Jerseyville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

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The workers’ compensation insurance system exists to protect employees who are injured on the job by providing them with coverage for their medical bills and partial coverage for their lost wages. If an employee is killed or dies from injuries sustained on the job, workers’ compensation provides for their family’s financial losses. A Jerseyville workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a workers’ comp claim to obtain the necessary resources to help with your injury.

If you were injured while you were working, either from a sudden accident or a developmental injury or disease, you are likely able to recover damages under workers’ compensation. When you work with an attorney, you can be confident that you are filing your claim correctly, with the essential evidence necessary for approval, to obtain the maximum benefits available in your case. An attorney can protect your rights during the process, as they know how to handle any retaliation from an employer.

What Is the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act?

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees are covered for any injuries they receive that result from their work or from being on the worksite. These injuries do not have to be directly caused by job duties to be covered. Injuries can be sudden, such as a heavy equipment malfunction or a slip and fall. Injuries can also be gradual, such as repetitive motion injuries or developmental diseases from hazardous materials. Certain injuries, like those caused by an employee’s misconduct, are not covered under workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance protects both employees and employers. Illinois employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and it protects them from facing civil personal injury claims when an employee is injured.

Workers’ compensation provides for the present costs that an employee is suffering due to an injury as well as any costs that they will face in the future. Rehabilitative and long-term medical care, as well as any impact on an employee’s ability to continue their prior job, should be covered in a workers’ compensation claim. This protects employees from significant financial hardship after an injury.

How to Protect Your Rights If You Are Injured at the Workplace

If you suffer an accident at the workplace or discover a developmental condition caused by your work, you must take certain steps to secure the workers’ compensation you deserve. It’s useful to contact a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, as they can help you take the necessary steps in a timely manner.

Give Your Employer Notice

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees must report their work-related injuries within 45 days of an accident occurring. If the condition or injury is developmental, an employee must alert their employers as soon as they learn of the condition. The law requires oral notice, but written notice can be beneficial if an employer attempts to claim that an employee did not provide them with notice.

When an employee suffers a sudden injury on the job, their first priority should be medical care, especially in emergency situations. If the injury does not require urgent care, it can be useful to inform an employer when the accident occurs and obtain a list of insurance-approved medical providers with which to receive care.

Receive Medical Care

Injured employees must receive healthcare from the list of providers that are approved by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. An employee can receive medical care from their chosen provider if they believe that the treatment they received was inadequate or if their employer fails to provide a list. The employee must provide their employer with information regarding their medical provider.

It is to an employee’s benefit to comply with medical treatment and a continued treatment plan. Not only is it beneficial to prevent pain or long-term injury, but failing to adhere to a treatment plan can prevent an employee from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

File the Application for an Adjustment of Claim

This is not always required, but it is necessary if an employee is appealing a denied claim or their injury is worse than was initially calculated. An attorney can help employees determine when this is a necessary legal step.

Benefits Available in a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Jerseyville

A workers’ compensation claim must typically prove that:

  1. The employee sustained injury or legally recognizable economic damages.
  2. The injury or damage was caused or worsened while on the clock and working.

The amount of damages awarded in a workers’ compensation claim depends on many factors, including the severity of the injury and whether the employee is able to return to work in a full or limited capacity. Benefits may include:

  • Temporary total or partial disability benefits
  • Permanent total or partial disability benefits
  • Medical bill coverage
  • Rehabilitative care and future medical costs
  • Vocational retraining benefits
  • Death benefits

Disability benefits rely on the disability rating that an employee receives from a healthcare professional, among other factors. These benefits provide up to ⅔ of an employee’s weekly wages for a set period of time, typically until the employee can return to their job full-time. If an employee cannot return to their work, they may receive benefits for a significant period of time, up to their entire life.

Understanding Medical Disability Evaluations

A medical evaluation by an approved provider is often part of a workers’ compensation claim. The medical provider will examine the severity and life-long impact of your injury or condition to determine what benefits you should receive through workers’ compensation. This evaluation also determines:

  • The long-term implications of an injury, such as chronic pain, long-term disability, or other issues that prevent you from returning to your job or industry. If you are unable to ever return to work, you are eligible for significantly more compensation.
  • The necessary treatment and rehabilitative care. These costs are covered by workers’ compensation, and it is often beneficial to have a clear understanding of what care needs financial compensation.
  • The link between an injury and the workplace. Medical documentation is an important piece of evidence in a workers’ compensation claim. It is even more important in claims where you had a condition that was worsened by your work, or you developed a disease or injury from your work. Professional opinion on the cause of the injury or illness is important in proving that it was work-related.
  • How your job duties need to be altered. If you are able to return to work as you approach your recovery, the evaluation can outline how your work duties should be altered to accommodate your injuries. These may include the removal of certain tasks, shortened hours, or other forms of accommodation.
  • The impact of treatment on your recovery. If you are not medically improving as assumed, follow-up medical evaluations can be useful to determine what other treatments or accommodations are necessary. Without the initial evaluation, continued monitoring is difficult. Frequent evaluations ensure that your compensation meets your needs.

What Are the Types of Disability Benefits?

The main types of disability benefits include:

  • Temporary Partial Disability Benefits: You would receive these benefits if you can return to work on limited hours or lighter job duties. These benefits typically last until you have recovered and can return to work full-time. They are ⅔ of the difference between your current weekly wages and your wages prior to your injury.
  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits: You receive these benefits when you are completely unable to return to work during recovery, but you are expected to make a recovery and return to work in the future. This may also be provided if you could work light duties, but an employer does not offer this work. These benefits are ⅔ your weekly wages, with a maximum amount set by the state.
  • Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: These benefits are provided when your workplace injury or condition resulted in the loss of certain parts of your body, preventing you from completing your previous work. Disfigurement benefits and wage differential benefits are different types of these disability benefits.
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits: You obtain these benefits if you have suffered an injury or condition that is permanently disabling, preventing you from returning to work. Depending on the type of injury, you could receive these disability benefits for the rest of your life. The state also sets a limit for these types of benefits.

An attorney can help you determine what benefits you may be eligible for and how to effectively obtain the benefits you deserve.

Third-Party Personal Injury Claims in Workplace Accidents

In most workplace injury cases, an employee can only receive compensation through a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are unique situations where the employee can file a personal injury claim, either in addition to a workers’ compensation claim or in place of the claim. If their employer does not carry the required workers’ compensation insurance, the employee can file a personal injury claim against them.

One of the more common reasons why an employee may file a personal injury claim is because their injuries were caused by a third party while they were working. When this happens, the employee can file a workers’ compensation claim and then cover any remaining damages with a personal injury claim. A third-party claim may be possible in situations such as:

  • Injuries caused by another company or independent contractor
  • An accident resulting from a defective product or machine
  • Accidents while an employee is driving a work vehicle and the car accident is caused by another party

There are certain benefits to filing a personal injury claim. Although an employee can only recover the damages they suffered in total with both claims, there are some damages covered by personal injury claims that are not available in workers’ compensation claims. This includes full lost-wage benefits rather than partial benefits. It also includes noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.

If you were injured at work and are not sure if you qualify to file a personal injury claim, you should discuss your situation with a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney. An attorney knows how to effectively maximize the compensation you are owed.

How Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help Me?

It’s very beneficial to your workers’ compensation claim to work with an experienced attorney, especially when you are dealing with pain and inconvenience from your injury or condition. An attorney can:

  • Manage your legal deadlines.
  • Help file claims.
  • Calculate the fair and accurate compensation you should receive.
  • Ensure that the necessary evidence is included in your claim.

If your employer or their insurance provider attempts any underhanded or illegal tactics, like retaliation or denying good-faith claims, your attorney can know the most effective way to approach this issue. If your claim is denied, a lawyer can work to appeal the decision while determining what information is needed. Even in a straightforward claim, an attorney is a valuable asset to provide you with support and protect your rights.

When you are dealing with an injury, illness, or other harmful condition, you should be focused on recovering.

What Are the Statutory Limits for Workers’ Compensation in Illinois?

You have 45 days to report your injury to your employer, but this is not the only deadline in workers’ compensation cases. Informing your employer of your injury does not automatically start a workers’ compensation claim, and many employees must file the claim themselves. You have 3 years from the date of the accident or discovery of the injury or illness to file a workers’ compensation claim.

It’s important to file as soon as possible, however. This will improve the chances of your claim being approved, and it also gives your attorney time to investigate and build your case. If your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider wants to disprove or deny your claim, waiting too long to file it can result in valuable evidence being lost.

Work With a Qualified Jerseyville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Suffering from an injury can be frustrating, and it’s important that you take the time you need to recover. By working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you can have legal guidance and support while securing financial stability in a workers’ compensation claim.

Joshua R. Evans, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to the community in Jerseyville. Let our team help you with your claim while protecting your rights and getting you the benefits you need. Contact us today to see how we can make your claim stronger.

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JERSEY COUNTY

105 N.State Street
Jerseyville, IL 62052

phone: (618) 498-0001

fax: 618-266-2845

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