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If you suffer an injury or illness that is work-related in Illinois, you have a right to benefits from workers’ compensation. However, just because an injury or illness happened at work doesn’t mean it was work-related. Workers’ compensation is complicated, and it often takes a lawyer’s help to guide you through the maze.
At Holley, Rosen & Beard, LLC, our Springfield workers’ compensation attorney offers free initial consultations to answer your questions about Illinois workers’ compensation. Call (217) 544-3368 or (877) 671-5884 to learn how our experience can help you. From our law offices in Springfield, we represent injured workers throughout central Illinois.
When Is An Injury Or Illness Work-Related?
Illinois workers’ compensation is a state insurance program that pays you benefits if you are unable to do your job due to an occupational illness or an injury that occurs in course of your employment and arises out of your employment.
An injured worker does NOT need to prove fault or negligence if an employee is injured in an accident at work, workers’ compensation insurance benefits should pay.
A typical example of an injury that occurs in the course or scope of employment would be a back injury suffered by a warehouse worker from lifting boxes. However, if an office worker injures his or her back by carrying a personal item such as a plant, the injury would likely not be work-related.
What Benefits Are Available From Workers’ Compensation?
Individuals who sustain workplace injuries or illnesses should be able to recover a range of benefits through the workers’ compensation system in Illinois.
First and foremost, workers’ compensation benefits should pay for all medical expenses arising as a result of the workplace injury or illness. This medical coverage will continue until the treating physician says that you have reached what is called maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is when the physician believes that you have reached the point where any additional medical care is unlikely to improve your condition any further.
In addition to medical bill coverage, individuals could receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if they are unable to work while recovering from their injury or illness or if the employer is unable to provide a modified duty to accommodate limitations. Individuals will not receive benefits for the first three days of lost work unless they need at least 14 days off. These benefits will continue until the doctor says the individual has reached MMI. Total TTD benefits will be equal to two-thirds of the person’s average weekly wage, up to certain limitations set in place under Illinois law.
Individuals may receive permanent total disability benefits if a doctor determines they have reached MMI but that they have been left with a permanent physical loss or disability. Individuals will be considered permanently and totally disabled if they are unable to perform any type of work or if they have lost the use of both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any combination of those two limbs.
Our lawyers will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits you deserve for your work-related illness or injury.
Timeline for Filing a Work Injury Claim in Illinois
It is imperative for work injury victims to understand the timelines in place for these claims. A work injury must be reported to the employer within 45 days from when the worker sustains the injury or figures out they sustained an injury or illness caused by on-the-job activities.
Reporting the injury does not necessarily mean the same thing as filing a workers’ compensation claim. There is an overall workers’ compensation claim deadline. These claims must be filed within three years from the date the on-the-job incident occurred or within two years from the last compensation payment the worker received, whichever time frame is later.
Why is an Attorney Needed for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Workers’ compensation claims can be incredibly challenging. We strongly suggest working with a skilled Springfield workers compensation attorney who can examine the facts of your case, particularly if you are receiving any pushback from an employer or the insurance carrier. If your claim gets denied, you need an advocate by your side who can investigate every aspect of the injury or illness and handle all communication with the other parties involved.
An attorney can walk you through the appeals process, fill out the correct paperwork, and represent you at any hearing necessary to get you through this with the benefits you need.