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Rockford Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Merger of companies complicates workers' compensation liability

At our Rockford, Illinois, law firm, we represent injured or ill workers in the surrounding region whose impairments are work related in their claims for workers' compensation. It is a good idea to consult with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible after an injury for a thorough assessment of the workers' compensation claim and guidance about any legal issues that could arise.

While some cases are straightforward, sometimes complicated legal or factual issues can arise that a seasoned lawyer may pick up on and help to resolve.

Worker silicosis from cutting real and artificial stone countertops

Across America, fancy countertops are all the rage. Tragically, some of the workers who cut these slabs of granite, marble and engineered stone are getting silicosis, a lung disease from inhaling crystalline silica dust generated during the cutting, shaping, grinding or polishing processes.

Proposal to raise resource limits for SSI eligibility

At Gesmer & Reynolds, P.C., in Rockford, Illinois, our attorneys represent people in the region, including suburban Chicago and southern Wisconsin, in their applications for benefits available through the Social Security Administration, or SSA. Readers may be more familiar with Social Security Disability Insurance, called SSDI, which is public disability insurance. People earn SSDI coverage through their history of Social Security payroll deductions.

For those who do not have enough work history for SSDI eligibility, the Supplemental Security Income program, known as SSI, should be considered. SSI is a monthly governmental payment based on disability, blindness or older age combined with low income and assets.

A closer look at the problem of overexertion

Workers across the board face high risks of straining or tearing muscles or ligaments at work. Manufacturers, construction workers and retail service workers usually face the highest chance of suffering strains or tears. However, in reality, any Illinois worker is in danger of these injuries. 

But what is causing these injuries? Since 2014, the answer to that question has been overexertion. 

Workers' compensation in Illinois: FAQs

Workers' compensation is a system to help better ensure injured workers receive prompt compensation when injured on-the-job. But what exactly does this mean? How do workers get their workers' comp benefits? Do all injuries qualify? This piece will delve into these and a few other common questions when it comes to workers' comp in Illinois.

First, it is important to note state laws often govern workers' compensation laws. As such, it is important to become acquainted with the laws that apply in the state you live and work. This piece will focus specifically on workers' comp in Illinois.

Nature of work-related fatalities in Illinois

At our law firm, we represent clients who have lost loved ones in work-related fatalities. We fight for proper Illinois workers' compensation death benefits for eligible surviving loved ones. In rare cases, survivors may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits against employers or responsible third parties.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency also known as the BLS, gathers statistics about work injury and death nationally and state by state. Today we take a closer look at the circumstances of fatal work injuries in Illinois workplaces and which kinds of industries and occupations are most impacted.

Illinois workers' compensation benefits for work-related death

Under Illinois workers' compensation law, when an employee dies from a work-related accident, injury or disease, their spouse and certain other surviving loved ones may be entitled to death benefits. In our last blog, we described a new Illinois law that fixes a loophole in workers' compensation benefits for asbestos-related diseases from occupational exposure.

The new law allows employees with occupational illnesses from asbestos or radiation exposure to file lawsuits against their employers if the disease manifests after 25 years from exposure, including suits for wrongful death from the conditions.

New Illinois law helps workers with latent illness from asbestos

On May 17, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed SB 1596, a bill that gives employees who developed work-related diseases that did not manifest until 25 years had passed from exposure to asbestos or radiation the right to file a civil lawsuit against their employers for the harm.

If such an illness develops before 25 years from exposure have passed, the worker must file for workers' compensation benefits because that is the exclusive remedy.

Bill would provide financial relief to terminal SSDI claimants

When a disabled person's application for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is approved, there is a five-month wait period before monthly cash benefits begin. This time can be difficult financially for those waiting for payments to start because their regular income was likely interrupted by their disabling conditions.

Most tragically, for those claimants with terminal illnesses, there is a risk of passing away during the five-month waiting period without seeing a dime of benefits, which has happened.

How can you prevent workplace sprains, strains and tears?

No one wants to get hurt. This is especially true if the injury would lead to time away from work. So how can you prevent the injuries that are most likely to keep you away?

In Rockford, manufacturing employs nearly one-third of all workers, so it's worth noting that the most common injuries in the manufacturing industry are sprains, strains and tears. That's according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that the injuries led to a median of 10 days away from work, so it pays to avoid them--literally.

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