Caring With Our Clients, Fierce With The Insurance Companies

We offer language services in Spanish, Polish, Russian and Ukrainian.

Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

The workers’ compensation process can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you should focus on recovering from your injury or illness. Our attorneys at Orzoff Law Offices are here to answer your questions and help you through the process. In the meantime, please see some answers to frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation benefits.

How Can An Attorney Help Me With My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

People dealing directly with the workers’ compensation insurance company tend to encounter serious difficulties along the way. Medical bills may not be paid, weekly temporary total disability benefits may be delayed or not paid at all, insurance company doctors may force people back to work before they are ready, and the list goes on and on. You can best protect your rights by retaining an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation from the very beginning of your claim.

The insurance company adjuster has been trained to be friendly and reassuring, however, their main objective is to save the company as much money as possible either by not paying your bills, not paying your weekly benefits or returning you back to work before you are physically ready to do so.

By retaining an experienced workers’ compensation attorney you will either stop or prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you. Your attorney will take over the handling of your claim by dealing directly with the insurance company so that all of your legal rights will be protected. An experienced attorney will see to it that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

When Should I Hire An Attorney?

You can best protect your rights by retaining an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation from the very beginning of your claim. You will receive professional legal guidance throughout your claim which will help you avoid costly mistakes which may prevent you from receiving all of the benefits that you are entitled to under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Orzoff Law Offices are always available to help you immediately after you are injured.

How Do I Pay My Attorney?

There are no retainer fees or up-front fees that have to be paid in order for you to retain our services. Our 20% attorney’s fee is contingent upon a successful resolution of your claim. If there is no recovery, then there is no fee.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier Denied My Claim. Is There Anything That I Can Do?

Yes. You should immediately contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss the facts involved in your claim and the circumstances of the denial. If we feel that we can help you we will arrange for a meeting, and after accepting your case, we will immediately contact the insurance company to discuss the legal justification for the denial. In many instances, we have supplied the needed documentation to the insurance company and convinced the carrier to change their positions so that all past-due benefits and future benefits are paid.

In some situations, it might be necessary to have an arbitration hearing in order to secure workers’ compensation benefits. We have successfully done this on many occasions and received a favorable arbitration award resulting in the payment of benefits in a claim that has been previously denied.

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Me When The Accident At Work Was My Fault?

Yes. Illinois workers’ compensation law is a no-fault system. For example, if you are injured as a result of your own carelessness while you are doing your job you are still entitled to full workers’ compensation benefits. Our experienced attorneys will help you collect all the benefits that you are entitled to such as payment of medical bills, temporary total disability while you are off of work and an eventual permanent disability settlement or award even if the accident was your own fault.

Does Workers’ Compensation Require A Specific Accident At Work?

No. You need not recall a specific work-related injury. Illinois Workers’ Compensation law covers a claim that develops gradually such as carpal tunnel syndrome from continuous and repetitive use of the hands, rotator cuff injuries from repeated overhead use of the arms and back and neck injuries from continuous and repetitive heavy lifting.

Can I Be Fired For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

No. We understand your concerns since many employers do, in fact, create hostile environments for employees who have been injured on the job. The Illinois legislature addressed these concerns by adopting Section 4 in the workers’ compensation Act, which makes it unlawful for any employer to discharge or lay off an employee for taking advantage of their right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer engages in any conduct prohibited by Section 4 of the Act, you have the right to sue your employer for substantial damages in a retaliatory discharge lawsuit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal statute providing civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities, also protects injured workers from employee discrimination. The ADA prohibits employers from discharging or in any way discriminating against workers who sustain serious and disabling injuries.

If I Have Received A Settlement Offer On My Claim, How Do I Know If That Offer Is Fair?

You don’t. In dealing directly with the workers’ compensation insurance company you must assume that the settlement offer is substantially less than the true value of your claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney is trained to recognize the potential value of your claim and the insurance company will usually increase their offer accordingly when dealing with your experienced legal representative.

Does It Depend On Where I Live If You Can Handle My Case?

No. Our office represents injured people who are employed in Chicago and Cook County and all of the surrounding counties, including Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and Will. Also, under certain circumstances, we have represented people who have been injured in other locations in the state of Illinois.

By Hiring An Attorney, Will I Be Suing My Employer?

No, you are not suing your employer by hiring an attorney. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, an employee cannot sue his or her employer for injuries sustained as a result of an on-the-job accident. A workers’ compensation claim is simply placing a claim for injuries against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Can I Sue Someone Other Than My Employer Who Was Responsible For The Accident?

Yes. If someone other than your employer is responsible for your accident, you not only have a workers’ compensation claim but you also have the right to pursue a civil personal injury claim against the responsible third party. For example, if a carpenter on a construction site is injured as a result of the negligence of a bricklayer, the carpenter will not only have a workers’ compensation claim against his employer’s insurance carrier, but he will also have a third-party personal injury claim against the masonry company.

Another example would be a package delivery driver who trips and falls on a customer’s broken sidewalk. Our attorneys are experienced in recognizing potential third-party cases in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.

My Medical Bills Are Not Being Paid. Is My Employer Responsible For Paying These Expenses?

Your employer is responsible for 100% of all reasonable and necessary medical, hospital and surgical expenses related to your job injury. There are no caps, time limits, co-pays, deductibles or other limitations. Medical expenses are an important part of your benefits and an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your rights to the prompt payment of your medical expenses by your employer.

My Employer And The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier Are Forcing Me To Use Their Doctor. I Am Unhappy About Their Doctor’s Lack Of Concern. Am I Entitled To Be Treated By My Own Doctor?

Yes. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act gives you the absolute right to be treated by a doctor of your own choice. Additionally, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is required by law to pay 100% of all of your doctor’s reasonable and necessary medical bills. Don’t let your employer and its insurance carrier improperly dictate your medical treatment. Pick your own doctor who you know and trust and who will see to it that you get the proper medical attention.

Am I Entitled To Benefits While I Am Off Of Work Due To A Job-Related Injury?

Yes. You are entitled to weekly temporary total disability benefits (TTD) during the time that your treating doctor has authorized you to be off of work. Your TTD is based upon a calculation of two-thirds of your average weekly wage based on a one-year period prior to the accident date. These benefits are not taxable income. There are no time limits regarding the payment of this benefit. These benefits are payable as long as you are medically authorized to be off of work.

My Employer Has Paid My TTD And My Medical Expenses. Am I Entitled To Any Other Benefits?

Yes. Even if your employer has complied with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and paid your TTD and medical expenses you are entitled to a settlement or arbitration award for the permanent nature of your injury. A lawyer who concentrates on workers’ compensation can evaluate your injury and see to it that your settlement is fair. Call us at 847-780-2356 for a free evaluation.

I Had A Previous Injury At Work To The Same Part Of My Body. Am I Covered?

Yes. An aggravation of a pre-existing injury is covered even if the previous claim has been resolved.

I Had A Preexisting Condition That Got Worse Due To My Job. Can I Make A Claim For Benefits?

Yes. As long as you can show that your employment contributed to the worsening of your condition, you likely can make a claim. Your employment does not have to be the sole cause or even the major cause of your injury, just a contributing cause.

Does Workers’ Comp Cover Retraining Or Job Search Assistance Related To An Accident At Work?

Yes. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that you are entitled to receive reasonable vocational rehabilitation following your work-related injury. The law also allows you to receive weekly maintenance benefits while you are being retrained. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you obtain this as part of your settlement or prosecute a claim for vocational rehabilitation.

Do I Have A Time Limit To File My Claim For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Yes. The statute of limitations is three years from the date of your accident or two years from the last payment of any workers’ compensation benefits. If you do not file your application for adjustment of claim at the Illinois Industrial Commission within this time, your claim becomes legally barred and no future benefits will be paid. If you have not filed your Application for Adjustment of Claim and the three-year anniversary date of your accident is approaching then we suggest that you contact our offices immediately in order to arrange for your claim to be properly filed and your rights protected.

How Do You Know If A Workers’ Compensation Settlement Offer Is Fair?

After reporting an injury, you will see a doctor who will perform an independent medical examination to assistance in the valuation process of your claim. In determining the value of your claim, your average weekly wage, maximum medical improvement and your impairment rating will be considered.

Contact Us To Have All Your Questions Answered

If you need assistance filing for workers’ compensation, call us today at 847-780-2356 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We offer legal services in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian and Spanish.