Work Injury Guide: 7 Top Workers’ Compensation FAQs skip to content

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Work Injury Guide: 7 Top Workers’ Compensation FAQs

As if getting hurt on the job isn’t stressful enough, now it’s time to navigate the workers’ compensation system—which, unfortunately, is filled with red tape, tons of paperwork, and sometimes, even an employer who doesn’t want you to file a workers’ compensation claim. At Black & Jones, we serve to protect Rockford and nearby communities to make sure you receive the payment you deserve. More importantly, our team wants to see you get back to the life you love. Check out the top workers’ compensation FAQs people call and ask us about.

1. What Should I Do If I Was Injured at Work?

If you were hurt at work, inform your employer within 45 days of the accident. Provide a written notice, including the date, time and location of the incident. This is essential for potential disputes later in your case. Don’t forget to gather the names and contact information of any witnesses.

Additional steps to follow ASAP: 

  • Seek medical treatment promptly and communicate the details of the injury.
  • Contact a trusted workers’ compensation legal professional to help navigate potential pitfalls, including if your employer refers you to a doctor who’s trying to minimize your case.

2. What If the Injury Was My Fault?

In Illinois, the Workers’ Compensation Act operates on a “no-fault” basis. Even if the accident was your fault, you are generally entitled to benefits. Exceptions exist, so consulting with a trusted and experienced attorney can help determine if your case is compensable.

3. How Do I Start My Claim?

Initiating a workers’ compensation claim involves filing an “Application for Adjustment of Claim.” Please note that this step must be completed within three years of the accident to bring the case before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. 

Additionally, working with a workers’ compensation lawyer can take some of the burdens of your case off your shoulders. Black & Jones supports the people of the greater Rockford region to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve.

4. What Kind of Compensation Can I Get If I File a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, several types of benefits may be available:

  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD):
    • Payments until medically released to return to work, covering necessary treatments 
    • Tax-free check equal to 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage subject to max rate
  • Temporary Partial Disability (PPD):
    • Available after you return to work, but may not be able to fully perform your job to the same capacity as before your injury
    • Equal to 66 2/3% of the lost wages
  • Permanent Partial Disability:
    • Available once you’re released from care and your case settles or proceeds to trial
    • Compensates for remaining challenges caused by injury

Consult with an attorney in the Northern Illinois area to understand the benefits available to you and how the process works in your specific situation.

5. What If My Employer Won’t Pay Anything?

If your employer resists providing benefits, a workers’ compensation attorney can intervene. In some cases, filing a “Petition for Immediate Hearing” can expedite the process before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. What can that attorney help you achieve?

  • Resolution through Negotiation: Employers often consent to benefits when they realize the case might go before the Commission
  • Arbitration: If disputes persist, an experienced attorney can file a petition for an expedited hearing

6. Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Termination for filing a workers’ compensation claim can lead to a “retaliatory discharge” lawsuit, meaning your employer can be taken to court. This is a complex case to take on your own, and often requires an attorney familiar with such cases to prove retaliation by your employer took place. If this or similar retaliations happened to you, contact an attorney immediately. Other forms of retaliation include:

  • Demotion
  • Discipline
  • Salary reduction
  • Job reassignment

7. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney?

Technically, no, you do not need a lawyer. However, if you ever find yourself in a complex case and in need of support, an attorney can support you through it. 

Look for experience, recommendations/testimonials and success in working specifically with workers’ compensation cases. Generally, it’s also advised to find a local attorney who knows the area, its people and is highly regarded by the legal community.

Here For Your Workers’ Compensation Needs

Are there any additional questions you’re hoping to get answered by a knowledgeable and reputable attorney? For more FAQs, go here or contact Black and Jones Attorneys at Law directly to explore options for your case with our free consultation. Call us at 815-967-9000 or fill out the form to get started now.