The state of Illinois requires every employer to carry workers compensation insurance. However, workers compensation laws are very complex meaning those injured may need to enlist the assistance of a Chicago workers compensation attorney in order to get compensation for their injury. The law stipulates that if a worker is injured while on the job then the injured worker is entitled to certain coverage to cover:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Mileage to and from the medical treatment centers
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
The workers comp collection process works much differently than a traditional personal injury case. Anyone who has been injured at work in the Chicago area needs to contact an injury attorney right away to schedule a free initial case review.
Steps to Take Following an Injury
When hurt on the job, inform your direct managers or supervisors as soon as the injury occurs; never leave a note or walk out. They should have you fill out a form with a statement about what happened to cause your injury. If for any reason you did not report the incident, do so as soon as possible. There is a seven-day time limit in Illinois for reporting work-related injuries. If reporting your injury on the eighth day, your employer can reject it.
Once you notify your employer about your injury, actively seek medical assistance at nearest emergency room or from your family doctor. Be sure that your doctor or hospital of choice accepts the workers compensation insurance carried by your employer. Under certain circumstances, an insurance company will want an injured employee to visit pre-approved physicians and facilities, and will not pay treatments received at other facilities.
The initial exam after a work injury is the most important one. Be sure to emphasize how serious you believe the injury may be and make sure to report any pain you feel at that moment and throughout the day or night. After each medical visit, keep a copy of all your medical bills, receipts, co-pays and records for your files.
If you need to seek the help of a workers compensation attorney, he or she will ask you for these records. Make sure that the workers compensation doctor does not rush you out of the office without documenting all of your injuries or doing a full exam.
The medical records produced during your visit may be used by your workers compensation attorney as evidence during litigation. Hiring an experienced Chicago worker’s compensation lawyer is ideal to show the insurance company you will not settle for less.
Workers Compensation Laws
Different types of workers compensation allowed under the Illinois workers compensation laws:
- Temporary disability benefits paid to an injured worker tax free, in place of wages
- Permanent disability benefits paid to an injured worker tax free, in place of wages
- Permanent total disability benefits paid to an injured worker when a worker sustains a permanent loss that is at minimum a partial permanent disability
Workers compensation law can be extremely complex for someone who does not have experience in the workers compensation system in Chicago. The compensation amount is determined by Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
When you disagree with the workers compensation amount being offered, contact a Chicago workers compensation lawyer to discuss the amount and they will be able to advise you whether or not the amount offered is accurate or not according to state law.
Harassment and Workers Compensation
A major hurdle an employee faces during workers compensation cases is retaliation from co-workers and the employer. Fellow co-workers may make you feel alienated, as if you are complaining over nothing. They might also try to make you feel guilty for being out of work while healing. Never allow these things to go on. Keep a log of times, dates and people involved and report them to a supervisor right away. If a supervisor discriminates against you, then you will want an experienced workers compensation attorney involved.
If you or a loved one has experienced this kind of harassment at work after an injury, contact a local Chicago worker’s compensation lawyer. When an employee does their job and ends up injured, they have the legal right to reimbursement for medical treatment and missed work. We look forward to working with you.