For decades the expert Joliet Workers Compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. have been helping people in Joliet and Will County, Illinois get the compensation they deserve after a work-related injury or illness.
Like many Midwestern cities, manufacturing has historically been an important industry in Joliet, helping shape the town and its residents. Today, Joliet’s medical center and hospital are leading employers for residents of Joliet and the greater Chicago area.
While somewhat surprising to many, work-related injuries and illnesses among healthcare employees are a leading cause of lost time at work. In fact, it’s more hazardous to work in a hospital/medical center than in construction or manufacturing according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (1) The hazards of healthcare workplaces naturally lead to more workers’ compensation claims. Let’s explore workers’ comp in more detail.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits that protect employees who become injured or ill on the job. Workers’ comp typically provides:
- Medical care costs required to treat/cure injury or illness
- Vocational/rehabilitation costs (for approved vocational rehab programs)
- Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) while the employee is out of work and recovering from injury/illness
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) while the employee is recovering but still able to work light duty for less compensation
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits in cases where the employee sustains a permanent injury but is still able to work
- Permanent total disability (PTD) in cases where the employee is permanently disabled from their injury/illness and unable to work
- Death benefits for surviving family members in cases where the employee passed away as a result of their injuries/illness
Employers are responsible for the cost of workers’ compensation benefits. For this reason, many employers purchase workers’ comp insurance, in which the insurance company pays on behalf of the employer. Some employers request approval to self-insure (pay their own claims), a riskier option, but one that saves the employer money on premiums.
What If My Employer Denies My Claim?
There are several reasons an employer might deny a workers’ comp claim. Cost and employer bias are two of the most common. Employers who use workers’ compensation insurance (rather than self-insuring) must pay premiums to an insurance company. Consequently, the more workers’ comp files an employer claims, the greater the monthly insurance premiums.
Employer bias may also lead a company to conclude that an injury isn’t serious enough to warrant a workers’ comp claim. The employer may also claim the injury or illness didn’t happen at work or during the scope of employment, or may outright refuse to acknowledge that the employee has suffered an injury or illness at all.
When Should You Hire Workers Compensation Attorneys
While you can handle simple workers’ comp claims without an attorney, more complicated cases are best handled by an experienced lawyer. If any of the following describe your situation, contact our Joliet workers compensation attorneys right away:
- Your employer denied your claim
- You don’t receive your benefits in a timely manner
- In the case where you have a preexisting medical condition
- Your injuries/illness prevents you from returning to work or from working altogether
- If your employer retaliates against you for filing a workers’ comp claim
- You receive SSD benefits (Social Security could receive a large part of your benefits if your workers’ comp claim isn’t organized properly)
The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD. have an intimate understanding of workers’ compensation laws in Illinois and will work tirelessly to get you the workers comp benefits to which you and your family are entitled.