About Workers’ Compensation
It’s taken centuries to get to here, but today, workers have hard-fought legal protections that help safeguard them against risking their health, safety, and assets for their jobs.
Workers’ compensation is an important workforce protection that covers injuries in a variety of sectors from agriculture and construction, to manufacturing and warehousing, and more.
Not just restricted to ‘dangerous’ occupations or worksites, incidents can be as commonplace as injuries sustained by an outside salesperson in an on-the-clock auto accident, or a restaurant server slipping on a wet kitchen floor.
Workers’ comp protections and claims are valuable, but never simple or straight-forward.
Legal Protection For Our First Responders and Front-Line Essential Workers
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission made the unprecedented move of enacting an emergency amendment to the Rules Governing the Practice before the Commission to help protect our first responders and front line workers.
If you are still working outside your home during the Shelter-in-place order and you are diagnosed with COVID-19,contact us to find out what your rights are. Don’t bear the burden and cost of this virus yourself!
COVID-19 Q&A Videos:
What if I get exposed to COVID-19 at work?
My work is not essential, but they are requiring me to come in, do I have to?
Hurt at work?
You need to retain a workers’ comp lawyer if:
- You don’t understand the workers’ comp process and feel more comfortable with an expert representing your rights
- Your workplace injuries are severe enough to require surgery
- You and your doctor believe your health won’t return to its pre-injury condition
- You believe you are no longer able to work on a regular basis in any job
- You believe you can’t go back to your current job, but you could work in some capacity
- You have significant pre-existing disabilities
- You would want to dispute the decision made by your employer, their insurance company, or your state’s workers’ comp division regarding your claim
- You aren’t receiving the correct benefits, or want to look into additional benefits you could receive
- Your medical benefits are denied
- Your employer has disputed the decision regarding your claim
- Your original workers’ comp case was closed, and effects from your injury have returned or worsened
Don’t go it alone.
Don’t take on the workers’ comp claims process alone. You’ve heard from friends, neighbors, and co-workers that the workers’ comp system is complex and difficult to navigate. You want to be sure you get all of the benefits you deserve, and that’s why Black & Jones is here to help.
You have a limited time to file a claim.
People who file workers' comp claims are just like you: hardworking, honest, dedicated employees who unfortunately experienced an serious injury at their job.
Workers’ compensation claims include serious injuries supported by medical evidence that: require medical treatment, often involve missed work, and include those with long-term limitations.
When should I file a claim?
As soon as possible. If you've suffered a work-related injury or illness, you should seek medical treatment and inform your employer as soon as possible.
In order to help your claim and obtain the maximum compensation you should:
- Notify your employer—it’s important to document your injury
- within 45 days (don’t wait until it is too late!)
- notice can be oral or in writing, but it must be documented
- should include the approximate date and location of the accident
- File a workers’ comp claim
- Comply with your insurance carrier or employer to investigate your claim
- Undergo a doctor evaluation
What kinds of claims/injuries are there?
Claims are filed for different types of work injuries, including:
- physical injury
- stress injuries
- diseases contracted from exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace
- disability (temporary and permanent)
- vocational rehabilitation
What benefits are available?
Injured workers are entitled to important benefits they need in order to get better, pay their bills, and compensate them in cases of permanent injury. If you're ever hurt at work, you'll need to know about these three benefits:
The first and most important benefit is medical care: “reasonably required to cure or relieve employee of effects of the injury.” Why should you pay anything if you don’t have to?
Wage replacement, known as temporary (up to permanent) disability payment. This may include a range of compensation depending on the type (partial or total) and length of disability.
The third benefit compensates surviving family members, in the worst-case scenario that an employee dies from work-related injury or disease.
How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You?
Workers' compensation can be a huge factor in recovering from an injury or illness, but it also involves strict deadlines and lots of detailed documentation. An attorney familiar with the workers' compensation laws in Illinois can help you navigate the system.
Here are just some of the ways your workers’ comp lawyer can help you:
- Walking you through the process, and outlining your rights
- Determining if you have a case
- Gathering your medical records, payroll information and other details needed to make your claim
- Acting as your advocate and providing detailed guidance, as needed throughout the process
- Helping you dispute denied claims or incorrect benefits, and representing you before the appeals board
- Preparing all court documents and paperwork necessary and can represent you during the hearing
- Preparing you, and all witnesses of the accident, for the court hearing, if necessary