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McHenry County Personal Injury LawyerWhen an employee is injured on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be a desperately needed source of financial support for serious injuries or disability. But even under the best of circumstances, an employer’s insurance company will work hard to find a reason to deny a workers’ compensation claim. 

One common excuse insurance companies and employers use to deny workers’ compensation claims is that the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that the intoxication, rather than unsafe working conditions, led to the worker’s injuries. However, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that an employee can still qualify for workers’ compensation even if they failed a drug test–but only if they can prove that their drug or alcohol use was not the proximate cause of their injuries.

Who Has the Burden of Proof in Intoxication-Related Workers’ Compensation Denial? 

In 2011, the Illinois law changed and employers who wished to deny workers’ compensation claims based on intoxication no longer had to prove the employee’s intoxication led to their injuries. Rather, employees now bear the burden of proof that their intoxication was not responsible for the injury. 

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crystal lake workers compensation lawyerA hernia is one of the most common workplace injuries. It occurs when an organ or fatty tissue is extruded through the casing of connective tissue that holds an organ in place. This tissue is called the “fascia” and contains many nerve cells giving it skin-like sensitivity.

Hernias are a widespread complication with a 1.7 percent prevalence among all age groups. It is estimated that nearly 5 million people in the United States are living with the condition.

The symptoms of a hernia can vary widely. Initially, they manifest in a protruding bulge that causes pain and sensitivity in the area. The afflicted may have difficulty bending over or picking things up. The bulge may increase in size over time, creating the sensation of bowel obstruction.

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McHenry County Workplace Injury AttorneyWork accidents can lead to traumatic brain injuries, spine injuries, neck injuries, internal organ damage, broken bones, and other serious injuries. Many work injuries are the result of sudden traumatic accidents. Others are caused by long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals, cumulative trauma caused by repetitive motion, or years of manual labor. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is “no-fault” meaning that you do not have to prove another party was at fault to recover compensation.  However, there are still ways that fault can influence your case.

Workers’ Compensation Claims and Fault

To recover compensation for medical expenses and lost income through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, you must only show that the injury occurred at work. You do not have to prove that your employer, co-worker, or another party was to blame for your injury. You can even recover compensation if the accident was your own fault. However, there are some specific situations in which a worker cannot recover compensation through workers’ compensation. For example, a worker may be barred from compensation if the injury was self-inflicted or if he or she was injured while committing a crime.

Can I Sue My Employer if The Employer is At Fault?

Being injured at work because of your employer’s oversight or irresponsibility can be infuriating. Unfortunately, the Illinois Workers Compensation Act significantly limits an injured worker’s right to sue their employer. However, you may be able to sue your employer if the employer intentionally injured you. You may also be able to sue your employer if the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance in violation of Illinois law.

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Crystal Lake Personal Injury AttorneyWork injuries can happen to anyone. Whether due to an equipment accident or fall, long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals, or another reason, work-related injuries can lead to suffering and financial hardship. If you or a loved one were injured while working, you may be dealing with mounting medical bills and other expenses. Additionally, you may be left with painful symptoms that prevent you from working. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and possibly more through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim.

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois

Workers’ compensation insurance covers expenses related to worker injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation also replaces part of the injured worker’s lost income. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is “no-fault” which means that you do not have to prove that your employer or another party was at fault for the injury or illness. In most cases, an injured worker is entitled to compensation for an injury as long as the injury occurred at work and as a result of work duties. This means that you can recover compensation through worker’s comp even if your own carelessness led to the injury. There are some exceptions to this rule. An injured worker may be ineligible for compensation if he or she was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, engaged in “horseplay,” or sustained the injury while in a physical fight he or she initiated.  

Personal Injury Lawsuits Against a Third Party

Illinois workers’ compensation laws prohibit an injured worker from suing his or her employer except in very rare circumstances. However, if a party other than your employer caused your injury, you may be able to sue that party. For example, if you suffered an injury on a construction site because of a contractor’s negligence, you may be able to sue the contractor.

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crystal lake workers compensation lawyerInjured workers in Illinois are often entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses and lost income through workers’ compensation. If you have been seriously injured at your job and your injuries have permanently prevented you from performing the work duties you performed before the injury, you may be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. There are two different kinds of permanent disability benefits: permanent partial disability (PPD) and permanent total disability (PTD).

Permanent Partial Disability

A worker who suffered a permanent injury but is only partially impaired may still be able to earn money from their job. However, they may not be able to perform the same job functions as they could before the injury-causing incident. The workers’ compensation benefits for which they qualify will depend on the part of their body that is permanently disabled and how this impairment affects their ability to work. There are several types of partial permanent disability benefits in Illinois. If a worker’s injury allows the worker to obtain a job that pays less, their workers’ compensation benefits will be two-thirds of the difference between their previous income and their new income. If the worker’s disability payments are based on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act schedule of injuries, the worker receives 60 percent of his or her weekly salary for a number of weeks determined by the schedule. 

Examples of PPD include:

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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