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Tinley Park, Illinois, Legal Issues Blog

Illinois’ essential workers get presumption of COVID-19 infection from job

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected all of our lives, including how we work. While many people in Tinley Park have shifted to working from home full-time, some jobs cannot be done from a home office.

Doctors, nurses, firefighters, EMTs, grocery store workers and more are helping us stay safe while we wait for the coronavirus to get under control. But these essential workers are also regularly exposed to the virus themselves.

Help for Illinois’ front-line workers during the pandemic

Normally, when someone gets sick on the job and files a workers’ compensation claim, they must prove that their illness is work-related. But with a disease as new, widespread and mysterious as COVID-19, doing so could be difficult. In recognition of the potential health sacrifice essential workers are making, Illinois is one of a handful of states to create an exception to the usual workers’ comp rules. Now, front-line workers who come down with COVID-19 enjoy a rebuttable presumption that they contracted the illness at work. If the employer (or their workers’ compensation insurer) wants to contest the claim, they must prove that the worker was infected elsewhere.

Few states have taken action so far

Essential workers in Illinois are relatively lucky. Most states have yet to create a rebuttable presumption for workers with COVID-19 who wish to claim workers’ compensation. As NBC Chicago reports, California’s rule change is particularly pro-worker. In that state, any worker who contracts the coronavirus is entitled to the rebuttable presumption that they are entitled to workers’ compensation — not just essential workers.

Still, Illinois’ new rule should make a big difference in protecting thousands of workers if they get sick. Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to life-threatening, but a positive diagnosis requires the patient to self-isolate for at least two weeks. The resulting loss on income could be put the worker’s household in serious trouble if workers’ comp was not available.

Making your best case for workers’ compensation

If you are pursuing a workers’ comp claim or appeal due to COVID-19 or another illness, consider meeting with a workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you organize your case and represent you during the appeal.

What causes rear-end collisions?

Hazards can come in many forms when you are driving. The road in front of you could be uneven. An animal, vehicle or person could come suddenly into the road. Your own car may experience a flat tire or mechanical failure. However, some of the most dangerous accidents can be the result of other drivers’ failure to keep a safe distance from your vehicle.

While many people may think of rear-end collisions as minor fender-benders, these accidents can be very serious. Rear-end collisions are the cause of many serious injuries to the head and neck. What causes these dangerous accidents?

Aggressive driving

Tailgating is a common form of aggressive driving, and it leaves cars without enough space to stop if the car in front of them unexpectedly slows or stops. Vehicles need more than 100 feet to stop safely when going at highway speeds, and most rear-end collisions are the result of a failure to follow other vehicles at a safe distance.


Just as tailgating brings drivers too close to the vehicle in front of them, speeding can also make it difficult to follow at a safe distance. Speeding drivers—especially if they are not paying attention to the flow of traffic around them—can easily pull up to a vehicle too quickly and be unable to slow down before striking that other vehicle.

Distracted or fatigued driving

Another common issue faced by drivers is distracted driving. Whether the driver behind you is checking their phone, adjusting the radio or reaching for a food wrapper, anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can put you at risk. Drowsiness also limit their ability to focus on the road. Whatever the reason, distracted or fatigued drivers may fail to notice a car in front of them until it is too late to stop.

Mechanical issues

Rear-end collisions often occur when drivers are unable to stop in time. Brake failures can limit drivers’ ability to slow and stop their car effectively.

Whatever the cause of the accident, if you have been rear-ended by another driver it is important to contact the authorities immediately. They can document the scene of the collision and ensure that you receive the medical help you need.