In Chicago and Illinois, the most common workplace injuries are repetitive stress injuries, slips and falls, lacerations, and occupational exposure injuries. Further, in 2020, the private industry reported around 106,900 nonfatal injuries, according to the latest statistics available. Workers injured at their jobs are entitled to receive workers’ compensation.
However, receiving workers’ compensation can be complicated when dealing with an injury or an illness caused by your job duties. And this is why it is essential to have legal representation during this time. An experienced workers compensation lawyer Chicago will be able to guide you through each step of the process so that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Why do you need a lawyer?
A lawyer can assist you in filing a claim and navigate the process to receive the deserved compensation. They can also help you understand your rights as an injured worker, including how to get back on the job when possible and handle issues such as lost wages and medical bills.
An experienced attorney will be able to answer questions regarding eligibility for benefits or if there are ways to increase them. For example, in Chicago, Illinois, the statute of limitations for claiming compensation for work injuries is three years from the date of the accident. Further, an average case usually takes about two years for a settlement.
How does the process work?
The process of workers’ compensation can vary depending on the state you live in, your employer, and the type of injury you have sustained. Generally speaking, these are some steps involved:
- A doctor diagnoses the injury
A doctor will diagnose the injury and write a letter stating it is indeed a work-related injury.
- Filing a claim
The injured worker will file a claim with their insurance provider or with an administrative office if they do not have private insurance. They may also have to complete paperwork for any government agency responsible for workers’ compensation claims. In Chicago, this will usually be the Illinois Department of Labor or the Federal Department of Labor.
- A Law judge conducts an investigation
An administrative law judge will conduct an investigation, deciding whether or not compensation should be awarded based on medical evidence and other factors (for example: did any other employees suffer similar injuries at this workplace?). If approved for benefits, payments begin immediately after approval but can take up to six months before being received due to backlogs within state agencies.
What should you do after an accident?
Tell your employer about the injury. Call them and tell them you’re hurt and need medical attention. Make sure you give them all the information they need to file an accident report. They should be able to tell you where to go for treatment and pay for it if necessary.
Get a copy of your medical records from the doctor or hospital where you received treatment following your injury at work (or soon after). Get a copy of any reports or records created by authorities regarding your workplace accident (such as police records). Contact your attorney immediately, without losing any time, to help you out with the various processes.
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in Chicago is essential to receiving sufficient compensation for your work injuries if your employer fails to provide workers’ benefits. Your attorney will fight on your behalf and ensure you receive all the help you require.