When You Need a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Turn to Abels & Annes, P.C.
Like most Chicagoans, you probably spend most of your adult life working. You might feel confident that you won’t suffer any injury or harm when you go to work. However, even an inherently safe workplace can present dangerous situations that can cause injury and even death. If you were injured while performing your job, talk to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Abels & Annes to understand your legal rights.
If you are an employee, workers’ compensation laws protect you by providing the right to recover compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace. These benefits can cover medical expenses, time off work, and even permanent disability if required.
Workers’ comp claims can be complex, and many people encounter obstacles when trying to recover the benefits they deserve. To avoid missing out on valuable work comp benefits, discuss your unique circumstances with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys. We can help at any stage of the claim process, so don’t wait any longer. Reach out today for assistance.
The Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Abels & Annes Have an Impressive Record of Success
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have successfully represented injured workers in both workers’ comp claims and work-related third-party injury claims.
Some results include:
- $1,125,000 for a driver who suffered injuries making deliveries
- $1,475,000 for an injured construction worker
- $1,300,000 for a worker who suffered hand injuries from a weed wacker
- $410,000 for a worker who required back surgery
- $330,000 for a worker with double knee injuries
- $195,000 for a truck driver who suffered a spinal injury on the job
- $150,000 for a worker who fell off a ladder
These are only some examples of how our workers’ comp attorneys obtain results for our clients. To learn how we might help in your case, contact the office of Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation.
Industries where a Chicago work injury can occur
Any workplace is dangerous; even an office with no dangerous equipment can lead to injuries.
That said, some of the most hazardous workplaces in Chicago are:
- Private air transportation
- Nursing and healthcare
- Construction industry
- Warehousing and storage
- Ground transportation
- Agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing
- City transit
Some of these occupations are specific to Chicago, while others occur across the state. The three industries with the highest injury reports are nursing assistants, commercial truck drivers, and laborers.
How does workers’ compensation work?
Since its inception, workers’ compensation has allowed injured workers in Chicago and surviving family members to receive payment for their losses. In Illinois, it is a no-fault system. Workers benefit because they do not have to prove fault for their injuries. Employers benefit because they are protected from the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.
A few exceptions to the rule can open the doors for additional financial recovery options.
Latent injuries appear after 25 years of service in a specific field and are eligible for civil claims against the employer.
Intentional misconduct of the employer
If your injuries happened because of your employer’s intentional misconduct, you have two options for compensation: filing a personal injury lawsuit or accepting a workers’ compensation claim. For a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove an intentional tort occurred instead of an accident. The differences are vital to your case. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. can handle either type of claim.
Lack of required insurance
When an Illinois employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you only have one option: a personal injury lawsuit. All employers must have workers’ compensation insurance under state law; if they do not, they will face penalties as well as a personal injury lawsuit.
Causes of workplace injuries
Workplace accidents can lead to severe injuries or fatalities, and it is important to know how they happen. Falls account for the most considerable number of injuries in the state, followed by accidents involving objects.
1. Slip and fall
You can fall at any moment due to a dangerous condition on the floor, like water or loose cables. Falls also include falling from heights including ladders, a second floor, scaffolding, and roofs.
2. Equipment and objects
Many workplaces have a lot of equipment and objects that employees can run into or that will malfunction. Structures, equipment, and materials can also strike or crush employees. You can also be struck by an object when it falls or you might suffer a crushing injury from equipment.
3. Repetitive motion injuries
Performing the same task or movement for an extended period can cause your body to suffer from a repetitive motion injury. The most common is carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs most frequently among office workers. Chronic back pain is prevalent among laborers who have to carry heavy items. Anything that requires you to do the same actions over and over can lead to a repetitive motion injury.
4. Occupational injuries
Toxic chemicals, loud noises, and other unsafe conditions can lead to workers suffering from permanent injuries like hearing loss, respiratory disease, and skin conditions.
Other potential Chicago workplace injuries
Any area of your body can suffer an injury from a workplace accident.
Depending on your workplace and the cause of the injury, you might harm your:
- Elbows: cubital tunnel syndrome
- Shoulders: rotator cuff injuries, torn labrums, bicep tendonitis
- Back: chronic back pain, pulled muscles, herniated discs, spinal trauma
- Hands, fingers, wrists: lacerations, fractures, cumulative trauma disorders
- Knees and legs: fractures, torn ligaments, and tears
What workers’ compensation benefits can a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney help me receive?
Different workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers in Chicago, depending on the severity of your injury. With your workers’ compensation claim, you can obtain funds to cover lost earnings and medical bills. When you cannot work for more than three days, you can receive a portion of your lost wages until you recover and can return to work. You can also receive a wage differential if you can return to work with restrictions or for a lower-paying position.
When you suffer an on-the-job injury, you should recover all of the medical costs and expenses that come with the injury. Under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, you can recover payment for physical or mental rehab, surgery, hospital care, medications, etc. You should not even pay a deductible or coinsurance for these expenses.
Some additional benefits that might be available are listed below. Abels & Annes, P.C. will always fight for all benefits that apply to your situation.
When an injury prevents you from continuing to work in the same capacity you once did, you will need education and training to perform new job duties. Resources must be paid and provided to victims who can no longer perform their duties and must now look for new employment. Additionally, you can receive maintenance benefits while in the vocational program to supplement your income.
Permanent total disability benefits
These benefits are payable for the rest of your life, and you can receive them when you reach maximum medical improvement and a doctor determines you have a permanent impairment. If you have a permanent impairment, the doctor will need to determine how severe it is and if you can continue to be part of the workforce or if you cannot perform any work. If you lose two arms, feet, eyes, or legs, you are wholly and permanently disabled.
Permanent partial disability
A permanent partial disability is when you cannot perform some duties because of a permanent injury to a specific part of your body. Some benefits you can recover are unscheduled awards, wage differential benefits, disfigurement benefits, and scheduled loss of use awards.
Scheduled loss of use benefits are awarded to workers who lose a body part. You can receive a portion of your previous weekly wages multiplied by the number of weeks in the schedule. Unscheduled awards are for a permanent disability that is not on the schedule list, and you will get a rating based on your disability rating.
Wage differential benefits compensate for a portion of your earnings when you can work in a lower position than before the injury. These benefits can last five years or until you reach age 67, whichever comes first. Lastly, disfigurement benefits allow you to receive wages for 162 weeks, making up for some of your pre-accident wages.
Family members like spouses and children can recover payment when their loved one dies from a workplace accident. Death benefits are available to minor children even when the parents are not together. Workers’ compensation will provide monthly payments to qualifying dependents and pay for burial expenses. Any money paid to minor children is to provide for their expenses, not anything else.
Third parties often enter the premises to perform work, and you can recover additional compensation by filing a lawsuit based upon their negligent actions. A personal injury lawsuit in Chicago allows you to recover damages for losses you cannot receive in a workers’ compensation claim.
Third-party liability involves:
- Defective products
- Toxic substances
- Motor vehicle accidents
If you were performing your job duties and one of these third parties caused an injury, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them in conjunction with your workers’ compensation claim.
Some of the special worker protection laws our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have previously encountered
Specific industries have different workers’ compensation avenues for injured employees. Railway workers, police, firefighters, and waterway workers will have different protections and programs to recover compensation for a workplace accident.
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act covers railway workers bringing an injury claim against their employers. FELA claims require workers to prove their employer’s negligence was the cause of their injuries. Injured railroad employees—whether they work for the CTA, RTA, Amtrak, Metra, or a freight line—can recover payment for loss of quality of life, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
The Jones Act
Waterway workers who work on boats—particularly on Lake Michigan—can suffer injuries, but they must prove the employer’s negligence to receive benefits. Within the award, you can obtain medical bill payments, loss of quality of life, future economic losses, and a daily allowance while they recover. Individual factors may make additional benefits available.
City of Chicago Police Officers Benefits
City of Chicago police officers do not receive coverage under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, similar to all other police officers in the state.
Therefore, Chicago police officers have alternative methods to recover compensation.
- Ordinary disability benefits: Officers who suffer an injury outside the line of duty can request benefits if they suffer a disability for more than 30 days and are ineligible to receive their regular salary. You can obtain one year of benefits for every four years of service. You should discuss other stipulations with your Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer.
- Duty disability benefit: Conversely, Chicago officers who sustain injuries within the line of duty are eligible for duty disability benefits. The program enables you to receive regular salary payments depending on individual circumstances.
- Occupational disease benefits: Officers with a minimum of ten years of service who suffer a disabling heart condition can receive these benefits. You can only obtain these benefits if you are ineligible for duty disability benefits, and you will get a portion of your salary.
While you can obtain some benefits, there are many exceptions. Hence, you need to discuss your options with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer familiar with these and other programs.
Don’t wait to contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney
You have a limited time (usually only 45 days) to inform your Illinois employer about an injury and begin a workers’ compensation claim. However, most incidents require immediate assistance, so reporting will happen almost instantly. Additionally, you should report the incident as soon as possible because evidence can be located and preserved more quickly. Without an accurate report, the insurance carrier may deny your claim.
Time is of the essence, so reach out for a free consultation with the dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at Abels & Annes as soon as possible.
Benefits of hiring a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer
While the workers’ compensation process is a no-fault system, there are still many benefits to hiring a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from Abels & Annes, P.C.
For example, you must first show your injury was due to a workplace accident to be eligible for workers’ compensation. It sounds easy, but it can be contentious. Sometimes the insurance company will provide initial benefits and then find ways to deny your claim.
One of our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers will look at the facts and review all relevant insurance policies to determine what benefits may apply. Also, sometimes employers will push injured workers to come back to work before they are physically ready so they can close out a workers’ compensation claim. We will ensure you do not go back to work before you are ready.
Employers cannot legally retaliate or fire you for filing an injury claim, but some still do. We can protect you during this complicated and difficult time. You deserve to have an advocate in your corner, especially when you are suffering severe injuries and facing an unsympathetic insurance company.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. has handled numerous workers’ compensation cases and we know the law inside and out. We are here to provide sound legal advice and representation to ensure you receive the money you deserve. Contact our office online today or call us at (312) 924-7575.