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  • Are Domestic Workers in Illinois Entitled to Workers Compensation Benefits?

    In Illinois, domestic workers who work at least 40 hours per week for at least 13 weeks per year are entitled to workers compensation benefits if injured on the job. A Chicago workers compensation attorney can explain the necessary process to file a claim for benefits. Domestic Workers Rights in Illinois On January 1, 2017, the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights took effect. Under this bill, domestic workers receive certain rights and protection for fair treatment. The bill defines a domestic worker as a person who is regularly employed to do 8 hours of work per week in the following areas: House cleaning, house keeping, and home management services Cooking and laundering Chauffeuring Companion services Nanny services Home health, personal care or care giving services for the elderly or individuals who are ill, injured or disabled In Illinois, employers of qualified domestic workers are required to have workers compensation insurance. Employers are not allowed to charge workers for any portion of the workers compensation insurance premium, and they are prohibited from firing or retaliating against workers who are injured on the job. Under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, a worker who comes into Illinois for an out of state employer can also be subject to and eligible for benefits. If a domestic workers rights are violated under the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, a Chicago workers compensation attorney can provide information and legal assistance. Filing an Illinois Workers Compensation Claim According to the guidelines under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, the statute of limitations to file a workers compensation claim is three years from the date of the injury, or two years after the last payment of compensation, whichever is later. Workers who miss work due to an on-the-job injury are entitled to benefits equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to a statutory maximum. Under the Workers Compensation Act, injured workers are entitled to three separate benefits: medical benefits, temporary off-work benefits, and permanent impairment benefits. In addition, the act restricts both employers and workers compensation insurance carriers from interfering with a worker’s rights and threatening to fire, discharge, or discriminate against workers who exercise such rights. According to the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, more than 90 percent of workers in the state are covered by the Workers Compensation Act. Employees can protect their rights by learning more about how Illinois law applies to them through a Chicago workers[READ MORE…]

  • When Bacteria Spoils the Meal

    Foodborne bacterial infections affect millions of Americans every year. Many of these bacterial infections create short term discomfort including diarrhea, nausea, and headaches. However, there are some bacteria that can require hospitalization and the use of strong antibacterial medication to clear up. For patients infected with these more serious bacteria, the fight is quite literally life or death. The Most Dangerous Bacteria Salmonella – Salmonella thrives in raw meats, eggs, and unpasteurized milk. It can also live for extended periods of time in fruits or vegetables. The CDC estimates that on average the bacteria is responsible for 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths per year. E. Coli – Shiga toxin is the most dangerous form of e.coli and it causes 265,000 infections per year. It can be transmitted via a variety of foods and water. The bacteria is responsible for the most recent e.coli outbreak in Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts and has caused the CDC to issue a recall on soy peanut butter products manufactured by I.M. Healthy. Listeria – Statistically, Listeria is a particularly deadly bacterial infection. Each year, roughly 1,600 people are infected, and of these, 260 succumb to the infection. The bacteria can thrive in meats, vegetables, dairy products, and fruits. Norovirus – Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the United States and the world. The bacteria can thrive in seafood, vegetables, and fruits. It can also survive for extended periods of time on contaminated surfaces including tables, cutting boards, handrails, silverware, etc. While many people associate Norovirus with the much-publicized outbreaks on cruise ships, it is not a ship that passes in the night. Globally, it occurs most often on dry land and causes 685 million infections per year; nearly 200 million of these occur in children younger than 5 years old. Liability for Bacterial Infections The negligent actions of one or more parties are often responsible for the transmission of foodborne bacterial infections. A personal injury attorney in Chicago can help determine whether the following common causes behind bacterial outbreaks are responsible: The farmer who fails to properly harvest and transport crops, or slaughter meats in accordance with established guidelines. The wholesaler who improperly stores food products prior to distribution. A food processing facility that does not adhere to sterilization standards. The grocery retailer who stores food products outside of established food safety rules and regulations. Inspectors who fail to identify unsafe food handling procedures and/or[READ MORE…]

  • ‘Textalyzer’ to Detect Cell Phone Use While Driving Under Consideration

    A new device called a ‘textalyzer’ is being developed to help law enforcement officers detect whether or not drivers in accidents were distracted by texting, social media and other applications while they were driving, resulting in their accidents.Currently, law enforcement officers must get search warrants in order to search drivers’ phones, making it difficult for them to enforce existing distracted driving laws. A lawyer for a car accident injury victim likewise may have difficulty uncovering evidence that proves the at-fault driver was distracted in the moments preceding the accident. Opponents of the textalyzer device have concerns about the privacy of drivers whose phones would be searched using it. How the Textalyzer Device Would Work With a textalyzer device, a police officer who suspects that a driver was distracted by a cell phone would not be required to take the phone away and check inside of it. Instead, the officer could simply use a cable to attach the device to the phone, and the driver would not have to take it of his or her hands. The officer would tap a button on the device, and it would take about 90 seconds to return a report of the activities that the driver engaged in immediately before the accident with time stamps. Cellebrite, the company that is working to develop the technology, states that it would not download content from the phones but would instead detect swipes and taps. It would also provide a summary of what applications were open at the time of the accident and whether messages were incoming or outgoing. This could be used as evidence by a lawyer for a car accident injury victim to show that the driver was at fault because of distraction. It could also be used to prosecute the distracted drivers for using their phones with their hands while driving. Privacy Concerns about Textalyzers While textalyzers could help to prove that drivers were using their cell phones illegally, causing accidents, privacy advocates have concerns about their use by law enforcement officers. They argue that these devices would allow police to search the phones of drivers after even minor accidents. They also have concerns that the searches would be warrantless but could amount to drivers effectively providing information to officers that could then be used against them in court. Americans have a constitutional right against self-incrimination and a right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the[READ MORE…]

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    ankin law office llc

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    Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.