A recent report indicated that fatal injuries in the U.S workplace in 2016 increased by 7 percent. According to the report, the transportation industry claims more workers than any other event, such as fire, falls and exposure to chemicals.
If you or your loved one is injured at work, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and other losses. Before you pursue compensation, you need to determine whether you need a workman’s comp attorney.
Proving a workplace injury does not involve examining negligence alone. There are other several things that can prolong your case when overlooked, such as proving your injury is work-related. Some workplace injuries occur because you were ill or your own negligence.
It’s true that in some situations, you may not need a lawyer to handle your workers comp case at all. But even if your injuries are minor, you should take advantage of a free consultation with a workers compensation lawyer.
Although lawyers cannot offer legal advice during a free consultation, a Chicago workers comp lawyer can take a look at your case and review the settlement offer you received.
If it’s determined that you deserved a better settlement or a benefit has been overlooked or unpaid, you probably need a lawyer to handle your case. Read on to learn how a lawyer can help you.
Reviews Your Claim
Some work injury claims can be pretty complicated, especially when determining who was at fault. For example, it’s important to establish whether your role at your workplace permitted to be at the scene or area of the accident.
Some injuries may also not be eligible for compensation. This is why you need a lawyer to review your claim and determine whether you have a case.
A good injury law firm will tell you straight up if you have a case and give you the odds of getting a satisfactory compensation. Typically, you don’t need to pursue a claim when you were at fault, or the injuries are reasonable.
Develops the Evidence
Well, you have a case, but do you have adequate evidence to back your claim? The majority of unsuccessful workers’ comp claims usually occur due to insufficient medical and vocational evidence. Some of this evidence, such as medical records, may take months to be given to you.
With a workman’s comp attorney, it will be easier for you to obtain medical records, get therapeutic options from physicians and conduct depositions. In some cases, you may even get recommendations for certain medical experts.
Your medical records should reflect the true extent of the injuries. Usually, your doctor will highlight every injury you sustained and how each impacted your ability to lead a healthy life.
For example, some injuries can lead to a permanent disability, such as blindness and inability to walk.
There are also other kinds of evidence your lawyer can help you collect, including statements from workmates, friends and family members, proof of unsafe workplace and inadequate training.
Files Your Claim and Lawsuit
The process of filing a workers compensation claim is usually not an easy one. There are paperwork, deadlines and the accuracy of your details. You need to ensure everything is correct and filed properly if you want to secure your settlement.
Working with a workman’s comp attorney can giving you peace of mind. They can tackle the technical parts of the process by ensuring the relevant documents are completed accurately and filed. Keep in mind that different states have varying processes and deadlines for filing.
In some cases, your employer and the insurance company will speed up to settle the compensation after filing a claim. In some cases, the reward may not suffice your losses. A good attorney will advise whether to keep pursuing the claim or file a civil lawsuit.
Structures Your Compensation Agreements
Most victims usually don’t know the value of their claims after a work incident. Some are likely to accept whatever amount their employer will offer to them as compensation. Keep in mind that some injuries can cause internal conditions, which may take weeks or even months to appear.
Your lawyer usually considers several factors when estimating the value of your claim. These include:
- the extent or severity of your injuries
- the resulting functional and physical limitations
- the state of your disability: partial or total
- your income loss
- the total medical costs for the injuries and your resulting limitations
Workers’ comp lawyers understand the tricks that insurance companies use to negotiate the settlement amounts. As such, they’re likely to determine and negotiate the right amount for your claim. Your attorney will also ensure a proper structure for your settlement agreement.
This is particularly essential if you’re applying or receiving Social Security disability benefits. A poorly structured agreement can result in unexpected costs every month due to the workers’ compensation offset.
Represent You In Court
In the US, about 95 to 96 percent of injury claims are usually settled pretrial. That leaves about 4 to 5 percent that usually proceeds to court. If yours is one of them, then it’s best to have a workman’s comp attorney by your side.
Court hearings and proceedings are another web of intricate processes that most people don’t grasp. If you don’t have a lawyer, you’ll pin your hopes on a workers’ comp judge to deliver a reasonable verdict. But that’s usually not the case all the time.
Plus, it can be daunting to appeal a court’s verdict after the case had been closed. You can avoid such setbacks by working with an attorney from the onset of your claim.
Your lawyer will prepare motions and pleadings, get witnesses and acquire all the medical records to build a strong case in court. They will present the theory of your case, offer objections, make arguments and examine all the witnesses.
If you’re unsatisfied with the court’s verdict, your lawyer can help you appeal the judge’s decision.
Maximizing Your Compensation
Consider this: the insurance company has doctors and lawyers working hard with its best interests in mind. They aren’t trying to offer you more for your injuries. In fact, their job is to save the insurance company money.
This means you could receive less than you truly deserve or even nothing at all. That’s not fair and you’ve already suffered enough. Chicago workers comp lawyers understand this. Our qualified lawyers can help you maximize your recovery amount.
Receive Compensation Faster
Chicago workers comp lawyers know how to work the system to get the best results for you. Many times, when people try to handle their claims without an attorney, they experience long delays waiting for compensation.
The truth is, claimants without attorney representation are often pushed aside and those who have an attorney are given preference. The insurance company knows a workers comp lawyer will take them to court over delays in benefits.
This costs the insurance company even more money, so they handle these cases faster than those without attorney representation. This is another reason why having a workers comp lawyer on your side is a plus.
Three Things You Should Know About Workers Comp in Illinois
Now, I am going to share the three things I wish people knew about Workers Comp in Illinois. It is important because if you do these things, you’ll have a stronger case. If you don’t do them, then you can lose your case.
First, there are two deadlines in Workers Comp. If you miss a deadline, then your case could be over. The first deadline is the 45-day rule. You have to report the accident, incident, or injury at work within 45 days within the date of injury.
Sometimes, people get hurt at work and they hide it. But if you do get hurt at work, you have to report it and you have 45 days to do so. The second deadline is three years from the date of the injury.
That is how much time you have to file an actual application at the Workers Compensation Commission. Blow this date and you have no case. The second thing I wish people knew about Workers Comp is that the right doctor makes all the difference.
If you get hurt, get to a doctor right away and make sure that your doctor is on your side. Many people go to the company doctor, which the company sends them too. Sometimes it works out okay, but often, the company doctor is on the side of the company.
They can be harsh and skeptical if the company wants them to be. Since your doctor controls whether you can return to work and what medical treatment you will get approved for, making sure you have a doctor who is on your side and who is reasonable and fair is super important.
If your doctor is rude or aggressive, get another one. Finally, the last thing I want to tell you is that the more permanent the injury and the more money per hour you make, the more money your case is worth.
In other words, a guy who makes $20 an hour gets almost twice as much for the same injury as the guy who makes $10 an hour. Is that fair? No, not really. But it works that way because of how the Workers Comp Act calculates the value of the case.
When You Need a Chicago Workers Comp Lawyer
A workers comp lawyer can determine if you have been treated and compensated fairly. If you have a valid case, a lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you receive just compensation for your injuries.
Workers comp lawyers often represent people who sustain the following injuries on the job:
- Falling from heights
- Equipment injuries
- Lifting injuries
- Repetitive strains
- Automobile injuries
These are not the only injuries workers comp lawyers deal with, but these are the most common.
If you are suffering from an injury, cannot work due to your injury, or are being mistreated by your employer after an injury, it’s in your best interest to seek help from an experienced Chicago workers comp lawyer.
If your loved one or family member was killed on the job, you should consult with a workers comp lawyer to determine if you have a viable lawsuit.
Costs for Hiring a Workers Comp Lawyer
Most workers comp lawyers charge on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing upfront and they only get paid if they win your case. If you win, your lawyer will take a percentage of your compensation.
These percentage rates can vary widely, depending on the attorney involved and the complexity of your case. You want to be certain you know what your lawyer will charge and if any other fees will be involved.
What to Expect from a Workers Comp Lawyer
Your Chicago workers comp lawyer will work diligently to prove your injury was a result of workplace negligence. You could receive an out of court settlement or win your settlement in court.
Often, businesses will make an offer of compensation to keep the case out of court. This is often cheaper for them than a costly court case would be.
If you win, you will receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your injuries.
If you are a family member of a victim who has died as a result of workplace negligence, you could receive compensation in their place. Even if you have a lawyer to represent you, there’s no guarantee of winning.
However, your best bet is to have an experienced workers comp lawyer.
Hire an Experience Workers Comp Lawyer
Sustaining injuries while on the job can be a rather traumatic experience, depending on the severity of your condition. When this happens, don’t let anyone deny you what you’re owed in a workers’ compensation claim.
Judges will approve your claim, but you can’t rely on them to protect your interests. If you have been injured at work, it can be very stressful for you and your family. You may be wondering what steps to take.
You may have many questions and you may not be sure if you need a lawyer. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
We can evaluate your case and let you know if we think you are receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Our clients are very important to us. If you still have some questions, give me a call at 888-HURT-318.
I offer a free consultation in person or by telephone, your choice. I can answer all of your questions with no obligation. If you aren’t ready for that, I’d be happy to send you a copy of my injury DVD video, which answers the most common questions injured people have.
It can be delivered electronically to you at your e-mail address, or if you would like a hard copy/physical copy, I will mail that to you for free. Providing good information to injured people is the mission of my law office. If I can be of further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call.