Non-fatal work injuries are an everyday occurrence. Despite OSHA regulations doing all they can to prevent accidents, they still happen. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports statistics each year revealing the number of work-related fatalities and non-fatal work injuries in Illinois.
A 2019 BLS report found:
- 158 work-related fatalities
- 30 workers lost their lives in construction, the highest of any industry
- 24 workplace deaths in the private transportation and warehousing industry
- 90% of the workers killed in Illinois were men
- 58% of the workers killed were between the ages of 25 and 54
- 104,000 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses were reported in the private sector
If you’ve suffered a non-fatal work-related injury, Illinois law states that your employer is obligated to compensate you. A workers’ compensation lawyer can provide you with legal representation if necessary.
An attorney can deal with your insurance provider and help you overcome financial hardship brought on by your injuries through workers’ compensation. Read on for some of the most dangerous industries in Kendall County, Grundy County, and the surrounding Joliet, IL, community.
Joliet, Illinois, Most Dangerous Industries
Joliet workers can be injured or killed in almost any occupation. However, many industries are significantly more dangerous than others. Some of the most dangerous jobs in Joliet, IL, include:
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
- Government transit services
- Ground transportation
- Nursing and healthcare
- Private air transportation
- Warehousing and storage
The BLS’s latest injury statistics reported that the following occupations had the highest work-related injury rates per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTE):
- Nursing assistants saw about 370 work-related injuries per 10,000 FTE
- Commercial truck drivers saw 360 incidents per 10,000 FTE
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers saw 350 injury incidents per 10,000 FTE
Although work injuries are more common than on-the-job illnesses, occupations with the highest rates of injuries were also those with the most illnesses. If you’ve suffered a work-related accident in Joliet, IL, or any of the surrounding communities, consider working with a workers’ compensation lawyer from Mike Agruss Law.
Joliet Work-Related Injuries
Workers’ compensation covers most on-the-job injuries. Illinois’ workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to injured workers, even if an injury is caused by the employer’s or employee’s carelessness.
However, injuries that happen because an employee is intoxicated or using illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation. Coverage can also be denied in instances of:
- self-inflicted injuries
- injuries suffered while a worker was committing a serious crime
- injuries suffered while an employee was not on the job
- injuries suffered when an employee’s conduct violated company policy
Workers’ comp claims vary. Some claims include minor injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures. Others are more serious. Many injuries permanently change the lives of victims and their families. Here are a few of the more common workplace injuries in Joliet, IL:
- Repetitive stress injuries occur when workers are required to perform repetitive tasks for an extended period. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive stress injury
- Occupational illnesses arise from toxic chemicals, loud noise, and other hazards. These can lead to hearing loss, serious skin conditions, respiratory diseases, and poisoning
- Physical injuries include everything from cuts and bruises to serious injuries from falls, electrocutions, explosions and fires, equipment malfunctions, and even assaults
If an employee’s preexisting condition is worsened by conditions in the workplace, that person may qualify for workers’ compensation as well. Many workers are eligible for workers’ compensation, but Illinois has exceptions to that coverage.
Illinois workers’ comp exclusions can include:
- Sole proprietors
- LLC members
- Farm workers
- Domestic servants in a home with fewer than two full-time employees
- Employees protected by federal laws like railroad workers, maritime workers, and law enforcement
Joliet Work Injury Claims
An injured worker should alert their employer of an injury when it occurs on the job. Once the injury is officially reported, their employer can assist them or direct the employee to emergency medical treatment and prepare the appropriate paperwork for their claim.
If the employer does not start the claim, the employee can file an application for adjustment of claim with the Illinois Worker Commission, which will start the claim. Speaking with a Joliet attorney for legal counsel can clear up the confusing nature of this process.
Anyone who is injured at work has the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Immigration status does not matter, because all workers have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits under Illinois law.
Workplace Accident Claims
Many Joliet workers accept compensation for injuries that are caused over a long period like back problems. You can also be compensated for illnesses and diseases that are the gradual result of work conditions, such as heart conditions, lung disease, and stress-related digestive problems.
If you need assistance getting your Cook County workers’ comp claim started, contact Mike Agruss Law. We represent injured workers and help them recover compensation for work-related medical expenses, permanent disability, wrongful death, and other areas affecting those injured on the job.
Joliet Workers Comp Benefits
Illinois workers’ compensation provides the following benefits:
- Medical bills and treatment related to a work injury
- Vocational rehabilitation and maintenance benefits if you can’t return to your normal job because of your injuries. This includes job counseling, training, education, and other assistance in trying to find new employment
- Death benefits and burial expenses when an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness. This provides compensation for the surviving spouse, children, or other dependents as death benefits. The benefit is two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage and up to $8,000 in burial expenses
Illinois workers’ compensation also provides the following for a work-related personal injury:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
- Wage Differential Benefits
- Scheduled Loss-of-Use Awards
- Nonscheduled Awards
- Disfigurement Benefits
Recovering your lost wages after a work-related incident may seem troublesome, but a personal injury law professional can handle these claims for you. They can use their experience to negotiate with your insurance provider to get maximum compensation for you or your family.
Joliet Workers’ Comp Retaliation
Illinois employment laws state that an employer cannot retaliate against you while pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. If an employer discharges an employee in retaliation to a workers comp claim, they can be subject to legal action.
Our skilled attorneys provide legal representation to clients seeking compensation for on-the-job injuries through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (formerly known as the Illinois Industrial Commission) and those seeking Social Security Disability benefits. Mike Agruss Law workers’ compensation lawyers can hold employers responsible for laws they break to recover the damages you’re entitled to.
Workplace Injury Lawsuits
If you are injured because your employer’s negligent action, you can sue for a full range of damages, including pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
Are workers’ compensation lawyers necessary?
Workers’ compensation lawyers provide invaluable legal assistance. Employment laws are difficult for injured employees to navigate on their own. Keep in mind that Mike Agruss Law’s personal injury lawyers only get paid when they recover money in your claim. That means there is no risk in seeking assistance from a workers’ compensation attorney.
Each workplace accident is different. Hiring the right Joliet injury attorney may determine what benefits you end up receiving. If your employer has intentionally harmed you, we can file a lawsuit and force them to pay. Don’t let your employer determine what damages you can recover. Speak with our employment benefit lawyers for legal representation in Cook County and the surrounding communities.