Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Madison County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have suffered a job-related injury in Madison County, Illinois, you can file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is a state agency, which was created to oversee the cases of injured workers in Illinois. There are several offices, including one in Collinsville at 1014 Eastport Plaza Drive. If you were injured in the Madison County area, any disputes about your claim would most likely be heard at the Collinsville location. If you were injured out of state but work in Madison County, your claim would probably be assigned to the Collinsville location, as well.
The general rule is that you cannot sue your employer for a work injury. Instead, you file a claim with the Commission. You can file a claim regardless of fault. If your injury was your fault, you can still be eligible for benefits. Most work-related injuries are covered under Illinois workers’ compensation, including repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and occupational illnesses like asbestosis. Even pre-existing conditions that are worsened by your work may be covered.
The types of benefits available include payment of medical bills and lost wages. Here is a brief overview:
- Medical. Your medical bills should be covered 100%, so long as the expenses are reasonable and related to your work injury. There should be zero out-of-pocket expenses.
- Temporary Total Disability. If you are unable to work while you recover from your injury, or if your employer can’t accommodate your work restrictions, you can receive 2/3 of your average weekly wage during this time.
- Permanent Partial Disability. You can receive compensation for a permanent injury, which is a status determined by your doctor. If you can return to work but at a lesser paying position, you may be compensated for the difference.
In some states, the insurance company is allowed to choose your doctor, but injured workers in Illinois have more options. In Illinois, you can choose the doctor who treats you for your work injury. An exception is when a worker is asked to submit to an independent medical exam, or IME. Your employer’s insurance company may make this request if there is a dispute about your treatment or diagnosis.
As we mentioned above, a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit. In some ways it’s more like a health insurance claim. You will be dealing with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer rather than dealing directly with your employer. However, a workers’ compensation claim is more complicated.
We recommend working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can look out for your best interests. This is especially necessary because you are up against an insurance company. Although they may appear helpful, they are not on your side. Their goal is to pay out as little in benefits as possible. An attorney’s goal is to make sure their client is fully compensated for their injury, and they will use their experience to make this happen.
Workers’ comp attorneys in Illinois charge on a contingency basis, which means that you only pay if you receive benefits. If your attorney is unable to get benefits for you, then you owe them nothing. In Illinois, this type of contingency fee is limited to 20%, which means that your attorney would earn up to 20% of what you recover. If you receive $45,000, then your attorney’s fee would be $9,000. Again, if you get nothing for your injury, you do not pay attorney’s fees.
An attorney also will help you stay on track with your claim, and make sure you meet all of the necessary deadlines. For example, you must notify your employer of your injury within 45 days. If you fail to do so, your claim could be denied. You have three years from the date of your injury to file a claim with the Commission. If you have received benefits, you have two years from the date of last payment to file your claim. However, we always recommend filing a claim right away. Even if you start receiving benefits from the insurance company without a problem, having an open claim will give you a head start if there is a problem down the road.
If you’ve been injured at work and would like to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Collinsville or elsewhere in Madison County, please contact us. We know attorneys throughout the county and throughout the state, and it’s our goal to help you find the best attorney for your situation.
Findgreatlawyers.com helps with work injury cases throughout Illinois including Edwardsville, Alton and other cities in and near Madison County. We help with all types of injuries including carpal tunnel, RSD, back injuries, knee, neck, shoulder and general repetitive trauma. See for yourself why access to our service is like having a lawyer in the family.
Since 2001, findgreatlawyers.com has been the leading resource for finding the right Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer for your unique case or for learning about Illinois work injury laws. Our service is one of a kind because we are Illinois lawyers who will speak with you for free, answer your questions and if needed recommend and independent law firm that we feel can help you. If we recommend them to you it means we would suggest the same lawyer for a friend. If you would like our help, contact us at (800) 517-1614. All calls are free and confidential.