Naperville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Whether a Naperville resident works for a major local employer like Edward Hospital or Nokia or one of the many smaller businesses in the area, an on-the-job accident can put the future at risk.
If you are an injured worker struggling to make your way through the claims process, get in touch with the Naperville workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, where we have been standing up for the hardworking people of Naperville for over 40 years.
No case is too daunting or adversary too intimidating for our Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers. They are fully versed in every aspect of the Illinois workers’ compensation system and eager to share their decades of wisdom and experience with you. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled Naperville workers’ compensation attorney, please call us at (312) 999-9999 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.
When Should You Retain a Naperville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
It can be hard to know what to do or where to turn in the aftermath of a work accident. You may have heard of workers’ compensation but are unsure of what benefits are available or how to obtain them. If you do not understand your rights and responsibilities under the law, much less the rights and responsibilities of your employer and its Naperville workers’ compensation insurance provider, getting your life back to normal can be an uphill battle.
A seasoned lawyer will know what you are owed and make sure that you get it. For this reason, you should consider retaining a Naperville workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible — ideally right after your work injury – before you make a rookie mistake that stalls your claim.
When Do You Need to Report a Work Injury?
You should not delay in reporting a work injury or illness, as it is a necessary precondition for receiving Naperville workers’ compensation benefits. Notice may be given either in writing or verbally, and you could file a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) as well.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires you to report your work injury to your employer, foreman, or someone else acting in a supervisory capacity within 45 days of its occurrence. Neglecting to give proper notice within this window could lead to your Naperville workers’ compensation claim being rejected by your employer or its insurance provider, which may prevent you from receiving benefits.
It is worth noting that you MIGHT have longer than 45 days to give notice when your work injury is not one that would be readily apparent, but rather a condition that develops over time through repetitive trauma, like carpal tunnel syndrome, or exposure to dangerous substances, like mesothelioma. With injuries of this kind, your date of injury would be considered the point at which you should have known that you had suffered harm because of your employment. You would then have 45 days from that date to give notice.
But having 45 days to report a work injury does not mean you should wait that long to do so. Holding up your case could cast doubt on the relationship between your employment and your damages, increasing the chance of an unfair denial of your Naperville workers’ compensation claim. When this happens, GWC’s Naperville workers’ compensation attorneys will be ready to fight back.
When Do You Need to File a Claim with the IWCC?
After informing their employers, many workers go on to file their Naperville workers’ compensation claims with the IWCC, which will accept applications up to three years after the date of a work injury. Once again, though, a knowledgeable attorney would urge you not to wait three years to take advantage of the legal protections that a formal Naperville workers’ compensation claim could provide.
Common Naperville Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Illinois workers’ compensation system offers a range of benefits to petitioners. Some of the most common Naperville workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Medical Benefits — Reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work injury should be covered.
- TTD (Temporary Total Disability) Benefits — Employees whose doctors insist that they need to stay home while they recuperate are eligible to receive regular payments equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the duration of their absence.
- PPD (Permanent Partial Disability) Benefits — In the event of a permanent injury from a work accident, a lump sum or structured settlement may be awarded, with the amount of compensation calculated from the degree of impairment and the part of the body impaired.
These are the three main benefits for Naperville workers’ compensation claimants, but they are far from the only ones they may receive. Under certain circumstances, unemployment, group health insurance, and Social Security and disability benefits may be on the table, along with Vocational Training when a work injury necessitates a change in careers. The surviving spouse and/or dependents of a worker killed on the job could also qualify for benefits enumerated in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
To learn more about the benefits you could receive and how to receive them, contact GWC’s Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers, who have a proven track record successfully advocating for injured employees.
What Will Your Naperville Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cost?
No matter what Naperville workers’ compensation benefits you obtain, the cost to you should remain the same: nothing at all. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that employers or their insurers fully cover approved benefits, though that does not mean they will always do so willingly.
If payment is being withheld by an obstinate employer or insurance company, our Naperville workers’ compensation attorneys will do what it takes to make things right.
Do You Need to Prove Somebody Else Is at Fault for Your Work Injury?
The Illinois workers’ compensation system is no-fault, so you do not need to prove that your employer, coworker, or anybody else caused your work injury for your Naperville workers’ compensation claim to be valid. Assuming you were injured while acting in the course and scope of your employment as a traditional employee, you should be able to get your Naperville workers’ compensation benefits.
What If You Were at Fault for Your Work Injury?
Under this no-fault system, you would likely still qualify for benefits even if YOU were at fault for your work injury. As long as you were engaged in your specified duties as an employee, a mistake you made should not prohibit a capable Naperville workers’ compensation attorney from securing the benefits to which you are entitled.
Can a Naperville Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?
As you can see, the no-fault workers’ compensation system in Illinois grants a lot of latitude for claimants to receive benefits regardless of fault, but that does not mean that your Naperville workers’ compensation claim can never be denied. On the contrary, your request for benefits may be rejected if you were hurt while you were:
- Not at your place of employment, unless you were told you to be at that location for your job.
- Traveling away from or to your place of employment, unless you were doing so for the benefit of your employer.
- Engaging in conduct that was not part of the duties of your job, such as playing pranks or games, fighting or wrestling, or participating in horseplay.
- Performing work as an independent contractor rather than as a conventional employee, unless you can show that you were really an employee in all but name only. Our Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers have the deep understanding of all relevant employment laws needed to build and present a persuasive case of employee misclassification to an arbitrator or commissioner that can help you obtain wrongfully denied benefits when the facts warrant it.
Can You Sue for Your Work Injury?
The no-fault nature of Naperville workers’ compensation claims works both ways. Just as it allows employees to recover for work injuries when they are at fault, it similarly provides limited liability protection for employers when THEY are at fault. If you are hurt at work because of the actions of your employer, you will not be able to sue that employer in most instances.
However, if an outside individual or entity caused your work injury, you may be able to obtain greater compensation through a third-party case against that individual or entity.
For example, if you are driving as part of your job, and you get hurt in a car accident involving someone who does not work for your employer, you could file a lawsuit or initiate a claim against the driver who hit you, the owner of his or her vehicle (if different from the driver), their insurance providers, and maybe others as well. Depending on your work injury, defendants for a third-party case could include (among others):
- General contractors and subcontractors on construction projects
- Property developers and owners
- Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of unsafe goods
- Government agencies
While attributes of your employment such as average weekly wage may cap how much you recover through a Naperville workers’ compensation claim, a third-party case could permit recovery for the entirety of your losses, assuming that the defendants have sufficient insurance coverage or assets.
Moreover, you can pursue a third-party case on top of a claim for Naperville workers’ compensation benefits for the same incident – it does not have to be a choice between one or the other. That being said, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may insert a lien of subrogation on your third-party case so that it can be reimbursed for what it pays out on your Naperville workers’ compensation claim.
And unlike a Naperville workers’ compensation claim, which is no-fault, you will need to prove that third-party defendants are at fault for your injuries, typically because of negligence, a legal term for the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm.
In third-party cases in which the blame can be shared between you and the defendants, the degree to which you are at fault will determine the viability of your case. If you are 50 percent at fault or less, you may be able to obtain compensation, though it could be reduced by the percentage of your liability. If you are more than 50 percent at fault, your third-party case will probably fail, though you might still be able to receive your Naperville workers’ compensation benefits.
Our Naperville workers’ compensation attorneys will analyze the facts leading up to your injury and decide if you have grounds for a third-party case in addition to a Naperville workers’ compensation claim.
What Our Naperville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Do for You
When you retain the Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers at GWC, we will launch a comprehensive investigation into the causes of your on-the-job injury and the potential avenues of economic recovery for it. Our detail-oriented team of attorneys will satisfy all regulations and deadlines so that a bureaucratic oversight does not hinder your Naperville workers’ compensation case.
Furthermore, we will be in your corner at every hearing, court appearance, and trial that arises, endeavoring to get you top dollar for your claim, just as GWC’s Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers have been doing for generations of injured employees.
And if you are concerned about committing to more expenditures at this moment, you should know that GWC works on a contingency fee basis. This means that it will not cost you anything up front to hire our firm. Only when our Naperville workers’ compensation attorneys bring your case to a favorable conclusion will we seek payment for our services and out-of-pocket expenses.
At GWC Injury Lawyers, you won’t pay until we win your Naperville workers’ compensation case.
Reach Out to Our Naperville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Now
No matter if you have just been hurt on the job or have already had your claim rejected, reach out to our Naperville workers’ compensation lawyers now to discover how GWC Injury Lawyers can get you and your family the justice you deserve.