Workers’ Compensation Knowledge Center

Welcome to our Workers’ Compensation Knowledge Center. Here you’ll find your guide to understanding workplace injury claims in Chicago. Our workers’ compensation lawyers provide informational resources for injured Illinois workers. 

This knowledge center was created to help guide injured Illinois workers struggling to achieve a fair settlement after a workplace injury.  Through our comprehensive guides, informational videos, and FAQ section, we provide support for victims struggling to navigate the workers’ compensation system.

Do you need a legal guide for your workers’ compensation case? In Chicago, call our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Ankin Law for a free, no obligation case evaluation. (312) 600-0000.

A comprehensive workers’ compensation claim checklist is crucial for those who have suffered work-related injuries. Understanding the process and benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance is essential for injured workers seeking recovery. Coverage may include medical care for injuries or illnesses, wage replacement for lost income, rehabilitation support, and death benefits if a fatality occurs. 

After a work injury, steps to take include seeking prompt medical treatment, reporting the injury to the employer, filing necessary paperwork, collecting evidence, adhering to the doctor’s treatment plan, and keeping the employer informed. In case of a claim denial, appealing through the state’s workers’ compensation appeals board, often with legal assistance, becomes essential to secure rightful compensation.

$225,000
for a client who injured his foot while jumping into a moving vehicle. 2023.
$550,000
for a client who received a herniated disc in an auto accident. 2023.
$1
Million
settlement for a 9-year-old girl who suffered severe burns to the forehead caused by a science experiment by her teacher during a school holiday assembly. 2023.
$1
Million
for an injured employee who was rear ended on way to worksite. Non-operated, herniated disc. 2022.

Knowing what not to say to a workers’ comp doctor is crucial for safeguarding the right to compensation after a work-related injury. Injured workers should avoid exaggerating or lying about their injuries, withholding details about prior injuries, and refraining from speaking negatively about their employer during medical evaluations. 

Workers’ compensation doctors assess injuries in the context of the claim, aiming to determine their extent, impact on tasks, and validate claim information. Transparency and honesty about the injury’s nature, acting consistently with reported symptoms, and disclosing prior injuries are essential. Discussing the accident truthfully and refraining from discussions about fault or settlements are crucial to maintaining credibility. Seeking guidance from a workers’ compensation lawyer before evaluations can aid workers in effective communication, ensuring their claims remain valid.

There are two deadlines for filing workers’ compensation claims in Illinois—one for reporting the injury and another for filing the claim. Workers have up to 45 days from the injury date to report it to employers, and three years to file claims for benefits. Exceptions apply for conditions like pneumoconiosis, radiological exposure, and asbestosis, where the reporting deadline starts from the date of medical diagnosis.

Workers may adjust claims if the condition worsens, subject to a 30-month reopening window. Adhering to filing deadlines, understanding reduced weekly pay, and lifetime disability benefits are essential. Seeking guidance from Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers is crucial for navigating these intricacies and adhering to state laws.

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The value of a workers’ compensation claim for disfigurement hinges on factors like the injury’s location, severity, and impact on daily activities. Qualifying disfigurements include scars or deformities affecting the appearance or function of body parts. State-specific criteria, such as those in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, define eligible body parts and require the disfigurement to be both permanent and severe.

A seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer aids in navigating a claim, gathering evidence, negotiating with insurers, and maximizing a claim’s value. He or she may also handle hearings, depositions, and appeals, ensuring a comprehensive approach to securing deserved compensation for disfigurement.

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) result from repeated motions that cause muscle, nerve, or tendon pain. Common in the upper body, especially hands and wrists, RSIs like carpal tunnel syndrome can impact workers performing repetitive tasks. Causes include prolonged repeat motion, assembly line work, and heavy lifting. Lack of ergonomic tools exacerbates RSIs. 

To file a workers’ comp claim for RSIs, document tasks causing the injury, consult a doctor for medical evidence, report it to your employer, and seek legal advice. Employers may dispute claims, conducting investigations; however, strong documentation and medical support are crucial. In Illinois, report the injury within 45 days, and file a claim within three years for timely compensation, facilitated by early legal consultation if needed.

Proving a secondary injury in workers’ comp requires compelling medical evidence establishing a direct link to the primary injury. A proficient workers’ compensation lawyer aids in obtaining relevant medical records, crafting a persuasive claim, and countering employer or insurer arguments against the connection. 

Illinois law covers secondary injuries resulting from on-the-job primary injuries, such as infections post-surgery or complications from prolonged medication use. Insurance companies often dispute these claims, questioning relevance or linking them to pre-existing conditions. 

To substantiate a secondary injury claim, prompt treatment, submission of medical records, and collaboration with a workers’ comp lawyer are crucial. An expert witness report can further strengthen the case.

When a workers’ compensation claim faces unjust denial, it indicates bad faith on the part of the employer’s insurance company. Annually, around 4.9 million individuals seek workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses. However, not all are swiftly approved, with many claims facing initial denial. If the denial appears unwarranted, it suggests bad faith. 

Understanding bad faith insurance is crucial, as it extends beyond claim denials to encompass mishandling procedures. Examples include denying recommended medical procedures and delaying payments without justifiable reasons. Filing a lawsuit against the insurance company becomes an option if evidence supports bad faith actions.

Workers’ compensation claims in Illinois often face initial denials, a predicament rectified in numerous cases upon appeal. Denials can be based on seemingly trivial matters, including the timing of filing. 

Navigating the complex workers’ compensation system poses challenges for claimants, involving intricate paperwork, deadlines, and procedural knowledge. Employers may dispute claims based on conflicts regarding the work-related nature of injuries, often requiring substantial proof. State guidelines, deadlines, and perceived lack of cooperation with insurers also contribute to claim denials.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides four main types of benefits: medical, wage replacement/disability, rehabilitation, and death benefits. The benefits a worker receives depend on the severity of the injury and level of disability. 

Medical care, the primary coverage, encompasses immediate treatment, diagnostic tests, hospital visits, assistive devices, medication, and treatments. Disability benefits vary, depending on the level and duration of the victim’s impairment.  Workers’ compensation replaces two-thirds of lost wages, with no coverage for pain and suffering. 

Rehabilitation benefits aid in career transition after serious injuries. Death benefits support dependents of deceased workers, covering medical expenses, funeral costs, and two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage.

After a workplace accident, the duration of workers’ compensation benefits hinges on factors such as the injury type and disability category. In Illinois, there are four primary disability categories: Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), and Temporary Total Disability (TTD). 

PPD covers injuries affecting specific body parts and offers various awards, including Scheduled Injury, Nonscheduled, Wage Differential, and Disfigurement benefits. PTD applies when a worker cannot return to any job due to severe injury. TPD benefits support those fully recovering and returning to work gradually. TTD benefits aid those entirely unable to work during recovery. 

Benefits may end if a worker fails a medical examination, prematurely returns to work, disregards treatment plans, or faces a judge’s suspension.

Ensuring fair workers’ compensation disability ratings is crucial when navigating a claim. In Illinois, eligibility for benefits arises from work-related injuries or illnesses causing physical or mental impairment. The compensation awarded primarily hinges on the disability rating, susceptible to manipulation by employers and insurers. 

An impairment denotes a change or damage to a body part, structure, or health, categorized as permanent or temporary. Disability assesses how impairments affect functionality, particularly in work and daily tasks. An impairment rating, expressed as a percentage, quantifies permanent damage. 

In Illinois, disability ratings consider factors like occupation, age, earning potential, and medical records. While medical professionals conduct Impairment Rating Evaluations, insurers often present biased initial settlements.

In Illinois, workers’ compensation attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. Under this arrangement, attorneys receive up to 20% of the actual awarded compensation if the claimant’s case succeeds. Adjustments apply in case of death, undisputed medical expenses, or total or partial disability benefits. 

The Illinois Workers Compensation Commission must approve these fee arrangements. Legal fees, distinct from other costs, encompass attorney services and are subject to commission review. Contingency fees exist to facilitate access to legal services for injured workers. Prohibitions include referral compensation and gifts under professional conduct rules.

In Illinois, a PPO, also known as a Preferred Provider Program (PPP), constitutes a network of healthcare professionals delivering cost-effective medical treatment to injured workers. Established in June 2011 under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, PPOs offer employers an optional means to manage claim costs while ensuring quality medical care for employees. 

Employers opting for a PPO must furnish injured workers with the Notice of Preferred Provider Program for Workers’ Compensation Medical Care. Despite flexibility in selecting up to two doctors from the employer’s list, workers may face limited choices and conflicts of interest. Opting out is possible, but it restricts the selection to one medical provider.

An IME, initiated at your employer’s behest, serves to evaluate the nature and extent of your workplace injury, influencing the compensation you may receive. Employers and insurers often employ investigators during workers’ compensation investigations, scrutinizing the validity of injury claims through various means. When an IME is required, questions arise about its purpose and impact on the workers’ comp case. 

An IME may be requested due to disagreements with the personal doctor’s opinion, cost concerns, or the need for additional evidence. The examination, comprising a physical assessment and questioning by the chosen doctor, can impact the case’s outcome.

Being aware of the proper conduct during a workers’ compensation deposition is crucial for a favorable outcome. This process involves questioning individuals under oath, aiming to gather information about work-related accidents and injuries. 

The deposition takes place in an informal setting, often in a law office, with involved parties like the injured worker, insurance representative, and workers’ compensation lawyer present. It is vital to answer questions honestly under oath, as intentional lying may lead to legal consequences. During the process, maintaining composure, avoiding unnecessary information, and providing clear responses are key.

In Illinois, where employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, legal guidance becomes crucial for navigating documentation, damage calculations, and claim denials. Denials may occur, citing reasons like disputed work-relatedness or pre-existing conditions. 

In such cases, a workers’ compensation attorney proves invaluable, assisting in evidence gathering and upholding your rights. These lawyers operate on a contingency basis, ensuring access to legal help without upfront costs. Adhering to filing deadlines is vital for full benefits eligibility, emphasizing the importance of timely reporting and legal consultation.

Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Chicago Provide Answers to Clients’ FAQs

1

Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim?

In Illinois, it is illegal for employers to terminate employees solely for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The state’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides protection against retaliation. If an employer fires an employee in response to a workers’ comp claim, it can be considered wrongful termination. Employees have the right to seek benefits for work-related injuries, and employers are prohibited from taking adverse actions, including termination, due to these claims. If an individual faces retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, he or she may have legal grounds to pursue a case against the employer for wrongful termination.

2

What If My Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied?

If your workers’ compensation claim is denied in Illinois, you have the right to appeal the decision. First, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can review your case and guide you through the appeals process.

 You must file an application for an adjustment of claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) within three years of the injury or two years from the last compensation payment. The IWCC will conduct a hearing to evaluate your case. Having legal representation significantly increases your chances of reversing the denial and obtaining the compensation you deserve for work-related injuries or illnesses.

3

What Is Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation in Illinois is a state-mandated insurance program designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It ensures that workers receive medical care, wage replacement, and disability benefits if they are unable to work due to a workplace accident. 

The system operates on a no-fault basis, meaning employees are entitled to benefits without proving employer negligence. Illinois employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, covering medical expenses, rehabilitation, and lost wages for employees injured during the course of employment, promoting a fair and efficient process for addressing workplace injuries.

4

What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation in Illinois covers a broad range of work-related injuries and illnesses. This includes injuries resulting from accidents, such as slips, falls, or machinery mishaps, as well as occupational diseases or conditions caused by workplace exposure. 

Coverage extends to medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and partial wage replacement for temporary or permanent disabilities. Whether physical injuries, mental health issues, or repetitive stress injuries, as long as the condition arises within the scope of employment, it is generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois.

5

Am I Eligible for Workers' Compensation Benefits?

In Illinois, eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits is broadly defined. Most employees, regardless of fault, are covered from their first day of employment. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, and undocumented workers. Coverage encompasses various work-related injuries, accidents, and occupational diseases.  

Certain categories, such as independent contractors and specific agricultural or small-business employees, may not be covered. Timely reporting of injuries and adherence to filing deadlines are crucial for eligibility. Overall, the Illinois workers’ compensation system is designed to provide comprehensive coverage to a wide range of workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses.

6

What Qualities Should I Look for in a Workers' Compensation Attorney?

When choosing a workers’ compensation attorney, look for qualities such as experience in workers’ comp law, a successful track record in similar cases, and a deep understanding of Illinois workers’ compensation regulations.

A good attorney should communicate clearly, be responsive to your needs, and possess strong negotiation skills. Additionally, seek an attorney who is empathetic, trustworthy, and committed to advocating for your rights. Legal fees, transparency, and a willingness to guide you through the legal process are also essential factors to consider in selecting the right workers’ compensation attorney for your case.

7

How Do I Find a Good Workers' Compensation Lawyer?

To find a good workers’ compensation lawyer, start by seeking recommendations from colleagues, friends, or family members who have had positive experiences with workers’ comp attorneys. Utilize online platforms and legal directories to read reviews and assess attorneys’ reputations. Look for attorneys with expertise in workers’ compensation law, and check their track record of success in similar cases.

Consider scheduling initial consultations to discuss your case. During these meetings, evaluate their communication style, legal strategy, and transparency. Choose a lawyer who instills confidence, demonstrates commitment, and aligns with your needs and objectives in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.

What Our Clients Say About Us

This is a very good law firm. Being represented by them in a worker’s comp & personal injury case. If there are any issues with dealing with worker’s comp sending benefits payments, they stay on them and make sure that you’re receiving your benefits. Mr. Goldstein and his assistant Alex Quigley are amazing. She has made sure that I’ve received ALL of my benefits and responds to my emails in a timely manner, whenever I have questions or concerns about my case. My attorney Mr. Scott Goldstein is there when I need him to assure me that they have not forgotten about me and continue to push for a resolution of my claim.

~ Phil Johnson

Latest Blog Posts About Workers’ Compensation Cases

Delays and denials by insurance companies are common in the workers’ compensation system, with tactics including slow claims processing, lack of communication, and disputing injuries. A workers’ compensation lawyer is instrumental in navigating these challenges, ensuring fair compensation. Employees must be vigilant against delay tactics, such as disputing injuries, payment delays, and pressuring them into light-duty roles before receiving benefits.

Workers in high-risk professions, including construction, mining, and rubber manufacturing, face elevated cancer risks in Chicago. Jobs like building demolition, firefighting, brake repair, asbestos milling, and naval service also expose workers to carcinogenic chemicals. 

Asbestos, present in various settings, poses severe health risks, leading to diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. Seeking workers’ compensation benefits for asbestos-related illnesses is possible, necessitating a skilled mesothelioma lawyer to navigate claims. The content highlights the impact of workplace conditions on mental, emotional, and physical health, emphasizing the need to prove job-related cancer and detailing steps to establish a connection between work exposure and cancer.

Amazon warehouses in the U.S. face criticism for unsafe conditions resulting in workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined Amazon for safety violations in multiple warehouses, exposing inadequate incident recording. Workers, often employed through temp agencies, encounter hurdles in filing workers’ comp claims after injuries. 

Common injuries involve slips, forklift accidents, falling objects, overexertion, caught-between incidents, repetitive stress injuries, and truck accidents. Seeking compensation requires timely accident reporting, medical treatment, and, if necessary, consulting a workers’ comp or personal injury lawyer to navigate challenges in filing claims against Amazon.