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Basics of workers compensation law

Posted by attorney Mitchell Sexner

When a driver of a car is in an accident and hires an attorney to claim monetary compensation for his/her injuries, it is required to demonstrate that the other party was negligent, meaning at fault. The same holds true if someone has tripped and fallen in a grocery store, been poisoned by spoiled food or suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a doctor. But when a worker has received an injury arising out of and in the course of their employment, such a showing of negligence is not required. The mere fact that the injury occurred at work, doing something that was work-related is generally what is required to file a claim.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is the agency that is vested with the authority and responsibility of hearing cases related to work injuries. Tens of thousands of cases are filed every year. Although an attorney is not required to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim, most people benefit greatly by the assistance of an experienced workers compensation attorney such as those affiliated with the law offices of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. The rules and procedures for successfully pursuing a work injury case are rather complicated and there are time limitations for securing your rights. Another benefit of hiring an experienced workers comp attorney in Illinois is that there are never any fees unless the attorney is successful in securing a monetary settlement for the client. In contrast to attorney fees for other personal injury matters such as car accidents, the fees for a work injury case is significantly lower. Some of the types of work injuries that we handle include:

  • Plant explosions
  • Unsafe or defective work equipment
  • Railroad accidents / FELA
  • Toxic exposure to chemicals on the job
  • Auto or truck accidents while working
  • Industrial accidents
  • Construction and work site accidents including scaffolding injuries
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Sexual or physical assaults
  • Failure to follow OSHA regulations and provide a safe environment
  • Back injuries, repetitive stress injuries and all injuries including wrongful death

Whenever there has been an injury on the job, it is best to follow these basic guidelines:

  • Get immediate medical attention
  • Report your injury immediately to a supervisor in person and in writing
  • If you work for a subcontractor, notify both the general contractor and employer
  • Report all accidents no matter how minor
  • Contact an attorney to learn how to best handle the situation

Remember that no matter how good an employer you work for, the party that will have to pay for your medical bills and settlement is your employer’s insurance company and they are not likely interested in giving you a fair amount of compensation. They are interested in paying you as little as possible. Experienced attorneys will fight for your rights and make sure that the monetary settlement you receive is the maximum compensation available.

Additional resources provided by the author

If you or a family member has suffered a accident or injury, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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