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How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

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Personal injury attorneys are those who provide legal representation to those who have been injured in some sort of accident and help them in seeking compensation for the accident. As these lawyers work in tort law, it includes both the intentional and unintentional acts.

Cases that Personal Injury Lawyers Deal With:Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Most often these cases involve the negligent acts of others. This involves auto accidents- car, motorcycle or truck accidents. In addition to it, aviation, bike, mass transportation accidents, pedestrian accidents or boating accidents are also additional types of cases these lawyers deal with. Apart from these accidents, premises liability, animal bites, slip, and fall accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse also come within the purview of personal injury cases.

Compensation in Personal Injury Cases:

The victims of personal injury are entitled to the compensation for the injuries that they have suffered. Such injuries include medical expenses, loss of ability to earn, loss of wages or income, emotional trauma, loss of companionship, or pain and suffering.

What do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

The actions of these lawyers depend upon the nature of the case, subject area, and the certain stage of the case. In order to understand how personal injury lawyers can help you, it is important to know what activities they carry out:

  • Investigation of the Claims:

A personal injury attorney work on the contingency fees, in which they only charge their fees after securing the court verdict. As they pay for the case most often, they take a case after carefully examining it whether there are chances in winning the case or not.

  • Collection of Evidence:

These lawyers also collect evidence in order to support their client’s claim. This may include procuring police report, tracking down the witnesses, and record their statements. Moreover, the lawyer may ask a photographer to take pictures of the accident and can retain the evidence such as camera footage, damage to the property etc.

Such evidence explain who was at fault and the intensity of the damages occurred; this evidence involves, medical reports, bills, employment reports etc.

  • Dealing with Insurance Companies:

Personal injury lawyers are skilled in negotiating with insurance companies. They review their policies in the detail and determine the level of compensation they can seek in the case depending upon particular circumstances. Moreover, the lawyer maintains communication with the insurance companies and prevent the client from carrying out actions that can damage his or her claim.

  • Sending Demand Letters to the Insurance Companies:

The personal injury attorney will send the demand letter to the insurance companies once he or she has completely examined the claim. This letter contains the facts of the accident along with the demand monetary compensation of damages.

  • Preparation of Pleads:

In case the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, the lawyer will then prepare a complaint against the defendant. This complaint establishes the legal arguments about why the defendant is being held responsible for the damages. Moreover, the complaint also contains the number of damages that the plaintiff is seeking. One the defendant receives a complaint, he or she has thirty days to respond to it.

Legal Representation of Clients:

When the personal injury case proceeds to trial, the attorney represents the client in the court. An expert attorney is well aware of the accident news as well as court customs and procedures and makes sure that they follow those procedures to ensure smooth trial.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

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After suffering a personal injury such as a slip and fall, dog bite, or car accident, it’s not uncommon to think about how much your case is worth. The answer ultimately depends on the damages incurred, such as what you have suffered physically, mentally, monetarily, and even if the defendant’s actions deserve to be punished.

Personal-Injury-Law

Here you can get an idea of the personal injury damages for which you are eligible as well as the kind of damages for which you would identify.

Typically in personal injury cases, charges are paid to the injured party (plaintiff) by the company or person who is legally responsible for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). After a settlement has been reached, the damages awarded will be determined between both parties, their attorneys, and the insurance companies. In other cases, they may be ordered by a jury or judge to go to trial.

The following information discusses the types of damages that are common in personal injury cases as well as how the compensation will be affected by the plaintiff’s actions.

Compensatory Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases are identified as “compensatory,” meaning that the intention is to compensate the injured party, or defendant, for the damages on behalf of the plaintiff. This compensation is determined to provide the needed relief for the injured party to recover properly.

This case will put a dollar value on each injury suffered, and while some are easy to determine, some are not. For example, quantifying medical bills and property damages can be easy, but it’s difficult to put a value on the amount of physical pain and suffering or ability to perform future activities due to physical disabilities.

The following includes a list of compensatory damages that are found in most personal injury cases:

  • Pain and suffering. If you have suffered serious discomfort or pain after an accident or its aftermath, you may be entitled to a specific compensation.
  • Medical treatment. Known to be relatively easy to determine the amount of awarded damages, personal injury compensation almost always includes the cost of medical treatment after an accident. This compensation may include the cost of treatment you have already received as well as additional treatments you may need in the future.
  • Property loss. In addition to pain and discomfort, any damages incurred to your property, such as your car, home, or items, may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement. This will be taken at the fair market value of the property.
  • Emotional distress. This type of pain and suffering are usually only compensated for more serious accidents. But it is meant to compensate the injured party for the psychological impact taken on, such as sleep loss, anxiety, or fear. There are some states that still consider this as pain and suffering.
  • Loss of enjoyment. When you are not physically capable of enjoying specific activities, such as exercise, hobbies, and other recreational activities, you may be eligible for “loss of enjoyment” compensation.
  • If the accident had caused you to miss work, it will have an impact on your salary or wages. This would include both the income you have lost but the money would have been able to make in the future if the accident never happened. This type of compensation would be counted as “loss of earning capacity.”
  • Loss of consortium. This is mostly related to the impact the injuries incurred on the relationship between the plaintiff and their spouse. Some states also consider the impact on the relationship between the plaintiff and their child if one is injured. Some cases may conclude that the consortium damage is awarded directly to the family member.

Punitive Personal Injury Cases

If the defendant’s actions were intentional or extremely negligent, the plaintiff can be awarded compensation both punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are usually intended to push consequences on the defendant for their negligent or intentional actions.

This would usually result in extreme charges, such as charges significantly exceeding the cost to make the injured party “whole again.” But many states still have a cap on the damages to prevent such outrageous charges from being incurred.

How Damages Awards are Affected by the Plaintiff’s Actions

There are cases in which the injured party’s actions, or even inactions, can take away from the damages awards they are eligible to receive.

  • Contributory negligence. Not many states follow this, but the concept of this is that the injured party may not be eligible for any compensation because they were held partially responsible for the accident.
  • Comparative negligence. If the injured party is at any fault for the accident that caused the injuries, the compensation they receive can reflect this.
  • Failure to mitigate damages after the accident. Most state laws don’t require but do expect the plaintiffs to take steps to help “mitigate” or minimize the damage. This in turn can reduce the financial harm caused to both parties. But if they don’t do anything, such as not getting the proper treatment needed and their injury becomes worse, the compensation awarded will be reduced significantly.

Work with a Personal Injury AttorneyBerry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.-Oak-Lawn-IL

The damages and types of personal injury cases stated in this article are intended to help understand the circumstances in which compensation is received and affected; it is not to be taken as legal advice. For more information on obtaining the compensation you deserve, it is highly recommended to reach out to a personal injury attorney.

Contacting a professional that is experienced can even maximize the amount of damages for which you are eligible, provided that all evidence, details, and efforts are made. Finding one that specializes in specific personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, car accidents, slip and fall, etc. will also help your case due to their specialization and experience.

Our personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. can provide insight to your case. Our attorneys not only have over 50 years of combined experience working in diverse cases, but ensure to stay updated on changes in the law. This allows us to develop the best strategy for your case, fighting for the compensation you deserve so you can recover properly.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information or to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Steps Included in a Personal Injury Case

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Due to the unique situation of each person, there is no black and white solution for each personal injury case. But there is a basis in which each case would follow provide an idea of what to expect.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Here you can get an idea of what to expect when filing for a personal injury lawsuit.

At the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our personal injury attorneys take a professional approach to the situation. We combine the right information with years of experience and knowledge of current law in order to provide the most effective solution for the client.

Our process of personal injury cases goes as follows:

  1. Consultation with an attorney
  2. Personal injury case investigation
  3. Demand for settlement
  4. Filing a personal injury lawsuit
  5. Discovery phase of the case
  6. Mediation
  7. Trial
  8. Appeal

1. Initial Consultation with an Attorney

Immediately after an accident, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney about the details of your case, including:

  • Whether the other party was negligent
  • If there is a defendant from whom to receive compensation
  • The severity and extent of your injuries
  • Your legal options
  • Your medical expenses

Feel free to ask any questions during the initial consultation with Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd.

2. Personal Injury Case Investigation

If you retain counsel, one of our attorneys will investigate the details of your case, including all details about the accident scene, photographs, police reports, witness testimony, medical bills and records, employment history and earning power, as well as other details that are important to your case.

They may also work with accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, or other professionals involved in your case. They will also look into the defense of the other party to determine their liability.

For many cases involving car accidents, we will need to research the vehicle’s information, including its condition before the crash as well as the condition of the road. If there was any video footage of your vehicle or even of the crash, it will be found as well.

Finally, additional witnesses of the accident may also be contacted in order to obtain statements. But your attorney should keep you informed at all times regarding the details of your case as well as be responsive to your legal questions.

3. Demand for Settlement

This step will demand a settlement that will include the letter outlining your case. This will include the liabilities and damages that highlight the following:

  • Injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of life’s enjoyment
  • Future medical care and expenses

This demand letter will be reviewed by the defendant, be it an individual, business, or insurance company in which they will either reject, counteroffer, or accept it. As this letter is often the most important step in starting the case, ensuring that it includes all details is crucial.

4. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your case cannot be settled without taking legal action, one of our attorneys will work with you to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.

5. Discovery Phase of the Case

Before going to trial, the other party will need time to gather evidence and determine the nature of both sides of the case. Keep in mind that it’s not only using the right information during this time, but how it’s done.

When the time is right, Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will work aggressively in order to gather the necessary information for the case.

6. Mediation

Before filing the lawsuit, it is possible that a mediator will schedule a session in which you and the opposing party can reach an agreement to prevent going to trial. But keep in mind that the actions taken during this session can significantly impact one’s case, so it’s important to work with a trained and experienced attorney.

At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd., our attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience, including handling negotiations. These experiences have allowed us to win numerous high-value cases in order to provide the solution that served in our clients’ best interests.

7. Trial

If an agreement was still unable to be made, the next step in this case would be to go to trial. During this process, the jury will review the facts, determine the fault, and then award the damages.

8. Appeal

Depending on the proceedings, the opposing party may appeal the case. Known as an appellate process, this will usually proceed differently than the normal trial process. But it’s helpful to work with experienced appellate practitioners to assist with these cases.

Work with an Experienced Attorney

Berry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry Tucker has years of experience with personal injury cases. Be sure to ask him how he can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Personal injury cases are definitely no walk in the park. Especially when filing a lawsuit, working with an experienced attorney who has negotiated during both mediation and trial will be critical. It’s also important to ask the right questions during the consultation to get an idea of what will be done when working on your case.

If you live near the Oak Lawn, IL area, don’t hesitate to contact the law offices of Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Our personal injury attorneys are not only experienced in handling numerous cases, but we will provide a consultation to discuss your case as well as what will be done in order to obtain the compensation that you deserve. We will then work with you throughout your case, negotiating with the other party in order to reach a solution that works in your best interest.

To speak with one of our attorneys, contact Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530.

Worker’s Compensation Eligibility: Find Out If You Are Eligible

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A warehouse worker who slips and falls while mopping the floors could be eligible for worker’s compensation. The drug store employee who injures herself while moving merchandise boxes to the appropriate aisle could also be a candidate for worker’s compensation. A businessman who falls down the hotel lobby stairs while on a business trip could also receive worker’s compensation benefits.

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Worker’s compensation protects employees from the financial consequences of workplace injuries. This insurance program covers the employee regardless of who is at fault, whether a colleague, customer, or employer. Limits do apply to receiving worker’s compensation benefits, however.

All of the following factors will determine whether or not one is eligible for worker’s compensation benefits:

Worker's-Compensation-Form

The following factors will determine whether you are eligible for worker’s compensation

1. Employee Status
2. Injured on the Job
3. Commutes
4. Reporting Timeframe
5. Employer Coverage
6. Exceptions

1. Employee Status

An individual must be an employee to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Volunteers, for instance, provide services on a volunteer basis and are not candidates for benefits. Exceptions do exist, however. Volunteer firefighters are sometimes covered by some states’ worker’s compensation programs.

Independent contractors and consultants are not typically eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. Still, the rules vary state by state, and those who signed a 1099 tax form will likely go to court to resolve any disputes.

2. Injured on the Job

To be eligible for worker’s compensation, the employee must have been injured while engaging in work-related activities. The fine line between work-related and non-work-related situations can be illustrated with the following examples:
An employee takes a lunch break and is injured in the cafeteria after slipping on spilled food. This individual is likely to receive worker’s compensation benefits because the injury occurred during work hours and on the company’s premises.

However, an employee who takes a lunch break at the local deli and twists his ankle while at the deli is not eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. This individual’s injury did not occur on workplace premises and is not a work-related incident. However, this employee could receive worker’s compensation benefits if he picked up lunch for his boss from the deli and the injury occurred at the time.

3. Commutes

Commutes to and from work are not considered time on the job and do not entitle an employee to worker’s compensation benefits if injuries occur. However, exceptions to this rule do allow some employees to receive benefits. For instance, an individual driving a company vehicle, an employee running errands for the employer or someone who regularly travels for work can be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

4. Reporting Timeframe

Employees who have been injured as a result of work-related activities must report the injury within a specified timeframe, which differs from state to state, in order to be eligible for worker’s compensation. Typically, most states have a 10 to 90-day time period for employees to make a written report for their employer. Once the employer is made aware of the employee’s injury, the employee typically has one to three years to file a worker’s compensation claim.

Different states may allow more time to file a claim. Some states also extend the time limit for filing claims if the individual is unable to file a claim immediately due to such scenarios as falling into a coma, prolonged treatment of the injury (such as burns), or being quarantined due to a contagious condition.

Those with mild work-related injuries should not hesitate to file a claim, since injuries can get worse over time. A claim will simply close in the event that a work-related back condition heals on its own. However, waiting to file a claim for a back injury that grows increasingly severe could lead to becoming ineligible for worker’s compensation benefits.

5. Employer Coverage

The vast majority of employers provide worker’s compensation coverage. While state laws differ, worker’s compensation coverage is usually dependent on the number of employees an employer has, the nature of the business and the type of work employees engage in. Most state laws require an employer to have coverage if they have at least one employee; other states require two to five employees.

Employees of the federal government are protected with a unique federal worker’s compensation system. Federal workers are guided by federal worker’s compensation benefit systems rather than state systems.

6. Exceptions

Domestic workers, such as housekeepers or nannies, are typically not covered by many states’ worker’s compensation programs. Other states exclude these professions if the employees are part time.

Temporary workers, or those hired by staffing agencies, are also covered by worker’s compensation so long as any injury sustained occurred while on the job. The primary challenge in temp workers’ claims is determining who is responsible for the coverage, the temp agency or the company to which the employee was sent to perform work.

Seasonal workers may also be excluded from some states’ worker’s compensation programs. Most states do, however, cover immigrant workers who lack the legal status to work.

Work with an Attorney

As the victim of injury while on the job, your medical bills, lost wages, and time off work are likely to cost you and your family valuable time and expense. You’ll benefit from seeking the services of a worker’s compensation attorney who will handle your case with professionalism and ensure you receive proper compensation. The attorney will discuss with you what is considered eligible under your state’s worker’s compensation laws and find out if your injuries make you eligible for benefits.

In Illinois, workers who have sustained injuries on the job have a two year time limit to file a worker’s compensation claim. When you are ready to discuss your claim, contact Oak Lawn’s most trusted personal injury lawyers. The Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. legal team is experienced in all facets of personal injury law. Our lawyers’ wealth of experience includes birth injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice and wrongful death.

The dedicated team of personal injury lawyers at Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. will review your case, work with your insurance company, inform you of your legal options and fight for maximum compensation. We also offer an initial consultation to help you get started on resolving your worker’s compensation claim quickly.

What is Considered Personal Injury?

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Personal injury law (also known as tort law) includes the case of an injured plaintiff to receive compensation for the fault of another’s intentional or negligent act to cause the plaintiff harm. Personal injuries can include a number of situations and can be serious if the individual suffered a severe injury.

Personal-Injury-Law-Gavel-Stethoscope

Make sure to contact a personal injury attorney right away if you have suffered on behalf of another.

This article will explain what is considered personal injury, according to the law.

  1. 1. Car Accidents
  2. 2. Medical Malpractice
  3. 3. Slip and Falls
  4. 4. Defamation: Slander and Libel
  5. 5. Dog Bites
  6. 6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

1. Car Accidents

Car accidents make up the majority of personal injury cases in the US. An accident usually occurs when one isn’t following the rules of the road, either not paying attention or going too fast in the given conditions.

The defendant, or careless driver, will be held responsible for the injuries occurred during the accident. There are exceptions in “no fault” states, whereas the drivers must collect from their insurance companies, except in cases of severe injuries.

2. Medical Malpractice

When a healthcare professional or doctor does not provide the necessary or competent care a patient needs, the injury or pain and suffering of a patient is the result. These medical malpractice cases are considered more complex as they involve a number of unique situations.

3. Slip and Falls

Another type of common personal injury case, the property owners (or renters) must keep their homes free of hazards and safe to prevent the injuries of any and all visitors. While not all injuries sustained on the property will result in the owner being liable, this is not always the case. Ultimately, their legal duty will vary depending on the unique situation and state where the injury happened.

Slip and Fall personal injury claims are usually based on premises liability laws.

4. Defamation: Slander and Libel

Defamation in the state of slander or libel is when one suffers an injury to his or her reputation as a result of false claims. The plaintiff must prove who they are and the situation in which the claim was made. Usually, this person will need to prove that the false statement was made and they suffered financial harm as a result.

In the case of public figures or celebrities, they must prove “actual malice,” meaning they must prove that the false claim was made intentionally or with disregard to the truth of what was really true.

5. Dog Bites

Most dog owners are always financially responsible for bites and injuries occurred to the person from the dog. The details of the law will vary according to each state. But in some situations, there are strict liability rules and the owner of the dog will be liable for the damages caused by the dog bite, even if the dog never showed aggression in the past.

Some states go by the “one bite” rule in which dog owners are responsible for personal injury charges if there is a reason for them to know their dog is aggressive.

6. Battery, Assault, and Other Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are not based on accidents as a result of carelessness, but when one intentionally harms another. These cases will usually involve the condition of a criminal case against the perpetrator. For instance, if one physically harms another, they will most likely face criminal charges. The victim can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the criminal to get proper compensation for the injuries.

Work with a Personal Injury Attorney

Berry-K.-Tucker-Divorce-Lawyer-Oak-Lawn-IL

Berry Tucker has years of experience with diverse divorce cases. He can also provide a cost-effective solution for your case.

If you can identify with any of the situations explained above, it’s important to reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. In addition to paying for your medical bills, you can also be compensated for pain and suffering as a result of the injury.

When searching for a lawyer, it’s important to find one who is experienced and is knowledgeable of all updated laws in order to receive the most compensation. This must also be done as soon as possible as there is a time limit for which you will need to file to fully prove that their wrongdoing was a result of your injuries.

One such experienced law firm includes Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. Not only do they have over 50 years of combined legal experience, but they can provide the guidance and assistance you need to receive proper compensation for all injuries occurred. They have also worked in diverse cases, allowing them to make well-rounded decisions in unique situations that have ended up working in the client’s best interest.

For more information on their personal injury attorneys, please call Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. at (708) 425-9530. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Identifying & Preventing Different Types Of Elderly Abuse

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According to statistics, the scourge of elder abuse affects 4% of the elder population every year, and is a rising trend. But less than 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse is reported to law enforcement.

What is Elder Abuse?Elder-Law-Oak-Lawn-IL

Any action that victimizes an elderly person to the benefit or gain of another person is defined as elder abuse. Elder abuse may manifest in a variety of ways from a financial or investment scam to physical abuse. It can either be deliberate or be caused by incompetence of a nursing home or elder care facility.

Any person acting as a caregiver for an elderly person should be on the lookout for possible elder abuse committed by family members or outsiders. Generally, people over 65 years of age are subject to physical or mental illness, social isolation, life transitions, and cultural bias, which makes it very easy to manipulate them.

The 5 most common types of abuse perpetrated on elder citizens are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Neglect or abandonment

Both federal and state laws mandate that the types of professionals providing caregiving and healthcare services to elderly people to report any suspicion of possible elderly abuse to law enforcement. This includes physicians, visiting nurses, dentists, social workers, and peace officers to keep the identity of the person filing the suspicious elder abuse complaint confidential.

After reporting the abuse, be sure to speak with a professional personal injury attorney to ensure that the individual is compensated fairly for all abuse suffered.

A brief summary of the different types of elder abuse are provided below:

Physical AbusePrevent-Physical-Elder-Abuse

The use of physical force that results in bodily injury, physical pain or impairment can be described as physical abuse. This type of abuse can include striking, hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching and burning. Some telltale signs of elder physical abuse can be signs of bruising, burns, abrasions or fractures. Such improbable signs should always be questioned.

Sexual Abuse

Although it is sad and disturbing to think of yet elder sexual abuse does occur. Some telltale signs would include genital or anal infections, difficulty walking or sitting, or bilateral bruising of inner thighs.

Psychological Abuse

Subjecting an elderly person to psychological abuse is extremely cruel. If someone threatens an elder or speaks poorly of them it can be an indication of elder psychological abuse. But it is difficult to prove because the symptoms may have been caused by other physical, mental, or aging problems.

Financial AbuseElder-Financial-Abuse

The illegal or improper use of an elder’s assets is called financial abuse. All of the examples below include actions of elder financial abuse:

  • Cashing an elder’s social security or pension checks without permission
  • Taking money or property from them
  • Coercing or deceiving the elder into parting with property or signing documents
  • Diverting guardianship or conservatorship assets.

Financial abuse constitutes 12% of all abuse perpetrated against elderly citizens in the United States.

Elder-Neglect-Abandonment

Neglect Or Abandonment

The failure of a person in charge of providing care to an elder to adequately perform their obligations is termed as neglect or abandonment. Acts such as failure to provide medicines, hygiene, food or personal safety fall under this category of abuse. Skin disorders, untreated medical problems, poor hygiene, bedsores, malnutrition, sunken cheeks or eyes, and lack of clean clothing are all symptoms of neglect.

If you feel that your parent or another elder citizen is a victim of some form of abuse, it is important to contact law enforcement and register a complaint of suspicion. It is also advisable to seek the services of a Fair Oaks elder law attorney to safeguard the rights of your parents or other elderly loved ones.

Tips for Filing for Worker’s Compensation

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There are many people in Illinois that have jobs in which there is a risk for a work-related injury.  If you get hurt on the job in Illinois, you are entitled to workers’ compensation.  Getting hurt at work is never a pleasant experience because of the pain you go through and the possibility that you may be out of work for a decent amount of time.

Missing that much work due to an injury can put people in a deep financial hole, which is why Illinois requires all employers by law to have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.How-to-File-for-Workers-Compensation-Illinois

The Process of Filing for Worker’s Compensation

Even though workers in Illinois are entitled to workers’ comp when they are injured on the job, the compensation is not automatic.  You must go through the process of filing your claim and notifying your employer, and your request for workers’ compensation can still be denied for various reasons.  If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney that understands workers’ compensation laws and can help you navigate the claims process.  When you are ready to file your workers’ compensation claim, make sure you follow these tips to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Illinois

In Illinois, there are a variety of benefits that make up workers’ compensation, including coverage for reasonable medical care, temporary total or partial disability, permanent partial or total disability, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits.  None of these benefits are taxable under Illinois law.

Temporary Disability Benefits

If you are eligible for temporary disability benefits, you can receive 66.6% of your weekly pay as long as it does not exceed the maximum set by the State of Illinois.  The maximum weekly payment for this benefit is $1,440.60 as of July 15, 2017, and this maximum amount is usually updated every 6 months.  You can receive temporary disability benefits after missing three days of work, and if you end up missing more than 14 days of work, you will be compensated the lost wages for the first three days.

Permanent DisabilityDisability-Benefits-Personal-Injury-Attorneys

Permanent disability can be configured in a couple of different ways.  You may receive 66.6% of the difference in your wages before and after the injury, or your pay may be determined by a “schedule of injuries” with predetermined compensation depending on the specific injuries.  Those who have been disfigured may be eligible for 60% of your average weekly wages for up to 162 weeks.

Filing for Workers’ Compensation

When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, there are two major steps you must complete:

1. Notify your Employer

The first thing you must do if you plan to file for workers’ compensation is notify your employer.  It is best to notify your employer in writing so that it is formal and on record.  Make sure your notification includes the date, time, and place of your accident.  You have 45 days from the time of the accident to notify your employer and still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  If you wait for more than 45 days to file, you can lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits.

There are a couple of exceptions to the 45 days rule.  You can file for workers’ comp after 45 days if you have a slow-developing injury or cumulative trauma injury that is work-related and has resulted in a disability.  You must notify your employer immediately once you have discovered the condition.  You have up to 90 days to notify your employer if you have experienced an injury due to radiation exposure on the job.

2. Employer’s ResponseTalk-with-Employer-Workers-Compensation

After your employer has been notified of your injury, they must provide you with a list of medical professionals that you can see for treatment and start the claims process with their insurance provider.  Your employer must accept or deny your claim within 14 days if your injury has caused you to miss more than three days of work.  If your claim is accepted, you should start receiving temporary disability payments.  If your employer denies your claim, they must provide you with a written explanation of why your claim has been denied or delayed.

Once your employer has been notified of your injury, they have 30 days to file an accident report with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  However, this report does not result in any actions taken by the Commission.  You are responsible for filing a claim with the Commission if your employer does nothing after your injury report.

Application for Adjustment of Claim

An Application of Adjustment Claim is the paperwork you must file to start your claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.  You must not only provide this application to the Commission, but also proof that you have provided your employer with a copy of your application.  This claim must be filed within 3 years of your injury, or within 2 years of the last time you received a compensation payment.  The following are exceptions to this rule:

  • If you have an injury caused by asbestos, you have 25 years from your last exposure to file a claim.
  • If you have Pneumoconiosis, you have 5 years to file.
  • You have 25 years from your last exposure to file for radiation exposure.
  • If you have a disease caused from inhaling silica dust, you have 3 years to file a claim.

Denied-Workers-Compensation

Many people believe that they only need to file this claim if their employer is not providing them with their workers’ compensation benefits.  However, it is a good idea to always file an Application for Adjustment Claim so that you are ready to deal with any disputes.  It is common for people to hire a personal injury attorney to help them prepare the application for this claim.

If Your Workers’ Compensation is Denied

There are always reasons your workers’ compensation claim can be denied.  Most claims are denied due to failure to notify your employer within 45 days or failure to prove that the injury is work-related.  If you did abide by these rules and your claim was still denied, you can contact the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission for a review.  The Commission will decide what to do with your claim after holding a hearing.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

While you can file a workers’ compensation claim without an attorney, it helps to have the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.  At Berry K. Tucker & Associates, Ltd. our personal injury lawyers have experience dealing with workers’ compensation cases and we will work to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

We can help you correctly file your claim and fight for you if you need a hearing to get your compensation.  Contact Berry K. Tucker, Ltd. to talk to our attorneys about your workers’ compensation claim.

Every Case is Unique

Fill out the form below to submit your case for a free consultation.

5210 West 95th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

708-425-9530

708-425-2454