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.

What Do I Need to Tell a Doctor After an Injury?

What to do after an injury, seeing a doctor, workers compensation lawyerMany of us will skip the doctor’s visit after an accident, especially if the injury seems negligible. Seeing a doctor is important from a healthcare and legal standpoint. What appears a simple headache may exacerbate into a traumatic brain injury, or a cut may get infected if you don’t seek immediate healthcare treatment. Besides, your healthcare providers’ medical records can serve as valuable evidence when it’s time to file your personal injury claim. If you’re wondering what to do after an injury, or more specifically, what to discuss with your doctor, this guide is for you.

What to Discuss With Your Doctor After an Injury

According to this post from Avvo, in order to get the best care as well as the most settlement money for an injury you need to see a doctor within 72 hours of an accident.

What Caused the Injury

Instead of just informing that you have a headache, for instance, inform the doctor about the cause of the problem, such as a recent vehicle collision or a slip and fall. In fact, share the precise details of the incident. This will help the doctor better understand your situation, and they develop an effective treatment plan.

Also, your doctor will document all this information, relating it to your medical conditions. Since investigators look for this connection in personal injury cases, it will make your case stronger when you sue the person responsible for your injury.

Your Pre-Existing Health Conditions

Don’t think that there’s no point in disclosing your past health conditions or injuries to the doctor. If you have asthma, diabetes, or faced a back injury two years ago, sharing this information with your doctor can directly impact the healing process.

Ask What Your Future Treatment Will Involve

Depending on the seriousness of your injury, the healing process can be lengthy and uncertain. Understanding what your future treatment looks like should mentally prepare you as well as help you estimate the cost of medications, physical therapy, and surgeries that you may seek compensation for.

Ask Whether You Should Continue Working or Not?

Some people are so overly loyal to their employers that they’ll continue to work even after sustaining severe injuries in a collision. The determination is undeniably commendable but can prove detrimental to their long-term health. Since working through the pain can exacerbate the condition or cause another injury, ask your healthcare provider about the work-related limitations you should be considering.

Personal Injury Attorney

By now, you should not just be aware of what to do after an injury but also what to discuss upon seeing a doctor. Moving ahead, your top-most concern should be to find a worker’s compensation lawyer to help you file your claim. For extraordinary assistance, contact Robert T. Edens, an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer serving in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock, and Antioch, IL.

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation For Contracting COVID At Work?

Workers' CompensationThe COVID-19 pandemic has forced more employees in their homes due to quarantine than businesses can handle. While granting worker’s compensation in these unprecedented times is tricky, professionals that deserve to be compensated are frontline and healthcare workers who are on the front lines trying to keep the pandemic at bay. COVID has caused record-high unemployment in Illinois, as well as most areas of the U.S.

Similar to other occupational illnesses, an employee has the right to seek workers’ comp benefits for medical treatment and lost wages related to the COVID-19 virus. If you wondering if you can receive workers’ compensation for COVID-19, the short answer is ‘yes,’ but only when certain criteria are met. Here’s what you need to know.

COVID-19 as an Occupational Disease or Illness

According to circumstances, the coronavirus pandemic can be considered as an occupational disease or illness because it is highly contagious and spreads quickly. Worker’s compensation covers occupational disease if it arises out of the course of employment. Since the disease spreads like wildfire, an infected super spreader can infect several others in his/her vicinity on the first contact.

A number of factors have to be met for this criterion to be effective. This includes the following:

  • It can be traced back to the place of employment to determine proximate cause.
  • There is a direct connection of the disease with the work conditions under which work is performed.
  • It does not originate from a hazard to which other workers would have been exposed if they were not in the workplace.
  • The disease manifestation was the result of a natural incident that cropped up at work or due to exposure caused by the nature of the employment.

In other words, if there is a direct connection between your work duties and COVID-19 exposure, you are eligible for worker’s compensation. However, this only applies to health care professionals or first responders who naturally have higher chances of contracting the disease in the course of their work.

Your Attorney Should Be Moving Forward With Your Case

If you are concerned court is not taking place due to COVID, it still is – just not in-person. The vast majority of court cases are proceeding forward via Zoom or other platforms. COVID-19 should not be a reason to delay filing your workers’ compensation case.

HB 2455

This is not just hearsay. June 5, 2020, Illinois Governor, JB Pritzker signed HB 2455 into law, allowing worker’s compensation coverage for this sector of the workforce. By putting this law into practice, Illinois effectively became the latest state to allow a presumption of the coverage that specifically covers COVID-19. Besides the state, Kentucky, Alaska, Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, California, and other states had signed similar laws into practice.


Personal Injury Attorney

If you are a frontline or healthcare worker and your employer refuses to provide or withhold workers’ compensation from you, you need a workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner because you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Get in touch with an employment law attorney who specializes in such cases at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens today. You can reach us at our offices in Chicago, Libertyville, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Antioch, IL. See more on our Illinois Workers’ Compensation FAQs page.