Peoria Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Injured victims can get some measure of relief knowing that they have legal options to help them get the compensation they deserve if they are injured on the job.
Did you suffer a workplace injury or lose a loved one through a preventable death caused by another's negligence at work?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent individuals harmed on the job, ensuring they receive maximum Worker's Comp. benefits and other financial compensation they deserve.
Call our Peoria County, IL workers' compensation lawyers helping clients throughout Illinois at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Peoria is a manufacturing giant in Illinois and home to the production operations of over 200 different companies.
When workers are injured on the job, the Peoria workers' compensation lawyers of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are called on to ensure that they receive the medical treatment and financial compensation that they are entitled to receive by state employment laws.
Nobody who is severely injured making a living should bear the additional stress of trying to make ends meet when medical bills are mounting. Paying for healthcare to heal from a workplace injury can be nearly impossible when the victim cannot return to work and provide for their family.
Our Chicago workers' compensation lawyer legal team handles workers' comp cases across Illinois. Contact our Peoria workers compensation lawyers today for a free case review.
Manufacturing Drives Peoria
Peoria is home to the facilities that produce many of the nation's engines and heavy construction equipment. Caterpillar is the city's largest employer, which manufactures heavy machinery at its Peoria facility and employs over 15,000 workers. The area is also home to numerous breweries, distilleries, and large livestock and grain industries.
There are over 28,000 manufacturing jobs throughout the city and an additional 33,100 jobs provided by transportation and utility companies. Construction also contributes to the economy as nearly 8,500 workers are employed in the construction and mining industries.
Workers in these industries are aware of the dangers they must face every day to make their living. A simple mistake by a fellow employee can have disastrous consequences and send multiple workers to the hospital and keep them sidelined for long periods.
These injured workers have families to support and obligations to meet. In addition, an injury often throws their finances into disarray.
Therefore, they need quality Peoria workplace accident lawyers to assist them in recovering the compensation required to pay for the cost of their recoveries and continue supporting their families while they get better.
Causes of Workplace Accidents Leading to Workers Compensation
Repetitive motions can lead to workplace injuries. For example, heavy objects are difficult to lift and may result in serious harm if mishandled.
In addition, many manufacturing and construction jobs require constant repetitive movements throughout workers' days, which could cause overexertion while handling heavy goods that might have devastating consequences on their health.
Employees of the construction industry are often sidelined with injuries that require rehabilitation or surgery. These more serious, career-threatening incidents include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord damage, and broken bones; workers can also get caught in machinery without proper training to operate it safely.
The more serious injuries that occur at these types of jobs, however, include the following:
- Pinch point accidents: These accidents occur when your body part gets caught between two moving objects and may result in broken or crushed bones, losing some of your digits/limbs, or severe disfigurement if not attended to immediately.
- Falling objects: A falling object can cause serious trauma to the head. Unfortunately, workers are rarely aware of large objects and sustain severe damage, leading to brain injury-related problems with memory loss, concentration issues, or motor skills difficulties.
- Trips, slips, and falls: The physical injuries resulting from a trip, slip & fallinclude contusions, back pain, and spinal cord damage. Serious head trauma and broken bones are also possible if the individual is not warned of wet or slippery surfaces in their workplace.
- Defective machinery: When a defective product or design flaw results in severe accidents, manufacturers should compensate victims. Machines that operate improperly may result in serious injuries, and companies must ensure their safety before they put them into production
- Contact with hazardous materials: At work, employees are in contact with hazardous materials. These substances can cause immediate or long-term injuries if employers don't provide adequate protection from them. When this happens, workers may pursue compensation for negligence and their worker's comp benefits.
What Is Workers' Compensation?
Worker's compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides employees with financial support in an injury or death that occurs while they are performing their official duties.
In addition, an injured employee receives necessary medical treatment to heal properly and return to work after making a full recovery.
The employer's insurance carrier pays for all medical costs and provides compensation to cover lost wages. When a worker dies on the job, their dependents receive death benefits that they can use however they choose.
Determining Who Qualifies for Workers' Compensation Benefits
In Illinois, workers' compensation benefits are available to any injured worker while performing their job duties. Therefore, even a domestic employee working in a private home can receive these benefits.
There are two different types of workers' compensation claims:
- Fault-based claim: If an accident was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another party, including another worker, the injured party could file a fault-based claim. The other party must be identified and located before they can be named in a claim. Worker's compensation benefits are not awarded if the employer is responsible for the accident.
- Non-fault claims: If an accident was caused by common work hazards or accidents that cannot be avoided or prevented, the worker is eligible to file a non-fault claim, which includes injuries because of faulty equipment, lack of training, or slip-and-fall accidents on company property.
Workers' compensation benefits are awarded based on percentage ratings for the injuries suffered by the injured party. The amount depends on how much compensation is needed to cover the medical bills and lost wages.
Workers' Compensation Benefits and Personal Injury Law
In some cases, employer's negligence, where the reckless actions of a third party lead to the victim's injuries. When this occurs, the worker can file a personal injury claim, or surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
This type of lawsuit works independently from a workers' compensation claim, meaning that the injured employee can receive workers' compensation benefits plus additional monetary recovery from every defendant listed in the personal injury documents.
Benefits awards for this type of claim are different from worker's compensation benefits. These benefits are typically calculated based on the injured party's medical bills, life expectancy, and future lost earnings. These are calculated by an expert witness who specializes in local injury claims.
For example, suppose Bob suffers a spinal cord injury that requires him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In that case, he will be awarded a lump sum compensation for this injury in addition to any lost wages and medical expenses Bob incurs due to this accident.
In some cases, recoverable damages from a personal injury claim can include:
- Medical costs
- Lost earnings or future wage potential
- Property damage
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Funeral & burial costs in wrongful death cases
In some personal injury cases, a worker can receive worker's compensation plus additional damages from personal injury claims by the negligent party. In these cases, injured parties must seek legal representation as soon as possible after the accident.
What Are the Benefits of Pursuing a Workers' Compensation Claim?
There are several benefits to filing a worker's compensation claim. First, the process is straightforward, so it's relatively easy for an injured employee to file all appropriate documentation with the insurance company.
Workers' comp claims must be filed immediately after the injury occurs or within 30 days of developing an occupational disease such as a respiratory illness or a repetitive stress injury.
There is a specific time limit for filing a claim, so it's vital to file promptly after an accident takes place. If the injured party does not file within this time window, their benefits will be reduced significantly.
Workers' Compensation Claim Time Limits
In some states, workers have to file a claim in the workers' compensation system up to two years after the accident. Other states have different time limits, so it's best to confirm the correct window for filing by contacting your local worker's compensation office or an attorney who specializes in these types of claims.
Claims are typically filed with the insurance company that covers your employer. However, it is possible to file a claim with multiple insurance companies if you were involved in two accidents while working for two separate employers.
In some cases, worker's compensation benefits include reimbursement for the cost of hiring an attorney to represent them in their claim. However, this is typically only available when workers have a sound case and their employer contests the claim.
It's also possible to receive permanent disability benefits based on a percentage of a worker's wages if they have a more serious injury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Worker's Compensation Claim?
Worker's compensation claims must be filed within one year after an accident occurs or within three years of developing an occupational disease such as cancer.
These time limits are laid out by each state's workers' compensation laws, so it's essential to contact your local office or an experienced attorney to determine the specific deadline for filing in your particular state.
The statute of limitations for filing a claim varies from one state to another. For example, there is a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury claims in Texas, while in North Dakota, the statute of limitations is three years.
You must understand how long you have to file a claim before contacting an attorney about your accident.
What Are the Benefits of Permanent Partial Disability?
In some cases, a worker can receive permanent partial disability benefits from their employer. These benefits may be based on a percentage of the worker's wages and typically include an insurance payment. Temporary disability benefits are also available for those unable to work due to injury or illness.
What Is Partial Disability?
Should workers suffer from a physical impairment that prevents them from working, they may receive partial disability benefits if their injury is less than a total disability. However, these benefits can be taxed and may not cover all injured employees' expenses due to lost wages and medical costs.
What Is Total Disability?
If an injured worker cannot work for more than three years, they may qualify for total disability benefits. These payments are typically tax-free and cover any expenses that may be related to the injury.
Should you be unable to work due to an accident or illness and you believe your employer owes you disability benefits, it's in your best interest to contact a Peoria, IL workers' compensation attorney right away.
Filing a claim on your own can be confusing, and many people misunderstand what qualifies for disability benefits under worker's compensation.
Workers' Compensation Benefits and Who Qualifies
Employees injured in their workplace or suffer from an occupational disease such as black lung may qualify for benefits under workers' compensation laws.
Their employer must cover claimants under workers' comp insurance to receive payment. However, independent contractors do not receive any benefits even if they are injured on the job.
There are also specific criteria that must be met for certain types of benefits under worker's compensation insurance. For example, an amputation is typically not covered unless it results in total disability, which means that the claimant cannot perform their job duties due to the injury.
Peoria, IL Workers' Compensation Benefits and Chronic Pain
Occupations that involve repetitive motion, such as typing on a computer keyboard or using the same muscles in your hand to make motions all day, can lead to chronic pain in the neck, back and shoulders.
Injured employees who experience this type of pain may apply for workers' comp benefits. Still, it is vital to prove that their occupation contributed to the onset of chronic pain.
Legal and physical requirements must be met to prove that a worker's shoulder injury is due to their job and not accidents in their personal life or another illness. It can be challenging to provide proof when dealing with chronic pain, so the claimant must work closely with their attorney throughout this process.
Your Right to Workers' Compensation Benefits Following a Workplace Accident in Peoria
It is essential to know that when you are injured on the job, regardless of fault, your medical bills will be paid by an employer. Because employers must carry Workers' Compensation insurance to comply with regulations outlined in this system, if they don't follow these guidelines, though, there may be civil and criminal penalties involved.
An employer or its insurance company must promptly provide compensation, and any attempt to interfere with your rights can result in additional fines that the victim can recover.
You have rights when injured on the job. For example, you are likely entitled to receive one or more forms of compensation following a work accident, including worker's compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
- Your employer cannot dictate: Which doctors you may or may not see. However, your injuries could require care from a specialist, and your right to seek out opinions is protected by law.
- The recovery of the full cost of your past and future medical treatment: To establish an accurate value of your future medical expenses, we often turn to the testimony of experienced professionals and economists to ensure that your needs are met both in the present and years into the future.
- Compensation for lost opportunities: Should your injuries be debilitating and result in the permanent inability to work. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission has set up a specific fund to provide extra benefits to cover living increases for those permanently injured.
- The right to receive a portion of your wages during recovery: These funds can help you continue to make ends meet while focusing on physical health.
Workers' compensation claims are filed with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Whenever disputes between an injured worker and their employer over benefits, this agency hears and settles these workers' compensation cases to ensure that both parties receive what is fair for their situation.
Additional monetary recovery may be available to pay for medical expenses and other bills to the Social Security Disability Benefits Program that covers specific personal injuries.
Claims made in the Peoria area are heard at this address:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC)
401 Main Street 6th Floor
Peoria, IL 61602
Less Than One in Four Injured Illinois Workers Filed for Compensation
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission released detailed workplace injury statistics that showed nearly 200,000 accidents on the job in 2017. However, less than 25% of workers filed a claim with the Commission.
A new study reveals that too many workers are not claiming the benefits they deserve. Ten percent of those who filed a claim with the Commission were denied, and 90% accepted the Commission's offer.
Approximately half of all injured workers who were denied benefits appealed, and 40% reached settlements. The final 10% had their claims denied again. About one-third (30%) of the total compensation cases in 2017 in Illinois submissions occurred within Cook County (Chicago).
The Commission statistics revealed that the top leading causes of job-related injuries that did not result in a preventable death happened through a:
- Slip, trip, or fall
- Contact with a piece of equipment or object
- Workplace violence
- Harmful toxic or environmental condition exposure
- Colliding with a car, truck, or heavy equipment
The leading industries involving Illinois worker's compensation benefits happened in various occupations for the government, manufacturing, natural mining and resources, construction, and services.
The Role of a Workers' Compensation Lawyer
If you were injured at work, then you might be eligible to file a claim for benefits. Completing the paperwork and navigating through the process can be confusing, though, which is why it's often wise to hire a dedicated workers' compensation lawyer who will handle your claim from start to finish.
Your rights in such situations will depend on your employer and their insurance company, but some general rules apply to most situations. For example, if you've been involved in a work-related accident, then you are entitled to claim the damages it caused you.
You will probably have to prove negligence on behalf of another party before your claim can be processed, but this is why retaining an experienced trial lawyer who knows how to complete this process can be particularly beneficial.
Your lawyer will help you gather the evidence and testimonies that you need to prove your case and then guide you through all of the legal forms that need to be signed.
Peoria Workers Compensation Lawyers: Our Dedication to the Needs of Injured Workers in Peoria
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is much more than a workers' compensation law firm. We have access to the resources that clients need throughout their physical, emotional, and financial recoveries.
Working with medical specialists will see your physical needs by ensuring you receive the medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy you deserve. We also work with social workers who can help you cope with the impact of your injuries so that you may move forward.
Most importantly, we can make sure that your employer fully covers the cost of these services. We can help you with your claim and seek any additional damages allowed by state law.
Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer Today!
Contact us now to arrange a free consultation with one of our award-winning Peoria, IL, worker's compensation attorneys to learn more about your rights and how we can help.
In addition to providing free initial consultation, our personal injury attorneys promise never to require a fee for our services unless we can recover damages on your behalf.
If you would like more information on workers' compensation benefits and the qualifications for receiving these benefits, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney, please call (888) 424-5757.
In addition to handling cases involving work-related injuries, our super lawyers provide legal representation in various practice areas, including trucking accidents, auto accidents, pedestrian fatalities, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability, dangerous drugs, premises liability, and wrongful death.