Let Our Attorneys Help You Seek The Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Deserve
Our lawyers at Anesi Ozmon, LTD, are advocates for the injured throughout Illinois, including those hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is a system of benefits provided for workers who sustain work-related injuries or diseases. The allowable benefits are established within the framework set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) and the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.
Generally, three areas of benefits are provided to workers who are injured on the job. They are:
- Payment of medical bills
- Compensation for time lost from work
- Compensation for the permanent effects of an injury or exposure
We understand that the workers’ compensation system can be incredibly confusing. Continue reading to learn more about what types of benefits you may be entitled to receive or contact us directly to set up a free consultation with a member of our team.
Types Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits In Illinois
Illinois workers’ compensation laws allow eligible employees to recover certain benefits. The purpose of these benefits is to offset some of the costs associated with a job-related injury or illness.
Depending on the details of your accident/injury, you could be entitled to the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- Coverage of medical expenses, including ongoing care, rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Lost wages, including weekly benefits for temporary partial or total disability
- Permanent partial disability and/or permanent total disability
- Vocational rehabilitation costs, including those related to training for a new career if your injuries prevent you from returning to the work you used to do
For families who have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, death/survivor benefits may also be available.
Who Provides Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Under the law, your employer is responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits. Often, your employer will have workers’ compensation insurance to handle work-related injuries. An employer may also pay the benefits directly or through a third-party administrator.
If an employer is uninsured and fails to pay workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker may be entitled to recover from the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund. This fund consists of money obtained through penalties and fines collected by the state of Illinois from employers who fail to comply with the IWCA.
What Types Of Accidents And Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that in order to be compensable, an injury must “arise out of and in the course of” employment. Generally, this means that the injury must have occurred while at work and/or as the result of a work-related activity.
A workplace accident is an event or circumstance that results in an injury for which benefits are payable. A single, definable occurrence will usually constitute an accident, but a repetitive injury or trauma developing over time may also be a compensable accident. Exposure to a hazardous substance on a one-time or recurring basis may also constitute an accident.
What To Do If You Suffer A Work-Related Injury
If you are injured in a workplace accident or suffer an occupational illness, you should notify your employer right away. In Illinois, you have just 45 days to report your work-related injury or illness to your employer. However, the sooner you notify your employer, the better. When you report your injury, make sure to do it in writing and provide details of how, when and where you were injured.
You should also see a doctor as soon as possible after the incident. In most cases, you are allowed to choose your own doctor. However, there are some exceptions under the IWCA. Additionally, your employer can request an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME). Employers typically request IMEs to confirm employees’ injuries and/or illnesses.
One of our experienced lawyers will be able to provide detailed information about your rights and options, including your right to file a claim for benefits.
When Can You Expect To Get Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Assuming your injury is compensable and your claim is approved, the various benefits you are entitled to will be paid at different times. The most immediate benefit will be coverage of your medical care. In most cases, you shouldn’t see a bill for treatment or your work injury. If you incur out-of-pocket expenses, you can submit them for reimbursement.
Your treating physician will determine whether you need to take time off of work or if you require reduced hours or modified duties. If your physician has taken you off work, you become eligible for wage-replacement benefits after three working days. These benefits will total approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Those initial three days won’t be compensated unless your disability keeps you out of work for at least 14 days.
Unfortunately, employers often contest workers’ compensation claims, which can greatly delay or jeopardize your benefits. That’s one of many reasons why it is a good idea to consult an experienced workers’ lawyer like those at our firm.
Are All Injured Illinois Workers Entitled To Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, approximately 91 percent of workers statewide are covered under the IWCA. Small-business owners and corporate officers can exempt themselves from coverage, but nearly anyone who is an employee of someone else is covered.
Thankfully, there is no question about coverage for workers in some of the most dangerous jobs and industries. For instance, the law covers all workers in the building trades, including construction workers.