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Can your Chicago Workers Comp Attorney Get You Permanent Benefits?

Normally, when an employee gets hurt on the job, they’re back to work within a matter of weeks. Of course, there are times when their injuries are much more serious. Some workers’ injuries are so bad that they aren’t able to return to work at all. This is when our Chicago workers comp attorneys step.

If you’re concerned about what will happen when your workers’ comp benefits run out, you’re not alone. Here, we’ll discuss what your Chicago injury lawyer can do to help you should you end up permanently disabled.

Your Chicago Injury Lawyer Must First Prove That You Qualify for Workers Compensation Benefits

Before you can worry about whether you’ll receive permanent benefits, you need to ensure that your claim is approved. When you first meet with your Chicago workers comp attorney, they’ll need to review whatever documentation you have.

If they determine that you meet the requirements for workers compensation, they’ll reach out to the insurance company. They’ll demand to know what the status of your claim is. If your claim has been denied, they can help you file an appeal.

If Your Claim is Approved, You’ll Receive Two Main Types of Benefits

Once your claim is approved, you’ll be entitled to two main types of benefits. The first benefit is that your medical care will be covered. Any treatment related to your workplace accident will be covered.

The second type of benefits you’ll receive are weekly replacement wages. You will receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages.

It’s important to point out here that, if you are deemed permanently disabled, your benefits will decrease to 60% of your average weekly wages. This will be discussed in further detail below.

Your Chicago Workers Comp Attorney Will Fight to Get You Both Temporary and Permanent Benefits

Under Illinois workers compensation law, there are two types of financial benefits. The first type is called temporary disability benefits. These are the benefits you’ll receive while you are out of work being treated for your workplace injuries.

At some point, your workers’ compensation doctor will declare that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement. This means that further medical treatment will not serve any benefit.

When you reach this point, your doctor will also have to determine if you’ve suffered any permanent disability. If you have, you will then be entitled to permanent disability benefits.

How Long Can You Collect Temporary Disability Benefits in Chicago, Illinois?

There is a limit to how long you can collect temporary disability benefits in Illinois. However, unlike most other states, there is no hard and fast rule about how long your benefits will last.

The way it works in Illinois is that you’ll continue to receive your weekly benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement. This could be weeks, months, or even years after the date of your accident.

If you fully recover and can go back to work, you will not be entitled to further benefits. If, however, you suffer a permanent disability, your Chicago injury attorney will fight to get you additional benefits.

permanent disability allows you to collect benefits for the long term

What Benefits Will You Receive if You Are Permanently Disabled?

While the law is clear on when your temporary disability benefits will end, it is much more complicated if you suffer permanent injuries. This is why it’s a good idea to retain an experienced Chicago workers comp attorney to help with your claim.

There are four (4) types of permanent disability benefits in Chicago, Illinois. These are as follows:

  • Wage differential benefits – Many people who suffer a permanent disability can still work. If this is the case with you, then you may be entitled to wage differential benefits. In other words, you’ll be entitled to 2/3 of the difference between what you now earn and what you would’ve earned had you not been injured.
  • Scheduled injury award – Illinois has an official schedule that lists how many weeks of benefits each body part is worth. If you’re declared permanently disabled, your doctor will indicate what percentage of disability applies to your case. You’ll receive a corresponding award based on your disability rating.
  • Unscheduled injury award – If the schedule of benefits doesn’t include your particular injury, you’ll be entitled to up to 500 weeks’ worth of benefits. The number of weeks you’ll receive will depend on your disability rating. For example, if you are deemed 50% disabled for a specific body part, you’ll be awarded 250 weeks’ worth of benefits.
  • Disfigurement – If you suffer an injury that is visible to the public, your Chicago workers comp attorney will argue that you deserve long-term benefits. Under Illinois workers compensation law, you can collect up to 162 weeks of benefits for a disfigurement. This would include things like heavy scarring, burn injuries, skin grafts, and other physical forms of disfigurement.

Undoubtedly, if you’re like many other injured workers, this can all be a bit overwhelming. That’s why it’s in your best interest to meet with a skilled Chicago injury attorney. They will handle the negotiations with the insurance company. This will give you a chance to focus on getting better.

Your Chicago Injury Lawyer Will Review Your Disability Rating

There are times when your Chicago workers comp attorney will disagree with the disability rating issued by your workers compensation doctor. If this is the case, you can seek a second opinion.

This second opinion is referred to as an independent medical examination. This means that your Chicago injury attorney will find an unbiased doctor to examine you. This doctor will make their own determination as to your disability rating.

There is a chance that the independent doctor will find a higher disability rating compared to your workers compensation doctor. If this happens, your Chicago workers comp attorney will have to negotiate with the insurance company to determine what your final disability rating will be.

It’s in Your Best Interest to Contact an Experienced Chicago Injury Lawyer Right Away

If you suffer a serious injury at work, there’s a chance you won’t be able to work again. Our Chicago workers comp attorneys have helped many clients over the years who were permanently disabled after their workplace accident.

The question you may have is whether being permanently disabled entitles you to permanent benefits. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced Chicago injury lawyer.

Our team of associates have been helping injured workers for decades. If you worry that your employer won’t take care of you after your workplace accident, contact our office. We offer all new clients a free, initial consultation.

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