Workers' Compensation: What it is, what rights it affords you, and what to do if you feel you have a claim.
(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 26, 2016 ) Chicago, IL -- As any Illinois workers compensation lawyer will tell you, litigation can be costly and can take a significant amount of time. As such, beginning in 1902, states in the United States began to pass workers compensation laws to provide employees injured on the job with another option besides pursuing litigation in the event of an injury.
What is workers compensation?
Workers compensation laws are laws that make special provisions for employees injured on the job
Workers comp statutes provide a mechanism for injured employees to recover quickly. Further, because the process is not the same as a full-blown lawsuit, recovery is generally assured much faster than the traditional route of going through the courts.
What does workers compensation give me?
Your workers compensation rights will vary from state to state. In Illinois the governing law is the Illinois Workers Compensation Act. This Act provides a procedure for recovery for those employees injured on the job.
You have the right to have your medical expenses paid fully, without any out of pocket costs such as a deductible or co-insurance. The idea is that, because the injury is not the type for which you can recover in a civil suit, there should be some guarantees given in place of that right. As such, your medical expenses for injuries arising from a workplace incident are 100% covered.
In addition, if you are unable to work for a period of time, you may be able to recover up to 2/3 of the wages you lose during this period. These lost wage benefits may range from a few weeks - if you are able to return to work after that timeall the way up to the rest of your career - if you are injured so severely that you cannot ever work again.
In the event that you are able to return to work, but due to your injuries you cannot hold the same position and end up having to take a lower paying job, you may be able to recover something for the difference in compensation. Typically, you can recover up to 2/3 of the difference between your old pay rate and your new one.
Similarly, if you must be retrained for a new job because you are no longer able to work in your old position, workers compensation can pay for the training you need. This can be a valuable addition to the other compensatory payments you receive in the event of an injury, as training for a new job can be prohibitively expensive.
Moreover, if you permanently lose the use of a body part such as a hand or foot, you can be compensated for the loss of the use of your limb. The amount that you will be awarded will vary from situation to situation, including how important to your life that particular body part was, what its loss means to you, and how your life is going to be changed because of the lost body part.
Finally, workers comp protects your family, too: in the event that the on-the-job accident is fatal, workers comp laws provide that your dependents may collect the workers comp benefits on your behalf. This ensures that they will have a reliable income if you are no longer able to provide it for them.
What should you do if you are injured on the job?
First and foremost, you need to remember that some employers are going to do everything they can to minimize the amount you collect. This is because, in some circumstances, the premiums they have to pay for workers comp insurance for their employees can increase depending on the number and size of claims their employees make.
You need to begin collecting information right away, including the circumstances surrounding the accident and the expenses that you incurred as a result. The sooner these things are written down the better, as memories tend to fade with time.
Finally, it is in your interest to consult with a competent Illinois workers compensation attorney to ensure that your rights are being fully protected. Here at Porro Niermann & Petersen LLC we have been helping people like you with workers compensation cases since 1948. We know the ins and outs of the workers comp laws, and we know exactly what questions to ask and the things to look for in order to assist you in receiving the payout you deserve.
Contact us today - we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. You can also learn more at Our website.
Porro, Niermann & Petersen, LLC
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