Charleston, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Representing Injured Workers in Central & Southern Illinois
When a worker is injured on-site, workers’ compensation is often the go-to method to pay for their injuries. Workers’ compensation, by definition, is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical coverage to injured employees and beneficiaries of those who have been fatally injured while on the job.
Although workers' compensation is supposed to assist injured victims, there are times when the employer or the insurance companies make it difficult for the injured worker or their family to obtain the compensation they deserve.
If you suffered an injury at work that is preventing you from returning to your place of employment, and if you or a loved one is struggling to receive fair benefits, you need a skilled Charleston, IL workers' compensation attorney. Here at The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the compensation and the justice you deserve. We have served all of Central and Southern Illinois since 1996.
For a no-cost, no-obligation review of your workplace accident claim, call us today at (217) 394-5885. We proudly offer free consultations, and we only get paid if you do.
Dangerous Occupations in Illinois
There are no occupations that are completely free from workplace injuries. Any worker in any work environment may be injured due to another’s negligence, a defective product, or an instance of carelessness or even intentional wrongdoing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest incidence of recordable cases in Illinois was in agriculture.
In addition to agriculture, the following are inherently dangerous industries:
- Hospitality and leisure
- Healthcare services
Even administrative services and those in education were injured on the job, just not as often as those who held positions in more dangerous fields.
Common Workplace Injuries
The type of occupation, the work environment, or the duties of one’s job may put a worker at risk of sustaining a certain type of workplace injury. An example may be a crane accident or forklift accident that injures a construction worker. Regardless of its cause, such an injury should be covered by workers’ compensation as long as it was sustained in the course of one’s employment.
The following are examples of potential workplace injuries:
- Sprains and strains
- Head trauma
- Orthopedic injuries
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Overexertion injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Electrical injuries/electrocution
- Exposure to hazardous substances
Unfortunately, workplace fatalities are also a possibility. As a result of an explosion, fire, or another catastrophe, a family may suffer the wrongful death of a loved one.
If you or someone you love has been injured or wrongfully killed in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Our knowledgeable Charleston, IL workers’ comp lawyers can help you determine what you’re entitled to and can fight for your rights.
Illinois Workers’ Compensation Laws
Each state has its own workers’ compensation criteria, and Illinois established theirs in 1912. Workers’ comp covers work-related injuries and occupational diseases, which may include muscle strain, traumatic brain injuries, or cancer caused by overexposure to toxic elements.
A person who is injured on the job may be entitled to receive benefits for:
- Medical Care: This includes first aid, medical treatment, physical therapy, the cost of devices such as a wheelchair, and more.
- Temporary Total Disability: If a worker is temporarily disabled and cannot return to work, they may receive 2/3 of their average weekly pay as part of the benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability: If a worker is partially disabled and can only perform light duty, therefore earning less than they would normally, they may qualify for 2/3 of the difference between their average weekly pay and the net amount they make while working lighter duty.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: If an injured employee cannot return to their pre-injury job, the employer must pay for training, instruction, and overall vocational rehabilitation so that the injured person can find employment elsewhere.
- Permanent Partial Disability: This covers the complete or partial loss of a body part, use of a body part, or partial loss of the use of the body as a whole. Compensation varies by injury.
- Permanent Total Disability: This benefit covers those who have lost a limb or suffered a permanent disability that renders them unable to do any kind of work.
- Death Benefits for Beneficiaries: Survivors may receive burial assistance as well as 2/3 of the employee’s average weekly pay, subject to minimum and maximum amounts. Primarily, these benefits go to the spouse and young children, but parents may also receive benefits as well.
When a worker is injured, they need to submit notice (preferably written, although verbal is accepted) with the date and time of the accident, description of the accident, injury, or disease, and their personal information. An employee is required to notify their employer within 45 days of an accident, within 90 days if exposed to radiological substances, and if a medical condition or disease is diagnosed, as soon as possible.
It is the responsibility of the employer to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.
Employers in Illinois must also:
- Post workers’ compensation information for all workers to see;
- Keep up-to-date records of all workplace injuries; and
- Report all accidents to the Charleston, IL Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Employers may not charge workers for the workers’ comp insurance premiums or benefits and may not illegally harass, discharge, or refuse to rehire workers who chose to exercise their rights to these benefits.
Speak to a Charleston, IL Workers' Compensation Attorney Today
After a work injury, you should not have to struggle to receive your workers’ comp benefits. Dealing with an injury can be difficult and sometimes will leave a person incapacitated for weeks or even months. Don’t let your employer or their workers’ comp insurance company coerce you into receiving fewer benefits than you deserve.
At The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm, our knowledgeable team of attorneys is experienced in taking on workers’ compensation claims and are ready to help you or your loved ones. We serve injured workers from offices in Charleston, IL and St. Louis, MO and offer a free, confidential consultation to talk about your injuries, your right to benefits, and how to proceed.