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.
Each year in the United States there are approximately 5 million police-reported motor vehicle accidents. At this high rate, odds are good you will personally be involved in a car accident at some point in your lifetime. Many of us, thankfully, never experience more than mild fender benders or parking lot scrapes. However, around half of these reported accidents involve some sort of injury. In other words, over two million people a year are injured in the U.S. as a result of a motor vehicle crash. If you are a driver, you likely understand your rights regarding insurance and coverage. But what about passengers? A passenger rarely has any culpability when a crash occurs, putting them in the unique position of being a victim regardless of whether the car they were in or another’s caused the accident. If you are injured in a crash, therefore, it’s helpful to know what compensation you may be eligible to pursue for your injury and damages.
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 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?”
One of the most difficult aspects of being injured at work is understanding what your next step should be. Obviously, you should seek medical treatment for your injury, but even that is not as clear cut as it may seem. How much will your doctor’s visit cost and can you afford it? Since you were injured at work, will your employer pay for your medical bills? Can you see any doctor, or must you see a company-approved physician? What if you can’t work anymore? Yet these complicated questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the rights of an injured worker.
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.
Carpal tunnel syndrome, an injury which affects the wrist and hands, continues to be one of the most commonly reported work-related injuries. The carpal tunnel is a narrow area of the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons pass from the arm into the hand. Repetitive motion or injury can cause this area to swell, putting pressure on the nerve and tendons, and causing carpal tunnel syndrome. Syndrome sufferers experience symptoms in the affected hand and wrist ranging from varying degrees of pain, reduced range of motion, tingling and/or loss of feeling, and even a total or near-total inability to use the affected hand altogether. As nearly every job function requires the use of the hands, often in repetitive motions like keyboard or tool use, this injury is responsible for an exceptionally large number of injuries in the work place. With so many workers facing this potentially debilitating injury, it can be helpful to understand what treatment options are available.
The recent crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship stunned even veteran cruise travelers and boating enthusiasts. Disturbing pictures of the listing ship are often accompanied by the rhetorical tagline: “Too big to sink?” In fact, the ship’s mammoth size and relative newness made the crash all the more shocking. Launched in 2006, the Costa Concordia was able to comfortably carry over 4,000 passengers and crew, was in excellent shape, and outfitted with modern sailing and safety technology. Despite having, in theory, everything needed to keep her passengers safe, this mammoth ship was undone by the same flaw that often causes such accidents: human error.