Champaign Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Champaign is home to more than 88,000 residents, and most of them go to work each day to support themselves and their families. Whether they are employed at a major institution of learning like the University of Illinois, a Fortune 500 company, or one of the countless smaller businesses in the Champaign area, a single accident can be all it takes to put the future at risk.
If your Champaign work injury has left you buried under a mountain of claim forms or struggling to pay your bills because your benefits have recently dried up, reach out to the Champaign workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, who have been fiercely advocating for injured clients for more than four decades.
Our Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers are fully versed in every aspect of the Illinois workers’ compensation system and routinely bring that knowledge to bear on some of the most challenging Champaign workers’ compensation claims around – and they are ready to do the same for you. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our accomplished Champaign workers’ compensation attorneys, please call us at (312) 999-9999 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.
When Should You Hire a Champaign Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
If you have been hurt at work in Champaign, it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn. While you may have heard of workers’ compensation, you might not be sure of what benefits are available, much less how to obtain them. And if you do not completely understand your legal rights and responsibilities as an injured employee, as well as those of your employer and its insurance provider, your chances of full recovery for your Champaign workers’ compensation claim may be very slim.
Hiring a skilled Champaign workers’ compensation lawyer right away can tip the odds in your favor and allow you to steer clear of hidden obstacles in the claims process that would otherwise trip you up.
Who Pays for Your Champaign Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The cost of your Champaign workers’ compensation benefits should be covered entirely by your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
What Champaign Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can You Receive?
Qualified claimants may be entitled to a variety of benefits under the Illinois workers’ compensation system. The three chief Champaign workers’ compensation benefits are as follows:
- Medical Benefits — Reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury should be covered.
- TTD (Temporary Total Disability) Benefits — If your doctor orders you off of work because of your injury, you should be eligible to receive payments equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage during your absence, to be issued by your employer or the company providing its Champaign workers’ compensation coverage.
- PPD (Permanent Partial Disability) Benefits — If you suffer a permanent injury from your work accident, compensation may be available either as a lump sum or in installments as part of a structured settlement, with the final amount based on the part of the body impacted and the extent of the impairment.
In addition to these benefits, a Champaign workers’ compensation claim could entitle a worker to group health insurance, unemployment compensation, or Social Security and disability benefits. A claimant could receive Vocational Training if a change in careers is necessary because of physical limitations, to be funded by the claimant’s employer or its insurance carrier.
If a worker dies because of an injury on the job, the surviving spouse and/or dependents may be able to access certain benefits detailed in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
GWC’s Champaign workers’ compensation attorneys will advise you of every benefit that might be accessible to you and work to make sure that you receive the ones you are owed if you pursue a Champaign workers’ compensation claim.
When Do You Have to Report Your Work Injury?
You should never delay in reporting your work injury or illness to your employer, as it could put your ability to receive your Champaign workers’ compensation benefits in jeopardy. Notice will need to be given either verbally or in writing, and you might also file a formal claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).
Under Illinois law, you must report your work injury to your boss, foreman, or some other supervisor within 45 days of its occurrence. Failure to give notice properly within this timeframe may cause your employer or its insurance company to dispute or deny your Champaign workers’ compensation claim, forever barring you from getting your workers’ compensation benefits.
Some exceptions to this 45-day window may exist, especially when your work injury involves repetitive trauma or exposure to hazardous substances over a prolonged period. When this happens, the date of injury would be the point at which you should have become aware of the causal relationship between your employment and your work injury, and you would then have 45 days from that date to report it.
But do not wait 45 days to report your work injury just because you have 45 days to do so! Instead, notify your employer immediately, ideally on the date of the incident, because the longer you wait, the more easily your Champaign workers’ compensation claim can be disputed or even denied outright. In the event of a denial, a veteran Champaign workers’ compensation lawyer can be invaluable in preserving your rights under the law.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim with the IWCC?
Should you decide to file a Champaign workers’ compensation claim with the IWCC, you will have three years from the date of injury to do so, with additional requirements that may apply under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. However, as a capable Champaign workers’ compensation attorney will tell you, prompt action is always preferable to unnecessary delay when it comes to filing a claim.
What If You Are Responsible for Your Work Injury?
The State of Illinois has a no-fault system of workers’ compensation. As long as you have been hurt while acting in the course and scope of your employment as a traditional employee, you should be able to establish a Champaign workers’ compensation case regardless of who is responsible for your work injury. You will not need to prove that your employer, co-worker, or anyone else caused the injury, and you most likely will not be denied benefits even if you contributed to the accident in which you were injured.
What If Somebody Else Is Responsible for Your Work Injury?
Even though you do not need to establish fault in order to file a Champaign workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to recover additional compensation if an outside party is responsible for your work injury through a third-party case.
As an example, if you are the victim of an auto accident while you are on duty, you could pursue a third-party case against the driver who hit you, the owner of his or her vehicle (if separate from the driver), their insurance provider or providers, and perhaps other individuals or entities too. Further third-party defendants for a work injury could include (among others):
- Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of dangerous products
- General contractors and subcontractors on construction projects
- Property developers and owners
- Government bodies
Certain aspects of your employment may cap the value of your Champaign workers’ compensation claim, such as your average weekly wage, but a third-party case could allow you to be reimbursed for the entirety of your damages, provided that the defendants have enough insurance and/or assets to cover them.
Furthermore, a work-related third-party case will not prohibit you from filing for Champaign workers’ compensation benefits for that same incident, though your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may insert a lien of subrogation on your third-party case to be remunerated for its expenditures.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that, unlike a no-fault workers’ compensation claim, your third-party case will require you to prove that someone else is at fault for your injuries, usually as a result of negligence, which is the failure to take reasonable care to avoid inflicting harm.
If you are at least partially responsible for the accident in question, the extent to which you are responsible may determine whether or not you can have a third-party case. If you are not more than 50 percent at fault, you may still recover compensation, but the amount may be reduced by the percentage you are at fault. If, however, you are more than 50 percent at fault, your third-party case will probably fail, though you might still receive Champaign workers’ compensation benefits.
GWC’s Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers will examine the causes of your work injury and determine whether there is a basis for a third-party case in addition to a Champaign workers’ compensation claim.
Why Your Champaign Workers’ Compensation Claim May Be Denied
The Illinois workers’ compensation system may be no-fault, but that does not mean that your Champaign workers’ compensation claim will be approved automatically. In fact, your claim may be denied if you were injured while you were:
- Commuting to or from your workplace, unless you were traveling for your employer’s benefit.
- Not at your workplace, unless your employer told you to be at that location as part of your job.
- Participating in activities that were not part of your standard job duties, such as fighting, wrestling, taking part in pranks, playing games, and other kinds of horseplay.
- Working as an independent contractor rather than as a classical employee. In certain situations, your employment status may have been misclassified, such that you are really an employee in all but name only. If your lawyer can prove that you should not be considered an independent contractor because of the factors of your employment, you may still be approved to collect your Champaign workers’ compensation benefits.
How Our Champaign Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help
If you choose to hire the Champaign workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, we will thoroughly investigate the causes of your workplace injury and look for all means of financial recovery, including a third-party case when the circumstances warrant it. Our meticulous workers’ compensation lawyers will never allow a mistake to prevent you from establishing a valid claim, taking pains to satisfy every deadline and statutory requirement.
We will be at your side during all hearings, court appearances, and trials, exhaustively conveying your damages to recover the maximum compensation for your Champaign workers’ compensation case, which can be essential for restoring your health when devastating workplace accidents inflict catastrophic injuries. The Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers at our firm have been getting top results for injured employees for more than 40 years. Let us share the benefits of that experience with you and your family.
No matter what kind of work injury you suffered, GWC Injury Lawyers will do everything within its power to get you what you deserve.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Champaign Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
It will cost you nothing up front to hire our firm because GWC works on a contingency fee basis. Legal costs and other case-related expenses will not have to be paid until our Champaign workers’ compensation attorneys bring your case to a favorable resolution.
You truly have no obligation when you request a no-cost case evaluation with a workers’ compensation lawyer at GWC, and you will owe us nothing unless we win.
Talk to Our Champaign Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Whether you have only just been hurt or you have already had your claim denied, talk to our Champaign workers’ compensation lawyers today to learn how you can get full benefits under the law.
At GWC Injury Lawyers, our team of battle-tested workers’ compensation professionals will work tirelessly on your behalf so that you can focus all your efforts on becoming well again. If you have been seriously injured on the job in Champaign, please call our office at (312) 999-9999 or click here to explore your legal options with a Champaign workers’ compensation attorney.