Workers’ compensation cases are no simple matter. With litigation becoming more complex and businesses becoming more aggressive, you need a strong advocate for your rights. Chris Doscotch has a wide range of experience and expertise in workers’ compensation cases and defending the rights of injured workers is a passion. Since 1995, Chris has successfully represented approximately 2000 clients before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. You’ll get the information and advice you’ll need to make informed decisions. Chris will work with you every step of the way and give you the response you expect and the results you deserve
All injuries at work are governed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, with a few exceptions including agriculture. Employer’s and the worker’s compensation insurance companies are required to pay for injuries that arise out of or in the course of employment. The Worker’s Compensation Act covers specific injuries and injuries caused by repetitive stress or trauma. All workers are required to report a claim for injuries within 45 days of the specific accident or in the case of a repetitive trauma case within 45 days of the first date of medical treatment/manifestation.
Illinois worker’s have certain absolute rights in every case. The workers bill of rights include:
Absolute right to choose your own physician.
The right to have medical treatment related to the injury paid by the worker’s compensation insurance. Illinois law prohibits a medical provider from turning a patient into collections while a case is filed and pending before the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Therefore, if you hire the Law Office of Chris Doscotch, we can file the necessary forms and paperwork with your medical providers to prevent any collection activity against you for medical bills incurred as a result of a work injury while the case is pending. Any collection fees or interest which has accrued during this period should be charged against the employer or insurance company, not the injured worker.
If a worker misses more than 3 days, the right to receive weekly pay or temporary total disability (TTD) payments in a timely manner. TTD is paid at 2/3 of the average weekly earnings for the 52 weeks preceding the date of injury. TTD payments are not taxable.
Right to an award or settlement for any permanent injury. When a worker returns to his or her occupation without a reduction in earning capacity, this is called permanent partial disability (PPD). If a worker cannot return to his or her former job due to a work injury with permanent work restrictions and there is a substantial reduction in earnings, the worker can recover the difference in earnings due to the injury. This is called a wage differential or 8d-1 case. If a worker cannot return to gainful employment in a reasonably stable job market, the worker can recover lifetime permanent total disability (PTD). Permanent Total Disability is paid at 2/3 of the average weekly wage subject to state minimums.
Permanent total disability awards are lifetime awards. Wage differentials awards for accidents before 9/1/11 are lifetime awards. Wage differential awards for dates of accident after 9/1/11 are generally paid until age 67.
If a worker cannot return to work for the employer due to permanent restrictions, the worker’s compensation insurance shall pay for vocational rehabilitation and maintenance. Vocational rehabilitation includes assistance finding a new job and/or retraining and education. Maintenance is the continued payment of weekly benefits until new suitable employment is found.
If the worker’s compensation insurance engages in unreasonable and egregious conduct in denying benefits, the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission can award penalties and attorney fees.
The worker’s compensation insurance can require a worker to attend a physical examination with a physician of the insurance company’s choice. This is called a Section 12 examination. It is not an independent exam, but rather an examination paid for by the insurance company. If you are told to attend a Section 12 exam, the insurance company must pay you mileage before the exam and any lost wages after you attend the exam.
The right to recover benefits for medical bills, lost wages or disability for any aggravation or acceleration of a pre-existing condition.
The right to legal representation and the right to not give a taped statement to the insurance company.
Your rights to workers’ compensation benefits are not affected by your employment status. Therefore, if you have changed jobs or have a different job from what you had when you were injured, you still have the right to collect weekly pay, medical bills paid or a permanent award.
Chris Doscotch has been a strong advocate for injured workers for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all types of workers compensation cases and issues. Chris has never represented an insurance company or employer in any type of case. It is important that injured workers are proactive at the beginning of the claim because the insurance company will be aggressively protecting its interest from the outset. The best way to protect your rights is competent and aggressive legal counsel from Chris Doscotch.