Workplace accidents can cause serious harm, including burn injuries, disfigurement, and even death. Burns are particularly complex injuries, as they can affect not only the top layers of skin, but internal organs. Injured employees suffering from burn injuries may require surgery or rehabilitation, and may endure permanent damage. At Therman Law, we rely on a combined experience of over 35 years to represent individuals seeking workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Our dedicated Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with Illinois law governing workplace accidents, and can potentially help you set forth a claim for benefits.Workplace Burn Injuries
Burns occur for a variety of reasons, and may result when an individual comes into contact with a flame or with a hot item, such as extremely hot liquid or chemicals. The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) makes clear that many workplace burns are preventable through hazard prevention and protection. Under laws set forth by OSHA, employers are required to maintain a safe workplace. This duty includes informing employees of fire prevention methods, as well as complying with current fire codes.
Burns are classified according to degree. First degree burns are the least severe, typically affecting the outer layer of skin. Second degree burns are more serious, and the underlying layer of skin may be damaged. When an injured worker suffers a third degree burn, they may endure nerve damage which leads to numbness. Complications may result, and the doctor may utilize skin grafts in treating the injuries. Severe burns can lead to loss of mobility, and can also result in extensive scarring.The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Provides Benefits for Burn Victims
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act provides that employers must compensate employees for injuries that occur during the course and scope of employment. There are various benefits available to workers , including medical expenses to relieve or cure the employee’s injuries. Because burn injuries may require hospitalization, physical rehabilitation, and ongoing care, medical costs tend to be extreme. Burn victims who file a successful workers’ compensation claim may receive a one-time payment for permanent loss of function or disfigurement from their employer.
Weekly wage benefits for injured workers will be based on the extent of their disability. These benefits are intended to compensate workers prevented from returning to work for a period of time. Temporary total disability is provided on a short-term basis, while permanent total disability compensates those workers permanently unable to return to work. A seasoned workers’ compensation can assess what types of benefits you may be eligible for.Death Benefits and Third Party Claims
In a severe burn case that leads to death, workers’ compensation death benefits may be available. Wage loss benefits, a one-time funeral payment, and payments for dependent children are examples of death benefits. Often these benefits help families overcome the financial burden that accompanies the devastating loss of a member of the family as well as a wage-earner.
Given that workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy for job-related injuries, employees hurt at work generally cannot then sue their employer. If a third party caused a burn injury, however, then that party may be sued. In some situations, the compensation available from a third party claim is more than would be provided by workers’ compensation.Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In the event that a claim for worker’s compensation benefits is denied, you have the option of appealing. An insurance company may argue that a burn injury is not as severe as you claim in order to pay fewer benefits. Or, the insurer may contend that the burn injury only led to a scar, thereby denying benefits for permanent loss of function. An appeal can be filed with supporting medical evidence, and a skilled work injury lawyer can help.Discuss Your Workplace Injury with an Experienced Wheaton or Schaumburg Attorney
Workplace burn injuries can be emotionally devastating, and a dedicated Wheaton or Schaumburg lawyer can help you recover benefits and compensation as provided by law. At Therman Law Offices, we apply our knowledge and dedicated advocacy on behalf of clients throughout the areas of Harwood Heights, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Norridge, Arlington Heights, Park Ridge, Elmwood Park, Des Plaines, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, and Mt. Prospect. To understand more about your workplace injury claim, please call our office at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.