When you think about people who might get hurt on the job, you probably picture firefighters, law enforcement officials and other overtly high-risk professionals. Office employees face their own risks and hazards, however, and while they differ in many ways from those of, say, first responders, they still have the capacity to cause you considerable harm and hardship.
It is commonly known that asbestos is an unsafe material that was used in the 1970s. If you currently work in construction, flooring, plumbing, roofing or with automobiles, you could still be exposed to asbestos on the job. When there is exposure to asbestos on a jobsite, employers are required by law to control work practices, institute engineering controls and establish regulated areas to reduce levels of asbestos in the air. When it comes to this harmful material, there is no safe level of exposure. Those who have been exposed to asbestos in the past may deal with a lung condition called asbestosis.
Currently, here in America, the general workers’ compensation system is state-based. There are no federal standards in place for state workers’ comp regimes.
So, each state has its own particular rules regarding workers’ comp benefits and the process for applying for such benefits. This is why, when a worker here in Central Illinois suffers a workplace injury, they may want guidance from a legal professional with deep knowledge of Illinois’ workers’ compensation system.
We live in an era of specialization. Football teams have special squads. In health care, there are insurance plans that seek to manage the care process in hopes that costs can be kept under control. Just what the level of management should be and how well it works remains the subject of a lot of debate here in Central Illinois and across the country.
In general terms, if an attorney graduates from law school and passes the bar, he or she is deemed qualified to practice. But the law has its areas of specialty, as well. One attorney might focus on estate planning; another on family law. Yet another might provide criminal defense services. Personal injury law encompasses such a broad range of potential issues that protection of client rights warrants special commitment.
Forced arbitration is a term many people might not be too familiar with, but it is something that anyone in central Illinois who might have a beef with a business entity needs to be aware of. The reason is simple. Even if you have a legitimate legal claim that you feel entitles you to your day in court, it might not be possible to obtain if your agreement with the offending entity includes a clause requiring going to arbitration.
The move toward mandatory arbitration agreements is one that has been underway for about 30 years. Many observers trace the origin back to the 1980s. That's when the U.S. Supreme Court reinterpreted a 1925 federal law in a way that granted corporations to shift possible legal claims by employees and consumers from civil court to forced arbitration.
Anyone with a measure of experience with construction knows it can be dangerous. On-the-job injury may be common across the central Illinois region, though regulators would argue that wouldn't be the case if employers fulfilled safety obligations to their workers from the outset of every project.
Unfortunately, that doesn't occur all the time. In some cases, it's not a matter of a one-time oversight. Sometimes, the problem can be chronic. That's the allegation the Occupational Safety and Health Administration makes against one Belleville roofing company.
The way we talk about collisions on the road is misleading. We discussed this in a post back in June. The position we offered then is that, in most cases, what we call accidents are really disasters caused by someone's negligence or reckless behavior. As such, seeking compensation for victims and holding someone accountable isn't merely justified. It's demanded.
Vehicle crashes are major causes of catastrophic injury and death in central Illinois. Contributing factors can be many. Agriculture is big business here and large machines lumbering slowly along are common. Their presence can lead drivers to get antsy at the wheel and make deadly decisions. Speeding, drunk driving, texting and other forms of distraction are problems, too.
The concept of interstate commerce might not be something most people around Springfield give much thought to. Routines might be restricted to waking up, getting the children to school, getting to work and getting everyone home safely at the end of the day. It's only when extraordinary events occur that we might have to confront broader issues.
Truck accidents involving interstate haulers certainly would seem to fall into that category. Crashes with semitrailer trucks typically injure or kill individuals in the smaller vehicle. And the process required to hold all the possible liable parties to account can be complicated if there are multiple entities from many different states involved. Recovery of due compensation could take the skills of an experienced attorney.
When a car and a tractor-trailer truck collide, one generally expects the car and its driver to come out on the wrong end of the stick in terms of injuries or death. Statistics suggest that expectation is reasonable. And when you think about workers dying on the job, most in Illinois probably don't put truck drivers high on the list.
That is not how the U.S. Department of Labor sees things. While many might see firefighting, police work or even construction as the leaders in terms of risky businesses, officials say truck drivers deserve to be counted. By the DOL's numbers, truckers account for one in six of all deaths among U.S. workers every year, and the rate of trucker fatalities is generally on the rise.
Controlled environment -- if ever there is a phrase that ought to describe what we should find in an Illinois assisted living or nursing home setting that would probably be it. These are places we depend on to provide care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. When that trust is violated and a loved one suffers neglect or abuse, seeking remedy is a right. It can sometimes be a challenge to obtain.
Unfortunately, the abuse in nursing homes isn't as uncommon as we would like it to be. Home employees can be one source of the problem. But what if the source of the abuse is not home employees? What if the perpetrators of the abuse are other residents?