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suffering injuries "arising out of and in the course of"
employment have rights under the Worker's Compensation Act, regardless of
who is at fault. An accident arises out of the employment if the
employee was exposed to a risk inherent in, incidental to, or related to
the job. Whether an injury occurs in the course of employment
depends on the time, place and circumstances of the injury. Thus,
determination of whether an injury arises out of and in the course of
employment depends on the facts of each case. For instance an injury
occurring before work, but caused by tripping on a crack in the employer's
sidewalk, may be compensable. However, a twisted ankle occurring
within the employer's plant, while on the clock, may not be compensable if
the only cause was the employee's clumsiness, as opposed to getting hit by
a forklift, tripping over a box, or rushing to fill an order. If you
are injured on the job, or before or after, call an attorney to see if you
have a case.
receive a number of benefits. The major ones are listed below:
of all reasonable and necessary medical bills. An important
right of the worker is that he can choose his own treating
doctor. The worker can also see any doctor within a chain of
referrals from that first choice of doctor. Finally the worker
can make a second choice of doctors and see any doctors within a
chain of referrals from that second choice of doctors. Again
tricky questions can arise as to doctors from company clinics
(generally not considered to be the worker’s choice), doctors in
emergency rooms, and doctors seen after another doctor says that the
worker needs no further treatment. These questions are very
important because if an insurance company does not agree that a
doctor falls within the worker’s proper choices or referrals then
the insurance company will refuse to pay for that doctor’s
treatment or anywhere that that doctor sends the worker for further
care. There is no substitute for good legal advice on these
for lost time. This is known as Temporary Total Disability (TTD).
Payment is determined by taking 2/3 of average weekly wage (AWW) (AWW
is calculated by taking the wages for the prior 52 weeks, including
regular overtime and divided by the number of weeks or partial weeks
that you worked)(overtime hours are sometimes included, but at a
straight-time rate). Frequently, insurance companies
undercalculate your AWW by excluding overtime, commissions and shift
differentials and by including weeks that you did not work.
is made only if off more than 3 days. However, if the worker
is off more than 14 days then they will be paid for those first 3
paid one must be off work because a) a doctor says the worker is to
be off work or, b) a doctor prescribes light duty, and the employer
has no light duty available.
of a lump sum for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). This is
compensation for permanent injury. Most companies will not
make payment for this without an attorney getting involved.
The amount of compensation depends on 3 factors:
What part of the body was injured. The Worker’s
Compensation Act allows for greater compensation for injuries to
certain body parts. Generally, the order is as follows:
or back injuries
injuries affect the usage of the adjacent body part lower down on
the appendage, and thus are usually deemed to be injuries to that
lower appendage. (for example, an injury to the wrist usually
affects usage of the hand, and therefore is usually deemed to be an
injury to the hand. An injury to the shoulder is an injury to the
The severity of the permanent injury. This is determined
as a percentage loss of use of the part of the body that was
Your rate of pay.
Rehabilitation. One usually has a right to this if unable to
return to one’s old job, and if the employer does not offer a new
job. Vocational rehabilitation normally consists of counseling
and help with a job search.
Differential. If an employee is unable to return to his old
job, the employer offers no new job at the same rate of pay, and the
employee does a complete job search, and obtains alternative
employment paying less than his old job, he has a right to choose
between payment based on a percentage disability (see above) or
based on a wage differential, whichever is higher. These
benefits are very difficult to obtain due to the ability of the
insurance companies to question your medical restrictions, the
permanency of those restrictions, and the adequacy of a job search.
Illinois all workers’ compensation claims are administered by the
Illinois Industrial Commission. An application must be
filed. Arbitrations are held in front of an arbitrator.
Arbitrations are the same as a trial, but with no jury. After
trial each side prepares proposed findings. The Arbitrator
makes a decision, but either side may request a review in front of a
panel of Commissioners from the Industrial Commission.
Thereafter, either side may appeal to the Circuit Court, the
Appellate Court, and finally to the Illinois Supreme Court.
work injuries include:
extruding, and bulging discs, compression fractures, radiculopathy,
nerve root injuries.
carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, dislocation, fractures,
epicondylitis, tennis elbow
rotator cuff injuries, biceps tendon injuries, impingement
cartilage/meniscus tears, anterior and posterior cruciate
ligament tears, chondromalacia, fractured knee cap/patella
Bimalleolar and trimalleolar fractures, dislocations
fractures, crushing injuries, lacerations
information see FAQs for Worker’s Compensation.