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Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Getting injured on the job can be frightening in any occupation. How will you pay your bills and take care of your family? What if you cannot return to work for several months? What if you may never return to work due to a catastrophic injury? Luckily, employers in the State of Illinois are required by law, per the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission ("Commission"), to maintain workers' compensation insurance for their employees that may become injured on the job .

This unique type of insurance provides benefits for those who have work-related injuries or diseases obtained from exposure in their occupation.

Understanding Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation insurance will generally cover medical expenses arising out of the work injury, temporary total disability benefits for when the individual is not able to work due to the injury, rehabilitation program funding, and permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits depending on the severity and longevity of the injuries. In certain circumstances, when the injured worker returns to work with permanent restrictions to a job where he will earn less than his original job, then the employee may be entitled to a wage differential award. If an employee dies in a workplace accident, death benefits may be available for surviving family members as well. Many of these payments may come into play, in particular, when a worker suffers a back injury. Back injuries are one of the most common workers' compensation claims, leaving thousands of people out of work or limited at work each year. There are many ways to sustain a back injury and it takes a great deal of time to heal.

How Do I File My Claim?

The best way to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits that you are entitled to and that your filing is done correctly is to consult with an experienced Illinois workers' compensation attorney. Your attorney can guide you through the process, and ensure everything is timely filed and that you begin receiving your benefits right away. You have many rights as a victim of a workplace accident, but you also have many responsibilities. There are notification and filing deadlines that may affect your eligibility for certain compensation, which can be difficult to understand and manage without significant experience in the area of law.

If you are injured on the job, you must notify your employer. This notification can be orally or in writing, but writing is usually advisable in order to keep a record of what happened and prove that you did, in fact, notify your employer of the injury. There is typically only a 45 day window in which an employee must notify their employer, though specific exceptions apply. Once the employer is notified, they have certain responsibilities in reporting the injury to their insurance company.

Your responsibilities continue too: to formally start your claim, you must file an Application for Adjustment of Claim and Proof of Service with the Commission. Not all employees choose to file a claim, but it is often advisable because filing a claim can force your employer to pay out your benefits if they have not already been doing so or if they discontinue paying. Filing is also necessary if your employer contests your injury. For example, the employer may claim that the injury is not work related. Slip and falls in the employer's parking lot, for example, are frequently challenged by the employer. While the employer may agree that the injury occurred at work, the employer will argue that the slip and fall did not "arise out of and in the course of his/her employment," and thus deny the claim. The employer may also challenge the employee's need for medical treatment or TTD benefits, all of which will cause delays, affect the quality of care and recovery time, and place an enormous pressure upon the injured worker to return to work.

Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation Attorneys

We all value our ability to work and injuries can prevent us from providing for our family, making a living, and feeling productive. If you have been a victim of a workplace injury involving your back, head, neck, shoulder, or had any other injury sustained while working, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer's insurance. Before undertaking the task of filing a claim on your own, take the time to truly understand the process and ensure your paperwork is filed correctly by contacting a skilled Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorney at our firm. Contact a McHenry County personal injury attorney right away if you have been injured on the job to find out if you can start receiving workers' compensation benefits right away. Call Botto Gilbert Lancaster, P.C. at 815-338-3838 today for a free consultation.

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