Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

When You Need a Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago

Chicagoans spend a lot of time working hard so they can play hard. Depending on your job type, you might think you won't suffer any injury or harm when you go to work. However, anyone in Chicago can suffer an injury at any time, including while working. If you've been injured at work, you may be eligible to receive compensation from many different sources. A skilled Chicago worker compensation lawyer from Abels & Annes, P.C. can explain your options.

The truth is that even an inherently safe workplace can present dangerous situations that can cause injury and even death. Some jobs are more likely to result in injuries simply due to the nature of the work.

Workers’ compensation laws protect Chicago workers who are injured on the job. This form of insurance gives employees the right to recover compensation for injuries they sustain in the workplace or while "on the clock" for their employer. These benefits can cover a variety of financial losses, from time off work to permanent disability.

Workers’ comp claims can also be complex, and many people face obstacles while pursuing the benefits they deserve. When problems arise, or if you just have questions about bringing a work comp claim, reach out to a work injury lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. We can help at any stage of the claim process, so it's never too early to ask for assistance.

Why Choose the Workers Compensation Lawyers at Abels & Annes?

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have successfully represented injured workers in both workers’ comp claims and third-party injury claims.

Some client case 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 weedwhacker
  • $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.

Causes of Work Injury Accidents Guide

Which Industries Report the Most Work Injuries?

Any workplace is dangerous; even an office setting with no dangerous equipment can lead to injuries.

That said, some of the most hazardous workplaces in Chicago are:

  • Private air transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • 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 benefited 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 who is at fault for their injuries. Employers benefit because they are exempt from the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.

A few exceptions to the rule can open the doors for additional forms of compensation options.

Latent injuries

Latent injuries appear after 25 years of service in a specific field and workers who suffer from a latent injury are eligible to bring civil claims against their employer.

Intentional employer misconduct

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, and the work injury lawyers 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. In Illinois, all employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance under state law. if they do not, they will face penalties as well as a personal injury lawsuit.

Common 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 highest number of injuries in the state, followed by accidents involving objects.

1. Slip and fall incidents

Workers can experience silp and fall accidents in any situation or at any moment due to a dangerous condition on the floor, like ice, water, or loose cables. Worksite falls also include falling from heights like ladders, a second floor, scaffolding, and roofs.

2. Dangerous equipment and objects

Many workplaces require a lot of equipment and objects that employees can run into, or that may 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 crush injury from heavy 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 daily 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 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 suffer injuries to 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 Work Comp Benefits Can a Workers Compensation Attorney in Chicago Help Me Receive?

Different workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers in Chicago, depending on the severity of the 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 at 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 therapy and/or mental rehabilitation
  • Surgery expenses
  • Hospital and in-home care
  • Medications and assistive devices
  • Other injury-related costs

You should not even pay a deductible or coinsurance payment for these expenses.

Some additional benefits that might be available are described below. A tenacious job injury lawyer at Abels & Annes, P.C. will always fight for all benefits that apply to your situation.

Vocational rehabilitation

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

catastrophic injury lawyer

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 awards are benefits workers get if they lose a body part, and you can recover 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.

Death benefits

Family members including 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.

Can a Job Injury Lawyer Help Me Bring a Third-Party Lawsuit?

Third parties often enter work premises to perform their work duties, and sometimes their negligence causes harm to other people on the jobsite. You can recover additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against these third parties based on 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 may involve:

  • Defective products makers
  • Toxic substance manufacturers or users
  • Motor vehicle accidents caused by another driver
  • Outside contractors

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.

Special Worker Protection Laws Available to Chicago Workers

Specific industries have different workers’ compensation avenues for injured employees. Railway workers, police, firefighters, and waterway workers offer 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, and they must prove the employer’s negligence. 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

City of Chicago police officers do not receive coverage under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, like 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 contingent 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.

How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Workers Comp Claim?

You have limited amount of time to inform your employer about an injury and begin a workers’ compensation claim. Specifically, you only have 45 days from the injury in Illinois to inform your employer. However, most incidents require immediate assistance, so reporting is almost instantaneous. Additionally, you should report the incident as soon as possible because important evidence can be gathered faster and not disappear. Without an accurate incident report, the insurance carrier can deny your claim.

Time is of the essence, so reach out to a work comp attorney at Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation as soon as possible.

What are the Benefits of Working With a Chicago Workers Compensation Lawyer?

Dave Abels Personal Injury Lawyer
Chicago Work Injury Lawyer Dave Abels

While Chicago workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, that doesn't mean your claim will automatically be paid. There are still many benefits to hiring a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at Abels & Annes, P.C. While the insurance company may provide some benefits, they might also find ways to deny your claim. You need to have an advocate in your corner, especially when you are facing severe injuries.

A workers’ compensation attorney in our Chicago office can look at the facts and review all possible insurance policies to determine all potential benefit you can request. Sometimes, employers will push injured workers to return to work before they are physically ready so they can close out a workers’ compensation claim. We will ensure you do not go back before you are ready.

Also, employers cannot retaliate or fire you for filing an injury claim, but some still do. Our work comp team can help you fight back if you were let go or penalized after filing a workers' comp claim.

Together, we must show your injury was due to a workplace accident to be eligible for workers’ compensation. It sounds easy, but it can be contentious because insurance companies do not want to pay claims. The skilled work injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. know workers’ compensation cases inside and out, and we are here to provide sound legal advice and representation to ensure you get the money you need. Contact our office today at (312) 924-7575.


Address: 100 N LaSalle St #1710,
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 924-7575
Fax: (855) 529-2442