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Frequently Asked Questions About Illinois Workers’ CompensationThough some workplaces may present more obvious dangers than others, you can get injured in any workplace. According to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2,811,500 nonfatal workplace injuries in the United States in 2017. Being injured at work can be stressful, especially if you have to miss work because of your injury. Fortunately, programs such as workers’ compensation exist to help people in this situation. If you are injured on the job, you have the right to submit a claim for your medical expenses and lost wages. The workers’ compensation process can be confusing, so here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about Illinois workers’ compensation:

  1. What is Workers’ Compensation?: Workers’ compensation is a statewide system of benefits that applies to most employees in Illinois. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in case one of its employees is injured while on the job. Those who are injured at work or experience an occupational disease are eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
  2. What Should I Do if I Get Hurt at Work?: The best thing to do if you are hurt while you are at work is to first get medical help if it is a life-threatening injury and then immediately notify your employer. You have up to 45 days after the incident to report your injury to your employer, but it is better to begin a record of your injury or illness as soon as possible.
  3. Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?: Yes. If you are hurt at work, your employer is required to pay for all medical care to treat your injury until you have reached maximum medical improvement. These costs can include emergency care, doctor’s visits, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, medication, and even certain medical or prosthetic devices. If your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer do not dispute the workers’ compensation claim, they can pay the bills directly.
  4. Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?: While it is not necessary to have an attorney after you are hurt at work, hiring a lawyer can be extremely beneficial to your case. Having a lawyer by your side can decrease the chances that your employer disputes your claim. If your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer refuses to pay your medical bills or provide you with other benefits that you have a right to, an attorney can make sure you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The last thing you want to do while you are recovering from a workplace injury is having to fight with an uncooperative employer or insurance company. If you have been injured while on the job, you should consult with a Tinley Park, IL, workers’ compensation attorney. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation. 

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Five Steps You Should Take After You Are Injured at WorkAn injury can happen anywhere, at any time – even while you are at work. Though certain industries and professions can pose more of a risk to employees, any worker can be injured through a variety of ways. Work injuries can range from a superficial cut to loss of a limb and, in some cases, even death. The decisions that you make after you are injured at work can affect the outcome of your workers’ compensation claim, which is why it is important that you take the right steps. Here are a couple of steps that every injured worker should take if they have been hurt at work:

1. Report Your Injury Right Away

One of the first things you should do after you are injured at work is to report your injury to your employer. While it does not have to be the absolute first thing you do, it is imperative that you report your injury as soon as possible. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim and receive benefits if you do not report your injury.

2. Get Medical Attention

While getting treatment is obvious, the place you go to receive medical attention can impact the benefits you will receive from your workers’ compensation claim. In Illinois, some employers may have a Preferred Provider Program (PPP) in place, which is a list of physicians, specialists and other health providers that the employer has approved. If your employer does have a PPP, you must first choose a provider from the list to be seen. First aid and emergency care do not count as a provider and do not have to be from the PPP.

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Cook County workers' compensation benefits lawyerBeing injured while you are at work can be a stressful and worrisome situation. Not only are you suffering from a physical injury, but you are probably full of stress and uncertainty about how you will be able to earn money if you cannot work. Thankfully, Illinois requires almost all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. This is a type of insurance that is in place for these very situations -- if a worker is injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will cover it. In Illinois, workers’ compensation covers three types of benefits: medical benefits, disability benefits, and death benefits. 

Medical Benefits

First and foremost, the basic intention of workers’ compensation insurance is to ensure that an employee’s medical care is taken care of in the event they are injured. In Illinois, your employer is required to pay for any and all medical expenses relating to an injury if you received the injury while at work. Expenses that are covered include:

  • Emergency care
  • First aid
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Hospital care
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Prosthetic devices

Disability Benefits

If you are injured so badly that you are unable to work, then workers’ compensation can help you out. Disability benefits come in a few different forms. Typically, benefits are awarded to you based on whether you are totally or partially disabled and if that disability is permanent or temporary. The four types of disability benefits are:

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Tinley Park workers' compensation lawyerThough some occupations may have higher injury rates than others, you can get hurt at work no matter what industry you work in. Workers’ compensation cases can be difficult and tedious, but it is important to note that the first 24 hours or so after your workplace injury are crucial. Taking the correct actions after being injured at work can make for a stronger workers’ compensation case, while taking the wrong actions could mean no case at all. Here are five things you should do after a work injury in Illinois:

1. Inform Your Employer About Your Injury

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that you should notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible. You are permitted to notify your employer orally or in writing, but writing is typically better, because you then have hard evidence that you notified your employer of your injury. The notice should contain information about your injury and the time and place where it was sustained. A general rule of thumb is that you should notify your employer about your injuries no later than 45 days after the incident.

2. Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

Before you go to the doctor, try to contact your employer’s human resources department to inquire about any limitations the workers’ compensation insurance may have. Typically, you can choose which medical provider you can see, but your employer may have limitations. If your employer has a preferred provider program (PPP), you have the choice of two providers within the PPP. If your employer does not have a PPP, you have a choice of any two medical providers. 

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