Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
Chicago residents spend most of their time working, and once you get the hang of your job tasks, you might be confident that you will not suffer any injury or harm when you go to work. However, anyone in Chicago can suffer an injury at any time, including while working. Even an inherently safe workplace can present dangerous situations that can cause injury and even death. Some jobs result in injuries simply due to the nature of the work.
Workers’ compensation laws protect Chicago workers who have the right to recover compensation for any injuries they sustain in the workplace. These benefits can cover anything from time off work to permanent disability.
Workers’ comp claims can also be complex, and many people face obstacles to the benefits they deserve. You should always discuss your options with a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer from Abels & Annes, P.C. We can help at any stage of the claim process, so please reach out today for assistance.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have successfully represented injured workers in both workers’ comp claims and 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 weedwacker
- $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 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 Motorcycle Accidents Guide
- Workersâ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
- Industries with common work injuries
- How does workersâ compensation work?
- Causes of workplace injuries
- Other workplace injuries
- What workersâ compensation benefits can I receive?
- Third-party lawsuits
- Special worker protection laws
- Time is limited
- Benefits of hiring a Chicago workersâ compensation lawyer
- Chicago Office
Industries with common work injuries
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
- Government 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 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 recovery efforts.
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, and 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.
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 like 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 suffer a crush 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 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 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 I 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 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 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.
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 against 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.
Special worker protection laws
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, 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, as are 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.
Time is limited
You have limited time to inform your employer of an injury and begin a workers’ compensation claim. You have 45 days from the injury in Illinois to inform your employer. However, most incidents require immediate assistance, so reporting is almost instant. Additionally, it benefits you to report the incident soon because evidence can be found faster and will not disappear. Without an accurate report, the insurance carrier will deny your claim.
Time is of the essence, so seek a consultation with Abels & Annes, P.C. as soon as possible.
Benefits of hiring a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer
While Chicago workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, there are still many benefits to hiring a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from Abels & Annes, P.C. While the insurance company will provide some benefits, they can also find ways to deny your claim. You need to have an advocate in your corner, especially when there are severe injuries.
A Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer will look at the facts and review insurance policies to determine what you are eligible for. 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 before you are ready. Employers cannot retaliate or fire you for filing an injury claim, but some still do.
You 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. Abels & Annes, P.C. knows 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.