April 2009


Props to Workers Comp Insider website at http://www.workerscompinsider.com for an interesting question on swine flu and workers compensation.

From a little different angle, the injured workers perspective, swine flu may be considered an occupational disease. Most swine flu cases will not be compensable because there is no permanent damage. But if there is a severe case the question is whether Illinois Law will allow for recovery.

The main question is whether you were exposed in the course of your employment and whether you had enhanced risk of exposure arising from your employment. Some jobs meet this requirement. Such as healthcare workers, teachers, traveling employees.

The other problem would be proving how you were exposed. It may be very difficult to isolate how exactly you were infected. Was it at home, or at work?

Intriguing stuff. Just remember this, don’t enter into any pig kissing contests.

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What if you cannot work again after your Work accident?

In Illinois Work Comp Law, you may be able to get a lifetime check if you can prove you are unable to work again as a result of your work injury.

It is not enough to prove you cannot do your old job. You must show you are not able to do any job.

You can do this through your medical records and your doctor’s opinion that you unable to work and your work injury caused your inability to work.

You may also need to undergo a job search to show that your restrictions, education, work history, and age keep you from being able to work. The job search is something that will take time. You have to make multiple weekly applications for jobs over an extended period of time.

You should also request the insurance company provide you with vocational assistance, which means help finding a job, because they will have to pay someone to help you in a job search.

Questions about job searches and inability to work, call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

In Illinois, all Workers’ Compensation attorney fees are based on a contingent fee. This means that you only pay the lawyer if you recover money. The fee in Illinois is 20 percent of your recovery.

In some type of court cases the other side must pay your attorney fees. However, in Workers Compensation cases you must pay your attorneys fees out of your settlement or award.

In addition, you must your own costs out of your settlement. For example, you have to pay for medical records and for doctor’s depositions and for court transcripts. These are usually paid at the end of the case.

The good part of the contingent fees system is you do not have to pay any fees up front when you are injured and not working. Contingent fees give the attorneys the incentive to settle the case because they want to be paid the highest amount possible.

Questions about attorney fees and costs please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company does not want to pay you when you are off work. It costs them money, and they are afraid you will never get back to work.

There are several reasons the Work Comp Company gives for not paying:

* the accident did not happen at work;

* there was no accident;

* your condition was not caused by the accident;

* you are at maximum medical improvement.

Usually the insurance company will send you to their doctor to get an opinion that favors them and supports their position that you can return to work or your injury is not related to the work accident.

If you are not being paid Workers’ Compensation please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Your medical records are very important to your Workers Comp case. The Arbitrator who decides your case will look carefully at the records to decide if you win, and whether your treatment is related to the work injury.

If you delay your treatment, it will hurt your case.

You must tell your doctor how your injury happened at work, or you will most likely lose your case.

Treat on a regular basis with your doctor. If you do not the insurance company will use it against you.

Tell your doctor how you feel each visit so there is a clear history of your problems.

What the doctor writes is very persuasive. So make sure you are very clear with the doctor.

Need more tips? Call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.