Q: What are my rights if I get hurt at work?
In our Workers' Compensation practice the injury lawyers at Morici, Longo & Associates pursue benefits for injured workers every day. In doing so, we are frequently asked to explain their rights to our clients and others who have been hurt at work.
In Illinois an employee who is injured during the course of his employment is entitled to benefits under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. Generally, each injured employee is entitled to having his or her medical expenses paid, receiving a weekly check equal to 66% of their average weekly earnings (roughly about their usual take-home pay) and once they have attained maximum medical improvement from their injuries, a lump sum equal to the permanent disability that has resulted from the injury.
Medical expenses for the injury are required to be paid for through the employer's workers compensation insurance. Usually the injured worker will be seen in an emergency room setting, at a work clinic, or by their family care doctor. If the emergency care requires hospitalization, our lawyers make certain that the costs for hospital care, surgeries, and post hospitalization follow-up are paid for. Thereafter, the injured worker is entitled to the costs of rehabilitation like physical therapy, work hardening, and if unable to return to their prior occupation, vocational rehabilitation. The vocational rehab can include further education and or assistance in finding new employment. Our lawyers work closely on our clients' behalf with the workers' compensation insurance companies to make sure these service are provided and that the benefits are paid.
We take a similarly aggressive approach to making certain that weekly paychecks continue during the clients' medical treatment and rehabilitation. These payments are called Temporary Total Disability (TTD) compensation. Upon the client reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) we negotiate with the insurance company toward a fair permanent disability award. More about these benefits can be discussed with one of our workers' compensation lawyers.
Our lawyers are trained in maximizing our workers' compensation client's recovery. Many times employers will not accurately compute the average weekly earnings and try to pay the worker less on his or her weekly disability checks. The employers and their insurance companies will often try to pay a very minimal amount in a lump sum disability payment when the injury and resulting disability is worth far more. Please call with the details of your injury and for more detailed information.