Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker has issued an emergency rule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule establishes a presumption that a first responder or front line worker who contracts COVID-19 during this state of emergency, contracted it in the course and scope of their employment, and therefore are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation system.
Under the rule, first responders and front line workers include police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, health care providers, corrections officers, and other crucial personnel including grocery store and pharmacy employees, restaurant employees, agricultural workers, employees of organizations that provide charitable or social services, gas station employees, hardware store employees, postal workers, and any other profession that is considered essential under Illinois’ state of emergency order. Click here to see the full order.
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness that prevents you from returning to your job or earning the same wages as before the accident, you might be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. Spiros Law, P.C. could help you with your claim and pursue the benefit payments you need to cover your lost income, medical bills, and other expenses.
An injury on the job can be life-changing. You were doing your job when a terrible accident happened, and now you are facing serious pain, expensive hospital bills, and lost wages. You rely on your employer’s workers’ compensation to reimburse you for these costs, and so it can be especially frightening and frustrating when you aren’t receiving the workers’ compensation you need. You may be wondering what you can do and where you can turn to get the money you deserve.
You are not alone. One in five American workers will suffer a workplace injury so severe that they will be unable to work for a year or longer. That’s a total of nearly 30 million workers who will suffer a serious, debilitating workplace accident, affecting both themselves and their families. Tragically, many injured workers fail to file claims because they wrongly think that they have to prove that their employer did something wrong to get compensation for the injuries they suffer. This is not true. Employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance to help protect people like you in the event of an accident, and you have every right to file a claim if you are hurt on the job.
Learn More: What Happens if My Worker’s Compensation Claim is Denied?
The Kankakee workers’ compensation attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. understand what you are going through following your injury, and we know how important it is for you to receive the money you deserve. If you need assistance filing your claim or if you were wrongly denied the workers’ compensation benefits you need, we would like to help. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (815) 929-9292.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Our experienced Kankakee workers’ compensation lawyers have handled a wide range of cases over the years. We can help you with all of your workers’ compensation needs, including:
- Workers’ Compensation
- Permanent Disability
- Temporary Disability
- Workplace Injuries
If you or someone you love has been injured or worse because of a workplace injury, we would like to help. Our Kankakee workers’ compensation attorneys have the dedication it takes to fight for your rights following a workplace accident.
Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
Injuries, illnesses, and fatalities can happen in any job industry. A variety of scenarios can result in an accident that requires medical care. In 2019, there were 158 fatal work-related injuries in Illinois. Transportation incidents accounted for 40% of all work-related deaths, followed by violence, falls, slips, trips, and contact with equipment and objects.
The most common causes of workplace accidents include:
- Slip/trip and fall
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Defective tools and equipment
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Fall from heights
- Explosions and fires
- Being struck by an object or equipment
- Repetitive motion
- Falling objects
- Hazards in working areas and walkways
- Exposed electrical wires
- Malfunctioning machinery
Employers must provide their workers with a safe environment free from hazards that could cause injuries. If you were hurt while performing your job duties, you shouldn’t be responsible for the medical bills and other costs you incur. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company should provide the benefits you need to pay for your treatment and supplement any lost income from your time off.
Common Injuries Suffered in Workplace Accidents
In 2019, there were 127,700 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Illinois. You can suffer injuries no matter what type of job you have. Whether you’re in construction or an office environment, hazards exist that can lead to accidents.
The most common occupational injuries and illnesses are:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Respiratory issues
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Psychological damage
- Pulled or strained muscle
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Electrical shock
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
If you were involved in an accident at work, you should contact Spiros Law, P.C. immediately for legal assistance. Our Kankakee workers’ compensation lawyers might be able to represent you in your case and pursue the benefits you need to heal your injuries and pay for your daily living expenses while you can’t earn an income.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Can Pursue in Illinois
When you apply for workers’ compensation benefits, you could recover two different types: medical benefits and disability benefits.
Medical benefits pay for all reasonable and necessary treatment of your work-related injury or illness. This can include:
- Emergency care
- Chiropractic treatment
- Physical therapy
- Doctor visits
- Medical devices
- Prescription medications
- Chronic pain treatment
You should not receive any medical bills while you’re trying to recover. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should pay your providers directly for all treatment you receive.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
You can collect TTD benefits if your doctor indicates that you can’t return to work. Payments are two-thirds of your average weekly wages before suffering a disabling injury or illness. You can continue to collect benefits until you return to your job at total physical and mental capacity.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If you’re still working at a limited capacity and earning less money than you did before the accident, you can collect TPD benefits. Payments are two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage before the accident and the net pay you’re making performing modified work duties.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
You’re eligible for PPD benefits if you have:
- Partial or complete loss of use of part of the body;
- Partial or complete loss of a body part; or
- Partial loss of use of the body as a whole.
“Loss of use” refers to the inability to perform the tasks you could complete before suffering an injury.
Four types of benefits are available:
- Wage differential – If you get a different job and earn less than your pre-injury wages, you can collect two-thirds of the difference between your wages at your previous job and new wages.
- Scheduled injuries – Available benefits depend on the specific body part affected by the injury. Specific body parts are assigned a total number of weeks of value. Your compensation may be based, in part, on the impairment rating assigned by your doctor. An impairment rating is a percentage indicating how much an injury impacts your body as a whole. Payments are calculated at 60% of the average weekly wage before the accident multiplied by the percentage of loss x the number of weeks assigned to the corresponding body part on the Schedule of Body Parts.
- Non-scheduled injuries – If the type of injury you suffered isn’t listed on the Schedule of Body Parts but limits your ability to perform your job, you could collect a percentage of the 500 weeks assigned to the “person as a whole,” depending, in part, on the impairment rating your doctor provides.
- Disfigurement – If you suffer permanent and serious disfigurement to your face, neck, head, hand, chest, armpits, arm, or leg below the knee, you can collect benefits for up to 162 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
An injury eligible for PTD benefits is:
- Complete and permanent loss of use of both feet, both hands, both legs, both arms, both eyes, or a combination of two of these body parts; or
- A complete disability that prevents the employee from performing any job.
Payments are two-thirds of the average weekly wage before the injury occurred for a time period determined by the Arbitrator or in negotiation with the insurance company.
Burial benefits are available to the person paying for their loved one’s burial expenses if the loved one died as a result of work-related injuries. If the death happened before February 1, 2006, you could collect a $4,200 payment. For a work-related death after February 1, 2006, the benefit payment would be $8,000.
Survivor benefits are for a primary beneficiary, such as a spouse or child under 18 years old. Payments are two-thirds of the deceased’s gross average weekly wages before the fatal injury for a period of time set by the Arbitrator or negotiated with the insurance company.
Do I have to sue my employer for Workers’ Compensation benefits?
You and your family rely on workers’ compensation benefits to support you during your painful recovery process. It can be frightening when you are not receiving the money you need. We understand what you are going through, and we want to help. Spiros Law, P.C. will be your advocate and seek the maximum available benefits possible, so you’re not forced to pay for any expenses out-of-pocket. You deserve coverage for your lost wages and medical care so you can heal and get on the road to recovery.
Contact the Kankakee workers’ compensation attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. today by calling (815) 929-9292 for the assistance you deserve. We can meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your options for filing a claim, appealing a denied claim, or pursuing a lawsuit against an employer that doesn’t provide workers’ compensation coverage.