Changes to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Laws Did Not Go Far Enough, But Others Disagree
Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 28, 2014 – Proponents of changes to Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws say that reforms passed in 2011 did not go far enough.
Newly proposed legislation would exempt employers from paying for injuries suffered while traveling to work if the worker is not traveling specifically for work purposes. This and other changes are needed, proponents say, to reduce workers’ compensation insurance costs. Not everyone agrees.
“The problem with saying that these changes will reduce insurance premiums is that it has not been borne out by the evidence,” indicates Robert Briskman, a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. “After the 2011 reforms, the National Council on Compensation Insurance recommended that insurance companies lower their premiums by 14 percent, but the insurers refused to do so.”
Briskman says that if employers want lower premiums, they should focus on regulating insurance premiums, not on limiting the rights of injured workers.
The proposed legislation, introduced by state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R, Lebanon), would allow workers to receive compensation only if their injury “arises out of and in the course of” the worker’s employment and “while he or she is actively engaged in the duties of employment.”
A recent decision by the Illinois Supreme Court addressed this issue in a specific set of circumstances, deciding against the worker. Gerald Daugherty, a Springfield pipefitter, obtained temporary employment at a Rock Island County power plant. He rented a motel room rather than commute 200 miles from his home. On the way to work, he was severely injured when the car in which he was riding hit a patch of ice and crashed. The state Supreme Court ruled that the worker was not traveling for work because he made a personal decision to take the job with an understanding of the travel that would be involved.
The proposed legislation was introduced before the Supreme Court’s ruling. In addition to limiting the circumstances in which a worker may be compensated for injuries sustained while traveling for work, lawmakers seek to set a new standard for causation. Proponents say that these standards will require benefits to be more directly linked to the cause of a work injury.
Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.
- Jury awards $8.45 million to boy with cerebral palsy in birth injury lawsuit
A jury in a birth injury case awarded $8.45 million to a boy who suffered severe injuries after an eight-minute delay in inserting a breathing tube. The jury found that medical personnel at Northeast Georgia Medical Center did not follow the proper standards of care when the boy was born in 2008. Jakob Medley, now [...]
- Outdated safety standards may actually prevent safety advancements
New advancements have been made in auto headlight technology, but some systems are unavailable in the United States because 45-year-old lighting safety standards do not allow for them. Nighttime driving can be dangerous simply because it is more difficult for drivers to see other cars, pedestrians and road obstacles. Headlights make night driving possible, but [...]
- NHTSA nominee wants to make better use of data
In a Senate committee hearing, Mark Rosekind, President Obama’s choice to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that the agency needs greater resources to keep up with consumer complaints and better tools to analyze data. Rosekind said that the number of complaints made to the agency has recently increased from 45,000 to [...]
- Study finds limitations to auto safety technology
With the recent wave of technological innovations in auto safety, and the promise of even greater developments to come, a vision is taking shape of a future where human error has been removed from the safety equation. However, that time has not yet arrived, and an over-reliance on these new tools in their present form [...]
- Pfizer asks judge to dismiss more than 500 birth injury lawsuits
Pfizer, a pharmaceutical giant, asked a Pennsylvania judge to dismiss more than 500 cases from all over the country alleging that the firm’s antidepressant drug Zoloft causes birth injuries. The 526 lawsuits, which have been combined into multidistrict litigation in Philadelphia, allege that Pfizer was negligent in failing to warn pregnant women that birth injuries [...]