- What Are Common Workplace Job Injuries
- Understanding Workers’ Compensation
- What Are the Workers Compensation Benefits Available to Workplace Accident Victims?
- What are My Rights and Responsibilities to Obtain Workers’ Compensation
- Tactics the Compensation Insurance Carrier and Your Employer Can Use Against You
- You May Be Entitled to Significant Financial Compensation
- An Experienced Workplace Injury Lawyer Can Help
Despite many employers’ best efforts and safety measures to keep workers safe, an on-the-job injury can still occur. The National Safety Council found that workplace injuries and fatalities cost the US economy $171 billion in 2019. In Illinois, there were 106,900 nonfatal injuries and illnesses incurred at work in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, an attorney with the law firm of Nessler & Associates can help you with the workers’ compensation claim process. Since the insurance company may fight against paying your claim, your attorney can negotiate with your employer’s insurance company to help you get compensation coverage.
What Are Common Workplace Job Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites these violations of safety standards in work-related accidents. The top three common violations include:
- Inadequate or absent protections against fall protection in construction
- Lack of respiratory protection from toxic breathing particulates
- Improper use of ladders in the construction industry
Other commonly cited standards include a lack of safe scaffolding in the construction industry and insufficient fall protection training.
These accidents can lead to many injuries among workers across various industries. Here are a few of the types of injuries that may occur:
- Soft tissue injury
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Radiation burns
- Loss of limbs
When companies follow OSHA regulations and keep their workers safe, they can prevent most accidents. When you suffer a job-related injury, you can obtain legal representation from Nessler & Associates. One of our attorneys can review your medical records related to your injury and help you file a claim for workers’ compensation.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Congress passed the Occupational Health and Safety Act in 1970 to address high rates of workplace accidents and their economic burden. The act established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to oversee safety regulations in multiple industries.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act guarantees your right to:
- Workplace health and safety training in a language you understand
- Work on safe machines
- Receive necessary safety equipment appropriate for your duties
- Protection from exposure to toxic chemicals
- Request an inspection by OSHA and speak to the inspector
- Report injuries and illnesses and obtain copies of your medical records
- Review records of your company’s injuries and illnesses
- See results of tests and inspections for workplace hazards
What Are the Workers Compensation Benefits Available to Workplace Accident Victims?
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s important to understand what workers’ comp benefits are available to you and how they work. These benefits include:
Medical care any reasonable doctor would recommend
These medical benefits involve treating the injury or illness or relieving the employee of the effects of the damage. They also cover medical devices such as wheelchairs. Under this coverage, you can usually see your regular health care providers. If your employer has a preferred provider program, you are limited to choosing two physicians within the network.
Temporary total disability
You can receive this benefit if you are disabled but expect to recover or if your employer cannot provide you with light-duty work. It compensates you for lost wages, usually at ⅔ of your average hourly rate. Your employer should send the first payment within 14 days of your injury or illness notification.
Temporary partial disability
This type of coverage is available while you are recovering and working on a light duty basis, earning less than before your injury. This benefit lasts until you return to your previous job or reach maximum medical improvement.
If you can’t return to your previous job within six months, your employer should offer vocational rehabilitation. This benefit includes job search counseling and job training at an accredited educational institution.
Permanent partial disability
This benefit helps if you suffer a permanent disability or injury that doesn’t prevent your ability to work. Injuries covered include the permanent loss of any part of the body. If you obtain a new job that pays less than your job before your injury, you can receive a weekly sum of ⅔ two-thirds of your wages for five years or until you reach the age of 67.
Permanent total disability
If you permanently lose function in your upper or lower body parts, you can receive permanent total disability. With this coverage, you are entitled to ⅔ of your average weekly wage for life.
If a loved one suffered a wrongful death in a workplace accident, you can file for death benefits from their employer. These include a burial amount of $8,000 and ⅔ of your loved one’s average gross wages in the year before the accident.
You might need different benefits during the healing process. For example, you may return to work part-time or discover that your injury prevents you from returning.
A workplace injury attorney with Nessler & Associates can help you determine which benefits to pursue in your case based on the extent and severity of your injuries. They can also advise you to follow the treatment plans of your doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and any other medical provider to keep receiving benefits.
What are My Rights and Responsibilities to Obtain Workers’ Compensation
If your employer was not present at the time of the accident, you must notify them verbally or in writing of your accident and injury within 45 days.
If the event causing the damage involves radiation, you have 60 days to report it. If an injury or illness doesn’t manifest for years, as can happen with exposure to toxic chemicals, you must notify your employer of the disease as soon as you discover it.
After they receive notice of the accident, your employer must perform the following duties for you:
- Render emergency medical aid when you receive your injury.
- Contact their workers’ compensation insurance provider. They must also report the injury to OSHA.
- If an injury prevents you from returning to work for more than three days, your employer can begin sending temporary total disability payments to you.
- Alternatively, they can send you a letter explaining what information they need. They can also send you a letter of denial with their reasons for it.
Only in the case of fraud is your employer legally allowed to deny your claim. While the law gives you three years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim, you have a better chance of winning when you work with the workplace accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates to file a claim after sustaining your injury.
Tactics the Compensation Insurance Carrier and Your Employer Can Use Against You
Workers’ compensation insurance companies may fight your claim. They might argue that your comp claim is fraudulent. They can also assert you engaged in an activity that reduces their liability, such as drinking on the job before the accident.
Your employer may also conceal information about your rights and not give you the information you need to file a claim. They may also tell the insurance company a falsehood about the cause of your accident to avoid paying for your workplace injury claim.
You May Be Entitled to Significant Financial Compensation
Since insurance companies fight to deny claims, your dedicated workers’ compensation attorney with Nessler & Associates can help you file your claim and aggressively protect your rights against the insurance company. If necessary, you might also take a claim to court if your employer wrongfully denies your claim.
Any award you receive in your settlement include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Disability payments
- Past or future lost wages
- Non-economic damages such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
A personal injury lawyer at Nessler & Associates can represent your interests even if your employer has denied your claim. We can review the facts of the case and advise you on the best course of action.
Third-Party Claims in a Workplace Accident
If the negligent actions of someone other than your employer caused your injury, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties. If you’re injured by a speeding delivery truck while working, you can sue that driver and their employer.
In the event of a defective product causing your bone fractures, the product manufacturer may be the liable party in a third-party claim. It is best to entrust a third-party liability claim to an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can provide evidence and expert testimony to show how these actions by a third-party person or entity led to your injuries.
An Experienced Workplace Injury Lawyer Can Help
Accidents in the workplace, such as construction accidents, can affect the quality of life for your life and your family. You can work with the experienced workplace accident attorneys at Nessler & Associates to help you gain maximum compensation for your injuries. For over 35 years, we have helped thousands of injured workers receive the compensation they need to recover.
Call an experienced workers’ compensation attorney with Nessler & Associates to schedule your free initial consultation at (800) 727-8010 today. We can help you understand the insurance coverage for compensation benefits and get started on the compensation claims process.