If your employer denies liability or disputes the amount of compensation you are owed for a work-related illness or injury, Malman Law will seek to recover your medical expenses and other losses through a workers’ compensation settlement.
Workers’ compensation is mandatory for most employers in Illinois. This means that, if you suffer an illness or injury on the job, you are entitled to benefits for your medical and rehabilitation expenses and your lost income. In Illinois, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. As a result, with only a few very limited exceptions, employers are required to pay benefits regardless of the cause of their employees’ injuries.
Despite the way the system is set up, many employees still struggle to collect the benefits they deserve. Employers and their insurance companies regularly deny employees’ claims, often without any justification. For many companies, protecting their bottom line and maintaining a good “safety” record are more important than taking care of their injured and sick employees.
This is where Malman Law can help.
Unfortunately, many workers think that a denial means the end of their claim. These workers either assume that their employers are right, or they are afraid they will lose their job if they press their right to benefits. But, the reality is that (i) employers and their insurance companies wrongfully deny workers’ compensation claims, and (ii) it is illegal for your employer to retaliate because you filed a claim for workers’ compensation.
So, as an injured worker, how do you enforce your right to workers’ compensation?
If your employer (or its insurance company) is required to pay, it’s required to pay. No amount of delay tactics or improper denials can change that. There are arbitration and appeal procedures with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the state courts; however, these can be time consuming and they often are not the best solutions for protecting workers’ legal rights. In many cases, the best option is to hire an attorney to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement.
In most cases, when you settle a workers’ compensation claim, you receive what is referred to as a “lump sum” settlement. This means that, instead of receiving ongoing weekly benefits for your illness or injury, you receive a one-time, up-front payment from your employer or its insurer. However, when you accept a lump sum settlement, you give up your right to receive any future benefits for your work-related injury. As a result, before accepting any settlement, it is critically important to make sure that you know the full extent of your injuries.
In some cases, employees may prefer to receive a lump settlement rather than relying on weekly workers’ compensation payments. Deciding whether a settlement makes sense requires a careful evaluation of your medical condition, your financial circumstances, and the likely costs of your future medical care. If you accept a settlement without weighing all of these issues, you could end up without the money you need to cover your prescription costs, surgical procedures, and other medical care.
To avoid the mistake of settling for too little (or nothing at all), you need the knowledge and insight of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. At Malman Law, we have decades of experience representing injured Chicago workers in workers’ compensation settlements. We know what is a fair settlement amount for your illness or injury, and we know how to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Sometimes, employers and insurance companies will make quick offers to settle workers’ compensation claims with lump sum payments. Why? Because this reduces the risk that they will owe you more money down the road. If you receive an offer to settle your workers’ compensation claim, you should be wary that the offer is an attempt to have you bear the risk that your injuries will require additional medical treatment in the future.
A workers’ compensation settlement can be a good option – and in many cases it is the best option – for securing benefits for a work-related injury. However, employees must be careful not to give up their rights too soon. To learn more about how Malman Law can protect your rights and negotiate a fair workers’ compensation settlement for you, please contact us today.
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim