Answering Common Workers’ Compensation Questions
Should I report the injury to my employer?
Yes. You must report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible, according to Illinois law. Failure to report an on-the-job injury could prevent you from getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need and could cause problems connecting your injuries to the workplace accident.
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 to whom you are referred 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. This can be somewhat confusing, so we can explain a little more about the rule during our consultation.
What benefits am I entitled to?
There is a variety of different workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois, and it might not be apparent which benefits you will be allowed to recover. First, of course, is medical benefits. Provided all rules are followed, all medical treatment related to your work injury should be covered, but even this is not as straightforward as one might think. The 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 and the proper amounts you are entitled to receive.
How long will it take to get benefits?
The timing of benefits is complex, which means that it can be frustrating and time-consuming. Medical benefits should begin immediately, and you should begin getting checks for your wage benefits soon after the claim has been filed, 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 that 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 preexisting 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 the continuation of benefits.
Why Haxel Law?
There are many lawyers in the Springfield area who promise to help injured workers. At our firm, we know how devastating it can be to be injured and unable to make ends meet. We are passionate about helping injured workers get fair treatment in the workers’ compensation system.
Before attorney Martin Haxel started this law firm, he worked for the insurance defense companies evaluating injury claims. He understands the methods they use to determine what to pay, what to deny and what to fight when it comes to workers’ compensation matters. We will use this information to develop a course of action that makes a real difference in your claim.