Workers’ Compensation FAQ
At Haxel Law in Springfield, we always take time to answer questions about the workers’ compensation process. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Should I Report The Injury To My Employer?
Yes. You must report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. You may be asked to fill out an incident report as well. Failure to report an on-the-job injury could prevent you from getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need.
Can I Choose My Doctor?
Illinois has what is referred to as the two doctor rule. You can choose two doctors to provide treatment for your workplace injury, and the treatment will be covered by workers’ compensation. Any doctors you are referred to by one of the two doctors you choose will be covered by workers’ compensation. If you go outside of the initial two or those to whom you are referred, you risk workers’ compensation not covering treatment.
What Benefits Am I Entitled To?
There is a variety of different workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois. First, of course, is medical benefits. Provided all rules are followed, all medical treatment related to your work injury should be covered. Second is wage benefits. This comes in different forms, but the most common are temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which cover two-thirds of your average weekly wage. It is important to work with an attorney to see that you get proper benefits.
How Long Will It Take To Get Benefits?
Timing of benefits is complex. Theoretically, your medical benefits should begin immediately, and you should begin getting checks for your wage benefits very soon, provided all of your paperwork has been completed correctly. Unfortunately, there are often problems with delays, underpayments and other issues. Having a lawyer on your side from the start can help you avoid such problems so you can get benefits as quickly as possible.
Do I Have A Workers’ Compensation Claim Or A Personal Injury Claim?
Most people assume that if an injury is work-related, they have a workers’ compensation claim. In some situations, however, they may also be eligible for a personal injury claim. You may be able to pursue a personal injury claim if the injury was the result of a third party’s negligence, that is any party other than your employer.
For example, if you were hurt in an on-the-job car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim instead of or in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. This is important because a personal injury claim may allow you to recover more than you would be able to through a workers’ compensation claim alone.
What If My Claim Is Denied Or Benefits Are Cut Off Prematurely?
Workers’ compensation claims may be denied for any number of reasons, from allegations that the injury did not occur in the workplace to confusion with pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, benefits may be cut off if the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company believes that they should no longer be provided. An experienced attorney can step in at this point to help you get benefits or to push for continuation of benefits.