Workers Comp 101: Work Injury and What You Need to Know - DeSalvo Injury Lawyers

Workers Comp 101: Work Injury and What You Need to Know

There are just a few things about being injured at work that everyone needs to know.  The purpose of this article is to share the most common facts that are inexplicably not commonly known. Knowing this stuff is dead critical to know if you got hurt on the job.  

Thankfully, most folks never get hurt at work, so they do not feel like knowing this information is a very high priority. But it is one of those things where if you are ever in the situation, you are going to be glad that you took a few minutes to learn about it.

Your Company Might Be A Good Cop (Or A Bad Cop).

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I have spoken with and have tried to be hired by people who got hurt at work. The Company did everything it was supposed to and there was no need to hire a lawyer.

Then, when the guy or gal was ready to go back to work, they did and there were no hard feelings and no retaliation. This is what I call a ‘Good Cop” Company: they follow the rules and the law and treat you properly.  

To hire a lawyer in these circumstances depends on whether you have any sort of permanent injury, whether you need any ongoing medical care and whether you are entitled to a large lump sum “PPD” (Permanent Partial Disability) payment.

This is because a good Workers Comp lawyer can maximize this amount. In fact, it is probably always a good idea to talk to an experienced Workers Comp lawyer so you know everything is square and your future is protected.

On the other hand, many people who call me work for a “Bad Cop” company. That means that if you get hurt, they treat you like crap, give you crap work to do, lay you off, or fire you. They send you to hostile doctors who tell you that you aren’t hurt.  

True story: I represented a guy with a broken foot and the Company doctor was trying to tell him that his foot wasn’t broken. Crazy. If you work for a “Bad Cop” company, hiring a lawyer right away is your best bet.

This is because once your Company displays a hostile attitude, they can definitely do things that hurt the long-term value of your case. Worse than that, they can leave you jobless, with an injury, no money and no medical care.  

It is not nice and we do not like to think that our employer might take this approach, but unfortunately, some do. A good Workers Comp lawyer may be your only protection.

Doctors Run the Show

If you got hurt at work, you have to go to the company doctor if they want their guy to examine you. But YOU have a right to choose what doctor will be your main treating doctor. Why is that so important (it really is)?

The company doctors determine how much treatment and what kind of treatment you get. They determine whether you can work full duty or light duty. They determine how permanent your injury is. In other words, they are kind of in the driver's’ seat.  

You can have the best lawyer in the world handling your case, but if you have a hostile company doctor on your case, you are not going to be happy and you are not going to have a smooth sailing case where you get what you are entitled to.  

That’s why I tell people to choose their OWN doctor, especially if there is surgery involved. I have seen company doctors do surgery and the minute they cash the surgery check, they say that the injured worker is fine to go back to work.  

That’s because once the surgery fee is earned, the doctor is hoping that the Company will send another injured patient to them. Taking care of you and earning more business from the Company come into direct conflict.  

Believe me, you do not want a doctor who has any conflict. You want a doctor whose main and only goal is to cure you and get you all the care you need.

What are You Entitled to in Workers Comp?

This is very simple: you are entitled to 2/3 of your pay while off work on doctor’s orders; all reasonable and related medical care will be paid for; and at the end of the case, you are entitled to a lump sum settlement that reflects the difference in your body.  

After all, your body is never the same after a work injury. Once you strain your back, you may forever have some aches and pains and an increased risk of a future problem.  Anyone who ever broke their ankle, even with a great medical outcome, will tell you that their ankle was never the same.  The more disability, the more PPD money you get at the end of the case.

This number is negotiable and having a good lawyer can make a big difference in how much you put in your pocket when the case is done. Your hourly rate or salary makes a big difference, too.  

If you earn $10 or $20 per hour is a key fact that we need to know because the guy who makes $20 will get about twice the money as the person who makes $10 per hour. That’s based on how the Workers Comp system was set up.  It isn’t fair, but that’s just how it works.

Workers Comp Chess Match

Positioning cases and implementing a strategy in work injury cases is the difference between a great outcome and misery. That may sound like I am exaggerating, but I am not.  

When I was a young lawyer, I would look at cases and look at the rules and think “Ah, hopeless!” Because by just applying the rules, the case was hard and not worth much. Thank goodness for experience. Experience makes all the difference in Workers Comp.  

I have seen really bad cases turn into giant cases. I have seen denied cases settle. I have seen unhappy clients become really happy with the reversal of the non-stop fighting that had been going on with their case.

That’s what a good lawyer can do, but it has to be someone who knows Comp. It cannot be a traffic court lawyer who dabbles in Workers Comp. It has to be a lawyer who has been around the block.

Let’s talk honestly: some cases are just non-compensable. They cannot be won. If they go to trial, they will lose. Even the best lawyer in the world has limited material to work with.

This can be especially true if someone tried to handle their case themselves for a long time, thinking they didn’t need a lawyer. Even in these horrible cases, I can sometimes get a settlement.  

Sure, it is a small one, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Cash on the barrelhead. Anyway, neither I nor the lawyers who work for me have any magic powers.  

It is just knowledge, experience, hard work and we CARE about making sure the injured workers in Illinois get what the law says they are entitled to.

You NEED To Know 3 Things About Workers Comp

Now, Chicago Injury and Workers Comp lawyer Scott D. DeSalvo reveals the 3 things you MUST know if you or a loved one got hurt at work. Knowing this information can make the difference between having a valid case or being denied benefits under Workers Comp.

First, know the 45-day rule deadline and the 3-year Statute of Limitations for filing an Application at the Commission. If you miss the deadline, your case could be over.

Second, make sure you have a good doctor who is on your side.

Third, the more permanent the injury and the more money you make, the more your case is probably worth.

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"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life.   Scott is a down to earth person and attorney.  Scott is a 5 star first class act who really knows his stuff.   The Judge said his presentation was one of if not the best he had ever seen.   Take my advice, hire Scott. I’m sure you’ll be 200% satisfied.  I was."

Richard Lange

Cab Driver, Fall Down                  

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Inside, You'll Discover How To:

  • INCREASE Your Chance To WIN Your Injury Case!
  • How To ELIMINATE The Most Common Dirty Trick Insurance Companies Do!
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Best of All,  You Can Download The Injury  "Cheat Sheet" RIGHT NOW and It's 100% Free and No Obligation

Scott DeSalvo, Injury Lawyer - 312-500-4500

I've been helping injured people just like you for my entire 20+ year career in all kinds of injury cases, and I can probably help you, too. You can call me 24/7/365, any time, day or night, to get a free copy of the Injury "Cheat Sheet" which gives you the Five Secrets to winning your injury case. 100% free & no obligation. Or, you can call and ask for a FREE case strategy session where I will answer all of your questions, 100% for free and no obligation. Call 312-500-4500. I look forward to hearing from you!