Almost every employee working for a company in Illinois has protection available through workers’ compensation coverage. If they get hurt on the job, they can file a claim for both medical benefits and disability benefits. Workers’ compensation can pay for someone’s treatment and may also cover the wages someone cannot earn because of their injury.
In theory, workers’ compensation should not be an adversarial process that pits a worker against their employer. The parties should cooperate. Unfortunately, many workers find the process difficult to navigate and could be at risk of an unfavorable outcome. Despite being able to file a claim on one’s own behalf, the average worker may benefit from partnering with a lawyer during their claim.
What could go wrong?
There are many small details that influence the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. Someone needs to abide by all Illinois rules. They will need to report the matter to their employer and file the right paperwork to be eligible for benefits. Small mistakes and omissions can leave someone without the coverage they need.
For example, someone might fail to meet reporting requirements or may not properly comply with medical instructions. They might also agree to a lump-sum settlement without determining whether that settlement is actually reasonable based on the impact of their medical condition. Some people need to appeal, while others simply need help negotiating for better terms. Trying to manage that without support can very easily end in failure.
How can an attorney help?
Lawyers familiar with workers’ compensation rules in Illinois can manage the paperwork on behalf of a client. They can help ensure that an injured worker reports the matter to the right authorities. An attorney can also handle the difficult task of negotiating with insurance providers or initiating an appeal. All of those tasks can be very stressful for an injured worker to manage on their own behalf. When they have an attorney handling the claim for them, they can focus more of their energy on recovering from their medical condition.
Injured workers have the option of bringing in a lawyer from the first moments after they get hurt on the job. They could also secure professional help after benefit denial or other issue occurs early in the process. The sooner someone has proper guidance and assistance, the better their chances of a favorable claim outcome.