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Workers’ compensation benefits are insurance coverage for an employee who has suffered a job-related injury or illness. An employee files a workers’ compensation claim for expenses that include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages. The value of workers’ compensation claims depends on the type and severity of the injury.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation

Illinois’ first workers’ compensation law was passed in 1911. This law provides injured workers and surviving family members of those killed on the job a means to obtain compensation for the economic impact caused by workplace accidents. Illinois law states that employers cannot whether or not an injured employee should get these benefits.

Generally, employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance are granted immunity from personal injury lawsuits. This may also apply when an employer’s negligence contributes to an injury. Illinois’ no-fault system also protects the injured employee, granting them the right to receive benefits even if they’re responsible for the accident.

Naperville Workers’ Comp Claim Exceptions

If you believe any of the following exceptions apply to you, Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers suggest consulting with professional legal representation. Many law offices in Naperville IL offer a free consultation to discuss your options. Possible Illinois workers’ compensation limitations include:

Intentional Employer Misconduct

If an employer’s intentional acts cause Naperville workers to sustain injuries or wrongful death while on the job, workers or their surviving family members have the right to bring a civil suit against the employer or accept workers’ compensation benefits. Illinois’s legal system does not allow injured employees to accept both forms of compensation, however.

For an injured worker to avoid the dismissal of their personal injury lawsuit, it must be alleged that the injury sustained was the result of an intentional act and not an accident. Discuss your personal injury case with a Naperville workers’ compensation personal injury attorney today.

Employer’s Lacking the Required Insurance

If your employer failed to maintain their workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer to recover for your losses. In May of 2019, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act were amended to allow workers who are diagnosed with latent work-related injuries to sue their employers in civil court if the injuries manifest after 25 years.

Employee Liability

If the employee commits an intentional act that causes his or her workplace injury, his or her losses are not compensable. Workers’ compensation benefits will not pay out if an employee is injured while violating the law. Lastly, no workers’ compensation benefits are payable if the employee was intoxicated when the injury occurred if the intoxication was the proximate cause of the worker’s injury or death.

Your Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer can use their understanding of personal injury cases and other legal issues to offer experienced counsel. If you’ve suffered an injury and want to seek compensation for your employer’s negligence, speak with a Naperville workers’ compensation attorney today.

How to Claim Naperville Workers’ Compensation

If you sustained accidental injuries in the course of your employment, there are steps your Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers can help you take to ensure you receive proper medical care and benefits for lost wages. Naperville, IL, injury victims who fail to follow the following steps can hurt their personal injury claims.

Document Your Injuries

Documenting your workplace injury can help you recover compensation. Ask coworkers, supervisors, and any witnesses to assist you in documenting what happened. Take photos and videos of the scene as well as any equipment involved in your accident. Your Naperville workers’ compensation specialist will need this evidence to ensure your case’s success.

Report Injuries to Employers

Illinois workers’ compensation laws state that you have 45 days from the time of your job-related injuries to notify your employer. If you fail to notify your employer within 45 days, your claim can be barred and you will not be able to recover compensation.

Although you are permitted to inform your employer orally, our litigation professionals recommend providing written notice of your injuries. Submitting a written notice provides hard evidence that your notification was provided and can help you get closer to financial recovery.

It is also important to inform your employment-related treating physician about the circumstances of your injury. Notifying them of your work injuries ensures that billing correspondence gets sent to the right parties.

Seek Immediate Medical Assistance

Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after a workplace injury will help you receive benefits. Even if you don’t feel that you’ve been seriously injured, some injuries may not be immediately apparent after the accident. The first 60 minutes after an injury occurs can be crucial in determining your recovery.

Even if your employer has a network of preferred providers for workers’ compensation cases, you have the right to obtain the medical treatment you need right away. If you are severely injured, an experienced personal injury law practice would recommend calling an ambulance and going to the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic.

Make Sure Your Injury Report Is Submitted

Illinois employers are required to submit injury reports to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission when necessary. Victims must ensure reports contain detailed information about the accident and include their personal information, when and where the accident happened, how they were injured, and what injuries were sustained.

Failure to include the right information or unsuccessfully submitting your report could lead to a denial of your benefits. Experienced Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers understand the claim’s process and can help those injured workers recover the benefits they are entitled to.

Be Mindful

Insurance companies make profits by denying claims and offering low settlements. Some insurance adjusters will review your social media posts, come to your home, or even follow you to places you frequent to prove that you’re undeserving of compensation. Be mindful of this when you’re applying for benefits. It can help you and your workers’ compensation lawyer to act accordingly.

Understand Your Legal Rights

Illinois employment statutes outlaw harassing, threatening, or punishing employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If your employer terminates your employment or withholds other employment benefits because you’ve filed a claim, they are breaking the law. Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers can help you get a better understanding of your rights.

Contact a Naperville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Seeking help from a workers’ comp law firm is one of the best ways to protect your rights and receive full compensation for your injuries. Our Naperville workers’ compensation claim lawyers offer free consultations to discuss your case, answer questions you might have, and provide legal advice on how to proceed after your accident.

Protecting the Rights of Naperville Injured Workers

Work-related accidents and illnesses are common, especially in certain industries. Illinois requires employers to participate in the workers’ compensation insurance system to protect employees. 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. This system was designed to ensure injured workers and their families receive compensation if a workplace accident causes them to suffer damage.

Insurance companies often seek loopholes in the workers’ compensation system to minimize payouts. They also coerce workers into accepting settlements that are significantly less than their losses. Some insurers even deny work injury claims completely. Your workers’ compensation attorney can protect your rights throughout the claim.

Third-Party Lawsuits

When a third party contributes to a work-related accident, a Naperville workers’ compensation attorney can help you to file a lawsuit to recover additional compensation for your losses.

If you’ve suffered damages that are not covered by the workers’ compensation system, speak to a Naperville, IL, law firm about filing a personal injury lawsuit. Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers help their clients file the third-party liability work-related injury claims such as:

  • Motor vehicle accidents that occur because of a third party’s negligence may entitle you to personal injury damages
  • When defective products, faulty equipment, broken machinery, or dangerous products cause workplace injuries, manufacturers can be held liable
  • Toxic substances in the workplace may also lead to liability for manufacturers and distributors
  • Contractors fulfill roles across worksites, and if a contractor causes your injuries, you may be able to recover damages by filing a third-party lawsuit

Naperville personal injury law professionals can assist with negligence, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and any other claims that allow you the right to collect benefits. At the Agruss Law Firm, we have been handling these types of Chicago, IL, claims on behalf of our clients for years and know exactly what it takes to get the job done right.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Many benefits are available to Illinois workers injured on the job. The severity of your injuries will affect what these benefits cover. Since insurers are responsible for the delivery of workers’ comp benefits, you may not be provided with all of the benefits you are entitled to.

Illinois workers’ compensation benefits provide for the following:

Lost Earnings

Illinois law allows for workers’ comp when you are unable to work for more than three days because of a work injury. The law states you are entitled to receive a portion of your lost earnings while you recover.

Illinois permits you to receive up to 66.66% of your weekly wages. If your injuries allow you to work, but you’re forced to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours, you could receive a wage differential equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly wage you would have received and your current earnings.

Medical Expenses

Under the Illinois workers’ compensation laws, employers are obligated to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with workplace harm. This includes medications, equipment, physical or mental rehabilitation, surgery, and hospital care.

Rehabilitation

If you’re unable to perform your pre-injury job duties, you could also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits often include education, training, job counseling, and other assistance that helps you secure gainful employment.

If you receive vocational rehabilitation benefits, you may also be entitled to maintenance benefits while you are enrolled in an approved program. Having an attorney with disability benefits knowledge and personal injury experience could help you to recover compensation.

Disability Benefits

Once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), a doctor will determine if your injury is a permanent impairment. If you are unable to perform any type of work or lose the use of part of your body, you can be considered permanently disabled.

Permanent total disability is payable for the rest of your life. If your workplace injury results in a permanent disability, you could also qualify for additional benefits in a lump sum payment.

You could be entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits if your work-related accident caused a permanent injury to some part of your body and you are unable to perform some of the activities you could before your accident.

In Illinois, this may include:

Scheduled Loss-of-Use Award

Illinois uses a schedule to determine the amount of benefits workers with listed injuries are entitled to receive. If you’ve lost the use of a detailed body part, you may be qualified to accept an award equal to 60% of your pre-accident average weekly wages multiplied by the number of weeks shown in the schedule.

Unscheduled Award

If your work-related accident caused a permanent disability that is not listed in the schedule, your award will be determined based on your disability rating. This rating is made using a percentage of 500 weeks multiplied by 60% of your pre-accident average weekly wages.

Wage Differential

If you can still work, but your injury has caused you to earn less than your pre-accident income, you can receive up to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and your current earnings. Wage differential benefits continue for five years or until you reach age 67.

Disfigurement Benefits

Injured workers could receive up to 60% of their pre-accident wages for up to 162 weeks if their accident resulted in serious permanent disfigurement.

Wrongful Death Benefits

If you are a qualifying family member of a worker who was killed on the job, Illinois entitles you to receive death benefits. These benefits include payment of two-thirds of your deceased loved one’s average weekly wage up to a maximum of $500,000 or for 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 funeral.

Frequently Asked Questions About Naperville Workers’ Compensation

If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a workplace accident, you might be entitled to seek compensation through either Illinois personal injury law or a workers’ compensation claim.

However, what you may not know is how to pursue such a claim in the state of Illinois. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney in Naperville can come in handy. Contact the Agruss Law Firm today for a free consultation, and read on for our most frequently asked questions.

Do I qualify for benefits while I seek an appeal?

When a claim is initially denied, many claimants wonder if there is any other way to receive benefits. Many people file a Social Security disability claim to provide substitute benefits until a workers’ compensation claim is litigated or resolved in their favor.

How long could my Illinois workers’ comp case take?

Many factors influence how long your workers’ comp case will take. First, you must reach MMI, and a doctor has to release you from care. Then, your legal team will work to ensure all of your bills are paid, all of the medical records are collected, and you have everything you need to start negotiating a settlement.

What illnesses and injuries are covered under workers’ comp?

The Work Comp Act in Illinois covers just about everything. Many of the illnesses obtained through exposure are covered under the Occupational Disease Act. If you have any questions about whether the injury you sustained is covered under Illinois statutes, give Agruss Law Firm a call. We can help you.

How do I pay my bills while I’m waiting for my workers’ compensation payments to start?

Illinois statutes allow the employer 15 days to conduct an investigation and determine compensability. Typically, they use that entire 15 days, especially if they want to contest your benefits. Unfortunately, there’s not much relief for those 15 days. But once your benefits are approved, they’re retroactive back to the day of your injury.

Can I sue my coworker for causing my injury at work?

If a coworker is guilty of an intentional tort against you, then they can be tried in civil or criminal court, depending on what occurred and the severity of the injuries you’ve suffered. Illinois is a no-fault workers’ comp state, so unless their actions were intended, your injuries should be covered.

Is there a cap on workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois?

The Illinois Work Comp Act places no caps on the amounts of money that you’re entitled to. If you are injured and in need of ongoing medical care and treatment, those costs will be covered. The state may place a limit on the amount of time you can receive benefits—but not a financial amount. We’ve had claims that have risen into those areas and have taken 10 to 15 years to conclude.

What should I do if the insurance company denies my claim?

If the insurance company denies your case, there are a few options you can take. One of the best things an injury victim can do is speak with a legal specialist. Your attorney can also enlist other professionals to testify on your behalf and support your claim.

How do I choose the best workers’ comp attorney?

It’s easy to look at the prices of each worker’s comp lawyer and decide to go with the cheaper option. But how can you know if they’re any good? Securing worker’s comp is not easy.

Someone with experience can help you navigate the system.

That’s why it’s imperative to sit down with them for a free consultation and ask questions to find the right attorney. Ask them what their success rate is, and ask about their other cases. You want to know how many other worker’s comp cases they’ve handled and if they’re giving each case the individual attention it deserves.

They must spend as much time as possible on your case to ensure they are fighting for you. If they lack time, this will impact your case, and ultimately, the compensation you receive.

It’s also important to find a lawyer with whom you connect and share similar communication styles. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with your attorney, you could miss out on opportunities. It can harm your claim. That’s why you must find an attorney who you can trust.

Why choose Agruss Law Firm in Naperville?

We commit our whole law practice to assisting victims of injury. We do everything we can for you—from submitting the case, talking to the insurance coverage adjuster, and ensuring your medical care is working for you—to settling your case for optimum worth.

Working with an attorney is one of the best decisions you can make when fighting for fair compensation after an accident. Whether you are filing a personal injury claim with an insurer or preparing to file a personal injury lawsuit, our firm has a history of winning fair compensation for our clients through trial verdicts and out-of-court settlements.

It can be expensive to hire a lawyer to defend you in personal injury lawsuits. However, our services can be provided at no additional cost. There are no retainers or hourly payments for the service. We receive a portion of the award if your case is successfully resolved, whether through settlement or ruling.

You pay nothing if your attorney does not win your case. While many personal injury law firms raise their contingency fee throughout the process, we don’t. At Agruss Law Firm, our personal injury contingency fee is always consistent.

We have represented thousands of clients, many of whom have required special attention due to the severity of their injuries. Our team understands how tough missing work can be for you and your family, so we work diligently to make things as stress-free as possible.

Agruss Law Firm understands the ins and outs of workers’ compensation and personal injury law. We use that experience to guide you through the process and ensure that you are taking the right steps to get full compensation.

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