According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were almost 3.0 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private employers in 2014. Illinois’s Workers’ Compensation Program is intended to provide injured workers with benefits for their lost wages and medical expenses regardless of whose fault the accident or illness is – the tradeoff for these no-fault benefits is that injured workers can only sue their employers for their injuries in extremely limited circumstances.
While it seems from the information above that injured workers should have no problem obtaining the benefits to which they are legally entitled, in practice the workers’ compensation system can create significant difficulties for victims. This is due to the fact that insurers are financially incentivized to pay as little as possible by virtue of their business while injured workers are justifiably seeking the maximum level of benefits possible. The authors of a study published in the MedCrave Online Journal of Orthopedics & Rheumatology posit that procedural delays are often utilized in order to force workers to walk away from their claims or accept a lump sum settlement without receiving medical treatment. As a result, a substantial number of injured workers go without much-needed treatment simply because an insurance company is trying to save money.
An Attorney Can Help Ensure that you Receive the Treatment you Need
The most effective way for injured workers to ensure that they receive the benefits to which they are entitled is to retain an attorney as soon as an injury occurs. Sometimes, even the fact that a lawyer is representing an injured worker is enough to induce an otherwise reluctant insurer to pay. Workers’ compensation insurers are regulated by state law and regulations promulgated by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, and when workers’ compensation claims are denied, these legal rules give injured workers certain rights, including the right to an appeal. There are many ways that an attorney can help people who are having problems obtaining their workers’ compensation benefits. These include the following:
● Talk to your employer or the insurance company and attempt to find come to an informal resolution;
● Investigate your claim and gather evidence on your behalf;
● File an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Commission; and
● Represent you in any administrative or judicial proceedings that may be necessary in order to obtain benefits.
The procedural and substantive rules regarding workers’ compensation claims can be complicated, and an attorney can help injured workers along every step of the way, from filing an initial claim to filing a lawsuit after an unsuccessful appeal.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have been hurt in a workplace accident or developed an illness that you believe that you may be related to your occupation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The early assistance of an attorney can often help ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need when you need it, rather than after a series of needless procedural delays. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney, call Capron & Avgerinos, P.C. today.