Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Every year, more than 1,000 workers in the city of Chicago file claims for workers’ compensation benefits after getting hurt on the job. [1] These benefits can be a lifeline for workers who are unable to work and need to make ends meet. 

However, insurance companies are notorious for making the claims process a challenge. If you’ve been hurt on the job, the experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

We have helped injury victims recover more than $450 million in life-changing monetary awards.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7.

Your Rights Under Workers’ Compensation Laws

As an injured worker in Chicago, you may have the right to recover monetary benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Illinois follows a no-fault workers’ compensation system that allows injured workers to recover compensation to offset costs related to medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and death.

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you may qualify for benefits if:

  • Your employer is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance
  • You are a full-time, part-time, or seasonal employee (not a contractor), and
  • You suffer a work-related injury.

A work-related injury is one that is sustained while you’re performing tasks or responsibilities within the scope of your employment. For instance, an injured employee may qualify for benefits if you’re involved in a work-related car accident, but not if you’re commuting to or from your place of employment.

Industries With Special Workers’ Protection Laws

In Illinois, most employers with at least one employee are legally obligated to carry workers’ compensation benefits. However, certain industries are not required to opt into the Illinois workers’ compensation system and have their own special protections in place for injured workers.

  • Railroad workers are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). A FELA lawyer can recover economic and non-economic awards if a worker can prove that the railroad company was negligent and contributed to their work injury.
  • Seamen, i.e. men and women who work aboard or in support of a navigable vessel, are covered by the Jones Act. A Jones Act attorney can help secure maintenance and cure benefits when a seaman is injured due to negligence or because a vessel is not seaworthy.
  • Chicago Police officers are covered by the city’s separate Pension System in place to help officers recover disability benefits when they’re injured in the line of duty.
An experienced Chicago workers' compensation lawyer can help people in all industries recover compensation for their job related injuries.

The Role of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

You can navigate a claim for workers’ compensation benefits on your own, but it’s smart to ask for help. By hiring our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, you give yourself the time to rest and recover, while putting your case in experienced hands.

Your attorney will have an in-depth knowledge of Illinois law, understand the policies and procedures established by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act that will affect your case, and know the best strategies for dealing with the employer’s insurance company.

Hiring a workers’ comp lawyer protects you and your rights. They’ll be able to help you understand complex aspects of your workers’ compensation claim and determine whether to accept an offer or push forward for a potentially better result through the appeals process.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured on the Job

The things you do (and avoid doing) after a workplace accident can have a huge impact on workers’ compensation claims. 

Follow these steps to protect your rights and increase the chances of receiving maximum compensation:

  • Report the accident to your employer right away. By law, your injury must be reported within 45 days, or you lose the right to seek benefits.
  • Seek prompt medical treatment. Getting to the hospital can help to ensure that you mitigate your injury and create a formal record of the trauma.
  • Document your accident. Take pictures of the scene of the accident as well as any injuries you’ve suffered. These can be helpful in proving you were hurt on the job.
  • Confirm that your employer has submitted a report of your injury to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This report will be necessary if you want to recover benefits.
  • Don’t have conversations with the employer’s insurance company on your own. They’re not on your side, and they’ll attempt to twist your words and manipulate the situation to keep you from securing benefits to pay for your medical bills and offset a loss of income.
  • Hire an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer to handle your claim. Having a lawyer represent you is the best way to win your case and accelerate the recovery of any benefits to which you’re entitled.

Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

Here’s how an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help injured workers with their workers’ compensation claims:

  • Free consultation to discuss your options
  • Lead a thorough independent investigation into your accident/injury/illness
  • Gather medical records, pay stubs, wage statements, tax returns, and other evidence you’ll need to support your workers’ compensation claim for benefits
  • Provide notice of your injury or illness to your employer
  • Ensure that your claim complies with all laws and procedures established by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Enlist the help of expert witnesses and specialists to consult throughout the claims process
  • Represent you during all hearings and settlement conferences with the insurance company
  • File an appeal if you are offered an unreasonably low benefits package or if your claim is denied

Having our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys handling your claim can make a world of difference at the end of the day. We’ve been fighting for injured workers in a variety of industries for more than 25 years. Contact us today and rely on that experience to secure your claim.

Amounts Awarded in Work-Related Injury Claims

There’s no standard payout for workers’ compensation benefits. Every worker has a unique situation, so it’s the details of your case — like the severity of your work injuries, your ability to work, and your pre-injury wages — that will affect how much you can recover through a workers’ compensation claim.

Our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have helped injured workers recover up to seven figures in life-changing awards. Some of our settlements include:

  • $3.5 million for a client who suffered a debilitating leg injury when he was struck by a forklift
  • $500,000 for a client who fell eight feet on a job site while performing electrical work

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits 

Established by the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act, workers’ compensation is a private insurance system through which injured victims can recover monetary benefits after getting hurt on the job. Benefits are limited and intended to offset costs related to medical care, lost wages, disability, and death. 

Medical Expenses

Workers’ compensation medical benefits will cover costs related to all reasonable and necessary medical expenses, such as:

  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Chiropractic care

However, medical care is only covered when it’s provided by a medical professional who has been pre-approved by the insurance company. This can limit your ability to control your treatment and choose your healthcare providers.

TPD (Temporary Partial Disability) Benefits

TPD benefits can be awarded if injured employees work in a light-duty or lower-paying job. They equal two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages.

TPD benefits are subject to statutory caps. For worker’s compensation claims filed between January 1, 2024, and July 14, 2024, the maximum average weekly payment is $1,423.44.

Temporary Partial Disability can be paid until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) or can return to work at full capacity.

TTD (Temporary Total Disability) Benefits

TTD benefits can be awarded if injured employees are unable to work in any capacity for a limited time. They equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, which is computed using the wages you were paid in the weeks leading up to your injury.

TTD benefits are also subject to statutory caps. For claims filed through July 14, 2024, the maximum benefit is $1,423.44.

Temporary Total Disability can be paid until you can return to work or reach Maximum Medical Improvement.

PPD (Permanent Partial Disability) Benefits

Some injured workers can never fully recover from their workplace injury or illness (due to an amputation or loss of use of a body part, for example), potentially making them eligible to receive PPD benefits to help make up for the related loss of income they experience.

There are four different types of PPD benefits under Illinois workers’ compensation laws:

  1. Scheduled Loss of Use Awards: The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has a schedule of benefits for 24 specific injuries. The schedule explains the maximum time for which you can receive benefits if you’ve suffered a scheduled injury. For instance, you can receive benefits for up to 205 weeks if you’ve suffered the permanent loss of a hand. 
  2. Unscheduled Awards: For injuries not listed in the IWCC’s schedule, such as a brain injury, spinal cord injury, or nerve damage, you can receive up to 500 weeks of benefits depending on the extent and impact of the injury.
  3. Wage Differential Benefits: Offsetting the difference in what you can earn now vs. what you earned before you were permanently disabled, these benefits equal two-thirds of the difference between pre-and-post injury wages. These can be paid until age 67 or for 5 years after the award becomes final, whichever is later.
  4. Disfigurement Benefits: If you become disfigured because of a workplace injury or illness, you can qualify for benefits equaling 60% of your average weekly wage, payable for up to 162 weeks.

PTD (Permanent Total Disability) Benefits

PTD benefits can be paid when your injury or illness prevents you from ever working in any capacity. For claims filed through July 14, 2024, the maximum weekly PTD benefit is $1,897.92, subject to cost-of-living adjustments.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

There are times when your injury might prevent you from returning to your job but won’t prevent you from getting into a new line of work. In these situations, your employer may be required to cover the costs of any vocational training (and related maintenance costs). 

Death Benefits

When an injured employee is killed because of a work-related injury or illness, family members can qualify to receive death benefits. In Illinois, workers’ compensation death benefits equal two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage. They are payable for 25 years or up to $500,000, whichever is greater.

Damages for things like pain and suffering or emotional distress are not available through workers’ compensation claims. To obtain compensation for these types of non-economic losses, you will have to pursue damages in a third-party workplace accident lawsuit. 

An experienced Chicago workers’ comp attorney from our team can help you explore your options and seek the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled under Illinois state law.

Workers Compensation claims by industry- chicago workers' compensation lawyer

What Can Compromise a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

While you may have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job injury, there are certain things that can derail your claim, such as:

  • Failing to notify your injury or illness to your employer within 45 days
  • Lying about your injury or illness
  • Being injured outside of performing responsibilities within the scope of your employment
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you got hurt
  • Not being treated by an approved medical provider
  • The injury being a pre-existing condition
  • Being classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee

Your employer might try to dispute your claim even if you do qualify for it. Our Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys can help you navigate the claims process, handle conversations with the insurance company, and be there to get you the top-dollar recovery you rightfully deserve.

Types of Cases That Our Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Handle

The Illinois workers’ compensation system is far-reaching and covers employees in a wide range of industries. Our workers’ comp attorneys have decades of experience advocating for clients injured in all types of workplace accidents:

  • Factory workers can suffer serious, potentially life-threatening injuries when equipment malfunctions or if they’re not provided with appropriate safety gear.
  • Warehouse workers can get seriously injured by falling objects, in forklift accidents, and when work equipment is defective.
  • Construction workers often get hurt in accidents involving scaffolding, demolition, trenching, and other aspects of construction.
  • Transportation workers are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured in a commercial vehicle accident while on duty.
  • Agriculture workers tend to spend long hours in extreme weather conditions, making them prone to overexertion injuries and injuries caused by farming equipment.
  • Manufacturing workers can suffer serious injuries when they’re caught in/between objects or machines or are struck by falling objects.
  • Slip and fall accidents caused by slick floors, loose electric wires, cluttered work environments, and other dangerous conditions qualify as work-related injuries no matter the industry.

The above is not an exhaustive list, and if you’re an injured worker, contact our experienced lawyers to see how we can help with your specific workers’ compensation claim. 

Work-Related Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Cases We Handle in Chicago, IL

Our workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you pursue benefits for injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Occupational illness or disease
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage
  • Amputation
  • Crushing injuries
  • Burn injury
  • Wrongful death of a loved one

The Cost of Hiring an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Work injuries can be costly, and securing the legal assistance of workers’ comp lawyers shouldn’t be. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC works on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket upfront. 

Our work injury lawyers front the costs of your case, and we only get paid if we win your workers’ compensation claim. Our fee will be deducted from your settlement as specified in the agreement, so there’s no added stress to ask for help.

The Time It Takes to Settle a Workers’ Compensation Case

While Illinois’ workers’ compensation law is designed to help you get benefits quickly, there’s no set timeframe in which your claim will necessarily be settled.

Every injured worker’s case is unique, and many factors can affect how your claim moves forward, including disputes over your status as an employee, whether your injury happened at work, or the severity of your workplace injuries. 

Hiring an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can help you expedite the process and obtain the benefits to which you’re entitled in a reasonable timeframe. 

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today!

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is a top-rated Chicago personal injury law firm with decades of experience litigating complex workers’ compensation disputes. We’ve helped our clients win over $450 million in damages. 

Whether you’re seeking benefits for the first time or need to appeal a denial, our Illinois workers’ compensation lawyers can provide the guidance and support you need to win. Contact our law office toll-free at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation today.

Resources: [1]

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
Free Consultation (888) 424-5757