If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But, this does not mean that collecting benefits will be easy. Employers and their insurance companies routinely deny employees’ claims for benefits; and, to make sure you are treated fairly, the best thing you can do is hire an attorney who is experienced in handling workers’ compensation claims.
How exactly can an attorney help?
1. Preserving Your Legal Rights
While the workers’ compensation system is designed to make it easier for injured workers to collect benefits, there are still several steps you need to take in order to preserve your legal rights. From seeing the right doctors to meeting the deadlines that apply to your claim for compensation, an experienced attorney will be able to help you avoid common mistakes that could jeopardize your benefits.
2. Calculating Your Total Losses
Under Illinois law, workers’ compensation benefits cover injured workers’ medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages. The amount you are entitled to recover will depend on a variety of factors that are unique to you, and you need to avoid letting your employer’s insurance company decide how much it is going to pay.
3. Preventing Unjust Denial or Reduction of Benefits
Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to take advantage of injured workers who are unrepresented. Hiring an attorney will help ensure that your employer’s insurance company treats you fairly and does not attempt to unjustly deny or reduce your benefits.
4. Filing an Appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (or in Court)
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you will need to file an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”). While you are allowed to try to handle your appeal on your own, this is a process that is best handled by an experienced attorney who has been there numerous times before.
In addition, even if you lose your initial appeal before the Commission, your case still may not be over. You may have the right take your claim to court; and, if you need to go to court, it will be in your best interests to have a lawyer who is intimately familiar with the facts of your case.
5. Pursing Alternate Sources of Compensation
Finally, when it comes to recovering your medical expenses and other losses, workers’ compensation may not be your only option. Workers’ compensation benefits do not cover all injury-related losses; and, if someone other than your employer is to blame for your injury, you may be entitled to full coverage for your lost income, pain and suffering, and other forms of financial and non-financial harm. The only way to protect your right to full compensation is to hire an experienced attorney who can investigate the accident, calculate your losses, and take legal action against the parties that are responsible for what happened.
Speak With a Chicago Work Injury Lawyer in Confidence
If you would like more information about the benefits of hiring an attorney for your work injury claim, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our offices in Chicago, IL. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and help you make an informed decision about protecting your legal rights. To schedule an appointment at a time that is convenient for you, please call (312) 795-9595 or inquire online today.