Injured At Work? Do You Need A Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Ed Lichtenstein has been helping injured employees with their workers’ compensation claims for over 30 years. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can aid you in navigating the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and be your advocate during an emotional and stressful time in your life.
Here are a few basic facts about the Illinois Workers’ Compensation law and tips for employees injured on the job. Click here for more answers to frequently asked questions.
- Report your injury. Under the law, you have 45 days to report your injury to your employer (but you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim).
- No fault. It does not matter who was at fault at the time of the accident. If your accident occurred during the course of your employment while you were performing your job duties, it is a workers’ compensation matter.
- No retaliation. You cannot be fired or disciplined for reporting your injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim. There are civil and criminal penalties for employers that violate the rights of an injured employee.
- Choose your own doctor. You have the right to go to your own doctor to be treated for your injury – including getting a second opinion from the doctor of your choice.
- Employer pays medical bills. Under the workers’ compensation act, your employer must pay for all the medical expenses reasonably related to your injury, including medication. You are not responsible for any deductibles or co-pays.
- Compensation while recuperating. While you are recuperating from your injury and not working, you are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wage, calculated based on the previous year’s earnings. As long as you are unable to return to work, you are eligible to receive this compensation.
- Return to work if you can. You doctor will advise you when it is advisable to go back to work, and under what conditions, if any. Your employer has the right to offer you a light duty job or a job with different duties based on what you can do after the injury pursuant to your doctor’s recommendations.
- Vocational training is available. If your employer cannot accomodate your restrictions, the employer must pay for vocational training to help you transition into another job. Your employer pays your weekly wage benefit in addition to this training.
- Lifetime benefits. If you return to work at a lesser rate of pay, you are entitled to a wage differential benefit until age 65 or 67, whichever comes later. If you cannot return to work because of a permanent total disability, you are entitled to a weekly benefit for the rest of your life.
- Other compensation. Many serious work injury cases involve product failures or negligence by individuals other than the employer. If these facts are present in your case, you may be able to get increased financial compensation through what are called third-party claims.
We are here to help. Legal action can resolve issues quickly and effectively. You shouldn’t have to manage a job injury claim on your own – if you or a loved one has suffered a work-related injury, please call us to discuss your options and remedies.