Auto Industry Workers' Compensation Claims

Chicago Lawyers for Injured Employees

There are several automotive plants across the United States, but there are also numerous automotive industry jobs outside these plants. Jobs in the automotive industry include those performed by auto body technicians, automotive engineers, sales managers, detailers, tire technicians, car rental agents, valets, tow truck drivers, and vehicle inspectors. Workers' compensation benefits are generally available to workers in the auto industry who are injured on the job. The whole system was designed to help injured employees without them needing to establish fault. If you have suffered a work-related illness or injury in the automotive field, our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys can help you assert your rights to benefits.

Injuries in the Automotive Industry

Jobs available in the automotive industry can be dangerous and labor intensive. Many automotive plants put to work thousands of employees who place their health on the line each day as they repetitively do labor intensive jobs. Auto industry workers’ compensation claims can arise in a variety of situations, as these jobs carry risks of blunt trauma, repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel or torn rotator cuffs, tarsal syndrome, and chemical exposure. Sometimes these injuries are caused by a single acute incident such as an injury sustained as a result of a power tool, but they can also result from continuously using a body part, such that the cumulative effect of repeated stress causes painful injuries. Other injuries include sprains, strains, contusions, lacerations, hernias, and amputations. Sprains and strains are the most common injuries to keep an automotive employee home from work.

It can be difficult to show that repetitive injuries are caused by job activities and not by something done in one's leisure time. Establishing repetitive occupational injuries may be difficult. In making a determination regarding benefits, workers' compensation judges may rely on medical evidence, reports you've made to supervisors, as well as testimony from you. Among other things, the administrative law judge will consider how long you were on the job and the type of job you held.

Auto Industry Workers' Compensation Claims

Under Section 5(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employers are required to pay benefits for work-related injuries. A generally worker can't sue his or her employer or coworkers for such injuries, but sometimes it is possible to sue a third party for damages. Often workers' compensation benefits are not enough to compensate for truly serious or catastrophic injuries. The workers' compensation system was designed back in the early 1900s, and in some ways it doesn't account for the differences in today's workplaces. For example, because there is a separate system for workplace injuries, you may not be able to see your existing health care provider in connection with your workers' compensation claim.

Benefits Available Following Injuries

Workers' compensation benefits include coverage for medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, disability, and emergency care. The extent of benefits turns on the precise nature of the injuries. For example, if you work with your hands and you accidentally amputate your arm with a power tool, you may suffer a permanent total disability. You will need emergency care and you may need surgery, as well as multiple doctors' visits, a prosthetic limb, rehabilitation, therapy, and other medical equipment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue the full range of benefits you may eligible for.

Death Benefits

Sometimes, an automotive industry worker dies on the job. Their dependents may qualify for death benefits. Eligible family members can include a spouse, a child under age 18, or under age 25 and enrolled in school full time, or mentally or physically incapacitated children of any age. If awarded death benefits, eligible dependents can get up to 2/3 of the decedent's average weekly wage. The law sets a minimum and maximum. Benefits will stop within 25 years or after the insurer has paid $500,000. The workers' compensation insurer should pay the actual funeral costs, but the maximum of these costs is $8000.

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Representing Chicago Employees

If you are an employee in the automotive industry in Chicago who was injured on the job, a work injury lawyer can help you seek the benefits you may be entitled to. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent employees in auto industry workers’ compensation claims cases in areas including Springfield, Aurora, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as Cook, Adams, Champaign, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.