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In America, there are over 98,000 flight attendants who face the risk of injury or death every time they board an aircraft. Some injuries are immediate, while others can develop slowly over time. Since 2003, nearly 34% of flight attendants have reported injuries stemming from their occupation. Moreover, 25% of flight attendants who are injured on the job have to take time away from work while their injuries heal and they recuperate. In some cases, their airlines may hold this time away from work against the employee which can have long-term career consequences that may affect an individual’s immediate income and opportunities for advancement.

Immediate Risks Flight Attendants Face

Flight attendants can be seriously injured at any time before, during, or following a flight. Common sources of injuries include the following:

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airline workers compensation attorneyFlight attendants face an ever growing risk of serious back injuries, because of the improper handling of heavy bags. As the employees continue to preform heavy lifting, their injuries only become more pronounced.

The Problem

Working conditions for flight attendants contribute to the high incidence of back injuries and the need for an airline workers compensation attorney. Flight attendants work in very confined spaces, without the room to maneuver properly, and they compensate for the lack of room by using incorrect lifting techniques. The dangers of bad techniques are amplified when flight attendants rush to place bags in bins. In addition, airlines rarely, if ever, provide flight attendants with the necessary safety equipment to lift and position the bags in overhead compartments.

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Hospitals and doctors, according to a recent study, rarely admit their mistakes. Deflecting responsibility and avoiding blame are traits that society associates with schoolchildren but not with accomplished professionals, like doctors, or respected institutions, like hospitals.

Unfortunately, a study conducted by ProPublica found that only 20 percent of patients and their families received notice from a hospital or doctor that an error occurred. Furthermore in about half of those families that did receive a disclosure, only received the disclosure after some form of pressure was applied – like a lawsuit.

The Study

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Christopher J. JohnsonCongratulations to Christopher J. Johnson on being named a Partner at Katz, Friedman Eagle Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck!! Chris handles Personal Injury Cases and has a special interest in trucking and auto accident claims. He represents his clients at the highest level and has an ongoing history of successful settlements and verdicts on behalf of those injured. We are very proud of Chris and are excited about his future at the firm!

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moneyIn a 2015 audit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) discovered overpayment of benefits totaling more than $16 billion, leading to Congressional calls for a crack down on fraud and overpayment. Many law abiding recipients now find themselves searching for help from a Social Security Disability lawyer in Chicago.

 

 

 

The SSA investigates four major causes of overpayment.

Unreported Income

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WaiterThe paid sick leave ordinance approved by the Chicago City Council on June 22, 2016 applies to practically all employers and full-time employees in the city. The ordinance becomes effective on July 1, 2017 and covers employees based in and/or working inside the Chicago city limits. To qualify, employees must work 80 or more hours within a 120-day period. That is practically any person working full-time in the city. The ordinance mandates employers allow employees to accumulate and use up to five paid sick days (or 40 hours) each year. The paid sick time is to be earned at a minimum rate of one hour for every 40 hours the employee works during the year.

Additionally, employees will be able to roll over as many as 20 hours of unused sick leave time from one year to the next. The new ordinance does allow employers to cap the total amount of sick leave time employees can accumulate at 40 hours. Employees begin accumulating the sick leave time on July 1, 2017 or their first day of work with the company if they are hired after July 1. The ordinance allows employers to restrict the use of sick days by new employees until after they have completed six months of continuous employment with the company.

Not everyone is happy about the new ordinance

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Studies reveal that lost productivity, expensive medical and psychological treatment, court costs and legal fees, and costs related to emergency services, insurance administration, property damage and roadway congestion associated with vehicle crashes added up to an estimated $242 billion in 2010 alone. That is approximately $784 per each person in the U.S., and about 1.6 percent of the United States Gross Domestic Product. When valuations for quality of life were included, that number soared to an estimated $836 billion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), lifetime costs for 32,999 traffic crash-related deaths, 3.9 million vehicle accident injuries, and 24 million vehicles that were damaged were responsible for these costs.

 

Additionally, the NHTSA report revealed that:

  • The economic cost over a lifetime for each car crash-related fatality is approximately $1.4 million. Lost workplace and household productivity and legal expenses account for more than 90 percent of this cost.
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Burn injuries can cause permanent injury, loss of income and significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Each year, thousands of workers are burned on everything from ovens and grills to heavy equipment that malfunctions and starts a fire. These injuries take years to heal and cost a significant amount of money to treat.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2011, nearly 19,000 people were burned on the job. Workers who suffered chemical burns required a median of three days to return to work, and those who experienced thermal burns required a median of five days. These short recovery times represent workers who suffered first or second degree burns that did not require lengthy hospital stays and physical reconstruction after the burn was suffered. Burns can be caused by open flames, malfunctioning power outlets, and leaking gas mains that ignite.

Burns are rated based on the damage they cause to the epidermis and the organ systems. A first degree burn impacts only the outer layer. It can typically be treated with antiseptic ointment. A second degree burn affects both the epidermis and the dermis. Second degree burns cause severe redness, pain, and general discomfort. A third degree burn is more significant as it can damage nerves and lead to permanent loss of sensation. It can also result in permanent scarring. Finally, a fourth degree burn can penetrate deep into the muscle and impact organ systems. This makes fourth degree burns life threatening. Those individuals that do survive a fourth degree burn are often left physically scarred and can require extensive plastic surgery in order to regain both their appearance and their ability to work.

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Philip A BareckRichard Johnson and Frank Bertuca were awarded the William J. Harte Amicus Volunteer Award for their work on the Amicus Curiae Committee during the past year. Johnson and Bertuca prepared a Friend of the Court Brief supporting a firefighter’s right to lifetime insurance arising out of an occupational injury. The Illinois Supreme Court will be addressing this case this Fall Session.

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Philip A BareckPhilip Bareck won the Appellate Court case of Dunteman v. Caterpillar which reestablished the principle that an employee’s self treatment of a work-related injury, at home, which worsens the condition is still work-related!

The Appellate Court unanimously reversed the Illinois Workers’ Compensation majority decision which had denied benefits and determined that as long as the work accident plays “a” role in the ultimate condition, it is still considered work-related.

Bareck has been interviewed and quoted concerning the impact of the Duntemandecision on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation System and has recently spoken at the WCLA Case law Seminar and Winnebago Bar Association concerning the case.