In Illinois, most employees are protected by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act a statute first created in the early 1900s to protect Illinois workers during that period of our industrial revolution.
The Act continues to provide protection, with certain amendments of modernization, to injured workers for injuries and/or illnesses suffered during the course of their employment. The Act is wide-ranging in its protections and the benefits it provides. Essentially, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act provides that if you were injured "in the course of" and "arising out of" the employment, you are probably entitled to benefits.
This article will provide an overview of the Act, the benefits it provides, and what it requires of workers and their employers. Subsequent articles will focus on topics that include: How and when to report your injury; the specific benefits to which you are entitled; how the workers’ compensation lawyers at Morici, Longo & Associates can help you obtain your benefits; how those benefits are calculated; and what you can expect along the way from injury to the resolution of your claim.
Cases under the Act are brought before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and our lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions in payments for our clients over our more than 20-year history.
Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When an Illinois worker is injured, the injury must be reported to the employer within 45 days from the date of the occurrence. We are available at any time, even immediately, to discuss the manner in which that report should be made.
Sometimes the injury is witnessed by a coworker or supervisor, sometimes not witnessed at all. Some instances require immediate, even emergency medical attention, and other times the worker may not immediately realize the extent of the injury or the need for medical intervention. Since there are so many variables, and since we tempest every injured worker as an individual, one does a disservice by giving “one size fits all” guidance. Accordingly, our comments here are not intended as a substitute for our informed legal advice, so we offer free consultations.
The law does require that a report of the injury to the employer within 45 days or the employer may be able to deny benefits. Generally speaking, the sooner the report is made and the more prompt the medical attention the better.
Working Through the Insurance Adjuster
Once the claim is established with the employer, it is usually turned over to an insurance adjuster or third-party administrator. These are professionals with whom we are accustomed to dealing. They are probably nice people, but they work for your potential adversary. You should have the services of our legal team on your side. You have the right to have all your medical bills paid, to choose your own doctor, and to have your doctor/patient confidentiality protected. Our lawyers often must insist that these rights are protected.
You have the right to be paid Temporary Total Disability payments (TTD) for the period in which you are unable to work. Those payments are generally 2/3 of your average weekly wage. The employee’s average weekly wage is calculated from the 52-week period prior to the work injury. We often insist that the amounts are paid promptly, that the calculations are accurate, and take into account second jobs from which you are equally disabled.
Securing the Treatment You Deserve
Along the way, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers make sure you are getting the treatment you need and receiving the benefits check you deserve. If your injury was caused in part by a third party; for example, if defective premises caused you to fall while making a delivery; or an unsafe contractor failed to provide a safe construction site; or a driver collided with your car while you were driving for work, our trial lawyers will help you file a second compensation claim above and beyond your workers‘ compensation benefits.
Once you and your doctor agree that you have recovered as well as you can, we will see that you are compensated for any PPD (Permanent Partial Disability). If your injury is career-ending, payments may continue until you reach retirement age. Alternatively, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation or schooling to obtain another occupation.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers and experienced staff are with you every step of the way to aggressively pursue full and complete compensation for your injury.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a workplace accident, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from Morici, Longo & Associates, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (312) 779-0366.