Posted On: August 26, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits Awarded to Mechanic Who Sustained Burn Injuries that Developed Staph Infection

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has awarded workers’ compensation benefits to a mechanic who sustained burn injuries during a work accident. The worker, who was a diabetic, sustained burn injuries to both arms and his abdomen while on the job.

Over six months after the work accident, the mechanic developed a staph infection in his elbow. His infection was treated with antibiotics and he was admitted to the hospital.

The worker claimed that there was a causal connection between his work accident and his staph infection. The doctor of his employer denied that there was a relationship between the two. The physician, however, did acknowledge that because the mechanic had diabetes, he was more likely to sustain a staph infection.

The IWCC adopted the findings of the arbitrator that the Illinois work accident might have or could have been a cause of the staph infection. The commission said that just because the staph infection occurred over six months after the work accident doesn’t mean the two aren’t linked—especially when the worker had open wounds and was suffering from a condition that increased the chances that a staph infection might arise.

Staph Infections
This type of bacteria can be harmless, unless it enters the body, such as through a wound or broken skin. While many types of staph infections are easily treatable, they can prove harmful should the bacteria enter the bloodstream. The heart, lungs, bones, blood, central nervous system, and other parts of the body may become infected.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Illinois law requires employers to provide employees with injury benefits. This should, ideally, be a done deal anytime that a worker is injured while doing their job. Unfortunately, incidents will arise when an employer and/or the insurer might try to get out of paying these benefits.

It’s hard enough getting hurt and having to take time off from work so you can deal with recovering without having to worry about how you are going to pay for your medical costs and living expenses, as well as support your family.

There are ways to fight for your right to receive all of the work injury benefits that you are owed.

Mechanic links staph infection to work injury despite diabetes, Risk and Insurance, August 20, 2009

Staff Infections, Mayo Clinic

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Steve Malman would like to offer you a free consultation.

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