Whenever an employee gets injured or killed “arising out of, and in the course of his/her employment” virtually all states, including Iowa, require the employer or their insurance carrier to provide benefits to the injured worker and his/her family.
In Iowa, these benefits include reasonable and necessary medical care, prescription drugs, and even mileage to and from the treatment. If the injury causes the employee to remain off work, the injured worker is entitled to weekly disability benefits until they are able to return to work, or until they reach maximum medical improvement. If the injured worker sustains permanent disability from the work injury, they may be entitled to additional compensation to help offset the income they will lose in the future due to the disability.
Ideally, the goal of the injured worker, the employer, the insurer, and the worker’s attorney should be to help the injured worker get better and get back to work as soon as possible.
The worker’s compensation laws were designed to immunize employers from common law negligence and to provide predictable “no fault” benefits to injured workers and their families. Worker’s compensation benefits are “capped” or restricted according to the statutory system of compensation. This system was supposed to be administering quick, rough justice, without the need for litigation.
Unfortunately, today we find that some employers and insurance companies often deny adequate medical treatment and/or weekly benefits when they clearly should be paid. Iowa’s “employer chosen” medical care too often drags out the recovery/rehabilitation process and actually ends up taking longer to cure the injured worker than if they were allowed to choose their own doctor and get better. Physicians and healthcare providers often complain about getting “micro-managed” by non-medical people from the workers compensation insurance company.
If you are injured at work, and you need treatment, you need to report it to your employer as soon as you know you have a claim.
If you have any questions about what treatment or benefits you are entitled to receive, you should see a lawyer experienced in worker’s compensation cases right away. Steve Crowley has been handling Iowa's worker's compensation cases since 1980.
In Illinois, when an employee sustains either a specific work related accident or an injury as a result of repetitive trauma the injured worker is entitled to three primary benefits during the course of their claim.
1) The employer is responsible for payment of 100% of all medical expenses and any medical treatment that arises from the injury.
2) The injured worker is entitled to payment for his or her time off of work as a result of the injury that is medically instructed by a doctor. This payment is given to the injured worker in the form of 66 2/3% of the injured worker's gross average weekly wage and is nontaxable.
3) The injured worker is entitled to recovery for either permanent or partial disability if the injury does not result in a loss of employment or loss of earnings.If the injured worker sustains a loss of earning capacity that is going to be permanent in nature, the injured worker is then entitled to what is referred to as Section 8 (d) (1) wage differential claim.If the injured worker sustains has an accident or injury that creates an inability to return back to work in any capacity, then the injured worker can be entitled to permanent total disability benefits which is usually provided in weekly workers compensation pay or maintenance pay until the injured worker dies.
A distinguishing factor between the Workman’s Comp laws between Iowa and Illinois is that Iowa is a state that allows the employer to control and direct medical care. In Illinois the employee maintains the right to seek medical treatment. In most situations unless there is a preferred provider program indicated by the employer, the injured worker in Illinois has the right to seek two independent medical opinions of his or her choice and to allow those medical opinions to control the medical care that he or she needs as a result of the work injury. It is very important that the injured worker understands and follows the chain of referral when seeking medical care to be sure that he or she does not violate the two doctor rule.
For those individuals that sustain work related injuries in the state of Illinois, depending upon the location of your injury, your case will be assigned to a specific Arbitrator and it will be venued in a certain zone where your case can appear in any one of three specific locations for those claims that are typically south of Interstate 80. If you have an Illinois Workers Compensation claim you have the right to file the claim with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission and that allows you and/or your attorney to then file request for hearings, which can be either a normal request for hearing or can be requested for an immediate hearing if the insurance company and/or the employer are failing to meet any financial or medical obligations during the claim. This is a very important thing to understand because you cannot seek emergency benefits or immediate benefits if you have not filed your claim with the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Typically this is done by your attorney on your behalf and the request for hearings and all the other events are addressed on your behalf through your attorney as well.
The Illinois Workman’s Comp law is a no fault statute which means that you do not have to prove that the employer was negligent in order to be entitled to benefits. You simply have to prove that you sustained an accident that arose out of and occurred in the course of the employment that the injury is a result of that accident and that you are entitled to damages. Furthermore, the Illinois Workman’s Comp statute is a no discovery statute, which means that there are no technical discovery activities that occur in a workers compensation claim which is different than for example the Iowa Workman’s Comp law which is a discovery statute and is also different from like a civil case if you were involved in a car accident or slip and fall type of claim. This is very important with respect to the strategies that take place during the course and the pursuit of an Illinois Workers Compensation claim.
It is very important to understand the nature and type of medical treatment that is being recommended. Employers and their insurance companies in the state of Illinois have rights in defending these types of cases, where they can request an independent medical examination, they can request utilization reviews, and they can deny claims based upon failure to believe that a person has sustained a work injury, either a specific accident or a repetitive trauma claim.
If there are multiple issues that stem from the Illinois Workers Compensation statute.
If you have suffered an injury in the state of Illinois that you believe to be a result of your work activities or was in the course of and arose out of your work activates and you feel concerned about protecting your rights under the Illinois Workers Compensation statute, please contact the Law Firm of Crowley & Prill and we will be happy to consult with you and review your options and rights of recovery under the Illinois Workers Compensation statute.