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Sangamon County Workers' Compensation Attorney

McLean County workers' comp lawyer

Lawyers Helping With Claims for Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses in Springfield, Champaign, Decatur, and Bloomington

Workplace accidents can result in serious injuries, and workers may also suffer from illnesses or health conditions related to the work they perform. In these cases, employees are usually eligible for workers' compensation. However, the process of filing a workers' comp claim can be complicated, and victims will want to work with a skilled lawyer to ensure that they can receive the full amount of benefits they are entitled to.

At Kanoski Bresney, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in personal injury and workers' compensation cases. We have obtained a total of over $400 million for our clients, including more than $100 million in compensation for work injuries. We can make sure you meet all of your legal requirements when filing a workers' comp claim, and we will provide the respect, response, and results you need during your case.

Illinois Workers' Compensation Laws

All Illinois employers are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance. Notices must be posted in the workplace informing employees of their rights to workers' compensation. All on-the-job injuries that cause an employee to miss at least four days of work must be reported by an employer to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC). Employers are prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against employees who file workers' comp claims in any way, including firing, demoting, or refusing to rehire a worker who reports a workplace injury.

Workers' compensation will cover all injuries that occur because of workplace accidents or that were caused by the work performed by an employee. A person may receive benefits regardless of whether they or their employer were at fault for an injury. However, workers' comp will not cover injuries that took place while a person was not working, injuries that a person intentionally inflicted upon themselves, injuries that occurred while a person was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, or injuries that took place while a person was committing a crime or violating an employer's policies.

Employees must notify their employer of an injury within 45 days after an accident occurred or an injury became known. An employer's workers' compensation insurance provider may begin paying out benefits, and an employee can file a claim with the IWCC to receive additional benefits or address the denial of benefits by their employer. These claims must be filed within three years after the injury occurred or within two years after the last payment of benefits by the workers' compensation insurer.

Injuries Covered by Workers' Comp

Employees can receive workers' comp benefits for any work-related injuries, including those caused by accidents in the workplace or those that occur because of the physical activities performed while doing work. These injuries include:

  • Arm and shoulder injuries - Work accidents can lead to broken bones, dislocated joints, or sprained muscles, or injuries to the shoulders, elbows, arms, wrists, or hands can occur because of repeated motions and stress on these parts of the body. Because these injuries may affect a person's ability to pick up objects, use tools, or perform tasks with their hands, a person may be unable to fully resume work until they have recovered.
  • Knee injuries - Workers who regularly kneel, squat, crawl, or lift heavy items may experience strain to the leg muscles and knee joints, or accidents can result in dislocations or broken bones in the knee. These injuries can affect a person's ability to walk and perform other physical tasks while they are recovering.
  • Back injuries - Falls in the workplace, being struck by construction equipment, or being crushed by machinery that rolls over can cause damage to the spinal cord. Workers can also experience injuries such as pulled back muscles or herniated discs due to heavy lifting or work-related activities. These injuries can be very painful, and they can affect a person's mobility and ability to perform work-related tasks.
  • Repetitive stress injuries - The repeated motions a person makes when performing work can cause strain to muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body. Over time, this can lead to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, or tendonitis that may affect a person's ability to continue working.
  • Traumatic injuries - Serious workplace accidents can lead to severe injuries such as amputations, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries. In addition to requiring emergency medical treatment, these injuries can often lead to long-lasting disabilities or permanent impairment that affects a person's ability to earn an income in the future.
  • Occupational diseases - Workers may contract infectious diseases while they are at work, and this may occur because of a lack of protective equipment or failure to follow the proper safety procedures. Toxic substances in the workplace can also threaten workers' health, such as mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. Workers' compensation will cover the costs of treatment for work-related illnesses.
  • Pre-existing condition aggravation - A worker's existing injuries or health conditions may become worse due to a workplace accident or the activities they have performed while on the job. While a person can usually receive workers' comp for any new injuries or aggravations of existing conditions, they may need to show that their new injury was not caused by their previous injury.
  • Factory injuries - Workers in factories and warehouses may suffer life-threatening injuries due to malfunctioning equipment, tripping hazards, exposure to toxic substances, falling objects, fires, or explosions.
  • Vehicle accidents on the job - Certain types of employees, such as taxi drivers, truck drivers, or delivery drivers, are more likely to be injured in car accidents while working. However, workers' compensation benefits will apply for any drivers, passengers, or pedestrians who are involved in motor vehicle collisions that occur during the course of their work.

Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Employees can receive workers' comp benefits that address the immediate effects of an accident or a work-related injury, as well as the ways their lives will be affected in the future. These benefits include:

  • Medical expenses - All medical care that is reasonably required to treat a work injury or work-related illness should be covered by workers' compensation. This includes emergency care following an accident, hospitalization, surgeries, visits to doctors or specialists, prescription and over-the-counter medications, medical devices, prosthetics, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and any other past and future medical treatments.
  • Wage benefits - A person who is temporarily unable to return to work or who can only work in a reduced capacity while recovering can receive temporary disability benefits. In cases involving permanent or total disability, a person may receive benefits based on the parts of the body that were injured, the amount of function they have lost in different body parts or their entire body, and the types of work they will be able to perform in the future. Benefits for a permanent partial disability will provide a person with wages for a certain number of weeks. A person who is completely unable to return to work or obtain gainful employment may receive disability benefits for the rest of their life.
  • Vocational rehabilitation - If an injury has caused a person to be unable to resume the work they had previously performed, workers' compensation may cover the costs of vocational counseling, job search programs, and training for new types of work.
  • Death benefits - If a person is killed in a workplace accident, their surviving family members can receive benefits that will cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as compensation for the loss of wages, inheritances, or other benefits the victim would have provided to their family throughout the rest of their natural lifetime.

Liability for Work-Related Injuries

Unlike other types of personal injury cases, it will usually not be necessary to prove that a work-related injury occurred because of negligence. Workers' compensation benefits are available whether an injury occurred due to the fault of an employer or their employee. Workers will simply need to demonstrate that they were injured during the course of their work or because of job-related activities or conditions.

In some cases, workers may be able to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against an employer who caused an injury through gross negligence. This negligence may include the failure to provide workers with the proper safety equipment, failure to follow OSHA regulations, failure to provide training on safe work procedures, or failure to perform inspections and address hazards that presented a risk to employees. Employers may also be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees. If a person was injured because of the negligent or intentional actions of a co-worker, their employer may be liable for their damages.

Victims may also be able to pursue third-party claims against other individuals or companies who were liable for a work injury. These parties may include a driver who was at fault for a car accident, a company that manufactured defective products used in the workplace, a property owner that did not take steps to correct a hazard on their property that led to an injury or a government organization that was responsible for injuries that took place on public property. Third-party claims can help victims receive compensation for costs that are not covered by workers' compensation, including the full amount of the income they have lost and the pain and suffering they have experienced.

Workers' Compensation Denials and Appeals

If an employer or their insurer refuses to pay workers' comp following a work injury, or if certain types of benefits are denied, a worker may file a claim and request a hearing with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. An arbitrator will review the case and decide whether benefits should be accepted or denied. An arbitrator's decision can be appealed to the IWCC. If necessary, additional appeals can be filed, and a case may be heard in circuit courts, appellate courts, or the Illinois Supreme Court.

Contact Our Springfield Workers' Comp Attorneys

If you have been injured at work, or if you are experiencing health issues related to your job, Kanoski Bresney has the knowledge and experience you need to help you receive the benefits you deserve. Our attorneys will review your case and help you understand the full extent of your injuries, the effects they have had on your life, and the ways you and your family will be affected in the future. We will assist in filing your workers' compensation claim, making sure you take the steps that will allow you to receive coverage for medical treatment and disability benefits to address your loss of income. We will also help you determine your options for pursuing claims against third parties, and we will fight to make sure you receive the financial resources that will help you make a full recovery from your injuries.

When you work with Kanoski Bresney, we will take the time to understand the specifics of your case, and we will do everything we can to meet your needs. To arrange a free consultation with our attorneys, contact our office today at 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682. We provide representation in workers' comp cases throughout central Illinois, including Sangamon County, Champaign County, Peoria County, Macon County, Pekin, McDonough County, Quincy, McLean County, Champaign, Rushville, Schuyler County, Springfield, Tazewell County, Macomb, Bloomington, Peoria, Adams County, and Decatur.

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