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Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

Web Admin - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Illinois workers comp commission, Schaumburg workers compensation lawyers

If you have been injured while on the job, it is possible that you qualify for benefits under the workers’ compensation program. These benefits are often very important for individuals who are unable to work due to their injury or illness. Employers in Illinois are subject to numerous requirements relating to workers’ compensation. When disputes between employers and employees arise, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) may be used to settle those conflicts. 

Commission 

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in which benefits are paid by employers to employees who suffer from work-related injury or serious illness. In some cases, disputes regarding the payment of these benefits arise between an employer and an employee. When this occurs, the Commission provides a method of resolving those disputes through an arbitration process. Arbitration involves both parties stating their case to a neutral, third-party, who then issues a ruling on the issue. The initial decision of the arbitrator may be appealed to a panel of three commissioners. Additional appeals may be brought in the traditional court system. However, most issues are resolved by settlement, thereby avoiding arbitration or litigation altogether. 

In order to begin a claim with the Commission, an employee must file three copies of the Application for Adjustment of Claim along with Proof of Service stating that a copy of the application was served on the employer. After this has been completed, a case number and arbitrator are assigned to the case. Every three months, the case is set for a status call, at which time either party may request a trial. This will continue for three years. If no trial is requested after three years, the arbitrator may dismiss the case. 

 The trial will resolve the dispute between the employer and employee. At the trial, the employee must demonstrate items like the existence of an employment relationship and that an injury occurred in relation to his or her work. While it is not necessary, many employees elect to hire an attorney to represent them. An attorney can help keep track of the claim, appear with an employee at hearings, and present evidence to prove the employee’s eligibility for benefits. Importantly, the Commission cannot recommend an attorney for an employee. 

Benefits of Workers’ Compensation 

Under the workers’ compensation system, employers are responsible for paying benefits when an eligible employee is injured on the job. Most employers decide to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. By purchasing insurance, employers can pay a premium and when a claim is made, the insurance company pays the employee on the employer’s behalf. Alternatively, an employer may elect to self-insure, which makes it their responsibility to pay eligible employees. 

There are numerous benefits provided to employees under workers’ compensation, including: 

1. Medical care reasonably necessary in order to cure or relieve the employee of the effects of the injury or illness;

2. Temporary total disability benefits while the employee is unable to work, recovering from the injury; 

3. Temporary partial disability benefits while the employee is working light duty for less compensation while recovering from the injury; 

4. Vocational rehabilitation or maintenance benefits for injured employees participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation program; 

5. Permanent partial disability benefits for employees who suffer permanent disability or disfigurement, but are still able to work; 

6.  Permanent total disability benefits for employees who suffer permanent disability or disfigurement and are unable to work; and/or 

7. Death benefits for a deceased employee’s surviving family members.

For more information about the workers’ compensation program, including ways in which legal representation can help you recover, you should talk to an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney. Our attorneys represent individuals from areas such as Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, and Inverness.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Common Work Accidents in Industrial Plants

James Speers - Friday, December 20, 2013

By Ken Apicella

847 934 6000

kca@dgaalaw.com

http://www.dgaalaw.com/ken-apicella.html

Workers in industrial plants often receive safety training, and most plants take precautions to prevent accidents from happening. Still, industrial accidents do occur, and workers would do well to stay aware of common hazards in their environment. Some of the most common accidents that occur in industrial plants involve explosions or asphyxiation. In fact, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board attributes hundreds of deaths and injuries to these types of accidents since 1980.

Explosions in Industrial Plants

Industrial plants are often full of reactive chemicals and hazardous machinery. Unfortunately, those two things often place workers at risk of harm from explosions. Though explosions come in many different forms and have many different causes, some of the most common are pressure vessel explosions, chemical explosions, and combustible dust explosions.

Pressure vessel explosions happen when a gas starts to build up in a sealed tank. This can happen through heating or through an ongoing chemical reaction. Eventually, either due to overpressurization or a flaw in the tank, the vessel bursts, releasing a powerful shock wave and possibly hot vapor as well.

Chemical explosions differ in that they involve reactive chemicals rather than simple overpressurization. These explosions happen when a chemical reaction runs unchecked or a leak releases a flammable chemical, such as hydrogen, into the environment. Then a stray spark or other heat source ignites the chemical, causing an explosion.

The final type of explosion, combustible dust explosions, often happen in factories that produce fine powders, such as flour or sugar. If the company does not take care to properly ventilate the area and ensure a clean work environment, dust can build up in the air. Because fine dusts are often flammable, contact with a heat source can cause the entire cloud to explode.

Asphyxiation in Industrial Plants

Workers in chemical plants are also vulnerable to the hazard of asphyxiation. Though less common than explosions, the threat can be equally dangerous. Workers often asphyxiate in one of two ways. Either a gas leak releases a dangerous chemical into the room that causes suffocation, or the worker ends up in a cramped space for long periods, depriving them of oxygen.

Gas leaks can cause asphyxiation by affecting the concentration of oxygen in the air. Even the release of an ordinarily harmless gas like nitrogen can cause workers to suffocate if it saturates the air and deprives workers from taking in enough oxygen. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a plant accident. Contact a Chicago personal injury lawyer today. We serve many northwest suburban areas including Barrington, Crystal Lake, Deer Park, and Rolling Meadows.


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