Filing a workers’ compensation claim can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from a work-related injury or illness. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD., have helped numerous victims of workplace accidents throughout the state of Illinois.
ABOUT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Workers’ compensation insurance is to protect employees who become injured/ill on the job. This important coverage typically provides:
- Partial pay while unable to work
- Help with medical costs
- Rehabilitation coverage
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits
WHO QUALIFIES FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
The vast majority of injuries or illnesses incurred on the job qualify for workers’ comp. 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 as long as you were performing your work duties and were not violating any company policies at the time the injury occurred. In Illinois, most employers have to provide worker’s comp coverage by law.
Being intoxicated while at work automatically disqualifies you from receiving workers’ comp benefits—this rule applies in Illinois as of 2011, when an amendment was made to the law.
Violating any rules explicitly outlined in the company’s policies also disqualifies you from receiving workers’ compensation.
HOW TO FILE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM
Generally, you will file a workers’ comp 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 TO HIRE A WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER
Simple workers’ compensation claims (e.g. minor injuries that resulted in little or no missed work or rehabilitation) can often be handled without an attorney. More complicated cases, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are best handled by an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you receive all the benefits/compensation to which you are entitled.
If any of the following describe your situation, 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. 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.
Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD., is an experienced workers’ compensation law firm helping victims of workplace accidents throughout the state of Illinois, including the Greater Chicago area and surrounding communities.