It is rare that people need to seek workers' compensation, but when they do, they often have many questions about not only what workers' compensation is, but also how the process works, what it all means and how their situation fits into the larger picture. As with any legal case, it is important to recognize that every situation is different, and so even though these frequently asked questions about workers' compensation might provide you with some guidance, the best information you can get is through a free consultation with an experienced Chicago workers' compensation attorney.
What Is Workers' Comp?
Workers' compensation is a system created by law that provides monetary assistance to employees who have been injured while working. The system uses workers' compensation insurance that the company buys to pay flat rates for employee illness and injuries. The trade-off is that even if an illness or injury is not the employer's fault, it can avoid lengthy legal battles through paying for any illness or injury that happens to its employees while they are working. Employees benefit from the system because it expedites the process, and even though the rate of compensation is lower than a traditional personal injury case, they get to avoid providing proof of negligence and a lengthy court battle that drags out their compensation.
Our attorneys can help you file the most comprehensive claim possible to avoid claim denial. If your claim has already been denied, get in touch so we can appeal the decision and get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Am I Hurting My Employer By Filing A Claim?
In short, the answer is no. Every employer is required by law to set up some sort of scheme to pay into workers' compensation benefits. They can choose to purchase workers' comp insurance, pay into a self-insurance fund or pay into a state-administered fund. No matter what, your claim does not take away any additional money from your employer that it is not already required to pay into the system; you are simply benefiting from the rights you are given by law after an illness or injury at work.
What Is Paid For In Workers' Comp?
Typically, injuries are paid for on a sliding scale depending on the type of injury. Short- and long-term disability claims also have their own scales that are used to pay employees after they have been injured. Our attorneys can walk you through the scales used in Illinois so you have a better understanding of the benefits to which you are entitled, but in essence, payments are intended to cover medical expenses, a certain amount in lost wages and, in some cases, vocational rehabilitation.
Can I Get More Money Than Just Workers' Comp?
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to file a "third-party claim" if your injury was not caused by your employer, but by someone else during the course of your employment. If a manufacturer, seller or distributor of faulty equipment is to blame, we can file a product liability lawsuit. If an individual who is not employed by your company was negligent in his or her actions and caused your injury, you may also be able to seek additional compensation.
Typically, you cannot bring a lawsuit against your employer instead of filing a workers' comp claim, though there are some exceptions to this rule. Ask our workers' comp lawyers about your situation in a free consultation to learn more about this option. Call 312-445-9034 or 888-837-3275 toll free to learn more.