When most people in Illinois think of workers’ compensation benefits, they usually imagine some kind of work accident that resulted in an employee becoming injured. However, as a workers comp lawyer Wheaton, IL clients recommend can explain, there are also health conditions and illnesses that can develop over time due to an employee’s job duties. In these situations, the employee usually qualifies for the same worker’s compensation benefits as a worker who suffered a fall or other type of job-related injury.
One of the most common of these conditions is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel develops in a person’s hand and wrist. It happens when the median nerve, which is one of the major nerves that run through the hand, becomes compressed or stretched, which damages the nerve. This type of injury is classified as a progressive injury, which means that it could become worse over time, and could eventually cause permanent nerve damage if the condition is not treated.
In most situations, the worker’s symptoms start out gradually and they may not even realize that anything is wrong at first. But over time, the condition become worse. Some of the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Burning sensation
- Hand weakness
- Tingling (or pain) that travels from the forearm up to the shoulder
Carpal tunnel develops because the individual is repeating the same motion over and over again, day in and day out. This repetitive motion causes trauma to the nerve and the symptoms develop.
Any worker who has a job that requires repetitive motion runs the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Each Wheaton, IL workers comp lawyer from our firm has represented many clients with carpal tunnel syndrome, from all different types of occupations. Some of the common work duties that trigger carpal tunnel include:
- Assembly line work
- Cleaning and scrubbing
- Cutting hair
- Food preparation
- Typing or keying on a computer or other electronic device
Qualifying for Workers’ Comp
In Illinois, employees who develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of their job duties qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission considers the condition a valid injury which leaves a worker unable to work or work with doctor-imposed restrictions.
Since the condition affects each person differently, there is no way to predict how long a person with carpal tunnel may be unable to perform their job duties. In milder cases, the person may be able to go back to their job after a couple of months of physical therapy. In other cases, the person may need surgery and still will not be able to go back to their occupation. In these situations, the worker may qualify for permanent benefits because the damage to their nerves is permanent.
4 Questions To Ask Your Workers Comp Lawyer
If you have experienced an injury at work, you deserve legal representation that best suits you and your circumstances. You can determine if a workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL is the right fit for you by engaging with them openly and honestly. Here are a few questions that you can ask during your first meeting at Therman Law Offices, LTD.
Have You Worked a Case Similar to Mine?
There are as many unique workers’ compensation cases as there are people and places to work. You can gauge a lawyer’s ability to represent your interests by asking about previous experience handling cases similar to your own. While individual circumstances are likely to differ, many workers’ compensation cases share some like characteristics. Many lawyers will be able to provide relevant examples of other cases they have handled in the past.
Will You Personally Handle My Case?
Transparency is important during legal proceedings. That is why it benefits you to know exactly who will be handling your case. In some law offices, you may meet with an attorney who would file your claim before entrusting the case to another lawyer. You are entitled to ask to meet with the exact attorney that will be advocating for you.
What Is the Cost for Your Service?
To further promote transparency between yourself and your workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL, do not be afraid to ask about costs. Considering your budget is an important factor in determining if an attorney is the right one for your case. Having more information at your disposal can help ease uncertainty or anxiety as your case progresses.
Will My Case Go to a Hearing?
Asking this question during your first meeting with a workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL may not yield an immediate answer. However, opening this line of dialogue is important for facilitating open communication with your attorney going forward. As a lawyer proceeds with a case, it will become more apparent if a settlement will be reached or if a hearing has become necessary. You can reach out to your legal team at any time to request updates on the status of your case.
When you approach the legal team at Therman Law Offices, LTD with your questions and concerns, you will be working towards building trust with the individuals handling your workers’ compensation case. Having your doubts cleared up early on can develop your confidence as legal proceedings continue.
When You Should Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer
Serious Misconduct Caused Your Injury
If you are injured in a work-related accident, your claim is subject to workers compensation only. You are not allowed to sue outside of the workers comp system in these cases. However, if you are injured due to negligence or misconduct by your employer or a third party, you do have an option to pursue a civil lawsuit. In these cases, you should seek the help of a workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL, such as a lawyer found at the Therman Law Offices, LTD.
You Experience Retaliation at Work
You have a legal right to go back into your workplace at the same wage, position and responsibilities as you left with before you were injured. Therefore, if you are back at work and find that your employer has demoted you, reduced your wages or cut your hours, you need to contact a workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL. These actions are forms of discrimination, and they are not legal. Just because you filed a workers compensation claim, does not mean that you lose your rights.
You Are Offered a Settlement
The instant you are offered a settlement, you should contact a workers comp lawyer. These professionals can go over your settlement with you to ensure that it will pay for all your medical bills and lost wages. They will also determine if it is fair based on other judgments. Most judges will approve any settlement that they deem is not grossly unfair, but you should seek the best settlement possible. The best way to do that is to work with an attorney.
Your Ability To Work Is Severely Disrupted
If your injury is significant and has prevented you from returning to work, you will need additional compensation to make up for lost wages. A workers comp lawyer in Wheaton, IL can guide you if you are not able to return to your original type of work, cannot work at all or have limits to the work you can do. These professionals, like those at the Therman Law Offices, LTD, can fight for you to receive weekly or lump-sum payments from insurance companies that are focused on saving themselves money by not paying you what you deserve.
Your Claim is Denied
As unbelievable as it sounds, your employer can deny your workers compensation claim. Even if you have witnesses, your claim can be rejected. Therefore, if you receive a rejection, you should immediately contact a workers comp attorney. These legal professionals will gather evidence and prove your case so that you receive the benefits you need.
Illinois Workers Comp Law Firm
If you are suffering from carpal tunnel or other repetitive motion condition that has been a result of your job, contact Therman Law Offices, LTD to schedule a free consultation with a workers comp lawyer Wheaton, IL. We’ll help get you the benefits you deserve.