Slip and Falls in the Auto Industry
Lawyers for Chicago Workers’ Compensation Claims
Slip and falls in the auto industry can be caused by many different conditions: moisture, failure to clean up a spill, floor disrepair, icy sidewalks, slick floors, oily floors, icy stairs, loose carpeting, fallen objects, and poor lighting. Sometimes a slip and fall occurs at a height and the worker plummets down some distance to a lower surface, suffering serious injuries. However, even falls from a level surface onto the same surface can result in catastrophic injuries such as a broken hip or traumatic brain injury. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can help you seek coverage for medical bills and lost wages if you have suffered a work injury of this nature. Even workers in the auto industry who bear some blame for the dangerous conditions that led to their slip and fall at work may be able to recover benefits.
Slip and Falls in the Auto Industry
Employers in the auto industry must abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in order to maintain a safe work environment. Other workplace safety laws and regulations that are applicable must be followed. However, even if your employer failed to abide by the OSHA regulations, or even if you are partly or fully to blame for your own slip and fall, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits. Unlike a slip and fall lawsuit brought in civil court, you will not need to establish the negligence of your employer in order to obtain coverage, and your employer cannot try to prove yours.
Although the workers’ compensation system is supposed to make it more straightforward to seek and obtain replacement wages and medical bills than the civil court system makes it, in practice it can be challenging to get workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can increase the probability that you’ll get the full benefits to which you may be entitled.
Types of Injuries
You should be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if you slipped and fell while performing job duties, and are not able to work due to those injuries. Common injuries arising from slip and falls include head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, shoulder injuries, and hip fractures. There is a wide range of severity in these injuries. A traumatic brain injury can be just a concussion that heals in a short amount of time, but it can also be totally debilitating and result in seizures. Sometimes spinal vertebrae are fractured or discs are herniated during a fall, and these injuries can result in restrictions on mobility or even paralysis. Shoulder injuries arising out of slip and falls often include displacement. Often knees or ankles are sprained or fractured, and these injuries may be worse for older adults whose bones are weakened by age. A huge percentage of broken hips occur during falls, and many hip fracture patients require a surgery and rehabilitation; some even die.
Sometimes there are witnesses to a workplace slip and fall, but you should still provide notice to your employer in writing immediately after becoming injured in this type of accident. Failure to provide written notice can trigger suspicion on the part of an insurer who may conduct surveillance and refuse to pay benefits.
It’s unlawful for your employer, its insurance company, or a service or adjustment company to coerce, restrain, or interfere in any way in the exercise of the remedies or rights granted under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Similarly, none of these entities are supposed to discriminate against or threaten you in any way because you need to get workers’ compensation benefits and want to exercise your remedies. It’s illegal for an employer to terminate you or threaten to terminate you because you used your rights to obtain benefits.
Consult an Auto Industry Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you are a worker in Chicago who suffered a slip and fall in the auto industry, a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer can help you protect your rights. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent injured auto workers against employers and insurers in cities including Rockford, Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Champaign, Adams, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-724-5846, or contact us online to learn more about your legal options.