What injuries are covered under workers compensation in Illinois?
The Illinois Workers Compensation Act is pretty open-mined when it comes to work injuries that are covered under workers’ compensation. If you suffered an injury as the direct result of a work-related accident this is known as a specific incident, it is the most common type of work injury. However, this is not the only type of injury that is covered. If a work accident was a contributing factor (not the only cause) to an injury, then it still should be good enough to be covered in workers’ compensation. For simplicity, let’s cover specific incidents, aggravated pre-existing conditions, repetitive stress injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and weakened condition and subsequent conditions.
What are specific incident injuries?
When a specific event causes an injury, this is known as a specific incident injury. A worker who is in good health, is going about their job and suddenly slips causing a broken leg. Broken bones, herniated discs, slips, trips, falls, concussions, and torn ligaments are all generally covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, as long as they arose out of and in the course of employment. Read our previous blog post, with good quotes from our Chicago Workers Compensation attorneys on what it means to have a work injury in Illinois.
What are aggravated pre-existing conditions?
It is easy to understand that a specific incident injury is compensable through workers comp, but many times a worker has a pre-existing condition. Let’s say you had a bad back, and then you get an on the job back injury?
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, Chicago work injury lawyer, Mark Weissburg says, “The employer has to take the employee as it find him or her. If the employee has a bad back, bad knees, bad shoulders, and an eggshell skull, so be it.”
Tyler Berberich, another Chicago workers compensation lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates added, “If an on the job injury aggravates a pre-existing condition, it should be covered under Workers’ Compensation.”
If a work accident accelerates the need for treatment that would have been needed in the future anyway, it could still be covered under workers’ compensation. In some situations, a doctor may label an injury as temporary aggravation. If you have had pain for a significant amount of time (more than a month) that is greater than or different from how you felt before the work accident, then it is likely not temporary aggravation.
The most important thing to take away here is this: if you had a pre-existing condition that was made worse by a work injury, then make sure to have the doctor note in their treatment records that the work accident worsened your condition, or accelerated the need for treatment!
What are repetitive stress injuries?
Repetitive stress injuries are work-related when the day-to-day requirements of your job continually wear down the body to the point of injury. These stress injuries are compensable under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
To strengthen your claim, it is important that your doctor has noted in the treatment record that the type of work you do is a contributing factor to the development of your injury.
Even though repetitive stress injuries are generally compensable, the difficult part is determining the date of the accident.
How do you determine the date of the accident for a repetitive stress injury?
To answer this question, I consulted with my brother, Mitchell Horwitz. Mitch heads the workers compensation lawyers here at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates and has over 35 years of experience in handling workers compensation claims throughout Illinois.
According to Mitch, “The date of manifestation is the date on which both the fact of the injury and the causal relationship of the injury to the injured worker’s employment would have become plainly apparent to a reasonable person.”
If you believe you have suffered an Illinois work-related injury, please do not hesitate to call and consult with one of our experienced workers compensation attorneys. Our consultation to determine whether your claim is compensable is free of charge! Please call (312)-372-8822 to speak with one of our Chicago workers compensation lawyers or (815)-723-8822 to speak with one of our Joliet workers compensation attorneys. If either of these locations is too difficult to reach, please call us Toll Free at (800)-985-1819 and we can work to meet with you as we have a number of locations throughout the state to help better serve our clients.