Undermining Rights: An Un-Adjudicated Workers’ Compensation Settlement

b2ap3_thumbnail_Work-Comp-saw.jpgSuffering an injury while on the job can be a scary prospect and one that many workers face on a daily basis—especially those who work in construction or with heavy duty machinery. An occupational injury is defined as a wound or damage to the body resulting from an event in the work environment. In 2013, just over three million nonfatal occupational or workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers. The chances of suffering an injury—either due to operator error, a defective tool, or a lack in appropriate safety measures—can be high.

The other daunting prospect is the possibility of dealing with an employer and their insurance company. Often, employers may try to offer a quick settlement to make the issue quietly go away. Such settlements are frequently insufficient to cover the full extent and nature of the employee’s injuries. Thus, workers need to be sure their legal rights are protected in their best interests and are not short-changed on the road to recovery.

If you are injured while working, it is essential to contact an attorney whose experience with workers’ compensation claims is vast, and who can thus help to ensure you receive maximum benefits.

The Numbers and Occupations at Risk

Over half of the three million injuries and illnesses reported in 2013 were serious in nature and involved employees who missed several days of work, required a job transfer, or whose duties were restricted. Recent economic analysis suggests that traumatic occupational deaths and injuries cost the nation $192 billion annually

The three most common areas of employment where horrific injuries can occur include the construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries. Traumatic injuries include:

  • Vehicle accidents causing crushing/intracranial hemorrhaging and other internal injuries;
  • Falls resulting in broken bones and fractures;
  • Electrocution and burns;
  • Machinery accidents resulting in amputations/eye injuries; and
  • Nerve and spinal cord injuries.

The Legal Protection

An employer may suggest that you visit their appointed doctor. This, however, may not be in your best interests and may actually undervalue your potential claim.

If you proceed with filing a claim with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, regardless of fault, you may receive monetary assistance. In addition, you may be eligible for various benefits and payments to be paid by your employer, and to aid you as you diagnose, treat, and convalesce from your injury. Under Illinois legislation, this might include first aid, emergency care, doctor visits, hospital care, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, pharmaceuticals, prosthetic devices, and prescribed medical appliances.

An employee should attempt to make sure he or she is seen by “network” physicians and at an accepted frequency to help make sure he or she does not become personally liable for certain medical costs. This is where legal representation and guidance can be extremely helpful.

Attorneys Who Can Help

The workers' compensation process can be confusing and an employer may encourage an employee to accept a small settlement rather than having to fund a protracted treatment plan. This is likely not in your best interests; medical events can lead to other complications which stem from an original injury and you may need medical care for longer than initially anticipated. Therefore, we can help you in obtaining the compensation you need as you recovery from injuries. If you have been injured on the job, contact a knowledgeable and compassionate DuPage County personal injury attorney today. Call 630-920-8855 to schedule a free consultation.

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