Mechanical Equipment Accidents in the Auto Industry

Chicago Lawyers for Auto Industry Workers' Compensation Claims

Automation is very common in the auto industry. Machines are involved in production, manufacturing, and repair, and they are often treated as reliable. However, humans are still involved with machinery, and sometimes machines create hazards for workers. Machine use requires adherence to guidelines and maintenance needs. If you are a worker who has been injured in a mechanical equipment accident in the auto industry, an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you seek benefits for medical bills and lost income.

Mechanical Equipment Accidents in the Auto Industry

Employers have responsibilities to take care of and operate equipment, and determine the risks involved in the operations. Often there are particular hazards when humans work with machines and robots. Sometimes there are problems with the control system, with unauthorized access to them, disruption to the power system, improper installation, or sudden electromagnetic interference. In other instances, mechanical problems can result in the machine or robot becoming dangerous. Human mistakes can also create unpredictable problems.

In addition to maintaining mechanical equipment, employers should maintain emergency procedures and ways to initiate shutdowns should there be a mechanical problem that is dangerous. Nevertheless, even a safe piece of equipment may injure workers who miss necessary steps or are tired. Workers' compensation benefits are available to injured workers regardless of fault. You will not need to prove your employer's fault, nor will your employer be entitled to show you were negligent either in using the equipment or approaching the danger incorrectly.

Exercising Your Workers' Compensation Act Rights

It's unlawful for your employer, its insurer, or any adjustment or service company to keep you from exercising your rights or interfere with them in any way. Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you or even threaten to discriminate against you because you used your Illinois Workers' Compensation Act rights. It's illegal for employers by themselves or through an insurer to terminate or threaten to terminate you or refuse to recall you to active service in an appropriate capacity because you used your rights. Employers are also not entitled to charge you for any portion of your workers' compensation insurance premiums or benefits. A seasoned work injury lawyer can help you assert your rights if you believe you have been subject to conduct of this nature.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers' compensation benefits include medical care required to fix the effects of injuries sustained on the job. These benefits are not taxable. In addition to medical benefits, you'll also be able to obtain disability benefits (temporary partial, temporary full, permanent partial or permanent full disability benefits) and death benefits.

Wage replacement depends on the extent of your disability as well as your average weekly wage. You can get temporary disability benefits at a rate of 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage up to a certain cap. This cap can change every six months. Temporary disability benefits are owed after you are disabled such that you can't perform three days of work unless you are disabled from working more than 14 days, in which case you'll lose the first three days of lost wages, too. Permanent disability wages are paid according to 66 2/3% of the difference in your wages from before and after your injury. Alternatively, a schedule of injuries may be referenced that provides for payments based on the number of weeks at issue. You can get at most 162 weeks of benefits at 60% of your average weekly wages if you suffer disfigurement.

Consult an Auto Industry Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you are a worker who has been injured due to a mechanical equipment accident in the auto industry in Chicago, you should consider hiring a workers' compensation lawyer to discuss making a claim for benefits. If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to sue for damages in a product liability action as well. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent injured auto workers in Springfield, Rockford, Champaign, Aurora, and Quincy, as well as Adams, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, Cook, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online to set up a free consultation.