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Chicago Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Chicago Workers’ Compensation

Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Illinois workers’ compensation law represents a balance between offering health care and job security to injured workers with the need to limit business expenses and lost productivity for employers. Workers’ comp benefits help employees get better and get back to work while limiting the company’s liability by prohibiting civil lawsuits against employers.

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation doesn’t always protect employees as it should. Employers dispute the extent of the worker’s injury or say it isn’t work-related. Workers who do receive benefits find they are not getting as much as they should, or their benefits are cut off before they are ready to return to work. Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer Mark Connolly is committed to making sure employees are treated fairly and get the benefits they are entitled to when they’ve been injured on the job. If you’ve been hurt at work in Cook County or throughout Chicagoland and need help getting the benefits you deserve, call Connolly Injury Law for practical advice and professional assistance with your Illinois workers’ compensation claim.

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What Does Illinois Workers’ Compensation Provide?

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act covers almost every employee in the state from day one on the job. The law covers all types of workplace injuries and illnesses, including traumatic accidents, repetitive use injuries, and medical conditions such as stroke or heart attack caused by work. Workers with a pre-existing condition can get benefits when their condition is aggravated on the job.

Injured workers receive coverage for all medical care reasonably required to treat their condition, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, medications, prostheses and medical devices. When you tell your doctor you were injured at work, they bill the workers’ compensation carrier directly so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your medical care.

Workers’ compensation also helps out with wage replacement while you are out of work recovering from the injury or illness. Typically, this amount equals two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you are off work (Temporary Total Disability/TTD), or two-thirds of the wage differential if you can work at light duty or with restrictions and at a lower rate of pay (Temporary Partial Disability/TPD). If you have to switch jobs, workers’ comp can cover the costs of vocational rehabilitation in an approved program. If you are permanently disabled or disfigured but can still work (PPD) or permanently disabled and unable to work (PTD), you can receive benefits based on a wage differential or compensation based on a schedule of injuries.

Illinois workers’ compensation also provides a death benefit to family members who lose a loved one to a work-related accidental injury or illness. Death benefits include $8,000 in burial expenses to the survivor or person paying for the burial, plus two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage to a surviving spouse and young children, totally dependent parents, or other persons who were at least 50% dependent on the deceased. These benefits can last for the greater of 25 years or $500,000.

Why do Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied?

It’s illegal in Illinois to discriminate or retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, but employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers still find ways to deny claims, terminate benefits prematurely, or underpay claims. Common reasons employers give for denying claims include:

Claimant didn’t prove their case – The burden is on the claimant to prove all the elements of a workers’ compensation claim, i.e., the Commission has jurisdiction over the case, the worker was duly employed by the company, there was an accident or exposure at work, that accident or exposure is causally connected to the worker’s injury or illness, and the employee gave proper, timely notice to the employer about the injury or illness.

Extent of disability – Employers and insurers dispute how much the worker is really injured, often requiring employees to submit to examinations by their own hired doctors whose sole purpose is not to treat the individual but to render an opinion to the employer on the worker’s injury.

Not work-related – Especially when the injury stems from a degenerative condition that occurred over time or due to a traumatic accident that is not well-documented, the employer will claim the worker’s injury happened outside of work, off-duty, or due to a pre-existing condition.

Medical bills – The insurer will dispute whether the worker’s medical bills submitted for payment were “reasonable and necessary” to treat the employee’s condition.

Wage disputes – It can actually be quite complicated to accurately calculate an employee’s average weekly wage for the purpose of determining TTD, TPD, PPD or PPD benefits. Employers seize on this difficulty to underpay this valuable benefit that an out-of-work claimant desperately needs.

Help With Workers’ Compensation Claims in Chicagoland

Illinois workers’ compensation laws provide a legal process to fight a wrongful claim denial, underpayment of claims or early termination of benefits. This process involves hearings and appeals before administrative and judicial bodies, and representation from a qualified and experienced workers’ comp lawyer is essential to success. Chicago workers’ compensation attorney Mark Connolly has years of experience and success representing injured workers in Cook County and throughout Chicagoland. Call Connolly Injury Law at 312-780-0816 for a free consultation and help with your claim. There is no fee unless we are successful in getting benefits for you.

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