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Illinois Industries With the Highest Number of Non-Fatal InjuriesSince the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970, the U.S. government has placed an increased focus on decreasing the number of injuries happening in workplaces across the country. Today, OSHA still pushes for workplace safety and adequate training and precautions to try to prevent as many workplace injuries as possible. Unfortunately, workplace injuries are still common. According to the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there were an estimated 132,400 workplace injuries recorded throughout the state in 2017. Though an injury can happen in any workplace, there are certain industries that have more workplace injuries than others.

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance: Most of the time, people think that the most dangerous industries to work in are those that use heavy machinery such as construction or factory work. In reality, the health care industry is typically the industry that has the highest number of workplace injuries. In Illinois, there were an estimated 21,300 injuries in this industry in 2017. Workplaces in this industry commonly include nursing and residential care facilities and hospitals.
  2. Manufacturing: While it is not the industry that has the most workplace injuries, manufacturing still ranks rather high when it comes to being hurt on the job. In 2017, an estimated 18,100 injuries occurred in manufacturing. This category covers most types of manufacturing, including plastics and rubber manufacturing, food manufacturing, textile mills, computer and electronic manufacturing and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.
  3. Retail Trade: Working in retail trade also has the possibility of being dangerous. An estimated 14,400 injuries were recorded in Illinois in 2017. The retail industry includes general merchandise stores, food and beverage stores, clothing stores and furniture and home furnishing stores. Many times, injuries recorded in this industry are overexertion, falls or trips.
  4. Transportation and Warehousing: The transportation and warehousing industry consists of nearly all types of transportation, such as air, water, rail and truck transportation, pipeline transportation, postal service and couriers and messengers. Around 10,900 injuries were recorded in this industry, with the majority coming from truck transportation.
  5. Entertainment and Hospitality: There is a wide range of workplaces that are included in the entertainment and hospitality industry, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos, amusement parks, and museums. An estimated 10,700 injuries were recorded in 2017, with the foodservice industry carrying the majority of the injuries.

Have You Been Injured on the Job? A Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Being hurt while you are at work can change the course of your and your family’s lives forever. Not only can a workplace injury plunge you into financial distress, but you could also be facing the effects of your injuries for the rest of your life. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we will protect your interests at all times and aggressively pursue every source of compensation possible. If you have been hurt on the job, do not wait – call our skilled Tinley Park, IL, workers’ compensation lawyers today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Common Causes of Trips, Slips, and Falls in the WorkplaceAccidents happen; we all know this. Accidents at work are not uncommon occurrences, especially when it comes to slips, trips and/or falls. According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that were reported in 2017. Of those injuries, the second most common type of injury was slips, trips, and falls. Like any injury, the severity of injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls can range from minor, such as pulled or strained muscles, to major injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or broken bones. The key to preventing these types of injuries is identifying the causes. Here are the most common causes of trips, slips, and falls in the workplace:

Substances on the Floor

When there are wet or dry contaminants on the floor, it can cause workers to lose their footing easily. Having substances on the floor is perhaps one of the most common causes of slips and falls in the workplace. Slippery substances that pose a danger can include:

  • Dust, powder or other granules
  • Water
  • Grease
  • Soap
  • Floor wax

Poor Lighting

Though it may not seem to pose a very obvious danger, a lack of sufficient lighting can also be the cause of a trip, slip or fall in the workplace. When employees cannot adequately see where they are walking or stepping, this can mask dangers that are present on the floor. Poor lighting is typically an issue in areas such as hallways, closets, parking garages, and storage rooms.

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What Disability Benefits Are Provided by Illinois Workers’ Compensation?Nobody expects to go to work and become injured, but that is why they are called accidents – you do not know when they are going to happen. All employers in Illinois are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which helps both employers and employees if an employee is injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation will cover medical costs related to things such as doctor’s visits, medication, physical therapy, surgery, and hospital stays. In the event that an employee is unable to work during their recovery from their injury, workers’ compensation can provide workers with disability benefits.

Types of Disability Benefits

If you are injured while you are working and are unable to work or do the same work you were doing before, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits during your recovery time through workers’ compensation. There are four types of disability benefits provided by workers’ compensation:

  1. Temporary Partial Disability: This type of benefit is for employees who have been injured but are still permitted to work light duty on a part-time or full-time basis during their healing period. Because employees who are on light duty may not earn as much as they did prior to the injury, temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are two-thirds of the difference between their average weekly wage before the injury and their average weekly wage after the injury. 
  2. Temporary Total Disability: Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are available to workers who are not able to do any work under doctor’s orders or who are capable of light-duty work but their employer is unable to accommodate them. TTD benefits are two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage and have set minimums and maximums, as set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Until January 14, 2020, the maximum amount you can receive for TTD is $1,529.84 per week.
  3. Permanent Partial Disability: Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits may be available to workers who have a permanent disability or illness from their workplace injury that renders them unable to do the job they had before but are still able to work. The amount you can receive from PPD benefits and the length of time you can claim those benefits depends on the type of injury that you suffer. Currently, the maximum amount you can receive if you did not suffer an amputation or the loss of an eye is $813.87 per week.
  4. Permanent Total Disability: Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are for employees who either have lost the use of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes or any two body parts or employees who are completely disabled to the point that they are unable to do any work. Until January 14, 2020, the minimum weekly amount you can receive for PTD is $573.69 and the maximum weekly amount is $1,529.84.

Have You Been Hurt on the Job? Call a Will County Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we know how much a workplace injury can affect your life. Not only is it physically and emotionally stressful, but it can also be financially stressful, especially if you have had to take time off during your recovery. Our skilled Tinley Park, IL, workers’ compensation lawyers will help you fight for the benefits that you deserve. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Illinois Workers’ CompensationThough some workplaces may present more obvious dangers than others, you can get injured in any workplace. According to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2,811,500 nonfatal workplace injuries in the United States in 2017. Being injured at work can be stressful, especially if you have to miss work because of your injury. Fortunately, programs such as workers’ compensation exist to help people in this situation. If you are injured on the job, you have the right to submit a claim for your medical expenses and lost wages. The workers’ compensation process can be confusing, so here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about Illinois workers’ compensation:

  1. What is Workers’ Compensation?: Workers’ compensation is a statewide system of benefits that applies to most employees in Illinois. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in case one of its employees is injured while on the job. Those who are injured at work or experience an occupational disease are eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
  2. What Should I Do if I Get Hurt at Work?: The best thing to do if you are hurt while you are at work is to first get medical help if it is a life-threatening injury and then immediately notify your employer. You have up to 45 days after the incident to report your injury to your employer, but it is better to begin a record of your injury or illness as soon as possible.
  3. Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?: Yes. If you are hurt at work, your employer is required to pay for all medical care to treat your injury until you have reached maximum medical improvement. These costs can include emergency care, doctor’s visits, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, medication, and even certain medical or prosthetic devices. If your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer do not dispute the workers’ compensation claim, they can pay the bills directly.
  4. Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?: While it is not necessary to have an attorney after you are hurt at work, hiring a lawyer can be extremely beneficial to your case. Having a lawyer by your side can decrease the chances that your employer disputes your claim. If your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer refuses to pay your medical bills or provide you with other benefits that you have a right to, an attorney can make sure you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The last thing you want to do while you are recovering from a workplace injury is having to fight with an uncooperative employer or insurance company. If you have been injured while on the job, you should consult with a Tinley Park, IL, workers’ compensation attorney. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation. 

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Exploring Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Death BenefitsIn the blink of an eye, an accident can happen while you are at work. True, there are certain jobs in which accidents are more common, but a workplace accident can occur anywhere, regardless of where you work and who you work for. One of the most devastating outcomes of a workplace accident is the death of a loved one. Not only does this bring on grief and emotional pain, but it can also mean that you are now burdened by the worry of your family’s financial future. Fortunately, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission offers death benefits to families whose loved ones die as a result of workplace accidents.

Eligible Family Members

If a worker is killed on the job, the worker’s primary beneficiaries are entitled to receive the survivor’s benefit. A primary beneficiary is considered to be the worker’s spouse and any children under the age of 18. If the worker did not have any primary beneficiaries, then the benefits can be paid to the worker’s totally dependent parents.

The remarriage of a surviving spouse does not negate any claim to survivor’s benefits for the worker’s children. If the children are eligible to receive the benefit when the spouse is remarried, they will continue to receive the benefit until they are no longer eligible. If there are no eligible children, the spouse is entitled to a lump sum that is equal to two years of compensation.

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