Can OSHA Violations Affect Workers’ Comp Claims?

workers comp

When an employee is hurt at work in Illinois, they are usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and can receive compensation for their medical expenses and partial lost wages. If the company violated an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, it could affect your workers’ compensation case in specific ways. Our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers can help if you have worker compensation questions.

The Most Common Workplace OSHA Violations

OSHA is tasked with enforcing workplace safety, but many employers continue to ignore or cut corners on safety. Some of the most common OSHA violations that lead to workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims are:

  • Scaffolding
  • Fall protection
  • Ladders
  • Machine Guarding
  • Eye and face protection
  • Containment of hazardous materials
  • Respiratory protection

In many cases, inadequate training or maintenance can lead to many workplace accidents. Also, defective or faulty equipment are common causes of workplace injuries. For example, you could lose your balance and fall if your company does not put handrails on an elevated platform.

OSHA Violations And Workers’ Compensation Claims

Wherever the accident occurs on the job, Illinois has a ‘no fault’ policy for workers’ comp claims. This means that the workers do not need to prove who caused the accident but only that the accident happened at work. Also, if the worker violated OSHA standards, it does not necessarily mean the injured worker cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits.

If a company violated an OSHA rule that led to a worker injury, you might wonder if you can sue for the OSHA violation. In Illinois, you are usually barred from suing the company in a civil action if you get workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, there have been court rulings that the workers’ comp bar on personal injury litigation is not overcome when an employer willfully violates an OSHA rule. However, other courts have ruled that a purposeful violation of OSHA rules could be a factor in determining if the bar on private lawsuits should be disregarded.

Also, depending on the case circumstances, an injured employee could have legal options against a third-party company contributing to the workplace accident. Further, OSHA reminds companies that the law prevents them from retaliating against workers for making injury reports. Employers have been warned against providing prizes or bonuses for reaching safety goals if those rewards discourage workers from reporting workplace injuries.

Workers are also protected from workplace retaliation, including for reporting OSHA violations. If the company retaliates against you for reporting a violation, it could be violating federal employment laws.

If you are hurt on the job, and the company violated an OSHA safety rule, you should speak to an attorney about your case. Your attorney will ensure you obtain the maximum benefits and may explore whether legal action is possible.

Contact Our McHenry County Workers’ Comp Lawyers

If you were hurt in a workplace accident or suspect your company violated OSHA regulations, you should speak with a lawyer who understands workers’ compensation and employment laws. You could be entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. Our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., may be able to assist, so please call (847) 395-2200.

Behavior That Can Derail Your Workers’ Comp Claim

workers' comp claim

In Illinois, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured at work. However, certain behaviors and actions can damage your case. Learn more about this topic in this article, and if you have legal questions, speak to our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

Essential Facts About Illinois Workers’ Compensation

If you need to file for workers’ compensation in Illinois, it is essential to understand some critical aspects of the law:

  • You have 45 days from the accident date to inform your employer of the accident, but the sooner the better.
  • There is a three-year time limit to file your workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
  • Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to medical care, temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, or permanent total disability. Your family may be eligible for death benefits if you die from your injury or illness.

Behavior And Actions That Can Derail Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Workers’ compensation in Illinois is intended to provide you with medical and wage benefits during your recovery. However, there are things that you can do that can damage your claim, so it is always best to have your case handled by a workers’ compensation lawyer:

Failing To Report Your Injury

Nothing will derail your workers’ compensation claim faster than not reporting the injury on time. The law requires you to report it to your employer within 45 days, but the longer you wait, the more likely the claim will be challenged. Even if you have a minor work injury, promptly report it to your employer.

Ignoring Work Restrictions

If your physician puts work restrictions in place when you return to work, you must follow them. If the insurance provider can prove that you are doing things your doctor says you cannot, you will likely get less compensation, and the claim could be denied outright.

Not Telling The Doctor About Your Injury Specifics

Being as detailed as possible with your doctor about your injuries and pain is essential. Minimizing the pain you are experiencing or not describing to the doctor how you were injured could affect your claim. For example, if your doctor does not know you have severe back pain from a fall at work, they will have no reason to prescribe treatment, which can derail your claim.

Not Disclosing A Previous Injury

You also should disclose a significant previous injury that could affect your current work-related injury. If you suffer a similar injury at work, you could have your claim denied.

Contact Our Antioch Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

If you were in an accident at work in Illinois, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost earnings through workers’ compensation.  However, workers’ comp claims are tricky, and getting maximum benefits without an attorney’s help is challenging. Contact our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for assistance with your case at (847) 395-2200.

How Are Workers’ Comp Doctors Paid?

workers' comp

When you are hurt on the job in Illinois, you are usually entitled to workers’ compensation for your medical bills and partial lost wages. If you have a question about a workers’ comp case, our workers’ comp lawyers in Lake County have fought for workers’ rights for 20 years, so please contact us.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Overview

In Illinois, employers have to provide workers’ compensation for their workers to pay for work-related accidents and injuries. As long as the injury happened at work in Illinois, you do not have to prove fault. So, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation even if you were responsible for the accident at work.

When you are hurt at work in Illinois, you should get medical treatment promptly and report the incident to your employer. You have up to 45 days under the law to give notice, but the sooner, the better. After you miss more than three days of work because of the injury, your company has to provide an accident report to the state.

Workers’ Compensation Claims And Doctors

After an Illinois workplace injury, you may need treatment by a physician for your injuries. The law states that the employee can secure their own doctor at their employer’s expense. The treating physician for your case is an essential part of a successful claim, and in Illinois, you can choose your own doctor. Whoever the treating physician is, their medical opinion will carry significant weight, so it is essential to choose your doctor wisely. Some things that the treating physician will do for a workers’ compensation case are:

Diagnosing And Treating Your Injury

To receive insurance benefits, the doctor must provide a medical diagnosis. This medical professional will direct the medical treatments you receive and determine if you need medications and physical therapy.

Providing Specialist Referrals

If you hurt your back and ruptured a disc, the treating physician could refer you to specialists for the best care. The doctor’s thoroughness and willingness to listen to your complaints and get proper treatments is vital to your recovery.

Determining Work Restrictions

If your injury prevents you from doing your job, the treating physician will determine if you need to take time off and for how long. The medical professional will also decide when you can return to your job.

Who Pays The Doctor In A Workers’ Compensation Case?

After you are injured in Lake County, you may be distressed to see your medical bills piling up. Generally, once you receive workers’ compensation benefits, the employer’s insurance company is responsible for your medical bills, including paying the treating physician for their services. Therefore, if the workers’ compensation insurance company accepts the claim, they should make arrangements to pay your treating physicians.

However, following up with the doctor’s office is usually wise if you get medical bills in the mail. Or, you can alert your workers’ comp attorney to ensure everything is paid for on time.

Contact Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers In Lake County

If you or someone in your family was hurt at work in Lake County, it could be tough to make ends meet. But the good news is you could be entitled to workers’ compensation for your medical bills and lost earnings. Contact our workers comp lawyers in Lake County at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for assistance with your claim at (847) 395-2200.

Can I Receive Workers’ Comp And A Personal Injury Settlement?

workers comp

Wherever you work in the Chicago region – Wrigley Field or on the Miracle Mile – every worker in the city is at risk of being hurt. Fortunately, Illinois has robust workers’ compensation laws that mandate that employers buy insurance to protect employees if they are hurt, regardless of who is at fault. However, taking workers’ comp may affect your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit. Learn more in this article, and contact our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., for legal advice.

Important Facts About Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws

When you are hurt at work in Chicago, it is common for employees to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you decide to do so, there are vital parts of the law to know:

  • You have 45 days to inform your company of your injury to obtain the maximum benefits.
  • There is a three-year time limit to file your workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
  • Some benefits that may be available include medical care; temporary total disability; temporary partial disability; permanent partial disability; permanent total disability, and death benefits for your surviving family members.

If you file a workers’ compensation claim or your employer disputes the claim, you may file a claim with the Commission and ask for a hearing within three years of the injury or within two years after you received compensation last, whichever is later.

What About Filing A Personal Injury Claim?

Our workers’ comp attorneys in Illinois are often asked about filing a workers’ comp claim and a personal injury claim simultaneously. Does filing one claim preclude you from filing the other? Some workers may be confused because if you are hurt in a regular accident, you often would file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. But if the injury happens at work in Chicago, your initial action could be to file for workers’ compensation.

Generally, if you are hurt at work and file a worker’s compensation claim, you are not typically allowed to file a personal injury claim against the company. However, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim against a third party that was at least partially responsible for the accident.

Differences Between A Workers’ Comp And Personal Injury Claim

There are several differences in these claims. First, the workers’ compensation claim is filed with an insurance company that works for your employer. But a personal injury claim is filed against the person or entity that caused your injuries. That might or not be the company you work for.

Also, there is a critical difference in proving each case. With workers’ compensation, you do not need to verify your employer was at fault; you only need to show that the injury happened at work. On the other hand, in a personal injury claim, you usually need to prove another party was negligent to receive compensation.

Contact Our Antioch Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

Were you in an accident at work? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Contact our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for assistance with your workers’ comp case at (847) 395-2200.

What Is The Penalty For Late Workers’ Comp Payment?

workers comp

Workers in Illinois are entitled to workers’ comp benefits to cover injuries and losses related to workplace injury. For example, if you qualify for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits, you should receive benefits that are 2/3 of your average weekly earnings. But sometimes workers’ comp payments are late and can put a lot of stress on you at the worst time. Learn more about this workers’ comp problem below, and contact our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. if you need help with your claim.

Workers Comp Benefits Should Be Paid On Schedule

The payments from your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company must be made on a timely basis. But if they are not, Illinois law states that the insurer has to pay stiff penalties if they do not provide a good reason for the late payments. In addition, the insurance company has 14 days to explain the late payment. These essential aspects of the workers’ comp law are found under Section 19 of Illinois’s Workers’ Compensation Act.

If you do not get a prompt response, or they do not fully explain why the workers’ comp payments are late, you should receive a $30 extra payment per day from the workers’ compensation commission. You are entitled to this additional late fee payment until benefits are paid. If you are not getting paid on time, our workers’ comp attorneys can file paperwork with the court and request a penalty claim hearing. Remember, receiving this extra payment daily will not happen automatically, so talk about it with your attorney.

What Is The Penalty Hearing?

The penalty hearing is conducted before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your attorney will present evidence to support the fact that your workers’ comp payments are late. For example, you and your attorney could show an inadequate response from the insurance company that does not explain the tardy payments. Or you can present an envelope with a tardy postage stamp.

After your hearing, the commission will review the case before awarding you an extra $30 daily. If the person or entity who caused the late payments does not resolve the matter promptly, additional penalties can be assessed, as well.

You do not have to tolerate this injustice if you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and are not paid on time. The laws of Illinois entitle most workers to workers’ comp when they are hurt on the job, even if the accident was their fault. Contact an attorney immediately if you have not received your workers’ comp payments on time.

Without the help of an attorney, you could have difficulty getting the commission to see things your way.

Speak To Our McHenry County Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

Were you hurt on the job in McHenry County? Illinois law allows you to receive workers’ compensation for your medical expenses and lost earnings. But it can be challenging to get the most compensation handling your own claim. So, please contact our McHenry County workers’ comp lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., at (847) 395-2200 for assistance with your case.

Don’t Jeopardize Your Workers’ Comp Settlement

If you are injured at work, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation during your recovery. Workers’ compensation pays your medical bills and partial wages so you can get back to health.

A workers’ compensation claim can go on for a long time, depending on the injuries’ severity. Therefore, ensure you do not jeopardize your workers’ comp settlement by making the following mistakes. If you have questions, talk to our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers at the Law Office of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today.


Workers’ Compensation Overview

Illinois’ workers’ compensation is a system of benefits provided to most workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. If you qualify, benefits are paid for the injuries and illnesses caused at work. In addition, you could receive workers’ compensation in Illinois if your work-related injury aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Workers’ comp is also paid for some repetitive use injuries, heart attacks, and other physical issues. You are paid benefits whether you were at fault for the accident. In exchange for receiving workers’ comp regardless of fault, it is difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for a job-related injury.

You want to get maximum workers’ compensation benefits during your injury recovery. Thus, you should not jeopardize your claim by doing the following:


Staying With The Company Physician

Do not assume you must use the company physician for your medical treatments while injured. You can choose your own doctor, which can be to your benefit. However, the doctor, the workers’ compensation insurance company, pays for may be interested in paying as little as possible on the claim. It is possible this conflict of interest could result in you getting less thorough medical treatments than you should.

After the injury, you may end up seeing the company doctor initially. But you have a right under Illinois law to see your own choice of doctor.


Not Going To Medical Appointments

Going to regular doctor’s appointments can be annoying. However, you must attend every appointment when you receive workers’ compensation. If you do not comply with the treatment plan and skip visits, they may suspend or cancel your benefits. If you need to reschedule an appointment, that is not a problem, just make sure you go as soon as possible.


Downplaying Your Injuries

Most of us do not want to be injured, so it is understandable if you downplay your pain. But you should be upfront with your doctors about your pain and how you feel. If your injuries are incorrectly documented, you could get less money when on workers’ compensation.

Explain your injuries and pain level to your doctors. Make sure you document your discomfort and pain for your medical record.


Engaging In Too Many Physical Activities

The workers’ comp insurance company has a motive to show that you are not as injured as you claim. They might put you under surveillance to see what you are up to while recovering. Do not engage in strenuous physical activities when hurt, or your benefits could be suspended.

Call Our Antioch Workers’ Comp Lawyers Now

Were you hurt at work? You could be entitled to workers’ compensation, but handling the claim yourself could lead to a lower benefit level. The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. can help. Contact our Antioch workers’ comp lawyers today at (847) 395-2200 to learn how we can maximize your benefits.

How Do Workers’ Comp Doctors Get Paid?

workers comp

If you or someone you love was hurt in an Illinois workplace accident, you probably are entitled to workers’ compensation for your injuries. Workers’ comp provides part if your weekly wage or salary so you can pay your bills while recovering. Learn more below about Illinois workers’ comp, including how the workers’ compensation doctor is paid. If you have questions, our workers’ comp lawyers in Lake County at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens can help.

Who Treats Your Workplace Injury?

The first thing to know about your workers’ comp doctor is your right to choose your medical provider. The law in Illinois states that you can select your doctor for medical treatments. This ensures you are treated by a medical professional looking out for your best interests, not your company.

Many injured clients need to realize they can select their own doctor. So, the employer’s doctor or that of the workers’ compensation insurance company sees them. The problem is that the employer or the insurance company pays the doctor. Therefore, the doctor may suggest the injuries are not as severe as they are to save the company money. Patients who are only seen by the company doctor may discover that they do not receive as much in benefits as they thought.

While you can choose your doctor, your employer may request that you undergo an independent medical examination or IME. The company doctor will conduct this exam. If your employer asks for an IME, refer the request to your workers’ comp lawyer in Lake County. They will ensure that the IME is performed in a timeframe that works for you. Also, the doctor’s IME report can be countered by that of your personal physician if questions arise about the severity and the cause of your injuries.

How Doctors Are Paid For Your Treatments

Whoever treats you for your injuries, they will be paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. Therefore, they should be paid promptly for your medical treatments. If there are payment delays, you must alert your workers’ comp attorney as soon as you find out. You do not want unnecessary delays in your medical treatments.

The Two-Doctor Rule

Not only are you allowed to choose your treating physician in a workers’ compensation case. You can switch doctors at any time. The doctor must be in your employer’s Preferred Provider Program (PPP). If the employer is not in a PPP, you can visit any doctor.

When you visit your doctor after the injury, inform them that your injury happened at work and will be handled by workers’ compensation insurance. To handle such claims, the state must approve Doctors in Illinois on a workers’ compensation case.

Speak To Our Workers’ Comp Lawyer In Lake County

Were you injured on the job? You may struggle to pay your medical costs and other bills without a regular paycheck. You could be entitled to compensation in a workers’ compensation claim. Please contact our workers’ comp lawyers in Lake County at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today at (847) 395-2200 for assistance. Our attorneys also serve clients in Palatine, Antioch, Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, and Woodstock.

Why You Should Never Accept a Workers’ Comp Settlement Without a Lawyer

You are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are bedridden or have astronomical medical bills because of a work-related physical or medical impairment. The last thing you should do is accept the settlement the insurance company offers without argument. If you disagree with the settlement amount, you can:

  • Negotiate a new settlement or,
  • Attend a hearing where a judge will settle your dispute.

In either case, having experienced Antioch workers’ comp lawyers can prove invaluable.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer Before Settling

Some of the best reasons why you should hire a workers’ comp attorney include the following:

They Can Determine Your Case’s Worth

A workers’ comp attorney can determine your case’s worth, something the insurance company doesn’t want. This includes the number of benefits you should get based on:

  • The extent of your injuries and how they have affected your life.
  • Your previous wages.
  • Past medical expenses along with future medical treatments.
  • If you have a permanent disability, and if yes, its extent.
  • If your employer owes you salary, benefits, and penalties for late payments.

They Can Negotiate The Best Settlement

Antioch workers’ comp lawyers know how to negotiate for the best settlements from insurance companies. Whether you get a low ball or ‘final offer’, they will not back down till you have reached a reasonable settlement. They are also more likely to get into productive negotiations with insurance companies than individuals who act alone.

They Will Ensure Your Settlement Terms Are Clear and Cover Future Expenses

Your attorney will also ensure that the settlement terms are noted down accurately to prevent issues in the future. For instance, if you need to use your disability benefits down the line, a shoddy agreement can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars per month. Your attorney can determine a realistic estimate that can cover future medical costs.

The wording in the agreement is quite critical. Hidden clauses and certain agreements can cost you money in the long run. Your attorney can spot potential pitfalls in the agreement and have them rectified or removed.

They Can Fight For You If Your Claim Is Denied

If the insurance company denies your claim, your attorney can fight to get the decision reversed. Whether your claim is denied because of ‘insufficient evidence,’ “inadequate documentation” or because they say your injuries are not work-related, your attorney can help with the appeals process. This includes taking specific steps to strengthen your case and create a better claim.

Even if your case was denied, you could have a strong chance in court with Antioch workers’ comp lawyers in your corner. The insurance company will try and contest your claim. At that point, you need some serious firepower that workers’ comp attorneys can give you.

The bottom line is that the insurance company doesn’t have your best interests are heart, but your attorney does. Relying on a judge without a lawyer representing you is not wise either. Your employer and the insurance company will not think twice before hiring their attorney either.

Contact Our Antioch Workers’ Comp Lawyers At the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a Consultation

At The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, we have been fighting for the rights of injured workers for more than two decades. If you, your colleague, or someone else you know has suffered a workplace injury and cannot get workers’ comp benefits, contact us for a consultation today. We will evaluate the claim and determine the best strategy to ensure a positive outcome.