Springfield Workers’ Compensation Attorney
While Illinois workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, some employers still pressure workers not to file claims. Some employers are known to push back, claiming an injury is not work-related. A workplace injury can involve anything from a construction accident to repetitive stress injuries, back injuries to occupational diseases, but must prove fault at the hands of the employer or third party employer.
Our Springfield personal injury lawyers have over 40 years of experience representing clients agains large corporations and third parties. We have recovered millions in workers’ compensation claims and will do the same for you. Contact our workers’ comp lawyers in Springfield, Illinois, today, to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Resources:
- What are the workers’ comp laws in Illinois?
- What is the statute of limitations on a workers’ comp case?
- What injuries are covered by my workers’ comp?
- Who is liable for my workplace accident?
- Am I eligible for workers compensation?
- Should I file a 3rd party claim for my workers’ comp injury?
- What damages can I recover for my workers’ compensation claim?
- How much is the typical workers’ comp claim worth?
- When should I hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Illinois
Every state has unique workers’ compensation laws. As an injured worker, you must know and follow these laws to improve your chances of claim success. Workers’ compensation is a right you have as an employee, but you must follow the rules while filing. Missing a step or deadline could be detrimental to your case. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act lays out the essential state-mandated insurance program rules.
- Injuries covered. Illinois workers’ comp will cover all injuries that an employee’s work cause (in whole or in part). This includes pre-existing medical conditions that became worse because of the job, as well as work-related injuries that happen outside of the workplace.
- Injuries not covered. Workers’ comp in Illinois will not cover injuries an employee suffers while not on the job, while committing a crime, or while violating company policies. Self-inflicted injuries (including those from a fight) will also not qualify for workers’ compensation.
- Deadlines. You have 45 days from the date of injury to notify your employer to receive maximum benefits. You have a three-year deadline to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
All employers with one or more employees must obtain workers’ compensation insurance in the state of Illinois. Employers also have an obligation to post visible notices explaining workers’ compensation rights. Employers must report on-the-job injuries to the Commission once the employee misses at least four workdays. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
What is the Statute of Limitations for my Workers’ Compensation Case?
Do not delay. In Illinois, you have two years from the last payment of compensation from your job or three years from the date of your injury. If you miss the deadline for filing your case, you jeopardize your rights and may not be able to file. Discuss your case with an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.
What Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation only covers job-related injuries, such as:
- Injury caused by at work accident
- Injury caused by the repetitive use of a body part
- Pre-existing conditions made worse by work
- Heart attack
- Wrongful death
Who Is Liable for My Workplace Accident?
As an employee, you have the right to expect a reasonably safe space in which to work. Reasonable safety means your employer has taken steps to inspect the property for potential risks, repair any hazards, properly train employees, and provide adequate safety gear. Employers in the United States must follow a list of rules and regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These rules will vary according to the industry and work-related hazards. If your employer fails to uphold its duties of care, resulting in a workplace accident and injury, your employer could be liable for damages.
The type of liability that stems from an act of negligence on your employer’s part could give you grounds for a third-party claim against your employer. Your employer could still be liable, however, even if it did nothing wrong. In Illinois, employers are vicariously liable for the actions of its employees. If a coworker caused or contributed to your accident, your employer could be vicariously responsible for paying your damages. Many other parties could also share liability for your accident: a product manufacturer, property owner, or the government, for example.
If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you do not need to prove liability to obtain financial recovery. Workers’ compensation rules do not require claimants to prove negligence to receive benefits. You or your lawyer must only prove that you were performing job-related tasks at the time of your accident, and that you suffered an injury or illness. Finding out whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim, third-party lawsuit, or both may take help from a personal injury attorney.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp or Should I File a 3rd Party Claim?
Deciding which type of claim to file for damages after a workplace accident is one of the most important steps to take as a claimant. A workers’ compensation claim is easier to win, since you do not have to prove negligence. You can receive workers’ comp benefits in almost all workplace accident scenarios. However, a third-party lawsuit could result in better recovery than workers’ compensation.
Workers’ comp will reimburse your medical bills and two-thirds of your lost wages, while a lawsuit could result in payment for 100% of your lost wages and additional damages. For this reason, it is in your best interests to discuss the possibility of a third-party claim with a lawyer. You may have grounds for a third-party claim if you believe your employer was negligent, and that this negligence caused your accident.
You could be eligible to seek damages through both workers’ comp and a third-party claim if someone other than your employer caused your injuries. While workers’ comp laws forbid you to file against your employer after taking workers’ compensation benefits, you still have the power to file against a third party, such as a subcontractor or product manufacturer. Filing both types of claims could lead to maximum compensation for your damages.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Claim?
Filing for workers’ compensation can result in the financial benefits you and your family need to move forward. You could receive checks that cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
- Past and future medical and rehabilitative expenses. You can receive compensation for all medical care reasonably required to treat your injury or illness. This can include any doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medications, medical devices, therapies, and rehabilitation. You may select your own physician at your employer’s expense or use the Panel of Physicians available through your employer.
- Temporary total disability benefits. If you temporarily cannot return to work at all, you may receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you can return to work. You are eligible to receive no less than two-thirds of the federal minimum wage or Illinois minimum wage (whichever is more), regardless of your actual wage rate. The state will increase this amount by 10% for every spouse and child, not to exceed 100% of wages.
- Temporary partial disability benefits. If you can return to work on a part-time or full-time basis, but must perform light duty because of your injury, you could recover two-thirds of the difference between what you make now and what you used to make before the accident, until such a time when you can return to your previous position.
- Permanent total disability benefits. If serious and permanent injury or disfigurement prevents you from returning to work for the foreseeable future, you can receive two-thirds of your average gross weekly wages for life. You may also be able to receive additional money from the Second Injury Fund if you already had permanent loss of a member and suffer another permanent disability.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. If you will never be able to return to your previous position, but can still work at partial capacity or light duty, you can receive two-thirds the difference in your pay rate for life. Maximum compensation amounts will apply.
- Job training expenses. Employers must pay for instruction and necessary training for the employee’s vocational rehabilitation (as well as mental and physical rehabilitation). This includes new job training expenses if the employee must fulfill another role at the company or switch jobs entirely. This may include job counseling, job search programs, education, and vocational training.
- Death benefits. If a workplace accident causes the death of an employee, any heirs dependent on the worker (including a spouse, children, parent, or grandparent) can receive death benefits. These may cover reasonable funeral and burial expenses, as well as additional compensation to cover lost wages and inheritance.
It is important to keep track of all your accident-related expenses. Keep copies of your bills and notices as proof during your claim. The amount of compensation you receive depends on your circumstances, but the types of damages remain the same.
How Much Is the Typical Workers’ Comp Settlement?
The amount you will receive for a workplace injury depends on your wages and the extent of your injury or disability. The average workers’ compensation settlement amount is around $21,000. However, some workers recover as little as $2,000 while others can receive $100,000 or more for their damages. Filing a third party claim could result in even greater damages. See our case results for an idea of settlements and verdicts we have achieved in the past. Then, schedule a consultation so we can evaluate your specific case.
Why Choose Our Workers Compensation Lawyers
Employees often fail to report injuries because they fear employer retaliation. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have the experience to ensure that injured workers get medical benefits and lost wages. We work hard to understand the extent of our clients’ injuries and determine whether they are eligible for temporary total disability, permanent total disability, or permanent partial disability.
We have collected more than $100 million for injured workers, proving that we have the skill and knowledge to advise our clients on the following:
- Reimbursement for rehabilitation costs
- Clients feeling pressure to not report injuries or minimize the effects of their injury
- Being required to go to a company nurse instead of the family doctor
- Worry about retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim
The Illinois workers compensation lawyers at Kanoski Bresney are committed to understanding the specifics of our clients’ cases, taking the time necessary to learn about the injury to best meet their legal needs and offering an honest evaluation of any possible claims. Call us today for a free consultation. (217) 523-7742.