Most employees injured on the job are owed workers' compensation benefits. With a short list of exceptions, most Illinois employers are required to carry this type of no-fault insurance. Are your benefits being delayed or denied? Are you unsure how to apply for the benefits? Are you wondering if you have any other options for pursuing work injury compensation? The experienced attorneys at the Sklare Law Group can answer all of these questions and others. For a free case review, please call our Chicago, Illinois law firm at 312-471-7777.
In the meantime, please browse the sections below to learn more about workers' compensation in our state:
- What is Workers' Compensation?
- Common Workplace Injuries
- Construction Accidents
- Medical Payments and Medical Care
- Replacement of Lost Wages and Other Benefits
- Death Benefits
- Why You Should Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer
- Your Free Consultation
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is an insurance system. The requirements and regulations are defined by state law. Workers' comp laws vary from state to state. The vast majority of Illinois employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees.
This work injury insurance pays for necessary medical care and replaces a portion of your wages while you are unable to work. It releases you and your employer from issues of fault: You cannot sue your employer and your employer cannot deny your benefits if the injury is your fault. Although it must be said that there are always extenuating circumstances. For example, if you were found to be intoxicated at the time of injury, or are found to have intentionally injured yourself, then benefits will likely be rightfully denied. But in the majority of cases, this no-fault insurance provides benefits to injured employees regardless of issues of who caused the accident that injured you.
Common Workplace Injuries
The following are examples of things that may lead to work injury:
- Slips and trips
- Chemical spills
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Contact with or getting struck by objects
- Workplace violence
- Animal attacks
- Dangerous equipment
- Repetitive motions
- Toxic exposure
- Chemical exposure
The injuries themselves run the gamut. Brain injuries, repetitive stress trauma, spine injury, burns and diseases like mesothelioma are all potential work injury claims. If you are unsure whether your injury qualifies you for benefits, we urge you to call the Sklare Law Group. We will sort out all the details so you don't have to.
Work injury claims filed by construction workers are quite common. It's a dangerous job industry and, in 2015, the private construction industry had the most fatalities among all industries in Illinois at a total of 38 deaths.1 The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the largest portion of fatalities – 12 – were caused by falls, slips and trips.
The following are common causes of construction accidents:
- Scaffolding collapse or falls from scaffolding
- Fires and explosions
- Accidents with company vehicles
- Accidents involving company equipment and tools
- Crane collapse or other accidents involving cranes
- Falling objects or objects that in some other way strike the worker
As an injured construction worker, you can rely on the attorneys at the Sklare Law Group to provide the clear, complete information you need and deserve. Workers' compensation may be the right way to pay for your medical care and replace a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work.
Medical Payments and Medical Care
Workers' comp insurance pays for your medical needs following the injury, including:
- Medical care necessary to treat and/or cure the work injury or illness
- Emergency care
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Necessary home modifications required because of the injury
You need effective medical care in order to move forward with your life and, hopefully, to get back to doing your job once you have healed. Workers' compensation makes it possible to get this medical care without causing financial burdens and medical debt.
Replacement of Lost Wages and Other Benefits
In addition to paying for medical care, workers' compensation replaces a portion of your lost wages through the following benefits:
- Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. TTD benefits are provided while you are unable to work. You will continue to receive these benefits – at 66 and 2/3% of your average weekly wage – until your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement, or until you have returned to work.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. TPD benefits are provided if you are recovering from an injury or illness but still able to perform light work duties for reduced pay. These payments continue until you return to full work duties or until your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. TPD payments are calculated to be 66 and 2/3% of the difference between the average amount you would have been able to earn before the injury and the gross amount you earn doing light-duty work.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. These benefits are provided if you are permanently disabled or disfigured but still able to work. PPD is the full or partial loss of use of a body part or body as a whole. There are four different types of PPD benefits and our attorneys can help you determine what you are owed.
- Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. These benefits are provided if you are permanently disabled and therefore unable to work because of your work injury. PTD benefits are 66 and 2/3% of your average weekly wage.
- Job re-training benefits, if the employee is participating in an approved program. Vocational rehabilitation may take the form of professional help with a job search, training for a new job and other things.
It's not uncommon to encounter roadblocks when trying to access these benefits. The help of an experienced attorney can be vital as you file a claim for replacement of lost wages. The attorneys at the Sklare Law Group can make sure that your claim is completed correctly and keep track of it as it progresses. If a denial is issued or a hearing is called, we will advocate for your benefits so you don't have to. You can rest assured that experienced, skilled attorneys who know the system are handling your claim.
Work accidents lead to tragedy when they are fatal. Certain eligible parties may be owed the following death benefits from workers' compensation:
- Burial benefit. The benefit is $8,000 paid to the person responsible for burial costs.
- Survivor benefit. This benefit is paid to an eligible survivor in the amount of 66 and 2/3% of the deceased's gross average weekly wage.
Construction, transportation, extraction and other jobs are just some of today's dangerous occupations. In Illinois in 2015, men accounted for 94 percent of all work-related deaths. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says transportation incidents made up 35 percent of the fatalities among male workers.
Families are forever altered by these tragedies. Although no amount of compensation can undo the harm which has befallen your family, the workers' compensation death benefits exist so that you can better cope with the financial repercussions of your loved one's death.
Why You Should Hire a Workers' Compensation Lawyer
You are not required to hire an attorney. But there are several reasons you should seriously consider doing so:
- To ensure your claim is filed promptly, accurately and within the time allowed
- To appear at any required hearings
- To handle any disputes that arise
- To handle a denied claim
- In case your employer refuses to pay your workers' compensation benefits
If you aren't sure whether you have a workers' compensation claim, please contact the Sklare Law Group. Your case evaluation is free, so it doesn't cost anything to find out if and how we can help you.
Your Free Consultation
Did you suffer a work injury in Illinois? Want to find out what your options are for pursuing maximum compensation? Please call the experienced Chicago workers' compensation lawyers at the Sklare Law Group at 312-471-7777. After learning more about the details of your situation, our attorneys can describe how they can help you with your workers' compensation case.