A severe workplace injury can cause physical pain and significant financial hardship. Employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to ensure you receive payments for medical treatment and wage loss following a workplace injury in Illinois.
In most cases, you must file a workers’ compensation claim to get financial compensation after you suffer an injury. However, you can also explore other legal avenues to win compensation for your injuries with the help of a workplace injury attorney.
The personal injury lawyers with Nessler & Associates have extensive experience with workplace accident injury cases. We can help you understand workplace accident circumstances, how workers’ comp laws affect your claim, and when you should hire a lawyer for your case.
How Do Workplace Accidents Happen?
Injured employees can file a workers’ compensation claim for work-related injuries they suffer at their job in Illinois. The most common types of accidents that lead to workplace injuries include defective products or machinery, dangerous conditions at the work site, auto accidents, and repetitive activities.
Using Defective Products or Machinery
Defective equipment and heavy machinery can cause accidents. For example, a power tool with a faulty power cord could cause electrical shock. A vehicle with a bad tire can cause a car crash.
In these circumstances, you may be able to hold equipment manufacturers responsible for dangerous or recalled products. The legal professionals with Nessler & Associates can discuss product liability to help you understand who may be liable for your injuries.
Dangerous Conditions on the Work Site
In some industries, such as the construction sector, worksite hazards can be caused by your employer. Other times they might result from poor maintenance, poor security, or improper storage of chemicals. Hospital workers, for example, can slip on wet or uneven floors due to poor maintenance or be attacked by patients or visitors due to inadequate security.
Some jobs require you to work with dangerous machinery. When a piece of machinery malfunctions, injuries can happen. Other jobs expose you to toxic substances such as asbestos or drywall dust. Such substances can cause various respiratory diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lead to high medical bills.
Auto Accidents While You Work
Transportation accidents present a significant risk when you deliver food, machinery parts, or travel to different work sites. In 2020, auto accidents injured 72,989 people in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 5,324 crashes happened in work zones, with 1,457 people injured and 37 people killed. Of these incidents, 7 workers suffered injuries, and 2 were killed.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Jobs that require repetitive movements, such as office work and manufacturing, can lead to repetitive trauma injuries. These injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and tendonitis. Repeated exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss.
The accident injury law firm of Nessler & Associates can help you file a workers’ compensation claim for work-related injuries, regardless of your industry. If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, our injury attorneys can help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation in Illinois
Illinois workers’ compensation laws cover an estimated 91% of workers, including the 230,000 workers in the construction industry. Workers’ compensation coverage protects injured workers’ financial health while they recover from workplace accidents.
Payment for Medical Treatments
Workers’ comp covers medical costs, including physical therapy, as long as that treatment provides medical improvement. It covers all necessary medical attention for mild or severe injuries, including sprains, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Payment for Lost Wages
Workers’ comp benefits provide partial wage replacement during your recovery. This benefit helps you pay your bills while you are out of work. This benefit provides two-thirds of your usual wages.
A No-Fault Insurance
The no-fault workers’ compensation system is an exclusive remedy, which usually means you cannot also file a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ comp insurance companies provide the only compensation you can receive, and it only covers medical expenses and lost wages, not non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Exceptions include exposure to a toxic substance, using a defective product, or an intentional act by your employer that leads to your accident.
In 2020, 106,900 Illinois workers were injured on the job, and 54,400 needed time off work to recover. If you get injured at work, you can count on the workplace accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates to help you get the compensation you deserve.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer?
An experienced attorney can help you through the workers’ compensation process while you recover from your injuries. They can communicate with the insurance carrier and your employer to ensure you receive the appropriate benefits.
If your workplace injury indicates a personal injury claim over workers’ compensation, your lawyer can ensure you file within the two-year statute of limitations.
The following circumstances may warrant hiring a personal injury attorney:
If Your Employer or the Insurer Denies Your Injury Occurred at Work
If your employer or the insurance provider argues your injury occurred outside of work, they might not have to pay the claim—document every action when and where it happens as thoroughly as possible. Work with an experienced attorney to help you build your case.
If Your Employer or the Insurer Delays Paying Your Claim
Your employer or the insurer might claim that you have a self-inflicted injury or that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. By law, they do not have to pay a claim under these conditions. You may need to work with a lawyer to help prove you were not under the influence when your injury occurred.
If You Sustain Permanent Injuries
If a job-related injury leads to a permanent disability, you should talk to workers’ compensation lawyers about your legal options. Catastrophic injuries can prevent your return to work and impact your everyday life. You may need to file for Social Security disability in addition to workers’ comp. A workers’ comp attorney can help you through the process and ensure you file your claim properly.
If You Need Treatment the Insurer Refuses to Cover
The insurance company might claim that you do not need a particular treatment or that your injuries are not responding to treatment. The law says they must cover reasonably necessary medical treatments to cure or relieve the symptoms of the damage. The insurer must also provide vocational training if the injury prevents you from returning to your previous position.
An attorney can prove your treatment is necessary and prevent your employer or the insurance company from refusing treatment for your injuries.
If You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
Insurance companies work to protect their profits by lowering settlement payouts. If your accident aggravates a pre-existing condition, the insurer might deny the claim or argue that they should not have to cover all related costs. Your attorney can help you fight a bad faith denial.
If Your Employer Retaliates
Some employers retaliate against workers who file a claim regardless of the law. Contact an attorney to learn your legal options if your employer demotes you, cuts your hours or pay, passes you over for promotion, or harasses you.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
You may be eligible for a third-party personal injury claim if your injuries:
- Were caused by a defective product
- You were exposed to toxic chemicals
- You are a contracted worker not covered by workers’ compensation
- A third-party driver’s negligence caused your injuries
- You suffered harm due to hazardous conditions on property not owned by your employer.
If Your Employer’s Intentional Actions Led to Your Accident
You could file a civil lawsuit against your employer if their intentional actions caused your injuries. These actions might include knowingly ignoring safety regulations set by OSHA or safety standards adopted for the industry. Examples include a lack of fall protection equipment or forcing employees to use improperly maintained machinery.
You can also file a personal injury claim if your employer does not carry workers’ comp insurance. Legal representation from workers’ compensation attorneys at Nessler & Associates can help you hold parties accountable and obtain maximum compensation.
Contact Lawyers With a Winning Track Record
The personal injury law firm of Nessler & Associates has won millions of dollars for our clients. A workers’ comp attorney at our law firm can help you get the financial recovery you need to help you get back to work. Our legal counsel can help you navigate the entire claims process so you can focus on your recovery.
Call Nessler & Associates at (800) 727-8010 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win.