experience with your state’s laws, who has a proven track-record of success, and with whom you feel comfortable working. But for some injured workers, their needs may extend beyond just a workers’ compensation attorney. Some on-the-job injuries involving a third-party may actually also fall under the heading of “personal injury”. And for such workers, choosing an attorney who is experienced in practicing both areas of law is crucial to the success of their case.

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