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Workers’ Compensation Includes People Who Work From HomeAll non-essential businesses in Illinois have been closed to the public in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Some employees are able to work from home and may continue to do so after the stay-at-home order is lifted. Even before this public health crisis, many jobs were trending towards telecommuting in order for businesses to save money on office space. Because you are rarely in an employer-owned office, you may be surprised to learn that it is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured while working from home.

When Do Home Injuries Qualify?

Workers’ compensation claims are not limited to incidents that occur while you are on your employer’s property. The workers’ compensation insurance covers any injuries that happen while you are doing work on behalf of your employer. For instance, you are working if you are visiting someone on a sales call or driving a truck to deliver goods. The same applies when you are working from home. If you trip and fall while working at home, you can file a claim to cover your medical expenses and provide you with disability benefits if your injury prevents you from working. It does not matter that your employer does not control the safety conditions of your home.

Proving Your Claim

When you are injured on company property or in a public place, you have the advantage of witnesses who can confirm that you were injured and when it occurred. You likely do not have a witness if you are injured while working at home, which may give your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer a reason to scrutinize your claim. To support your claim, you should:

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Four Car Accident Injuries That Can Take Time to NoticeVehicle crashes range in severity from the catastrophic to the relatively minor. Though any type of collision can be startling, you may feel some relief if you came away from the incident seemingly unscathed. However, some vehicle accident injuries are subtle yet still serious. Delaying treatment of hidden injuries may cause your condition to grow worse and make it more difficult to connect the injury to your crash, which could work against you if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who was responsible for the crash. Here are four subtle injuries to watch for following an accident:

  1. Spinal Injuries: People often suffer whiplash after being in a front-end or rear-end collision. The force of any collision and the way it jostles your body can cause strain and damage to your neck and back. Even if your spine is not directly damaged, inflammation of your muscles can put pressure on your spine. Look for stiffness and soreness in your neck, shoulders, and back and numbness or tingling in your limbs.
  2. Brain Injuries: People can suffer traumatic brain injuries during a collision from whiplash or hitting their head. It can take days or weeks for symptoms of a brain injury to show, such as persistent headaches, dizziness, nausea, sensory loss, memory loss, and unexplained mood changes.
  3. Internal Bleeding: Pain in your abdomen may not immediately seem related to your accident but could be a sign of damage to your internal organs. Internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening injury that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the symptoms can start out slow, catching people off-guard.
  4. Joint Injuries: A collision can cause trauma to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments connecting your major joints, such as your knees and elbows. You may tear or strain this soft tissue without immediately realizing it. However, the injury will become more noticeable in a couple of days after the tissue becomes inflamed.

Contact a McHenry County Personal Injury Attorney

The adrenaline your body produces after the shock of your vehicle accident can mask injuries that otherwise would have been noticeable. If you feel any pain or discomfort after being in an accident, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have an injury related to your accident. A Crystal Lake, Illinois, personal injury lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you connect your injury to the negligent actions of the person who is liable for your accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

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Can You Be Prosecuted for Violating a Quarantine?The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health boards have broad authority to order quarantines of people or locations in the interest of public safety. With the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, the IDPH may utilize this power to isolate or quarantine people who they reasonably suspect of carrying the virus. Many people will voluntarily comply with a request to quarantine themselves to help stop the spread of the virus. If you refuse to quarantine yourself, the IDPH can request a court order to quarantine you. If the order is granted, violating it would be a criminal offense.

Quarantine and Isolation

There are two orders that the IDPH can use to separate infected people from the public. A quarantine is used when people have potentially been exposed to a communicable disease and need to be separated until it is determined that they are not a risk to the public. Isolation is for people who are confirmed to have the disease or show symptoms of the disease.

The IDPH cannot enforce quarantine or isolation unless you consent or it receives a court order. For the court to approve a quarantine or isolation order, the IDPH must prove that:

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Why Illinois Uses ‘Allocation of Parental Responsibilities’ Instead of ‘Child Custody’In 2016, Illinois made major changes to its law regarding parents who have divorced or separated. The term “child custody” was replaced with “the allocation of parental responsibilities,” and “visitation” was replaced with “parenting time.” These were more than simply new names for legal terms. They represented a new approach to co-parenting that the state hoped would be better for children. This summer will mark the five-year anniversary of the bill that created these changes being signed into law – making it a good time to revisit what these terms mean and what they are trying to accomplish.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Child custody is a common term in family law statutes across the country and in popular vernacular. In Illinois, the law at one time granted sole or joint custody of the children following a divorce or separation. Illinois changed its laws so it is assumed that both parents will share responsibility for the children, including:

  • Dividing parenting time in a way that is best for the children
  • Determining how the parents will raise the children
  • Defining what decision-making power each parent has and when they must get the other parent’s consent

The word “custody” is often associated with one parent having primary control over the children. Illinois changed the term to “the allocation of parental responsibilities” because it better describes how each parent has rights and responsibilities and an important role in continuing to raise the children. “Custody” is now used to describe when a non-parent assumes responsibility for a child.

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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover the Coronavirus?COVID-19 – more commonly known as the coronavirus – has created a worldwide health crisis because of how quickly it spreads and the number of deaths it has caused. With the virus spreading in the U.S., many people are taking precautions to try to avoid catching it. Unfortunately, you will always be at some risk of contracting a virus when you are in public places, including your workplace. Could you file a workers’ compensation claim if you contracted the coronavirus at work? While there are jobs where you have a heightened chance of getting sick, you will qualify for workers’ compensation only if you can prove that your work caused you to contract the virus.

Occupational Diseases

Illinois workers’ compensation covers illnesses and diseases when an employee’s work puts them at greater risk than the general public of becoming sick. For instance, developing a lung disease may be an occupational disease if you were a construction worker who was exposed to asbestos. Workers’ compensation covers infectious diseases when your job requires you to come in contact with people who have the virus, such as healthcare workers and emergency responders. You could easily contract the coronavirus from someone at your office, but that does not mean that you were at any greater risk of catching the virus at work than you would have been at any other public place. If your job is at a doctor’s office, then you could claim that regularly interacting with patients created an increased risk.

Protecting Yourself

Knowing that you may not be able to collect workers’ compensation if you contract the coronavirus, it is critical that you try to protect yourself at work against the virus and prevent its spread:

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