What Is My Workers’ Compensation Case Worth?
A client seeking representation for a workers’ compensation injury often has a long list of questions for a potential attorney. Do I really need a lawyer to represent me in my case? How long will it take to see resolution? And above all, what kind of compensation can I expect to receive as a result of my injuries?
MANY FACTORS TO CONSIDER
State law dictates that employers must compensate workers who are injured on the job and pay for their medical treatment and rehabilitation. A settlement or arbitration award for injured workers is determined by many different factors. In general, the amount of compensation you will receive in your workers’ compensation case will be determined by the nature of your injury and how it impacts your future ability to work.
If a workers’ compensation claim is accepted by your employer’s insurance carrier, they will begin the process of determining how to compensate you for your injuries. In cases where benefits are denied, an injured worker will need to litigate their claim through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and receive a hearing before an Arbitrator. In either situation, it is important to have an attorney to advocate for you and your rights in the process. Factors such as your medical treatment, ability to return to the workplace and your wages prior to the accident or occupational-related illness will all be integral in determining the total amount you may be entitled.
Your Compensation Factors, Explained
The severity of your injury, along with any lasting health implications, will be examined in determining your compensation. Specific injuries such as loss of body parts or disfigurement are generally compensated by a set schedule by the state of Illinois. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the value of your case will be figured on the wages you received from your employer in the year prior to the accident. A detailed wage analysis is crucial to maximizing your case and determining your potential settlement or arbitration award. In these cases, the amount of compensation is determined by weighing a number of factors including the permanent disability incurred as a result of that injury, a loss in your earning capacity, total time lost from work, amongst others. Most often, however, the process of figuring the totality of what you are owed requires careful, detailed analysis.
In general, your medical bills should be covered by workers compensation. Your need for future treatment is also considered in the determination process. Some of the medical factors of relevance to your claim may include:
- Physical therapy or long term rehabilitation services
- The need for in-home care
- Ongoing or chronic health issues as a result of your injury
- The need for future treatment
Your ability to return to your pre-injury status largely affects the total amount of your payment. If you are unable to return to your job, your employer will have to consider the potential loss of trade or wages that has resulted from your injury. In some cases, an injury may necessitate you to seek alternative employment that pays less than your previous job. Under that scenario the workers’ compensation must account for a percentage of that loss in earnings.
A workplace injury can have a devastating impact on your health, well-being and finances. Your employer likely wants to pay you as little as possible for your claim. That’s why an attorney well versed in Illinois workers compensation law is your best asset.
At Connolly Injury Law, our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer does a painstaking evaluation of every case during its pendency and at the conclusion of your medical treatment to maximize the value of your case and ensure the best possible result. If you are in the Chicago area, call (312)-780-0816 and be connected with someone who can help.