I wrote a few weeks back about Illinois Governer JB Pritzker’s announcement that all Illinois essential workers who become infected with Covid-19 would have automatic workers’ compensation protection. In other words, they would not have to prove the usual step that their injury (“Covid diagnosis”) was directly caused while working within the course and scope of their employment. Following this order and amendment to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order blocking this change to the Act.
The temporary restraining order was granted by a Sangamon County judge. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission immediately issued a statement stating: “The commission voted unanimously this morning to repeal the emergency rules that took effect April 16.” It is unclear whether this ruling by the judge will be appealed or whether the Illinois legislature will take this up and vote on making an ammendment to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
This is an unfortunate turn of events as essential workers such as nurses, medical professionals, retail workers and delivery drivers will not have automatic protection despite risking their health by going into work every day. If these essential workers do become infected with Covid-19, and they believe it happened while at work, they still have the right to file an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim. Although, their attorney will have to prove at trial that the Covid-19 was caused while at work. This would need to be done through medical expert testimony. Basically, a doctor would have to testify (either through their records or at deposition) that they believe within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the worker’s Covid-19 diagnosis was caused by their exposure at work as a front-line essential worker. These claims can be made, it will just be a lot more difficult without an amendment to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a Chicago work accident or have an Illinois workers compensation claim, please call Chicago work comp attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Illinois Governer J.B. Pritzker took bold executive action this week by extending Workers’ Compensation coverage to all essential front line workers who believe they contracted the Covid-19 virus while on the job. Pritzker amended the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to allow front line workers to obtain workers compensation coverage without having to prove throught medical testimony that they actually contracted the virus while on the job.
All other Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims require the Petitioner (employee) prove that their injury or condition was caused on the job. Pritzker wants to eliminate that step for essential workers who are putting their health on the line by going into work every day: ““We owe (essential workers) a debt that we can never fully repay. But to start, we can give them the peace of mind to know that they will be covered if they fall ill on the job.” This amendment to the Act covers health care workers, police and fire personnel, corrections officers, grocery store workers and food producers.
Illinois work comp benefits can include payment of all related medical bills, lost wages (2/3 of your average weekly wage), and permanent disability lump some payments once you are allowed to go back to work.
I applaud Governer Pritzker for taking this step to provide protection to our front line workers. There are no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of essential workers who will become infected with Covid-19. Allowing employers to deny these claims would be a disservice to these people who are putting their lives on the line day in and day while we deal with this global pandemic.
If you or a loved one was injured at work or has an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim or a Chicago work accident, then call Chicago work comp lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Illinois Governor Rauner attempted to pass a new bill last week that would gut Illinois Workers Compensation Act. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Senate Democrats repeated the effort by their counterparts in the House as they blocked the bill at a Committee hearing.
At the Committee hearing opponents of the bill said the changes, which would toughen standards for an employee to prove an injury happened on the job and cut reimbursement rates for doctors who treat workers, could have “unintended consequences” in which doctors refuse to provide care. Instead, they said more time was needed to gauge savings from a 2011 rewrite of the workers’ compensation system. Democrats contended that Rauner is more concerned with the bottom line than ensuring workers are made whole.
“There seems to be a common corporate view of government here,” said Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park. “You guys seem to always be worried about the next quarterly report … it’s a recurring theme.”
I applaud the Senate Democrats for standing strong against Rauner’s attempt to gut our Workers’ Compensation system in Illinois. What Rauner and his aids refuse to admit is that his changes would immediately affect hard working Illinoisans by limiting the availability to doctors (should they be hurt on the job) and also make it harder to recover benefits at all. He is clearly looking out for the bottom line for insurance companies and corporations.
If you or someone you love has suffered from an Illinois Workers’ Compensation accident or has a Chicago work comp case, then call Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.
Being injured at work is a common occurrence and can often be frightening. Several questions can pop up all at once. First and foremost, what is wrong with me and how severe are my injuries? Who is going to pay may medical bills and what if I cannot return to work for a period of time? What if I don’t like the way the company doctor is treating me?
All of these questions are very important, which is why you should always consult with an Illinois workers compensation attorney who can and will protect your rights. Under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, if an employee is injured on the job, then employer must pay all of the related medical bills and 2/3 of the employees average weekly wage for any time off of work due to the injury. Assuming the injured employee returns to work, then he or she will be owed a permanency award at the end of the case. This is a very basic outline of the benefits involved with workers compensation.
There are multiple things to remember if you suffer from a work injury. Below are list of things that you should and should not do if you are injured at work.
1. Do report the injury to your supervisor/employer immediately and preferably in writing.
2. Do seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
3. Do give a detailed accident history to your treating physician describing how the work injury occurred.
4. Do have your doctor put any work restrictions in writing and forward to your employer.
5. Do keep your employer updated on your medical treatment and let him or her know if you have been released from treatment or sent back to work.
6. Do not disobey your doctor’s orders concerning treatment, restrictions or return to work.
7. Do not miss any doctor’s appointment or therapy sessions.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an Illinois work accident or has an Illinois workers compensation case, please have them call Chicago work comp attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, at 312-614-1076. I provide free legal consultations and can answer any questions.
The Chicago Tribune reported today that an iron beam collapsed on a construction site near Lake and Canal streets in downtown Chicago. Two iron workers apparently were on the beam when it collapsed about twenty (20) feet and two others were below the beam.
Two workers were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, another in serious-to-critical was taken to Stroger Hospital and the fourth, in fair-to-serious condition, was transported to Rush University Medical Center.
It has been reported that the site has been closed down to allow OSHA time to come in and investigate the cause of the construction accident. First and foremost I think the whole city should breathe a sigh of relief that there were no fatal injuries from this accident and that all four workers will be in in our thoughts and prayers for a healthy recovery from any injuries.
Regardless, it is important to point out that each of these workers will be entitled to Illinois workers compensation benefits as a result of their injury. First, each of the workers is entitled to payment of all of their medical bills for treatment related to their work injuries. Second, the workers are entitled to what is called temporary total disability (“TTD”), which is payment directly to them for their time off of work due to these injuries. The payments are equal to 2/3 of their average weekly wages. Finally, assuming the workers go back to full duty after recovering from their injuries, they will be entitled to a permanent partial disability (“PPD”) award, which typically comes in a lump sum.
Another issue to consider for these injured workers is determining who was at fault for this accident. If the OSHA investigation, or any other independent investigation, determines that a third party was at fault for this construction accident, then the injured worker could have a potential civil lawsuit in the circuit court for their personal injuries, lost wages, medical bills and loss of enjoyment of life. It is premature to determine if this construction accident was caused by a third party (a party other than the workers’ employer), but it is common for multiple subcontractors to be present during a major construction project. If so, the injured worker will have both an Illinois workers compensation claim and civil lawsuit against any liable third party subcontractors and/or general contractors.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured at work and has an Illinois workers compensation case or has been involved in a Chicago construction accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.