Workplace injuries are some of the most common injuries individuals face in Illinois. After all, most of us spend 40 hours or more a week on the job for more than 40 years of our life. Because workplace injuries are so common, workers' compensation was created to compensate employees for their injuries, and provide benefits if they are not able to return to work. However, some employers and workers' compensation companies deny the employee's claim, leaving them unable to work, and unable to pay their medical bills. In these situations, the employee should speak to an attorney about filing a lawsuit to make sure they get the compensation they deserve.
Common Workplace Injuries
Many workplace injuries involve a sudden accident. Others are the result of long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals or due to years of doing the same motions over and over. These can involve minor injuries that only take a couple of days to heal, or they can involve permanent disability or dismemberment that lasts for the rest of the worker's life. Some common on-the-job injuries include:
- Vehicle Accidents
- Falling Injury
- Chemical Burns
- Crushing Injury
- Repetitive Stress Injury
- Workplace Violence
- Hazardous Chemical Exposure
- Electric Shock
- Slip and Fall
Workplace injuries are unique in that workers' compensation is supposed to make sure your medical bills are paid, and you receive benefits if you are unable to work. However, in reality, workplace injuries can quickly become a complicated mess where you are spending hours on the phone trying to find out why your bills are not being paid, and why you are not getting your benefits. As soon as you encounter any kind of problems, you should consider talking to an experienced attorney.
After you are injured on the job, your focus should be on getting better, so you can return to your normal life as soon as possible. You don't need the hassle of dealing with the hospital billing department, claims representatives, and collections calls. If your employer denies your claim, you may have trouble getting your employer to talk to you about why your claim was denied. In the meantime, your bills will keep piling up, and your bank account balance will keep getting smaller. Before you find yourself in financial ruin, talk to an experienced workers' compensation attorney to make sure you get the benefits you are owed under the law.
Illinois Workers' Compensation Law
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is supposed to protect you when you are injured on the job. Benefits are usually paid regardless of who was at fault for this injury. When there is a dispute about a workers' compensation claim between the employer and the employee, the Commission is supposed to resolve disputes in an impartial way. Most employees in Illinois are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act. Coverage begins from the moment an employee begins their job. Workers' compensation is supposed to cover any accidents that arise out of and in the course of employment.
Workers' compensation benefits are supposed to cover all medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the employee's injury. This includes emergency care, doctors visits, hospital care, physical therapy, and medication. If the injury requires a modification of the employee's home, workers' compensation benefits may be required to cover those costs as well.
If an employee is temporarily totally disabled, they are supposed to receive benefits for the time they are unable to work. The employee may also get temporary partial disability benefits while recovering and able to do light duty work. If the employee is permanently disabled, workers' compensation is supposed to provide permanent benefits.
There are a number of reasons why an employer may try and justify denying your claim. They may try and claim the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, and this led to the injury. They may claim that the injury did not occur in the workplace. They may claim that the employee is not seriously injured, and is able to return to work.
An employer has the right to ask for an evaluation of an employee's injury by a doctor of their choosing. After the employer's doctor does an evaluation, they are supposed to give the employee a copy of the report. In some cases, the employer's doctor will indicate that the employee is not as injured as they claim. Whatever the reason for the employer's refusal, you may have to take legal action to force your employer to pay the benefits you are owed.
If the employer refuses to pay workers' compensation benefits, the employee may want to contact an attorney to deal with the non-compliant employer. If the employer still refuses to pay benefits, your attorney may file a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission. You may request a trial to have your claim decided by an arbitrator. Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution option where a neutral third-party arbitrator will hear both sides, and come to a decision on the case about whether your employer should pay benefits on your claim.
Personal Injury Claim
Most workplace injuries are covered under the Illinois' workers' compensation program. However, in some cases, you may seek compensation through filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your injury was related to exposure to a hazardous chemical, you may file a personal injury claim against the company who manufactured the dangerous chemical. You may also file a claim against a manufacturer if you were injured as a result of a product defect. A personal injury lawsuit is handled differently than a workers' compensation claim dispute. You should talk to your attorney if you are unsure what rights you may have after you are injured in the workplace.
Illinois Workplace Injury Attorneys
If you were injured on the job, workers' compensation should pay for your medical treatment, and if you are not able to work, they should pay you benefits. If your claim was denied, or you were not offered a fair settlement, you should speak with an experienced attorney who understands Illinois workers' compensation law. Our attorneys have successfully handled workplace injury lawsuits for our clients in Peoria and throughout Illinois. If you have suffered physical, financial or emotional injury as the result of an injury on the job, contact your experienced Illinois workplace injury attorneys. At Benassi & Benassi, we are committed to getting our clients the justice they deserve.