If you have sustained an on-the-job injury, it is important for you to know your legal rights and obligations. That said, you are encouraged to seek guidance from a knowledgeable Chicago workers’ compensation attorney who routinely practices in this area of law and is prepared to assist you with your case. The following is a brief guide to help you understand the workers’ compensation system and what will be expected of you as you deal with your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Defined
As a bit of background information, the state of Illinois enacted the first workers’ compensation law back in the early 1900’s. Workers’ compensation, simply referred to as “workers’ comp,” is a system of legally-defined benefits that are available to many workers who are hurt or become ill while on the job. It is important to note that such benefits are paid regardless of fault.
Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws generally cover almost all employees who are hired or employed in the state and have been hurt while working in the state. Practically any injury incurred totally or in part as a result of a job-related function or activity is covered, including repetitive stress injuries (those that are caused by repeated use, such as tears, stress fractures and sprains); pre-existing conditions or injuries that were aggravated by work functions and/or activities and health-related injuries, such as heart attacks, strokes or other physical ailments that were caused by work. It bears mentioning that employees who are hurt while participating in recreational events that are sponsored by the employer will also be covered, but only if the employer required the employees to participate.
What Types of Benefits Are Available to Injured Workers?
There are several types of benefits that are generally available to those who sustain injuries while performing their work functions. First and foremost, injured workers are typically entitled to all medical care that is reasonably required based on the extent of the injuries sustained. Additionally, if the injured individual is unable to work, he or she may be entitled to temporary total disability (commonly referred to as TTD). If an injured worker can return to work but only perform light duty, he or she may be entitled to temporary partial disability (referred to as TPD).
Depending on the injuries sustained, an injured worker may also receive rehabilitation in an approved vocational rehabilitation program. For harmed workers who sustain a permanent disability but are still able to work, they may be entitled to permanent partial disability (or PPD). However, those who are unable to work may be entitled to permanent total disability (or PTD). If an injured worker ultimately succumbs to his or her injuries, surviving family members may be entitled to certain death benefits under the law.
It is also important to note that any benefits received are not viewed as income under federal or state law and will therefore not be taxable.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have sustained an on-the-job injury, it is important for you to know your rights and options under the law. Contact Chicago workers’ compensation attorney Lawrence Jackowiak and his team today for assistance.