How To Discover Your DEADLINES and OPTIONS in Your Injury Case — For Free!

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April 1  

What Are The Other Options For Your Injury Case?

I received a call from a man yesterday who said that although he had been hurt at work, it was also possible that a third party was to blame for the accident. In other words, he had been hurt at work but someone else was to blame for the injury. I want to talk to you about your options and deadlines in your injury case. As I've explained in other articles, this means that you might have a third-party case as well as a worker's compensation claim. A classic example is if you work as a company driver and are on the clock when you get hurt for any reason related to your job; in that case, workers’ comp would apply.

Deadlines For Your Injury Case

The first thing that happened in a relatively brief telephone consultation is that this guy was hurt six years ago, so I had to explain to him that the window for filing a workers' compensation case is typically three years from the date of the injury. However, if you get hurt because a car runs into your truck or your delivery car and it's their fault, you're entitled to do workers' comp and sue the other person. For instance, the limit in a vehicle accident lawsuit is two years after the collision, but depending on the defendants, it can be less time, which is another reason you should consult a lawyer in any damage case. I was forced to remind them that there are deadlines in these cases, and if they miss one they’re in danger because they can't file a lawsuit after that and they’re probably never going to get any money to cover their medical expenses, time away from work, and other expenses. 

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Employee Vs Independent Contractor

The other revelation I made when interviewing him was that he is most likely an independent contractor rather than an employee, which means that if you work for someone, you are either an employee or an independent contractor. When working for one person, practically everyone used to be considered an employee, but throughout the years, there has been a tremendous surge of people wanting to designate their staff as independent contractors.

What benefit does that have for an employer, exactly? The benefit for an employer is that they just have to pay a 10 and don't have to pay for benefits or workers' compensation insurance. They simply receive a check for their compensation, and since you don't have to figure out federal tax, state tax withholdings, and all that other stuff, and you don't have employees, you also don't have to pay into any payroll funds for unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or other expenses every quarter. The problem is that if you are an independent contractor under Illinois law, you are not protected by workers’ compensation laws. This is what happened with this guy; it sounded to me like he was not covered by workers’ compensation. There are benefits to paperwork reduction, and it is cheaper for employers to do it that way. Employers can get around this by having you purchase your own workers' compensation insurance, which they then withhold from your pay. 

Purchase Your Own Worker's Comp Insurance

If you work in a scenario like that, I strongly advise you to purchase your own workers' compensation insurance for an individual. In those situations, it is not that expensive, but you'll be so pleased you bought it if, God forbid, you are in a catastrophic accident or suffer a significant injury at work. There are many people out they’re driving around without auto insurance, driving with expired auto insurance, or driving with insufficient coverage. As a result, you should think about raising your car auto limit because it protects you, your family, and your passengers from underinsured and uninsured drivers. The current Illinois statutory limitations, or the minimum coverage required for motor insurance, are only $25,000, and medical expenses are astronomically expensive.

My point is that I found this conversation with this man to be interesting because he called me and said that he believed he had a strong case and that he only wanted to know his options. It's true that in just a few minutes of talking to me, I was able to break down what his options were, but he didn't have many, unfortunately. Due to my conclusion that he is not an employee and the fact that he has a deadline issue, this is not a workers’ compensation case. So I was able to direct him to a social security disability attorney who may assist him in appealing his denial of benefits. And for that reason, I always advise people to obtain a free consultation if they have any questions or worries. The consultation may be with me or with someone else; obviously, I prefer it to be with me, but it can be with anybody and is always free. It normally happens over the phone, and if you have a skilled lawyer, they will be able to speak with you quickly, get to the bottom of the matter, and inform you of your alternatives. 

The reason this post is about options and deadlines is that they are the two things you need to know when you obtain legal advice. You can find out what your deadlines are and what your alternatives are for free by speaking with a lawyer during a free consultation. I hope this information is helpful.

If you have any further questions concerning this type of injury, you should schedule a free appointment. You may reach me at 312 500 4500 at any time of day or night, 365 days a year.

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About the author - Scott D. DeSalvo

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