Millions of people are injured in workplace accidents each year, sometimes leaving injured workers with high medical expenses, an inability to earn a living, and with a significantly diminished quality of life. Fortunately for workers who are injured, Illinois and Iowa both have a workers’ compensation program that provides injured workers with benefits, regardless of fault.
While workplace injuries can happen almost anywhere and in any industry, some types of work tend to be significantly more dangerous than others. According to statistics issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and compiled by Bankrate.com, the five most dangerous jobs in the country and their median salary are as follows:
● Logging workers - $35,160
● Fishers and related fishing workers - $32,250
● Aircraft pilots and flight engineers - $118,140
● Roofers - $35,760
● Refuse and recycling collectors - $33,660
Importantly, simply because a person works in a relatively low-risk environment does not mean that he or she is not at risk of sustaining a work-related injury. For example, thousands of office workers each year develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of computer use, and slip and fall accidents can occur even in the most seemingly safe environments. For this reason, it is important for workers to understand their legal rights after a workplace injury and to speak with an attorney that will ensure that they receive the benefits to which they are legally entitled.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In both Iowa and Illinois, the workers’ compensation program operates as a no-fault insurance system that provides people who have been injured in work-related accidents or who have developed work-related illnesses with benefits for their medical expenses and lost income. Employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and injured employees receive benefits by filing a claim with their employer or directly with the insurance company.
In some cases, employers or workers’ compensation insurers may attempt to minimize the amount they pay out on a valid claim or deny a claim entirely. Fortunately, workers’ have the right to an appeal and workers’ compensation claim disputes are regulated by the state. In Iowa, the agency responsible for administering the workers’ compensation program is the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation, while in Illinois, the analogous agency is the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. In both states, individuals who have had their claim denied are entitled to hearing and also to be represented by an attorney. Some of the ways that an attorney can help you if you have had your workers’ compensation claims denied include the following:
● Collect evidence supporting the fact that a particular injury was work-related;
● Establish the severity of your injuries through the presentation of medical records;
● Prepare and file your appeal in time; and/or
● File a lawsuit on your behalf should you exhaust all administrative remedies.
Contact Chicago Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you have suffered an injury at work or developed an occupational disease, you should speak with an experienced lawyer immediately. To discuss your legal options with one of our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers, call Capron & Avgerinos, P.C. today at 312-346-6444.