Workers Compensation? What Is It And How Do I Get It?
Workers Compensation Questions? Here a Top Workers Comp Lawyer Tells You What You Need To Know.
Hi guys, workers' comp injury lawyer Scott DeSalvo here. Today we're going to answer the question: What is workers compensation? Stay tuned.
I get a lot of calls from people who are injured, and they get injured on the job, and they have a million questions about Workers Compensation.
They don't know what they're entitled to under the law. They're not sure the difference between a case in court or a case at the workers' comp commission. I thought I should shoot a video that answer the simple question: What is a workers' comp case.
Here's what a workers' comp case is.
In every other injury that is caused by another person, you go to regular court. For us in downtown Chicago, it's the Daley Center. If you're in Will County, it's the Will County Courthouse. If you're in Lake County, it's the Lake County Courthouse.
But for every kind of injury case, dog bite, car accident, fall-down, medical negligence, whatever it is, you go to the court, there's a judge, you have a right to request a jury, and they decide your case after you do discovery.
Throw all of that out the window if you've been injured at work.
If you've been injured at work, there is a special law in the State of Illinois and in most other States in the United States called the Workers' Compensation Act.
In Illinois, it's called the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. That act provides that if you are hurt in the course and scope of your job, you are entitled to three basic things.
First, you're entitled to be paid while you're off work.
You generally get 2/3 of your regular pay, but they do not withold taxes out of your check so your 'take home" pay should be close to the same.
Second, you're entitled to pick a doctor and have that medical care related to your injuries from work completely covered.
Your employer may want you to see THEIR doctor, but you are usually better off picking a doctor who is on your side, not the Company's side.
Third, when you make a recovery, you're entitled to a lump sum of money at the end of the case that literally represents the difference in your body before and after the injury.
This is called "PPD" or Permanent Partial DIability. It means that your body is different after it is hurt, even if you have recovered from the worst effects of your work injury under Workers Compensation
For example, if you break a leg, no matter how well the leg heals, it's never quite the same. Lots of people with neck and back injuries never return or never really feel like they've returned to that level they were before. That lump sum payment at the end of a workers' comp case is meant to compensate you for the change in your body and your ability to do work.
Now in a more serious case, you can be awarded total permanent benefits, or, if you can't return to your job and you have to take a lower-paying job, you can be entitled to what's called a wage differential. Those workers compensation cases are worth a lot of money if they're handled by somebody who knows what they're doing.
I guess the last thing I should tell you is, just because you get hurt at work, there may still also be a third party case, a case that goes to the courthouse. In other words, you could have accident or injury, but you can have a Workers Comp case as well as a third party case. One of the most typical examples here is if I represent a truck driver and the truck driver is struck by either somebody not working for anybody or another truck from another company. Then you can file a Workers Comp case as well as have a lawsuit from the guy who caused the crash.
In a situation like that, you're entitled to file a workers' comp case as well as a third party case against the guy who ran into you.
We also see it in construction negligence cases, construction accident and injury cases, where somebody's working on a construction site. They get hurt while they're working, so they're entitled to workers' comp benefits, but they're also entitled to file a claim for safety violations against the general contractor.
In a nutshell, the most important thing for you to know is that Workers' Comp is completely different from other kinds of inury cases, and you should talk to a lawyer who knows Workers Comp.
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"Hiring Scott was one of the best moves I have made in my life....5 star first class act who really knows his stuff."
There is a temptation to not call a workers compensation lawyer and try to handle it yourself, but that is usually a mistake. Not always, but often. A good lawyer who knows Workers Compensation can handle this kind of thing for you from the beginning so there are no excessive gaps in pay or delays in needed medical care. And it also helps you know that you will get full value for your case.