Workers’ compensation is an area of personal injury law that operates slightly differently than with other accident cases. The employer and their insurance company play a significant role, while benefits are doled out on a routine basis as opposed to a lump sum commonly seen in other settlements or verdicts. A skilled workers’ comp attorney could explain to you all of the unique aspects of Elgin workers’ compensation claims in order to alleviate any stress you may have.
Choosing a Doctor After a Workplace Accident
Many injured workers do not know that they can choose their doctor after a workplace injury and instead go to the hospital or clinic that their employer provides for them. It is recommended that injured workers use their choice of physician and get independent treatment. In many cases, they are not required to use the physician that is provided by the employer.
Typically, on the day that a person gets injured they will have to take a drug test from a specific employer-sanctioned healthcare provider in order to prove that the accident was not related to substance abuse. After that, they can get an independent medical evaluation from a professional of their choosing, unless the employer’s insurance company firmly states that they must see one of the health care providers they have approved of.
How a Legal Advocate Moves the Case Along
A lawyer in Elgin could play a large role in helping a person obtain workers’ compensation by providing guidance through some of the more unique aspects of the law. They can help the employee get their benefits started by gathering medical records and sending them to the insurance adjuster, which often takes time. The sooner this task is accomplished, the sooner the first benefit check can arrive. The worker might take their off-work doctor’s note to their supervisor but it is not guaranteed that that note gets to the insurance company which is providing the check. A lawyer could verify that communication is happening and help justify the need for work benefits.
The area where a lawyer can be of the most value is in regards to permanent partial disability. Sometimes an insurance company will not make an offer for disability, claiming that they paid the medical bills and time off compensation and thus the case is closed. For a worker who does not know their rights, they might accept that answer, missing out on much-needed relief. Even if they do get an offer of benefits, they might not know if it is good or bad for them. Lawyers could compare the payout to that of prior similar cases to determine if it is an acceptable amount.
How Does Worker’s Compensation Apply to Future Needs?
If, after a person has been fully treated for their injury they are still unable to go back to work, the workers’ compensation law still protects them by accommodating for lost future earnings. These benefits can also apply even if the worker takes a lower-skilled or lower-paying job that still does not provide an income equal to that which they previously had. Injuries which are severe enough to require attention well into the future – such as paralysis or a traumatic brain injury – can also be compensated for.
Relationship to the Weekly Wage
Benefits for lost earnings, as well as for permanent disability, have a direct correlation to the amount of money that the worker made for their average weekly wage. This wage is determined to be their gross pre-tax earnings averaged from the most recent 52 weeks – or fewer, if they had been hired within the past year. The relationship to the worker’s normal wage is one of the more unique aspects of a local workman’s comp claim compared to other areas of personal injury law.
Can Someone Take Unemployment and Workers’ Comp Benefits Together?
Those who are receiving workers’ compensation generally cannot also receive unemployment benefits. It is possible to receive unemployment if the workers’ comp only includes medical treatment but not if it includes disability.
Let an Attorney Explain the Unique Aspects of Elgin Workers’ Compensation Claims
After a work-related accident, you will have to contend with your employer, their insurance company, and possibly any medical providers they assign you to. In order to ensure you are following all instructions, you should hire a lawyer to help. Call now to discuss the various unique aspects of Elgin workers’ compensation claims.