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WORK INJURIES

If you are injured at work, the law states that your employer’s workers’ comp insurance must give you 3 benefits: 1) Payment for all medical treatment; 2) Checks in the mail if a doctor takes your off work or if a doctor gives you restrictions and your employer can’t accommodate those restrictions; and 3) A compensation for having been injured which is given once you have completed your medical treatment. Most workers’ comp insurance companies try to play games and send you to their doctor and give you the run around about paying the checks, do NOT let them. Remember, you are not suing your employer, you are opening a claim with the workers’ comp insurance company. You have the right to choose which doctor treats you. Our firm works with several doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and surgeons all over Chicagoland.

Sometimes, employers don’t want to tell their insurance company that a worker has been injured and insist that the worker pay for their own medical treatment. It is your right to seek treatment with any doctor you choose and this treatment must be paid not by your employer, but by the employer’s workers’ comp insurance.

The law is clear that injured workers must inform the boss that an accident occurred at work, otherwise, you risk not getting any of the 3 benefits mentioned above. Although the law technically gives the injured worker up to 45 days to give the boss notice that an accident happened, the sooner you tell the boss about the accident, the better. Ideally, you should tell the boss the same day the accident occurred and fill out an injury report.

In Illinois, if you are injured at work and a doctor orders you to work light duty or gives you restrictions or even takes you off work, then workers’ comp has to pay you 66% of your gross weekly paycheck. For example, if a worker was getting paid $1000/week before taxes are taken out, then the workers’ comp check should be $666.

I was injured at work, and my boss told me not to tell the doctor/hospital that I was injured at work.

Anytime a boss tells you to lie about your work injury, they are doing you a disservice. If you are injured at work and don’t tell the hospital or clinics how the injury happened, you’ll be facing an uphill battle in getting your 3 benefits.

Most workers that are injured at work get medical treatment that same day or within a couple of days. A few workers don’t get medical treatment and wait a week or few weeks. It is imperative that you seek medical treatment right away and not wait too long, otherwise workers’ comp will try to say that you never truly injured yourself at work otherwise you would have gone to see a doctor. They will argue that you instead injured yourself at home or doing something else. The more that time passes before seeing a doctor, the harder it is to get the benefits you deserve.

Don’t be fooled, the workers’ comp insurance is NOT your insurance company, it’s your employer’s insurance company. You don’t pay premiums for insurance – that means that they do not want to be spending money on the injured worker, even if they are initially paying your medical bills and giving you checks while you can’t work. Eventually they will find a way to save money and will start giving you the run around on what doctors to see and will push you to work even when you are still badly injured. Never forget that their job is to save money, NOT to pay a worker money whom they don’t even know.

And don’t forget that they MUST compensate you with a lump sum for having been injured. Chances are, if you don’t have a lawyer, they either won’t give you any lump sum or will try to lowball you.

AUTO ACCIDENTS

Being involved in an auto accident is never fun. Your vehicle likely has damage and you are probably in pain. It’s important that you create a police report as soon as possible AND to either go to the hospital or see a doctor ASAP. The more you wait to seek medical treatment, the more the other driver’s insurance company will find excuses to pay you a fair compensation for your injuries. The at-fault driver’s insurance company has to pay for your medical treatment, your lost wages IF a doctor takes you off work, and for your pain and suffering.

Sometimes a driver who crashes into you doesn’t have insurance. In these types of cases, your own auto insurance company might be able to pay you for your injuries. It’s called uninsured motorist coverage, and it is used when the at-fault driver injures you, but doesn’t have insurance. Chances are that your own auto insurance company will not tell you about this type of coverage because it’s in their interest to not pay you money, even if you have been paying for this type of scenario. Insurance companies love to save money and not pay when they are required to pay.

If you are involved in an auto accident and a doctor orders you off work, then the atfault driver’s insurance should pay you, but they don’t make any payments while you aren’t working. They usually give a lump sum of money once you’ve stopped going to the doctor. Of course, without an attorney, the insurance company will certainly not give you money for the wages you’ve lost or even for pain and suffering. Be careful of the insurance company offering you a low amount of money, you should never accept any money from them without first consulting with an attorney.