Originally established in 1912, the Illinois workers' compensation program creates a no-fault system of benefits for workers who have job-related injuries or illnesses. The Illinois Industrial Commission administers the system, utilizing arbitrators throughout the state, to resolve disputes between employers and employees about work-related injuries and illnesses.
As a first step, you must generally notify your employer within 30 days of your injury or illness. This notification must include:
The date and place of the accident
A brief description of the accident, injury, or illness
Your name, address, and telephone number
Illinois law allows you to give this notice orally or in writing. But to prevent your employer from claiming not to have received notice, you should give notice of your injury in writing, preferably by certified mail.
Your employer should then notify its workers' compensation insurance carrier or administrator about your injury.
The workers’ compensation insurance company must pay for:
Reasonably required medical care to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury
Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits while you take off work to recover from the injury
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits while you recover from the injury but continue to work light duty
Vocational rehabilitation/maintenance benefits if you participate in an approved vocational rehabilitation program
Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits if you sustain permanent disability or disfigurement but can work
Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits if you become permanently unable to work
Death benefits for surviving family members
Wage differential benefits if you permanently earn less due to your injuries
The employer and insurer will take steps to limit your benefits and protect its bottom line. Your lawyer needs to push back.
Workers' compensation law requires your employer, or your employer’s insurance carrier, to make these payments. But they can — and probably will — do everything in their power to protect their bottom line: the less money they pay out, the greater the profit to their company. And that is exactly why you need a workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your rights.
Often, the company doctor — the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance carrier — will be the first to examine you to determine what treatments your employer must pay for. And when it comes time to determine your long-term prognosis — whether you now suffer a permanent disability and to what degree — the company doctor will examine you again, usually offering an opinion that tends to favor the employer over the injured worker.
Since 1950, Keefe & Griffiths PC has helped tens of thousands of injured workers win the maximum benefits and settlements allowed by law throughout Missouri and Illinois. If you need the services of a workers' compensation lawyer in Edwardsville, Belleville, Fairview Heights, St. Louis, Jefferson County, St. Charles County or the surrounding areas of southern Illinois and eastern Missouri, turn to Keefe & Griffiths PC for experienced, focused, and successful advocacy.
Call our St. Louis workers' compensation law firm at 314.241.7243 or send us an e-mail.