Illinois has a workers’ compensation law. Employers must provide no-fault insurance benefits to workers who are injured on the job. If the company does not have worker’s compensation insurance, the law often prohibits employers from introducing some legal defenses, such as contributory negligence.
Workers’ compensation benefits usually include money for lost wages and all reasonably necessary medical expenses. Additional compensation might be available in some cases, such as employer recklessness situations.
Although these benefits are available, the insurance company does not simply give this money away. A Rockford workers’ compensation attorney often ensures maximum compensation in a job injury claim. Statistically, the amount of benefits substantially increases when an attorney is involved in a case.
Types of Workplace Injuries
Work injuries can strike anyone at any time. Some industries, such as construction and fishing, are known for their high injury rates. But statistically, office workers are almost as likely to sustain:
- Trauma injury, like a fall, or
- Occupational disease, like breathing problems.
Trauma injuries occur suddenly and without warning. Occupational diseases usually occur gradually over time. Frequently, occupational disease victims do not know they suffered a workplace injury for several months.
Even if the victim had a pre-existing medical condition, like a bad knee or weak lungs, full benefits are usually available. The eggshell skull rule applies if the work-related injury exacerbated the previous condition – not the other way around.
Medical Care Phases
Almost all trauma injuries require emergency care. Many occupational diseases also require emergency care, as many victims experience a medical crisis. Emergency treatment alone usually costs about $2,000. If the victim is admitted to the hospital, even for overnight observation, costs increase exponentially.
After they are released from the hospital, most victims continue seeing the doctor. The doctor must be sure the victim is properly recovering. Additionally, the doctor refills prescription drugs and helps victims use medical devices, if needed.
Physical therapy is often as expensive as hospitalization. Many victims must go through many months of therapy to regain lost functions. That’s especially true if the victim sustained a head injury in a fall or another serious wound.
Workers’ compensation generally pays for all these expenses. This insurance also covers other medically necessary costs, such as medical transit. These benefits usually continue for 162 weeks (two years) or until the victim reaches MMI (maximum medical improvement).
Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
Generally, yes. Illinois’ workers’ compensation law features the two-doctor rule. Injured victims may see two doctors of their own choosing and any specialists these doctors refer them to.
If victims see ER physicians immediately following trauma injuries, these doctors usually do not count as their first doctor. However, if the victim sees a company doctor, that physician usually counts as the first doctor.
It’s usually a good idea to stay with licensed doctors instead of chiropractors. If push comes to shove, the medical opinion of a licensed physician carries greater weight in court.
Reach Out to Dedicated Attorneys
Job injury victims are entitled to medical benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. We do not charge upfront legal fees in work injury cases.