What We Provide
In the state of Illinois, an employee cannot sue their employer, rather, if an employee is injured at work he or she must file a claim through the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Workers do not have the right to sue their employer for negligence, but in exchange take part in a no-fault system where their 1) medical care, 2) a portion of their salary and 3) compensation in the form of a lump sum settlement are paid for by their employer, more specifically, their employer's workers’ compensation carrier. Employers may not defend themselves on the basis that the accident was not the employer's fault, but in return, there are strict limits on what a worker may recover from an employer.
Thus, as part of this no-fault system, an injured employee in Illinois is entitled to payment of both medical care and a compensation award for their work-related injury. Maximum and minimum benefits are fixed based upon what is called the “statewide average weekly wage”. This means that no matter what a person’s salary is, there is a maximum and minimum in benefits that they may receive on a weekly basis. With respect to medical bills, 100% of your medical needs will be paid for, without co-pays. You have the right to choose your own doctor for treatment.
TIME OFF WORK AND DEADLINES
You are entitled to 2/3 of your average weekly wage for the time that you are unable to work due to your injury. This is called temporary total disability or TTD. This payment is tax free. You must miss at least 3 days of work to qualify for TTD. If you work two jobs and can’t work either one because of your injury, you will typically be compensated for your entire loss.
With respect to deadlines, first and foremost, report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. This will decrease the chances that your employer will challenge the injury as not occurring during the course and scope of your employment (i.e. at work). By statute, you have up to 45 days to report your injury. In order to be awarded a lump sum settlement, you must file a claim within three years of the accident date or two years from the last compensation payment.
HOW MUCH IS YOUR CASE WORTH?
Settlements for work-related injuries to your body are called permanent partial disability or PPD. In order for a case to be filed, an Application for Adjustment of Claim needs to be filed with the state. If you suffer a permanent wage loss from an injury you may be entitled to wage differential benefits. The value of an injured worker’s case depends on how severe the injury is, your wages, your medical treatment, your age, your recovery and the future treatment you might need. You must wait until you are done with medical treatment in order to negotiate your settlement. Some cases take longer than others to resolve; the length of time the case will take to resolve depends on how bad the injury is and when you stop needing medical treatment. If the insurance company does not make an offer then the case will proceed to arbitration.
THIRD-PARTY LAWSUITS AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION
While a worker does not have the right to sue an employer directly, he may sue a third-party, such as a subcontractor, general contractor, maintenance company or other entity, who may be responsible for causing his injury. A worker may sue any individual or entity who is not employed by the worker’s employer. It is common for another party to hold at least some responsibility for the worker’s injury.
If you or someone you know have been injured at work, call Wachnik Law LLC today. We will be relentless and aggressive in protecting your rights and fighting for your rights and maximum recovery. We have experience fighting the insurance companies and we will get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation with attorney Eryk Wachnik, call our law office today at 847-892-5060.