What to Expect from Your Illinois Work Injury Case

If you are injured at work in Illinois, the workers’ compensation insurance company is required to pay you benefits as set forth in the law.

This includes payment of related medical bills for exams, MRIs, Xrays, injections, medications, surgeries, or physical therapy.

You are entitled to 66 percent of your wages for the time the doctor has you off work.

Once your injury treatment is over you are entitled to a settlement based on your injury, the treatment required, and any restrictions you may have.

Many insurance companies will fail to either to pay for your medical bills, or stop off work payments, or not pay you a settlement.

If this happens make sure to call a lawyer right away.

Questions about what is happening with your work injury? Make sure to contact Illinois Work Comp lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

St Louis Firefighter injured when floor collapses


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Firefighters in Illinois are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits for all types of injuries, including cancer related to fire fighting.

What Illinois Work Comp Settlements Look Like

Do not rely on rumors or stories from friends, relatives or coworkers regarding the value of your work injury.

You must understand how Illinois Workers’ Compensation settlements are determined in order to decide if you are getting a fair offer.

The most important factor in determining settlement value is your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks before the injury.

A basic example is comparing a skilled worker to a fast food worker.

Assume that an electrician has the same injury and treatment as a crew member at Arby’s.

The electrician earns $30 per hour. The crew member makes $10 per hour.

Both workers injure their knee, undergo surgery and return to work full duty.

Assume the value of the case is 15 percent of the leg, or 32.25 weeks (leg value in the law is 215 weeks. Times .15 equals 32.25 weeks).

60 percent of the average weekly wage of $1200 equals $720. (The law uses 60 percent because work comp payments are not taxed)

$720 times 32.25 weeks equals $23, 200.

The crew member’s settlement is $400 times 60 percent. $240 times 32.25 weeks equals $7740.

This is a big difference for the same injury and same treatment.

How do the parties reach the value of 15 percent of the leg?

In Illinois the parties negotiate or bargain over the value. There is no schedule that sets the value for certain kinds of injuries. Some states use a schedule, but not in Illinois.

The value has developed over time through a large number of cases that have been decided using an Arbitrator (Judge).

The parties may disagree regarding the value, however the option available if the parties cannot reach settlement is to have the Arbitrator decide.

The disadvantage to using the Arbitrator is that it takes longer and whatever the Arbitrator decides is the value. The settlement offer goes away at that point.

Questions about your work injury case? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


When to Settle Your Work Comp Case

In Illinois you cannot settle your Workers’ Compensation case until your medical treatment is completed.

There is no set amount based on your work injury.

Some states have a schedule to ties the settlement into the type of injury you suffered. That does not apply in Illinois.

You must negotiate your settlement with the insurance company.

The amount you receive is also based on your average weekly wage for the year before your injury.

You are not paid anything for pain and suffering in Illinois Work Comp cases.

The settle value is negotiated based on the type of injury, the treatment needed, and your average weekly wage.

You should attempt to settle your case as soon as you complete treatment and you feel comfortable at work.

You want to make sure that you will not need any additional medical treatment.

Settling sooner rather than later helps your case because it is fresh in everyone’s mind in the event you need to go to trial.

In addition, it is better to get the money today rather than wait 2 to 3 years.

Questions about settling your case? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

What is Open Medical in Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Illinois you can get future medical treatment one of two ways in your Work Comp case.

You may settle the case and have it included in your contract.

This is very rare because the insurance company wants to close out the case and avoid paying for something down the road.

The other way is to have a trial.

If you win your case, this opens the possibility that you may seek medical in the future.

You will have to prove that your need for future medical is related to the original work injury.

You may have to have a second trial to get this future medical treatment approved.

So you must weigh whether it is worth it to fight a second time for the future medical treatment.

Some people want the settlement sooner and the certainty of the amount of money they will receive.

The trial itself takes longer and whatever the Arbitrator awards is what you get.

Just remember open medical is not an automatic pass for whatever treatment you want, whenever you want it.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Injury Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.