Why should injured workers in Illinois hire an attorney?

Employees who suffer occupational injuries may consider hiring workers’ compensation lawyers to help ensure they receive the appropriate benefits.

Unfortunately, workers in nearly every occupation and industry are commonly injured on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were almost three million work-related injuries and illnesses reported across the U.S. in 2014. Often, injured employees in Illinois, and elsewhere, are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Due to the complexities that the process sometimes holds, some injured workers choose to hire workers' compensation attorneys.

Dealing with threats

Sometimes following an occupational injury or illness, employers will put unreasonable expectations or requirements on injured workers. This may include requiring them to provide a doctor's note every week or demanding that they come in to perform menial tasks. In other cases, employers may threaten to fill their jobs if they do not return to work within a specified amount of time, or even to terminate their employment. Workers' compensation attorneys generally understand what employers can and cannot do. This may prepare them to deal with such threats, and ensure workers' rights are not violated.

Fighting denied claims

Even when they meet the eligibility requirements, not all workers' compensation claims are approved upon their initial filings. In such situations, those who are injured on the job may choose to appeal the decision. Workers' compensation lawyers are familiar with how the appeals process works, as well as the challenges that such petitions may carry. By hiring an attorney to guide them, injured employees may reduce their stress levels, and ensure they receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

Knowledge of the rules and requirements

There are numerous complexities involved with workers' compensation claims in Illinois. For example, some workers may receive typical payments, including coverage of their medical expenses and disability pay. Other workers may be offered lump sum settlements. As the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission points out, however, accepting such settlements may require injured workers to give up certain rights.

Workers' compensation attorneys are generally familiar with the rules and requirements of the system. Furthermore, they are able to understand the legalities that may be included in some settlement offers. Thus, workers' compensation attorneys may help injured workers to understand what is expected of them. Legal representatives may also help people to determine if an option is right for them based on the circumstances of their cases.

Protecting the rights of injured workers

As a result of suffering occupational injuries, people in Illinois may incur medical expenses and lose income while they are off of work recovering. Therefore, many who find themselves in such situations rely on workers' compensation benefits to cover their medical costs, and help them to support themselves and their families. Workers' compensation attorneys may help ensure their clients' rights are upheld, and that they receive the benefits they need and deserve.