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What can I expect in my Illinois workplace accident claim?

If you have suffered a workplace accident is likely that you're thinking about your future. The nature of any accident is that they are always unexpected. You may have never considered what might happen do you if you became unable to continue earning a living through your work.

The good news is that the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission oversees programs that are designed to assist injured workers throughout the state. Any employee who is injured during the course of his or her job can be entitled to certain benefits. For example, if your workers' comp claim is approved, you will receive two-thirds of your lost wages as you are recovering from your injuries. That number is based on the average of your weekly wage rate prior to your injury.

Additionally, you can receive medical benefits that pay for treatment of your injury. You may also recover damages associated with permanent scarring you may have received during your workplace injury or for the loss of function caused by that accident.

In more severe cases, your injury may make it impossible or impractical for you to return to work in the same capacity. In such cases, injured workers are often allowed to receive occupational retraining or education designed to give them an opportunity to return to the workforce.

Although injured workers are entitled to receive these benefits, they are never guaranteed. In fact, you may experience pushback from insurance companies who attempt to limit or deny your access to certain benefits. You may even experience the denial of your claim in its entirety. Fortunately, Illinois allows injured workers to retain legal representation.

Your workers' compensation attorney can help ensure that you receive all of the benefits for which you are entitled. Your attorney can also represent you during any portion of your claims appeal process. It is also important to know that your workers' compensation claim must be filed within three years of your injury.

Source: Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, "Handbook on Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases" accessed Feb. 17, 2015

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