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So you’ve been hurt at work. Now what?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2016 | Workers' Compensation

Any injury can be debilitating, but a work-related injury can change the course of your life. If you have not had been through the Illinois’ workers’ compensation process before – and even if you have – getting the compensation you deserve can be a complicated undertaking if you try to do it on your own.

Although hiring an attorney is not required to file a claim for benefits, it is extremely helpful to have a professional on your side who knows how to protect your rights and who will advocate on your behalf. You can hire a lawyer – who you educate you about your options, help you file your claim and fight for your right to benefits – without paying any money out of your pocket.

How do I pay for my lawyer?

Workers compensation lawyers are paid just a portion of the monetary benefits you obtain at the end of the work comp process. Fees are contingent on the outcome of your case and are capped at a small percentage of any settlement you receive. You don’t have to pay anything upfront.

What benefits can I get?

Workers’ compensation provides partial replacement of lost wages and medical benefits to those who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. This type of insurance is required for businesses in Illinois. Since it’s a no-fault system, you do not have to prove that your work-related injury was someone else’s fault.

What do I do after a workplace injury?

You have only 45 days to report the injury to your supervisor. If possible, do this the day the accident occurs or the day you find out you are sick because of something from work. Then, do the following:

  • Report your injury even if you don’t think you are badly hurt. Don’t try and tough it out.
  • File a written accident report with your employer that covers the pertinent information including date, time, place and a brief description of the accident, injury or condition. Get witness statements, if possible. Keep a copy of the report for your records.
  • See your doctor – yes, YOUR doctor. You do not have to use the doctor that your employer or the insurance company tells you to use. Medical benefits, including doctor visits, medication, tests and surgery, kick in immediately and are covered by your workers’ compensation claim.
  • Get help from a lawyer. You have a limited period of time from the date of the injury to file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. A skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help you through this process and more.

You don’t have to face this difficult time on your own. An attorney can take care of the details of your claim while you concentrate on your recovery. Seek help from the law firm of Bonifield & Rosenstengel, P.C., and learn about your options.