Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Hanover Park, Illinois
Every state has laws in place to protect employees when they suffer from a work injury. Workers’ compensation insurance is an essential service that ensures employees feel safe and protected at work should they become injured. At the same time, it gives employers the peace of mind knowing that they have coverage in place to care for their workers which also helps shield them from lawsuits. However, many people aren’t clear about how to actually use this coverage when they need it and may need help filing a claim or appealing a workers’ comp decision.
If you’ve recently been involved in an accident at work and would like to speak with an attorney, reach out to us at Maritote Law. We’re able to serve clients in Hanover Park, Illinois, as well as the surrounding area including Cook County, Schaumburg, Bloomingdale, and Rosedale. Set up a one-on-one consultation today.
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Overview of Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
Workers’ compensation insurance is coverage purchased by the employer to provide compensation for an employee who’s injured or becomes ill while on the job. The costs associated with keeping a workers’ comp policy must be paid for by the employer and cannot be passed along to the employee. This coverage is valid from the day you begin working and there is no wait time to become vested. Employers who don’t comply with this state mandate are at risk for large fines that increase each day.
Which employees are covered under workers’ comp?
Nearly all employees in the state of Illinois will be covered by workers’ comp and this is true even if the employer only has one employee—and even if that employee only works part-time. There are, however, a few exceptions to this. In some cases, if you’re a business partner, LLC member, sole proprietor, or a certain kind of agricultural worker, you may not be covered.
What benefits are available through workers’ comp?
In general, workers’ compensation should cover all medical expenses related to your illness or injury including rehabilitation. It should also cover lost wages while you’re out of work, and this is done by paying either temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial permanent disability benefits, or permanent total disability benefits depending on the severity of your injury and how long you’re unable to work.
This is typically paid out at ⅔ your average gross weekly wages with a prorated amount used if you’re able to work partially (for example, if you can work but can only perform light-duty tasks). Benefits may also include job retraining if needed.
What injuries are covered under workers’ comp?
There are a number of different injuries covered by workers’ comp insurance. Contrary to what some may believe, the injury doesn’t have to come about due to one specific accident (though this certainly would be covered), but can also include repetitive stress injuries from overuse of one part of your body, diseases caused by exposure to chemicals, as well as chronic or preexisting conditions that are made worse by performing your job functions.
There are also some injuries that will not be covered by workers’ comp, and these can include an injury that occurred because you were intoxicated while on the job, committing a crime, or self-inflicting harm.
Filing a Claim
Whenever you’re injured on the job, your first priority should always be to seek medical attention right away. You should tell the doctor that your injury was work-related and that you’ll be filing a claim as soon as possible and you won’t be responsible for paying the expenses for treatment. Then, by law, you must inform your employer that you were injured within 45 days (though ideally it should be done much earlier than this) so they can begin filing a workers’ comp claim for you.
As the injured party, you’ll need to prove that your injury occurred while you were performing your regular job functions. In the case of a repetitive stress injury or toxic exposure, you may need to present multiple sources of documentation to clearly connect the injury to your work duties.
Workers’ compensation cases can take a long time to settle (sometimes over a year). Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help make this process easier and may help you receive benefits sooner. However, any time you’re injured on the job, you should not be responsible for paying damages related to that injury. You may have to explain to your medical providers that you’re waiting on a settlement to come through.
What if My Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Denied?
If your claim was denied but you believe it shouldn’t have been, your best option is to reach out to an attorney right away for help appealing the decision. To do this, you’ll need to file an “Application for Adjustment of Claim” no more than three years after your injury to request a hearing. Your lawyer can help you prepare for this as well as gather additional evidence to substantiate your claim.
Workers' Compensation Attorney in Hanover Park, Illinois
You shouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath of a work injury on your own. If you’re in the Hanover Park area and would like to speak with an attorney about a recent work injury or illness, contact us at Maritote Law today.