INJURED AT WORK:

 

A:

1.  Worker's Compensation:

The Illinois Worker's Compensation Act was created to protect workers who are injured while working. The provisions of the act cover people who were (1) injured in Illinois (2) hired in Illinois or (3) the company does most of its business in Illinois. Every employer is responsible for providing worker's compensation benefits to his or her employees and most do so through an insurance company.

There are four types of injuries which are covered under the act: a) traumatic injuries, b) repetitive trauma injuries, c) mental injuries and d) occupational diseases. Additionally, the act covers a re-injury or an aggravation of a pre-existing condition. If you have had an injury that falls under the Act, you are entitled to benefits that include the following:

MEDICAL EXPENSES:
  You are entitled to 100% of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses caused by your injury. There is no deductible or pre-set limitation on the amount.

CHOICE OF TREATING DOCTORS
:  You are entitled to receive treatment by two (2) doctors of your own choosing. Additionally, if your two doctors refer you to other doctors you are entitled to that doctors' treatment as well. This is commonly referred to as the "Chain of Referrals."

TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS
:  If your doctor determines you are entitled to be off work because of your injuries, you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits (TTD). This benefit pays you two thirds (2/3) of your average weekly wage (tax-free). You are entitled to these benefits until your doctor says you can go back to work, or until your employer has a job that can comply with your doctor's instructions.

PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFIT
: Once you have recovered from your injuries (maximum medical improvement - M.M.I.) and have returned to your same job or another job for your employer, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the permanent effect of your injuries. This compensation is called Partial Permanent Disability (P.P.D.).  P.P.D. is generally paid in a lump sum following settlement of your claim or following a hearing before an arbitrator.

WAGE DIFFERENTIAL
:  If your injuries are severe enough that they require you to accept a job that pays you less than the one you were performing before your injury, you may be entitled to what is referred to as wage differential. Wage differential pays you two thirds (2/3) of the difference between the wage of your new job and the wage of your old job. This is paid weekly or sometimes is paid in a lump sum also by settlement or after an award by an arbitrator.


2.  Occupational Diseases:

In Illinois, there is a law known as the Illinois Workers Occupational Disease Act.  It is meant to promote the general welfare of the people of the state by providing remedies for injuries suffered or death resulting from occupational diseases incurred in the course of a worker's employment.

Occupational Diseases means any disease arising out of or incurred in the course of employment or aggravated by the course of employment. It does not matter how short an exposure a person had to the disease causing mechanism as long as he or she is employed in an occupation or process in which the hazards of the disease exist. 

Some potential causes of occupational disease are:

  • Exposure to Atomic Radiation
  • Exposure to Industrial Chemicals
  • Exposure to Asbestos
  • Exposure to Industrial Solvents
  • Exposure to Known Carcinogens
  • Exposure to Mold Spores
  • Exposure to Coal Dust

If you are chronically sick and suspect that your illness was caused by exposure to toxins while at work, you may be entitled to a monetary recovery commensurate with your disability. Please contact us to discuss your rights.


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Richard F. Mallen & Associates, Ltd
228 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 420
Chicago, IL 60604
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