The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law provides 3 basic rights for an injured worker.

The right to payment for related medical treatment.

The right to payment of 66 percent of your average weekly wage for injury related time off work.

The right to payment for your work related disability resulting from the injury.

The process is not perfect, or pretty, or fast paced.

You need to realize there are certain rules and timelines that need to followed.

The insurance companies all differ in the way they handle cases.

But the most thing to remember is that you can usually negotiate to increase the value of your settlement.

Impatience is the enemy of the highest settlement value for your case.

Questions about your settlement offer? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

My cardinal rule for whether to settle your Workers’ Compensation case or not, is what is my fear about future medical. If you do not think you will have future medical needs regarding your injury, then it is okay to settle. Or if you think you have good insurance to cover future needs, increasingly rare isn’t it, then it is okay to settle. In the event you have any concerns regarding future medical needs you should not settle and you will need to have a trial. This is the only way to preserve future medical rights in Illinois, unless the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier will agree to give you future medical rights in the settlement contract. It is rare for the insurance company to do this. Here’s what to look for in a workers compensation settlement.

In Illinois workmans compensation cases you can be paid for what are called “repetitive trauma” accidents.

The repetitive trauma workers compensation cases can involve hands, arms or your back. The conditions include, among others, carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, rotator cuff tears, and degenerative disc disease.

In a repetitive trauma case you cannot identify a specific incident that led to the injury. The time of accident is usually the time of diagnosis, or the last date of work, or the point when a reasonable person would be aware of the problem.

In Illinois your work activities do not have to involve using a jack hammer, working continously on an assembly line, or heavy use of vibratory tools. It is enough to work a job that requires you to use your body in activities that place stress on your back, hands and arms. Such as computer work, lifting and turning patients, driving over rough roads or consistent bending and lifting.

As soon as you are aware of the repetitive trauma diagnosis or are experiencing pain, numbness or tingling you should file an application of claim.

Every so often a person will tell me that someone they know received a lot more for their Workers’ Compensation case then they are being offered. What is going on?

In Illinois, Workers’ Compensation is based on your average weekly wage. This means that you can receive a lot more money for the same injury as another person who earns much less money. The other factor is the severity of the injury. If you have a bad surgical result, or have multiple surgeries then you may receive more compensation.

Another factor in workmans comp is if you end up with permanent restrictions, then you will most likely be awarded more money.

Finally, some people just like to tell a good story. Maybe they did not receive as much money in their workmans compensation case as they claim.

In Illinois, every employer must have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. You can check the Workers’ Compensation Commission website to determine if your employer carries the insurance. If you are injured and your employer does not have the proper insurance, you should report it to the Commission immediately. Employers who do not have Workers Compensation insurance can be fined and in some cases face criminal charges. If the employer is solvent, it may be able to pay the claim.

In addition, you can file a claim against your employer and the State Treasurer. The State of Illinois has a new fund which may be used in certain circumstances to pay injured workers whose Employer’s do not carry workers comp insurance. The fund usually will pay only a percentage of the award, but the alternative is usually not recovering anything if the employer is insolvent or has disappeared.