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Our Experienced Lifting Injury Attorneys Can Help You Recover
If you suffered repetitive or heavy lifting injuries at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will pay for your medical care, including physical therapy, pain medications, and even surgery. They will also pay you a portion of your lost wages while you’re off work recovering. At Strom Yen Injury Attorneys, our lifting injury attorneys have been helping injured workers like you for more than 50 years. We can help you understand the claims process, answer any questions you may have, and make sure you recover maximum compensation.
Did you suffer a lifting injury at work? Let Strom Yen Injury Attorneys help you recover. Call (312) 609-0400 to schedule a free consultation.
How Workplace Lifting Injuries Happen
Lifting injuries may occur suddenly, as you pick up something heavy or awkward, or they may develop over time, creating a dull ache that gradually increases. These injuries often happen when workers are carrying heavy loads or carrying objects in awkward positions. Sometimes, however, lifting injuries occur when repeated movements result in soft tissue damage that cannot heal as fast as the work tasks cause it. Environmental factors also sometimes contribute to the occurrence of lifting injuries at work. For example, workers may slip and fall while carrying heavy loads as a result of click surfaces caused by rain, ice, or snow.
If you are a warehouse worker, a delivery driver, or a dockworker who performs heavy lifting at work, you have a higher risk of sustaining a back injury in the workplace. These injuries generally affect the lumbar region of the back and when muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and vertebrae become damaged, you may experience pain or paralysis in other parts of your body as a result.
Overexertion injuries are a leading cause of occupational injuries that require time off work. In many cases, lifting causes serious personal injury that requires ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, back surgery, and pain medication.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injured Workers
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
After suffering a work-related injury, you will need to follow the appropriate procedures to ensure you receive full and fair compensation. As soon as practicable, you should notify your employer that you suffered a back injury. In Illinois, workers only have 45 days to inform their employer of a work-related injury. If you fail to report your workplace accident in time, you could lose out on valuable benefits.
Once your employer is aware of your injury, the company representative should provide you with a list of approved medical providers. Your employer will then notify their workers’ compensation insurance provider. If your back injury caused you to miss three or more days of work, your employer has just 14 days to accept or deny your claim. Your employer must also file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) within 30 days of learning of your injury.
If your employer does not approve your claim, or they are not settling your claim to your satisfaction, you have the right to file an appeal. IL workers’ comp lawyers are invaluable when appealing a workers’ compensation claim denial.
Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits You Can Receive for a Lifting Injury
If your claim is approved, you may receive several types of benefits through your employer’s worker’s compensation coverage. The benefit categories for injured workers include medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and vocational rehabilitation and maintenance.
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, employers must pay the medical bills for all care that is reasonably necessary for the cure or relief of an occupational injury. This may include emergency care, surgery, hospital care, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medications, and prescribed medical and adaptive devices.
The injured worker may receive partial wage replacement through temporary total disability benefits while off work recovering, or temporary partial disability benefits while working light duty during recovery for less compensation. If you are able to work, but you suffered disfigurement or a permanent disability, you may receive permanent partial disability benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits provide permanent total disability benefits for those left permanently unable to work because of their severe injuries.
Common Types of Lifting Injuries
Every year, more than one million workers suffer heavy lifting injuries. Lifting heavy objects in the workplace can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor to severe. Heavy lifting can put stress and strain on the muscles and joints, causing serious injuries to workers. Injured workers often need time away from lifting or performing other tasks that might inflame and worsen their back injury.
Some of the most common types of injuries resulting from lifting workplace accidents include the following:
- Strain injuries, including pulled muscles and torn ligaments or tendons
- Joint injuries
- Slipped discs and other back injuries
- Nerve damage
How Can You Prevent Lifting Injuries?
Your employer should have a set of guidelines in place to protect you from lifting injuries at work. They should also provide you with training and information about how to lift safely, and when to ask for help lifting awkward or heavy objects. With appropriate precautions, warehouse workers, construction workers, healthcare workers, and employees in various other jobs can reduce their risk of suffering a personal injury.
Some prevention steps to keep workers safe on the job include the following:
- Grasp the load firmly, using gloves when able, to avoid dropping or otherwise losing control of the load
- Carry heavy items close to the body, pulling in toward the belt buckle, to limit the pressure on the back muscles and spine
- Refrain from twisting while carrying heavy items, opting instead to adjust feet instead of turning at the waist
- Center body weight through good footing to help maintain balance
- Lift using the knees and legs, reducing the pressure on the spine and back muscles
“Kevin and his team went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable from the start. They are professional and always had my best interest at heart. You will be in great hands with Kevin Yen.”
Types of Cases Handled by Strom Yen Injury Attorneys
FAQs About Lifting Injury Claims in Chicago
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
You must make your report to your employer no later than 45 days after the workplace accident that caused you serious injury, or within 90 days after a known or suspected radiological exposure. If you file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the IWCC, you have three years from the date your injury occurred to request benefits if you have not received payment. If you received temporary disability or medical benefits for your workplace injury, you have two years from the date of the last payment to file your application.
How Can a Lifting Injury Attorney Help Me?
While you do not have to hire a lifting injury lawyer to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, working with personal injury lawyers who are experienced in handling such cases can help make sure you receive maximum compensation. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you understand your rights and legal options, as well as guide you through the claims filing process. An attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and help ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Illinois law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing workers’ comp claims. If you suffer a lifting injury and file a claim for benefits, your employer cannot use that as cause to take adverse employment actions against, punish, harass, or terminate you. You should keep in mind, however, that you can still face employment actions for valid causes while recovering from an occupational injury.
Contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers at (312) 374-6626 to recover financial compensation for your work-related lifting injury. FREE consultation.