Workers' compensation and personal injury law in Peoria, Illinois

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Peoria Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Office workers can also get workers' compensation benefits

Being an office worker probably seems like a pretty safe career choice. After all, offices rarely -- if ever -- have large, dangerous machinery. And unlike warehouse or construction workers, bosses usually do not ask their office workers to climb ladders. But none of this means that Illinois offices are safe. In fact, office workers can get hurt and need workers' compensation benefits just like anyone else.

People who work in offices have to safely pass over any number of physical hurdles just to get to their desks in the morning. Cords connecting computers, wi-fi routers, printers and more often crisscross along paths where people walk. It is easy to trip on a cord, fall and suffer a serious injury. One chiropractor who helps treat these injuries reports seeing office workers with rotator cuff tears, wrist fractures, shoulder labrum tears and much more.

Robots are making workplace accidents more common

Working in a warehouse is not exactly easy, but online shopping is making things much worse. Illinois warehouse employees are now expected to work alongside robots as they retrieve and package items for customers. Those robots are large, heavy and fast-moving, putting people at risk for serious workplace accidents.

Warehouse robots are supposed to take over physically demanding and even mundane work tasks. While this can be helpful, employers tend to increase expectations of their workers after seeing how quickly the robots work. Higher expectations combined with frequent unease of working so closely to large robots takes a pretty serious emotional toll on people. The problem is not all in workers' heads, either.

Workers' compensation not enough? You may have other options

You know that you need financial help after a workplace accident. Workers' compensation benefits are usually the first step to getting that help, but it might not be your only option. In Illinois, you also have the option to pursue a third-party claim when applicable.

Just because an injury happens at work does not mean that it is solely a workplace injury. An accident could partially be the result of another negligent party. In some cases those negligent parties are big companies or manufacturers, while in others they are individual people. One such example is a delivery driver who is struck by another driver while out on delivery. In this situation the delivery driver is completing his or her work duties and is also not responsible for the accident.

Can a fender-bender still cause serious injuries?

When you hit the road, you likely try your best to mind your own business. You focus on driving, watch out for other vehicles and abide by the rules of the road. Of course, even your most conscientious driving does not mean you are immune to being involved in a car accident.

At any time, another Illinois driver could hit your vehicle, and you could suffer severe injuries. Even if the vehicle that hit yours was not traveling at a high rate of speed, you could still suffer injuries that leave you with lasting effects for which you may need to seek compensation.

Workers' compensation for Illinois' most dangerous jobs

There are a lot of jobs that just seem obviously dangerous, like working in construction or in the manufacturing industry. But there are many more jobs that cause serious injury and even death each and every year. Some of those jobs might not look obviously dangerous from the outside, while others might be too far out of the public's eye to even think about. Ultimately, it does not matter if anyone else thinks any given job is risky when it comes to a surviving family getting workers' compensation for fatal injuries.

Although some people in Illinois might think that landscapers only face a small risk with their work equipment, the real danger is on the road. People who work in the landscaping industry regularly travel between work sites and are on the road a lot more than the average person. Workers are actually most commonly killed in transportation accidents, not because of equipment. The problem is so bad that in 2017, there were just over 20 fatal injuries for every 100,000 full time landscapers, making it the 10th most dangerous industry.

Construction workers more likely to need workers' compensation

There is no denying it -- working in the construction industry is dangerous. Construction workers spend their working hours around large vehicles, at significant heights and with dangerous machinery, any of which could lead to a serious accident for which a victim may need workers' compensation benefits. It may come as no surprise to learn that construction is one of the most deadly occupations in Illinois.

Construction workers are injured by the thousands each and every year. Many of those injuries are very serious because the nature of the job. Severe injuries that prevent people from ever working again are also sadly not uncommon. Deaths are not all that uncommon, either. Some of the most common daily risks that these workers face are referred to as the "fatal four."

Are you familiar with Illinois workers' compensation benefits?

Illinois workers who suffer injuries at work need help and support during the recovery period. The right support might feel as if it's out of reach, and this may be because a victim of a workplace accident is not aware of his or her right to file for workers' compensation benefits. Although it is important for workers to familiarize themselves with the workers' comp system when they are healthy, it is not too late to do so after injury.

No matter the type of workplace injury, an injured worker can only receive the maximum benefits if he or she reports the injury to an employer within 45 days of its onset. The time limit for submitting a claim to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is much longer. Victims have three years to actually file claims. However, filing sooner rather than later is useful for getting benefits during sooner rather than later.

Workers' compensation: Driver hits 2 roadside workers

Serious and even fatal accidents can occur in virtually all workplaces, from office settings to construction sites. Some work settings will inherently pose a greater risk to worker safety than others. For example, roadside construction sites are especially dangerous because they combine the inherent risks of construction work and nearby vehicles. Since this is a dangerous area to work in, those who do may want to make sure they fully understand workers' compensation benefits. Few people are aware that workers' comp can even provide temporary death benefits in the case of fatal accidents, such as a recent incident that took place on an Illinois road.

In Oct. 2019, multiple cones had been set up to block off one lane of a road. This was to separate landscaping crews from passing traffic. However, not everyone on the road paid attention to these safety measures. The driver behind the wheel of a minivan crashed into a sign and the cones, hitting two of the workers.

Most fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night

Driving a car is not the only way to get around. Walking and biking are also popular choices in Illinois, sometimes by choice and other times out of necessity. Unfortunately, the number of pedestrians who are dying in car accidents is on the rise. So, what is behind the increase in fatal pedestrian accidents?

Safety experts have several hypotheses about what is going on. Some think that there are more pedestrians today than in the past. Others think that pedestrians are traveling more at night, especially since the biggest increase in pedestrian deaths are those happening at night. Here are a few things to consider when looking at pedestrian safety.

Workers' compensation for injuries, deaths at Amazon

Illinois employers should prioritize worker safety, but many value productivity over protecting employees. Most workers do not have the ability to address insufficient safety standards, and many are not even aware of the risks they face in the workplace. Unsafe workplaces might be particularly prone to accidents that can injure people. Unfortunately, these accidents can also kill people. Workers' compensation can help in both of these situations.

An out-of-state man claimed that his brother died because of his employer's negligence. His 48-year-old brother was working at an Amazon warehouse when he reported to the facility's AmCare clinic. He reported that he was experiencing chest pain and headaches. The medical professional took his blood pressure but did not perform any further examinations. Instead the medical worker told the man that he was experiencing dehydration, provided him with two drinks and then told him to go back to work.

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