February 2009

The economy is bad. Jobs are hard to find and keep. What if I get hurt at work? Should I file a Workers Comp Claim?

These are real questions, that express real concerns. In Illinois you can be fired for almost any reason or no reason at all, in most cases.

Illinois does have a law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone who files a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, the only way to enforce the law is to file a civil court case.

The other factor that helps in Workers’ Compensation cases is that usually an insurance company stands in the place of your employer. So it is different from suing your employer directly.

The bottom line is that if you are injured at work and your employer or its insurance company is denying your claim, then the only way to get your medical treatment or off work pay or settlement is to file a claim.

Have questions? Call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.


Sometimes when you have a Workers Compensation injury you may also be eligible for Social Security Disability.

If you have not worked for one year, or it looks like you will not be able to work for at least a year or more you may be eligible for Social Security Disability.

If you live in Illinois and think you may not be able to work please feel free to call me, Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371, or visit my other blog at socialsecuritydisabilityblog.wordpress.com

In Illinois you do not get paid for pain and suffering in your Workers’ Compensation settlement.

When the law was first put in place in the early 1900’s there was a trade off. You do not have to prove your employer was negligent in causing your injury, but in turn you are not able to be awarded damages for your pain and suffering. The other trade off was speed. Compared to other types of civil cases Workers Comp is much faster. You get your money sooner and it is tax free.

The way Workers Comp settlements and awards are figured are based on your average weekly wage for the 52 weeks before you were injured times 60 percent. This is what is called your permanency rate. The injury is then given a number of weeks times the permanency rate. The number of weeks determined is not based on any hard and fast schedule that you find in some states. It is more art than science.

As you can tell from the formula, the higher your wage the better off you will do on the settlement or award. The injured workers who do the worst in most cases are minimum wage people and part time workers. 

If you think your wage was calculated incorrectly or the offer does not seem right, give Attorney Dirk May a call at 309-827-4371.

Most Illinois Workers’ Compensation cases do not require a witness other than you, the injured worker.

Your medical records will detail the treatment you have received and what you told the doctor at the time you were injured.

Your doctor’s deposition will contain his testimony.

Your medical bills will part of your exhibits.

You will testify about your accident, your medical treatment, your time off work, and your current condition.

In most cases that is all you will need for your Workers’ Compensation case.

If there is a dispute about your accident you may need to have a witness if there is one available. In other words, was there an eyewitness to your accident? If so you may want to call the eyewitness to testify. 

Any questions about your case and what you may need for trial? Call Central Illinois Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.