Forklift and Ladder Accidents

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Assisting Employees in Chicago

The construction industry is notorious for having a high rate of job injuries. Forklift and ladder accidents often involve falling large distances. The result may be catastrophic injuries that necessitate time off and going through medical treatment. Sometimes, these accidents even result in death. If you were injured in a forklift or ladder accident at work, you should consult a Chicago workers' compensation lawyer who can help you pursue the appropriate benefits.

Claims Based on Forklift and Ladder Accidents

If you have been hurt in a forklift or ladder accident on the job in Chicago, you may be eligible for benefits through the workers' compensation system. This is a no-fault system, so even if you were partly to blame for th e accident, you could obtain benefits. For example, if you fastened a safety harness improperly and fell from the top rung of a ladder, suffering a traumatic brain injury and paralysis, you may still be able to claim benefits through the Illinois workers' compensation system. The workers' compensation system is supposed to be more straightforward to navigate than the civil justice system, yet it is still sometimes difficult to collect benefits. You could even find it difficult to obtain the workers' compensation benefits that you need if your coworkers or boss observed the accident.

One reason why insurers may deny claims is because of a pre-existing condition. For example, if you fall from a forklift and hurt your back, and the insurer reviews your medical records and notices that you previously suffered a herniated disc in an incident unrelated to work, it may issue a denial. However, you are entitled to benefits for a work-related injury even if your back was already weaker for another reason.

You should not assume that a denial is appropriate. If the work-related injury aggravated your pre-existing condition, it is still compensable under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. Generally, an employer must take an employee as it finds the employee, so it accepts any pre-existing condition, such as a disc herniation. The primary issue for your attorney will be showing that the job caused an aggravation of your medical condition. The aggravation needs to be work-related and be traceable to your fall or another forklift or ladder accident.

In Illinois, an employee can be entitled to benefits such as temporary partial disability benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. You should also be able to obtain medical benefits to cover the care and treatment reasonably necessary for your injuries. This typically includes emergency care, doctor's visits, surgery, physical therapy, medical equipment, and medications. You may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation if you are not able to return to the same job due to your injuries. This may include retraining, counseling, and supervised job search programs. Additionally, if you cannot go back to your old job, the employer may be required to pay for the maintenance costs as well as any retraining or other treatment that you need for your health.

If a loved one dies as a result of a work-related injury in a forklift or ladder accident, you may be able to obtain death or survivor benefits. The benefits are two-thirds of the worker's gross average weekly wage in the year that they were injured.

Consult an Experienced Work Injury Attorney in the Chicago Area

Forklift and ladder accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. If you are seeking to obtain workers' compensation benefits following a forklift or ladder accident in Chicago, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent accident victims in Chicago, Champaign, Quincy, Aurora, Rockford, and Springfield, as well as other areas of Cook, Adams, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. You can call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 for a free consultation. We can also help you investigate the accident to determine whether a third-party claim may be appropriate against a manufacturer or another party other than your employer.