In 2019 alone, 2.8 million people were injured in the workplace. These injuries were non-fatal, but they still required costly medical care and lost time at work. Workers’ compensation provides the financial support injured employees need to cover their lost income and medical care. But insurance companies often make it incredibly difficult for workers to get the benefits they deserve unless they have legal representation of their own. An experienced Belleville workers comp lawyer can help ensure that you collect all of the benefits you are entitled to for your workplace injury or illness.
If you have been injured at work, you should be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. One of the most common things I hear from clients is that their manager told them they don’t have a claim for one reason or another, or they are intimidated into not getting treatment and benefits they are entitled to receive. Surprisingly, it’s usually this bullying tactic that sends employees into my office looking for help!
Don’t let your employer or their insurance carrier push you around and deprive you of the treatment and financial compensation you are entitled to receive. Call me and I will personally discuss your workers’ compensation claim for free. I do not get paid unless I make a financial recovery for you. What do you have to lose by not calling? Every single dollar you are entitled to under the workers’ compensation act is what you stand to lose. Time is money – you better get GOING.
Private Illinois employers reported 110,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018. Of these injuries, more than 62,000 were severe in nature, requiring days off of work, restriction, or job transfer.
Any number of accidents can happen in the workplace. Even office workers can suffer repetitive motion injuries and other accidents that lead to long-term rehabilitation or even disability.
Common types of workplace accidents include:
The most common types of injuries named in workers’ compensation claims include:
Workplace injuries can range from mild to severe. Medical care is typically required, and some injuries will need long-term rehabilitation.
If you are injured at work, your employer may be responsible for helping with lost wages, accommodations, and other costs. Every business in Illinois with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance, including those that only have part-time workers.
Workers’ compensation insurance will cover the cost of medical care, lost wages, and some other expenses related to the workplace injury.
However, if you are an independent contractor or a railroad worker, you may not be covered by workers’ comp.
In some cases, employees can also sue their employees for injuries related to willful violations of safety regulations.
In order to qualify for workers’ comp, the injury must be work-related. This means that the accident must have occurred:
Other tasks can include company picnics, parties and social events that are sponsored by your employer but may not necessarily be on company property.
If someone is injured in the workplace, it’s important to act quickly and follow the appropriate protocols.
Get Medical Attention
The first and most important step is to ensure that the injured worker gets medical attention. If it’s an emergency, call 911. If it’s not an emergency, make sure that the worker is carefully transported to a hospital or other medical care facility.
Secure the Scene
If possible, secure the accident scene for investigative purposes. In cases of serious injuries, securing the scene is vital.
Limiting access to the scene can also help prevent secondary accidents. Make sure that all equipment and materials involved in the accident are properly secured.
Complete the Necessary Paperwork
Once the employee receives medical attention and the scene is secured, the next step is to complete the necessary paperwork.
An incident report needs to be filed and a workers’ compensation claim should be submitted within 24 hours of the accident. OSHA requires employers to prepare and maintain records of injuries and illnesses using OSHA form 300.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Suffering a workplace injury, even a mild one, can be a difficult and stressful experience. You may not know what steps to take next or what to expect.
Right now, the most important thing is to focus on your recovery. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help guide you through the process and ensure that you receive the maximum benefits possible. An experienced lawyer can also answer your most concerning questions, protect your rights, and determine whether you have a viable claim.
If you are unable to work due to an injury arising out of and occurring during the course of your employment, you should be receiving temporary total disability (TTD) benefits during your absence. In Illinois, TTD benefits are paid at the rate of 2/3 your average weekly wage (see above). You will not be paid TTD for the first three days you are off of work unless you miss a total of fourteen days. Workers’ compensation insurance carriers are notorious for denying and/or miscalculating temporary total disability benefits. Although 2/3 of your average weekly wage is easy to determine, the actual calculation of average weekly wage, as briefly explained above, can be very complicated.
There are times when an injured worker has not fully recovered from his/her injuries, but the worker’s doctor allows them to return to work with restrictions, in a different capacity, or on a part-time basis. When this happens, Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits are paid at the rate of 2/3 of the difference between what the worker made before the injury and what they make now. For example, John Doe was making $400 per week before the accident, but now is only able to return to work for 10 hours per week, thus making $100 per week. TPD would be calculated by taking the difference between what John used to make, $400 per week, and what he makes now, $100 per week, a difference of $300, and then multiplying by 2/3. Given this example, John would receive $100 per week from his employer plus another $200 in Temporary Partial Disability benefits, for a total of $300. Keep in mind, this amount is tax free.
Many people do not recover 100% from their on-the-job injuries. If this happens, you may be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits, which is usually a lump sum payment. PPD benefits are based on the parts of your body which were injured, the number of weeks each part is valued, and the loss of use of those body parts. These factors are the core of your PPD settlement, and a very technical and complex calculation is necessary to determine your benefit amount. PPD rates in Illinois are paid at 60% of your average weekly wage, see above, multiplied by the loss of use to your particular body part/s. For example, let’s say you injure your hand at work resulting in 20% loss of use and you have an average weekly wage rate of $600. In Illinois, a hand has a total value of 205 weeks. As such, the calcuation is 20% x 205 x 2/3rds of $600, for a total of $16,400. Remember, the PPD rate in Illinois is 60% of your average weekly wage. So, assuming your average weekly wage is $600, your PPD benefit would be $16,400.
The PPD calculation is very similar in Missouri, the difference being that PPD is calculated at 2/3 of your average weekly wage instead of 60%.
Workers’ compensation benefits are based, in part, on your average weekly wage, or AWW. Your average weekly wage is calculated differently depending on which state you file your claim. For example, if you are a full-time employee in Illinois, your average weekly wage is calculated by taking your pay for the 52 weeks preceding the pay period in which you were injured and dividing by the weeks, and parts thereof, you actually worked. There are many other considerations such as if you had secondary employment at the time of your injury, if you worked part-time, whether overtime was mandatory, etc.
If you were a full-time employee in Missouri at the time of your injury, your average weekly wage is calculated by taking your pay for the 13 weeks preceding the week in which you were injured and dividing by the weeks and days you actually worked.
The average weekly wage is used to calculate benefits such as Temporary Total Disability, Temporary Partial Disability, and Permanent Partial Disability.
Workplace injuries can be painful, but they can also be stressful. Workers’ comp claims can be denied. Negligence and other factors may warrant compensation beyond what workers’ comp can provide.
Whether your injury is mild or catastrophic, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you secure the maximum benefits you are entitled to. A lawyer can also determine whether there are grounds to file a lawsuit to cover pain and suffering or other damages.
Workers’ compensation cases are complex and require intimate knowledge of regulations and laws related to workplace injuries.
The best Belleville workers’ comp lawyer will have years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases involving a variety of injuries.
If you have been injured at work, it is crucial to contact a Belleville workers’ comp lawyer right away.
Choosing a workers comp lawyer to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve is an important decision. The Law Office of Jason B Going is experienced and proven when it comes to personal injury cases, and they will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome in your case.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, we can help get you the compensation you truly deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
The Law Office of Jason B. Going has years of experience providing excellent results helping clients just like you.
Through the years Jason has served as an advocate for numerous clients in matters before various Circuit Courts in Illinois and Missouri as well as before the Missouri Court of Appeals. He represents clients in various areas of law including personal injury, automobile accidents, workers' compensation, criminal defense, DUI/DWI defense, and traffic cases.. Jason is licensed in Illinois, Missouri, and Florida.