Workers’ Compensation FAQs

How long will my workers’ compensation case take?

As workers’ compensation attorneys, we always want people to realize that our jobs are to make sure we answer your questions before they’re asked, so that you have the full knowledge of the situation, the possible outcomes, and whatever options that might be out there.

And if there was a question that was most often asked, it would be “How long do cases take?”

Know that it is an incredibly difficult question to answer without knowing the full scope of your situation. And if you’re calling our office within a few days of your injury, you don’t know the full extent. Will there be lingering effects? Will there be prolonged treatment? Did your accident affect your permanently?

When we have a full scope of your injuries or illness, then we can begin to resolve your claim. We can gather the appropriate records and submit the claims to seek compensation.

And how long does that take? It depends on a lot of factors, one big one being the insurance company. If they are willing to give you what we deem the proper amount of compensation, the process can go quicker than some. But if they aren’t we’ll need to proceed to court. This could take some time, despite our continued efforts to quicken the process.

Know this: as soon as we have a full understanding of how long your case will take, we will tell you. Also know that our team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley acts efficiently. We know how precious your time is and the last thing we want to do is waste it.

Learn more about how we help people in McHenry County with their workers’ compensation claim.

Can I Recover Lost Wages Due to My Injuries?

Being injured in an accident is an extremely traumatizing experience. Many people will find themselves feeling helpless against an insurance agency, which is why they hire an experienced personal injury accident attorney. They will receive their medical attention while the attorney will fight to get all of the medical bills covered. As well as the lost wages due to not being able to perform a job properly as a result of the injury.

If you are injured in an accident and are unable to return to work, you are most likely eligible for compensation of the lost wages. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injury, the time missed at work, and the hourly rate in which you are employed. In order to successfully receive compensation, you will have to have your medical providers document the extent of your injuries.

Of course, every case is different and not every circumstance may be eligible for wage compensation, so it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your case. For information on your case, give us a call today.

To read more about personal injury accident cases in McHenry County, and how our team at Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley fights for families like yours, please read our other FAQ pages.

How Soon Should I Let My Employer Know That I Am Injured?

Employers are required to provide safe working environments for their employees. This may mean additional training to perform your job safely, providing safety equipment, installing equipment to prevent accidents, and implementing procedures to reduce the risk of accidents. Unfortunately, an employer and an employee can take every imaginable precaution to prevent workplace accidents but accidents will happen. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act protects workers who have been injured on the job; however, you are required to take certain steps to protect your rights.

If you have been injured at work, we can help. The Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys of Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley have extensive experience representing clients in workplace accident claims. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss the steps you need to take with regard to your workers’ compensation claim.

Notifying Your Employer of Your Workplace Injury

When you are injured at work, your first priority is to seek medical attention to prevent further injury; however, as soon as possible you must notify your employer of the injury. Failure to notify your employer of the workplace accident and your injury may result in a delay in payment of benefits or a denial of your workers’ compensation claim.

Therefore, if you are unable to report the accident immediately for whatever reason, report the accident and injury as soon as possible. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act allows you to report an injury up to forty-five days after the injury but it is in your best interest to file an injury report with your employer immediately.

How do I notify my employer of a workplace injury?

Most employers have a procedure for reporting workplace injuries that every employee should be familiar with and understand. In the absence of such a policy, remember that reporting an accident to a co-worker or your union representative is not considered sufficient notice to your employer. You must report the accident and injury to a person in a management role such as your supervisor, foreman, nurse, or company owner. Notifying the employer in writing or orally is sufficient notice under the Act.

In some cases, your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier may “require” you to provide a written or recorded statement. This statement is not required for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits including medical benefits and compensation for lost time from work. In the event your employer or the insurance agent is demanding a signed statement or a recorded statement, you need to contact our office immediately.

In some cases, the insurance company may just want to obtain additional information; however, it could also be attempting to obtain information that it will use to delay or deny your claim. It is always in your best interest to discuss your claim with an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are not being violated.

Contact a McHenry County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Our law firm has been protecting the rights of injured workers in McHenry County since 1972. We care about what you and your family is going through as you struggle to heal from your workplace injury. We have the knowledge, experience, and determination to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive under the law.

What should I do if I’ve been fired after being injured at work? Who can I talk to?

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Prohibits Unlawful Termination After an Accident

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act ensures that employees who are injured while on the job receive the medical treatment they need in order to heal from their injuries. It also provides financial compensation to help the worker pay his or her bills and living expenses while out of work due to the injury. Unfortunately, an employer may attempt to avoid its responsibilities after a work-related injury by terminating the employee or retaliating against the employee.

Have you been fired because you were injured at work? We can help! The Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys of Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley have extensive experience working with clients to protect their rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

What should I do if I’ve been fired after being injured at work? Who can I talk to?

Firing you because you were injured in a work-place accident is illegal, yes, however we do see it happen.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits an employer from discriminating, retaliating, or firing you for the sole reason being that you were injured in a workplace accident.

However, Illinois is an “at will” employment state meaning your employer can fire you at any time for any legitimate reason. Therefore, it is not necessarily illegal for your employer to fire you if you are injured in a workplace accident provided the employer is not firing you only for the work-related injury.

For example, if you had a work related injury, but you also showed poor work performance prior to your injury, and/or you were late to work, etc., and your employer had evidence of this, then you could be fired after your workplace injury.

If your employer fires you after you are injured at work, contact our office immediately to discuss your legal options. You may have the right to sue your employer if it violated Illinois workers’ compensation laws. Our experienced McHenry County workers’ compensation lawyers investigate the circumstances surrounding your termination to determine if it is legal or illegal.

Does being fired from my job affect my workers’ compensation benefits?

After being injured in a work-related accident, the insurance company for your employer will pay for your medical treatment and you will receive temporary total disability benefits (TTD) until you are able to return to work or your claim is settled. TTD is designed to provide financial support during your recovery.

These benefits will not be terminated if your employer fires you before your workers’ compensation claim is settled. This is the case regardless of whether your employer fires you for misconduct, lack of work, or for some other reason. If you believe you are being fired because you were injured, that is not permitted and you need to contact our office immediately.

Can I collect unemployment if I was injured at work, collected worker’s compensation, but then was terminated from my position?

Most likely, yes. If you were terminated for cause in Illinois, you’re not entitled to unemployment compensation, but in all other circumstances you would be eligible for both.

If doctor orders you completely off from work, then you’ll be eligible to receive worker’s compensation. If you are, in any respect, able to go back in a limited capacity or full capacity, then that’s where you’re eligible for both workers’ compensation and unemployment.

Contact a McHenry County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The attorneys of Franks Gerkin Ponitz Greeley have been working with clients throughout McHenry County since 1972. We understand how stressful and frightening it can be when you suffer a workplace injury and we want to help reduce the stress of dealing with a workers’ compensation claim so you can focus on what is most important—healing from your injuries.

Put our knowledge, experience, and determination to work for you and receive the compensation you deserve.

What are my rights if I’m hurt while at work?

If you’ve been hurt at work, you have rights to certain benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. You’re entitled to TTD (Total Temporary Disability), which is a weekly payment for a portion of your wages.

You are also entitled to medical benefits. You also have a right to necessary job training and job placement, if your condition causes you to have to get a new job. You’re also entitled to an award for any permanent injury.

Can I see my own doctor to treat my work‑related injury?

Your first doctor’s visit will be covered, but not necessarily your second. Go see the doctor of your choice. That doctor may recommend a specialist and that is also covered. If you do, you’ll want to make sure that you contact your workers’ compensation attorney to see if it is covered.

If your company recommends their doctor, there is no issue with going to that doctor. Be aware that the company pays that doctor so they may not necessarily be acting in your best interest. However, you then will get an “election doctor.” If you see the company doctor, you can also then see a doctor of your choice if you so choose.

At any point if you’re concerned with how you’re being cared for, contact your workplace injury lawyer. Sometimes it is hard to know whether or not you are being given proper treatment. Your workplace injury lawyer can walk through the situation with you and get a full picture, and can help you determine whether or not you should seek a second opinion or not.

If my employer offers extra vacation time should I accept it?

If your employer was willing to give you extra paid vacation time because of your workplace injury, you can accept that and not compromise any of your other rights to proper compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

You will still be eligible to all applicable worker’s compensation benefits. The Illinois statute gives you two-thirds of your wages for time taken off after a work-related injury or illness.

Some employers will also try to pay their employee’s medical bills. Know that this should not keep you from filing workers’ compensation claims. There is no agreement that your employer can make with you that should cause you to forgo your rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. You can accept the kindness of your employer, but still receive the benefits you’re entitled to.

We understand how tempting it is to avoid the hassle and just accept what your employer offers. Remember, though, that your employer isn’t by any means obligated to continue to pay your medical bills if you settle immediately. After your injury you won’t know the full scope of the prolonged effects or your need for more treatment.

For a small injury, yes, your employer may pay your bills, but what if you have a permanent condition. Your employer won’t pay for your medical bills forever. That is why you have rights under the Illinois statute. These rights protect you. See an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your rights.

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