What are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?
Q: What is workers’ compensation?
A: Workers’ compensation is a system which pays the medical bills and lost wages of an employee who is injured at work. In some cases, an injured worker may also receive benefits after his or her medical treatment ends. Workers’ compensation may also provide vocational training if an injured worker is unable to return to his or her previous occupation.
Q: What kinds of benefits does the Workers’ Compensation Act say I should get?
A: You can get medical treatment for your injury, and in some cases disability or death benefits, social security disability, and vocational retraining. Depending on your unique situation, there may be other benefits available to you. Your employer may not even know the details of the law, and their insurance carrier will certainly not volunteer to cover anything that you don’t ask for. Discuss the details of your injury with a professional at The Sexner Law Group as soon as possible, to make sure that you aren’t missing out.
Q: What kind of medical treatment is included under the Workers’ Compensation Act?
A: You are entitled to medical care and treatment to heal or recover from the injury you got at work. You are entitled to have your employer pay for this treatment. Which doctor you choose can have a major impact on your case. Depending on your injury, a chiropractor or a family doctor may be a bad choice. An orthopedic surgeon or a specialist may be better for your case. Each case is different. The workers’ compensation laws will only cover a certain number of different doctors, so you don’t want to make the wrong choice. The sooner you contact us the better able we will be to get you moving in the right direction.
Q: What if I can’t work because of my injury? Does workers’ compensation help replace lost wages?
A: Yes! The Workers’ Compensation Act sets guidelines for how much of your regular pay you should receive. The employer or their workers’ compensation insurance company is responsible for these payments. The payments depend on how much you were making before the injury, how long you are going to be off the job and the nature of the injury. Your employer (or his insurance company) will have lawyers who can fight on a wide range of issues. A common tactic of employers is to argue the extent of the injury or how long you will be affected. This is where we come in. The team at The Sexner Law Group combines extensive experience with personal attention to your case. The Sexner Law Group can help make sure you get all the compensation you deserve.
Q: What if I can work, but I can’t do my old job anymore because of my injury?
A: If you cannot return to your old job, you may qualify for a program called Vocational Rehabilitation. Under this program you are entitled to assistance so you can find a new job. Vocational rehabilitation can also provide training in new skills so you can find employment in a new field. This program is part of workers’ compensation, and there is no cost to you if you qualify.
The Sexner Law Group can help you figure out if this is the best course for you, and help you get the full benefit of the workers’ compensation program.
Myths About Workers’ Compensation
Myth: Workers’ Compensation only pays if there is an accident.
Truth: Any injury that can be related back to your work or workplace is potentially eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The most common injuries are from a single event (e.g. an auto accident, pulling a muscle, a head trauma or a fall). You can also be covered for occupational disease from exposure to the work environment (e.g. hearing loss, respiratory problems or skin diseases), or from a repetitive action you do as part of your work (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pains or back problems). Contact The Sexner Law Group can help make sure you get all the compensation you deserve.
Myth: If I had health problems before I started working I will not be covered.
Truth: Even if it is a preexisting condition it may still be covered.
You can still be covered by workers’ compensation even if you had a previous condition or injury, but something at work made it worse. For example a heart attack can be linked to a prior issue, but it may also be linked to your work; if it is then it may be covered.
Myth: I can be fired for making a workers’ compensation claim.
Truth: You cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
You are protected under Illinois law, Section 820 ILCS 305/4. Your employer cannot fire you or threaten to fire you for exercising your workers’ compensation rights.
(h) It shall be unlawful for any employer, insurance company or service or adjustment company to interfere with, restrain or coerce an employee in any manner whatsoever in the exercise of the rights or remedies granted to him or her by this Act or to discriminate, attempt to discriminate, or threaten to discriminate against an employee in any way because of his or her exercise of the rights or remedies granted to him or her by this Act. It shall be unlawful for any employer, individually or through any insurance company or service or adjustment company, to discharge or to threaten to discharge, or to refuse to rehire or recall to active service in a suitable capacity an employee because of the exercise of his or her rights or remedies granted to him or her by this Act.
If your employer or anyone connected with your employer is threatening you then you need someone in your corner to fight for your rights. Contact The Sexner Law Group for a free consultation today.
Don’t let anyone try to take away your rights!
Common Questions About Workers Compensation
Q: Can I do this without a lawyer?
A: You can try. You can do anything you want without good legal advice; however it may not be a good idea. It can go very badly for you if you do not have the right lawyer. When you are sick you want a competent, skilled doctor to provide medical care; likewise, you need a competent, skilled attorney to provide legal services.
The lawyer you choose can make a big difference. Often the employer or their insurance company will not agree to pay for the medical treatment you need to get you back on your feet. They may not agree with you about how badly you were injured, or what benefits you should receive. They have a variety of ways to avoid giving you what you deserve. Insurance companies have whole departments working hard to make sure they don’t have to pay any more than they absolutely have to. You are running to doctors’ appointments and maybe physical therapy, and just trying to get through the day. You may not have the time, energy, or desire to learn all about the laws and rules governing workers’ compensation, the rules of practice and procedure before the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the rules of evidence in workers’ compensation hearings, taking depositions, and so on.
You need someone in your corner helping you get the help you need to get back on your feet. The Sexner Law Group can be your advocate, and make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to under the law. Contact us for a free consultation.
Q: What rights do I have if I was injured at work?
A: If you are an employee, you are entitled to certain benefits under a state law called the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Most businesses participate in the workers’ compensation system. If you are an independent contractor not covered under workers’ compensation, you may be entitled to sue the business owner for personal injury in civil court if your injury was due to their negligence. The Sexner Law Group can help you in both of these cases, so call now for a free consultation, and let us help you.
Q: What if the accident was my employer’s fault?
A: Under the workers’ compensation system, the employee gives up his or her right to sue the employer in civil court and in return receives the benefits described in the Workers’ Compensation Act. You should not have to go through a long, difficult, and expensive trial to prove that the employer somehow caused your injury – just when you need to focus on healing from your injury and getting back to work. Call The Sexner Law Group for your free consultation, and let us help.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?
Q: My spouse or relative died from injuries received at work. Does workers’ compensation cover it?
A: If you are a dependent, you may qualify for a death benefit. These benefits can cover burial expenses. You may also be entitled to a weekly payment to survivors. Contact The Sexner Law Group for a free consultation so you can find out your rights.
Q: What types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
A: Any injury that can be related back to your work or workplace is potentially eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The injury could be from a single event (e.g. an auto accident, pulling a muscle, a head trauma or a fall).
The injury could an occupational disease from exposure to the work environment (e.g. hearing loss, respiratory problems or skin diseases).
The injury could be from a repetitive action you do as part of your work (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pains or back problems).