Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Lake County, IL
If you have been injured on the job, you should get in touch with a Lake County, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. An attorney can help you file a timely workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Basics: Essential Knowledge
If you’ve been hurt as a result of work-related activities, you are likely in a position to seek benefits with the assistance of a skilled Lake County, IL workers’ compensation lawyer. As you approach the process of pursuing workers’ comp benefits, it is important to keep a few “essentials” in mind. Although the dedicated team at Therman Law Offices, LTD. can answer your questions and provide personalized guidance at any time, it can be helpful to have basic knowledge about the process so that you can navigate it in informed ways.
One: Eligibility Requirements
Most full-time and part-time employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the event that they sustain occupational harm. The only exceptions to these rules in Illinois apply to workers in certain exempt specialty industries. Although most independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ comp, they may be if they have been incorrectly classified and should be properly classified as employees.
Generally speaking, because workers’ comp isn’t a fault-based system, the manner in which someone sustains harm is irrelevant for benefits purposes, as long as that individual was hurt while engaging in work-related activities. It is generally only when someone is hurt while drunk, high, starting a fight, or trying to get hurt that their claim for benefits will be denied.
Two: First Steps
One of the primary reasons why you’ll want to reach out to an experienced Therman workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can after sustaining occupational harm is that the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits is unreasonably time sensitive. If you don’t take certain steps within days of sustaining harm (or being diagnosed with a condition that is related to your work activities) you could be barred from receiving compensation that is otherwise rightfully yours. Seek medical attention, report your injury to your employer, and seek legal guidance to get started.
Three: Repetitive Trauma Claims
Workers’ compensation benefits aren’t just available for individuals who have suffered work-related accidents. As long as it can be proven that a repetitive trauma injury – or an exacerbation of a preexisting medical condition is work-related, employees who have workers’ comp coverage can make a successful claim for benefits. These cases can be difficult to prove to the satisfaction of workers’ comp claims adjusters, so working with a Therman workers’ compensation lawyer proactively on such claims can be very helpful.
Four: Occupational Illness Claims
Similarly, workers’ compensation benefits are available when someone becomes ill as a result of toxic exposure or other work-related conditions. Like repetitive trauma, it can be hard to prove that occupational illness is work-related, so connecting with an attorney before filing an illness-related claim is generally a good idea.
Five: Pursuing Personal Injury Damages
Finally, it is worth noting that workers’ compensation benefits may not be the only form of compensation available to you in the wake of sustaining work-related harm. The skilled legal team at Therman Law Offices, LTD. may also be able to help you pursue personal injury damages if the harm you have suffered was caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions.
Common Myths About Workers’ Compensation Claims
Very few people expect to get hurt at work, but it does happen. That is why workers’ compensation exists. If you were hurt at work, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits.
Here are some common myths about workers’ compensation claims that you should not believe.
- If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you can get fired. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common reasons why workers shy away from filing workers’ compensation claims. They are afraid that their employer will fire them for filing for workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is against the law for employers to terminate employees for filing for workers’ comp. If your employer has tried to fire you for this, contact an attorney immediately.
- Workers’ compensation covers all of your losses. This is another common misconception about workers’ compensation. The truth is that workers’ compensation typically just covers a portion of your medical bills and lost wages. You won’t be compensated for emotional distress, pain and suffering and other losses.
- If the accident was your fault, you can’t file for workers’ compensation. This is another common myth a Lake County workers’ compensation attorney hears. Fault actually is not actually a factor considered in workers’ compensation cases. If you got into an accident at work because you weren’t paying attention, you are still eligible for benefits. However, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you won’t be eligible for benefits anymore.
- Only severe injuries qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This is not true either. Just because you didn’t sustain a traumatic brain injury or other life-threatening injury, does not mean that you don’t qualify for benefits. Even seemingly minor injuries, like sprains and cuts, can result in high medical bills and keep you from working for a while.
- If your employer denied your workers’ compensation claim, that’s it. Employers frequently deny workers’ compensation claims for a number of different reasons. They might not believe that injury occurred at work or think that your injury is from a pre-existing condition. If you believe that your workers’ compensation claim was wrongfully denied, you have the option to file an appeal. An attorney can assist you with that.
- It is not necessary to hire an attorney. Although you are not required by law to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, it may be in your best interest to do so. An experienced attorney can make sure that you file your paperwork correctly and that your employer treats you fairly. He or she can increase your chances of getting your claim approved.
Schedule a consultation with a Lake County workers’ compensation attorney from Therman Law Offices, LTD.
Workers’ Compensation For Working From Home
You may be able to collect workers’ compensation if you’re working from home, but you’ll need a Lake County, IL workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. Read on to learn more about workers’ comp for home office work, and contact Therman Law Offices, LTD for a free consultation.
- Workers’ Comp Can Cover Remote Work
You can collect workers’ comp if you’re hurt while working from home, but it’s not free money, and you’ll need to satisfy a few different requirements first. Working from home may be a new normal for many of us, but it’s left many insurance providers struggling with how to process claims.
If you’ve been hurt on the job while working from home, there are a few different rules to get familiar with. It can be confusing and overwhelming, but fortunately, a Lake County workers’ compensation lawyer can walk you through your claim.
- You Should Get Familiar With The Coming And Going Rule
Many employers have opted for a hybrid approach, allowing some employees to work from home on certain days of the week. However, this means you should understand the coming and going rule.
The coming and going rule means that you can’t collect workers’ comp if you’re hurt on your way to work, or on your way home. However, a home office changes things. If your employer has explicitly stated that your home counts as a secondary workplace, it means you may be covered by workers’ compensation if you experience any injuries related to your commute.
- You Should Understand The Personal Comfort Doctrine Also
The personal comfort doctrine means you may be covered by workers’ compensation if you’re carrying out tasks that aren’t strictly related to your job, but still required to maintain a baseline of personal comfort.
For example, if you’re on the clock and working in an office, but you get injured on your way to the water cooler or bathroom, you can still be covered by workers’ comp. The same rule applies for working at home. However, because your home office has much less witnesses, it may be more difficult to report your injuries to your boss or manager.
- Workers’ Comp Insurance Providers Decide Whether Your Injury Was Work-Related
Unfortunately, you can’t just tell your managers you were hurt at home and expect a hefty workers’ comp payout. Workers’ compensation insurance providers will have to examine the details of your case, including whether your claim is valid in the first place.
Of course, even if you have a valid claim on your hands, insurance providers aren’t always willing to pay enough, or on time. You’ll have to deal with a mountain of paperwork, and it can be difficult without a solid legal team on your side.
- You Should Lawyer Up
Only 20% of Americans worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Pew Research survey. However, according to that same survey, 54% of employees said they hoped to continue working from home after the pandemic.
If you’re one of those 54% of employees who are hoping to continue working from home, you should know how to navigate a workers’ comp claim for at-home injuries. Get in touch with the pros at Therman Law Offices, LTD to speak with a Lake County workers’ compensation lawyer today.