Depending on their job duties, employees in Will County may bear various degrees of risk for work-related injuries, medical conditions, or illnesses. In many cases, workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who have suffered a workplace injury or illness, whether they experienced a catastrophic construction site injury or developed carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive desk work.
Due to the complexities of the workers’ compensation system, getting the advice of a Will County workers’ compensation lawyer may be key to a successful claim. A skilled personal injury attorney could work with you to recover the payment of your medical expenses, as well as temporary or permanent disability benefits depending on your situation.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) administers the workers’ compensation program in Will County, which is a system of benefits for employees who sustain on-the-job injuries. Workers’ compensation benefits, which are available under the authority of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act listed in 820 ILCS § 305, can pay for a variety of expenses related to these injuries, including surgical costs, emergency room care, visits to doctors, rehabilitation costs, medication, and necessary medical equipment.
Workers’ compensation also provides benefits to workers who cannot work while they are recovering from their injuries, also known as Temporary Total Disability benefits. Even if employees can perform light duty work while healing from injuries, they may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability benefits. Finally, employees who are permanently disabled due to their injuries may qualify for Permanent Partial Disability or Permanent Total Disability benefits.
Common Examples of Job-Related Injuries
Workers’ compensation benefits are available only to individuals who have suffered workplace injuries or contracted workplace-related illnesses. Some of the more common examples of workplace injuries that may qualify employees for workers’ compensation benefits include:
• Repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome
• Stroke or heart attack caused by work
• Accidents that occur at work and result in physical injuries
• Pre-existing medical conditions that work exacerbates
Employer and Employee Responsibilities
The vast majority of Will County employers are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. They must also keep records of work-related injuries and report certain work-related accidents—as well as all deaths—to the IWCC within certain timeframes. Employers must post a notice in the workplace that explains the rights of employees to workers’ compensation and provides information about the workers’ compensation policy in place.
When injuries occur in the workplace, workers have 45 days from the date of the injury in which to notify their employers of their injuries. Workers—or their Will County workers’ compensation attorney—must also complete an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the IWCC no later than three years from the date of their workplace injury or illness. Otherwise, they risk being unable to receive any workers’ compensation benefits.
The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
After filing a claim for workers’ compensation with the IWCC, workers and their employers will receive a Notice of Hearing. This notice provides information about the arbitrator assigned to the case and the date of the first status call. Following the first status call date, the IWCC schedules the case for another status call every three months, which workers can track on the IWCC website.
Neither workers or nor employers are required to attend status calls unless one party asks for a trial or for action by the arbitrator. At the end of a three-year period, if a case remains unresolved, the case must go to trial or be dismissed. At any stage of this process, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Will County could work on an employee’s behalf to ensure all proper paperwork is filed and all potential benefits are obtained.
How a Will County Workers’ Compensation Attorney May Be Able to Help
When you suffer a serious work-related injury that leaves you unable to work on a temporary or permanent basis, you have certain rights and responsibilities under the Workers’ Compensation Act. You may qualify for payment of all your medical expenses related to the injury, as well as for continuing benefits during time periods in which your injury leaves you unable to work.
A Will County workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to assist you in explaining your rights and securing benefits on your behalf. Due to the strict deadlines that exist in workers’ compensation cases, though, you should consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney at your earliest convenience.
This may be the best way to ensure that you receive all the benefits that you need for the payment of medical bills and financial support while you are off work or otherwise restricted in your job duties. Call today to get started.