Rockford is a city that was built on the backs of industrial workers and industry remains a major part of its heritage to this day. The Rockford work injury lawyers are often called upon to defend the rights of the many workers who go to work every day in full knowledge of the risks associated with their important work. Whenever someone is injured on the job, he or she deserves to be able to receive the medical attention and long term care required to recover from his or her injuries. The law requires employers to provide compensation to cover the cost of any care and expenses that result from workplace accidents.
Links to Manufacturing and Transportation
Manufacturing is a major factor in Rockford’s growth over its history and helped the city become the third largest in the state. Its location also made it a prime target for logistics and transportation companies and it operates as a large spoke of the greater transportation hub that surrounds the Chicago area. The United Parcel Service is one of its largest employers and the Chicago Rockford International Airport is home to UPS’s second largest air travel hub in the world.
Also among Rockford’s largest employers is Chrysler, which operates an assembly plant in neighboring Belvidere. This facility provides jobs to over 4,700 people and only the Rockford Public School District provides more jobs to the area. The Hamilton Sundstrand Corp provides an additional 2,300 jobs and Anderson Packaging employs 1,200 workers. While industrial work contributes greatly to Rockford’s economy, it is also leads to numerous workplace injuries.
Most Common Causes of Injury
It is important to note that logistics and transportation companies have found Rockford extremely attractive over the last decade. Transportation work related accidents are far more deadly than accidents resulting from work in any other occupation. Only 4% of the injuries reported each year occur in transportation, yet 31% of workplace fatalities occur in this field. Our Rockford workplace accident lawyers have noticed a link between worker fatigue and the rising number of accidents in the trucking industry.
Manufacturing and warehousing are also dangerous occupations and while workers are less likely to suffer fatal injuries, they are more likely to become disabled in accidents when working in a factory or packing center. Some of the most common causes of workplace injuries include the following.
- Slip, trip and fall events. These accidents are among the most common and also result in the highest incident of permanent disability. There are many ways in which a worker can trip or fall. It is important for employers to keep work areas orderly and free of tripping hazards and to mark off areas that are wet or pose a danger to worker safety.
- Contact with machinery or equipment. These accidents often result in the loss of the digits or limbs that are caught in the machine. It can be devastating to learn that your life has changed after losing a hand, foot or fingers in an accident.
- Falling objects. It is important that whenever employees are working from an elevated location that the workers below are aware of the risks and equipped with hard hats to protect themselves in the event a tool or object is knocked over or dropped accidentally.
- Loading dock errors. Forklift drivers can be caught unsuspectingly when a truck driver who is in a hurry to make his or her deadline pulls away from a dock while the trailer is still being loaded or unloaded. When trucks are loaded and unloaded manually, overexertion becomes a factor, and it one of the most common causes of injuries to the back.
Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Following a Rockford Work-Accident
When you have been injured in a workplace accident, you have the right by Illinois law to receive compensation from your employer, regardless of who was at fault for your injuries. Due to the fact that insurance companies pay out the majority of claims, workers are often given the runaround when seeking the compensation they deserve. The tactics that are used to deny the full value of workers’ claims are often illegal. 86% of those injured on the job now seek legal representation after an injury to protect their rights.
It is important to know that you are entitled to the full value of your medical expenses and rehabilitative therapy, can seek care from any doctor and may receive two-thirds of your wages throughout your recovery. In addition, if you’ve been disabled due to your injuries, you are able to recover additional compensation for the loss of future income and opportunities. You may also launch an investigation to evaluate whether your employer contributed to your injuries through negligence.
If your employer or employer’s insurance company attempts to deny you the compensation you are entitled to or delays payment, you may be able to pursue additional damages. Illinois law enforces a penalty on any employer that does not provide workers’ compensation in a timely fashion. The victim can be awarded up to 50% of the value of his or her medical bills as a punitive measure in these cases.
Workers’ compensation claims are handled by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and when workers are unable to come to an agreement with their employers, the commission will make a final ruling on the claim. The IWCC has an office in Rockford that is located at the following address:
Rockford State Office Bldg
200 S. Wyman
Why Clients Trust Us with Their Rockford Work Comp Claims
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers works with thousands of injured workers and our goal is not simply to win your case, but to assist you throughout the entire process of your physical recovery. This includes providing access to medical specialists who can develop a treatment plan that minimizes your downtime and the rehabilitative therapy needed to help you move on from your injuries. Our attorneys have extensive experience and a record of success when handling workers’ compensation claims and work injury lawsuits, so we want you to be able to focus on your health while we handle your legal matters for you.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our Rockford work injury attorneys to learn about your rights, explore your legal options and get to work filing your claim. We understand that your current medical bills and responsibilities are already a burden on your finances, so we’ll never require or accept a fee for our services until we’ve secured compensation on your behalf. If we are unable to help you, our services will be free of charge.