Posted: April 22nd, 2016 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney | Tags: Chicago workers compensation lawyer, filing a claim, Illinois workers compensation, notifying your employer, reporting, workers compensation, workplace injury | Comments Off
The “fatal four” are responsible for roughly 508 construction worker deaths annually. Falls accounted for 349 deaths in 2014, electrocutions for 74, struck by an object for 73, and being caught in between an object accounted for 12 fatalities, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. All four of these types of accidents account for thousands more injuries. But, if you are injured on the job, who do you tell? Or, do you even tell anyone? Many employers fail to even mention their work-related injuries for fear of repercussions or because they think they are protecting their employer. After all, it was not their fault, was it?
What you believe about your rights as a worker may, in fact, be entirely wrong. If you were performing your job in a reasonably careful and responsible manner, and you were operating under normal protocol, you are not liable for an injury that happened on the job; your employer is, through workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is funded with wages withheld from you, the employee, and you have every right to seek that compensation should you ever need it. In fact, you are potentially putting yourself in harm’s way by not immediately reporting the incident and receiving the proper medical care and financial assistance that you require.
Immediately Reporting the Injury Shows That an Injury Actually Occurred
In the State of Illinois, you have up to 45 day s from the date of the injury to provide notice to your employer. However, this does not mean that you should wait and see how the situation unfolds. It is true that often an injury will heal on its own or within a short timeframe. Many other serious injuries only grow worse with time, which can eat away at your savings and cause you to miss additional work, especially if you never received the proper medical care in the first place. By immediately reporting the incident, your employer or your employer’s insurance provider will have a more difficult time claiming that the injury was non-existent, that it happened away from your place of work, or that you were being unduly negligent (such as intoxicated) at the time of the accident.
Get Medical Help Quickly
Seeking medical attention by a reputable doctor also helps strengthen your case that the injury was in fact substantial. Early medical intervention will also greatly speed up your recovery process and help mitigate future medical complications that go along with a severe injury, such as chronic aches, pains, and loss of range of motion. Recovering from a bad injury is difficult enough, as is receiving the amount of workers’ compensation that you deserve, even if everything goes in your favor and you report the incident in a timely manner. Employers and insurance providers may drag their feet, deny you compensation, or offer an unrealistic amount without the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at your side.
Pursuing the workers’ compensation benefits you are due is a process that you do not want to encounter alone. If you were injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney atthe Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio today at 630-574-2288.
Posted: April 8th, 2016 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: How to File a Worker's Compensation Claim, Illinois workers comp | Tags: documentation, Illinois workers compensation lawyer, keeping a record, medical record, proving your injuries, work injury | Comments Off
One of the basic requirements for having a workers’ compensation claim approved is to report the accident and the injury to your employer. But, simply informing your employer is often not enough to ensure you get all of the benefits to which you are legally entitled. You also need to make sure your injuries are properly documented.
Why Documentation Matters
Before benefits can be paid out, your employer’s insurance company will want proof that you have been injured and that your injury affects your ability to do your job. Your own testimony is not enough proof.
Every year thousands of worker’s compensation claims are denied, or the employee receives less in benefits because the cause and extent of the employee’s injury was not properly documented. Consider that lower back and neck injuries are the most common workplace injuries, yet many of these claims are denied for lack of documentation.
Getting Your Injury Documented
The first step in getting your injury properly documented is to tell your doctor you were injured at work in a workplace accident. This fact should be clearly noted in medical record. You will also want to make sure that the doctor confirms in writing that your injuries were caused by the accident. Sometimes, doctors will tell you something during the visit, but forget to make a note. You may need to request a note from your doctor stating that you are not clear to work, or that you can only perform light-duty tasks, because of your injury. It is up to you to ask the doctor and his or her team to keep your file accurate and up to date.
You may need to see a specialist for your injury. Every time you see a new medical professional, he or she needs to know that the injury was caused by a workplace accident and that fact should be recorded in your medical records. If you receive follow-up care, you may need to remind your doctor that the symptoms you are still experiencing were from the earlier work accident.
Building Your Case
While it can feel awkward to ask your doctor to make specific notes in your file, it is essential for your workers’ compensation claim that the cause of your injury, the extent of your injury, and the way your injury affects your ability to work is documented. When you provide complete documentation to your workers’ compensation lawyer, you have a much better chance of getting the benefits you deserve.
If you have been injured in a work related accident, you need to act fast to protect your rights. Speak with an experienced DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You need to know your rights.
Posted: March 25th, 2016 | Author: Staff Writer | Filed under: Illinois workers comp, Illinois Workers Compensation Attorney | Tags: continuing benefits, disability, DuPage County workers compensation attorneys, quit, quitting your job, workers compensation | Comments Off
If you have been injured on the job, you need to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer before you make any big decisions. Quitting your job can reduce the benefits you are eligible to receive. In some circumstances, you could lose your benefits entirely.
Under Illinois law, the medical benefits you receive under workers’ compensation will continue no matter what your job status. This means that payments for the medical care you need to recover from your workplace injury will continue even if you leave your employment.
When your claim is found to be for a permanent injury, you will be able to receive the compensation for that permanent injury regardless of your employment situation. In the case of a permanent partial disability, your benefits will be set at the end of your case. Quitting your job before the level of your permanent disability benefits have been calculated and set could result in a big reduction in the amount you ultimately receive. As with every major employment decision, make sure to speak with your workers’ compensation lawyer before leaving your job. After the level of your benefits for permanent partial disability has been set and your case has concluded, you will be able to leave your employment and still collect your benefits in most cases.
Injuries that result in temporary partial disability means that you may still be able to perform some work with medical restrictions. You may receive compensation for any pay differential if the injury limits how many hours you can work or otherwise affects your pay rate. You may lose this benefit if you quit your job.
If you receive temporary total disability benefits while you are recovering because you cannot perform your old job, the benefits may be contingent on you keeping your job. If you voluntarily leave your job and your employer demonstrates he or she could have accommodated your injury and was willing to do so, you may have a difficult time keeping your benefits.
Quitting your job at any point during a workers’ compensation case can also lower the value of your case. In many instances, the value of your claim is tied to the wages you are losing because you are not able to work. Leaving your job gives the employer, or the employer’s insurance company, the ability to argue that your lost wages are no longer relevant because you took action to leave your job, independent of the injury.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need to understand your rights. You should speak with a knowledgeable and experienced DuPage County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call the Law Offices of Frank J. Discipio at 630-574-2288 to schedule a consultation. You may only have a short time to take action.