If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may have a right to compensation under an Illinois program for workers commonly called Workers’ Compensation. But getting through the process and having a claim quickly and fairly resolved in your favor can be challenging. Having good legal advice can make it less stressful and more likely you get the justice you deserve. Without a knowledgeable attorney advising and fighting for you, it can be difficult to get through the system and successfully get the benefits of this workers’ program that you may be owed. Contact me for a no-cost initial consultation.
Should you hire a Decatur workers compensation lawyer?
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid to workers who experience job-related injuries or diseases. You may have been injured on the job or as a result of the work you do, or you may be suffering from a medical condition like a bad back or carpal tunnel syndrome (or some other repetitive stress disorder) related to your job duties or working conditions. If these resulted in medical treatment and expenses, lost time and wages from work, or disability and pain, you might, under Illinois law, be eligible for benefits or a settlement for your losses. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) operates the state system for resolving workers’ compensation claims.
If this is insurance, why can’t I just file a claim? Why are these claim and administrative appeal procedures so long and complicated? One reason is that it’s an adversarial process, meaning there are two “opposing” parties in many cases. This is because the program is funded as a payroll cost to employers. They either self-insure or pay insurance premiums for workers’ compensation coverage. No matter how good or well-intentioned, it is in the employer’ s interest to settle claims for the lowest amount possible. When benefits are paid, it’s an immediate expense for them or their insurance company and premiums may increase — their payroll costs increase. As a result, claims are often disputed with two opposing sides, at times resulting in a need for the appeals procedures. The employer may obtain legal, accounting, medical, or other expert advice. It may be wise for the worker to do the same, to have an experienced lawyer fighting for them, rather than going it alone. You can’t be expected to know the laws and regulations or the medical facts and evidence that might be used to decide your case. An attorney can also make sure you understand the process and meet all of the deadlines and scheduling requirements.
How can a Decatur workers compensation attorney help?
The process can be very long and, in some circumstances, an attorney may be able to ease your financial hardship by bringing the matter to a more prompt resolution. He can advise you on how to best prepare your claim, gather and present evidence and documentation properly (it may not be considered if it’s not), and get any necessary witnesses (subpoenas) or expert opinions. He can help you realistically and completely determine your losses. He can represent you at any hearing, making sure you know what to expect and understand how best to accurately and honestly answer any questions and recall important facts and details about your claim. He can cross examine the opposing side and make arguments on your behalf. Even for a simple case, getting the right information and presenting it properly and at the right time, makes it more likely the judgement will be in your favor. If the initial ruling goes against you, he can guide you through the appeal process.
In addition to this work-related program, we can also give advice about other options you may have — such as a civil claim under personal injury law or a claim for disability under federal programs such as Social Security.
Your initial confidential case evaluation is without charge. We are happy to explain in the first visit how any fees (which are regulated and controlled by the state) or legal expense compensation is later determined and who pays them.
Don’t delay getting legal advice. This program was designed to help and protect workers. Employers fund it on the employees’ behalf. Make sure you get the benefits and fair compensation owed you. It would be a shame to not get what you deserve because you didn’t completely understand your rights or satisfy some technical requirement of the claim filing process.