No matter what industry you work in, there’s always a chance of getting hurt while on the job. Work-related injuries are incredibly common, and they can cause a lot of issues for the injured parties.
From lost wages to medical bills, permanent disability and more, there are a number of things that can cause financial and other hardships for injured workers. If you’ve been injured at work in Illinois, it’s important to know what to expect when you file a workers compensation claim.
Of course, an experienced work injury attorney can be of great help, but it’s also beneficial to be informed yourself so that you can navigate the potentially confusing and stressful time.
What Constitutes a Work Injury?
Work injuries or work accidents are accidents or tasks performed at ones job that lead to injury, including diseases and death. Work injuries are handled differently than workplace diseases, so for today’s purposes, let’s talk about work injuries more specifically.
More than 337 million accidents happen at workplaces each year, resulting in more than 2.3 million deaths per year. These injuries can be sustained at one time or occur over a periods of time (i.e. repetitive motion injuries).
How Do Workplace Injuries Happen?
Workplace injuries can happen for a number of reasons. Accidents are typically caused by unsafe behavior, unsafe conditions, or negligence. It is in employers’ interest to maintain a safe workplace, as they will be less liable for legal action, they’ll have a better reputation as a business, and they will have reduced absence rates and lowered costs.
Types of Common Workers Compensation Injuries
There are a number of workplace injuries that happen regularly in the United States. When you’re trying to determine whether the injury you have sustained while working in the Flossmoor, Evanston or Chicago area is eligible for worker’s compensation, a good way to do so is to compare your injuries to the most common workplace injuries.
Some of the most common workplace injuries that occur in cities in Illinois including Des Plaines, Skokie, Oak Forest, Cicero, Chicago, and more are:
- Slips and falls: Injuries that are caused by unsafe flooring. This can include slippery floors, uneven floors, or uncleared/unshoveled/unsalted walkways during winter, when snow and ice can build up.
- Overexertion: Perhaps the most common injury that happens at workplaces in Illinois, overexertion is caused as a result of pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, throwing, or holding.
- Traffic incidents: When an employee is using or acting as a passenger in a company vehicle and gets into an accident—regardless of fault—the resulting injuries can be considered workers’ compensation cases.
- Caught in/compressed by: These are injuries that typically occur in industrial environments or factories. They often involve heavy machinery, and these injuries can be very severe.
- Repetitive motion: Injuries sustained by making the same motion over and over again. This can include injuries like strained muscles or carpal tunnel.
- Workplace assaults: Some workplace injuries involve one or more employees being assaulted and injured while on the job.
- Struck by an object: Injuries caused from dropped or falling objects, such as something falling off of a shelf.
- Struck against an object: Injuries involving doors, windows, or walls.
- Fall to a lower level: Injuries sustained by falling off of a ladder, falling off of a roof, or falling down a flight(s) of stairs
What to Do After You Get Hurt at Work
If you have gotten hurt at work, the first thing you should do is notify your employer of the injury. This should be done as soon as it occurs, if possible, but of course, seeking medical attention should take precedence if necessary.
Report your work injury to your employer in Orland Park, Morton Grove, Niles, or anywhere else in Illinois as soon as you can. It’s best to do so within seven days of the injury’s occurrence.
Seek medical care if you need to, and when you do, let hospital or office staff know that your injury is work related. Sometimes, your employer will require workplace injuries to be attended to by certain facilities or doctors. Make sure to retain all the documents related to your injury’s medical bills.
When You Should Contact a Work Injury Attorney
Contact a work injury attorney after you seek medical attention. Once you are at home recovering, you can work on building a case for worker’s compensation in Midlothian, Hazel Crest, Blue Island, and other Illinois cities.
At Vasilatos Injury Law, we’re experienced work injury attorneys serving communities in the Evanston area, around Flossmoor, and in Chicago.
Contacting a work injury attorney can be very beneficial as they will be able to explain to you what to expect from your case, such as what type of compensation to fight for, the statute of limitations, and how much you might expect to receive for your injury.
What Types of Compensation to Fight For
There are three main types of compensation that you can fight for in your Illinois workers’ compensation case. These are:
- Permanent injury
- Medical bill reimbursement
- Lost wages
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to explain the differences and help you determine which one to fight for.
What Happens Once Your Claim is Accepted (or Rejected)
After you seek medical care, an insurance carrier will open a benefits claim using reports from your doctor and employer. If the claim is found to be compensable, they’ll discuss the case with both the employer and the injured party.
The three parties will then discuss and negotiate an agreeable rate of pay for the injured employee to receive while they are out of work.
Rejected claims are not the end of the line, however. If your claim is rejected, there is still the opportunity to appeal the claim.
To discuss your work injury case with a work injury attorney in Evanston, Chicago, or Flossmoor, or the surrounding areas, including Highwood, Dolton, Calumet City, Sauk Village, Tinley Park, Lincolnwood and more, contact Vasilatos Injury Law today.