Teamster Injuries Work Accidents & Chicago, IL Workers Comp Lawyers
Since 1903, the Teamsters have remained the most diverse, and largest, union in the United States. Initially, the Teamsters Union began when two team driver associations merged warehouse workers and truck drivers into a single organization.
Today, the Teamsters back nearly every occupation including non-professionals and professionals in both the public and private sectors.
The more than 1.5 million members-strong Teamsters Union is represented in over 1800 affiliates in America, Puerto Rico, and Canada in various occupations that include:
- Warehouse employees
- Freight Handlers
- Vehicle haulers
- Airline employees
- Food Handlers
- Product manufacturers
The Teamsters Union organizes their workforce and provides assistance through collective bargaining by negotiating contracts with employers to ensure their members receive the best wages and benefits available.
This includes negotiating decent wages, extensive health coverage, retirement income, paid time off, and a fair chance to be promoted through the company’s ranks. The Teamsters are also heavily involved in pension management and serve as an advocate for their working members by remaining active in governmental affairs concerning workplace safety and labor issues.
Much of the economic growth and prosperity in America today was built on the sweat, work ethics and backbones of those who operated horse-drawn carriages and wagons to transport goods before the invention of the truck. Back then, without the protection of the Teamsters Union, workers moving merchandise and products worked up to 18 hours every day of the week for minimal pay.
In addition to hauling the load to its destination, the teamster was required to assume liability for every “bad” account and was responsible for any merchandise that was damaged or lost.
In response to harsh working conditions that involved the extensive financial risk that provided very little financial reward, angry and frustrated team drivers formed the Teamsters Union.
The radical improvements of retiring horse-drawn carriages to make way for motorized vehicles revolutionized the freight-moving trucking industry. Within a few decades after unionizing, the Teamsters were delivering goods between the coasts of the United States using commercial motorized trucks.
Basic Employee Insurance
Worker’s Compensation (Workman’s Comp.) is a guaranteed insurance program mandated by each state to provide financial compensation to workers who develop an occupational-related disease or are injured due to an incident or exposure while on the job.
Typically, the benefits are paid to the victim of a job-related illness or injury regardless of who was responsible or at fault for the harm. Workman’s Comp. covers company workers who have suffered injuries that could have occurred as soon as the moment the employee was hired.
The program pays for medical expenses, hospital stays and surgical procedures to treat the injury or illness. In addition, the insurance could provide temporary disability payments during the time the worker is unable to perform the duties of their job and/or permanent partial or total disability if the worker sustained permanent disfigurement or disability but can still work in some capacity, or if a doctor has determined that their permanent disability prevents them from working at all.
However, the amount of pay usually represents only two-thirds of the worker’s regular salary/wages and payment for other benefits including medical expenses, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy.
In Chicago and all throughout Illinois, the state legislature has mandated that most employers, including general contractors and subcontractors, must obtain worker’s compensation insurance to cover their employees. The Illinois state legislature approved the Worker’s Compensation Act on July 9, 1951, that was recently amended in 2011.
As of February 1, 2016, the Illinois Worker’s Compensation program provides an $8000 benefit to survivors to assist in paying for the funeral and burial of a loved one killed in a work-related accident or exposure to toxins and chemicals.
In addition, the program typically provides survivors a two-thirds gross average of the weekly wage that their deceased loved one would have earned had they not died from a work-related event, incident, or accident.
Should the surviving spouse remarry, he or she can continue receiving survivors’ benefits if, at the time of the remarriage, there are still eligible children of the decedent who meet eligibility requirements living at home.
If at the time of the remarriage there is no eligible child as defined by the program, the Illinois Workmen’s Compensation program will offer a final lump-sum payment to the widow or widower that equals two years of the decedent’s previous earning capacity.
According to OSHA, there were more than 10,000 severe job-related injuries reported by employers in 2015 in America, resulting in more than 7600 hospitalizations and nearly 2700 amputations. These Teamsters accidents involved general freight trucking, storage, warehousing, and food processing.
However, there are likely significantly more injuries that went unreported that year. This is because reporting requirements force employers to report work-related injuries and deaths that occur within 24 hours. To fatal work-related injuries involving Teamsters include:
Chicago, Illinois [January 2015] – 38-year-old UPS driver Marvin Reinholz lost his life in a fatal vehicle accident after being hit by a Chicago trucker in Gary, Indiana on Borman Expressway (I-80/94) west of Interstate 65 in the early hours of January 9, 2015. The trucker operating a 2010 Kenworth semi truck bobtail that was not pulling a trailer lost control of the vehicle and was struck by a 2014 Volvo truck on the driver side after the Kenworth traveled across all lanes of the expressway before colliding into a solid concrete barrier on the outer shoulder just before crashing into a UPS-owned International semi-truck that was disabled along the side of the road.
The UPS driver Marvin Reinholz who was operating the Volvo semi-truck before crashing into the Kenworth truck was ejected from behind the wheel and partially crushed by his own vehicle’s right front tire and the Kenworth trucker’s left rear tire. EMT and law enforcement officers pronounced Mr. Reinholz deceased at the scene of the accident. The 32-year-old Chicagoan Kenworth trucker Ismael Flores was uninjured. However, law enforcement cited the driver for unsafe lane changes.
Vancouver, British Columbia [September 2014] –Teamsters Union security guard Amrik Singh Gill who was working on the TNT science fiction drama Falling Skies set in Vancouver, British Columbia, was killed in September 2014 in a crushing accident. The 59-year-old guard died after being crushed by a 5-ton truck that had been parked and left unattended on a 6% slope. Somehow, the truck disengaged from its parking position and rolled down a hill, pinning the guard against a tree.
An investigation was conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police immediately after the accident to determine if any mechanical problem occurred with the truck that led to the crash. In addition, the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia conducted an outside investigation into the accident to determine benefits owed to the victim surviving family members.
Hiring an Attorney With Experience Assisting Union Workers Across Illinois
Any time a union worker suffers an injury on the job, they have access to numerous benefits that provides financial compensation until they are fully recovered, if possible. However, navigating the compensation system to obtain the rightfully deserve benefits can be challenging. Attorneys working on behalf of union workers can ensure the victim received every needed benefit including financial compensation available under Illinois law.
Whether the union worker hopes to maximize their benefits, resolve a dispute involving their compensation claim, or have been denied benefits, hiring an attorney is essential for a successful outcome. A lawyer working on your behalf can protect your rights, negotiate compensation on your behalf and serve as your legal representative in court when necessary.
Illinois Teamsters Union Locals
908 N. Neil Street
Champaign, Illinois 61820
1609 N. Illinois St
Swansea, Illinois 62226
1000 NE Frontage Road
Joliet, Illinois 60431
36990 N. Green Bay Rd
Waukegan, Illinois 60087
5533 Eleventh St.
Rockford, Illinois 61109
2400 Big Timber Road
Elgin, Illinois 60124
101 31st Avenue
Rock Island, Illinois 61201
830 East Broadway
Alton, Illinois 62002
7101 N. Allen Road
Peoria, Illinois 61614
1050 W. Roosevelt Rd
West Chicago, Illinois 60185
1300 West Higgins Road #301
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
1333 Butterfield Road #110
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515
1645 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, Illinois 60612
9000 West 187th Street
Mokena, Illinois 60448
344 Civic Road
La Salle, Illinois 61301
1300 West Higgins Road #111
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
1000 Burr Ridge Parkway #300
Burr Ridge, Illinois 60527
6643 North Northwest Highway
Chicago, Illinois 60631-1360
188 Industrial Drive 128A
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
4620 South Tripp Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60632
7827 Ogden Avenue
Lyons, Illinois 60534
747 Church Road, Building D
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
300 South Ashland Avenue #501
Chicago, Illinois 60607
3361 Teamster Way
Springfield, Illinois 62707