WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS IN NAPERVILLE, IL
Approximately 250,000 employees in Illinois report injuries at work to their employers each year. Of these, up to 80,000 people file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) for more than three lost workdays. Of those, an arbitrator will settle some 50,000 cases a year, and the Commission will settle another 600.
If you’ve been injured on the job in Naperville, Illinois, you are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Act, which requires all employers in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance. If they don’t, the state maintains an injured workers’ benefit fund. If you’ve suffered work-related injuries, we at Marker & Crannell are dedicated to helping our clients receive the benefits they’re entitled to under the law.
Overview of Workers’ Compensation in Naperville and Aurora Illinois
In Illinois as in most states, workers’ compensation is an insurance-based system that pays medical costs, rehabilitative services, lost wages, permanency (loss or partial loss of the use of part of the body - this most closely resembles the "pain and suffering" or "disability" component of a personal injury lawsuit) and even death benefits for injured workers, starting from day one of their employment.
Many work injuries are caused by working with tools and machinery or by slips, trips, and falls. The IWCC lists the following broad categories of protection:
Injury caused by the repetitive use of a body part at work
Stroke caused by work
Heart attack caused by work
Other physical problems caused by work
Pre-existing conditions made worse by work
Jobs that are particularly susceptible to injury at work include carpenters, welders, masons, ironworkers, plumbers, drivers, traveling employees, and many others who work with their hands, even office staff. Needless to say, all jobs and incidents are protected by the law.
What to Do if You've Been Injured on The Job
As an employee, you should immediately seek medical help and report the injury to your employer, which sets in motion the process of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Notice to your employer can be oral or written. The employer can require pertinent medical records from your doctor but has no right to access your full medical history.
The employer is under obligation to provide the necessary medical services, and also to report the incident to their insurance provider or workers’ compensation administrator. And if the employer cannot work for more than three days, payment of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) must begin.
Benefits for Injured Workers
Two types of non-permanent workers’ compensation benefits exist. As mentioned above, Temporary Total Disability, or TTD, is for employees who must miss work because of the injury but eventually are able to return to full-time duty. TTD commences after the employee misses three days of work and is paid at two-thirds the Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The first three days are not paid unless time off exceeds 14 days.
If an injured worker on TTD, however, returns to work but cannot perform all the duties required prior to the injury, then Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) kicks in. TPD, which is paid at two-thirds the difference between wages earned prior to the injury and wages earned on light duty, remains in effect until the employee can return to full duty.
In every instance, the employer is required to pay for all medical care needed due to the injury. The injured worker will not be required to cover any copays or deductibles. Employers can dispute medical treatment through a variety of means, but the injured worker has free choice to pick his or her doctor, though is limited to choosing only one. That one doctor, however, can make referrals to specialists.
Finally, Permanent Total Disability (PTD) can be awarded if the injured party suffers a complete disability that renders the employee permanently unable to do any kind of work for which there is a reasonably stable employment market. Payment for life is made at two-thirds Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Loss of certain body parts can result in Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) payments for up to 323 weeks. Workers' compensation in Illinois does not allow injured workers to be compensated for all of the damages that can be sued for in a personal injury lawsuit. PTD and PPD are the closest workers' compensation gets to compensating an injured worker for pain and suffering or disability. Oftentimes, our clients will elect to settle for a lump sum (getting a settlement paid all at once) instead of receiving PTD or PPD payments over a long period of time.
Why You Should Seek Legal Counsel
Even if you’re accepting payments from your employer, you can still file with the IWCC, but the steps can be hard to navigate. You need an attorney’s help. If you’re in Naperville or surrounding areas like Aurora, Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, or Wheaton and are contemplating work injury claims, Marker & Crannell offer the experience and knowledge to see your claim through to your ultimate advantage. Contact us immediately for a free consultation.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS IN NAPERVILLE AND AURORA, IL
If you were injured as the result of a work accident, the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Marker & Crannell can provide the guidance and expertise you need. We will help you explore your options, file a claim, and fight for fair compensation. Contact our law offices today for a free consultation.