The Law Office of David Hunt
Workers' compensation and personal injury law in Peoria, Illinois 309-323-9667

Peoria Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Blog

Workers' compensation death benefits payable to worker's family

In Illinois and all other states, a death that occurs while the decedent is at work is included within the state's compensation laws. Workers' compensation will automatically kick in when the employee dies while performing work duties, and that applies regardless of who is at fault in causing the workplace accident. The compensation law provides for the payments of death benefits to the deceased worker's next of kin.

The benefits usually include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, along with the payment to the family of weekly or monthly monetary benefits based on the statutory formula that applies. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible for the family to obtain a lump-sum settlement amount in lieu of receiving weekly or monthly payments. However, that is a risky venture that should not be attempted without the services and consultation of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

Working in extreme cold weather? How to take proper precautions

This winter you may have been introduced to a new weather phenomenon that you have never heard of before, and likely will never want to hear from again. It was the polar vortex. While not so rare that it is a once in a lifetime event, it also doesn’t happen all the time. It last happened in 2014, before then it made appearances in 1989, 1985, 1982 and 1977. This vortex swoops down from the north pole carrying with it extremely cold temperatures.

When it comes to workers who spend either all or most of their work week outside, living in a state like Illinois can be very tough between the months of November and March. While a polar vortex does not have to be around to make conditions dangerous for outdoor workers in the winter, it can make a bad situation much worse.

Workers' compensation: Furnance malfunction injures workers

Two workers recently experienced a shock when a malfunction occurred on a job. In addition to the surprising malfunction of a machine, the workers suffered injuries. Illinois employees may be relieved to learn that most employer's workers' compensation insurance benefits will cover medical expenses for similar work injuries.

Reportedly, the two workers had completed maintenance on a natural gas furnace when the incident occurred. It is not certain what events led to the malfunction, but a minor explosion occurred right after workers completed the maintenance. According to company employees, a door on the furnace chamber functioned correctly and prevented additional harm to the employees.

4 Ways proving an injury is "work-related" can be challenging

Injuries that you receive while at work are handled much differently than an injury you receive outside of work. It’s usually easier to receive benefits that compensate a “work-related” injury because you can file a claim through your company’s workers’ compensation insurance.

But, for some workers, their circumstances weren’t quite that cut-and-dry. Here are a few situations that might make it more challenging to prove an injury was work-related.

Personal injury: Recent crash results in multiple injured victims

The recent extreme cold weather across the northern part of the country has made traveling difficult at times on Illinois roadways. Despite often treacherous weather conditions during winter weather, drivers can be found negligent for not taking proper precaution as needed. One driver faces traffic citations for his involvement in a recent fatal crash on an icy road, and the victims of the crash may benefit from the advice of a personal injury attorney. 

The 74-year-old man was operating a pickup truck on an icy road prior to the crash. At this time, it is unknown what events led to the accident, though it has been reported that the driver of the pickup lost control of his vehicle. Unfortunately, he crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and struck a van head-on. 

Construction workers' accidents: 2 injured and 1 killed

Work often provides a sense of purpose as well as income for an employee. When an accident results in an injury for an employee, it can be devastating emotionally and financially if work is missed. Construction workers' accidents are especially prone to resulting in debilitating and/or fatal injuries for workers. Illinois residents may be relieved to learn that workers' compensation insurance benefits are often available to employees following an on-the-job injury. The insurance benefits will likely be a source of relief as the medical bills accumulate for three workers who suffered serious injuries on a construction site.

The workers were part of a larger construction crew in charge of excavating land for the building of affordable housing in another state. The details of how the accident occurred have not been reported, but at some point, the excavated area collapsed, trapping three workers. Nearby crew members were able to pull two workers from the rubble and dirt, but one worker remained trapped.

Workers' compensation benefits are paid for disabling work injury

There are several different outcomes that can arise after a worker suffers a disabling work injury in Illinois. With respect to future work, the most prevalent outcome for those who suffer a serious injury is to stay out of work under a doctor's care until the doctor releases the individual to go back to work. During the period of disability, the worker collects workers' compensation benefits without regard to who caused the accident.

The benefits include payment for lost wages based on a statewide statutory formula and payment of all reasonable medical expenses necessary to treat the person. An injured worker who suffers a less severe injury may return to work much sooner, either with or without restrictions. If the injury did not fully incapacitate the individual, he or she may return to work with a treating physician's specified restrictions. This may mean, for example, that the worker will not be allowed to lift more than a certain number of pounds.

Same-level falls prevalent in construction workers' accidents

Slip-and-fall incidents make up a significant percentage of workplace injuries and deaths nationwide, including Illinois. Many fall injuries and fatalities resulting from construction workers' accidents do not involve heights, such as scaffolds, but happen at ground level due to slips or trips. Alertness and proper housekeeping play crucial roles in fall prevention.

Being on the lookout for wet or slippery spots and randomly placed objects or debris instead of focusing on a mobile phone is an excellent place to start. Other safety risks include unexpected changes to surface levels and poorly lit areas. Floor openings are common hazards on construction sites, and even if there are covers placed over them, it is advisable not to step onto the covers because they might break or slip.

Workers' compensation: Mechanic crushed by truck

Performing the same job duties on a regular basis could make a worker momentarily forget the dangers of the work at hand. Construction workers, police officers, rescue workers and other professionals may be placed in serious danger on a regular basis in order to perform their job duties. In the event that an accident while performing any job results in serious injuries and/or death, some surviving family members may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. People in Illinois may be interested to learn how one worker tragically lost his life completing a job.

The worker was the chief mechanic for a town's vehicles, and he had worked for the town for 22 years. Reportedly, a driver alerted the mechanic about some issues with the brakes with a government vehicle. The worker positioned himself under the truck to examine the brakes.

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