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springfield workers compensation lawyerIn Illinois, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance reimburses injured workers for medical expenses and part of their lost wages if a work injury causes them to miss work. However, what happens if a work injury aggravates a pre-existing medical condition like degenerative disc disease? Is the worker still entitled to compensation? What if the insurance company tries to claim that work duties did not cause the worsened medical condition?

Successfully recovering compensation for worsened medical conditions is often tricky, especially if the medical condition gradually worsened over time instead of being caused by a singular traumatic accident. This is why many people in this situation work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Seeking Workers’ Comp for Worsened Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease causes the spinal discs to wear away. The condition can lead to significant neck and back pain, numbness, and tingling. Jobs that require the worker to lift or carry heavy objects, twist and bend at awkward angles, or perform manual labor may worsen disc disease and other back conditions. A work accident such as a fall may also aggravate spine and back conditions.

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Champaign IL workers' compensation attorneyIn Illinois, workers’ compensation insurance covers costs resulting from a work injury or illness. When most people think of workers’ compensation, they picture an injured worker who fell or otherwise suffered a one-time traumatic accident. However, this is not the only type of worker harm that may result in a workers’ comp claim.

Exposure to dangerous chemicals, toxic fumes, and other hazardous substances such as asbestos can take a major toll on a worker’s health, especially when the worker is exposed to the dangerous chemical on a long-term basis. Unfortunately, bringing a successful workers’ compensation claim for exposure to hazardous chemicals is often an uphill battle.

Contact with Dangerous Chemicals and Worker Health

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has instituted strict rules about how toxic or dangerous chemicals must be stored and utilized in a workplace. OSHA has also established permissible exposure limits for dangerous substances. However, many OSHA rules and requirements are incomplete or outdated. Furthermore, some companies fail to adhere to these rules.

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springfield workers compensation lawyerCertain types of injuries can affect a person’s ability to return to work while they are recovering. However, if an injury took place while a person was working or arose out of activities performed during the course of their employment, they will usually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp will pay all costs related to medical care for these injuries, and if a person misses at least four days of work, they can receive wage benefits based on a temporary disability. These benefits will cover a percentage of what they would have been able to earn if they had not been injured. By working with an attorney, injured employees can ensure that they submit the correct information when filing a workers’ comp claim, allowing them to receive the benefits they need and deserve.

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

If a person is temporarily unable to work while recovering from their injury, or if they have been approved for light work, but their employer will be unable to accommodate their needs, they can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits will be paid until the employee returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI).

TTD benefits are calculated by multiplying the employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) by 66 2/3%. AWW is the average gross wages the employee earned in the 52 weeks before they were injured. Minimum and maximum limits apply, and these are updated regularly based on the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW). For injuries that took place between January 15 and July 14, 2021, the minimum TTD benefit is $293.33 for a person with zero dependents (the minimum amounts are higher if a person has a spouse and/or children), and the maximum TTD benefit is $1,613.93.

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Champaign, IL workers’ compensation lawyer for occupational diseasesWhen people consider workers’ compensation benefits, it is usually in the context of injuries suffered due to accidents in the workplace. An employee who is injured while working is eligible to receive benefits that address the costs of medical treatment, as well as any income lost due to a temporary or permanent disability. However, a person’s health can also be negatively affected by conditions in their workplace, and workers’ comp will apply for those who have suffered occupational diseases. 

In some cases, proving that an illness is related to the work a person performed may be difficult. This may be a concern for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 during the course of their employment. Those who have suffered occupational illnesses will want to work with an attorney when filing a workers’ comp claim to ensure they can receive the benefits they deserve.

Workers’ Comp Benefits for Occupational Illnesses

In Illinois, the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act ensures that employees who contract occupational diseases will be covered by workers’ compensation. Occupational diseases include any illnesses that occur during a person’s employment because of the work they have performed or the conditions in their workplace, as well as the aggravation of existing illnesses during the course of a person’s employment.

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Springfield workers compensation attorney pre-existing condition

If you are injured while on the job, you will usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which will cover the costs of medical treatment and provide you with repayment for the loss of income due to a temporary or permanent disability. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, you may be worried about how this will affect your eligibility for workers’ comp. In many cases, you will still be able to receive benefits, and by working with an experienced work injury attorney, you can protect your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Work-Related Injuries and Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

Workers’ comp covers all injuries that occur during the course of a person’s employment. This includes any injuries that lead existing injuries or medical conditions to become worse. For example, a person may have experienced a back injury in a car accident several years ago, and after receiving treatment and following all medical instructions, they made a full recovery. Then, while working in a warehouse, they attempted to lift a heavy item and re-injured their back in the same location as the previous injury. Even though the injury had previously existed, it became aggravated because of the work the person was performing, making them eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical treatment for the new injury, as well as wage benefits that address any missed work while recovering.

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