Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ Compensation: Your Legal Rights and Representation

What you need to know about Illinois workers’ compensation claims

Illinois workers’ compensation law requires most employers to purchase insurance in case their employees get hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program, so employees are covered even when they cause their injury through their own carelessness. An injured employee can file a claim and get reimbursement for medical costs and partial pay, among other benefits. However, workers’ comp prevents an employee from suing an employee or a coworker for negligence in most cases.

Many workers file claims and receive benefits without any complications, but others see their claims wrongly denied. When that happens, the appeal process can be difficult to navigate, with complex requirements and quick deadlines. That’s when an experienced attorney from Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. can be of great help. We fight for workers in Rockford and throughout Winnebago County, so they get the benefits they deserve.

Benefits available under Illinois workers’ compensation

If you are injured on the job, workers’ compensation provides the following benefits:

  • Medical coverage — Workers’ comp pays for all reasonable and necessary treatment.
  • Temporary total disability (TTD) — Workers’ comp pays an amount roughly equal to two-thirds of your wages during the period you are unable to work.
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD) — If you have a permanent injury that requires you to take a light-duty position at less pay, you can receive 8(d)(1) wage differential benefits that pay 66 2/3 percent of your reduction in pay. You can receive additional compensation if you’ve suffered the partial loss of function to a part of your body.
  • Statutory permanent total disability (PTD) — If a doctor states in writing that your injury prevents you from taking gainful employment, you can receive PTD payments based on your expected earnings over the course of a normal lifespan. PTD is a large payment, and employers’ insurance companies usually dispute this benefit vigorously.
  • Odd lot permanent total disability — This type of PTD arises when an injury limits a worker’s ability to perform tasks for which no stable labor market exists.

Like all insurance companies, workers’ comp insurers must limit payouts to remain profitable. They are also wary of fraud in the workers’ comp system. These concerns lead the companies to err on the side of denying claims. That could mean a tough appeal for you before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If any part of your workers’ comp claim is denied, seek experienced legal counsel immediately. Besides straightening out your workers’ comp claim issues, a knowledgeable attorney can evaluate whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

What happens when you disagree with a doctor’s diagnosis?

Disputes often arise when an injured worker disagrees with a doctor’s diagnosis or treatment plan. You might also see a doctor who clears you to return to work before you are able. You should not feel pressured to go along with that diagnosis or plan under those circumstances. You have the right to see the doctor of your choice and have your employer pay. We can help you assert your rights.

Getting a fair workers’ comp settlement for permanent disability

If you have a permanently disabling condition, such as a brain injury or damage to your spine, the insurer may want to settle your claim for a lump sum payment. You should remember that even though it may be a big payout for the insurer to make, and it looks like a great deal of money to you, a permanent disability settlement always represents less income than what you could have earned by continuing to work. Therefore, you must maximize your settlement amount if you want to avoid financial hardship.

It is crucial that you contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney who can tell you how much your settlement is worth — one who can help you fight to obtain maximum value. Without legal representation to level the playing field, you’re going to be at a great disadvantage in a hearing before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Get Professional Legal Guidance for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Assert your rights to fair workers’ compensation benefits. Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. provides a candid evaluation of your case, along with the aggressive representation you need to resolve disputes successfully. Call 815.398.9700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our convenient offices in Rockford or Streator.

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