News & Blog

News & Blog

My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Have Been Terminated. What Should I Do?

If you got hurt at work and you have been relying on your workers’ compensation benefits to get by, suddenly losing those benefits can be devastating. Whether you are still undergoing treatment or therapy, you have been unable to work, you were forced to accept a lower-paying position during your recovery, or you are dealing with any combination of the above, finding out that your benefits have been terminated can leave you feeling helpless and with no place to turn. Understanding Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois In Illinois, workers’ compensation benefits for non-fatal injuries fall into three categories: (i) medical benefits, (ii) disability benefits, and (iii) vocational rehabilitation and maintenance benefits. The rules for termination of each of these types of benefits vary: 1. Medical Benefits Under Illinois law, if you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you are entitled to coverage for all of the medical expenses you incur as a result of a job-related injury. This includes doctor visits, outpatient and inpatient care, surgical procedures, physical therapy, prescriptions and medical devices, and any other diagnosis or treatment-related expenses. Oftentimes, employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies will attempt to terminate medical benefits by claiming that the employee has reached “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI”. This refers to the point at which additional medical treatment will not have a significant impact on your health or wellbeing. If you are being denied medical benefits on the grounds that you have achieved your MMI, you should speak with a […]

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In Pain After a Fall at Work? You May Be Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

Falls are among the leading causes of work-related injuries. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), slips, trips and falls account for 25 percent of all injuries that cause employees to miss time from work, with the most-common injuries including sprains, strains and tears. If you are in pain after falling at work, what do you need to know? What do you need to do? How can you make sure you start collecting workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible? 5 Tips for Maximizing Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Fall in Chicago 1. Document the Cause of Your Fall While you do not need to be able to prove that someone else was at fault for your injury in order to collect benefits, you do need to be able to prove that your injury is work-related. To do this, you should do your best to document the cause of your injury. If you are still going to work, take photos of the location of the accident where you fell (be aware, however, that you should not be working unless you have been cleared by your doctor). If you slipped on a spill or wet floor, keep any stained or damaged clothing items. Write down everything you remember about why you fell, and record the names of any coworkers who witnessed your accident. 2. See Your Own Doctor In Illinois, you have the right to see your own doctor for treatment of a work-related injury. If you haven’t already, make […]

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Seeking Workers’ Compensation for Exposure-Related Illnesses

For many employees in the Chicago area, exposure to toxic fumes, particulates or chemicals presents one of the greatest risks for a job-related illness or injury. From asbestos dust to cleaning solvents, from carbon monoxide to diesel exhaust, and from pesticides to toxic mold, many workers encounter potentially-serious health risks on a daily basis. 10 Common Illnesses Linked to Work-Related Toxic Exposure If you are experiencing symptoms of exposure, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. The following is just a small sampling of the types of illnesses and diseases that employees can contract from toxic exposure in the workplace: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Resulting from exposure to harmful levels of carbon monoxide working in close proximity to vehicles or boats, refineries and boiler rooms, production mills, and other enclosed spaces. Lead Poisoning – Commonly due to exposure to lead paint dust or chips in older buildings, but also resulting from working lead manufacturing and similar occupations. Lung, Bladder and Liver Cancer – Resulting from exposure to various types of toxic fumes and particulates, including those from diesel, certain metals and chemicals, radon, and second-hand smoke. Mercury Poisoning – Most commonly as a result of exposure to hazardous metal mercury contained in fluorescent light bulbs, either due to improper cleanup, inadequate safety precautions, or lack of ventilation. Mesothelioma – An aggressive form of cancer that is known to result from asbestos exposure. Neurotoxicity – Neurological effects and complications due to exposure to certain types of […]

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Can Office Workers File for Workers’ Compensation?

As someone who spends eight hours a day (or more) in an office, you probably do not often think about the risk of suffering a job-related injury. Your work environment is relatively low-risk, your job does not require much (if any) physical exertion and your biggest concern is finishing your work in time to get home for dinner. But, despite the relatively low-risk nature of office work, job-related injuries among office workers are still common. In fact, back pain is among the most-common injuries that cause employees to miss time from work, and lifting injuries, slips and trips, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all common injuries for office workers as well. So, if you have been injured at work, you are not alone. But, what does this mean (if anything) for your legal rights? Office Workers Can File for Workers’ Compensation In Illinois, office workers have the same right to claim workers’ compensation benefits as employees in all other occupations and vocations. While you may not be at risk for falling from scaffolding or being injured by a piece of heavy machinery, you can still get hurt at work, and you still deserve to be fairly compensated if you get injured on the job. Workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries (with only very limited exceptions), including those that are not specifically related to the performance of your job. As a result, office workers will typically be entitled to benefits for injuries from accidents such as: Lifting boxes, files or other […]

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Can I Get Workers’ Compensation for a Concussion?

Concussions are common injuries on construction sites and other job sites. In fact, they are more common than most people realize: According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 25 percent of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) go unreported. These injuries can have lasting consequences, and they can create substantial financial burdens for injured workers and their families. If you have suffered a job-related concussion, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries, and this includes concussions and other forms of TBI. But, in order to collect benefits, you need to make sure you take all of the necessary steps to protect your legal rights. This includes seeking a medical diagnosis, reporting your injury to your employer and engaging an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. Concussion Symptoms If you are experiencing symptoms of a concussion, it is important that you see a doctor promptly. You will need a medical diagnosis in order to secure benefits, and you need to obtain this diagnosis as soon as possible in order to prove that your concussion is work-related. Typical symptoms of concussions include: Blurred or fuzzy vision Fatigue or lack of energy Difficulty concentrating Difficulty remembering new information Difficulty thinking clearly Dizziness Feelings of sadness, nervousness or anxiety Headaches Irritability Sleep pattern disruptions, including sleeping more or less than usual Are You Sure It is a Concussion (and Not a More-Serious Injury)? While recent advances in medicine have shown […]

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