Aurora Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
A serious work injury can change your life overnight. Very quickly, you may find yourself overwhelmed with workers’ compensation forms or struggling to make ends meet because your benefits have stopped. To keep your family afloat, get in touch with the Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, who have been helping injured workers navigate the complicated workers’ compensation claims process for over 40 years.
You probably have a lot of questions right now, and GWC can answer them. Our Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys are fully versed in all applicable laws and regulations governing workers in Illinois. Moreover, they understand what you are going through on a personal level, having spent decades resolving some of the toughest Aurora workers’ compensation claims imaginable. Please call us at (312) 999-9999 or click here to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our dedicated Aurora workers’ compensation lawyers.
When Should I Hire an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Nobody expects to be hurt at work. While many people may have heard of workers’ compensation, often they do not realize just how difficult it can be to obtain benefits. Workers who have been injured on the job need to know their legal rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the other involved parties, such as their employers and their employers’ insurance companies.
A knowledgeable lawyer can help you avoid hidden pitfalls in the claims process, so it is vital to retain the services of one of our Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as you can.
How Long Do I Have to Report a Work Injury?
You should notify your employer of your work injury or illness right away because any delay may jeopardize your ability to receive your benefits. This notice may be given orally or in writing, and you may file a formal Aurora workers’ compensation claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) as well.
Illinois law requires you to inform a boss, foreman, or some other person acting in a supervisory capacity within 45 days of your work injury. Failure to properly report your injury within this window can result in your Aurora workers’ compensation case being disputed or denied by your employer, and any benefits to which you would have otherwise been entitled could be lost forever.
Please note that there may be exceptions to the 45-day time limit, particularly in cases in which you are injured not in one single accident, but rather by repetitive trauma over an extended period. In a situation like this, the date of the injury would be the point at which a person should have become aware of the causal relationship between the fact of the injury and his or her employment, and you would then have 45 days from that date to report your work injury.
But just because you have 45 days to report your injury does not mean that you should wait that long to do so. Ideally, you would inform your employer about any accident that occurs at work the very same day that it happens. The longer you wait to report an injury, the easier it may be for your employer to dispute or deny your Aurora workers’ compensation claim, which is why an experienced Aurora workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm can be essential to protecting your rights.
How Long Do I Have to File an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Claim with the IWCC?
You have three years to file an Aurora workers’ compensation claim with the IWCC, with certain additional conditions that may apply under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. But again, you should act swiftly for the sake of your claim, as any good Aurora workers’ compensation attorney would tell you.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Receive?
The three main benefits that injured workers may receive under the Illinois workers’ compensation system are as follows:
- Medical Benefits — Payment for reasonable and necessary medical treatment that relates to your work injury, covered 100 percent by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company.
- TTD (Temporary Total Disability) Benefits — Weekly payments issued by your employer or its insurance carrier in the event that your doctor has stated that you are unable to work because of your injury.
- PPD (Permanent Partial Disability) Benefits — Compensation for the permanent nature of a work injury based upon the part of the body injured, to be paid either as a lump sum or in installments as part of a structured settlement.
Working with a seasoned Aurora workers’ compensation lawyer will help ensure that you receive all of the benefits you are owed.
What Other Benefits Could I Receive for My Aurora Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In addition to the Aurora workers’ compensation benefits listed above, you could be entitled to group health insurance, unemployment compensation, and Social Security and disability payments as well, depending on your circumstances as an Aurora workers’ compensation claimant.
If you need to change professions because of physical limitations, you may be entitled to Vocational Training at the expense of your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer.
If an injury on the job results in a worker’s death, the spouse and/or the dependents of that worker may be entitled to benefits that are enumerated in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
For a more comprehensive explanation of the benefits available to you, contact one of GWC’s veteran Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys.
Who Pays for My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Either your employer or your employer’s insurance company should pay for your Aurora workers’ compensation benefits.
What If I Am at Fault for My Work Injury?
Illinois has a no-fault system of workers’ compensation, which means that you will not need to prove that your employer, co-employee, or anyone else was at fault for your work injury to qualify for Aurora workers’ compensation benefits. As long as you are a traditional employee and have been hurt in the course and scope of your employment, you should be able to initiate a viable Aurora workers’ compensation claim even if your actions contributed to your injury.
What If Somebody Is at Fault for My Work Injury?
While you do not need to prove that someone else was at fault to qualify for Aurora workers’ compensation benefits, there are instances in which you might be able to recover additional funds from an outside individual or entity through a third-party claim.
For example, if you drive as part of your job and get into a car accident while on duty, you could have a case against the driver of the vehicle that hit you, its owner (if different from the driver), their insurance companies, and perhaps other parties as well. Depending on the nature of your work injury, third-party defendants might also include (among others):
- Property owners
- Project developers
- General contractors and subcontractors
- Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of defective products
- Government agencies
While a settlement for your Aurora workers’ compensation claim could be capped by your average weekly wage and other aspects of your position, a third-party case could allow you to recover for the totality of your losses, assuming the defendant has sufficient insurance coverage and/or assets.
Furthermore, pursuing a third-party case for your work injury will not prohibit you from filing for or receiving Aurora workers’ compensation benefits too. However, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier has the right to insert a lien of subrogation on your third-party claim so that it can be reimbursed for the expenditures it has made. Moreover, unlike your workers’ compensation claim, which is no-fault, you will need to prove liability to succeed in a third-party claim, where economic responsibility is determined by negligence.
Negligence occurs when a party fails to take reasonable care to avoid inflicting harm. If you are claiming negligence as part of your third-party lawsuit, then you are alleging that a defendant breached this duty and caused you injuries, for which he or she should be financially liable.
When you share some of the blame for your injuries, whether or not your third-party case can prevail will depend heavily upon the extent of that blame. If you are not more than 50 percent responsible, recovery may be possible, though the amount of recovery may be reduced by the percentage of your responsibility. But if you are more than 50 percent responsible, you would likely not recover anything for your third-party claim – though you may still be eligible to receive Aurora workers’ compensation benefits.
GWC’s accomplished personal injury lawyers will analyze the facts leading up to your work injury and determine whether you have grounds for a third-party case in addition to an Aurora workers’ compensation claim.
Reasons for Denying an Aurora Workers’ Compensation Claim
Though Illinois has a no-fault workers’ compensation system, that does not mean that your claim will automatically be accepted. Your Aurora workers’ compensation claim could be denied if you were hurt while you were:
- Participating in activities in the workplace that are not part of your standard job duties, such as pranks, fighting, wrestling, playing games, and other types of horseplay.
- Away from the workplace, unless your employer specifically ordered you to be at the location as part of your job.
- Commuting to or from work, unless you were traveling for the benefit of your employer.
- Engaged in work as an independent contractor, not as a traditional employee. It should be noted that you may still recover Aurora workers’ compensation benefits even as an “independent contractor” when your employment status has been misclassified. If your attorney can convince the arbitrator or commissioner in your case that you were effectively an employee in all but name only, your claim may be upheld.
What Our Aurora Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Do for You
Should you decide to retain GWC Injury Lawyers as your Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys, we will launch a comprehensive investigation into the causes of your workplace accident in order to identify all avenues of recovery, including the potential for third-party claims. We will be sure to meet all statutory requirements and deadlines for establishing a valid claim – a bureaucratic oversight will never happen under the watchful eyes of our Aurora workers’ compensation lawyers.
Finally, GWC will personally represent you in all hearings, court appearances, and trials, fully conveying your damages to secure the maximum recovery allowed to you under the law for your Aurora workers’ compensation case. Maximizing your settlement is crucial to restoring your health because on-the-job injuries can be extreme, sometimes resulting in long-term or even permanent disability. Fortunately, GWC can provide the reassurance and reliability that more than 40 years of practice can bring.
Regardless of the nature of your work-related injury, GWC’s Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys will do everything within their power to get you what you deserve.
How Do Aurora Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Get Paid?
Our Aurora workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that legal fees and other case-related expenses will only be due after we bring your Aurora workers’ compensation case to a favorable resolution.
When you contact GWC and request a free case evaluation with an Aurora workers’ compensation lawyer, there is truly no obligation and you will pay us nothing unless you win.
Contact GWC’s Aurora Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
It does not matter where you are in the workers’ compensation claims process – whether you have recently suffered an on-the-job injury or just had your Aurora workers’ compensation claim denied. Even if you only suspect your pain or illness is from a workplace accident, a repetitive task, or exposure to dangerous materials, contact GWC’s Aurora workers’ compensation lawyers today. We will evaluate your work injury and advise you of the best plan of action to take for your claim.
At GWC Injury Lawyers, we work as hard as we can on your behalf so that you can focus on the most important thing – getting well again. If you were injured on the job in Aurora, please call our office at (312) 999-9999 or click here to discuss the matter with an Aurora workers’ compensation attorney.