This issue is a very common: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has only one inspector for every 59,000 Illinois workers. So, OSHA agents usually cannot prevent job injuries, they can only help workers after the fact.
A job injury could be a trauma injury, like a fall or a motor vehicle crash. Occupational diseases, such as joint pain or asbestos exposure, are also very common.
Generally, to receive compensation for their medical bills and lost wages, injured workers do not have to establish fault. A Rockford workers’ compensation lawyer might also be able to obtain additional damages in some cases. The state workers’ compensation system is not the exclusive remedy for all workplace injury claims.
Illinois has a no-fault workers’ compensation system so injured victims can get back to work quickly. That benefits both employers and employees.
Medical Treatment After a Workplace Injury
In the Prairie State, injured workers have the right to choose their own doctors. That’s an important right and one victims must assert.
Some company doctors have divided loyalties. They have an ethical duty to their patients, but the employer pays their salaries. As a result, they may misdiagnose the person’s injury, not order the proper amount of treatment, or not allow enough recovery time.
Misdiagnosis is very common. Most doctors only listen to their patients for about 11 seconds before they cut them off. In such a short time, it’s impossible to gain any significant understanding about the patient’s illness or injury. Instead, doctors rely on their “guts.”
A doctor who has a relationship with a patient is much more likely to properly diagnose a condition. That’s especially true about something like asbestosis or other rare occupational diseases.
Other doctors do not authorize proper diagnostic tests and treatment options. Generally, they are afraid the employer will claim they are unnecessary and refuse to pay for them. That leaves the doctor holding the financial bag.
Once again, it’s important to have your own doctor who is very thorough and committed to your recovery.
Injury or illness recovery is usually a very long process. Many doctors excel in the treatment and diagnosis phases, but they are not very strong during the physical therapy phase. The physician who supervises these treatments, especially if the victim sustained a head injury, should only clear the victim to return to work when recovery is 100 percent complete.
Workers’ Compensation Levels in Illinois
Not all temporary job injuries are created equally, just like not all patients are the same. So, the workers’ compensation system divides temporary disabilities into two categories:
- Temporary Total Disability: Most broken bones and other injuries begin in the TTD category. These victims are completely unable to work. So, workers’ compensation generally pays two-thirds of the average weekly wage for the duration of the TTD.
- Temporary Partial Disability: Generally, as victims slowly recover, they move from the TTD to the TPD classification. These victims can work, but they must work fewer hours or accept light duty assignments. So, workers’ compensation generally pays two-thirds of the difference between the old and new salaries. In other words, even if you are not fully recovered, you may still receive workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits also include payments for medical bills and all reasonably necessary medical expenses, such as physical therapy and prescription drugs.
Contact Assertive Attorneys
Job injury victims are usually entitled to benefits until they are 100 percent better. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. Home and hospital visits are available.