As in every state, Illinois residents are legally entitled to a safe work environment. In a perfect world, all employees would be exempt from accidents on the job. Since it’s not always possible to prevent something bad from happening, if an accident occurs the injured party shouldn’t have to battle to receive workers’ compensation benefits and remain employed.
An Illinois woman slipped and fell on the ice while on a work-related trip. She lost her footing and hit her head on the sidewalk when she fell. She told her boss she was fine and attempted to continue working but she unknowingly suffered a brain injury as a result of the accident.
Upon her return home she began to realize she had a problem. She couldn’t remember details she needed to do her job. Her attention span was limited and she suffered from migraine headaches and extreme fatigue. Her self-esteem plummeted and she became concerned about her job security. When she finally went to a doctor, he revealed that her accident had caused an injury that led to bleeding in her brain.
When accidents on the job result in a serious brain injury, hurt employees can feel as if they face insurmountable obstacles just to get through their work day. Because the injury is not immediately apparent, their employer may react with suspicion rather than empathy when faced with any special needs or accommodations. Many see a drop in income. Others lose their jobs altogether.
In Illinois, accidents on the job should not prevent employees from receiving what is lawfully theirs. Injured workers are entitled to receive financial compensation to cover medical costs and replace lost or diminished wages. Having a proper understanding of the process and laws involved can help the injured person wade through the red tape and regulations and ensure those who are financially and physically suffering get some relief.
Source: WBEZ 91.5 Chicago, Returning to work after a brain injury, the unique challenges of concussions and the workplace, Shannon Heffernan, Nov. 25, 2013
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