Subsequent Injuries After Returning to Work
Schaumburg and Wheaton Lawyers for Employees Hurt on the Job
Suffering an on-the-job injury leading to partial or total disability is bad enough, but it is even worse when you suffer a subsequent injury after returning to work. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering how it will impact your workers’ compensation benefits. At Therman Law Offices, our seasoned Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to helping injured workers understand their legal rights and options after suffering a workplace injury. We can answer any specific benefit questions you may have after thoroughly reviewing your case.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation
The Illinois workers’ compensation system is designed to provide an avenue whereby workers who are injured or become ill due to their jobs can recover benefits irrespective of fault. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) processes all injury claims. The IWCC is an impartial administrative government agency that handles workers’ compensation claims between workers and employers. Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical treatment, pay a portion of lost wages, and provide certain disability benefits as well as other types of financial assistance depending on the nature and extent of the injury or illness suffered. In other words, the exact benefits an injured worker will be entitled to will vary based on the specifics of the case.
Independent contractors are not covered under the Illinois workers’ compensation system. However, just because your employer calls you or labels you an independent contractor does not mean you are one under the law. As such, if you are injured on the job, you should reach out to us so we can determine your actual eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
Subsequent Injuries After Returning to Work
Unfortunately, some workers suffer subsequent injuries after returning to work. This is especially common with back injuries. Whether these workers are able to recover benefits for the subsequent injury will depend on the injury’s cause. Establishing causation and connecting the subsequent injury to the original workplace injury or illness is critical. In any case, your second injury should not negatively impact your benefits for your original injury.
The Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Illinois Appellate Court have ruled that a subsequent injury is compensable in certain cases. If your subsequent injury is because of your first injury or because of questionable treatment or recovery for the first injury, it should be covered. For example, if you had surgery after a work-related fall and you end up suffering an infection after that surgery, it should be covered because the infection was caused by the original injury.
To show that the subsequent injury was connected to the first injury, you will need to present medical records as well as clear details regarding the treatment plan for the initial injury. This is often an extremely complex process, as the employer will often try to deny that there is a connection between the two injuries in an effort to avoid paying additional benefits. An experienced work injury lawyer can help you present the relevant evidence.
If you have suffered a subsequent injury that is completely unrelated to the first one, it likely will not be covered unless it makes your original injury worse. For example, if you are recovering from back surgery and get into a car wreck, any increase in the severity of your original back injury will most likely be covered.
Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Schaumburg and Wheaton
If you have suffered a subsequent injury after returning to work, a skilled Schaumburg and Wheaton workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help. At Therman Law Offices, we are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers. With years of experience in this area of law, we understand how to navigate even the most complex workers’ compensation cases and appeals. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is important to act quickly after your injury. We take on clients from Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Glendale Heights, Elmhurst, Lemont, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, West Chicago, and Clarendon Hills. For more information about your case, please do not hesitate to call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.