What Qualifies as a Work-Related Injury in Illinois?

For an injury to qualify as work-related, it must result from your workplace duties, or you must have sustained it while fulfilling your responsibilities. It can be a direct injury suffered in a workplace accident. It can also be due to repetitive strain injuries from lifting, typing, or deterioration of existing conditions, which would otherwise not happen were it not for the job.

Generally, if you sustain injuries while engaged in a task that would benefit your employer, they would qualify for worker’s compensation. That may seem straightforward, but various intricacies could be involved. Before filing a compensation claim, consider consulting a skilled personal injury lawyer in Illinois to evaluate your case from a legal perspective.

Why Do Workplace Injuries Happen?

Employers are responsible for creating a safe working environment for everyone. Workplace injuries can disrupt productivity, cause financial losses, and induce physical and mental harm to individuals. However, despite the best efforts, workplace accidents still do happen for various reasons, including the following:

Falls from Heights or on Same Level

Falls from heights are some are the top cause of workplace fatalities. These accidents can cause serious bodily injuries, such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries. Negligence is often the primary reason for these accidents, with unsafe work environments, faulty work equipment, and poor direction.

Slips, trips, and falls on level ground are common in workplaces, leading to severe and life-altering injuries. Slips and falls often happen due to wet floors, poorly constructed surfaces, and poorly lit areas. If you sustained slip and fall injuries, a skilled work injury lawyer in Chicago could investigate your case and help you file a compensation claim.

Acts of Violence

Assault cases at the workplace are common, ranging from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It happens when there are fights between employees and supervisors or between two employees. When it happens, it can lead to injuries like bruising, black eyes, physical limitations, pain and suffering, and lost income.

Some risk factors that increase the likelihood of violence in the workplace include providing services and care, working with volatile, unstable people, and working where alcohol is served. Others involve working late at night in locations with high crime rates. If you have been a victim of assault at the workplace, consult an Illinois personal injury attorney for legal counsel as these cases can be more difficult to win and your employer may not have to pay.

Being Struck or Caught in Moving Machinery

Anyone working with heavy machinery could sustain injuries, especially in factories and construction sites. Machinery lacking proper supervision is also a safety hazard; body parts can get caught or struck by exposed or moving parts. You could sustain life-threatening machinery-related injuries like severed fingers, crushed hands and arms, and blindness.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Most workers in Illinois have to repeat the same motions and exertions daily throughout their working time. Repetitive stress injuries can develop and significantly affect an individual.

Some common injuries from repetitive stress include carpal tunnel syndrome, while others can lead to long-term complications.

Management Related Causes of Workplace Injuries

Sometimes, the management at a workplace is responsible for workplace accidents and related injuries in the following ways:

  • Not providing proper or adequate safety training
  • Failure to provide adequate safety gear
  • Failing to take steps to mitigate hazards, such as not tagging malfunctioning equipment or cleaning up spills
  • Not enforcing zero-tolerance workplace harassment, violence, or bullying policies
  • Failing to intervene when employee disputes arise

Fire and Explosions

Fires and explosions in the workplace are frequent due to risk factors like faulty gas lines, open flames, and poor storage of combustible materials. These accidents account for the highest casualty rate of all probable workplace accidents, leading to injuries like varying degrees of burns, potential disfigurement, and damage to the respiratory system.

What if I’m Involved in a Workplace Accident?

The steps you take immediately after being involved in workplace accidents significantly determine how well you can protect your rights as an employee. A work injury attorney in Chicago provides the following tips:

Report the Accident

Ensure you report a workplace accident to your employer within 24 hours, even if the injuries are minor. Some injuries take some time to show significant symptoms, and not reporting in good time could be costly in the long run if you decide to pursue compensation.

Provide as many details as you can remember about the events leading to and after the accident. Take note of details such as slippery floors or failed equipment. Note the names of anyone else involved in the accident and witnesses to the incident.

Get Medical Attention

Depending on the work policy and case circumstances, you can visit your physician or see an approved workers’ compensation doctor. They can assess the extent of damage and provide the proper treatment. Ensure to tell them that the injury was work-related, as this information will help your Illinois work injury attorney build a strong compensation claim.

File a Worker’s Compensation Claim

Most workplace accident claims are resolved through workers’ compensation. This is mandatory insurance for employers in most states, designed to compensate workers for the injuries or illnesses they sustain at the workplace.

However, not all types of damages are covered by workers’ compensation. A skilled work injury attorney in Illinois can provide more insights.

Protect Your Rights After a Workplace Accident With Skilled Legal Advocacy in Chicago

Workplace injuries can lead to life-long consequences, leaving you incapacitated and unable to earn a living. Whether the injuries were minor or you think they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation, hiring an attorney to help you assess your legal options is advisable. They can help you determine your case worth and fight for the compensation you deserve.

An experienced lawyer at Kramer Injury Law can work with you to pursue the legal options available depending on the extent of your injuries. We know how workers’ compensation laws work and can be with you every step of the way to help you get justice. Call us at (312) 775-1012 to schedule a FREE case assessment.