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Springfield, Illinois Workers' Compensation FAQs

Sangamon County Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Work Injuries and Workers' Comp Benefits

Following a work-related injury or illness, you may be unsure about your legal options and the procedures that you will need to follow. While workers' compensation is available to those who suffer injures while on the job, the process of filing a claim can be complex, and the best way to make sure you receive the benefits you need is to work with an experienced attorney. At Kanoski Bresney, our lawyers have over 40 years of experience in workers' comp cases, and we can answer any questions you may have.

What Benefits Can I Receive for a Work Injury?

Workers' compensation will cover the costs of all medical treatment related to a workplace injury or illness. This includes emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, physical therapy, prosthetics, and medications. If you have been unable to return to work while recovering from your injuries, or if your ability to earn an income in the future has been affected, you may also be able to receive wage benefits that address temporary or permanent disabilities. Workers' comp may also cover the costs of vocational rehabilitation that will help you find work within the physical or mental capabilities that apply following your injury.

Do I Need to Prove Fault for a Work-Related Injury?

Workers' compensation benefits are available whether an employee or their employer was responsible for an injury. You will not need to show that your injury was caused by your employer's negligence, and your ability to receive benefits will not be affected if you were at fault for a workplace accident. You will typically only be required to show that your injury occurred while you were at work or due to the duties you performed while on the job. However, if other people or companies were responsible for your injury, you may be able to pursue additional compensation through third-party claims.

What Injuries Are Not Covered by Workers' Compensation?

While workers' comp applies to most workplace accidents and injuries, there are certain situations where a person may not be covered. These include accidents that occur because a person was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol while at work, injuries that took place while a person was committing a crime, injuries caused by fights between employees or horseplay in the workplace, or situations where a person intentionally injured themselves. In addition, accidents or injuries that occur while a person is traveling to or from work will typically not be covered by workers' compensation.

Will a Previous Injury Affect a Workers' Comp Claim?

A pre-existing condition will usually not affect the benefits a person can receive for a work injury unless this condition was directly responsible for the new injury. Our attorneys can help you demonstrate that your injuries were unrelated to any previous conditions, and we can also help you receive compensation for the aggravation of a pre-existing condition due to a workplace accident or the duties you have performed while at work.

What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Workers' Comp Claim?

You must report a work-related injury to your employer within 45 days after the accident or injury occurred. In cases involving occupational diseases or health conditions that were caused by work-related activities rather than a workplace accident, you should notify your employer as soon as is practical after you become aware of your injury. After you report your injury, you may need to file a separate workers' comp claim to receive benefits. In most cases, these claims must be filed within three years after an injury occurred or became known or within two years after receiving the last payment from an employer's worker's compensation insurance provider.

What Is an Independent Medical Examination?

After filing a worker's comp claim, you may be required to receive one or more examinations from medical providers other than your regular doctor. Your employer or their workers' compensation insurance provider may request this type of examination to determine whether your injury is related to the work you have performed or to gain an understanding of your disabilities and the appropriate types of treatment you should receive. An independent medical examination will provide an expert opinion about the causes and extent of your injuries, the treatments needed, and the types of work you will be able to perform in the future.

How Can I Protect My Right to Receive Workers' Comp Benefits?

It is crucial to maintain documentation of your injuries and the treatment you have received. You will want to keep records of all forms of medical treatment, including doctor visits, medications you have taken, notes from physical therapists about your rehabilitation, and receipts for any expenses related to your injury. You should also keep documentation of your ongoing symptoms, the progress of your treatment, recommendations from doctors, and any other information related to your medical care and the effects your injury has had on your ability to return to work.

Are There Restrictions on What Doctors I Can Visit After a Work Injury?

While you can generally choose which doctor you see, some restrictions may apply. If your employer has a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), you can choose two doctors within the PPP network. If your employer does not have a PPP, you can choose any two medical providers. These two providers do not include doctors who provided emergency care, non-emergency treatment received before reporting an injury, or referrals from chosen providers. You can also decline to participate in a PPP and visit one doctor or hospital of your choice and receive treatment from any providers referred by that doctor. Employer approval is required to visit any additional doctors.

What Are My Options if My Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied?

An employer or their worker's compensation insurance provider may deny benefits because they believe an injury was not work-related or for other reasons. In these cases, you can file a claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IWCC) and request a hearing with an arbitrator. Unfavorable decisions by an arbitrator can be appealed, and these cases will be heard by a panel of IWCC commissioners. If necessary, additional appeals can be filed in a circuit court, appellate court, or the Illinois Supreme Court.

How Can a Champaign County Workers' Comp Lawyer Help With My Claim?

Our attorneys can ensure that you follow the correct procedures when filing a workers' compensation claim, and we will make sure you can receive benefits that fully address your injuries and the income you have lost. We will help you show that your injury was related to your work, including demonstrating that repetitive stress injuries were caused by the activities you have performed during the regular course of your employment. During your case, we will make sure you are fully compensated for the costs of your medical care, and we will help you receive disability benefits that address the ways your injury has affected the income that you earn. If necessary, we will help you appeal the denial of the benefits you deserve.

To arrange a free consultation and learn more about how we can provide legal help with your claim, contact our office at 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682. We represent clients in workers' comp cases in Champaign County, Macon County, McDonough County, McLean County, Rushville, Springfield, Macomb, Peoria, Decatur, Adams County, Tazewell County, Bloomington, Schuyler County, Quincy, Pekin, Peoria County, Champaign, Sangamon County, and throughout Illinois.

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