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Category Archives: Workers' Compensation

IL injury lawyerThere are a variety of ways you could get injured on the job, from slipping on a wet floor to accidentally amputating a finger in a piece of machinery. No matter the injury, you should have peace of mind knowing that you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, which most Illinois employers are required to carry. It can be frustrating when you receive a denial for your workers’ compensation benefits in the mail. If you have been denied your right to workers’ compensation, there are a number of potential reasons why. An Illinois workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine the cause of your denial.

1. Your accident did not occur at work.

Usually, the only type of injuries that are covered under Illinois workers’ compensation are injuries that are sustained from accidents that occurred at work. However, you may still be able to claim workers’ compensation if you were performing work for your employer, even if you were not present at your employer’s location at the time.

2. You did not inform your employer of your injury on time.

Like many other things, there are statutes of limitation that you must obey. For workers’ compensation claims, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) states that you should inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible, but in no case later than 45 days after the day that you were injured.

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IL injury lawyerIt is common knowledge that nearly all employers in Illinois are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation exists to support employees who become injured during the course of their employment. Workers’ compensation allows injured workers to claim benefits for injuries such as broken limbs or even death. What some people may not realize is that many illnesses or diseases that are developed by employees through their line of work can also be eligible for compensation under the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.

Understanding Qualifying Diseases

The most difficult part about a claim for an occupational disease is proving that the situation is actually work-related. The Act does not list any specific diseases that qualify for compensation, but states that any disease that arises, “out of an in the course of the employment,” or any condition that, “has become aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the employment,” is a qualifying disease for reasons of the Act. However, the Act also states that the illness or disease must be one that arises from a risk that is normally or in most cases specific to or increased by the work and, “not common to the general public.” Some common diseases or illnesses that could be included are:

  • Asthma
  • Reproductive diseases
  • HIV
  • Dermatitis
  • Hearing loss
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Recovering Compensation For Your Illness

In most cases, claims for an occupational disease must be filed within two years of the last day of exposure to the thing causing the disease. In certain cases, such as those involving the inhalation of silica or asbestos dust, claims must be filed within three years. Diseases relating to exposure to radiation have up to 25 years to be filed. If the claim is filed within the appropriate amount of time, benefits can be collected. These benefits would be the same as if they were being paid out for a work injury. Benefits for an occupational illness or disease can include:

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IL injury lawyerPeople who are injured on the job or because of work they have performed will usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp will cover the costs of medical treatment for an injury, and a person may also be able to receive disability benefits if their injury has caused them to be temporarily unable to work or has permanently affected their ability to earn an income. While workers’ compensation covers all injuries that occur during or arise out of a person’s employment, there are some cases where employers or insurance companies attempt to deny a workers’ comp claim based on a person’s pre-existing condition. In these cases, injured workers will want to understand their rights and determine how they can receive the benefits they deserve.

Workers’ Comp Coverage for Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions

When a person suffers an injury while at work, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if the injury arose out of their employment. In some cases, workers’ comp claims may be denied on the basis that a person had a pre-existing condition, and an employer or their insurer may claim that the injury did not occur because of the work that a person performed, but was solely caused by their existing medical conditions.

Workers should understand that even if they had a pre-existing condition, they will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they suffered a new injury while working. These injuries may include the aggravation of any existing medical issues. For example, a person with degenerative disc disease may experience a worsening of this condition after lifting heavy objects at work. Even though they already had a known medical condition, an injury that required additional medical treatment or affected a person’s ability to work will be covered by workers’ comp.

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IL injury lawyerSerious injuries can have a long-lasting or permanent impact on a person’s life, and in some cases, they can affect a person’s ability to work. Fortunately, those who suffer these types of injuries while on the job have the right to receive workers’ compensation that will cover the costs of their immediate and ongoing medical care and provide disability benefits to address their loss of income. For those who have suffered injuries that will permanently affect their health and well-being and their ability to work, different types of permanent disability benefits are available. Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits will cover situations where a person is able to return to work, but their injuries have limited the income they are able to earn or have permanently damaged parts of their body.

Types of Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

A worker may suffer a permanent partial disability (PPD) if they completely lost a part of their body through amputation, completely or partially lost the use of one or more parts of their body, or lost partial use of their entire body. Being unable to perform activities or work-related tasks that a person could do previously is considered a loss of use. PPD benefits will usually be calculated using the person’s average weekly wage (AWW) that they earned during the 52 weeks before their injury.

Before a person can receive PPD benefits, they must reach a condition of “maximum medical improvement” (MMI) in which any further treatment would not impact their ability to work. At this point, they may be eligible for one of the following types of benefits:

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IL job injury lawyerFor those who are injured while on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can be crucial. Medical benefits will cover the costs of all treatment related to an employee’s injury, and wage benefits will provide compensation for the loss of income due to a temporary or permanent disability. However, even though employees are eligible to receive these benefits following any work-related injuries, whether they or their employer were at fault, some employers or their insurance companies deny workers’ comp claims. This can cause a great deal of financial difficulty for a person, since they may be unable to pay their medical expenses, especially if they are unable to work while recovering from their injury. Fortunately, employees who have been denied benefits can file a claim through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) and take steps to receive the benefits they deserve.

The IWCC Claims Process

An employee who has been denied workers’ comp benefits can begin the claims process through the IWCC by submitting an Application for Adjustment of Claim. A claim must be filed within three years after an injury occurred or within two years after the employee last received payment for medical bills or Temporary Total Disability (TTD).

After a claim is filed, the IWCC will assign an arbitrator to the case. Every three months, a status call will be scheduled, and either party may ask for a hearing to be held to review the case. In most cases, an employee must reach “maximum medical improvement” before the arbitrator can make a decision, although an emergency hearing may be necessary if an employee needs immediate assistance with medical bills or disability benefits.

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