Rockford Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Attorney Representing Injured Workers in Rockford Work Comp Cases
It can be challenging to navigate the world of workers' compensation. For many, it's their first time dealing with a serious injury, and they are unsure where to turn or what steps to take next to be paid by their employer while they heal.
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 in the job, ensuring they receive maximum Worker's Comp. benefits and other financial compensation they deserve.
Call our Rockford, IL workers' compensation lawyers 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.
The loss of a loved one can drastically impact those left behind and need to adjust in life without companionship and resources provided by the deceased.
The Rockford wrongful death attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC would help your family recover fair compensation for those losses family if your loved one died due to someone else's actions. In addition, our legal team will resolve any disputes regarding distributing benefits among the family members left behind.
Receiving compensation will allow you to finally move forward with your life without wondering how you will make ends meet without your loved one's financial contributions.
Workplace Accidents Among Top Causes of Death in the United States
According to the National Safety Council, Americans under the age of forty-two are more likely to die from an accident than any other cause of death. However, of all age groups, accidents are still among the top five causes of death.
When irresponsible behavior contributes to an accident, it is reasonable to expect the responsible person or company to be held accountable. Some accidents that may result from negligence include medical malpractice, car accidents, drowning, fires, prescription errors, choking, and poisoning.
If we can show that your loved one's death was due to the negligence of others, we may be able to help you recover the compensation you need through legal representation to replace their income. The funds you receive could help you recoup the cost of a funeral and cover the value of the pain and suffering your loved one, you, and your family have endured.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to file a claim against an employer, business, or individual found responsible for your loved one's death. In some workers' compensation cases, multiple parties may be liable.
What Is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance system required by the government in which employers are obligated to carry insurance for their employees. In exchange, those injured on the job or developed work-related illnesses are entitled to receive certain benefits, including medical care and financial support, while they recover.
The key benefit of workers' compensation is that employees are not required to prove that another party was at fault for their workplace injury, making it easier to receive the help you need.
However, workers' compensation is limited in what it provides the injured employee. In most cases, compensation is calculated based on how much an employee would receive based on their average weekly wage before the accident. In some cases, if a worker's injuries are severe enough or there are lasting effects from the injury, they may be entitled to additional benefits.
Workers' comp benefits do not include weekly payment for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or other support services. These additional benefits are available through a civil lawsuit which is why you may need the assistance of an attorney to help you recover damages if your loved one died because of negligence.
Why You May Be Eligible for Financial Compensation
If your injuries keep you from earning an income, you may be entitled to weekly benefits. The amount of money your family can receive each week will depend on how much your loved one was making, including any bonuses, commissions, or other forms of compensation.
Your family may also be able to recover from the following expenses:
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Medical bills that are not covered by insurance
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial expenses
Injured workers might be entitled to workers' comp benefits. Because of that, it is essential to keep the documentation, such as copies of the loved one's pay stubs and tax returns. It is also a good idea to note any work-related illnesses or injuries the loved one suffered.
What If My Employer Didn't Provide Workers' Compensation Coverage?
If you have been injured at work and your employer did not carry workers' compensation insurance, you can file a claim with the state even if your accident was not work-related.
Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why some employers do not provide coverage and take advantage of their employees by not carrying enough insurance to cover an injury. What they have provided is insufficient to support a family's loss of income.
Many employers will try to place blame on you for your injuries to avoid paying out. If this happens, our workers' compensation lawyers can help prove that the accident occurred in the workplace or in some other way related to your job duties which entitle you to workers' compensation benefits.
You may also be able to file a claim if you suffer an injury on the job that does not rise to the level of a full-blown accident. The key point is that your injury was caused by some activities linked to your place of employment.
What Do I Need to Prove to Qualify for Workers' Compensation?
While it may seem simple enough, many family members have trouble receiving their worker's compensation benefits because they are unaware of filling out the paperwork or are unclear about their rights.
If you have been injured at work, you will need to file a workers' compensation claim with your state's insurance companies. While requirements vary by state, it is usually necessary to prove that the injury happened in your employment and was not due to some act of negligence on your part.
If you were injured, follow these steps:
- Tell your immediate supervisor, manager, boss, or business owner what happened and how you were injured.
- Seek medical care even if you believe your injuries are minimal. Only a competent doctor with the best diagnostic tools can identify your injuries and their severity.
- Complete the company incident report and send it to the state workers' compensation agency where your employer is registered.
- Seek legal counsel if you believe your employer is trying to avoid paying out or is providing insufficient benefits that do not cover all of your expenses and loss of income.
Wrongful Death Workers' Compensation Benefits
Immediate surviving family members who lost a loved one in a workplace accident have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and worker's compensation claims seeking financial recovery for all damages.
If you lost a loved one on the job, this information would also come in handy:
Spouses and Dependent Children
The surviving spouse and biological children under the age of 18 will receive benefits until they turn 18 years old, or if they are 18 or older, they can be claimed as a legal dependent. If you do not fall into one of these categories, your compensation may be limited to a certain amount.
In addition, in some cases, surviving spouses and children may receive benefits under a workers' compensation settlement even if you do not fit into one of the above categories.
Parents and Siblings
Your dependent parents and siblings can also file for wrongful death benefits under worker's compensation laws. It means that they will be entitled to certain payments depending on how your loved one died and whether or not you or your immediate family members were receiving benefits or living with the deceased at the time of death.
Executors and Personal Representatives
If you are appointed executor under a will, you can file for workers' compensation on behalf of the decedent (the employer will still be listed). However, if you are appointed as the personal representative of the estate, then you will be able to file a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful death.
If you have additional workers' compensation law questions or need legal guidance about filing a lawsuit or workers' compensation claim for your injuries, contact an experienced Illinois workers' comp lawyer today.
What Benefits Are Available Through A Workers' Comp Claim in Rockford, Illinois, and How Is the Payment Calculated?
The benefits provided through a successful worker's compensation claim vary from case to case, but they can include:
- Medical bills for current and future treatment
- Loss of wages
- Funeral expenses
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury or death, we may recommend that you file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to your worker's compensation claim.
When injuries are more serious, workers' comp benefits may be increased. For example, if you were hurt on the job and caused a permanent disability, your case is worth more than someone who was temporarily disabled.
Moreover, essential to understanding is that worker's compensation benefits are not meant to reflect the actual value of your injury. In many cases, the benefits are equivalent to a percentage of your wages before you were injured.
For example, if you made $40,000 a year and only missed six months of work due to your injuries, then you would receive 50 percent of that money in benefits each month.
However, this is not necessarily an equal trade-off since your employer is likely to have saved some of the money they would have paid you in wages while you were out.
Finally, keep in mind that workers' comp benefits are only available when the injury occurs on the job. So, for example, if you slipped and fell in a grocery store after work hours and broke your leg, then it does not qualify for compensation.
How Much Will I Receive From a Workers' Comp Settlement?
Workers' comp settlements are notoriously difficult to predict, but your attorney will do everything possible to secure the maximum benefits available under the law. When negotiating a settlement, it's also important to be prepared with evidence of lost income and medical bills.
If you are the spouse of the decedent, then you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against their employer seeking damages on behalf of your family. If more than one dependent (adult child or another family member), they will split whatever settlement is awarded between them.
However, if you are among the dependents receiving compensation for wrongful death, your portion will be determined by how much you depended upon the deceased. Thus, for example, a spouse would receive the largest percentage of the settlement, followed by other adult children and finally minor children or other dependents.
To show that you should be entitled to a more significant portion of the settlement, have documentation available for any lost income, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and emotional distress. A settlement is determined on the worth of workers' comp claims against the wrongful death case.
When you are awarded compensation in Rockford, Illinois, for a worker's comp claim or lawsuit, it will be put in an escrow account to pay future bills. While this may seem like a major inconvenience, the money you receive is meant to compensate for your injuries and lost wages. You cannot access it if there is a possibility that you will return to work in the future.
What Is the Difference Between a Workers' Comp Claim and Worker's Compensation Settlement?
There is a difference between a workers' comp claim and a worker's compensation settlement. Typically, a workers' comp claim is filed with your employer, and a worker's compensation settlement is what you receive from your employer after the claim has been finished.
The workers' comp settlement is the agreed-upon amount between you and your employer.
The process of filing a workers' compensation claim begins when you switch to disability leave for work injuries. Once you switch to disability leave, your employer's insurance company (workers comp) takes over handling your case.
They will give you forms asking for information like how much time you missed from work and the nature of the injuries related to your claim. But, of course, everything must be filled out accurately to receive all benefits expected by law.
Whenever possible, every effort should be made to return you to work after a work-related injury, especially if the injury is not severe. This effort helps to ensure that your job remains secure and that your employer's insurance company can pay for your medical bills through worker's comp benefits.
Filing a workers' compensation claim with your employer is a big step toward getting the compensation you deserve for an on-the-job injury. However, in this process, your rights must be protected so that you can focus on recovering and returning to work quickly.
Do you feel that your employer or their insurance company is not properly taking care of your case? Or did they refuse to file your claim or deny your compensation claim for work-related injuries after filing your workers' comp claim?
In this case, you should contact a local Rockford, IL workers' comp attorney who will be able to help get the compensation and benefits you deserve.
What Should I Do If My Workers' Comp Settlement Offer Is Too Low?
If your workers' comp settlement offer is too low, the best thing to do may be to hire an experienced Rockford, IL, personal injury lawyer.
The insurance company's job is to pay you as little money as possible when it comes to your work-related injuries. Your job is to get their attention and show them that they should pay more for your injuries.
It's not uncommon for an insurance company to offer you a settlement check for less than what they initially offered. If this happens, call them up and tell them that you don't accept their check because it was too low. Then, ask the representative how much they will pay if you return the check.
When you receive your workers' compensation settlement, you may not be able to receive that money all at once because it has to remain in an escrow account for a certain amount of time. This process can be frustrating if you're dealing with expensive bills and living off your savings.
When it comes to negotiating the compensation offered by an insurance company, having a seasoned personal injury attorney will help you get the best possible outcome.
If, after negotiation, your injury attorney cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, he will file a case on your behalf. If the insurance company fails to settle, then it's time for trial. The trial's goal is to win back any compensation for initially offered injuries and get any additional damages.
It's about the compensation you deserve and getting on with your life as best as possible. An injury attorney knows what to do to build a strong case around your claim to receive that compensation.
Why It's Worth Hiring Rockford Workers Compensation Lawyers Near Me
It is always advisable to hire an experienced and professional lawyer to help you with your case as they will know each legal aspect of the case and can easily fight on your behalf.
Here are some reasons why it is worth hiring workers compensation lawyers near me:
- An injury lawyer knows everything about worker's comp laws. They can identify if your employer's insurance company is not following the workers' comp laws and help you file a legal case if your employer or insurance company denies you workers' compensation benefits.
- A good worker's compensation lawyer has the experience to know how much you should receive as a settlement check. They can negotiate with the insurance company and convince them to pay you more than they initially offered.
- An experienced injury attorney knows the different strategies and the perfect time to use them during a trial. They can identify any mistake made by the insurance company's lawyer and can take advantage of it so that you get an even better verdict in court.
- A workers' compensation attorney is familiar with all types of injuries and their workers' compensation variations. Therefore, they can easily tell if your injury falls under the category of a specific type of work-related accident. The consultation would help you receive more money for your claim.
Types of Rockford Workers Compensation Claims
Many workers' compensation claims include physical injuries sustained on the job, emotional trauma related to a workplace accident, and psychological conditions related to traumatic events.
Employers are expected to provide a safe work environment for their employees. When employers fail to fulfill this obligation and their negligence results in a work-related injury or illness, they must do what is necessary to support workers to recover from their injuries or illnesses.
- Fatal injuries caused by car or truck wrecks involving distracted or reckless drivers
- Motorcycle accidents, including when a passenger was killed by another motorist or the person controlling the bike
- Poisoning due to hazardous materials like lead, corrosive chemicals, or toxic compounds
- Pedestrian accidents involving distracted, drunk or reckless drivers
- Medical negligence that leads to fatal injuries
- Product liability claims resulting from defective devices or machinery
- Vicious dog bites that lead to the death of the victim
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Workplace injuries while on job sites such as excavation or construction sites
- Electrocution, explosions, or fires
You should always investigate if a loved one has been killed in work-related injuries so that you can understand precisely why they died and whether another person or company contributed.
If you can prove negligence, you might be able to recoup the potential wages your loved one would have brought home over a lifetime, the cost of funeral services, and more.
Determining Who Should File Your Rockford Wrongful Death Claim
Are you confused if you or your family have the legal right to bring a lawsuit or a disagreement? Are you not sure who has the right to certain benefits? It may not always be easy to determine who is best suited to file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.
Logically, the decedent's spouse likely has the right to file a personal injury case. However, if the victim was not married, this right could defer to the victim's parents, children, or siblings.
There are rare occasions where family members may disagree on legal strategies or how the benefits recovered should be split. When this is the case, it is essential to know your rights and have someone on your side who is qualified to protect your interests and rights.
Since wrongful death claims are valued based on economic factors and emotional or mental anguish, and the victim's pain and suffering, it could be possible to recover a considerable amount of damages, meaning that there would be plenty available for everyone's needs.
All necessary paperwork for comp benefits or wrongful death lawsuits must be filed in the appropriate county courthouse before the Illinois statute of limitations expires. The courthouse is located at:
Winnebago County Courthouse
400 W. State Street
Rockford, IL 61101
An Illinois injured worker attorney working on your behalf understands the compensation system's rules and regulations and the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
The lawyer's efforts typically ensure their clients receive adequate compensation for their Social Security disability cases and other legal issues.
The Settlement of Disputes Over Benefits Following a Wrongful Death Settlement
Should there be an extended battle over how compensation should be distributed to family members after a judgment or settlement, the presiding judge will decide how to distribute the benefits after a special hearing.
Our Rockford wrongful death lawyers can help you negotiate before this becomes necessary and protect your interests if it needs to go this far.
Hiring a Rockford Workers' Compensation Injury Lawyer
The Rockford workers compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help families with the cost of funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. Call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Our legal team works solely on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you are guaranteed we will never charge upfront for our services and will only accept payment after winning your case at trial or negotiating an acceptable settlement on your behalf.
Speak with a widely-respected Rockford workers' comp lawyer for more information about our law office and:
- Receiving legal advice
- Our practice areas
- Permanent disability benefits
- Obtaining Social Security disability workers' compensation benefits
- Applying to the Illinois workers' compensation commission
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship. We have a comprehensive understanding of the Illinois workers' compensation system and can file a comp claim on your behalf.
Our workers' compensation attorneys represent clients in related practice areas in medical malpractice cases, personal injury cases, car accidents, nursing home abuse cases, preventable death, and other civil litigation.