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Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Thousands of people are hurt every day on the job in Chicago, and while many workplace accidents result in only minor injuries, some are much more serious. Workers may be left with serious injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, and even paralysis. On top of that, they may be left unable to work, and therefore unable to pay for the high medical bills and treatment expenses that pile up due to the injury.
It was for this reason that workers’ compensation was created. Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides workplace accident victims with the benefits they need to cover their medical bills and any other expenses they may be facing due to their injury. However, dealing with insurance companies is not easy, and not everyone that applies for workers’ compensation receives it.
If you are injured at work and having trouble receiving workers’ comp benefits, you should speak to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated personal injury attorney could quickly become familiar with the details of the case and represent you from start to finish, working hard to help you get the benefits to which you are entitled.
Rights and Responsibilities of the Employer
Most employers in Chicago are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If they fail to do so, they may face criminal penalties and be held personally liable in a civil lawsuit if a workplace injury occurs.
While employers have the responsibility to carry this insurance, they also have the right to determine which healthcare provider injured workers must see after their accident. Seeing another healthcare provider could void any claim an injured worker has.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Versus Personal Injury Claims
Unlike personal injury claims, no one person is being held liable for paying compensation in a workers’ compensation claim. The insurance company pays all benefits regardless of whether the employer was negligent or not. It also does not matter if the employee contributed to the accident that caused their injuries.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault program, which means that those injured only need to prove that the accident happened during the course of their regular work duties. However, this element may be the hardest to prove, depending on how much the insurance company or an injured worker’s employer tries to contest this fact. A Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer could help injured workers prove that their injury occurred within the scope of their employment.
Another big difference between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims is that certain types of compensation may not be available from the latter. Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma, cannot be sought in a workers’ compensation claim. Furthermore, because workers’ compensation is considered no-fault, punitive damages—or damages meant to punish the at-fault individual—are also not available.
When Claims are Denied
Many workers’ compensation claims are denied after an injured worker first applies, and many workers think this means they are not eligible for benefits. However, this is not always the case.
While it is advisable for all injured workers to speak to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer right away, it may be after they are denied that said attorney could be most helpful. A skilled lawyer could help injured workers file an appeal with the insurance company and represent them if they need to meet with an arbitrator.
Working with a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you need to apply for workers’ compensation or were denied benefits, speak to a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer right away. These cases are very complex, and every step of the process needs to be done correctly in order to ensure a positive resolution. An attorney could help throughout the entire claims process, so you could improve your chances of getting the benefits you need.