The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are committed to protecting the rights of Illinois workers who have an injury or work-related illness due to their job. Our goal is to get you the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has helped workers from across Illinois get the compensation they deserve after a work-related injury or accident via workers compensation and we are ready to do the same for you.
Chicago Workers' Compensation Attorneys Committed to Protecting the Legal Rights of Hard-Working Men & Women
In 2018, Chicago’s economic output was over $700 billion, putting it ahead of many countries. At the roots of Chicago’s economy is a skilled workforce that is known worldwide in industries such as: manufacturing, shipping and distribution, transportation and food processing.
As an established workers’ compensation law firm, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows firsthand that the expansion of many industries comes with a price--- injured workers. Our attorneys have experience representing Chicago workers in diverse industries such as: construction, factories, government service and logistics or trucking. Regardless of your work, we pledge to treat you as a valued client who deserves respect and aggressive legal advocacy.
Benefits Afforded to Injured Workers Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305) provides benefits to workers injured in the course of your employment. Illinois work comp law is a no-fault based law, meaning, you can pursue a claim for workers compensation benefits even if you are partially responsible for an incident which caused your injuries.
Illinois law provides three primary types of benefits for people injured on the job:
- Lost Time Benefits: If your injuries prevent you from working, and a treating physician deems you to be temporarily totally disabled (TTD) and unable to perform your job, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage through the duration of your temporary disability.
- Medical Expenses: Your employer must pay for medical treatment that is related to your injury. This includes doctors visits, hospitalization, surgery and physical therapy needed immediately following an incident as well as what is needed in the future.
- Lump-Sum Payment: When a work-related incident results in a permanent injury or disability (PPD), you are entitled to receive a lump sum payment based on the extent of the permanency, the part of your body that was injured and how much money you were making at the time if the incident. The PPD amount is determined by a set schedule of injuries related to specific body parts set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
In the case of a fatal work-related injury, the surviving spouse and children under 18 are entitled to file a workers compensation claim under IL law. Depending on the date of the death and the decedent’s average weekly wage at the time of his or her death, the family may recover ongoing payments or a lump-sum payment of up to $500,000.
Why You Want an Illinois Workers Compensation Lawyer Fighting For Your Rights
Many employers and workers compensation insurance carriers are notorious for delaying and denying payments for all benefits afforded an injured worker under the law. By having an advocate on your side, you can ensure that these tactics do not cause you or your family further hardship.
In many situations, there is room for interpretation in the value of an employee’s benefits. Not surprisingly, the value assessed by your employer may be significantly less than what the law provides for. Having a Chicago workers compensation lawyer representing you can ensure that your benefits are fairly assessed.
Workers' Compensation FAQs
An accident or injury at work cannot be planned for. When an incident does happen may people find themselves overwhelmed by the physical and economic fallout. As experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, we have compiled some of the questions many of our current and former clients have dealt with. As always, if you have further questions, we invite you contact our office for a free consultation.
Do I Have a Workers’ Compensation Case in Chicago?
When you have been injured in a workplace accident, you are almost always covered by workers’ compensation. If your employer states otherwise during your claim, they are in direct violation of Illinois work laws. You receive these benefits regardless of the type of work you do, who is at fault for your injuries, or how long you have been on the job. If you are injured on your first day on the job, you still qualify for benefits.
You do not need to prove fault in a worker’s compensation case. In fact, the incident could be completely your fault and you would still be entitled to your full worker’s compensation benefit. To explore your options, feel free to contact a workers comp lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
How Long do I Have to File an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you should notify your employer that you were injured, and your injury arose from your employment, as soon as possible but no later than 45 days.
However, you then have 3 years to bring a workers' compensation claim in Illinois. There are some restrictions, so consulting an attorney is a good idea. Specifically, lawsuits must begin three years after the accident or two years after you last received compensation benefits, whichever is later. If your injury becomes repetitive in nature, the statute of limitations may differ, so it is important to meet with an attorney to clarify how much time you have to bring an action. See 820 ILCS 305/6(d).
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois?
No, you cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers are protected by the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act from retaliation from employers. If you are fired for filing a claim, you may have grounds for a legal suit against your employer. See 820 ILCS 305 §4h. However, many Illinois employees are at-will workers. This means that companies generally don't need a reason to terminate you and it can be tricky to determine the actual motivation for the firing. If you’re concerned that your employer might retaliate by firing you, it’s a good idea to see an attorney as soon as possible.
Can I file an Illinois Workers Compensation Case for an Aggravation of an Injury?
Yes, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305) provides relief for employees that suffer work-related injuries or work-related aggravations of injuries or conditions. When this happens, employees can obtain compensation for the expenses and lost wages due to the incident by filing a claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC).
What Happens if There are Other Parties Responsible for my Chicago Workplace Accident in Addition to my Employer?
A third-party lawsuit is filed against other parties that may be responsible for accidents that injure a worker. For instance, it could be that a manufacturer of a piece of construction equipment is liable for designing a piece of machinery that is defective. The claim must be filed against a negligent party that is neither your employer nor a fellow employee.
Third party claims are not statutorily limited in the way that workers’ compensation claims are, allowing recovery of expenses and intangible damages, such as pain and suffering and disability, that may not be adequately accounted for under workers’ compensation law. For example, if you are an ironworker initiating a construction injury lawsuit, you may file a legal claim against a sub-contractor that was responsible for maintaining safe conditions on a worksite, or you may sue a manufacturer or engineer who was responsible for maintaining, repairing, or designing faulty equipment that was used by workers on site.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago?
Our experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorneys do not charge for our initial consultation, so it is always free to come discuss your case. In addition, we work on a contingency fee, so we will not ask for payment up front. We will only charge a fee once we have made a financial recovery for you. The Illinois Legislature has set attorneys' fees for workers compensation cases at 20% for most situations. If there is a separate case against a third-party, the case is handled separately, and the separate fee agreement will need to be agreed upon. Fees are clearly laid out in the representation agreement signed by all clients and submitted for the approval of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
What are the Most Common Types of Job-Related Injuries?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common Illinois workers compensation cases in the private sector involved: overexertion, contact with equipment, slip and falls, transportation accident, exposure to a harmful substance, violence and a fire or explosion at work.
When it comes to industries with the highest rate of injuries, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) reports the following sectors have the highest injury rates: government (4.9%), manufacturing (3.4%), natural resources and mining (5.4%), construction (2.1%) and service workers (2.6%)
How is an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Settlement Determined?
Many workers that are injured on the job might first just apply for Temporary Total Disability, hoping that eventually they will be able to return to work. However, in some cases the injury is too severe, and a worker may be unable to ever return to work. Once a worker is determined to have a “permanent total disability,” under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, they can qualify for lifetime benefits. Life time benefits are generally two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to state minimums and maximums. The minimum payment is 50% and the maximum is 133.3% of the statewide average weekly wage, subject to possible adjustments for cost-of-living.
Those who are injured at work and are permanently disabled from their injury can receive monthly PTD payments through Worker’s Compensation and possibly also may qualify for Social Security benefits as well. In some cases, a lump-sum settlement may be offered for their injury, which may be enticing but can have pros and cons for the worker.
Any work injury case that involves a permanent disability can be complex and difficult for a worker to negotiate on their own. Having an experienced Illinois Worker’s Compensation lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC on your side can help ensure that you get the maximum benefits to which you are entitled, both through your employer and through Social Security. RIL attorneys can also help you determine whether considering a lump sum settlement is in your best interests.
Workers Covered by Unique Laws Outside of Workers’ Compensation
The presumption is that if you are injured on the job in Illinois, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The situations below are unique because the laws that apply to workers injured in these contexts fall outside of the scope of both workers’ compensation and tort law.
Railroad Workers: The United States government has deemed railroad work to be so dangerous that they created a special law to protect these people. The Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) allows an injured railroad worker to recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering when their injuries are causally related to their work. Read more about FELA cases on our FAQ page.
Maritime Workers: When a person who regularly works on a boat is injured, they can file a lawsuit against their employer under the Jones Act. The act allows a worker to pursue damages for the employer’s negligence and recover compensation for lost wages, pain, and medical expenses. Visit our Jones Act FAQ page for more information.
Toxic Substances: Workers in many industries are regularly exposed to toxic substances that may result in illnesses with an immediate or delayed onset. In the case of workers exposed to asbestos who have developed mesothelioma, trust funds have been established by the asbestos industry to ensure that people can receive compensation, regardless of whether they can determine the manufacturer. Visit our mesothelioma FAQ page to learn more.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is proud to be the law firm individuals and families turn to after a work-related accident or illness. Our Chicago work injury attorneys are experienced in handling many different types impacting many different vocations.
Contact a Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC and Ensure That You get the Benefits You Deserve
Our Chicago workers compensation law firm is committed to maximizing the value of your case. We have experience with all types of workers compensation cases and will do what it takes to secure the most favorable settlement under Illinois law. Contact us now for a free consultation.