If you have been injured at work, you now that your life changes. The laws are specific about what benefits you can receive after an injury. Your employer and its insurance company will know all of these laws and how to use them against you. Your employer will NOT be looking out for your best interests. You need someone you can trust to help you get the benefits you deserve.
The lawyers at Bement and Stubblefield have over 30 years of experience representing injured workers in Southern Illinois. The lawyers have tried hundreds of cases before Arbitrators and have handles many cases before the Worker’s Compensation Commission. They know the insurance companies, the defense lawyers, the Arbitrators and the doctors that will be involved in your case.
The first thing you should do if you have been hurt at work is contact a lawyer to find out your rights. We will talk to you at no obligation to discuss what you need to do. You can then decide if you want to hire a lawyer. Some of the questions frequently asked are:
When do I have to report my injury?
You have 45 days to report an accident, however, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove that it happened at work. If you give oral notice, make sure you know who you told and when.
Do I have to go to the company doctor?
You can choose your own doctor for treatment. Some employers have rules about seeing a particular doctor upon reporting an accident. You should probably see this doctor, but you can follow up with your own if you like. Some companies now have preferred provider networks that require you to pick one of those doctors to see. You can choose two doctors to treat with.
Does the company have to pay my medical expenses?
Yes, you are entitled to full medical treatment for your work-related injuries. Your treatment must be reasonable, necessary, and related to work injury. You may see two doctors for treatment. These doctors may refer you to other specialists which should also be paid for by your employer.
Am I entitled to wages while I am off work?
You are entitled to payments, called Temporary Total Disability (TTD), while you are off work from you job injury. You are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage while you are off. You will need to provide off duty slips from your doctor to your employer.
Can I be fired for filing a worker’s compensation claim?
You may not be fired for filing a claim or exercising your rights to benefits. The employer does not, however, have to keep your job open forever.
Am I entitled to a settlement?
After you have recovered and are at maximum medical improvement you are entitled to a payment of permanent partial or total disability. Each body part injured has been given a value by law. You will be awarded a percentage of the disability of that body part. (for example 10% disability to an leg would pay 20 weeks) This number is then multiplied by your “permanent partial disability rate” which is 60% of your average weekly wage.
What if I cannot return to work because of my injury?
If you are totally disabled, your employer will have to pay your benefits for life.
I have been offered a settlement by my employer, how do I know if it is fair?
If you are representing yourself, the employer or insurance company may make you an offer. This must be approved by the Arbitrator to see if it is fair. It is usually less than you would receive if represented. If you have been given an offer you should contact us to review your contract AT NO CHARGE. We will tell you if it is fair or if we can get you more money.
The Worker’s Compensation Act is very complex and there are many rules. It is important to contact a lawyer who knows the Act and the system to help you.
Some of the employers that Bement and Stubblefield have brought claims for injured workers are: Continental Tire, Walgreens, Cerro Flow, American Coal, Mt. Vernon Neon, Manpower, Select Remedy, State of Illinois, NAPA, Nascote, Jefferson County Sheriff, Mt. Vernon Police, City of Fairview Heights, Holten Meats, Good Samaritan Hospital, Roma’s Pizza.