Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer
A work-related injury can leave you overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. You may miss out on paychecks, have accumulated medical bills, future economic losses, lost wages, and be overwhelmed with paperwork.
Losing work due to a job-related injury can be an extremely stressful and uncertain time. Illinois law protects workers from negative fallout-related job injuries by requiring employers to carry workers' compensation insurance.
However, many injured workers miss out on all the compensation they deserve. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Contact a Chicago workers' compensation attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation.
Every day, our Chicago workers' compensation lawyers fight on behalf of injured workers like you. If your employer denies your claim, and you are unsure where to turn for help, our work injury lawyers can provide the workers' compensation legal support you need to recover maintenance benefits.
Our Chicago workers' compensation attorneys will stand by your side to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for workplace injuries.
When you work hard and suffer a serious injury, we fight to help you get the Illinois workers' compensation benefits and medical treatment you need and deserve. Call an experienced personal injury attorney at our Chicago law firm today at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
Illinois Worker's Compensation Benefits
Like most people, you want to focus on recovery and restoring your life. But unfortunately, you may need more time or energy to dedicate to filing claims or dealing with legal issues stemming from your work injury. For these reasons, many employees could miss out on all the workers' compensation benefits they deserve.
Our Chicago workers' compensation lawyers can help. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our worker's comp lawyers work with you to determine the best ways to secure your rights and maximize your benefits.
Workers' compensation benefits can include reimbursement for all reasonable medical expenses related to treatment for the work injury.
Additional permanent total disability benefits (PPD) are available for severely injured people who cannot return to work. Duty disability benefits are available for law enforcement hurt or killed in the line of duty.
For example, if an injured worker is forced out of work due to occupational injuries, they may be entitled to partial wages. In addition, injured workers may receive a lump sum workers' comp settlement to compensate for pain, suffering, and pre-accident wages.
The Illinois Workers' Compensation System Ensures Wage and Medical Benefits to Injured Workers
In the days following a serious workplace injury, you likely have many questions regarding your workers' compensation benefits and rights through the state's workers' compensation system. You may even see advertisements from Illinois law firms offering fast cash in exchange for filing a workers' comp claim.
Unfortunately, these companies do not have your best interests at heart. Our Chicago workers' compensation lawyers will provide professional legal representation throughout your case.
Our Chicago workers' compensation attorneys are committed to providing you with the finest representation possible. Your workers' compensation attorney will never ask you to sign away any of your rights or accept any small or large settlement that doesn't fully compensate you for latent injuries.
Common Workplace Accidents Leading to Workers' Compensation Benefits
According to the Illinois Worker's Compensation Commission (IWCC), the most common workplace accidents leading to fatalities are:
- Fall accidents: 16% of incoming fall case claims result in work-related deaths
- Struck by object: 10% of incoming claims in the construction industry that result in death
- Caught in/between objects: 8% of incoming claims that result in death
- Caught in/between equipment: 7% of incoming claims involving dangerous industries that result in wrongful death
- Roadway incidents: 5% of incoming claims that result in wrongful death in a car accident
- Transportation and motor vehicle accidents: 4% of incoming claims that result in death
- Construction site accidents: 7% of claims occur in the construction industry where workers who are severely injured on the job from faulty equipment receive benefits
- Exposure to toxic chemicals: 2% of workers are damaged in certain industries when exposed to highly toxic chemicals
The Commission published the above labor statistics based on a year-long study.
Common Work-Related Injuries
Workplace injuries to the following body parts can occur while working in Chicago:
- Shoulders: Including rotator cuff injuries, biceps tendonitis or tears, and torn labrums
- Elbows: Injured workers can fully recover with prompt medical treatment
- Hands/fingers/wrists: These injuries might result from improper tool maintenance or improper use of hand tools, traumatic injuries such as lacerations and fractures, and cumulative trauma disorders
- Back: Typically, chronic back pain may result from poor posture when working long hours. Many workplace injuries involve lifting heavy objects
- Knees/legs: These injuries may result from improper safety equipment
The IWCC also reports that the most common injuries leading to lost time injuries requiring maximum benefits are:
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
- Respiratory Diseases
- Injuries to Blood Vessels and Lymphatic Systems
- Acute and Chronic Viral Illnesses
- Back Injuries
Ergonomic Risk Factors: Repetitive Stress Injuries and Other Work-Related Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that repetitive stress injuries are the most common workplace-related injuries. Some of these diseases include trigger finger, tenosynovitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), and carpal tunnel syndrome, to name a few.
Repetitive motion conditions such as cubital tunnel syndrome can lead to serious harm. However, injured workers can fully recover if proper treatment is given timely.
Worker's compensation helps to reduce the blame game between employers and employees by providing a no-fault insurance system that pays for a work-related accident leading to injuries or illnesses regardless of who was at fault.
Under workers' compensation, it does not matter whether the employer was negligent in providing a safe working environment. If an employee is injured, they may be entitled to workers' compensation.
Employers face significant potential liabilities for failing to report a work-related accident, not reporting quickly enough (for example, if an employee reports an occupational injury several days after the incident), and reporting incorrect information.
Employers may be liable to third-party workers outside of their direct control if they fail to report injuries/illnesses on time, leading to confusion as medical costs keep increasing for someone who should not have been working.
IWCC provides online information regarding state workers' compensation laws and forms and reports needed to run a business.
Nerve Damage Injuries
Nerve injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Morton's Neuroma
- Peripheral Neuropathy
Third-Party Workers' Comp Liability Claims
Were you injured due to someone's negligence who is not employed where you work but rather doing business for another company? If so, you may be entitled to file a third-party liability claim based on your responsibilities for your temporary or permanent injuries.
Injured victims could file third-party lawsuits against someone employed by another business if they caused the injuries should they seek to obtain compensation or death benefits.
A third-party liability compensation claim could cover medical bills and lost wages in numerous industries, including office workers, railroad workers, construction workers, drivers, and others with mild to severe damages.
Workers' Compensation Benefits Under FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act)
If you're injured on the job, even if your work injury is not your fault, you could receive certain benefits from workers' compensation insurance by filing a compensation claim. These benefits include:Were you injured due to someone's negligence who is not employed where you work but rather doing business for another company? If so, you may be entitled to file a third-party liability claim based on your responsibilities for your temporary or permanent injuries.
- Medical expenses from the accident that keep you out of work.
- A portion of your lost wages if you cannot return to work because of your physical injuries. The number of weeks of benefits varies by state. In many cases, the weekly benefit is 2/3 of your take-home pay.
- Permanent partial disability benefits if you suffer from a disabling condition that makes it impossible for you to continue working in your current occupation - or - any occupation at all.
- Temporary total disability payment benefits are paid to employees who cannot temporarily work because of their on-the-job injuries.
- Vocational rehabilitation: Typically, vocational rehabilitation (vocational retraining) can help recover compensation by returning to work on a wage differential (lower-paying job) due to work injuries.
- Death benefits vary by state and are payable if a death results from a workplace accident or disease. Workers' compensation insurance may also pay funeral expenses and certain outstanding debts owed by the deceased person.
Workers' Compensation Reform Act of 2012
The Workers' Compensation Reform Act of 2012 was signed in January 2013. This act changes existing laws, including changing the definition of "employee" for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance purposes.
Starting January 1, 2014, all employees who met the definition of "employee" under the common law test - regardless of whether they have a written employment contract - were covered by workers' compensation laws.
These laws allow most injured workers to file for benefits through the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission or the employer's insurer.
Illinois Workers' Compensation Act
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Act does not apply to an independent contractor or a sole proprietor. If you are the sole member of a domestic limited liability company, that entity is also considered a sole proprietorship for workers' compensation purposes.
Employee status under federal law may lead to minimum wage, overtime pay, retirement plan participation, and other occupational disease benefits denied to independent contractors. In addition, state laws often determine eligibility for unemployment insurance compensation, workers' compensation coverage, and liability for state payroll taxes.
The first workers' compensation law governing injury claims was written about a century ago to protect every injured employee and employer. Special worker protection laws have been reviewed and modified several times to keep pace with the current business needs, age, and hour of work laws.
An injured worker is typically covered by their employer's workers' compensation insurance policy when an injury occurs. This policy covers medical costs and a portion of the injured worker's lost income.
Illinois Worker's Compensation System
The Illinois worker's compensation system is a "no-fault" system, meaning no blame is cast on an injured employee for their work injuries resulting in disability.
The workers' compensation insurance system also benefits the employer and may be less expensive than other types of coverage. For example, more than 97 percent of business establishments in Illinois are covered by workers' compensation insurance.
Worker's Compensation and The Jones Act
Worker's compensation benefits are available to every seaman who is not an independent contractor. The injured party files a claim with their employer's insurer that usually covers missed weekly wages, temporary or permanent disability, and medical bills until they are healed and can return to work.
Starting January 1, 2014, all employees who met the definition of "employee" under the common law test - regardless of whether they have a written employment contract - were covered by Illinois worker's compensation laws.
Surviving family members can receive death benefits, funeral expenses, and social security benefits for every worker injured and killed on the job.
Workers' Compensation Claim Benefits FAQs
When you are hurt on the job, filing a workers' compensation claim for benefits is the primary means of recuperating and obtaining medical attention and treatment.
In addition, worker's comp provides injured workers with financial support during their recovery, helps them get back to work sooner, and protects employers from personal injury lawsuits.
The items addressed below are frequently asked questions about the worker's compensation system (no-fault system) and pay on a work injury claim:
What immediate steps should be taken after a worker suffers an injury?
Immediately following the accident, worker's comp representatives will assess your condition and determine whether you are eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) payments or permanent partial disability benefits. In most cases, an injured worker must notify their employer of the incident within 30 days.
Additionally, the patient should visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Finally, the worker's injuries should be documented in their medical record for the worker's comp insurance company.
What is a workplace injury?
A workplace accident that causes immediate pain or long-lasting impairment is considered a work-related injury. If an accident on the job results in long-term medical care, loss of wages, disfigurement, or permanent/total disability benefits, it is usually covered under worker's comp benefits.
What is the time limit for filing a workers' compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit?
Workers' comp claims must be filed within two years of the injury, determined by the last day of your disability. If your disability lasts more than one year, you have up to three years to file a workers' compensation claim.
The deadline to file a workers' compensation case involving medical benefits, social security disability, and vocational retraining can be extended in certain circumstances, such as if you cannot handle financial matters due to a physical or mental condition caused by the incident.
How long will it take to receive workers' compensation benefits?
In most cases, the first payment of benefits will be received within two weeks after filing a workers' comp claim.
However, the time it takes to resolve your Chicago, IL, workers' compensation claim depends on certain factors, such as the severity of your condition and whether other parties are involved in the accident.
Employers' worker's compensation insurance companies pay the claim after reviewing and evaluating each case. A Chicago workers' compensation lawyer specializing in helping injured workers can provide legal assistance with your claim if you have any issues or delays.
What are most lawyer fees for a car accident?
An insurance adjuster generally determines workers' benefits on behalf of the employer's insurance company. Depending on your on-the-job injury, you may receive weekly or lump sum payments -- usually up to 2/3 of your average weekly wage (AWW), capped at $800/week.
In most worker's compensation cases, with work-related injuries, including permanent partial disability, worker's compensation benefits will be paid until the injured worker returns to work, dies, or reaches retirement age.
The worker may receive benefits for the rest of their life. These benefits are typically a percentage of the worker's average weekly wage.
How are worker's comp wage differential benefits determined?
Workers' compensation lawyers work to get the best possible benefits for their clients by:
- Helping them file a worker's compensation claim
- Gathering evidence to support their case
- Reviewing medical care records
- Negotiating with the insurance company
If necessary, they will take the case to court.
In some cases, the victim's Chicago workers' compensation lawyer will file a personal injury claim seeking additional compensation for occupational illnesses, injuries, or the wage differential if they must return to their job duties paying less than their current position.
A competent Chicago workers' compensation attorney could file third-party injury claims if any party other than the worker's employer is completely or partially responsible for the victim's latent injuries.
A third-party injury claim could also be filed against your company if your employer's intentional misconduct led to your harm.
Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Were you injured while working and need to seek maximum compensation for your damages? If so, the workers' compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have a proven track record of resolving complex cases.
Our law firm understands you have a limited time to file your workers' compensation claim. Speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. Let us recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Contingency Fee Agreement
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our Chicago workers' compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. We get paid our attorney fees once your workers' comp lawyer wins or settles your third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Fill in the contact form or call a Chicago workers' compensation lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for a free consultation.
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