Crushing Injuries in the Auto Industry
Workplace crushing injuries may happen when an autoworker or his body part is trapped under a car, or in between pieces of machinery used to work on the car. Crushing injuries can lead to significant complications, and can be fatal. If you have suffered crushing injuries in the auto industry, and you are not able to go back to work, you may be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits. Although the workers' compensation system was devised to make it easier to obtain benefits, as a practical matter, it can be difficult to obtain the full scope of benefits to which you're entitled. The experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can help you assess your legal options.Crushing Injuries in the Auto Industry
Heavy objects and machines are present at worksites in the auto industry. Their presence makes crushing injuries more likely. For example, if you got caught in steel-rolling equipment and the lower half of your body was crushed, it might be difficult to extricate you from the machine. The harm would be tremendous. Moving equipment like forklifts can also roll onto and crush workers, particularly in a crowded workplace. Sometimes workers can be crushed by the collapse of materials used in auto manufacturing or repair. If materials are not properly stacked, they present a risk to anybody that passes by or tries to handle those materials.
Crushing injuries occur when force or pressure is placed on a body part such that the body or some part of it is crushed and body structures are damaged. Crushing injuries can result in bruising, bleeding, fractures, secondary infections, nerve injuries and damage, and serious tissue and blood vessel injuries. If excessive pressure grows inside a closed muscle space in the body, this pressure can become dangerous, stopping blood flow to and from tissues. This is known as compartment syndrome, which is an emergency that may necessitate surgery to stop permanent injuries.
Nerve damage, infections, fractures, and compartment syndrome arising out of crushing injuries can be very serious. When your arms, hands, feet, or legs are crushed, you may no longer be able to use the limb and you may be permanently disfigured. You may also be permanently disabled, unable to work for the rest of your life. Your medical bills may be very high.Benefits Available for Crushing Injuries
Workers' compensation benefits for crushing injuries can include disability benefits, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits, and a knowledgeable work injury lawyer can help you determine what you may be eligible for. The benefits will not be taxable. Immediately after suffering crushing injuries, you should obtain emergency medical care. If a spouse died on the job as a result of crushing injuries, you may be able to obtain death benefits.
Disability benefits replace wages. They can be temporary full, temporary partial, permanent total, or permanent partial disability benefits. Crushing injuries are usually very serious, but in the event that they only produce temporary disabilities, you may be eligible for temporary disability benefits at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage up to the state's maximum, which shifts in 6-month periods.
More often, crushing injuries are permanently disabling. You can obtain permanent and total disability benefits through a workers' compensation claim. The benefits can be determined based on 66 2/3% of the difference in wages before and after the crushing injuries. Alternatively, permanent and total disability benefits may be calculated according to a schedule of injuries. If the crushing injuries cause disfigurement, you may be able to obtain 162 weeks of benefits at a rate that is 60% of your average weekly wage.Skilled Workers' Compensation Attorneys Serving Chicago
If you are a worker who has suffered crushing injuries in the auto industry in Chicago, you should consider retaining a workers' compensation lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured autoworkers in Rockford, Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as Cook, Adams, Champaign, Winnebago, Sangamon, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online to learn more about your rights.