Chicago Work Injury Attorney
Every employee deserves to feel safe at work. Unfortunately, serious accidents can occur on the job, leading to painful injuries that could have long-term implications. If you are in an accident at your Chicago workplace, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit against your employer—but pursuing these claims can be challenging without an attorney on your side.
In these situations, trust the work injury attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC to help. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing injured Chicago workers in court and at the negotiating table. We will work tirelessly to secure the settlement or verdict you need to recover. Call us today at (312) 586-1700.
Why Choose Us For Your Work Injury Case
- Our Chicago work injury attorneys have recovered over $400 million in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients, including a record-setting $18.6 million for a client in a construction accident.
- We have over decades of experience. Our lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to secure the compensation you deserve.
- Our attorneys are not afraid to pursue your case to the furthest extent possible. We will not hesitate to take your work injury claim to trial if it is in your best interests.
Common Work Injuries in Chicago
Many types of injuries can occur at Chicago workplaces, ranging in severity from minor sprains and strains to serious, debilitating spinal injury or head trauma. Some of the most common work-related injuries include the following.
- Slip and falls: Many hazards can cause a person to slip, trip, or fall while at work—from misplaced items, wet floors, loose carpet, or snowy walkways. In some cases, an employee may fall from a structure such as a scaffold or off of a roof. These accidents can lead to serious injuries, such as concussions, spinal cord injury, and a broken back.
- Repetitive strains and sprains: Many employees need to perform the same motion over and over while performing their jobs. Over time, these employees may develop sprains and strains that are painful and prevent them from returning to work.
- Car accidents: Many Chicago employees operate vehicles for their jobs, including police officers, truck drivers, salespeople, and delivery drivers. However, collisions can occur while a person is driving for work—leading to injuries such as spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones.
- Contact with falling objects or equipment: Some of the most common workplace injuries occur due to a falling object or equipment. For example, debris may fall on a construction worker surveying his or her worksite, or boxes may fall onto a warehouse employee. In these cases, bruising, concussions, and broken bones may occur.
- Lacerations: Many employees suffer cuts while performing their jobs. A retail worker may cut himself or herself while opening packages of merchandise or a construction worker may accidentally slice himself or herself on a piece of heavy machinery. Without proper treatment, open wounds can lead to severe blood loss, infections, and permanent scarring.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws
Under Illinois law, all employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to almost all of their employees. The only exemptions include sole proprietors, corporate officers, business partners, and members of limited liability companies. According to Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Commission, approximately 91 percent of Illinois employees are eligible for workers’ compensation insurance.
If you suffer an injury while performing your work-related duties, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability. To file a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to take the following steps:
- First, seek medical care as soon as possible and save all records related to your treatment and injuries. Inform the doctor supervising your care that you suffered a workplace injury. You may need to visit a doctor approved by your employer.
- Next, notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. You will need to provide written notification to your employer within 45 days of the injury. If you do not provide this notification by the end of the 45-day period, you may be ineligible for workers’ benefits.
- Once your employer receives notice of your injury, he or she will initiate the workers’ compensation process. Your employer must accept or deny your injury claim within 14 days of the accident if you miss three or more days of work due to your injury. He or she has 30 days to file an accident claim with his or her workers’ compensation insurer.
- After your employer files your claim, you will need to complete certain paperwork and provide evidence of your injuries. The insurer will review your case and determine if you are eligible for benefits.
- Finally, the insurer will approve or deny your claim. In some cases, your employer may not approve a portion of the benefits you claim. If you receive a full or partial rejection, you can appeal the decision.
The workers’ compensation claims process can be complex, but a work injury attorney from Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can help. Our lawyers will review your case, collect relevant evidence, help prepare documentation, and inform you of your rights during the claims process. If you receive a denial, our attorneys will represent you during your appeal and advocate aggressively for your right to full compensation.
Chicago Workers’ Compensation Benefits
As a Chicago employee, you have the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits for losses related to your workplace injury. These benefits include the following.
- Medical expenses: You have the right to recover compensation for all necessary medical treatment for your work injuries. However, you will likely need your employer to authorize this treatment, and you will likely need to visit an approved physician.
- Death benefits: If you lost a loved one due to a workplace accident, you can recover up to $8,000 in burial expenses and up to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage in death benefits. However, only the surviving spouse, children, or other dependents are eligible for this compensation.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If your injury prevents you from returning to your normal job, you have the right to receive training, education, and other forms of assistance to help you find a new career. You may also receive a maintenance allowance while you are attending vocational training.
You may also receive disability benefits, which provide compensation if you are unable to work due to your injuries. These benefits vary depending on the severity of your injury and your average weekly wages before the accident.
- Temporary partial disability: You are eligible for temporary partial disability if you suffered an injury, but are able to perform part-time or light-duty work while you are recovering. These benefits amount to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury weekly wages and post-injury weekly wages.
- Temporary total disability: You may be eligible for temporary total disability if you cannot work at all while recovering from your injuries. You will receive these benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). These benefits total two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage up to a certain maximum amount set by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Once you reach MMI, your doctor will evaluate your condition and determine whether any of your disabilities are permanent. If you are permanently unable to use some part of your body due to your injury, you are eligible for permanent partial disability. There are four types of permanent partial disability benefits.
- Disfigurement benefits: If you sustain permanent disfigurement to a visible area of your body, such as your head, neck, or arms, you are entitled to disfigurement benefits. This award is equal to 60 percent of your pre-injury weekly wage. These benefits continue for up to 162 weeks,
- Wage differential benefits: In some cases, you may be able to return to work but are unable to make the same amount of money as you did before the injury. In this situation, you may receive a wage differential award, which provides two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury weekly wages. You will receive this compensation for five years or until you turn 67, whichever comes later.
- Scheduled loss-of-use awards: If you are unable to use certain parts of your body after your injury, you could receive a scheduled loss-of-use award. This compensation amounts to 60 percent of your pre-injury weekly wages multiplied by a certain number of weeks determined by Illinois law.
- Nonscheduled awards: If you sustain a permanent disability that is not on the Illinois disability schedule, you could receive a nonscheduled award. This compensation amounts to 60 percent of your pre-injury weekly wages for a percentage of 500 weeks, based on the disability rating that your physician assigns to your condition.
If your doctor determines that you are permanently and totally disabled—or unable to perform any type of work, or lost the use of both arms, hands, feet, legs, or eyes—you are eligible for permanent total disability benefits. You will receive these benefits for the rest of your life. The rate of permanent total disability benefits is equal to your temporary total disability benefits.
Can You File a Lawsuit for a Chicago Work Injury?
If you file a workers’ compensation claim for an injury, you waive your right to file a lawsuit against your employer for the same accident. However, not all workers are eligible for workers’ comp, and not all employees will receive the benefits they deserve through the insurance process. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer if your case involves any of the following circumstances:
- You are not an employee of the employer. If you are a contractor, a commission-only salesperson, a short-term agricultural worker, or another exempt employee, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In this situation, you could file a lawsuit against the employer if his or her negligence caused your injury.
- Your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. If the law requires your employer to have this coverage and he or she fails to purchase a workers’ compensation policy, you could file a lawsuit against your employer in civil court.
- Your employer intentionally harmed you. If your employer assaulted you on the job or intentionally placed you in a dangerous situation, you could hold him or her legally accountable for your injuries. However, you must prove that your employer had an intent to harm.
Not all work injuries will qualify for a lawsuit. For an injured employee to have grounds for this claim, intentional harm or negligence must play a role in the case. Additionally, you must prove that you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
To determine the best course of action for your case, speak to a lawyer at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC as soon as possible. Our Chicago work injury attorney will review your claim and identify your optimal path to maximum compensation.
Why You Need a Chicago Work Injury Attorney
After a workplace injury, you need an attorney on your side. Hiring a lawyer to represent your workers’ compensation claim can provide several benefits to your case. A workers’ comp attorney will have significant experience representing employees in cases similar to yours and will understand the steps you will need to take to secure maximum compensation. He or she will complete all documentation on your behalf, collect evidence, and advise you through each stage of your case, helping you avoid common errors that occur during self-representation.
If your employer denies your claim or fails to pay your benefits, an attorney can advocate aggressively for your right to compensation and navigate the complex appeals process on your behalf. He or she will handle all negotiations and represent your best interests during each stage of your case. Additionally, your lawyer will be able to review your case and identify all of the benefits you qualify for—helping you avoid insufficient offers and unfair dismissals.
Contact Our Work Injury Attorneys in Chicago Today
Are you recovering from a Chicago work injury? In these situations, the attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can help. Our lawyers have over decades of experience and will advocate for your right to compensation each step of the way.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. During your appointment, your lawyer will review your case and identify your optimal path to recovery.