Do you have a workplace injury? If you do, crucial to know that you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits include payment of your medical bills and part of your lost wages.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured workers harmed while on the job.
Call our Waukegan workers’ compensation lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Waukegan is home to an industrial port and regional airport, which invites numerous jobs in the manufacturing and transportation industries. Waukegan was founded in 1849 by a group of citizens interested in establishing a harbor at the North Branch of the Chicago River. The city was named after an Indian word meaning “wildfowl.”
In 2015, Waukegan had a population of 88,826 and was home to over 8,000 businesses. The area is also full of county and state parks, including the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Lake Bluff Woods.
According to the National Academy of Social Insurance study in 2016, one in six injured Waukegan workers has collected workers’ compensation benefits. The average weekly benefit for private-sector workers is about $452.00, while public-sector employees receive an average of $674.00 weekly.
Waukegan Is Strategically Located to Be an Industry Hub
Waukegan’s port supports roughly 100 cargo ships per year off Lake Michigan. The city also has an airport with a customs office. Additionally, Waukegan was founded in the prime location for the development of the industry.
Its port is home to Gold Bond Building Products, LaFarge Corp., and St Mary’s Cement and houses nearly 100,000 tons of gypsum and fourteen cement silos. The area also has one of Uline’s largest distribution centers, employing over 1,200 workers.
Its access to the Union Pacific/North Line also makes it an essential part of the rail network by which millions of tons of freight are moved through the Midwest every year.
The transportation industry is responsible for about thirty-one percent of all workplace accident-related deaths, even though only four percent of the injuries reported in the state occur in transportation-related jobs.
The use of commercials, trucks, and machinery in this industry makes it far more likely for injuries to be fatal or life-altering. Employers in the transportation industry often try to cut corners when it comes to safety.
What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ comp is an insurance program providing financial support for injured employees on the job. It can cover medical expenses and lost wages while someone recovers from their injuries.
You don’t need to pay out of pocket for your treatment or worry about losing your paycheck during recovery. Instead, we can help make sure you get what you deserve!
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to provide partial income replacement to injured workers on the job. The coverage covers both work-related illnesses and injuries that result in time off from work or lost wages. Workers’ compensation may be the only avenue for employees who are subjected to unsafe working conditions.
Some Common Causes of Workers Compensation Cases in Waukegan, Illinois
It is your right to be compensated for medical expenses when injured while working. However, your employer or a third party, or third parties, may have been negligent, so you must establish the exact cause of an accident to submit a claim with Workers’ Compensation Benefits and recover financial losses from them if necessary!
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine the extent of your damages, including medical costs and lost wages, and build your case against the other side’s civil and criminal defense to avoid paying you what your case is worth.
Some of the most common causes of accidents our Waukegan workers’ compensation lawyers have responded to include the following.
- Fatigue and overwork: Worrying trends that workers in the transportation industry are some of society’s most overworked individuals. Many employers encourage their employees to break laws that dictate how long someone may be on duty without taking rest, and as such, this can put all road users at risk for accidents or other serious injuries.
- Contact with machinery or mechanical equipment: Serious workplace injuries are not limited to manual labor. The private sector has seen a rise of 25% due to contact with large machinery or moving equipment, which can cause severe spinal damage if done improperly and leave an employee permanently paralyzed for their whole life savings.
- Equipment malfunctions or defects: When an injury is caused by poor equipment design or defective machines, the injured worker may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer.
- Overexertion: Lifting heavy objects can be dangerous if the user does not have sufficient strength. Many injuries arise as a result, including those that happen while warehouse workers move and load trucks or rail cars manually—especially when they overdo it with their effort.
- Fall events: Falls are the leading cause of workplace injuries, accounting for nineteen percent. A fall can result in severe injury or death while someone is working on their feet unless proper precautions have been taken, such as from stairs and ladders. Falls also lead to sixteen percent (16%) fatalities, emphasizing workplace safety.
Many cases handled by our Waukegan workers’ compensation attorneys at our law firm are built on protecting clients’ rights.
Their legal experience has ensured satisfied clients have received sufficient financial compensation far exceeding maximum medical benefits and lost wages due to their injuries caused by a workplace accident.
What You Need to Know About Your Rights Before Filing a Waukegan Work Comp Claim
Your employer is required by law to protect you from workplace injuries. However, many employees don’t know that their claim is handled through an insurance company. Therefore, they may receive less resistance when dealing with the problem outside of work hours because there is no employer’s involvement, only their insurer.
Trial lawyers at our law offices in good standing with the state American Bar Association can provide immediate legal advice and answer questions about filing a claim for compensation, criminal law, and other legal issues.
Insurers are notorious for finding loopholes that avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury claims. In addition, they will often resort to dirty tactics or illegal measures of denying your insurance claim altogether if it’s in their best interest.
Insurers often get away with this because injured workers don’t know their rights following an accident, making us all potential victims!
You have the following rights whenever filing any workers’ compensation claim.
- You are entitled to seek opinions from specialists qualified to treat your specific type of injury. However, you may see any doctor, employer, or insurance. A company cannot dictate where you receive treatment for injuries sustained on the job as an employee.
- If an injury has left you unable to work, it may be possible to recover the cost of medical treatment.
- If you have been permanently disabled, you may recover additional compensation for your loss of income and opportunity.
While you are sidelined from work, you can collect 67% of your salary until you can return to work.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission handles Waukegan Workers’ Compensation claims. The hearing location for the Waukegan area work injury claims is located at:
Lake County Courthouse
18 N. County
Waukegan, IL 60085
Your Rights Under Workers’ Compensation
Injured employees harmed while on the clock have rights under Workers’ Compensation. Workers’ compensation includes medical treatment, wage loss benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and other accommodations.
According to Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers have the right to:
- Receive medical treatment from a doctor of your choosing
- Receive benefits from the insurance company to pay for those medical bills
- Have those payments sent directly to doctors and medical providers as opposed to having you handle all paperwork and payment
- Gain access to vocational rehabilitation services if necessary so that you can get back on your feet post-injury
- Be assigned a personal case manager who will represent your interests and help you with the process
- Know where to find free, qualified legal representation regarding workers’ compensation claims if needed
- Receive a lawyer’s help in appealing any decision made by the insurance company that you object to or disagree with
- If you are injured on the job, you have the right to hire a lawyer at any point throughout your workers’ compensation claim
The Workers’ Compensation system was designed to be easier for employees, but obstacles can impede your ability to get the benefits you deserve. For example, insurance companies use tactics against injured employees to slow down or even deny your claim.
Even the most straightforward claims can be pushed through at a snail’s pace if an insurance company feels you are receiving too many or too high of payments.
Sometimes you may not even realize something is wrong with your workers’ compensation claim until it is too late to do anything about it. Unfortunately, it often happens because injured employees are unaware of all the benefits they are entitled to.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission handles Waukegan Workers’ Compensation claims at 18 N County in Waukegan, IL 60085.
Specific Benefits You Can Receive From The Workers’ Compensation Program
Workers’ compensation benefits provided in Illinois are identified in four specific categories, including:
Payment for Lost Wages
The employer must cover any lost earnings if you are an hourly wage worker who has suffered a work-related injury and cannot do your job.
Lost income could cause serious financial problems for those families if they don’t have enough money set aside and other expenses like healthcare costs or childcare fees, making the quality of life difficult while dealing with chronic conditions such as these types of injuries.
This lack of caring can lead some people down an economic abyss when faced with such devastating news. In contrast, workers’ compensation benefits provide much-needed financial assistance in these circumstances – but only if they qualify under certain criteria.
Benefits for Specific Losses
Workers ‘ compensation will benefit your injuries when you suffer more permanent damage, such as an arm or leg loss. However, most employers and their insurance companies hesitate to pay these types of claims because they can add up to a substantial amount that is difficult, if not impossible, without representation from an experienced lawyer.
A competent attorney knows what steps must be taken to get justice denied by crooked businesses, looking only at how much money could be saved when people should receive everything owed to them!
Specific Loss Benefits apply to those with Permanent Injuries, including:
- Loss of Employment Income Benefits: This benefit provides for partial income replacement. Only the injured worker is eligible to receive this benefit, and it lasts for a maximum of three years or less, depending on the type of injury sustained by the employee.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits: If you are found to be wholly and permanently disabled, your employer should provide you with many other benefits, including:
- Payment for any healthcare costs that may not be covered by insurance or other sources
- Reimbursement for mileage to attend doctor visits
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: This benefit provides financial assistance to those who experience a partial permanent disability.
Impairment Rating Benefits
When you suffer a permanent injury, the severity of your impairment should be determined by a physician(s) who will assign an impairment rating.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
The vocational rehabilitation benefit provides workers injured in their workplace with guidance from a vocational counselor to prepare a plan for their return.
Medical Expenses and Treatment Costs
Insurance companies are legally obligated to pay all treatment costs necessary when you or one of your dependents is injured or becomes ill due to work. Therefore, you must seek medical attention following an on-the-job injury or illness as soon as possible because your symptoms can worsen and require treatment.
Treatment costs include visits to the emergency room and doctor’s office and prescriptions, surgery for permanent impairments, if necessary, orthopedics, or prostheses (like artificial limbs).
Injured workers must be educated about the various available services to improve their chances of re-entering the workforce after an injury. Waukegan, IL, workers’ compensation attorneys representing Lake and Cook County clients can provide the information you need to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve to resolve your legal issue.
What You Need to Know About Your Rights Before Filing a Waukegan Work Comp Claim. The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is your time limit for filing a lawsuit or making a claim against another person, company, or entity. For example, in Illinois, the statute of limitations for claiming work comp benefits is three years from the date of injury.
Should you wait until after this time has passed and, an insurance carrier denies your work comp claim because you missed these deadlines, your only option will be to file a civil suit in court. However, this legal process could take 1 to 5 years or more, depending on its complexity and other factors such as jurisdiction issues.
Whereas, if you had filed within the statutory deadlines, the insurance carrier would be required to pay all your work comp claim benefits under Illinois law. The statute of limitations for filing a Waukegan workers’ compensation claim is three years from the date of injury (or up to five years if you missed or can show good cause for missing the deadline).
Should your Waukegan, IL employer refuse to accept your claim, you will have the option under Illinois law to file a civil lawsuit against them (after the required two-year filing date has passed). However, you could wait up to five years and attempt to file your work comp claim with their insurance carrier.
You must act quickly to protect your personal injury rights for any work injury claim.
We Can Help With Your Physical Injuries and Financial Recovery From a Waukegan Work Accident
While you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover medical costs and lost wages, the amount you receive might be insufficient to pay your bills like when you were working.
Fortunately, the law allows you to file a third-party claim to seek additional compensation in addition to your workers’ comp check.
As part of receiving your employer’s insurance coverage for your injuries through a workers’ compensation policy, you must agree not to sue your employer for additional funds. However, you are entitled to file suit if your damages result from your employer’s negligence.
Common personal injury cases involving employers hurting their workers involve:
- A boss not providing personal protective gear to ensure worker safety
- The employer not maintaining a safe working environment
- The employer not following safety procedures to ensure the workplace is free of hazards
- Exposing the worker to deadly asbestos or other harmful chemicals
- A boss not enforcing safety rules regarding heavy machinery or equipment
You are eligible for compensation if you were hurt by someone’s negligence, even if that person was not your employer. You can file suit against any other party. However, the legal process can be tricky.
If you’re in Waukegan and are contemplating filing a work comp claim for an injury that happened on the job, it’s crucial to act quickly and consider speaking to workers’ comp lawyers. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of injury (or up to five years if you missed or can show good cause for missing the deadline).
Your workers’ comp lawyer might determine through Illinois state civil and criminal law that the statute of limitations in your case can be lengthened due to extenuating circumstances.
Hiring a Waukegan Workers’ Compensation Injury Lawyer
Our commitment to the well-being of our clients has made us one of the state’s most trusted personal injury law firms. Our personal injury law firm has practiced workers’ compensation law throughout Illinois for decades.
We would be happy to review your case during a free consultation at your chosen location.
Contact us! Your consultation comes with no risk or obligation. Our Waukegan, IL workers’ compensation attorneys accept all personal injury cases through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay no attorneys’ fees until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Visit our workers’ compensation lawyer page for more information on our personal injury law office locations, our practice areas, filing an injury claim, and our years of experience handling work-related injuries and wrongful death lawsuits.