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How does being in a union affect a workers’ comp claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Being a member of a union in Illinois affects various aspects of employment. For example, a union will usually provide support and resources to members who are handling workers’ compensation claims and other similar situations. In some cases, a union contract requires specific benefits be provided to members when they file a claim.

Union representatives can help with various aspects of a claim, such as helping a member to learn what benefits they’re due and how to receive them. While these reps can provide a host of assistance, it may be in a worker’s best interests to have their own legal representation as well, depending on the gravity of the situation and the complexities of the process.

Benefits of having personal legal representation

A personal legal representative enables an injured union member to have an advocate who’s focused only on that member’s needed. While union representatives are knowledgeable and supportive, they may also have to juggle the needs of multiple members, potentially diluting the attention they can give to one specific case.

Having personal legal representation can help identify all possible avenues for compensation, including third-party claims if another party’s negligence contributed to the injury. This comprehensive approach ensures that the injured union member receive the maximum benefits available under the law.

Calculation of benefits can become complicated

Workers’ compensation claims can become complex, especially when disputes arise over the extent of injuries, appropriate medical treatment or the calculation of benefits. This may require a more aggressive legal strategy that union representatives might not be equipped to do given their broader responsibilities.

Any injured worker should ensure they’re taking steps to protect their own interests. Whether they have union representation or not, having their own legal representative is beneficial. These cases can include benefits, such as medical care coverage and missed wages. In some instances, vocational rehabilitation is also provided.

Some workers’ compensation providers fight to keep costs to a minimum. This is why some union members who suffer an injury at work will have to battle for the benefits they should receive easily.