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Joliet Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Joliet is the third largest city in Illinois, with a population of over 150,000 residents, many of whom work for major employers in the area like Amazon, Amita Health, and Harrah’s. But whether you are employed at a Fortune 500 company or a small family business, an accident on the job can quickly put you on the path to ruin.

If you are struggling to negotiate your way through a mass of paperwork or having trouble making ends meet because your benefits have been cut off, get in touch with the Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers. We have been standing up for injured clients with some of the most challenging Joliet workers’ compensation claims for over four decades, and we are ready to do the same for you.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our accomplished Joliet workers’ compensation lawyers, please call us at (312) 999-9999 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.

How Soon Do You Need to Hire a Joliet Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A work injury can be a traumatic event, especially if you have not suffered one before. You may have heard of others who have filed Joliet workers’ compensation claims, but you might not be sure how to do that or what you could receive for your injuries if you do. The reality is that your chances of recovering Joliet workers’ compensation benefits may be slim if you do not understand your legal rights and responsibilities as an injured employee, or the rights and responsibilities of your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance company.

To avoid making mistakes that may be harmful to your claim, consider hiring GWC’s knowledgeable Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as you can. Our team of lawyers will help you steer clear of the various obstacles that may be hidden throughout the claims process.

What Benefits Can You Receive for Your Joliet Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Once your Joliet workers’ compensation lawyer establishes your claim, a range of benefits may be available to you under the Illinois workers’ compensation system. Three of the most common Joliet workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Medical Benefits — Medical treatment for your work injury should be covered, though it must be deemed reasonable and necessary.
  • TTD (Temporary Total Disability) Benefits — When your treating physician diagnoses you as unable to report to work because of your injury, you could receive regular payments equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the duration of your absence.
  • PPD (Permanent Partial Disability) Benefits — If you sustain permanent impairment secondary to your work injury, you could obtain a PPD settlement either as a lump sum or paid out in structured installments, with the value of that settlement calculated based on the level of your impairment and the part of your body impaired.

In addition to these core benefits, your Joliet workers’ compensation claim could entitle you to unemployment compensation, group health insurance, or Social Security and disability benefits. If your post-injury physical limitations necessitate a change in employment, you might be eligible for Vocational Training to prepare you for a new career.

When an on-the-job injury takes a worker’s life, his or her spouse and/or dependents may qualify for survivor benefits enumerated in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

Our Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys can explain the benefits you might be able to obtain and work to make sure you obtain them if you decide to pursue a claim.

Do You Have to Pay for Your Joliet Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Under Illinois law, your employer or its insurance carrier must cover your approved Joliet workers’ compensation benefits, so you should never have to pay anything for the benefits you are qualified to receive. Nevertheless, these parties may sometimes withhold payment for disputed benefits, and a capable Joliet workers’ compensation lawyer may need to take action so that you can continue to get the benefits you need at no cost to you.

When Should You Report Your Work Injury?

In order to receive any workers’ compensation benefits at all, you or your attorney must first open a claim, which requires you to report your work injury or illness to your employer. Notice has to be given either verbally or in writing, and you could file a formal claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) as well.

According to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, you need to inform your boss, foreman, or some other supervisor about your work injury within 45 days of its occurrence. If you fail to do so, your employer or its insurance provider could dispute or deny your Joliet workers’ compensation claim, which could prohibit you from ever receiving benefits.

There may be certain exceptions to this 45-day time limit, such as when your work injury develops over an extended period from repetitive trauma or exposure to hazardous substances. In a scenario like this, your date of injury would be the point at which you should have discovered the causal relationship between your employment and your injury, and you would have 45 days from that date in which to report it.

Regardless of the nature of your work injury, it is best to notify your employer about it immediately, ideally on the date of the incident, instead of waiting 45 days to do so. The more you delay, the easier it can be to contest or reject your Joliet workers’ compensation claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Joliet Workers’ Compensation Claim with the IWCC?

You have as long as three years from the date of injury to file a Joliet workers’ compensation claim with the IWCC, with further requirements that may need to be satisfied under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. But as any workers’ compensation attorney will tell you, unnecessary delays will only hinder your claim, so do not wait three years before filing it.

Can You Pursue a Claim If You Are at Fault for a Work Injury?

Illinois has a no-fault workers’ compensation system, so you do not need to prove somebody else was responsible for your work injury to pursue a claim. If your injury was incurred while you were acting in the course and scope of your employment as a classical employee, you most likely will not be denied your Joliet workers’ compensation benefits even if you were at fault for the accident in which you were injured.

Can Your Joliet Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?

The fact that Illinois has a no-fault system of workers’ compensation does not necessarily mean that your Joliet workers’ compensation claim will be accepted. On the contrary, your claim could be denied for numerous reasons, including if you were hurt while you were:

  • Not at your workplace, unless you were instructed to be at a remote location for your job.
  • Traveling to or from your workplace, unless you were doing so for the benefit of your employer.
  • Taking part in activities that were not part of your standard job duties, such as pulling pranks, wrestling, fighting, playing games, or otherwise engaging in horseplay.
  • Working as an independent contractor instead of as a traditional employee, unless your employment status has been misclassified. An arbitrator or commissioner may overturn your denial and approve your Joliet workers’ compensation benefits if your lawyer can show that the conditions of your employment mean that you are really an employee in all but name only.

Can You Go After Somebody Else for Your Work Injury?

You may not need to prove fault in a Joliet workers’ compensation claim, but greater compensation may be recoverable through a third-party case when an outside party is at fault for your work injury.

For example, if you are ordered to drive as part of your job and get into a motor vehicle accident while you are on the clock, you could pursue a third-party case against the driver who caused the accident, the owner of that driver’s vehicle (if different from the driver), their insurance carriers, and maybe other individuals or entities as well. Depending on the circumstances of your work injury, third-party defendants could also include (among others):

  • Property owners
  • Developers, contractors, and subcontractors on construction projects
  • Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of defective products
  • Government agencies

While your average weekly wage and other aspects of your job may cap your recovery in a Joliet workers’ compensation claim, a third-party case could permit you to be compensated for the full spectrum of your losses, assuming the defendants have sufficient insurance coverage and/or assets on hand.

Moreover, you are allowed to pursue a third-party case at the same time as your Joliet workers’ compensation claim, which could provide you with at least two sources of recovery for your work accident. That being said, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company is allowed to insert a lien of subrogation on your third-party case so that it can be reimbursed for its expenditures on your behalf.

And unlike your Joliet workers’ compensation claim, you will need to prove fault for your third-party case to be viable, usually by demonstrating the defendant’s negligence, which is a legal term for the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm.

In certain instances, both you and the defendant may share blame. When this happens, how much blame can be assigned to you will determine whether or not you can have a third-party case. If you are 50 percent at fault or less, you could probably recover economic damages, but the amount awarded may be reduced by your percentage of blame. However, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, a third-party case may not be possible, though Joliet workers’ compensation benefits may still be on the table.

The Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC will analyze your work accident and assess whether there are avenues of recovery outside of your Joliet workers’ compensation claim.

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How Our Joliet Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Make a Difference

If you choose to retain GWC, our Joliet workers’ compensation lawyers will launch a comprehensive investigation into your workplace accident and all the ways to recover for it within the time allotted by law. We will take pains to meet every statutory requirement and deadline so that a bureaucratic oversight will not stop you from initiating a valid Joliet workers’ compensation claim.

Our Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys will be your staunch advocates every step of the way, providing an exhaustive account of your damages at each hearing, court appearance, and trial so that you can recover maximum compensation for your Joliet workers’ compensation case. For more than 40 years, we have been getting injured employees the resources they need to become whole again, earning the respect of our peers and adversaries alike.

We are proud of our well-earned reputation of success, but we are not content to rest on it. Instead, our Joliet workers’ compensation lawyers will always strive to get you and your family what you deserve.

How Much Will a Joliet Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?

You may be concerned about spending more money at this moment, but it will cost you nothing up front to hire us because our firm works on a contingency fee basis. We will not seek payment for our services or out-of-pocket expenses until our Joliet workers’ compensation attorneys favorably resolve your case.

When you join forces with the skilled lawyers at GWC, you will truly owe us nothing unless we win.

Consult a Joliet Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

It doesn’t matter where you are in the Joliet workers’ compensation claims process. You may have just been hurt or already had your claim denied. Even if you only suspect that your injury or illness is related to your employment, we invite you to consult a Joliet workers’ compensation lawyer today.

Dial (312) 999-9999 or click here for a no-cost case evaluation at GWC Injury Lawyers, where we are willing to take on all the burdens involved in building your Joliet workers’ compensation case so you can focus your energies on what is most important – restoring your health.