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Injured union workers, image of construction worker helping an injured workerThere are several benefits to union membership. Many have fought for workers’ rights and the system that protects those rights. Being a member of a union in Chicago can be particularly beneficial if a person is injured at work. 

Injured union workers should not have to go it alone. Fortunately, union membership can help ensure the victim receives the compensation they are owed. An experienced employment lawyer familiar with union laws can help injured union workers with filing their workers’ compensation claims, calculating current and future expenses, and, when required, filing a lawsuit against third parties.

Injured union workers can turn to Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers to fight for their rights and help relieve financial pressures while recovering from an injury or learning how to live with a new disability. 

Table of Contents:

How Do Labor Unions Affect Workers’ Compensation?

Labor unions have a major influence on workers’ compensation for both union and non-union members. Unions strive to ensure that injured or sick workers receive adequate medical treatment, rehabilitation, and monetary compensation to cover lost wages and medical expenses.

They negotiate with employers to secure better and fair workers’ compensation benefits for their members. Unions strive to ensure that injured or sick workers receive adequate medical treatment, rehabilitation, and monetary compensation to cover lost wages and medical expenses.

Collective Bargaining

Through collective bargaining, unions can push for improvements in the compensation formula, increasing the payout percentages or implementing cost-of-living adjustments to keep up with inflation. Employers are required to honor these agreements when a union employee is injured on the job. And, fortunately, Illinois has several laws that protect worker rights.

An experienced attorney who is familiar with these laws can help maximize compensation for injured union workers. No one should ever have to settle for less.

Sets Standards For Both Union and Non-Union Members

Labor unions can also affect workers’ compensation benefits for non-union members as well. By uniting the voices of workers, labor unions exert pressure on employers and policymakers to prioritize the well-being and financial security of employees when it comes to workers’ compensation. Unions contribute to enhancing workplace safety measures and promoting injury prevention.

A central goal of labor unions is to create safer working conditions and prevent accidents or illnesses that lead to workers’ compensation claims. Unions often advocate for stricter safety regulations, increased oversight, and the implementation of comprehensive training programs to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents. 

Injured Union Workers Common Injuries

Many union workers have jobs that have a greater risk of injury than others. According to the National Safety Council, the most dangerous industries include:

  • construction
  • education and health services
  • agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting
  • transportation and warehousing.

Union workers within these industries commonly sustain injuries such as: 

Slips, Trips, and Falls. Accidents caused by slips, trips, and falls are common across different workplaces. These incidents can lead to fractures, sprains, and head injuries, depending on the severity of the fall and the environment in which it occurs.

Struck-by and Caught-in/Between Accidents. Workers in construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries are at risk of being struck by falling objects, vehicles, or heavy machinery. They can also get caught in or between equipment or structures, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.

Electrical Shock and Burns. Electricians and workers in industries involving electrical equipment face the risk of electrical shock and burns. Faulty wiring, malfunctioning equipment, or unsafe practices can lead to serious injuries.

Respiratory and Chemical Exposure. Employees in industries dealing with hazardous substances may suffer from respiratory problems, chemical burns, or long-term health issues due to exposure to toxic gases, fumes, or chemicals.

Cuts and Lacerations. In various manual labor and manufacturing jobs, workers might be at risk of cuts and lacerations from tools, machinery, or sharp materials.

Vehicle Accidents. Workers who operate vehicles as part of their job, such as truck drivers or delivery personnel, are vulnerable to accidents that can result in injuries ranging from minor to severe.

Stress and Mental Health Issues. While not immediately visible, stress-related injuries and mental health issues can significantly impact workers. High-pressure work environments, long hours, and demanding tasks can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs). Repetitive tasks, such as typing, assembly line work, or using vibrating tools, can lead to RSIs like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.

What Injured Union Workers Should Do After A Work Accident

Following an injury at work, it’s important to be aware of the specific steps to take, considering the unique guidelines outlined in their collective bargaining agreements:

1) Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Getting prompt medical treatment after a work-related injury is crucial not only for your health but also for establishing the connection between the injury and your job. This documentation is vital when applying for workers’ compensation benefits. By seeking medical attention promptly, you demonstrate the seriousness of your injury and its work-related nature.

2) Report the Injury to Both Employer and Union Representative

Just like any employee, union members should promptly report their workplace injuries to their supervisors or managers. However, union workers should also notify their union representatives or chapters about the incident. This additional step ensures that the proper channels within the union are informed and can provide support.

3) Consult with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

While union members may have distinct requirements and legal protections compared to non-union members, the success of a workers’ compensation claim is not guaranteed. To navigate the complexities of the process and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve, it’s wise to consult with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer. They can help you understand the nuances of your collective bargaining agreement and guide you through the application process, increasing your chances of a successful claim.

Unions We Proudly Represent

Raised in a working family, attorney Larry Disparti is an expert on union and employment law and knows firsthand the challenges that injured union workers may face. At Dispart Law Group, we proudly represent union members across the state of Illinois. Some include, but are not limited to:

International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)

International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)

Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA)

Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association (OPCMIA)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART)


United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

United Auto Workers

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

American Postal Workers Union

American Federation of Teachers

National Education Association

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union

Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

International Association of Fire Fighters

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

American Federation of County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

United Steelworkers

Transportation Workers Union of America

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

How an Employment Lawyer Can Help?

Union workers hurt on the job can greatly benefit from having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in their corner. Most of the time, injured workers will need to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive financial assistance for their injuries. However, this process can often be complicated and difficult to complete while recovering from your injuries.  

An attorney can help by:

  • explaining your rights under workers’ compensation laws as well as the specific provisions outlined in their union contract.
  • submitting the necessary documentation for workers’ compensation claims, maximizing the chances of a successful application.
  • advocating on behalf of the injured worker by negotiating with insurance companies and legal representatives.
  • resolving disputes (i.e. denied claims), filing appeals, and representing the worker’s interests in court.

This legal representation can be especially crucial in complex cases involving long-term disabilities, chronic illnesses, or situations where the employer disputes the work-related nature of the injury. Ultimately, a union lawyer’s involvement helps level the playing field, ensuring that injured workers receive the appropriate medical care, wage replacement, and any other benefits they are entitled to under both legal regulations and the terms of their union agreement.

At Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, we fight for workers’ rights and to maximize compensation for both non-union and union workers hurt on the job. For a FREE consultation, contact us today at (312) 600-6000.  

Chicago Union Worker Injury Lawyer

Chicago Union Worker Injury Lawyer