A teenager’s first job is often an important rite of passage. Unfortunately, an after-school or summer job may lead to severe personal injury. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 50,000 teen workers are treated in emergency rooms each year for work-related injuries. A worker compensation lawyer Chicago often hears many stories of teen employees who experience serious accidents on the job.
Why are many teen jobs so dangerous?
Many teenagers take on physically demanding and fast-paced jobs. The fast food industry is especially notorious for accidents. According to NIOSH, numerous teens are hurt in restaurant jobs for the following reasons:
- Improper handling of hot grease and oil, leading to burn injuries
- Lacerations and contusions caused by malfunctioning equipment
- Excessive work pace and disregard for safety procedures
- Slip and fall injuries because of failure to clean greasy or wet floors
All of these risk factors contribute to the link between teen workers and injuries in the restaurant industry. Other tasks, such as agricultural labor and stockroom duty, are also associated with an elevated risk of injury on the job.
Can teens in Illinois apply for workers’ compensation benefits?
Every injured employee in the state of Illinois is eligible for injured worker benefits. This applies equally to the young teenager in a part-time “starter job” and the seasoned veteran who has worked on the assembly line or in the kitchen for several decades. Illinois law specifies that no worker can be denied compensation because of lack of work experience or other factors. Workers’ compensation does not discriminate by age. Any discrimination of this sort is a violation of state and federal regulations.
What should teen workers do if they are injured?
A worker compensation lawyer in Chicago might advise injured teen workers to apply for benefits immediately. Employees have the right to seek immediate medical care, in the emergency department or elsewhere, with all expenses covered by the employer. Injuries on the job must be reported promptly so that the compensation process can start. If teen workers miss three days of employment because of a work-related injury, they have the right to begin collecting partial or total temporary disability, as well as compensation for all medical bills related to the accident.
Discover more about your case
If you are a teen worker injured in Illinois, you have the legal right to choices regarding medical care and compensation. You may find it helpful to consult with a worker compensation lawyer in Chicago to understand your options.