Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you are entitled to three major benefits:
1. Temporary Total Disability:
Report your injury or incident to your employer as soon as possible and make sure you include all of your injuries and symptoms.
2. Medical Benefits:
You are entitled to see two doctors of your choice (plus any referrals to other medical providers by those doctors) under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier must pay for medical services. You DO NOT have to be treated by the company clinic.
3. Permanent Partial Disability Benefits:
Although pain and suffering isn't awarded in a workers’ compensation case, the Act recognizes that in most cases you will not be 100% after a traumatic injury at work. As a result, you may be entitled to a permanent partial disability award, which is a percentage of the disability you sustained to the body part from your work accident. This benefit, commonly known as the "settlement" or "award", is also tax-free.
Workers' Compensation FAQs
Do I have to be treated by the company doctor?
If your employer is trying to force you to be treated at their clinic, please note that you do not have to get treated there! While some employers require their employees to be examined by their clinic (which would be indicated in your employment contract), many employers try to force their employees into treatment at a clinic that may not have the patient’s best interest in mind.
Do I have to be seen by the insurance company’s independent medical evaluator?
Yes, you must see the independent medical evaluator according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. You must be on time or the insurance company will stop your benefits. You also must know that the independent medical evaluator has been hired by the insurance company in an effort to downplay your injuries.
How long do I have to report a workers’ compensation claim?
Under the Act, you must report your injuries to your work supervisor orally or in writing within 45 days of the accident. Your employer may tell you that the company rule is that your must do it in 24 hours or even less. While it is good practice to report your injury immediately, the company rule does not supersede the law of the State of Illinois. Don’t fall for this trap.
How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim?
If you have reported the accident and your injuries to your supervisor, you have three years to file the Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, or two years after your medical benefits and temporary total disability benefits have stopped, whichever is longer. If you do not file the claim within this time period, you are not entitled to further medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits. Do not allow yourself to be duped by thinking the insurance company is going to take care of you!
Does my citizenship status stop me from getting workers’ compensation benefits?
Please note that under the Illinois law, you are entitled to benefits no matter what citizenship status you possess.
Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation case?
No, your employer cannot fire you solely because you got injured for work and filed a workers’ compensation case. Such bad behavior by the employer can trigger other lawsuits against the employer.
What happens if my medical benefits or temporary total disability benefits are stopped?
In the current climate, this question arises most frequently with Utilization Review and Independent Medical Evaluations. When this happens, you have a choice: either (a) give up and try to work through the pain, or (b) get yourself expert representation through the Vrdolyak Law Group to fight for your rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Why Vrdolyak Law Group?
As you can see by the FAQ, workers’ compensation law is filled with issues and traps for the unwary. The employers and insurance companies have a whole host of investigators, doctors, and lawyers on the payroll to find ways to cut off the benefits you deserve. For nearly 50 years, Vrdolyak Law Group has been a friend of the injured worker, fighting to ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
You are more than a case!
One of the scariest and unsettling times in a person’s life is when a person is injured and unable to provide for their family. Unlike other firms out there, our attorneys and staff do not view your case as a way to obtain a quick fee. We evaluate each individual client, their work history, education, and recovery from injury to determine how to obtain the most for the client. We listen to your concerns and give you an honest opinion about the best course of action.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience and have tried thousands of workers’ compensation matters before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. If the insurance company refuses to give you fair value to settle your case or your injuries require future medical treatment, we will not hesitate to proceed to trial to obtain the benefits you deserve.