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Cook County Lawyer for Your Right to Workers' Compensation 

Schaumburg attorney workers' compensation rights

Attorney for Workers' Compensation Rights and Benefits Serving Rolling Meadows, Palatine and Schaumburg

Workers' compensation is an insurance program in which the government requires employers to participate. The program, which the state government usually regulates, pays out benefits to workers who suffer injuries while on the job, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. In exchange for this, the employee gives up the right to sue his or her employer for the injury.

Types of Benefits 

Most states require employers to purchase workers' compensation insurance from a third-party insurance company. Then, if an employee suffers an injury on the job, he or she can file a claim, and the company will pay the benefits as set out in government-approved tables. This setup has a couple of exceptions in some states depending on the size of the company. Large, stable companies can self-insure, which allows them to simply pay the benefits themselves. Very small companies may not be required to carry the insurance at all.

The workers' compensation system provides a variety of benefits including wage loss, medical expenses, and in some cases, job placement or training costs. However, these benefits are often moderate at best.

The type of benefit also varies based on whether you end up temporarily or permanently unable to work. After missing only a few days of work, you may qualify for tax-free wage loss benefits equal to two-thirds of your wages. If you end up unable to work permanently, then you may also qualify for long-term benefits based on that disability.

Injuries and Illnesses

Workers' compensation will pay benefits for the vast majority of on-the-job injuries; however, it does not cover some categories of injury. Workers' compensation will not pay for injuries resulting from an employee's intoxication, self-inflicted injuries, and injuries suffered while violating the law or company policy.

Workers' compensation will cover long-term illnesses as well as those stemming from acute accidents. Many people receive benefits for repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as for latent diseases resulting from work conditions like lung problems. However, workers' compensation does not cover everyone. While state laws vary, common exempt classes include business owners, independent contractors, farm workers, domestic employees, and unpaid volunteers.

Workers' compensation will cover job-related injuries even if the injury does not occur in the workplace. For instance, employees injured while traveling on business may qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

Seeking Treatment from a Doctor

Most states will require you to see a physician who the employer provides. This can have a serious impact on the case because the doctor may attempt to downplay the seriousness of the injury. Consequently, it is imperative you provide a complete and accurate medical history that lists any serious health issues you had in the past, without providing them extra, unnecessary information they may use to disqualify you.

You may be wondering if you were initially treated by an insurance company physician, do you have the right to see your own doctor? The answer to this varies from state to state. Many states will allow you to switch over to your own doctor after a certain period of time, or if you do not like the doctor the insurance provides. Additionally, many states allow for second opinions in the case of serious injuries.

Employer Negligence

It's important to note you do not have to use the workers' compensation system if your injury resulted from an employer's intentional action or recklessness. In those cases, you may have the right to sue your employer if negligence was involved. 

In addition, most states recognize retaliatory actions by employers against employees filing for workers' compensation as a violation of the law. Do not be afraid to report this if it happens.

Contact Newland & Newland, LLP

If you have any questions about work-related injuries and your right to workers' compensation and types of benefits, please contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today at 847-797-8000. We have offices conveniently located in Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Chicago, Fox River Grove, and Itasca. Our attorneys can help you achieve the best results for you in your workplace injury claim. 

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