Can I Attend School While On Workers’ Comp?

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is a no-fault law designed to aid workers in the state by assisting them in their employment. While it can cover your medical bills and other expenses as you recuperate from a work-based injury, please take advantage of it at your own risk. Attending school while you are on the benefits is ill-advised.

Why You Should Not Attend School While On Workers’ Comp

While you can legally attend school while on workers’ comp, Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys will tell you that it is ill-advised. That’s because it can raise questions about the degree of your disability. If you are on light duty status from work, you should look for suitable light tasks. On the other hand, going to school reduces the time you should be using to look for said jobs.

Your choice to attend school while on workers’ comp will raise questions if you are completely disabled because of a severe work injury. How can you attend school but cannot perform sedentary work? The insurance company will take notice and may try to convince your doctor that you should come to work.

What You Can Do

It would help if you waited till your workers’ comp case was resolved and then attended school. If you want to continue your education immediately, talk to your attorney first, as your case can get complicated. Each workers’ comp case is unique since each work injury and job site is distinct. Use your best judgment to decide and pursue daily activities depending on your condition.

As an injured worker, your activities should remain consistent with medical restrictions and your doctor’s advice. For example, restrict activities if you have the following disabilities:

Temporary Total Disability

If you are diagnosed with a temporary total disability, you should avoid recreational activities. However, if you had planned a vacation before getting injured, you may still go on it, provided you take it easy.

If you parasail, surf, mountain climb, or take part in any recreation despite your doctor’s advice, you may lose your claim. Try to schedule appointments around your vacation and consult your Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys beforehand.

Partial Disability

If you are diagnosed with a partial disability, pay attention to doctor recommendations and restrictions. Make sure you get these in writing to prevent misunderstandings. Your attorney can also use them in court to dispute the insurance company’s claims if they try to deny compensation.

Be candid with your doctor. If you exaggerate or downplay your condition, you can compromise your claim. Documentation will show proof of progress and recommended activities proposed by the medical professional.

Important note: Contrary to popular belief, workers’ comp and general liability insurance are different. The latter protects your employer’s interests, and the former protects your interests. Don’t be fooled, or you may miss out on compensation.

Contact The Law Offices Of Robert T. Edens For A Consultation Today!

If the insurance company or your employer denied your workers’ compensation claim, contact our  Lake County workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens. We have 20 years of experience helping clients like you with their compensation claims. Contact us for a consultation today.

Do Workers’ Compensation Doctors Lie?

Insurance carriers are highly experienced in reducing workers’ compensation injuries, so they can either deny a claim or pay less. One of the tools they can use to discredit claimants is medical providers who can give biased opinions to minimize injuries.

These physicians are known as ‘independent medical examiners’, and they categorically deny giving false statements or information. Some adjust their statements to sound like medical opinions, which an insurance adjuster can use to discredit a claim irrespective of injury severity.

Why do Workers’ Compensation Doctors Lie?

Some of the reasons why your doctor may lie when you visit them for your workers’ comp claim include the following:

They Are Loyal To Their Employers

One of the biggest reasons workers’ comp doctors lie is because they are loyal to their employers. Many are conformists when evaluating workplace injuries because the insurance company hires them. Their job is to give a diagnosis that can reduce the benefits and wage payouts that injured workers are eligible for.

To Dispute Your Claim

The thing is that the insurance company can demand an independent medical exam (IME) even though they are the ones who hire the doctors who conduct them. The exam results can be used to dispute a claim or deny it altogether. In some cases, insurance carriers can also alter the payout you are eligible for. Claimants have to undergo IMEs or risk their case being dismissed, so they have no choice but to give in.

They Are Unqualified and Paid Well

Many workers’ comp doctors are paid exceptionally well by the insurance companies they serve, an incentive they take seriously by reducing claims. Many of them don’t have proper licenses in surgery or any medical specialty. Rather than ordering expensive tests and scans such as CAT and MRI scans that the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for, they prescribe medication instead.

They Value Numbers over Claimant Wellness

The fee for workers’ comp is based on the volume of patients these doctors attend rather than time billed and work quality per case. It is one of the main reasons they may not give you a detailed evaluation or medical exam. If you believe your physician is not being as attentive and thorough as you deserve, take extensive notes during consultations and tests. A Waukegan workers’ compensation attorney can use those notes as evidence to ensure you get the max compensation you need.

Important note: Don’t try to beat them at their own game by exaggerating your symptoms. If a workers’ comp policy covers your injuries, they should make sense to the doctor. Exaggerate them, and they may deny your claim by questioning its veracity.

Contact Our Lake County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Now

If the insurance company denied your workers’ comp claim because your doctor lied about your diagnosis and condition, you have the right to sue. Contact our Lake County workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We have more than 20 years of experience representing clients like you and taking insurance companies to task for their negligence and greed. Get in touch with us for a consultation today!

Workers’ Comp Adjusters Don’t Want You To Get Paid?

Insurance adjusters will do everything they can to deny a workers’ comp claim so the company can line its pockets. That is why the insurance industry is worth trillions of dollars, and the CEOs are some of the highest-paid compared to other sectors. So even if you are eligible for workers’ comp, their adjusters will do almost anything to boost their employers’ bottom line.

If you find yourself in this situation, consider hiring experienced Antioch workers’ comp lawyers.

Common Tactics Adjusters Use To Deny Workers’ Comp Claims

A workers’ comp claim or benefits may be denied due to a lack of documents or technical errors. But they may also use underhanded tactics to set the stage for a denial. Some of them include:

Insisting They Need A ‘Recorded Statement’

An insurance adjuster that insists they need your recorded statement before they can proceed does not have your best interests at heart. Nothing in the workers’ comp statute says you need to provide one even if the insurance company has a policy. It doesn’t mean injured workers have to oblige and failure to do so is NOT grounds for legal denial.

Antioch workers’ comp lawyers will tell you that if an adjuster asks for a recorded statement post-accident, you may not be in the right state of mind to answer questions. In this case, they may pounce and make you incriminate yourself on the recorded statement. You will give up your rights if you agree to this, and you don’t have to.

The adjuster may also trick you into denying your claim during the interrogation. This includes giving you misleading advice meant to disorient or confuse you into trusting them. Remember, they work for the insurance company, not you. Ensuring you get compensated is the last thing on their mind.

Telling You That the Settlement Offer Is ‘Reasonable’

The insurance company cannot verify that the settlement amount is fair and reasonable even if their adjusters claim so. Just ask them if they can verify their claim, and you will get your answer. They cannot prove that anyone with similar injuries can never receive more than their offer.

However, you won’t realize you are being fooled unless you are skilled at negotiating and settling workers’ comp claims. Without using skilled Antioch workers’ comp lawyers who can negotiate a better settlement, you may end up accepting a sum that is far less than what is expected from such injury claims.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to give a recorded statement or negotiate a settlement with the insurance adjuster. You aren’t obliged to, and you do more harm than good. At this point, you should stand your ground and refuse to speak to the adjuster till you have your attorney present. Your employer and the insurance agency can afford it, so you shouldn’t hesitate.

Contact The Law Offices Of Robert T. Edens For A Consultation Today!

If your employer is refusing to compensate you for a workplace injury or the insurance company is trying to deny your claim without cause, contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. Our highly experienced lawyers have represented people like you backed into a corner by insurance adjusters. You don’t have to give them any information that you are uncomfortable divulging. Contact us for a consultation today. We can develop a strategy to ensure you get the max compensation you deserve.

What Is The Average Payout For Workers’ Compensation In Illinois?

workers compensationA work injury, or even an occupational disease, can disrupt your life, health, finances, and overall wellbeing for years. Workers’ compensation is an insurance system designed to compensate you for these losses if you are injured in a workplace accident. The benefits or payout you receive will depend on your existing condition and wages before you were injured.

Determining a settlement for a work-related injury can be a challenge without help from Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers. That’s because you need to consider several factors to determine the total amount. The compensation usually covers reasonable medical care that you need in order to recover from your injuries.

Determining the Average Payout for Workers’ Compensation

Your Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers will evaluate your case based on certain factors before they come up with a compensable payout:

Scheduled injuries

As per Illinois law, you can receive compensation for the maximum number of weeks for different body parts injured at work. Here is a complete list you can go through. You can determine the total compensation you are owed by multiplying 60% of your average weekly salary by the total number of weeks for the injured body part. Here is an updated list of maximum and minimum weekly benefits for workers’ compensation in the state you should also look into.

Loss of Ability to Perform a Task

Compensation for loss of ability post-injury is calculated differently. The loss percentage is multiplied by 500 to determine the number of weeks of compensation for the worker. These are then multiplied by 60% of the worker’s weekly average salary.

Wage Differential

If a workplace injury forces the worker to accept another job that doesn’t pay as much as the old one, they are owed two-thirds of the wage difference between the two.

Why Workers’ Compensation Calculators Don’t Work

No matter how accurate an online workers’ compensation calculator may seem, they are far from accurate. Some insurance companies try to dupe their policyholders into using them to fool them into accepting a lower claim.

The issue is obvious – these calculators are biased in favor of insurance companies. Too many factors are involved in calculating compensation. An automated solution cannot determine an exact amount. You need to wait till you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before your Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers can determine a precise settlement value. They will discuss all aspects of your claim before they tell you about the payout you are entitled to.

Contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens for a Consultation

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens have represented workers whose compensations have been denied by insurance companies and employers for years. We have more than two decades of experience fighting for their rights and can also get you the compensation you deserve.

So if you or someone you know has been injured at work and their workers’ compensation has been wrongfully denied, get in touch with us for a consultation today. We will take a detailed look at your case before creating a strategy that can work for you. We have recovered millions for our clients and are confident that we can do the same for you if need be.

What Can I Do If My Employer Refuses To Pay Me While Off Due To Injury?

injured at work workers compensation attorneySo you have been on a construction site and busted your head open or broke your arm while trying to lift a heavy load at the office, you can claim compensation as long as you follow the right protocol. This includes ensuring the incident is reported to HR, a visit to the doctor that is pre-approved by your employer, and maintaining records of all of your bills and treatments.

Chances are that you also followed the doctor’s advice to take time off work to recuperate. Since Illinois is a no-fault state, you should be able to get workers’ compensation without the need to prove misconduct or negligence on the part of your employer in order to receive benefits. It should be an open and shut case unless your employer refuses to cooperate.

What You Can Do

If your employer did not purchase worker’s compensation insurance, he/she can face potential penalties and criminal fines. If workers compensation is available, as per the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission, and you are denied benefits post injuries, you can do one of the following:

  1. File a petition with the IWCC for penalties for delayed payments. You can fill out one or all of the boxes under Penalties as per your condition.
  2. File a petition in circuit court asking the court to intervene and make your employer pay up. This is in accordance with the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act and the petition can be filed for free.
  3. Place a call to the Consumer Services Division.

Irrespective of the course you choose to take, make sure you have an experienced and competent worker’s compensation attorney with you. The process can be quite lengthy and complex for the uninitiated. If you try to do this solo, you may end up losing out on the compensation that is owed you whether you live in the state or commute to work there.

Personal Injury Attorney

The good news is that as per Illinois law, employers have no choice but to cooperate. If yours refuses to, you have every right to claim damages and enforce your rights. If you think that your employer is being difficult or delaying compensation deliberately by causing problems, hire a worker’s compensation attorney from the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve irrespective of how influential your boss is. Get in touch with us for a consultation in our offices in Chicago, Libertyville, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Antioch, IL.

See more on our Illinois Workers’ Compensation FAQs page.

What Is An IME And Do I Have To Go?

Independent medical examinationAccording to the Illinois worker’s compensation law, insurance companies have the right to send you to a doctor of their choice for a one-time exam. This is called an independent medical examination (IME) and participation is mandatory. If you fail to go, your benefits can be suspended. This includes medical care, physical therapy, prescription pain medication, doctor consultations, etc.

Benefits of Independent Medical Examination (IME)

Some of the benefits you can get from attending an IME include the following:

  • Get an objective opinion in a medical-legal case against your employer.
  • Resolve concerns and disputes regarding medical treatment and your condition.
  • Reveal obstacles that may otherwise prevent you from getting fast resolutions.
  • Determine a relevant treatment plan.
  • Uncover a missed or inappropriate diagnosis and can also help doctors devise a new treatment plan that can aid your recovery.

What An IME Tries To Achieve

Going to an IME is in your best interest since it achieves the following:

  • Offering treatment recommendations that can speed up recovery.
  • Determine causation to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
  • Figure out the duration of care required.
  • Figure out whether you have acquired the max benefit from the treatment.
  • Determine medical restrictions and the work restrictions you may face because of your condition.
  • Set a relevant target date for your maximum medical improvement status.

You can be sent to a second IME if there is a notable change in your condition or if they need to address a different medical issue. It can be a while till this happens.

Personal Injury Attorney

Generally, insurance companies may ask you to submit to an IME if there is a concern or issue regarding your compensation claim. In some cases, the doctor may wish to declare that you have recovered so that the insurance company can stop paying benefits sooner. This is understandable since these doctors are paid by the insurance companies.

However, if you think you have not recovered sufficiently and are being forced to give up benefits, you have grounds to sue for damages. In this case, you should have competent worker’s compensation lawyers in your corner such as from the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens. Get in touch with us for a consultation in our offices in Chicago, Libertyville, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Antioch, IL. We will have the best in our team on your case.

See more on our Illinois Workers’ Compensation FAQs page.

The Impact of Obesity-Related Conditions on Workers’ Comp Claims

Do have an obesity-related health condition such as hypertension or diabetes? Did you know that it can affect your workers’ compensation claim? Probably not. Today, over 35 percent of Americans are obese, and it is estimated that this figure will rise to 51 percent by 2030. The impact of obesity and related conditions is profound, if you take into account the employer paid healthcare costs for obese workers that mount up to $8 billion annually.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), obesity-related health conditions, especially diabetes, are the culprit behind the rising employee healthcare costs. Approximately 65 percent of the workforce today is obese or morbidly obese. Due to this, the cost and resolution of workers’ comp claims involving obese workers is significantly high.

How Obesity Affects Workers from Performing their Duties

Workers with obesity-related issues face the challenge of meeting the physical requirements of their workplace duties. Obese workers may struggle with:

  • Walking long distances
  • Standing or sitting for long periods
  • Lifting, pulling or pushing, or performing any strenuous activities
  • Reaching above shoulder level
  • Balancing
  • Crouching, climbing, crawling, bending, kneeling, stooping, bending

Obese workers experience difficulty with these and other physical activities because their body isn’t designed to handle the exhausting burden of carrying excessive weight. The joints and spine are incapable of sustaining the force of any type of damage when coupled with excess weight. As a result, weight challenged workers are at a higher risk of workplace injury.

How Obesity Affects Workers’ Comp Claims

An obesity-related disease can affect your work in terms of productivity, focus, and efficiency, and if you sustain a workplace injury, it will impact your workers’ comp claim. The following are some factors that may be considered during the settlement of your claim:

  • Whether having an obesity-related health condition is an independent cause of your incapacity to perform certain duties requiring physical activity
  • Whether the prevalent cause of the injury is work-related conditions or a result of the progressive obesity-related disease

According to a Duke University study, weight challenged workers filed twice as many workers’ comp claims as compared to workers with a healthy BMI. Moreover, the healthcare costs associated with workplace injuries of obese workers were seven times higher, and they took 13 times more days to recover.

Pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, which are the most prevalent obesity-related chronic conditions, significantly increase the medical care costs, and hence affect the workers’ comp claims. In addition, the presence any of these diseases makes the recovery slow and complicated which further contributes to the increasing costs.


Getting help for Workers’ Compensation Claims

The duration, frequency, and severity of workers’ comp claims related to obese workers are quite complicated in nature. It is important that you have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by your side to represent your case. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.

Getting Fair Compensation After a Workplace Injury

There are many working environments where a worker is exposed to many dangers, and takes a risk, to perform job activities that others may simply refuse to do. Employees who take risks when working in such environments can often suffer from an accident that stops them from working altogether.

Workers’ Compensation is the payment made to employees who are injured while performing a job related activity. It is their right to ask for insurance money from their employers to cover the loss of wages as well as to gather enough resources to receive the additional medical help that they require. Their cases often come under the tort of negligence criteria.

There are some steps that you can take in order to the get the compensation amount to cover your losses in the best possible manner.

Seek Legal Representation

Workers’ compensation is hard to receive when dealing individually with the employers, who often have a great number of resources available to them but are unwilling to give them away. Thus, an affected employee needs to quickly discuss the situation with a lawyer who deals especially in compensation cases. A lawyer is able to get the required information from the injured person and present the necessary evidence which ensures that the right compensation can be obtained from an employer.

Employees are responsible to present evidence and obtain the compensation from a relevant authority. An experienced lawyer though, can help a great deal in resolving the issues that arise during a case of obtaining workers’ compensation from a resourceful employer.

Estimate the Required Compensation

You need to estimate the compensation that you require. This estimate should be able to not only cover your medical bills, but ensure that you are able to pay your regular dues such as the apartment rent and utility bills for the period that you are not able to continue your job. A workers’ compensation lawyer will help you in estimating the required compensation benefits that you can present to your employer or take to a legal body in case of a dispute.

You need to ensure that you provide your lawyer with evidence of all the required medical treatments in case of a lasting injury. You also need to record your expenses because in most cases, you can get around two thirds of your regular salary as a monthly compensation.

Covered Injuries

Many workers do not fully understand that workers’ compensation can only be obtained when they are unable to work due to a sudden accident. Compensation can also be obtained when suffering from overuse injuries. Any injury which is caused by a particular work environment factor can be the basis for obtaining the compensation benefits.

Long term problems such as lung diseases and anxiety can also be a cause for compensation as long as the situation merits their appearance due to the working environment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is better equipped to identify the cases where compensation can be obtained from your employer for a number of injuries and medical conditions.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

You can always contact us online or call at (847) 395-2200 and receive a quick reply in order to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.



How to Avoid an Overexertion Injury

There are many different ways a worker can injure themselves on the job. These include falls, impacts with falling or flying objects, being pinned between objects, and vehicle accidents. Sometimes, injuries can also occur through repetitive motions, such as lifting or pulling heavy objects. When this occurs, the worker suffers what is known as an overexertion injury. This is the most common type of injury cited on workers’ compensation claims.

Examples of Overexertion Injuries

When an individual attempts to lift or move an object beyond their physical capabilities, an overexertion injury can occur. These injuries can include strains, sprains, tears, and back and joint injuries.

Examples of actions that can cause overexertion injuries include:

  • Lifting boxes that are too heavy;
  • Carrying heavy items for a prolonged period of time;
  • Sitting, standing, or otherwise remaining in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time;
  • Pushing or pulling objects that are too heavy;
  • Performing repetitive physical tasks; and
  • Working under the stress of a high temperature, hunger, thirst, or poor ventilation.

Ways to Avoid an Overexertion Injury

The most useful way to avoid an overexertion injury is to know your physical capabilities and work within them. If a box is too heavy to carry by yourself, work with a partner to carry it or take objects out of the box until it is light enough to carry. Make multiple trips if you have to. Practice safe lifting techniques, like lifting with your legs, rather than your back.

It is important that you take regular breaks during the work day. During these breaks, take a moment to rest and drink some water. Hydrating yourself is an important key to staying healthy and lowering your risk of injury.

Stretch before you perform any type of physical labor. This warms up the muscles and makes it easier to use them effectively. It is also important to use your footing as a support and a guide when lifting and carrying heavy items. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and be sure your footing is secure. If you cannot be sure of this, do not lift the object. Bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting. Bending or twisting your back while carrying a heavy load can lead to injury.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

Work with a Buffalo Grove Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been injured at work, you could be entitled to receive workers’ compensation to cover the expenses related to your injuries. Follow the correct procedure for notifying your supervisor and filing your claim in Illinois to ensure that your claim remains valid. To further support your claim, work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can advocate for you and help you seek the money you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today to schedule your initial legal consultation with Mr. Edens, where you can discuss the specific details of your case and determine the best way to proceed.