Worker Compensation claims can difficult, exhausting and just plain complicated. If you’ve found yourself suffering from a work injury, here is a list of our favorite 33 tid-bits that you might find helpful.
1. With the exception of Federal workers, Chicago cops/firemen, some farm workers, and truly independent contractors, all employees, including employees through a temp-agency, are covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
2. If you don’t have health insurance this doesn’t stop you from making a claim if injured. Workers compensation is there to pay you for all of your related medical bills.
3. All businesses, including non-profits, are required to have workers compensation Insurance. It’s a felony not to have it.
4. In Illinois alone, there are more than 40,000 work comp claims filed every year.
5. Workers hired in Illinois, but injured while working in another state are still covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
6. There is a Statute of Limitations to file for any work injury. You have the longer of two years from the last payment of compensation from your job, or three years from the date of your injury.
7. From the moment you begin work, you’re covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes during training.
8. Pre-existing conditions will not exclude you from receiving benefits.
9. Filing a case isn’t a lawsuit. They are claims for entitled benefits.
10. All injury claims are processed through the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Every case starts with filing an Application for an Adjustment of Claim.
11. Once you have an active case, no doctor or hospital can legally send your bills to collections or report negatively to your credit report.
12. If you are injured while on company property before clocking in, you still may have grounds for a case. The same goes if you are injured after clocking out and leaving the office or are on company grounds for company business.
13. In a case where you may be injured and unable to go back to work, the insurance company will pay you for your retraining or for you to go back to school. This is known as vocational rehabilitation.
14. Pain medication has been known to cause addiction. When this occurs because of a work inury, drug rehabilitation to stop the addiction could be covered.
15. Mental stress will also be considered for workers compensation if the stress occurs from a shocking situation, such as being robbed at gunpoint, or from a physical situation, such as back surgery causing depression from the pain.
16. Cancer can come from extreme exposure to radiation on the job. Workers compensation may cover this.
17. If found necessary by your doctor, victims of catastrophic injuries may be entitled to benefits such as modified vehicles and home repairs.
18. It is typically not a good idea to quit your job in the middle of a case. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before taking any such actions.
19. If you are pursuing a claim, your company cannot fire you for doing so.
20. If you have a work accident that causes you to miss work, your employer can’t force you to use your sick or vacation days.
21. The insurance company has every legal right to hire a surveillance company to follow and film you as part of their investigation into your claim.
22. Be mindful about your social media. Your posts may negatively affect your case. Never post about your case, but it is also best to keep your profiles private and do not accept unknown friend requests.
23. The cause of a work related accident is never assigned to a fault, unless you were engaging in horseplay or taking unnecessary risks. Work comp will cover medical costs related to the job injury, regardless of who caused the accident.
24. While almost every case has a settlement value, there is no set value for what any one case is ‘worth’ because every case has different circumstances.
25. The money you can receive for a settlement is tax-free.
26. If a work accident causes you to be unable to work your second job, wages for both jobs are typically considered when calculating benefits.
27. When filing a claim for a work injury, pain and suffering is not considered in the recovered amount.
28. The amount of medical care and attention you need determines the time it takes for a case to settle. Some cases are settled in weeks, months or even years. On average, most cases are resolved within 12 – 18 months.
29. Insurance companies are not mandated to make a settlement offer, but you can ensure a settlement by formally filing a case and getting ready for trial.
30. Illinois workers compensation laws change constantly due to law interpretation by judges. This is why it is your best interest to hire a lawyer for your claim.
31. Switching attorneys is allowed.
32. Workman compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee unless your case wins.
33. The best chance for success with your case is to hire an attorney who only handles work injury cases.
If you have any questions or want a referral to a top work comp attorney in Illinois, call us at 312-346-5320.