Workers’ compensation law provides important benefits for workers who are injured on the job. However, as discussed in part one of this article, receiving such benefits comes at a price. In exchange, for receiving workers’ compensation insurance coverage, employees are not typically allowed to file a civil suit against their employer for their injuries. This limitation can be frustrating for employees and their families whose benefits fail to make up for what they have lost as a result of an injury. It also means that employers are too often financially protected even when clear negligence has caused pain and suffering for their employees.
When someone experiences a work-related injury, they will typically do one of three things. Some do nothing and choose to not report the injury. This, of course, is a potentially dangerous choice and we strongly urge such workers to reconsider their options. Second, the worker may file for workers’ compensation benefits. A third possibility is that the worker will seek out the assistance of a lawyer with the intention to sue their employer for damages. What may surprise you, however, is that for workers in Illinois, in most cases, suing your employers for your injury is not an option.
“I should sue them!” You hear those words said all the time. You’ve actually probably said them yourself. This phrase is sometimes used jokingly – after a bad haircut or the waiter spilling water on you. But often it’s said in frustration. Something has gone horribly wrong through no fault of your own. You feel victimized, powerless. We don’t trust the guilty party to adequately fix or make up for their error. Maybe they’re denying fault all together. And pursuing a lawsuit against them feels like the only way to be heard, for the truth to be known – to receive justice. Regardless, once these words are said, your next step is: am I serious?
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.
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.
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.
What is defined as a successful relationship between an attorney and their client? It’s clear that ultimately your goal in hiring an attorney is to win your case. So it may seem that your best bet is to seek out a “win at all costs” attorney, who promises to do anything and everything to win your case. But unfortunately, complaints are legion from clients of such lawyers, who not only often failed to achieve the results their client are promised or satisfied with, but who also made life miserable in the process. A winning conclusion to your case is vital, but it is only part of what makes it successful. So what, then, is considered a successful attorney-client relationship?
If there is one thing as common as the use of cell phones, it’s concerns about the safety of cell phones. We worry about the safety of our information on cell phones -- as they may get “smarter”, so do their hackers. Scientists even disagree about their effect on our health – maybe they cause cancer, maybe they don’t. But one thing we know for sure: cell phone use does and has led to an increase in traffic accidents and fatalities. This is why more and more states have enacted laws regarding cell use while operating a vehicle. Today, most are aware not only of the physical risks, but that we risk tickets, fines, and even jail time. There is little doubt that such a driver can also be held liable for any damages and injuries they cause. But in a recent surprising lawsuit, the question was raised, “Can the person on the other end of the line be held equally liable?”
Depending on who you are, a visit to the symphony can be described in many ways. “Inspiring,” if you are a classical-music lover; “boring,” if you are not. Most, however, would agree a night at the symphony is a sophisticated event, with an expectation of refined etiquette from its audience. So it’s easy to imagine that readers of the Chicago Tribune newspaper did a double-take upon reading its recent headline: “Fight Night At Chicago Symphony Orchestra”.
From play dates to sleep-overs, through their lifetime your child will likely spend a lot of time at friends’ homes. As separation anxiety fades, these visits get easier for both of you as your child ages. And yet, every new household brings a new set of risks. While it’s important to encourage your child’s independence, it’s equally important to make certain they are entering a safe environment. Most parents know to ask basic questions about supervision, house rules, etc. before entrusting their child to another household. But too often they fail to consider those areas of risk that are often responsible for childhood accidents in a home. To ensure the safety of your child at all ages, discuss these common household hazards with any adult whose home your child will be visiting.