Monthly Archives: October 2017

What To Know About Financing Your Workers Compensation Case

Worker Falling from Ladder

When you have an accident at work, the financial logistics can feel more burdensome than your actual injury. Filing a workers’ compensation claim and hiring legal help to do so may be overwhelming, but with the right knowledge, you can keep all details organized while you seek the compensation you deserve. While about 85% of workers’ comp claims are due to slips and falls, there are plenty of reasons to file a claim. No matter how you were injured at work, this guide will provide some simple advice for financing your situation.

How is my employer’s workers’ comp insurance calculated?

While workers’ compensation laws vary between states, most companies are required to have some sort of coverage in place. And there is usually a formula to calculate this coverage. The following factors are considered:

  • Payrol Per $100
  • Classification Rate
  • Experience Modifier (MOD)

The classification rate of the business analyzes the risk of employee job function, and the MOD measures the company’s workers’ compensation experience. So, these three factors together will determine how much your business is paying to accommodate for the risk of your job. If calculated properly, your employer should have enough insurance to cover your claim.

How can I handle my legal costs?

Even though your employer’s insurance should be able to cover your injuries, this does not mean that the insurance company will readily fulfill your claim. This is why many employees hire a lawyer to help with their situation. Unfortunatly, this comes with certain costs.

If you can’t afford to pay your legal fees through your savings or line of credit, you do have the option of taking out a workers’ compensation settlement loan. Since a lawsuit may take months or years to complete, you may consider taking out a loan to provide some cushion for the time being. Depending on your specific case, you may be entitled to different types of loans. Your lawyer may have more information on this option.

How can I expect to receive my benefits?

Most of the time, workers’ compensation benefits are paid in specific time increments. This varies based on where you live, your employer, and the type of case you are handling. For example, you may receive your payments weekly if your injuries are severe and you are unable to return to work in the near future.

While fractures are easily treated in four out of five urgent care centers, that does not mean your injury will heal quickly. Your payments will depend on the specific severity of your case, and you may be eligible for time loss compensation and temporary total disability. Ask your lawyer and insurance company for more information on this.

Remember that the best way to navigate your workers’ compensation case is to work closely with your lawyer and ask plenty of questions. With this diligence, you can earn the compensation you deserve and avoid a significance financial setback as a result of your injury.

How the City of Chicago Plans to Attack Their Rat Problem

Chicago residents are well aware of the major rat problem plaguing the city, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking a stand to make a difference.

Emanuel recently announced that he will be adding reinforcements to combat the ongoing rat problem that the city deals with on a daily basis. He said during his 2018 budget proposal earlier in October that he intends to add five more rodent control crews to their already 30-crew Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Rodent Control fleet. He also plans to provide $500,000 for the funding of additional black garbage carts.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 10,000 additional garbage carts would be heavy-duty and hold 96 gallons of waste. The carts would be used to keep trash out of rodents’ reach. So far this year, 23,400 carts have been requested to be replaced after being lost or stolen. More than 10,000 garbage carts have been fixed since January 2016. Rats tend to gravitate toward any garbage cart that is broken or has a spillover of garbage. The average American will throw away 600 times the amount of their adult weight in garbage during their lifetime. That’s a lot of garbage for the rats to have access to if they come across broken or overflowing carts.

Mayor Emanuel talked about the new anti-rodent plan in a press release.

“These critical investments in rodent control and garbage carts allow us to continue to provide the best possible service on behalf of residents,” Mayor Emanuel said.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, this new plan would be paid for by the savings that were generated from the switch to a garbage collection grid system. Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said that each rodent complaint would be handled within five days of it’s making. So far this year, the city had fielded 39,000 rat abatement requests.

“The rodent battle will only benefit from the investment in garbage carts which helps ensure that residents can swap out any damaged carts for a new or refurbished one in a timely manner,” Williams said regarding this matter.

City leaders hope this addition and change will significantly decrease the number of rats that roam the Chicago streets.

S.C. Johnson To Aquire Method, Which Manufactures Soap In Pullman

fotolia1021S.C. Johnson recently announced that is has signed an agreement to acquire Method and Ecover. These consumer brands are part of the San Francisco-based home care company People Against Dirty.

“Method and Ecover have a strong tradition of innovation and delivering on consumers’ needs,”Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson said in the press release. “They are a great complement to SC Johnson’s trusted lineup of iconic brands.”

According to the company press release, the deal will need to clear U.S., U.K., and German regulations, but S.C. Johnson is unable to release the details of the acquisition.

Belgium-based Ecover makes eco-friendly cleaning products, according to Chicago Tribune. But Chicagoans may be more familiar with soap company Method; the company opened a factory in the Pullman community in 2015.

About one-third of the world’s soap is used in the United States, and Method brought some of this production to Chicago. According to Chicago Tribune this move was part of the redevelopment of Pullman Park. A Walmart opened in the area shortly before the Method factory, but the soap manufacturing plant was a significant push for economic development, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives President David Doig said in a statement to Chicago Tribune.

“[Method has] done a great job in hiring from the neighborhood,” he said. “They’ve really taken a lot of efforts to provide job training, so I think we’re hopeful S.C. Johnson will keep that tradition going.”

According to Chicago Tribune, city and state funding build the $30 million factory, and People Against Dirty employs about 90 people there. Since the opening of the plant, other initiatives have sprouted to bolster area development and create jobs. Gotham Greens, a New York City company, opened a rooftop farm above the Method Factory. Chicago Tribune reports that Whole Foods Market will open a distribution center in Pullman later this year.

Construction Workers Break Ground on Elevated Pedestrian Path

tree-2814653_960_720With a market share of around 10%, the United States is the second largest construction market worldwide. But the new project that just broke ground in Chicago, which is well known for elevated trains, aims to connect many towns through an elevated pedestrian path, according to Curbed Chicago.

The 312 RiverRun pedestrian path is part of a winding ‘network’ of running paths that opens new doors for Chicago residents. In a recent survey by Urban Land Institute, 50% of respondents said that walkability is either the top or a high priority in where they would choose to live, and this path, which will extend across 95 acres, will help the neighborhoods of North Center, Irving Park, Avondale, and Albany Park travel by foot much safer and easier than was previously possible.

Like the famous High Line in New York City, the new pedestrian path could even become a major attraction for residents and visitors alike.

In addition to enhanced walkability, the 95 acres of 312 RiverRun will allow for the increased support for every athletic activity currently supported by the Chicago Park District. This includes fitness center, tennis courts, softball fields, playgrounds, wheelchair accessible baseball fields, an indoor ice skating rink, the mountain bike/BMX trail, boat houses, an outdoor pool, and more.

“Investing in bike and pedestrian paths are an essential part of making our communities greener and healthier,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The Riverview Bridge will connect vibrant neighborhoods and give residents across the city safe and convenient access to some of Chicago’s world class parks and recreational opportunities. This project is a great example of what can happen when local, state, and federal officials work together to improve transportation infrastructure.”

The construction of 312 RiverRun began with the groundbreaking of Riverview Bridge, which extends over Chicago River’s North Branch and underneath the Addison road bridge. The newer bridge will serve as a brand new connection for runners, cyclists, and pedestrians alike in the paths in California Park to the north and Clark Park to the South.

The new Riverview Bridge, which will reach more than 1,000 feet long and 16 feet wide when construction is finished, will be the longest pedestrian river bridge in the city of Chicago. With an elevation of more than 18 feet, it has the ability to accommodate recreational boaters as well. Its specific access points remain unobstructed, which eliminates the demand for residents to cross major streets, ultimately making the city safer.

Epstein Global is the design team behind the construction of the Riverview Bridge. As a Chicago engineering firm, they also designed Midway Airport’s redevelopment in addition to both the south and west expansions of McCormick Place Convention Center.

The construction of 312 RiverRun is expected to be finished by the end of next year.

Anti-Puppy Mill Law Upheld in Chicago Federal Court Ruling

A Chicago law prohibiting pet stores to sell puppies obtained from puppy mills has been upheld in a federal appeals court. The federal court found that the city’s policy goals, including reducing financial support to these large mill-style breeders, are legitimate governmental concerns.

This ruling was made at the same time California Governor Jerry Brown began looking at a bill that is trying to achieve this, for the first time, at the state level. The court dismissed claims from pet stores that the law went against the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

A string of similar rulings by other federal courts went against the claims of Congressmen Steve King, R-Iowa, and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., whose bills attempt to get rid of state and local rulings that protect animals from cruel practices. The Congressmen have implied that the laws they’re trying to purge are unconstitutional.

These Congressmen have also consistently voted against efforts to strengthen rules and regulations against horse slaughter, aggressive confinement of farm animals, and other animal welfare standards.

Countering the allegation that these laws are unconstitutional, federal courts have found that these state and local laws are well within their rights to regulate the sale of animals and animal products, as well as the conditions in which said animals were raised.

In Illinois and Texas, federal courts upheld the right of states to prohibit horse slaughter and the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. It was ruled that these states did not act in conflict with federal meat inspection laws.

California’s law banning the sale of force-fed foie gras has been reinforced, stating that under the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, force-feeding is not an “ingredient requirement”. Under this law, California has the right to regulate activity it deems cruel to animals, especially geese, ducks, and chickens, which Americans consume 90 pounds of every year.

Overall, approximately half of the 11 federal courts of appeals have ruled in at least one case by approving states’ rights to ban products of animal cruelty. These courts are sending a message to opposers, saying proposals to strip states of their animal cruelty prevention rights is a threat to the Constitutional system.