Workers’ compensation laws exist to protect and compensate employees when they are unable to work due to a work-related accident or illness. Benefits are paid whether the employee was at fault or not. As an Illinois employee, you are protected by law against harassment, discrimination or termination resulting because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
In some cases, employers may pay some of the required benefits without dispute once they have been made aware of the accident or illness. Unfortunately, the process is not always so smooth, and at times obtaining the rightful compensation requires aggressive legal action. The team of workers’ compensation attorneys here at Meyers, Flowers, Bruno & Herrmann have experience in obtaining millions of dollars in benefits for its clients over the years. With our team acting on their side, our clients do not have the to deal with the frustration of issues such as bureaucratic stall tactics that can add years to payment of a claim, delay medical treatments, or worse yet, result in a permanent denial.
What are the workers’ compensation laws in Illinois?
Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage for an employee who has suffered an injury due to job-related duties. In the state of Illinois, employees who have suffered work-related injuries are entitled to the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- All necessary medical, first aid and hospital care at no cost to you.
- If excused from work by a doctor, disability pay equal to two-thirds of your average salary, tax-free.
- A financial settlement to compensate you for permanent physical impairment or permanent lost earning capacity due to your injury.
Do I need a lawyer for my workers’ compensation claim?
Because workers’ compensation laws can be difficult for employees to navigate on their own, it’s always wise to retain legal counsel for any and all work-related injuries. Even if your injury was minor and your employer is cooperating, have an attorney evaluate your case to prepare you for potential problems and make sure you receive a fair settlement.
However, if your workers’ compensation claim is complex in any way, it is necessary to hire an attorney to ensure you receive a fair settlement. These cases include:
- If your employer denies your claim. Many employers and workers’ compensation insurers reject legitimate claims because they don’t think the worker will appeal. Don’t automatically assume a denial is the end of the road. Contact an attorney immediately.
- Your employer’s settlement doesn’t cover all of your lost wages or medical bills. In many cases, your first settlement offer may not be entirely fair. When this occurs, it’s a good idea to have an attorney look it over to ensure you receive the best settlement possible.
- You’ve suffered permanent disability due to your injuries. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or getting a new job, you may be entitled to compensation to make up for your lost wages. In these cases, working with an experienced attorney is your best chance at receiving the settlement you deserve.
Your boss retaliates against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you by firing you, demoting you, cutting your hours, reducing your pay or discriminating against you in any other way. If he or she does, immediately contact an experienced attorney, like the best workers’ compensation lawyers Peru has available at Meyers, Flowers, Bruno & Herrmann.
You have a potential third-party claim. You are permitted to sue any third party whose negligence contributed to your injury. For example, a truck driver who suffered an injury due to brake failure can file a lawsuit against the brake manufacturer in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In these cases, you’ll need to work with an experienced attorney through the lawsuit process.
Workers’ Compensation for Public, Police and Fire Employees
The Workers’ Compensation Act and the Public Employees Disability Act covers public employees when they experience a work-related injury, with additional compensation benefits available under the Illinois Pension Code. Navigating the complex relationship between these government agencies can be daunting, which is why we work closely with the agencies to deliver the maximum benefits to injured and disabled police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other public employees.
In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, we also explore if a third party claim may be possible for the injured police officer, paramedic, firefighter and in certain cases, the public employee.
Contact us today
If you have suffered a work-related injury and require legal assistance navigating your claim, please contact among the top workers’ compensation attorneys Peru has to offer at Meyers, Flowers, Bruno & Herrmann at (815) 768-2199 to receive answers to your questions and a free and confidential case evaluation.