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What types of benefits can I expect under workers' compensation?

If you've been injured on the job and it's never happened to you before there's a good chance that you have a lot of questions. Hopefully, you can get answers easily from your employer. If you are finding information difficult to come by through that channel, you might consider seeking help from the state of Illinois.

But long before turning to it as a last resort, and especially if your case is proving to be particularly knotty, you should be seeking the help of an experienced employment law attorney. That's the surest way to be confident that you're protecting your rights to the greatest extent possible.

In the meantime, we offer some broad observations about the kinds of benefits you should be able to expect to receive if you've suffered a workplace injury. Keeping in mind that every state's laws are different, here's what's generally true.

Medical treatment

If you've been hurt at work, you have a right to any care that is required and necessary to deliver a cure or provide relief. In addition, you can seek to be compensated for related medical bills and prescriptions. If you were taken to or drove to the hospital, you can usually get your mileage recouped.

Disability

Injury can mean you are out of work for some extended period of time. You might be entitled to some level of temporary disability pay. As the name suggests, there's a time limit for this. It usually is based on an amount that equals two-thirds of your average pay before taxes.

If you can't recover completely from the effects of the injury -- perhaps because of the loss of a limb -- you may be eligible for permanent disability. The rate can be expected to depend on the determination of how much your abilities to compete in the job market are hampered.

Retraining

In the event you can no longer do what you used to do, vocational rehabilitation may be available to you. The sum paid is often similar to what is available under temporary disability. Alternatively, your employer might offer some modified job situation to you.

All these benefits may be available, but whether you receive them could depend on whether you have skilled counsel working on your behalf.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits and Returning to Work," accessed Dec. 11, 2015

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