Chicago Illinois Workers Compensation 101: The Basics

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is essentially an insurance policy that pays for any injury you experience or illness you contract as a direct result of your job.

Who pays workers’ compensation?

Your employer is required to pay for this insurance, and is not allowed to ask for contribution from you, the worker.

How do I get workers’ compensation in Chicago, IL?

If you have been injured on the job, it is important to notify your employer as soon as possible, as well as see a doctor who can verify that your illness or injury is work related. You’ll also need to file a workers’ compensation claim, which can be obtained through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website. If you’re looking for more information on the steps of a Workers Compensation claim, check out this blog.

How much is paid to me?

The amount of money you receive from your employer is directly related to the type of injury, and your ability to work thereafter. The Workers’ Compensation Board dictates how much your employer must pay for medical expenses as well as any cash benefits. Generally, your employer must pay your workers’ compensation in two parts: First, they should pay you a weekly amount based on the wages you lose as a result of your injury. Second, you should receive compensation for all medical expenses incurred by the injury or illness. If you are able to return to work, but your condition holds you from earning the wages you would have made before the incident, you are entitled to a reimbursement of up to ⅔ of the difference in wages.

Who is determined at fault?

In workers’ compensation cases, neither party is considered at fault, unless the injury occurred solely as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication. In this situation, a worker would give up all rights to workers’ compensation.

When do I get paid?

As long as your employer and insurance carrier accept your claim, you should receive the benefits immediately after the employer/insurance carrier agrees to the claim. Problems can arise, however, if your employer or insurance carrier attempts to dispute the claim. In this situation, you will not receive any benefits until after the claim is settled by a workers’ compensation lawyer.

What do I do if my claim is denied?

First of all, you will not be without a source of income, as you will be able to draw from disability benefits for the duration of the dispute. Secondly, if your claim is denied, your best course of action is to find a reputable workers’ compensation attorney. You have the right to challenge the decision of the claims administrator, but you have to do so in a timely manner as there are hard deadlines for the necessary paperwork. After you have filed the paperwork, your case will be heard by a workers’ compensation judge.

Do I need a workers compensation attorney?

The direct answer is no. You may represent yourself if you so choose, but it is highly recommended that you do hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to better represent your case. An attorney will know the exact deadlines for all of your paperwork, will understand difficult legal jargon, and will better know exactly how to present your case favorably to the judge. This is the best way to assure that you get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve following your injury or illness.

If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation law, or if your employer has disputed your claim, don’t hesitate to give the Epstein Law Firm a call at 773-522-7000. We’re here to help, and as always, your first consultation is free.

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