Injuries due to falls in the workplace can occur for many reasons. In offices, the main injuries in these cases vary from a twisted ankle, fracture, herniated discs, or even complex fractures that require major surgery. If you work in construction or a similar job, injuries from falls are usually more severe. They can cause disfiguring scars, vision loss, and brain injury, among other injuries. Depending on the cause of the fall, you may have the right to claim Workers’ Compensation benefits or to file a lawsuit against a third party responsible for your fall. We will analyze the different scenarios below.
Right to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois
One of the advantages of these benefits is that you can receive them even if you are the only one responsible for your fall. For example: 1) you are walking in your work area and you trip on your own feet or twist your ankle from incorrectly putting weight on it. Illinois state law allows you to receive benefits. 2) Your employer or co-worker puts a box on the floor and you don’t see it, and you trip and fall. Although your employer is negligent, you cannot sue them in court. Your only option is to get benefits from workers’ compensation. One exception is if you are working under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you do it intentionally instead of accidentally.
Right to Sue Third Parties
If the fall is caused by the negligence of third parties, you can establish a lawsuit where you can recover damages, pain and suffering and punitive damages. For example, the carpet in the office where you work is torn and the owner does not repair it. One day you trip and fall and are injured. You can sue the building owner for negligence. The chair where you sit had a defect when it came from the factory and you fall when sitting down. In this case, you can sue the manufacturer or the assembly company if it is a separate company.
Rights and Responsibilities of Workers and Employers
The federal Occupational Safety and Health law, in conjunction with state laws in Illinois, requires that employers provide a safe work environment for workers. Employers are obligated to identify and correct hazardous elements in the workplace. The prevention emphasis consists of eliminating or substituting harmful products or materials instead of providing masks, gloves, and earplugs for employees. Additionally, employers must offer proper training for the use of machinery and equipment. They are also required to provide and enforce the use of protective equipment such as hardhats, reflective vests, and hard work boots. If a labor accident occurs, the employer is required to report it as soon as they are notified. In the case of death, the report must be made within 8 hours. If the injury is severe and requires hospitalization, amputation, or involves the loss of an eye, the report must be made within 24 hours of the accident.
Workers, on the other hand, have the right to work in a safe atmosphere. If you feel that your employer is not following proper security measures or if you are being exposed to controlled or dangerous substances, you have the right to submit a complaint and request an inspection of your workplace from the Occupational Safety and Health Department. During the inspection you may stay with the inspectors to explain the problems. Once the inspection is complete, you have the right to receive the results. Usually, if the employer is found to be in incompliance with the necessary security measures, they are given a determined date by which to correct the problem. Other measures may include citations and fines. Your employer may not under any circumstances retaliate against you. If this happens, contact the agency again so that your allegation can be investigated.
Hiring Work Injury Lawyers
There are many specifics and nuances surrounding legal compensation rights. Furthermore, the laws that are in effect today could change tomorrow. If you hire attorneys who specialize in work injuries, you significantly increase your chances of receiving the remuneration and medical treatment you deserve.
This Blog is made available by Grupo MedLegal for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or medical advice. The information provided on the Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal or medical advice from a licensed professional.