Paralysis and workers’ compensation

builder worker installing concrete slabEach workplace injury presents its own set of challenges. Some of these injuries, however, present far greater challenges than others and paralysis falls into that category. State law in Illinois provides financial compensation for workers who have become paralyzed from a workplace accident. A Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer often explains to injured workers that compensation may cover a portion of their lost income as well as initial and future medical costs.

People who work in construction, oil production, warehouses and in transportation are at a high risk of suffering a paralyzing accident. For example, a construction worker could fall from a scaffold or get hit by an object. This occurred to one worker who was left paralyzed when he flew eight feet after he was hit by a transformer which had not been turned off according to The Washington Post. In addition to a snapped spine, 10 percent of the worker’s body was left with third-degree burns.

Illinois workers’ compensation law

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases Act provides financial assistance to Illinois workers who incur a work-related injury such as paralysis. In order to receive workers’ compensation, injured workers are responsible for specific and timely notification and filing requirements. Finally, the nature and magnitude of compensation depends on the nature of the injury.

The act specifically addresses the case of paralysis in various parts of Section 8.

“The specific case of loss of both hands, both arms, or both fee, or both legs, or both eyes, or of any two thereof, or the permanent and complete loss of the use thereof, constitutes total and permanent disability.”

Compensation for life

Workers who are left paralyzed after a workplace accident are entitled to compensation through the remainder of their lives. The amount of compensation they receive will be determined by several factors. These factors include the injured workers’ average weekly wage, the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the number of dependents the worker has.

Compensation may also be used to cover the costs of care that a paralyzed worker may need. This can include 24-hour care for workers unable to care for themselves, medical equipment like a hospital bed, medical complications tied to the paralysis and any medications or special therapies recommended by a doctor.

Determining the total costs of a paralyzed worker’s current and future needs can be difficult. Illinois workers may wish to consult with an attorney to understand their options and their rights under state law.