Sustaining a work-related injury is devastating to an injured worker. Not only does a workplace injury victim have to deal with incoming medical bills, but they can't work and earn an income to support themselves or their loved ones. There are many traumatic injuries and illnesses covered by workers' comp law in Illinois.
Often, people think of specific accident injuries when they hear about workplace injuries. This includes lacerations, broken or dislocated bones, slip and fall, concussions, and herniated discs injuries. However, there are many types of injuries and illnesses that can occur at work. The Chicago workers' comp lawyers at CCAL are committed to helping injured workers secured the workers comp benefits they deserve to cover their medical care expenses. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation with one of our experienced workers' compensation attorneys, contact our legal team today at (312) 300-2515.
What Is Workers' Compensation in Illinois?
Workers compensation is a type of insurance coverage that offers a safety net for employees who sustain a work-related injury or illness. Under the Illinois workers comp law, injured workers who are hurt preforming job-related duties can receive several types of financial assistance to cover their medical treatment expenses, lost wages and other financial losses. Unlike a personal injury claim, injured workers can qualify for workers comp benefits, even if they're at fault for a work-related accident. However, they can't recover financial compensation for damages often awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
What Does Workers' Compensation Cover in Illinois?
According to Illinois workers compensation law, all businesses with employees must have workers’ comp insurance, with limited exceptions. The workers compensation policy offers medical benefits for workers who suffer injuries on the job.
When an employee sustains an occupational injury or work-related illness, they're eligible for workers compensation benefits. Workers' compensation insurance coverage covers the cost of medical treatment. It also provides payment while the injured employee can't work.
Workers compensation coverage in Illinois includes:
- Medical care benefits, including prescriptions, emergency treatment, and physical rehabilitation
- Permanent disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits if the injured worker can't return to their job
- Death benefits for fatal injuries - Wrongful Death Claim
What Kinds of Injuries Are Not Covered By Workers’ Comp?
There are many types of injuries that aren't covered under job injury claims in Illinois. This often includes:
- Most bodily injuries that occur on a non-paid break
- Commuting to and from work when not performing job-related duties
- Recreational activities such as company picnics, social events, and work happy hours
- Injuries that occur if the worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Injuries that happen when the employee was horse playing or fighting at work
Related Content: Chicago Construction Accident Injuries
If you believe you have suffered a job injury, call us and consult with one of our experienced workers comp lawyers. The consultation to determine whether your workers comp claim is compensable is free of charge! Please call (312) 300-2515 to speak with one of our Chicago workers compensation attorneys.
What Should I Do if I'm Injured at Work?
If you sustain a work-related injury in the course of your employment, report the injury, job accident, or condition immediately to your employer. This is crucial, even if your injury seems minor. That's because injuries that appear minor initially can become severe in the coming days or weeks.
For example, a bodily injury that may seem minor, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a strained muscle, could be a symptom of permanent nerve damage. Or a minor low back injury from heavy lifting might be a herniated disc that needs surgery.
Further, you should always have a job-related injury or an occupational disease evaluated by a medical professional. This is the only way to know the extent of your injury and what needs to be done to recover. This is imperative for repetitive motion injuries or stress-related injuries. Here, using ergonomic equipment may not only cure the injury, but help you prevent other severe injuries.
Finally, waiting too long to report a work-related injury may foreclose your right to recover any workers’ compensation benefits.
How to Prove a Job-Related Injury
Evidence is a crucial component of your claim for benefits. There are several pieces of evidence you can collect immediately after your job accident. Here are some of the evidence you can use to prove that your injury is work-related:
- Photographs of the scene and your physical injuries
- Witness statements
- Attendance records and time reports proving that you were clocked in at the time of the work injury
- Maintenance reports of equipment involved in the incident
- Medical records from your doctor
- Any records of a formal report of the job accident to the employer
With this form of evidence, you're on your way to proving that your injuries occurred on the job. However, your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may undermine your account of what happened to avoid paying you the workers comp settlement you need. So it's important to seek legal representation to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
When Should I Hire a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
You should consult with a Chicago work-related injury attorney as soon as possible
The goal of Workers’ Compensation Insurance is to avoid the challenges of seeking a financial remedy through a lawsuit. However, it doesn't mean that filing a workers' comp claim and recovering benefits is easy. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Workers’ comp laws and insurance contracts are confusing. And recovering fair comp benefits requires more than just filling out legal paperwork. It often requires the help of an experienced lawyer to fight for your rights.
While the intent of workers’ comp insurance coverage is to provide you with maximum protection, insurance companies are experts at reducing their exposure. Even when insurance companies seem to be cooperative, issues may arise, causing delays, limitations, or outright denials of workers comp claims. This is devastating, especially when medical expenses are piling up or you can't return to your original job to earn an income.
When any of these issues arise, you need the legal advice and advocacy of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Chicago to ensure that your interests and rights are protected. This is true when the work comp insurance carriers are represented by seasoned lawyers and adjusters.
Contact the Workers’ Comp Attorneys at CCAL Today for Legal Advice!
If you have sustained injuries on the job, contact our experienced legal team right away. Those procedures and legal processes we mentioned? If you don't follow them, you could lose right to file a workers' compensation claim to recover the comp settlement you're entitled to. Our experienced workers comp lawyers and experts will guide you every step of the way, making sure that you do everything needed to protect your claim for workers' compensation.
If you have already filed for workers comp benefits and are struggling with the legal process, if your insurance claim has been denied, or if you were receiving worker comp benefits but your employer’s insurance company cut you off, it's not too late to seek help. To schedule a free no-cost initial consultation, contact CCAL today at (312) 300-2515.