Workers' Compensation FAQ
Most employees have heard of the term "workers' comp." If
you have been injured at the workplace or have suffered an illness as
the result of doing your job, chances are you have already encountered
the complex maze of seeking workers' compensation benefits.
Although simple to file, workers' compensation claims are extremely
complicated and should not be handled without the assistance of a skilled
attorney. Going at it alone may garner you less than all of your deserved benefits!
At Drake & Collopy, P.C., we have been fighting for the rights of injured
victims since our firm's inception in 1996. With
more than 30 years of collective experience, we understand the complexities involved and the obstacles encountered in
achieving your rightful reimbursement for a workplace injury or illness.
The following are a few of the most frequently asked questions our dedicated
Chicago personal injury attorneys have encountered.
Get Answers to Your Questions
What is workers' compensation?
Workers' compensation is a system of benefits that employers are required
by law to provide to their employees. These benefits are available regardless
of who is at fault for the accident. The three main categories of benefits are:
- Payment of any reasonable and related medical bills
- Temporary total disability (TTD) payments during periods of time off work
- Permanent disability restitution, usually in a lump sum, based on the nature
and extent of the injury
Which employees are covered under workers' compensation?
Virtually every employee in Illinois is covered the moment they begin their
jobs. Exceptions include certain members of law enforcement and fire departments.
What injuries and diseases are covered?
In most instances, the Workers' Compensation Act covers:
- Injuries that are caused, in whole or in part, by the employee's work
or that happen while the employee is on the job
- Repetitive-motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- A stroke, heart attack, or other physical problem caused by work
- A pre-existing condition that was made worse by work
Do I have to sue my employer?
A workers' compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer.
The benefits are covered through your employer's insurance carrier.
In fact, you are not allowed to sue your employer for accidents occurring
on the job. However, it is illegal for your employee to terminate you
for filing a workers' compensation claim. If they do, you have grounds
to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
What is the deadline to file a workers' compensation claim?
Generally, you must notify your employer within 45 days of an accident.
If you wish to make a claim, you must file within three years after an
on-the-job injury, death, or disablement, or within two years of the last
payment of a medical bill or TTD benefit, whichever is later. Certain
illnesses have longer windows to file for compensation. If you are unsure
of which statute applies to your case, a skilled workers' compensation
attorney can provide the insight you need.
To which benefits am I entitled?
There are several kinds of workers' compensation benefits, and they include:
- Medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects
of the injury
- Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, if you are off work and recovering
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits, if you are able to work part-time
- Vocational rehabilitation and maintenance benefits
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, if you have sustained permanent
injury and are able to return to your job
- Disfigurement benefits
- Wage differential benefits, if you are unable to return to your job but
are able to work in another type of job with lower pay
- Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits, if you have been left permanently
unable to work in any kind of job
- Death benefits for surviving family members
What should I do if I've been injured on the job?
Here are some guidelines to follow if you have suffered an injury or illness
as the result of doing your job:
get the medical attention you need, then notify your employers as soon
as you are able. If you do not inform your employer of your illness, accident, or injury
within 45 days, you may lose your right to receive benefits.
In the case of a workplace accident,
document everything you can about the mishap. Include the facts of the accident, the type of treatment you received,
and witness statements.
For gradual-onset conditions or illnesses,
keep a detailed record of how you are feeling each day and how the condition or illness impacts
your daily activities.
Save any and all bills from medical providers, including prescriptions.
Tell your doctors your injury or illness is covered under workers'
compensation insurance. This will help ensure they are following state-approved treatments and
Cooperate with doctors and follow their instructions. If you disregard doctor's orders, it can be counted negatively against
you. Make sure to obtain an updated disability slip from your doctor at
Retain an experienced workers' compensation attorney to protect your rights and maximize the benefits you are entitled to under
the Workers' Compensation Act.
Don't miss your chance to obtain the benefits you deserve! Contact
Drake & Collopy, P.C.
Unfortunately, workers' compensation insurance carriers will often
agree to pay benefits initially, but they abruptly and unjustly terminate
them. The primary objective of insurance companies is to minimize claims,
maximize profits, and not protect your best interests.
If you or a member of your family has been injured in a work-related accident,
we can help! Workers' compensation claims are complex, and it is ill
advised to attempt to handle one on your own. Our experienced Chicago
workers' compensation lawyers can deliver the fervent advocacy you
need to receive your complete allotment of benefits.
Don't lose your right to obtain the benefits you deserve!
Contact Drake & Collopy, P.C. today for a
free case evaluation!