Sprains and Strains in the Auto Industry

Workers' Compensation Lawyers Representing Chicago Employees

Sprains and strains are a leading type of injury in manufacturing workplaces. Strains are especially common. They can be both painful and expensive. Employees who have sustained sprains and strains in the auto industry may be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits. It's supposed to be straightforward to obtain these benefits, but in fact, it can be challenging. The skilled Chicago workers' compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck can go over your case and explain your legal options.

Sprains and Strains in the Auto Industry

Both sprains and strains are often seen as minor injuries, but they can have significant effects. They can happen suddenly, but they may develop over a period of time, such as days or weeks. A sprain occurs when the ligament connecting two or more bones at a joint is stretched, torn, or otherwise damaged. A strain occurs when the tendon connecting muscle to bone or the muscle itself is stretched, torn, or otherwise damaged. In the auto industry, sprains and strains may be the result of too much force, too much repetition, awkward positions that stress the tendons or muscles, and other factors.

Although workers who adopt awkward positions or fail to rest sufficiently or fail to stay physically fit may be partially to blame for sprains and strains because they've put undue stress on their bodies, they should still be able to obtain workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation benefits should be provided regardless of fault. In contrast, if you had to bring a lawsuit, you would have to prove another party's fault.

Often sprains and strains occur over a period of time. A worker's failure to recognize an early warning sign can result in a reaction within the musculoskeletal system.

Obtaining Benefits

If you suffer a sprain or strain on the job, you should seek out medical help right away. You should also follow the doctor's recommendations and instructions on getting better. When you see the doctor, you should let her know that the sprain or strain is work-related. The doctor can then bill the employer or insurer for your medical bills.

An employer need not provide workers' compensation benefits if it doesn't receive the medical information necessary to determine a worker's medical status and capacity to work. Benefits can be delayed where a doctor fails to provide medical records, or a worker doesn't cooperate with the employer or insurer's efforts to examine medical information related to the work injury.

Under the law, an employer is required to buy workers' compensation or self-insure. It needs to post a sign explaining workers' rights under the Workers' Compensation Act and specify the insurer and policy number. It should also keep records of its workers' work-related injuries, including sprains and strains. When a sprain or strain results in more than 3 days lost of work, the employer should report it to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. The Commission won't act on the information unless you file a claim.

Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting your strain or sprain. It should not fire or harass you for filing a compensation claim. You are not supposed to be charged for the workers' compensation insurance premium or your benefits for the sprain or strain. Your work injury lawyer can help you assert your rights if this has occurred in your case.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

Usually, temporary total disability benefits are available for significant sprains and strains. The purpose of these benefits is to replace your wages until your medical condition improves. Under Section 8(b) of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, you stop being eligible for temporary total disability benefits when you are no longer totally incapacitated from going back to work. The issue is whether you've reached maximum medical improvement. To get temporary total disability benefits, you'll need to show that you didn't work, and that you couldn't work.

Consult a Seasoned Workers' Compensation Attorney in Chicago

If you suffered sprains and strains in the auto industry in Chicago, a workers' compensation lawyer can help you seek benefits. Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck provides legal representation to injured auto workers in Rockford, Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Adams, Champaign, Winnebago, and Kane Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525 or contact us online.