Workers who endure vision loss typically confront overwhelming financial, physical, and emotional consequences. Job-related conditions or injuries that lead to vision loss may entitle the worker to compensation under Illinois law. The Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys at Therman Law Offices help employees pursue benefits to compensate them for their medical costs as well as lost wages and earning potential. Relying on more than three decades of combined experience, our dedicated legal team is committed to protecting the rights of every worker we represent.Understanding Your Right to Workers' Compensation Benefits for Vision Loss
Workers’ compensation is a system of laws that offers injured employees benefits during their period of physical recovery. The Illinois Workers’s Compensation Act (IWCA) covers certain types of injuries, including vision loss. Different types of benefits are available depending on the severity of the worker’s impairment. For vision impairment, a chart is relied upon to assess the degree of loss.
Vision loss can affect workers in different industries, from manufacturing to the food industry. As a complex organ, the human eye can be damaged in a way that leads to double vision, blurred vision, or even blindness. In addition to an industrial accident, eye damage can occur from other workplace conditions. Exposure to smoke, trauma to the face, and chemical splashes may also result in vision loss.
To successfully assert the right to workers’ compensation for vision loss, employees must show that a work incident, or a workplace condition, was a causative factor in their injury. Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of benefits, workers do not need to prove fault for their vision loss. However, procedural requirements do require that workers file their claims within a set time period and notify their employer of their injury.Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Vision Loss
Workers suffering vision loss are entitled to receive the medical care that is reasonably necessary to relieve or cure their harm. According to the IWCA, this may include surgery or physical rehabilitation, as well as prescriptions and other treatment. The availability of other benefits, such as disability payments, depends upon the severity of the vision loss, and its impact upon a worker’s ability to earn wages.
If a worker suffers retinal detachment, for instance, and brings a claim for vision loss before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, they may be entitled to past and future medical expenses. In addition, they may receive temporary total disability as well as permanent partial disability benefits. Temporary total disability accounts for current loss of functioning, and would be appropriate if a worker cannot return to work during the period of healing after surgery. Permanent partial disability is appropriate if the worker is capable of returning to work, but has permanent partial loss of vision that limits their ability to do the work they used to do.
For more temporary medical issues, such as when a worker has healed but cannot yet fully return to their duties, temporary partial disability benefits may apply. In this case, the worker is medically cleared to work but not at their former capacity for a set period of time. These benefits cover the difference between the workers’ pre-injury earnings, and the wages they receive while working in a more restricted way.Challenges to Workers’ Compensation Claims and the Right to Appeal
In some cases, employers deny claims for compensation. They may argue that there was a procedural error on the part of the worker, such as a failure to provide notification of the injury. A worker facing a denied claim for compensation may seek an appeal. There are various types of appeals, ranging from an arbitrator appeal to an Illinois Appellate Court appeal. A skilled job injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and next steps, if facing a denied claim.Schaumburg and Wheaton Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation Claims
By reaching out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Therman Law Offices, injured employees can begin the process of recovering benefits for their claim. We proudly help employees throughout Schaumburg and Wheaton as well as Park Ridge, Rosemont, Elk Grove Village, Mt. Prospect, Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Streamwood, Bartlett, Elgin, and Hoffman Estates. Call our office at 312-588-1900 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.