A variety of types of benefits are available to Chicago workers who were injured on the job. Depending on the severity of your work-related injuries, these benefits may cover everything from a portion of your lost wages and medical bills to permanent disability or vocational rehabilitation. Even if your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance is paying on your claim, the company may not be providing you with all of the benefits you are entitled to receive. Some of the benefits available to injured workers in Illinois include:
Lost Earnings – If you are unable to work for more than three days because of your work-related injury, you are entitled to receive a portion of your lost earnings while you recover. In Illinois, you may be entitled to receive up to 66-⅔ % of your weekly wages. If your injuries allow you to work, but you must take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours, you may be entitled to receive a wage differential equal to ⅔ of the difference between the average weekly wage you would have received had your accident not happened and your current earnings.
Medical Bills – Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer is required to pay for all of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with your workplace injury. This includes medications, equipment, physical or mental rehabilitation, surgery, hospital care, and more. No deductible or co-insurance is required.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits – If your workplace accident has caused you to be unable to perform your pre-injury job duties, you may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits may include education, training, job counseling, or other assistance to help you continue to be part of the workforce. If you receive vocational rehabilitation benefits, you may also be entitled to maintenance benefits while you are enrolled in an approved program.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits – After you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your doctor will determine if your work-related injury has left you with a permanent impairment, and if so, to what extent. If it is determined that you are unable to perform any type of work, or that you lost the use of both of your hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any two of the above, you will be considered to be permanently and totally disabled. Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD) are payable for the rest of your life.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits – If your work-related accident caused a permanent injury to some part of your body and you are found to be unable to perform some of the activities you could perform before your accident, you may be entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits. In Illinois, this may include scheduled loss-of-use awards, unscheduled awards, wage differential benefits, or disfigurement benefits.
Death Benefits – If you are a qualifying family member of a worker who was killed on the job in Illinois, you may be entitled to receive death benefits. These benefits may include payment of ⅔ of your deceased loved one’s average weekly wage up to a maximum of $500,000 or 25 years, whichever amount is greater. An additional $8,000 in burial benefits is awarded to the person who incurred the cost of your loved one’s burial.
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Our workers’ compensation lawyers handle a wide variety of work-related injury cases that arise in and around Chicago, including but not limited to:
The first workers’ compensation law in Illinois was enacted in 1912. The law was meant to provide injured workers and surviving family members of those who were killed on the job with a surefire means to obtain compensation for the financial impact caused by workplace accidents or exposures. In return, employers who carry the insurance are granted immunity from personal injury lawsuits – even if the employer’s negligence contributed to the injury. The no-fault system also protects the injured employee, granting him or her the right to receive benefits even if the victim’s actions caused the accident.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, however.
If you sustained accidental injuries that arose out of and in the course of your employment, there are a number of steps you must take to ensure you are appropriately compensated for lost wages and medical bills. If you fail to follow these steps, you could be barred from recovering for your losses.
Work-related accidents and illnesses are common throughout the United States, especially in certain industries. To help protect injured workers, Illinois and many other states require employers to participate in the workers’ compensation insurance system. Workers’ comp insurance premiums are paid for by your employer. When a workplace accident happens and a claim is successful, the insurance company pays for the victim’s medical bills and losses – not the employer.
The workers’ compensation system is designed to help compensate injured workers and their families if a workplace accident or exposure causes them to suffer losses. While the system was intended to be straightforward, it doesn’t always work that way.
Over the years, insurance companies have looked for loop-holes in the workers’ compensation system that allow them to minimize payouts, coerce workers into accepting settlements that are significantly less than their losses, or even deny work injury claims completely . Our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to close those gaps.
If a third party contributed to your work-related accident, you may be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit to recover additional compensation for your losses. Since personal injury lawsuits enable injured victims to collect benefits that are not available within the workers’ compensation system, your settlement could be substantial.
Examples of third-party liability in work-related injury claims include:
Some Chicago workers are covered under different worker protection laws. If you are a railroad worker, a Chicago police officer or firefighter, or you perform your work duties on the waterways of Illinois, you may be covered under the following programs instead of the Illinois Workers Compensation System.
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act, commonly referred to as FELA, is designed to cover railroad workers in Illinois. Unlike filing a claim within the no-fault workers’ compensation system, bringing a work injury claim under FELA requires that the injured worker prove that the employer’s negligence caused the employee’s injuries. While the burden of proof exists in a FELA claim, however, the benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive are expanded to include compensation for 100% of lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and more.
Employees who work on the waterways of Illinois are covered by the Jones Act. Under the Act, employer negligence must be demonstrated for a claim to be successful. Injured workers who can prove employer negligence may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, past and future economic losses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and more. Injured workers may also be entitled to a daily allowance while they recover.
While most police officers in Illinois are covered by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, those who are employed in the city of Chicago are not entitled to these benefits. Instead, three other types of benefits are available to City of Chicago police officers who are injured.
Each year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases statistical reports revealing the number of work-related fatalities and non-fatal work injuries in Illinois. For 2019, the most recent data available, BLS reported that:
Although Chicago workers can be seriously injured or killed in almost any occupation, some industries are significantly more dangerous than others. Some of the most dangerous jobs in Chicago include:
BLS injury statistics for 2019 revealed that the following occupations had the highest work-related injury rates per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTE).
While the BLS reported that work injuries were significantly more common than on-the-job illnesses, their survey indicated that the occupations with the highest rates of injuries were also those with the most illnesses – for the most part.
While some workers’ comp claims include minor injuries like sprains, strains, and simple fractures, others are more serious, permanently altering the lives of victims and their families. Some of the more common workplace injuries our law firm sees include:
The Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers at Ankin Law have a record of excellence. With a 99% success rate in personal injury,
workers’ compensation, and Social Security Disability cases, our team is results-driven, experienced, and knows what it takes to help you recover
If you’ve been in an accident, our attorneys will help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call us now for a free, no obligation case evaluation.