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Are you wondering if you can get compensation if you become ill because of your work or get hurt while you are on the job? If either of these things happens, chances are that you are covered, one of our Chicago based workers’ compensation lawyers can make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to receive.
There are a lot of people who are not clear about what workers’ compensation actually is, what it does, or if they qualify for it.
So here are a few important details about workers’ compensation that everyone should know:
- It pays for the entire medical costs of job-related injuries and diseases
- It covers nearly every employee in Illinois (95%)
- Coverage starts from the moment a job begins
So, whether it’s your first day or 500th day on the job, if you have a job-related injury, you should be covered by workers’ compensation.
If your company came from out of state, our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you also.
If you have been hired by an out-of-state company to do work within the state of Illinois, and that company conducts business with its employees in Illinois, i.e., then they must provide a workers’ compensation insurance policy for those workers.
Likewise, if an employee from that out-of-state company came to Illinois to work and is injured doing work in Illinois, they need to file their claim in Illinois.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can feel confusing and overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from a work-related injury or illness. Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers from Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD., have helped thousands of victims in Chicago and throughout the State of Illinois.
What Types Of Things Does A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help With?
Workers’ compensation insurance has coverage for issues that are too many to mention, these are the most common coverages:
- Payment of all related medical costs
- Rehabilitation coverage
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits
- Wage Differential benefits
Even if your employer is not explicitly at fault, in a case of a slip or fall accident, for example, you are eligible to file a claim. All that is required is that you were performing your work duties and were not violating any company policies at the time the injury occurred.
However, being intoxicated while at work will automatically disqualify you.
Violating any rules explicitly outlined in the company’s policies also disqualifies you from receiving workers’ compensation.
Can I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim Myself?
Generally, you can file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer since the company must file for your benefits.
In most states, you must immediately notify your employer of the injury and then fill out a formal claim. Illnesses that develop over time (such as a chronic respiratory condition or degenerative disc disease) can complicate cases and a doctor’s expert opinion may be required.
If you have a case like this, hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is in your best interest. Let’s look at some additional situations in which hiring an attorney is necessary.
When Should I Hire A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Simple workers’ compensation claims can often be handled without an attorney. (e.g. minor injuries that resulted in little or no missed work or rehabilitation)
More complicated cases, such as a chronic respiratory condition or degenerative disc disease, surgery claims; herniated disc injuries; repetitive trauma cases; are best handled by an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you receive all the benefits/compensation to which you are entitled.
If you are facing any of these situations, we strongly recommend talking with a workers’ compensation attorney:
- Your employer denies your claim
- You don’t receive your benefits in a timely manner
- You have a pre-existing medical condition
- Your injuries/illness prevents you from returning to work or from working altogether
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ comp claim
- You receive SSD benefits (Social Security could be entitled to a large part of your benefits if your workers’ comp claim isn’t organized properly)
Workers’ comp law is far from a black-and-white matter. In many cases, the employer or their insurer will dispute the extent of the afflicted worker’s disability and/or refuse to pay for medical expenses or Temporary Total Disability payments.
To get all the benefits to which you are legally entitled, you should have an attorney in your corner who is well versed in these kinds of cases.
Since 1996, Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD., an experienced workers’ compensation law firm has been helping victims of workplace accidents throughout the State of Illinois, including the Greater Chicago area and surrounding communities to successfully navigate the complexities of the legal process.
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Illinois Worker’s Compensation FAQs
Is Worker’s Compensation Required in Illinois?
In almost all cases, the answer to this is yes.
The State of Illinois requires that any business with at least one employee that is not a family member must have Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage. Knowingly failing to do so is a felony that can result in between 1 and 3 years of jail time as well as a significant fine that can go as high as $25,000.
What kinds of accidents are covered by Worker’s Compensation in Illinois?
Worker’s Compensation covers most injuries that occurred while at work, as long as you were not intoxicated or otherwise impaired at the time of the accident.
Some of these include injuries caused by repetitive physical activity during work, strokes, or heart attacks caused by your work, or other physical conditions that have been caused by your working environment. It can also sometimes include pre-existing conditions that have clearly been made worse by your work.
What do I need to do to receive Worker’s Compensation if I was in an accident?
In order to file for Workers’ Compensation, there are a few steps that you have to take as soon as possible after an accident.
First, you must notify your employer that you were injured at work. In addition, telling a co-worker is not sufficient. Instead, you are required to tell a supervisor that you were hurt on the job. In fact, it must be done within 45 days of your injury or you will be prevented from bringing a claim.
Second, get first aid or medical help as soon as possible after the injury. Don’t put this off for later, as delaying this may hurt your case. Once you have received medical assistance, inform your doctor(s) that your treatment is for a work-related condition. If there is reason to believe that you have not made an honest attempt to recover, this can also hurt your case.
You must also give your employer the name and address of the hospital that you’ve chosen. You must cooperate with your doctor in order to heal so that you can return to work if it is possible to do so.
Do I get taxed for Worker’s Compensation in Illinois?
Unlike salary or wages, Workers Compensation benefits are not considered taxable income in either State or Federal law. They also do not need to be reported as income on tax returns and are not taxable.
How much of my salary will Worker’s Compensation cover?
In the event that you are able to return for part-time or light-duty work before your full recovery, it will instead cover two-thirds of the difference in your ordinary wages and the amount that you are able to work while recovering.
Does Worker’s Compensation help with any of my other expenses after an accident?
Outside of covering a portion of your wages while you are unable to work, Workers’ Compensation will also cover any of the costs that come with getting you the necessary medical treatment and care needed to treat your injuries or illnesses that occurred on the job. In some cases, your employer may designate a list of preferred physicians that you will need to choose between for your treatment.
In some circumstances, Workers Compensation may also cover any costs involved for mileage or travel expenses if you are forced to travel a significant distance in order to receive the medical treatment necessary for your injuries.
My Worker’s Compensation claim was denied, what can I do?
Sometimes shady employers will try to get out of paying for Workers’ Compensation. They may falsely say that you were intoxicated or that you failed to follow safety regulations, or they may delay paying your benefits in an appropriate timeframe.
You can file an appeal with the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission, but it can be difficult or threatening to deal with your employer. It is in situations like this when you will want to hire an attorney to help you through the process of recovery and to gain the benefits that you are legally entitled to.
How long do I have to be off work for Worker’s Compensation to receive Temporary Total Disability benefits?
Workers Compensation requires records of work-related injuries resulting in the loss of more than 3 consecutive days of work. In order to be paid for your 7 days of work, you need to have been off of work and under the care of a doctor for at least 14 consecutive days. The first payment for Workers Compensation is usually two to three weeks following the date of the injury.